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Crankarm length(5 posts)

Crankarm lengthjukosho
Jul 23, 2002 6:53 AM
Is there a real advantage on going with longer crankarms? I cansee a possible leverage advantage but not sure about disadvantages.. I am a first year rider and it seems like everyone still blows by me with ease. I am sure there must be some secrets to gear that can help me like different cassette..... Running 105 on a Trek 2200 at the moment.
it's not about the bikeweiwentg
Jul 23, 2002 7:15 AM
yes, there is a lot of fancy gear, but in the end it is mainly about the rider.
longer crankarms: more leverage. shorter: you spin faster. personally, I've used 170s and 175s, and I haven't noticed a difference (but I'm not very sensitive in that regard).
as for cassettes, what's the range on yours? 12-23 is a good range for flat or rolling terrain - you get a nice close gear spacing so you can always find the 'right' gear. but gearing depends on terrain and personal ability/preference.
Everything looks easy when somebody else is doing it.dzrider
Jul 23, 2002 7:27 AM
I'll take your word that other riders blow by you. I'm not convinced that it's easy for them. They may be working harder than you at that moment. They may have worked harder than you have over more time so that they are able to ride faster at a lower level of effort. They may be lighter than you. It damn sure ain't the crankarms! You'll be able to keep up some day, but you're gonna hafta pay some dues.
Everything looks easy when somebody else is doing it.Juanmoretime
Jul 23, 2002 8:05 AM
You said it, you're a first year rider. It takes several years of being on the bike to really get your legs unless you are genetically blessed. Many hours of riding and if you live where winter is truly winter, many hours on the rollers or trainer. To get better, keep riding and make sure your are getting your rest days as well as those days you need to really work hard to improve yuor level of fitness. Keep at it, some day some newbie will be making the same comment about you.
It's all about energy conservation.Quack
Jul 23, 2002 9:12 AM
The first thing to do is not waste a ton of energy worrying if 5mm of crank arm length will increase your average speed by 3mph. It won't. As far as equipment is concerned, make sure that your bike fits you well and is in good mechanical condition. If your bike isn't comfortable, is missing shifts, doesn't have straight wheels, has underinflated tires, etc., it won't be as fun to ride. And fun is what gets you on that bike 5 days a week for 50 miles at a crack. The miles are what is going to get you back into that pack of riders that is currently blowing you by.

If you don't feel at home on your bike, get a new one. It might just make you faster. The mind is a powerful thing. I rode an old Schwinn Aluminum for a lot of years and was always bummed that I couldn't keep up in the sprints. When the speeds got above 35mph, I got dropped like a bad habit. I bought a Trek 5200 a couple years ago and magically, I was right back into the thick of it sprinting with the fast guys. But you know what, after a year of this, I rode the old Schwinn and although it doesn't accelerate quite like the Trek, I was still in the thick of it in the sprints. I discovered the art of picking the right gear, following the right guys, knowing when to go, and when not to go.

You'll get fast. Ride with fast guys and it will rub off on you. There is a lot more to going fast than just pushing on the cranks the hardest.

Enjoy your future speed!