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Crank length for tall guys?(10 posts)

Crank length for tall guys?JFR
May 1, 2003 9:52 PM
If inseem is 34-35, what crank length on my first rode bike?

I'm getting some very strong, and opposing opions (and a few indifferent ones as well). Some swear 175, while others suggest 180 since they're "biomechanically correct" for my size and because they're what I've been very happily using on my MTB for years.

Apparently this is an argumentitive subject and maybe just a personal prefrance.

My rode riding will be primarily a 23 mile ea way work commute on flat ground. My riding goals are aimed at XC MTB racing where my 190lb body gets dropped on sustained climbs.

I'm leaning toward using 180s on the road so I can further work my "180 spin" for XC.

Please offer your thoughts... or just a "175" vs "180" vote.

re: Crank length for tall guys?russw19
May 1, 2003 10:47 PM
It's all just personal preference if you ask me. I am 5'11" and have a 32" inseam... I ride 177.5mm cranks. I just recently switched to them from 175s. My Dura-Ace bike has 175's but when I built a new bike this spring, I ordered a set of FSA carbon cranks. They were out of stock of the 175's. They had 177.5's and 170's. I figured it's less a jump to go up 2.5mm than down 5 mm. I have yet to notice any difference, but it's a new bike too, so there is much more for me to notice being different than my crank's length.

May 2, 2003 5:52 AM
Especially if your legs are already used to cranking that size. Everyone I've talked to has said they get a little more power out of longer levers--especially on climbs. That's what you want to hear, right?
re: length for tall guys?StewartK
May 2, 2003 8:22 AM
I have a 37" inseam and ride 178.5. I've ridden 175s which were fine until I started riding 178.5. I don't think I'd go to 180.

There are two basic theories. One is that you need longer crankss if you have longer legs. The other one is that longer cranks make it more difficult to spin.

I've read that Lance uses particularly long cranks for his size and he's the king of spinners, but he's nowhere near 180. I would think that 180 would be a little too long for you unless you have
exceptionally strong and fast legs.
re: Crank length for tall guys?allezdude
May 2, 2003 8:59 AM
I'm 6'2 w/34 inseam and ride 175s have switched from 170s. My vote is the 175s. That's standard size crank for a road bike in your size range.
Mash or Spin?Doc Hollywood
May 2, 2003 9:34 AM
If you have a lower cadence 75-90 range, I would use the 180's. If you like to spin (85 to 100+ cadence), then the 175's are best.

I have a 35/36 inseem and mash, so I ride 180's. I had 175's a long time ago and noticed a significant differnce in power when I went to the 180's.

Mash or Spin?russw19
May 2, 2003 1:46 PM
Well, I wouldn't really call 85-100 rpm's spinning... I ride 177.5 mm cranks and my average cadence is about 145 to 150. And I don't really think of myself as much of a spinner.

Your Kidding, Right?Doc Hollywood
May 2, 2003 2:52 PM
You don't think pedalling at 150 rpm is spinning? Thats 2 1/2 times around per second. Do ypu ride with guys that routinely do much more?

Your Kidding, Right?russw19
May 2, 2003 8:17 PM
I did some track racing in the past and I spent a year trying to make a living as a cyclist over in Belgium about 10 years ago.... I was sort of kidding about not thinking of that as spinning....

But look at some guys on the track... 180 to over 200 rpm's... that's spinning! I just bounce along on my saddle at those rpms.

But I went to Europe thinking a cadence of 110 was just fine... I found out from a whole lot of people that you are really just wasting a lot of energy crushing gears. I also don't really think 110 is crushing a gear... 50 to 60 rpms is crushing a gear. Over the course of that year I spent there I upped my cadence by 20 rpm's and have been trying to get it higher every winter.

Look at Armstrong.. everyone who knows about his form knows he's so fast because he spins so well.

Should have noted something...russw19
May 2, 2003 8:23 PM
I should have noted that I get peak power at about 145 rpms. I don't cruise around town at that speed. But I live in a flat area and I rarely ride the big ring on training rides. I guess I cruise around town at around 120. So the 150 was a definate exageration. But then again I could've sworn you were kidding when you talked about people pedalling 50 to 60 rpms too. I guess if you don't ever ride in that big of a gear, that is an alien concept, kind of like 120+ will have to seem to someone that rides at that low of a cadence.