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Old 12-16-21, 07:04 AM
Tourist in MSN
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 9,615

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

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I mentioned above (in post 38) that I have bad knees. And mentioned that after a long ride I find it is easier to walk up a flight of stairs if I rode my 170mm crankarm bike instead of one of my 175mm crankarm bikes. But for me the difference in crank arm length is quite small and hard to notice. But I have good knee flexibility and hip flexibility. I think if my range of motion was more limited, that is where I would be shopping for much shorter crank arms.

My knee problems are related to fragile anatomy. Occasionally if I push hard on my knees, I get a sudden shot of pain, which might go away in hours or in months. Thus, I have not stood on the pedals to accelerate when a light turns green for over a decade, never stand on the pedals anymore for power.

For me, low enough gears to make sure that I do not overstress knee joint is much more important than crank arm length.

I am not a medical professional, I am a retired engineer. I am looking at my knee issues the way that an engineer looks at a piece of machinery, bearing strength and articulation angles, etc. But I could certainly see how people with flexibility problems could benefit from shorter crankarms. But I think they should make sure that they have low enough gearing to compensate for their reduced torque on the crankset.
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