Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Shorter crank length as you age?

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Shorter crank length as you age?

Old 06-05-19, 10:03 PM
Senior Member
wphamilton's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 14,505

Bikes: Nashbar Road

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2511 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Radius is only half the picture. You have to address the total diameter. So a 5 mm change in crank length means your stroke is 10 mm more, which is .394" or a little more than 3/8ths inch.

Surprisingly for me, the difference was noticeable when I went from 165 mm to 170 mm cranks. YRMV.

As for those that think shorter cranks mean harder pedaling, then they are forgetting to shift down to a lower ratio gear combo.

Since I'm a road bike type and do get in the drops fairly often, I don't need my knees driven an inch further into my chest by using the 190 mm cranks. I'll keep my 165's and be assured that I can pedal while turning without hitting the pavement.

So to me, it still gets back to whether you want to be a masher or a spinner. No formula needed.
Well I don't know about shifting down, but I think the harder pedaling is a big "so what". None of our pedaling is all that "hard", not like leg presses, and to the extent that you'd think it was, that 5mm represents only 3% difference in torque.

What really limits us - relative to the difficulty of exertion - is the power requirement. Which is the same for either crank length. Neither this, or the cadence as a lot of people think, are really considerations for or against changing the crank length. It's more about, perhaps only about, the change in the range of motion.
wphamilton is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Bicycle Mechanics
01-04-14 09:56 PM
Bicycle Mechanics
06-18-09 10:42 PM
Bicycle Mechanics
10-20-05 05:56 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.