Road crank length vs MTB crank length
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: gthcarolina's Avatar
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    Road crank length vs MTB crank length

    Maybe an old question. Does it make more sense to run 175s on road and MTB so that the "feel" will be the same or to use 172.5s on the road to get more spin?

    Why do I ask? I found a good deal on a compact 50/34 crank I want to try but it is 172.5. My current setup is 175 all around.

    What I have really been looking for is a 50 tooth 130BCD chainring but I don't think that exists.

    Oh, and because the 52 I have still does not let me use enough gears on the big ring. I guess I'm not that strong.
    IA ORA TE NATURA
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  2. #2
    Militant commuter
    Reputation: SilverStar's Avatar
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    Sure it does...readily available from a number of sources, including Harris Cyclery:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/chainrings/130.html (scroll down to 50).

    I've got a couple different crankarm lengths on bikes in my fleet...170s on two road bikes and my fixed-gear, 172.5s on a singlespeed cyclocross rig, 175s on my citybike and my MTB. Why? Because that's what I had on hand when I built up each of those bikes.

    I've been riding for 30+ years, and I've never noticed a LICK of difference between crankarm lengths, and I strongly suspect that nearly everyone else (with a very few exceptions) would be hard-pressed to pick their "preferred" arm length in a blindfolded trial.
    "Luminous beings are we...not this crude matter!"

  3. #3
    n00bsauce
    Reputation: Mel Erickson's Avatar
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    I wouldn't let 2.5mm stop me from taking advantage of a good deal.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Voltaire

    There are your fog people & your sun people, he said. I said I wasn't sure which kind I was. He nodded. Fog'll do that to you, he said.

    "We are all ignorant about most things."
    Mel Erickson

  4. #4
    duh...
    Reputation: FatTireFred's Avatar
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    mtb and road feel ain't gonna be the same... beside wheel/tire size and geo etc diffs, you're bobbin' and weavin' on a mtn bike and in a more static position for a longer period (typically) on a road bike. do whatever floats your boat, but iiwm I'd stay consistent on the road ride
    .


    Quote Originally Posted by mikagsd
    Fat tire Fred....you are the bike god of the universe and unless someone agrees with your reasoning they are just plain stupid

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    If anything, the cranks on a mountain bike SHOULD be longer, as you tend to do more high torque, low RMP cranking on an MTB. I also can't notice the difference if I switch from 172.5 to 175 cranks. As an added note, a while back I bought a used bike from a guy and after I got it in, I torn it down to completely clean everything and noticed that one crankarm was 172.5 and the other was 175. I called the guy, and he said he had ridden it that way for 3 or 4 years and never even realized it.

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