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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Component sizing (crank length, bar width)?

    Not sure if this is the right forum, so please move if necessary....
    I'm a cyclist who stopped for a while (um... 20 years or so), and started riding again this past winter. I've been riding roughly 15-20 miles daily now. I'm about 5'7", 32" inseam, and like to spin at about 95-100 cadence.
    All my (current, old) bikes are setup almost exactly the same (Pinarello 54cm/170cranks/40bars, Bottechia 53cm/170cranks/40bars, Bianchi 53cm 170cranks/40bars).
    I'm at the point that I want to pick up a new bike, and I'm getting a Pinarello Paris 51.5, which seems roughly the same size as my current bikes. The shop is suggesting that I get longer cranks (175), since I don't spin very fast and the additional leverage would be better. They are also suggesting wider bars (44) to "open up my chest". I would not be able to return these parts since they would be special order, and the cranks at least are very pricey. These seem to be pretty big changes to me, but maybe the current rationale for sizing is different than I'm used to. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: looigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Perhaps not the right forum, but IMO, at your size, stick with the 170 or maybe 172.5 cranks. Spinning at 95-100 not slow by any means. Bar width has little effect, and "opening the chest" is BS, IMO. Comfort/preference is the most important thing. 40 or 42 c/c is likely right for you.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: bikerjulio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    I'm with looigi.

    Crank length is the most debated subject ever, but OP is average height and 172.5 is an average crank length.

    As for bar width, it's much more a function of what feels comfortable. I'm fairly big but still prefer 42cm bars.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Wookiebiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    I have a 32.5" inseam and only spin around 80-85 RPM on average and run 170mm cranks ... the length doesn't effect my power at all, in fact I feel I have better power with shorter cranks due to my shorter inseam length (360 watt FTP).

    As for bars, a lot of that depends on shoulder width and what's comfortable. I ride 44cm (c-c) due to wide shoulders, but others my height ride 42cm or even 40cm.

    When it comes to components size ... ride what's comfortable for you, in the end that's all that matters.
    • 2017 Giant TCR Advanced Disc
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  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I agree with the others but don't be afraid to mess around with sizes. I'm big and for a long time I rode 175mm arms, now I run 180s. Forever I thought 44cm bars were right for me, but 40s work pretty well too.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Thanks for comments. I think I'm sticking with 170/40. I'm comfortable with it, so no need to change.

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