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Shorter Cranks for Climbing

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Shorter Cranks for Climbing

Old 12-11-20, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
Mentioning Cranks on BF is like mentioning oil on any number of automobile forums.

Anyways I was listening to this Podcast from Trainer Road "Ask a Cycling Coach" Episode 287 and starting @ 01:36:00 They have a great discussion with quite a few examples and research on crank length -
Here is the excerpt from that episode - Trainer Road "Ask A Cycling Coach Episode 287

Overall it seems that you will be better off with shorter cranks than long ones. Most of the reasoning seems to be around the ability to have a faster cadence with shorter cranks with less effort.

I have used both correct crank size 170mm and 150mm (too short) crank lenth few months each.

I'm simply faster with the short crank. It's not just easier for me to spin at higher cadence with the short crank but A LOT easier so I end up being more efficient with 150mm. I change gear less often too. Just leave it at lower gears and spin like crazy to get faster without worry of blowing up. Great for rolling hills. Much harder to do with longer cranks, especially spinning at very high cadence.

I only found one advantage with longer cranks being faster in climbs - if you're going to spend considerable time pedaling out of the saddle. But if you're going to pedal out of the saddle only for short periods of time in climbs, the short crank still wins in climbing performance, providing you have smaller (easier) gears to drive with short cranks.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
I am 5'11 and a 185 lbs and am typically more comfortable on a 53.5-54cm (within certain geometries). I currently own a Ridley Helium in a medium which is like a 56.

I have the bike setup to fit me and it's not uncomfortable on long rides. My question is...

I have a long ride tomorrow that is mostly climbing (15 miles up 4000' and another 7 up 2000'). Would it benefit to slide the seat up a half cm and throw a 172.5 crank on there? (I typically ride with a 175)

I've got the crankset here in the garage and it would take me all of maybe 30 min to set it up. Just not sure how much the shorter crankset would help, if at all.


IMO as a somewhat taller person, the longer crank arms should work well for you. If you can handle longer crank arms, logic dictates you can apply greater torque with the proper gearing.
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