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Crank question

Old 11-24-12, 09:52 AM
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dannwilliams
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Crank question

I use a 175 crank on my road bike, had a 175 crank on my Sutra. Sold the Sutra and purchased a LHT that came with 170 crank. Is that why I find it so much more of a bear to ride vs. the Sutra? I believe they weigh about the same but the LHT seems to require so much more effort. Any thoughts/opinions...
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Old 11-24-12, 09:59 AM
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LHT probably has larger heaver tires which take more effort to get up to speed.

LHT may have a longer chain which also takes more effort to get up to speed.

Start out in an easy gear to first get rolling.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:02 AM
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Maybe, but I doubt it. Most people wouldn't even notice if you changed the crank length on their bike. Probably some other difference that makes the LHT feel like.............a truck.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
I use a 175 crank on my road bike, had a 175 crank on my Sutra. Sold the Sutra and purchased a LHT that came with 170 crank. Is that why I find it so much more of a bear to ride vs. the Sutra? I believe they weigh about the same but the LHT seems to require so much more effort. Any thoughts/opinions...
I've ridden bikes with 170mm, 172.5mm and 175mm cranks. Honestly, in a blind test I'm not sure I could tell the difference between them. In a non-blind test, I'd say the 175mm cranks feel like they provide a bit more leverage than the 170mm cranks. After a few miles, even that difference is difficult to notice... Mostly likely you're noticing the geometry or equipment differences between the Sutra and the LHT.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:45 AM
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HTFU, You got a Touring Bike , Pack it Up and go explore new places. when you come back
then the other bike will feel oddly squirrelly light.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:52 AM
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I have both a 170 and 175mm cranks and find very little difference. In theory, a larger crank provides more mechanical leverage than a shorter crank, but the larger crankarms requires a more range of motion to spin.

I would consider a faster tire. The Vittoria Hyper is a very fast touring tire.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:55 AM
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It's likely a combination of things, but the change in crank torque is Not imaginary.
I went from 165 to 180 and the difference was huge (9.1% mathmatically). It for sure feels like half a gear lower.
Shift speeds went down 2 mph and hills were far easier.
I have noticed that more bikes are being equipped with sensibly long 175 cranks lately.
New bikes all feel tight when new. Check the bearing adjustment.

Edit : This was for SA 5 speed, so I don't have a lower gear to shift to ....

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 11-24-12 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 11-24-12, 10:55 AM
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I now have 4 bikes with 175 crank arms and love riding them.

First bike had 165's, Yuk.

Touring bike came with 172.5's, Did not like.
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Old 11-24-12, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
I use a 175 crank on my road bike, had a 175 crank on my Sutra. Sold the Sutra and purchased a LHT that came with 170 crank. Is that why I find it so much more of a bear to ride vs. the Sutra? I believe they weigh about the same but the LHT seems to require so much more effort. Any thoughts/opinions...
If you're pedaling at the same rpm at the same mph you're putting out a smidge more pressure, try a lower gear and pedaling faster for the same mph but the real solution is getting a 175mm crank if that's what you're used to. Even then heavy touring tires on a heavy touring bike will feel slower than a road bike.
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Old 11-24-12, 02:16 PM
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I don't think crank length is the issue. IMHO, the culprit is the massive double oversize (31.8mm) top tube. As a personal preference, I can only get in synch with frames where the top tube is more flexible (smaller diameter or lighter gauge or both) than the downtube. This is the way most steel frames are built, but not the LHT. I've ridden a friend's LHT, and the frame feels dead to me.
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Old 11-24-12, 04:03 PM
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You don’t indicate the wheel size and type of rear tire. If it is 26”, then you may be finding what I have found with 26” tires: many seem more suitable for use on the family tractor than on a road bike of any type. I don’t know it is, but some feel like they want to grind you to a halt on a hill. Some feel completely different. If that is what you have found, it may be independent of crank length and easier and cheaper to fix. I have found Conti Sport Contact work well for me. I like 26x1.6” and 700x37c.
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Old 11-25-12, 06:05 AM
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If your tire pressure is not at the maximum rating, see if increasing tire pressure helps.

I picked up a second set of wheels that were so cheap they were screaming "take me home". I put some supple smooth tread 28mm Continentals on those wheels for when I want to go faster. At the end of a ride through town (stop lights, stop signs, slowing down for intersections, etc.), my average speed on my computer might only be 3 percent faster with them but they feel much faster when I accelerate and am up to speed.

Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
... ...
LHT may have a longer chain which also takes more effort to get up to speed.
... ...
Other than causing the bike to weigh maybe 0.001 percent more, I am not sure how a few extra links will consume energy.
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Old 11-25-12, 07:00 AM
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dannwilliams, Touring bikes are just heavier overall than a road bike, but much of the difference you're sensing is in the heavier wheelset/tires. Most cyclists can adapt to differing crankarm lengths without even thinking about it, but there are a few where it is truely an issue. It's up to you to change cranksets after some evaluation.

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Old 11-25-12, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If your tire pressure is not at the maximum rating, see if increasing tire pressure helps.

I picked up a second set of wheels that were so cheap they were screaming "take me home". I put some supple smooth tread 28mm Continentals on those wheels for when I want to go faster. At the end of a ride through town (stop lights, stop signs, slowing down for intersections, etc.), my average speed on my computer might only be 3 percent faster with them but they feel much faster when I accelerate and am up to speed.
Other than causing the bike to weigh maybe 0.001 percent more, I am not sure how a few extra links will consume energy.
I just know that the longer wheel base and chain stays seem to slow acceleration when I stand to sprint, compared to my road bikes. Not much happens with the touring bike.

The BMC Street Racer on the other side is quick, response, and nimble when standing and sprinting.
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Old 11-26-12, 05:05 PM
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My first thought was heavy wheels and tire so I did replace the heavy Vittoria 700 38 with a Conti 32 and I am still working harder than I think I did on my old Kona Sutra. I also had a Surly Nice rear rack on so I took that off and am just using a small wedge pack under the saddle. I weighed it and it weighs very close to what the other bike weighed, so that is not it. It leads me to the shorter crank arms, having to use more force with every revolution, and I am just not enjoying using this bike as a change of pace from the road bike. A shame too, since it is such a comfortable ride. Oh, well. I just need to use it for what it does best and only ride it loaded.
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Old 12-03-12, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by dannwilliams View Post
I use a 175 crank on my road bike, had a 175 crank on my Sutra. Sold the Sutra and purchased a LHT that came with 170 crank. Is that why I find it so much more of a bear to ride vs. the Sutra? I believe they weigh about the same but the LHT seems to require so much more effort. Any thoughts/opinions...
hi dann
if your ride position is different on this bike than your last and a slight difference would make all the difference it would be harder to ride spend a little and get yourself measured up at a bike shop that does that and obviously he would be able to tell you where the problem lies
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