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
 
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.
 
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
 
B

Bbense+Rec Bicy

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=4231-
7&item=3671222639&rd=1

_ Booker C. Bense

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B

Bbense+Rec Bicy

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

In article <[email protected]>, <bbense+rec.bi-
[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

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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 Latondress

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]
> d.edu> 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