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-   -   Have any clyde/athenas tried longer cranks? (

BigPolishJimmy 06-22-09 10:04 AM

Have any clyde/athenas tried longer cranks?
Ok, I've been messing with a lot of different things trying to get a good fit. Saddles, frames, handlebar types, height of seat and bars etc. I'm sooooooo close I can taste it. I fixed up an old Brooks B-72 and after 1 ride I can see if I was able to sit in the sweet spot it'd be the best saddle I've ever ridden. The problem is that even with a long seat post and getting the height I need I still feel cramped. I like to pedal on the balls of my feet, I'm using platforms and that position feels like I have the best contact, flexibility and control. I am getting enough height when my pedal is at it's lowest position, but I still find myself sitting about 2 inches back further on the saddle then where I believe the sweet spot would be. On the brooks this happens to be right on the rivets. I'm almost mostly comfortable on my current main bike as far as being bent over and arm fatigue, but I still think I'll put a taller stem on this bike as well.

It could be that the bike frame is just too small, but I'm not sure I'm buying that. The top tube length is 25 inches, which is pretty good, I've got a small amount of crotch-clearance in the standover height. With the tall stem and the tall seat post I get all the height I need and feel good bent over, but just can't get the saddle back any further. The bmx layback seatpost does not come in the size for this bike, I have one installed on my other road bike, but it is rigged with a innertube and not an elegant solution. Also it places the saddle too high for my liking so that I can only fit a very hard saddle on it. In short... it doesn't work in this application.

I did a search on crank lenght and found a lot of mixed opinions, so to narrow what I'm after:

Has anyone here installed longer cranks and found that it allowed them to sit a bit more forward in the saddle?

Or have you had to move your saddle forward to adjust for the new fit?

Thanks in advance,


CliftonGK1 06-22-09 10:43 AM

I can't remember how tall you are. I'm 6'6" and tend to like 175mm cranks. Longer than that and I think you have to start looking at the Zinn big'n'tall stuff.

You might look to get a Thomson set-back seat post before investing in longer cranks. That may solve the issue of not being on the sweet spot of your saddle. Brooks are notorious for having short rails and less fore/aft adjustability than most padded hardshell saddles.

late 06-22-09 11:31 AM

Cranks won't do what you want. Longer up is also longer down...

If you could show us a pic taken from the side on the bike with the crankarm we can see point down at the ground; that would help us a lot.

Is your seatpost a 440? They do make them that long.

BigPolishJimmy 06-22-09 11:33 AM


Originally Posted by late (Post 9145669)
Cranks won't do what you want. Longer up is also longer down...

If you could show us a pic taken from the side on the bike with the crankarm we can see point down at the ground; that would help us a lot.

Is your seatpost a 440? They do make them that long.

Longer up or down isn't a problem, I have a long seat post and can even over-extend myself if I want to. It's that it feels tight mid-pedal, so I guess longer forward--or sitting further back--seems to be what I'm after and I'm not sure that I'll get that with a larger/taller frame. I'll try to get a picture tonight. :)

JBHoren 06-22-09 11:40 AM

My Cannondale came with 175mm cranks, and that's real comfortable when pedaling (I'm 6'1"). My Trek, however, came with 170mm cranks, and I can feel the difference; so much so, that I purchased a matching 175mm spider/arm for it, and just need to make the switch. I also swapped-out the original stem for a Nitto DirtDrop (100mm), and that helps.

I ride platforms on both bikes.

Bianchigirll 06-22-09 04:24 PM

Hello I have never develope a good "spinning" pedal style and somehow gravitated to 172.5's I do not know if this makes a real difference or if it just in my head.

bigfred 06-22-09 06:20 PM

I'm riding 180mm cranks and wouldn't go shorter unless I had no choice. However, it sounds like what you're after is greater saddle set back, not crank length. The two achieve slightly different goals.

Crank length will provide greater leverage and increase the range of motion through which your muscle and skeleton are working. They also increase the distance aft that your feet will travel as well as forward. Additionally, without going to Zinn or Lightning cranks your only gaining 5mm going from 175 to the mass produced max of 180mm.

Saddle set back will more easily effect the position of your knee in relationship to the pedal spindle and in general the angle between your leg and torso for a given handlebar position. You also have much more than 5mm of adjustability here and without spending on custom cranks.

Have you measured your knee position in relationship to pedal spindle with cranks at 3 o'clock? That's probably the first thing to determine before any meaningful advice can be determined.

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