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What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm?
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Researching this for my SIL. She rides a XS Shiv Comp Rival and the factory crank arms are 170mm which seems long for her size she's 5' 3". However in researching crank suppliers 165mm seems about the smallest commonly available but not sure this would even help her out since its such a small reduction.
Any suggestions or comments from gals that have switched to shorter crank arms?
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [1xatbandcamp] [ In reply to ]
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Oh oh oh I have to answer this because I just was at Xantusia where Slowman and John Cobb and Coach Ian and the expert-fitter-workshop participants John and Steve did this massive overhaul of my bike fit. They moved me from 165s to 155s. I came home and ordered the 155s directly from John Cobb (http://www.cobbcycling.com/...ccessories/Crank-Set), but apparently John did some thinking after I got home and sent me 145s instead. I am waiting for them to arrive (tomorrow I hope) -- he says if I don't like the 145s I can exchange them for the 155s.

I am short, and I am very flexible so I ride steep, so I need all the saddle height I can get. Once it's put together I will have pix, and I will report back on how it feels b/c SallyShortyPants also wants to know.
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [Gee] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, I do ;-)

DFL > DNF > DNS
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [1xatbandcamp] [ In reply to ]
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Please let us know how that goes. I'm 157cm...about 5ft2... and swapped down from 170 to 165 on my 48cm cervelo P3 (650 wheels) and I love them but didn't consider going any shorter because they're just about impossible to find. -didn't even know shorter than that existed at the time of purchase.
I do think even that small a difference had big benefits to my cycling although I am not blessed with the resources of power meter or other data, and perhaps over the years I've worked more on the somewhat overweight engine too so there are more factors in play.
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [1xatbandcamp] [ In reply to ]
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I'm 4'10" and was experiencing hip flexor issues with my 165s. My local bike shop referred me to a guy that takes regular size crank sets and has the tools to cut them down to whatever length you want. He made 145s for me, and I had my LBS install them for me. Hip flexor issues gone! Magic! I do find that shifting is a little cranky with this crankset. If it's not tuned perfectly and if I don't shift perfectly the chain will drop. I have to make sure I have enough tension on the chain, so shifting while going downhill in preparation for an uphill is a no-no. Learned that the hard way during a race :-)

Anyway, the site is http://bikesmithdesign.com/

Good luck to your SIL!
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [1xatbandcamp] [ In reply to ]
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There are a couple of options. Rotor makes crank arms that go down to 150mm, but they are pricey. I lucked out on a used pair of 160mm, but they are hard to find second hand.

I experimented with BMX cranks down to 150mm. It's about the cheapest way to get there, but it means swapping out the bottom bracket for a square taper one. I'm not much of a mechanic, and was able to figure it out.

With both the BMX and Rotor cranks, I ran into the same problem mentioned by others--the shifting can be a bit finicky, and if cross chained, can drop the chain when shifting.

(PS I still have the BMX 150s, BB and crank puller. PM me if you're interested in purchasing.)

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [1xatbandcamp] [ In reply to ]
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I'm 5' tall and also ride an XS Shiv Comp Rival. Just upgraded to 11 speed so had to buy a new powermeter. Went from a srm with 170's to a Stages with 165. Not a huge difference overall in length but even after only a few rides I notice a difference in power and position. Reading Gee's comments make me wonder whether even shorter cranks would be better (though too economically invested in these to do anything about it now).
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [1xatbandcamp] [ In reply to ]
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Just today installed 165s down from 170. I'm 5'4" -- bought on eBay, we'll see how it goes . . .
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [cdntrigrl] [ In reply to ]
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I officially like my 145s. My best advice -- find a fitter you trust, with a dynamic fit bike, and try the options before shelling out cash if you are looking for the "perfect" length. But I realize that's not always possible or desirable, for example if you want a crank-based power meter, and it's not so cost-effective if your fitter would charge you several hundred bucks to try various options. So here are a few other notes.

My bike frame is small (437/399), and I still had to make it lower and shorter with a new stem and the shorter cranks. The fancy fit bike did not go that low and did not adjust to 145 crank size, so we made a lot of educated guesses. Because I increased the drop 4+cm and shortened the reach 2+cm at the same time, I can't speak to just the cranks, but I can say that my experience is pretty much as expected:
  • spin faster and more evenly
  • breathe better with more open hip (no knees to nipples)
  • more often in a bigger gear (smaller cog) to keep preferred cadence
  • spin out sooner on the downhill
  • higher cadence on the uphill

I also have some fatigue in my lower legs after riding for a few hours; that is likely due to different foot position while pedaling that recruits different muscles with dorsi- and plantarflexion, combined with my compartment syndrome issues. Plus, I am noticeably higher off the ground, which looks and feels weird.


I am testing power this week, but I suspect any change will be due more to the new position than the shorter cranks. Happy to provide more info for anyone thinking of going short.
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [Gee] [ In reply to ]
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I ordered the compact crank set from John Cobb's web site yesterday. Once they arrive, I'll write about my power difference. My average cadence over a 6+hour bike ride was a shockingly low 66 rpm. The pressure on my feet was a major contributor to my neuroma pain which I've suffered from for decades.

Since I race IM Cabo San Lucas in 60 days, I will be putting the new equipment to the test as soon as it arrives.

DFL > DNF > DNS
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [SallyShortyPnts] [ In reply to ]
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SSP,
I've got a couple of neuromas a well, and I found that taking out the insert that came with my cycling shoe (Specialized TriVent), and substituting the softer insert from an old pair of running shoes, cut down to size, really helped prevent inflammation of the neuromas when on the bike.

I use a neuroma pad on my running insoles, so that went in the cycling shoes as well.

I read somewhere that for neuromas the less flex in the cycling shoe (ie, the stiffer it is, as with what you get with carbon soles vs plastic), the more pressure is placed on the neuromas. I think the cushier running insole adds just enough "give" to help.

"Ain't no shortcuts to the Opry."
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Re: What is your crank arm length? Where are you finding cranksets shorter than 165mm? [Tri3] [ In reply to ]
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Tri3 wrote:
SSP,
I've got a couple of neuromas a well, and I found that taking out the insert that came with my cycling shoe (Specialized TriVent), and substituting the softer insert from an old pair of running shoes, cut down to size, really helped prevent inflammation of the neuromas when on the bike.

I use a neuroma pad on my running insoles, so that went in the cycling shoes as well.

I read somewhere that for neuromas the less flex in the cycling shoe (ie, the stiffer it is, as with what you get with carbon soles vs plastic), the more pressure is placed on the neuromas. I think the cushier running insole adds just enough "give" to help.


I'm using soft orthotics from my cycling shoes now. They have metatarsal pads too, so at the ~70/80 mile mark, I really begin to suffer. I'm not sure which is worse, my undercarriage or my feet, but they're both ready to be off the bike before 112 miles is completed :-/

DFL > DNF > DNS
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