June 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm #93962Participant
Madcow mentions the possible benefits of short crank-arm length in the latest Crank Review.
Is anyone out there using short cranks on your TT, road or mountain bikes? If so, have you noticed a difference, qualitatively or quantitatively, in your performance since moving from longer cranks? I’m interested in hearing from those out there that have given this a try.
RingtailJune 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm #93973Participant
I have been using 165mm cranks for the last 2 years and I love them. They don’t feel too different from the 170′s that I always used, whereas every time I have tried 172.5′s it felt like my legs were doing more work. The 165′s allow me to get a bit lower on the front of the bike without my thighs hitting my gut. It is easier to spin a higher cadence too. I won’t ever use any other crank length. I ride a 54 cm frame & am 5′-7″ tall.Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?June 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm #93978Keymaster
I used short cranks (170mm) on my TT bik. I noticed, SRM data, an improvement in my power. It’s hard to say if this was because of an increase in form though. So I compared 20 min efforts TT vs road bike and TT looked better compared to the road bike I didn’t change my cranks on. So… I went shorter there too. I’m 6’2″ on a 58cm frame.June 27, 2013 at 12:06 am #94126Participant
I can’t do it. When I was a kid, I rode 165mm on the track and 172.5mm on the road. Now, I have to ride 172.5mm on the track, too. I tried to ride 170mm and 175mm, but it doesn’t work for me.August 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm #94413Moderator
I have 170mm on my road bikes. I like it but I can’t say that I have any data that proves it works better for me. To be honest I’m not sure if would notice if someone switched them for 172.5.August 1, 2013 at 10:18 pm #94414Participant
I used to have 170s on my track bike, and 180s on my road bike, but I found when riding the shorter cranks I would ‘hit’ the TDC and BDC and I was smoother, and had a higher cadence with a standardised crank length.
That said I think if you often change crank length then you can do so more easily than if yo do so occasionally. The British track team have a ‘clown bike’ that has 100mm cranks that Sir Chris was getting to over 300rpm to work on neuromuscular firing rates.August 1, 2013 at 11:36 pm #94415Participant
It seems that the consensus among the biomechanists is still out on whether shorter is clearly better or not.
As for myself, I began riding 150mm cranks on my road bike as an experiment 6 weeks ago and I am now a convert. I can climb, tt & sprint as well as before, with the added benefits of:
-noticeably stiffer crank arms (read 1″ shorter each than my 172.5).
-effectively lower front end from raising my saddle (better aerodynamics and noticeably better high-speed cornering).
-more open hip angle (easier breathing, improved comfort, and better power generation).
-my power stroke now has enough momentum to carry my opposite leg over the TDC dead-spot without needing to recruit my hamstrings to pull that leg up & over (verified on a computrainer last weekend).
I figure most people don’t have the luxury to test different length cranks and end up going with whatever was sold to them on their first bike. I feel fortunate to have been able to experiment and have now made an informed decision. It’s been a fun and enlightning journey!
I’ve enjoyed reading the other riders’ input here on this forum and hope others will continue to chime in with their experiences.