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Beating a dead horse(7 posts)

Beating a dead horseMatno
May 16, 2002 9:14 AM
What's the general rule for crank length for different riding styles? Seems like I've heard more than one, but I can't recall which was which. I'm just wondering whether longer or shorter cranks are more suitable for long distance touring (without any extra weight like gear) as opposed to faster racing. My typical rides that I'm concerned about are basically centuries done in 6 hours (not very fast) over varied up and down terrain (no super steep hills). I don't race, don't sprint, and really don't care about shorter rides as I don't think I would really notice any difference before the 65 mile marker... I don't need an exact number (unless you're my size: 140lbs, 5'11", w/33" inseam), just a general rule of thumb...
spin=short; mash=longDougSloan
May 16, 2002 10:31 AM
Spinners like short cranks. Mashers like the extra leverage of longer cranks. Taller people typically use longer cranks.

Some use longer cranks for timetrials or climbing.

At 5'11", I'd probably use 172.5 or 175.0 mm cranks, unless there is some reason to vary.

Longer cranks stress the knees more, as the angle of the knee is more acute at the top of the stroke.

May 16, 2002 12:08 PM
Inseam, not height would determine crank length. At 5'11", I have a 29" inseam. Rick, a rider here at work, is 5'10" and has a 34" inseam. We're freaks, what can I say?
Also, you are going to cut into your cornering clearance with longer cranks.
did you say 5' 11" and 29" inseamishmael
May 16, 2002 4:13 PM
can you send a 5'8" if i try hard and 32" inseam
did you say 5' 11" and 29" inseamSnowBlind
May 18, 2002 7:55 AM
I hate this pic, but you asked so nicely.
Here is a horrid picture of me after a ride, early Dec, in classic Ulrich winter form.
Only one I have that shows me to scale. The door is ~7' and those are standard 700mm wheels.
Freaky, eh?
not as strange as i expectedishmael
May 18, 2002 7:23 PM
you dont look as weird as i was hopeing..that is a realy nice paint job and the font is nice too, simple.
re: Beating a dead horsejpa
May 16, 2002 3:28 PM
5' 10, 34" inseam. I use 172.5 on my road bike and 175 on my mountain bike. As far as I know, there is no agreed upon formula for crank length. Longer legs = longer cranks and vice versa.

Generally, roadies use shorter cranks which facilitates spinning at higher speeds on smoother terrain. Mountain bikes, touring bikes and sometimes cross bikes use longer cranks for better torque, slower speeds, heavy loads, variable terrain - i.e. mashing. Downhill bikes use 170 mostly for clearance.

I've seen several articles on pro's bikes and many pro's that are my size use larger cranks - 175-180 - because they are genetic mutants.