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Old 06-08-2017, 02:49 PM
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Hombre Hombre is offline
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Shorter Crank Length, Long Term Reviews?

Looking for personal experiences for long term use of shorter cranks?
I started at 172.5, then down to 170 at the start of the year.
I just bought some 165 cranks but have yet to receive them.

From what I've put together, there seems to be more to gain than to lose from going shorter.

Also, besides saddle height, what other adjustments are associated with short cranks? i.e. cleat position, saddle fore-aft, etc...

I've moved my cleats back when I went down to 170 and find it easier to maintain a higher cadence. Could also be psychological?

Thanks!

Last edited by Hombre; 06-08-2017 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 06-08-2017, 06:56 PM
Stevemikesteve Stevemikesteve is offline
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two cents

I did the same but have yet to jump further down to 165; Went from 175 to 172.5 (briefly), now 170 and won't ever go back. Fwiw I'm merely a "recreational" rider. I ride often but not fast, capable of some decent distance but again, not fast. Probably all the better for me to run 170 considering that style of riding that I do. Definitely makes a noticeable difference for me with efficiency of movement (not really sure if there's any science behind that, it's just what I feel when riding, I'm not laboring as much) and therefore less fatigue. When I hear guys say they run 180 or even bigger, nowadays that trips me out. I'd never go back. I was mislead for quite sometime, I have no need/desire anymore to adjust anything that would add power. Does longer add power? Sheesh I don't even know. I just know that my enjoyment increases via changes that broaden my comfort sweet spot, not changes that increase performance.

Last edited by Stevemikesteve; 06-08-2017 at 07:00 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2017, 03:12 PM
chrisroph chrisroph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre View Post
Looking for personal experiences for long term use of shorter cranks?
I started at 172.5, then down to 170 at the start of the year.
I just bought some 165 cranks but have yet to receive them.

From what I've put together, there seems to be more to gain than to lose from going shorter.

Also, besides saddle height, what other adjustments are associated with short cranks? i.e. cleat position, saddle fore-aft, etc...

I've moved my cleats back when I went down to 170 and find it easier to maintain a higher cadence. Could also be psychological?

Thanks!
Moving cleats more than a couple mm is going to have a much more profound impact than going from 172.5 to 170. Only you are going to be able to say if you like jumping down to 165s, which are pretty short for a road bike for someone over about 5'7" tall, even though 165s are common on the track for sprinters and mass start racers.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:23 PM
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heartattackride heartattackride is offline
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I'm curious as well.
OP- did you do this on just your road bike? If you have an MTB did you also shorten on that bike also?
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:18 PM
bigreen505 bigreen505 is offline
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I went from 172.5 to 180 to 175 to 172.5 and just ordered a 170. Personally, I think most people size cranks wrong. All the discussion is about inseam length or femur/tibia ratios. Sure, bones matter, but muscles do the work. You want your legs to be in a certain position at the bottom of the pedal stroke, which dictates seat height, however your hip flexors need to be active at the top of the stroke (kick over), and that determines max crank length. Rather than assuming long legs equal long cranks, we need to look at how each person applies power to the crank. I know that seems really random, but instrumented fit systems like Retul tend to support that. I may end up on 165, but I'm creeping down to it. FWIW, my inseam is 885 mm and I'm a bit shy of 5'10 (all legs).
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:22 PM
guido guido is offline
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I'm 6'1" I fought knee issues for years. Going to 165s has made the pain go away. I'd never go back...
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:59 PM
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I made the jump to 165 and I'm pleased with the outcome. The only thing I need to work on is picking up the cadence. Other than that it's been nothing but beneficial so far.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:01 PM
kingpin75s kingpin75s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigreen505 View Post
I went from 172.5 to 180 to 175 to 172.5 and just ordered a 170. Personally, I think most people size cranks wrong. All the discussion is about inseam length or femur/tibia ratios. Sure, bones matter, but muscles do the work. You want your legs to be in a certain position at the bottom of the pedal stroke, which dictates seat height, however your hip flexors need to be active at the top of the stroke (kick over), and that determines max crank length. Rather than assuming long legs equal long cranks, we need to look at how each person applies power to the crank. I know that seems really random, but instrumented fit systems like Retul tend to support that. I may end up on 165, but I'm creeping down to it. FWIW, my inseam is 885 mm and I'm a bit shy of 5'10 (all legs).
This is interesting and resonates as an alternate approach that potentially addresses some of the holes in the leg length theory. I will have to look into this more. As a rider with a number of non-suspension corrected 29ers, I have researched and discussed this with a number of builders and many , regardless of height and inseam, prefer a 170mm crank.

I have run mostly 170, 172.5 and 175 cranks and have gravitated to 170mm as preferred. I only use 175 now if I am looking to lower my CG on a bike and that the benefit of that, outweighs my preference for 170.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:12 AM
oliver oliver is offline
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I'm 6'1", 88 cm PBH, and anything larger than 170 results in knee pain and inflammation for me.
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  #10  
Old 09-04-2017, 01:35 PM
gottchajimmy gottchajimmy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre View Post
I made the jump to 165 and I'm pleased with the outcome. The only thing I need to work on is picking up the cadence. Other than that it's been nothing but beneficial so far.


Do you recommend going from 172.5 to 165 or gradually down 172.5 to 170 then finally 165?
My tri friends swear by going with the shorter crank but I've gone from 175 down to 172.5 which I've been riding for years now.


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  #11  
Old 09-04-2017, 08:30 PM
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Hombre Hombre is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottchajimmy View Post
Do you recommend going from 172.5 to 165 or gradually down 172.5 to 170 then finally 165?
My tri friends swear by going with the shorter crank but I've gone from 175 down to 172.5 which I've been riding for years now.


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I can understand that shorter cranks for tri to help with pedaling smaller circles in the aero position. But I guess for road you'd possibly have to adjust your riding style a bit more given the mixed terrains and cadences. Going from 172.5 to 165 gradually probably wouldn't have made a difference since 170 to 165 was quite a big difference for me.

Find some cheap 165 cranks off eBay and mess with it for a bit. It took me about a month to figure out how to adjust my riding style. All my bikes now have 165 and I don't see myself going back.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:26 AM
pasadena pasadena is offline
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I used to run 172.5 road, and 165 fixed gear. Then, went to 170 road because the fixed gear felt so much better.

It really helped my positioning. You can get a lot more aero and keep the hips open.

If I buy new cranks, I may go 165 road.

There are some advantages- you can get more aero, keep the hips open, less stress on the knees, and less chance of pedal strike
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  #13  
Old 09-05-2017, 12:36 AM
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As pasadena mentioned^^^, less stress on the knees is probably the biggest benefit for me. After getting back on the bike from a torn meniscus, my knee would get inflamed. The shorter cranks helped a ton along with proper cleat positioning.
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2017, 07:45 PM
pasadena pasadena is offline
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Topical!
This article just came up on cyclingtips

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/09/cran...age-power-fit/
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:08 PM
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m_moses m_moses is offline
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I switched from 175 to 165 this past year. Iā€™m 5ā€™11ā€™ā€™ and typically ride 57cm bikes but during a Guru fitting, the shorter length was suggested. I was having soreness in my hips after doubling my weekly mileage.

I changed the crankset on my road bike in the spring and recently changed the cranks on my gravel bike. My pedaling motion now feels smoother and the soreness in my hip joints is gone.


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