Longer or Shorter Crank Arms?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Longer or Shorter Crank Arms?

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    • #206295

      What is everyones opinion on crank arm length?  I am currently running 750mm crank arms and am about to upgrade my drive train.  I am going back and forth on if I should stick with 750mm or pull it back to 700mm.  I am a fairly heavy rider at 5’11” and about 220 lbs, and I pedal strike often which makes the 700mm seem appealing.  I would like to hear what length cranks you guys are riding on and why?  Or do you just ride what you ride because it’s what was spec’ed on your bike?  Would 50mm shorter even be a noticeable difference?  Any comments,  tips, or advise on my situation would be greatly appreciated.

    • #206296

      Shorter! I hate bottoming out.

    • #206300

      I’m a short rider and even suggested to have 600-650mm length. Personally, I don’t notice any difference. I ride whatever and I think your body will adjust to it. Right now my bikes have 750. Also, a little body english helps to avoid pedal strike.

    • #206301

      Hey guys, I was drinking when I posted this last night.  I was talking cranks and thinking handlebar lengths.  I would of edited my post but couldnt.  I meant to put the crank lengths at 175mm and 170mm.  Thanks.

    • #206302

      Hahahaha… I was wondering where the 750 and 700’s were coming from…lol

    • #206303

      I just ride with it and thought, hey maybe you took off the 1 and added zero lol… what country you’re from? 🙂

    • #206345

      As a tall rider with long legs, I prefer 175mm because it gives me more pedal leverage. I ride mostly XC/trail though, and I suppose if I were doing more enduro or gravity style riding with less pedaling, I’d probably go with shorter crank arms for the reasons others mentioned.

    • #206362

      I would suggest checking your shock settings first if it’s a full suspension bike. I’m also about 220, (well maybe closer to 230) and long legged like a gazelle. If you haven’t installed any volume reducers yet, do that before you change your cranks. It’s possible you are just blowing through the stroke too easily from to soft of a spring rate causing more pedal strikes. Just adding more air does not fix this problem, assuming it is an air shock.

      As far as crank lengths go I think the 5mm makes a big difference. Both in how the bike pedals and seat position, a shorter crank will mean a slightly higher seat and an adjustment to move the seat back.

    • #206395

      Depends on what trails you ride. Fire roads are fine with 175m but I’ll only run the shorter 170mm or 165mm. Here in New England, tons of rock and roots. Better to have to shorter crank arms, less crank strikes.

    • #207219

      Been wondering about this myself. My cranks are creaking like an old barn door and I have been thinking about upgrading (not too hard to upgrade from 2005 entry level gear)  I had read something along the lines of knee pain correlating with not having proper crank length. Any truth to that? If I am in the saddle for an extended climb I do get knee pain. I switched from SPD back to flats recently and noticed that the move required some seat adjustment to bring me back into the comfort zone. No more low back pain but the knees have been abused and let me know pretty quick when I’m over doing it.

      also since were on the subject; what crank set would anyone care to recommend? Current set up is a 2×8 (third ring bash guard).

    • #207232

      Onefastfattie I suggest you also do some stretching prior to riding.  Especially the quads!  I have knee tendonitis and it does help relieve the issue.  I have an Orbea alma hard tail with a very low bottom bracket and I get a huge amount of pedal strikes as well, been mulling around the shorter crank arms as well.

    • #207368

      So it does matter for leverage.  I personally wouldn’t get shorter crank arms just so I don’t bottom out because I’m going to end up getting less leverage. I’m 6’2″ and routinely tend for the longest possible arms.

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