Crank Length: Consider Going Short? - Page 3
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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    Thanks for the great feedback, Fredrico and ToiletSiphon! I'm waiting for a deal on some Ultegra or Dura-Ace 165mm cranks to try-out. I figure I want to go with a somewhat 'extreme' jump in length to make sure I notice the change. My knees are getting pretty excited about the experiment Unfortunately, 'cause 165mm isn't very popular, many online shops don't even carry that size.
    Why don't you try with a 105 instead? That would be a pretty inexpensive try. If you like it, sell the crank and upgrade. At worst it will set you back 50$.

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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I figure I want to go with a somewhat 'extreme' jump in length to make sure I notice the change.
    You'll notice, no doubt about that.

    How many revs do you think you have done on your current ones? That motions is LOCKED IN to your brain. This will make your brain notice. Tell your brain to shut up and just get your spin going.

    Personally, I found it easier to spin smoothly in high gears and high rpms on shorter cranks. My spin "flew apart" later. So were I to care about top end sprinting, I would go short. YMMV.

    I haven't ridding my short crank bike in over 10 years now. It was never a big enough deal to make me care one way or another.... except when I went from 170s to 175s on my first MTB and clipped quite a few rocks and roots until I adapted. That was.... bothersome.
    .
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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToiletSiphon View Post
    Why don't you try with a 105 instead? That would be a pretty inexpensive try. If you like it, sell the crank and upgrade. At worst it will set you back 50$.
    Great advice.

    Going low for trying something you have doubts about is often a good idea. Stems are another example, though for fit, not function.
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  4. #54
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    Cool

    I decided that to save a few bucks to try the shorter crank thing, I'm just going to do the following to my new Ultegra R8000 cranks so I can switch back to the regular length for almost $0...



    Psych! If you believe I'd do that to my new cranks, I've got a bridge to sell you.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I've got a bridge to sell you.
    I do have a set of 172.5mm Shimano Crank arm to sell, for real.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    I do have a set of 172.5mm Shimano Crank arm to sell, for real.
    Thanks, but I'm in the market for 165mm Shimano FC-R8000 cranks.

  7. #57
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    Here is an interesting and thorough analysis of using a short crank for shorter riders.


    Super-simplified, it tooks that a shorter crank does not decrease torque, it does reduce instantaneous acceleration (force) and fatigue. Saddle fore/aft has more effect on opening hip angle than does crank length and may be a better option for that.

  8. #58
    .je
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    Another interesting point for some of you. As one ages, you might get more pain in the hips, so a shorter crank reduces how far your hip rises and is pushed against, which could reduce pain. If you want to see the whole video, not just that summary:

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
    I decided that to save a few bucks to try the shorter crank thing, I'm just going to do the following to my new Ultegra R8000 cranks so I can switch back to the regular length for almost $0...
    Psych! If you believe I'd do that to my new cranks, I've got a bridge to sell you.
    You could try it with 105's? I guess this was a joke? I'd try it if I was interested.
    BANNED

  10. #60
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    Update on my original post...

    Rather than just wonder if shorter cranks are "worth it", I bought some 165mm Ultegra cranks to replace the 175mm cranks that came on my bike. That's not a huge change, but as big of a change as I could make since Shimano offers no smaller cranks in the Ultegra line and is shorter than any crank set I've ever ridden.

    I've gone on a couple of rides with them and the verdict for me is that they're staying on the bike. I also think that this is definitely not a mod for everyone. If my original bulleted list of "benefits" in my first post does nothing for you, then this mod is not for you. I don't own a power meter so I can't make any claims as to whether or not my power output magically changed due to the new crank length (I'd suspect it wouldn't have changed, but who knows.)

    I only noticed the shorter cranks for all of about 1 mile before other things started demanding my attention. They already feel "normal" to me. A little bonus that I just realized today (which makes me happy) was that I was sitting at a stop light and noticed my shoe no longer can touch my front tire when clipped in. I have a size 48 shoe and don't recall there ever being a time when my shoes didn't have scuffs on the toes from the front tire!

    Other than when sprinting from a slow speed, like away from a stop sign, I really can't tell much of a difference... and heck, the difference I think I feel when sprinting might just be all in my head as well.

    If you're building a bike and you have a choice of crank length, it's my opinion that perhaps simply looking for the best deal might be a better idea than being a stickler about a few millimeters here or there. Unfortunately, 165mm cranks are more expensive that 172.5 and 175mm cranks and many online stores didn't even stock 165mm.

    Anywho, this is now "case closed" for me as I move on to other ways to waste my money on my bike... Experimenting with brake rotor size is next on my list

  11. #61
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    08/16/2020 - Follow to my original post...

    I've had 165mm cranks on my bike for several thousand miles and while I still don't think this bike mod should be the top of anyone's list due to the cost, I'm glad I did it. I don't think about the cranks any more... heck, I stopped noticing the length decrease after the first ride. If there's been any performance degradation due to the shorter cranks, I haven't noticed (although this is a highly unscientific claim as I don't have any metrics to prove this other than my average speed hasn't gone down... and we all know how accurate average speed is as a metric ).

    In addition to the bullet points I put in the original post, another benefit I've found to the shorter cranks is that being in an aero position is more comfortable. I.e., if I ride in the drops and try to get my back flat, I don't feel like my legs are pounding me in the chest.

    While I thought I should keep my stock 175mm Ultegra R8000 cranks "just in case", I've decided to put 'em on the selling block as I can't imagine going back.

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