Crank length advice/help requested.



K

Ken Pisichko

Guest
I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.

I notice a LOT of Dura-ace and Ultegra gear available on e-bay. It seems
that when gear is couple of years old then the mind starts wandering and
the "latest gear" is considered buy some to be (2 years later)
dated/obsolete so they sell it and purchase the latest gizmos. At the
age of 56 I want good parts, but want to consider used but good parts
instead of the latest gizmos.

What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle? The
bicycle will have custom front and rear racks/pannier frames, but that
just means that I won't be using this bike for racing nor for
credit-card type touring.

If it matters, my inseam on my pants is 36". I ride (in the city for
commuting only) my 30 year old Peugeot 10 fine with it's stock cranks,
and a recent garage sale (aka cheap Chinese bike) mountain bike. Both
have custom seat posts to put my butt further "back" from the rest of
the post. That way the bikes fit me better. Now I want a custom frame
built to fit me properly without such "black smith" approaches that are
really a compromise for a touring bicycle.

Advice on crank length for touring?

Thanks in advance.

Ken
Winnipeg, Canada
 
D

Doug

Guest
You would likely be comfortable with a 177.5, if not a 180 given your leg
length. If you're touring, and not worried so much about spin or cadence, a
180 will give you more leverage, and hence the ability to turn a larger
gear, especially in the hills. I would not suggest going smaller than a
177.5.


"Ken Pisichko" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
> 6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.
>
> I notice a LOT of Dura-ace and Ultegra gear available on e-bay. It seems
> that when gear is couple of years old then the mind starts wandering and
> the "latest gear" is considered buy some to be (2 years later)
> dated/obsolete so they sell it and purchase the latest gizmos. At the
> age of 56 I want good parts, but want to consider used but good parts
> instead of the latest gizmos.
>
> What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle? The
> bicycle will have custom front and rear racks/pannier frames, but that
> just means that I won't be using this bike for racing nor for
> credit-card type touring.
>
> If it matters, my inseam on my pants is 36". I ride (in the city for
> commuting only) my 30 year old Peugeot 10 fine with it's stock cranks,
> and a recent garage sale (aka cheap Chinese bike) mountain bike. Both
> have custom seat posts to put my butt further "back" from the rest of
> the post. That way the bikes fit me better. Now I want a custom frame
> built to fit me properly without such "black smith" approaches that are
> really a compromise for a touring bicycle.
>
> Advice on crank length for touring?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
> Ken
> Winnipeg, Canada
>
 
T

Tom Paterson

Guest
>From: Ken Pisichko

>Advice on crank length for touring?


Here's one item to look at:

http://tinyurl.com/2djka

Crank length is personal, not just by leg length. Preference doesn't
necessarily match proportion. Since power gain/loss seems slight for different
lengths, you are free to ride what you like. Cool, huh?

>At the
>age of 56 I want good parts, but want to consider used but good parts
>instead of the latest gizmos.


Brifters are past the gizmo stage (just an opinion). Campy brifters are
rebuildable, Shimano not. I'd buy new there (at least) so I could put my own
scratches on the levers <g>. Your preference for the system you like, both work
great.

Hands-on shifting on a loaded touring bike-- sounds good here. --TP
 
H

Harris

Guest
Ken Pisichko <[email protected]> wrote:
> I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
> 6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.


> What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle? The
> bicycle will have custom front and rear racks/pannier frames, but that
> just means that I won't be using this bike for racing nor for
> credit-card type touring.


> If it matters, my inseam on my pants is 36". I ride (in the city for
> commuting only) my 30 year old Peugeot 10 fine with it's stock cranks,


Your old Peugeot probably has 170mm cranks. You'd probably do better with
175mm. In the old days long cranks could cause a pedal to hit the ground
when pedaling through a turn. That may still be an issue if you're not
using clipless pedals.

I think 177.5 mm is only available from Campagnolo and only on some
models. Dura Ace has an 180 mm, but 175 mm is largest available in Ultegra
and below IIRC.

The longer cranks give more leverage and make it *slightly* easier to turn
a given gear. But your feet will travel in a larger circle, and it may be
harder to spin a fast cadence.

My inseam is 35.5" and I've used 170, 172.5, and 175 mm cranks. I prefer
the 175, but it's not a huge difference.

If you're going with a triple crankset, you might be better off with
Ultegra than Dura Ace (read some of the previous threads on Dura Ace
triples).

I'd stay away from used components unless they were were removed from the
bike at the time of puchase (e.g., customer wanted to upgrade a brand new
bike).

Art Harris
 
W

Werehatrack

Guest
On Wed, 07 Apr 2004 21:17:19 -0500, Ken Pisichko <[email protected]> may
have said:

>I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
>6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.
>
>I notice a LOT of Dura-ace and Ultegra gear available on e-bay. It seems
>that when gear is couple of years old then the mind starts wandering and
>the "latest gear" is considered buy some to be (2 years later)
>dated/obsolete so they sell it and purchase the latest gizmos. At the
>age of 56 I want good parts, but want to consider used but good parts
>instead of the latest gizmos.
>
>What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle?


Solely my opinion: 180mm

Good luck finding them on eBay, though. I've been hunting for a set
for a friend whose height and inseam are the same as yours for several
months with no scores in the price range he wants to achieve.

--
My email address is antispammed; pull WEEDS if replying via e-mail.
Typoes are not a bug, they're a feature.
Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
 
S

Sheldon Brown

Guest
Ken Pisichko asked
>
>>I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
>>6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.

>
>>What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle? The
>>bicycle will have custom front and rear racks/pannier frames, but that
>>just means that I won't be using this bike for racing nor for
>>credit-card type touring.

>
>>If it matters, my inseam on my pants is 36". I ride (in the city for
>>commuting only) my 30 year old Peugeot 10 fine with it's stock cranks,

>

Art Harris replied:
>
> Your old Peugeot probably has 170mm cranks. You'd probably do better with
> 175mm.


There's no evidence that there's any advantage to longer cranks, but for
a person your height, there's likely no harm in going to 175s.

> The longer cranks give more leverage and make it *slightly* easier to turn
> a given gear.


Yes, but if you want easier pedaling there's no reason to stay in a
"given gear." Selecting cranks on the basis of gearing is a mistake,
you should select the gearing based on the cranks that you find most
comfortable biomechanically.

There is no known disadvantage to short cranks, but long cranks are
sometimes known to cause knee problems for certain riders.

See: http://sheldonbrown.com/gain

> If you're going with a triple crankset, you might be better off with
> Ultegra than Dura Ace (read some of the previous threads on Dura Ace
> triples).


Fer shure! You can't get proper touring gearing with Dura-Ace cranks,
no way to put anything smaller than a 30 in front because it uses a
unique bolt pattern.

Sheldon "Ultegra Is Good" Brown
+---------------------------------------------+
| Admiration, n.: Our polite recognition |
| of another's resemblance to ourselves. |
| --Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary" |
+---------------------------------------------+
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772 FAX 617-244-1041
http://harriscyclery.com
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
http://captainbike.com http://sheldonbrown.com
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Sheldon Brown <[email protected]> wrote:

> Ken Pisichko asked
> >
> >>I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
> >>6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.

> >
> >>What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle? The
> >>bicycle will have custom front and rear racks/pannier frames, but that
> >>just means that I won't be using this bike for racing nor for
> >>credit-card type touring.


> There's no evidence that there's any advantage to longer cranks, but for
> a person your height, there's likely no harm in going to 175s.
>
> > The longer cranks give more leverage and make it *slightly* easier to turn
> > a given gear.

>
> Yes, but if you want easier pedaling there's no reason to stay in a
> "given gear." Selecting cranks on the basis of gearing is a mistake,
> you should select the gearing based on the cranks that you find most
> comfortable biomechanically.
>
> There is no known disadvantage to short cranks, but long cranks are
> sometimes known to cause knee problems for certain riders.
>
> See: http://sheldonbrown.com/gain


I'm quite interested in crank lengths. I started out on 170mm on my road
bike like everyone else (5'6", my pants are 30" inseam), but ran into
some achilles tendon issues that fought with long-standing knee issues.
Some of you get the joke already: for the achilles tendon, dropping your
seat slightly helps; for patellar tendonitis, raising it slightly helps.

My solution was to shorten the cranks and move my cleats back on my
shoe. The latter reduced ankle flex tendencies, which helps the tendons.
The shorter cranks mean less knee flexing, which is good for the knees.

I run 165mm cranks, and I do notice that sometimes there's a certain
constrained feeling to my pedaling circle. Since this is better than not
being able to ride because my ankle or knee is in pain, I accept it. I
also get some benefit in racing from the shorter cranks: less pedal
strike in corners, which means I can accelerate a bit sooner and more
confidently.

The punchline is that my mountain bike has 175mm cranks, mostly because
I can't find suitable 165mm cranks at my usual cheap prices.

As most of you know, mountain bike cranks tend to the long side. 180s
are not unheard of, and 175 is pretty common. But my thinking is that if
you can get the gearing right (I'm sure I can), short cranks will mean a
little more obstacle clearance while pedaling.

Though maybe that's a tech question for you: I want to shorten my
cranks, and my BB is shot (cartridge BB with lateral play=dead BB). The
rings are usable (5-bolt pattern), but I'll give them up if I can get a
good deal. Any suggestions for a good replacement? About the only
BB/crank I'm not very interested in is the Shimano pipe-spindle system
(I think it will be squeezed out by the Hollowtech II setup in very
short order). ISIS and square-taper would probably work okay for me.

--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine/wiredcola/
President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
 
R

rocketman58

Guest
....I'd stay away from used components unless they were were removed
from the
> bike at the time of puchase (e.g., customer wanted to upgrade a brand new
> bike).
>
> Art Harris


I agree with Art. Be careful about "used" parts. You may be setting
yourself up for purchasing junk. I have seen people list parts as
"excellent condition", but in reality, they were ready for the trash.

I often sell components on line, but only those that are: NIB (new in
box), NOS (new on shelf - no box), Take-Off (taken off a new bike), or
Like New (maybe a few test rides - less than 10 miles total). I have
sold dozens of components over the last decade, and never had an
unhappy customer.

Rocketman58
 
P

Peter Cole

Guest
"Ken Pisichko" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]

> I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
> 6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.
>
> Advice on crank length for touring?


I'm 6'10"/235. I do touring, club riding, mountain biking, and errand running
with 175 mm cranks on all my (5) bikes. Just go with 175's, they're the
largest common size, anything larger isn't worth the hassle of scrounging it
up, you'd likely not even tell the difference with 180's. Touring would be the
last place I'd expect crank length to matter, and only then to the extent that
a too-long crank might make your knees a little more sore after a long day. I
wouldn't worry about it.
 

Guest
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article <[email protected]>,
Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>Though maybe that's a tech question for you: I want to shorten my
>cranks, and my BB is shot (cartridge BB with lateral play=dead BB). The
>rings are usable (5-bolt pattern), but I'll give them up if I can get a
>good deal. Any suggestions for a good replacement? About the only
>BB/crank I'm not very interested in is the Shimano pipe-spindle system
>(I think it will be squeezed out by the Hollowtech II setup in very
>short order). ISIS and square-taper would probably work okay for me.
>


_ There's any number of 110/74 165mm cranks out there. You can
get Sugino's with chainrings for less than $100.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/cranks.html#11074

_ You can get older square taper Deore XT cranks in 165mm on Ebay
and swap spiders pretty easily. The spiders are mighty pricy
though for some sizes. Jonesbikes had a few for sale recently.

_ The TA Camina is an expensive if very pretty solution and
can be used with just about any chainring in existance.

http://www.yellowjersey.org/cranx.html


_ I'm particularly intrigued by the thought of a 94mm double,
32/48 or 50 would be pretty useful, or at least entertaining.

_ Race Face makes 165mm cranks as well if you want something
beefier. Here's a deal

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=42317&item=3671222639&rd=1


_ Booker C. Bense


-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: 2.6.2

iQCVAwUBQHWad2TWTAjn5N/lAQEm8wP/S8Q4Vh3Besf7njT7Drc3oHNNTxSvPKuF
ScG5e+a8C/Hgfnak38+VbmlwmnX6Vr6GeDbKwNS8zO+13b0RijCD72PJAwt0m5aR
LFnaNP77tXr1Cm/fDrc8YT1D9KKq0byxlWvOE0N7nQlzzI6bZyZCsd3XWi0szxYv
nGhWXrJAD5s=
=KlEa
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
 

Guest
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article <[email protected]>,
<[email protected]> wrote:
>-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>


>
>_ The TA Camina is an expensive if very pretty solution and
>can be used with just about any chainring in existance.
>
>http://www.yellowjersey.org/cranx.html
>
>
>_ I'm particularly intrigued by the thought of a 94mm double,
>32/48 or 50 would be pretty useful, or at least entertaining.
>


_ Whoops, pasted the wrong URL

http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/carmina.asp

_ Booker C. Bense

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: 2.6.2

iQCVAwUBQHWdImTWTAjn5N/lAQEyKwP9EgK3MgLVjGLk5/8iHsLbM+jqBe17LEdF
KBbhX2BQPYrKTO/XkntNwy3Pzb7oO/6OJ8c1gb/vhFVQJs4/gv9eyn6KkACKK2Vi
hyMbvJql7TTDsvKlnkR7t/wHamxpCst2yXR7UqwxTconJkJn+vJP/0cHV3XIPx4M
F328wD5ieLk=
=DRat
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
 
K

Ken Pisichko

Guest
Thanks to all who took the time to answer this question. As I still have
lots of time to do the bike, I can look for parts - 175 mm or maybe 177.5mm
crank length if I can find. Thanks for the heads up on Dura-Ace and
difficulty in finding a suitable triple chain ring for that crank set Also,
I might borrow a bike with each crank length to try out and then decide if
finding a 177.5 mm is worth the time, effort, and cost.

Although it was not part of my original post I do have a fused right ankle,
but I have also concluded that riding with a leg brace due to a fused ankle
is not going to make much of a difference either in the pleasure factor of
riding. I will definitely have S&S couplers on the bike frame, but that is
another story - as is case hardened chain and two locks for bike "security".

The points raised regarding buying used versus take-off at original sale
versus NOS are well taken. Thank you to everyone once again :)

Ken
Winnipeg, Canada
 
J

Jeff Wills

Guest
Ken Pisichko <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
> 6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.
>

<snip>
> What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle? The
> bicycle will have custom front and rear racks/pannier frames, but that
> just means that I won't be using this bike for racing nor for
> credit-card type touring.
>

<snip>
> Advice on crank length for touring?
>


Ken-

I'm your size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds, 36" inseam) but I'm a little
younger (40). I recently switched a couple bikes from 180mm cranks to
175mm and barely noticed the difference. I have one bike (a
single-speed beater) with 170mm, but I only use it for coffee-shop
runs, so that's hardly a good model.

I'd say that you'll be comfortable with 175mm cranks. Loaded touring
is more about being comfortable day-to-day. If you're going to be
climbing lots of mountains and don't mind pedaling slowly (something I
*don't* like), you might like 180mm cranks.

Jeff
 
K

Ken Pisichko

Guest
Your suggestion adds some credence to my idea of trying out a couple of bikes with
the two different crank lengths. yes, my idea of touring is comfort and seeing the
beauty in aa non-traumatic manner. The other cutting edge stuff is for the younger
crowd and guys like Lance Armstrong :) I learned a long time ago that there is a
place and style for us alll and at my age i want to keep in that "touring" place.
The racers/competitive types always pass me. So do the local bicycle "cops". Thanks
again.

Jeff Wills wrote:

> Ken Pisichko <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> > I am in the finance stage of putting together a touring bicycle. I am
> > 6'4.5" and will eventually be about 220 lbs.
> >

> <snip>
> > What length of a crank should I consider for a touring bicycle? The
> > bicycle will have custom front and rear racks/pannier frames, but that
> > just means that I won't be using this bike for racing nor for
> > credit-card type touring.
> >

> <snip>
> > Advice on crank length for touring?
> >

>
> Ken-
>
> I'm your size (6-foot-4, 220 pounds, 36" inseam) but I'm a little
> younger (40). I recently switched a couple bikes from 180mm cranks to
> 175mm and barely noticed the difference. I have one bike (a
> single-speed beater) with 170mm, but I only use it for coffee-shop
> runs, so that's hardly a good model.
>
> I'd say that you'll be comfortable with 175mm cranks. Loaded touring
> is more about being comfortable day-to-day. If you're going to be
> climbing lots of mountains and don't mind pedaling slowly (something I
> *don't* like), you might like 180mm cranks.
>
> Jeff
 
K

Ken Pisichko

Guest
Harris wrote:

> Your old Peugeot probably has 170mm cranks. You'd probably do better with
> 175mm. In the old days long cranks could cause a pedal to hit the ground
> when pedaling through a turn. That may still be an issue if you're not
> using clipless pedals.


Every time I get on my Peugeot I notice the bent piece of stamping on one of
the original all-metal pedals. Stupid me - I was in a hurry to go drinking one
night after an evening graduate school class and jumped on the bike and
proceeded to pedal down a short driveway and turn on to the deserted street at
the same time. Bum over tea kettle I went! Tore some skin off my arm, but
could still use it fine to lift a couple of glasses later. No helmet in those
foolish days :-(
 
C

Chris B.

Guest
On Thu, 08 Apr 2004 10:23:41 -0700, Ryan Cousineau <[email protected]>
wrote:

<big snip>

>I'm quite interested in crank lengths. I started out on 170mm on my road
>bike like everyone else (5'6", my pants are 30" inseam), but ran into
>some achilles tendon issues that fought with long-standing knee issues.
>Some of you get the joke already: for the achilles tendon, dropping your
>seat slightly helps; for patellar tendonitis, raising it slightly helps.
>
>My solution was to shorten the cranks and move my cleats back on my
>shoe. The latter reduced ankle flex tendencies, which helps the tendons.
>The shorter cranks mean less knee flexing, which is good for the knees.
>
>I run 165mm cranks, and I do notice that sometimes there's a certain
>constrained feeling to my pedaling circle. Since this is better than not
>being able to ride because my ankle or knee is in pain, I accept it. I
>also get some benefit in racing from the shorter cranks: less pedal
>strike in corners, which means I can accelerate a bit sooner and more
>confidently.


This is interesting to me as I also use 165mm cranks on my 'road' bike
(I am only slightly taller). I bought the cranks because I desired
the particular model at the time and I decided to see whether I could
tolerate the length. I also notice the difference in the pedalling
circle but I actually quite like it (as well as being able to pedal
while cornering more often), I bet my knees prefer it and I aim to
continue using this size in the future.

>The punchline is that my mountain bike has 175mm cranks, mostly because
>I can't find suitable 165mm cranks at my usual cheap prices.


I hear ya.

>As most of you know, mountain bike cranks tend to the long side. 180s
>are not unheard of, and 175 is pretty common. But my thinking is that if
>you can get the gearing right (I'm sure I can), short cranks will mean a
>little more obstacle clearance while pedaling.


I also have 175mm cranks on my mountain bike because, as you point
out, this size is the most common and I usually buy used. Now that I
spend most of my riding time on 165s, I have to admit that the 175s
are not quite as comfortable for constant pedalling at high cadence.
Since I spend less time on the MTB and when riding the local trails my
pedalling is much more sporadic and I stand to pedal more often, it's
not a big deal for me at this point.
 
M

Mike Latondresse

Guest
<[email protected]>
wrote in news:[email protected]:

>
> _ There's any number of 110/74 165mm cranks out there. You can
> get Sugino's with chainrings for less than $100.
>

I am sure Ryan is talking $20 cdn not $100US. By the by Ryan my son got
a good set of Sugino 165's for $20 at the used bike shop on Main near
17th for his new fixie.
 
R

Ryan Cousineau

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
Mike Latondresse <[email protected]_spamshaw.ca> wrote:

> <[email protected]>
> wrote in news:[email protected]:
>
> >
> > _ There's any number of 110/74 165mm cranks out there. You can
> > get Sugino's with chainrings for less than $100.
> >

> I am sure Ryan is talking $20 cdn not $100US. By the by Ryan my son got
> a good set of Sugino 165's for $20 at the used bike shop on Main near
> 17th for his new fixie.


D'oh! Those should have been mine!

Heh. Actually, I have a set of Sakae CX 165s just sitting around right
now waiting for a project. They're not that rare in road configurations
(I have a couple sets of 110 BCD, and Sugino 130 BCD on my race bike),
though triples are a bit more desirable.

I've been a bit constrained because I keep thinking I want to use my
current rings, and the present crankset is a 94mm Compact (that's one
thing I don't think I made clear earlier: this is for my mountain bike);
I think it's Deore LX cranks. And the BB needs changing, so there's
that. But of course I want something I can find in the bargain bin.

I mean, if I had the cash, I wouldn't *****-foot around: Race Face
Diabolus 165s with triple rings; lots of weight, but my sought-after
165mm length and that funky external-bearing "just-like-Shimano" design.

It's all good,
--
Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine/wiredcola/
President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club