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Shorter cranks for long legs
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Tweaking my bike a little for next year getting new crank and some other stuff. During the conversation the guy that fit me recommended shorter cranks.

I'm 6'7, long legs. Currently ride 177.5 MM cranks. I tend to struggle a little with my cadence and typically ride around 77-79 avg cadence.

He recommended going to 172.5, anyone with long legs have experience?
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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Maybe try 165mm.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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6'2 here.
Normally run 172.5mm and no worries with cadence (pretty much spot on 90/min).
Very experienced fitter said no point in me running smaller, theory behind why for me was solid (but I cannot remember it sorry). I had some 165mm which I tried and just took off this week and gone back to the 172.5's.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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Are you riding a road or a tri bike?
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Tri bike.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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I'm 6' with long legs and have trialled all the way down to 150 from 170 in 5mm lengths. I went from riding an average cadence of 99 with 170 and now at about 83 with 160. I would definitely be looking to go shorter even beyond 172.5.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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CJAC wrote:
Tweaking my bike a little for next year getting new crank and some other stuff. During the conversation the guy that fit me recommended shorter cranks.


I'm 6'7, long legs. Currently ride 177.5 MM cranks. I tend to struggle a little with my cadence and typically ride around 77-79 avg cadence.

He recommended going to 172.5, anyone with long legs have experience?


I can't believe this hasn't been mentioned. It only makes sense if you read EVERY post.

https://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/My_testing_to_try_and_find_best_crank_length_with_my_Velotron_P6428199/?search_string=h2ofun#p6428199




"Good genes are not a requirement, just the obsession to beat ones brains out daily"...the Griz
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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CJAC wrote:
Tweaking my bike a little for next year getting new crank and some other stuff. During the conversation the guy that fit me recommended shorter cranks.

I'm 6'7, long legs. Currently ride 177.5 MM cranks. I tend to struggle a little with my cadence and typically ride around 77-79 avg cadence.

He recommended going to 172.5, anyone with long legs have experience?

6'5" and ride 172.5..........higher cadence is about habit and practice more than crank length, spin for your watts when you can,
humbly submitted
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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Hi,

I'm 6'4" with a 38" inseam. I rode 177.5 cranks on the tri bike for quite a while. I dropped to 172.5 with no regrets. The biggest thing it did for me was keep my legs from running into my chest at the top of the stroke. A side effect was that I could lower the front end.

I've debated going 165, but I'm not sure that I have enough seat post left. I'm about at the max now.

-- Scott
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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6"1 here. I ride 172.5 on both of my road bikes and 165 on my tri-bike. My cadence is very similar on both lengths. I haven't found that crank length influences Cadence. One of the key metrics I display on my Garmin is cadence (together with power and heart rate) so that I can focus on keeping it around 90'ish which for me seems to be optimal.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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After thinking about this a little more last night and seeing people touch on it I would be adjusting crank lengths more so based on bike fit rather than cadence. My cadence has slowed over time going shorter cranks based more so on a good bike fit, better bio mechanics when pedalling in aero and an increase in strength and I wouldn't be concerned at all if it was 78 if my power was good as HR will be lower at a lower cadence and I have ok legs to run off the bike.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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Appreciate all the feedback.

Main objective is to open up the hip angle. The guy that fit is concerned that with 177.5 i close hips a little to much.

So thinking about this more. If same cassette and same chain rings, cadence should really change unless there is some other efficiency gain from pedaling in a smaller circle.
Can you tell you are pedaling a shorter crank?
What does it feel like if they get to short?
Does it change how you feel on your saddle, not sure why it would?
Thinking of getting a 170 on the bike i ride on the trainer, just to validate, i can hold same power for extended period, as well as still produce z5 power consistently.
Anything else to consider?
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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If you have the luxury of taking steps as I did the changes are minimal. I found my power was the same or even increased until a point and part of the reason my cadence gradually fell was that with a longer crank you are pedalling in less of a circle motion to get over the top of the pedal stroke (or I was) so power applied less degrees rotation of the pedal stroke. With cranks too short my power output became erratic sometimes felt amazing and then struggling to produce number I would expect to. The sensation was as the pedalling circle got smaller my legs were always on the gas and not letting muscles operate to their maximum range. I PERSONALLY think you should ride the longest crank that doesn't hinder your pedal stroke in aero working your leg muscles to maximum range. Above 160 I get hip impingement with a more aggressive position and at 155 my power starts to get more erratic.

I found that as I stepped down each time it felt amazing but 150 was evident when trying to produce race type power I had issues and at 155 I thought was fine but I struggled on the back end of an IM so I was back to 160 I had run for a season. I think if you went to 172.5 or 170 you will be fine and in a safe zone for your leg length. As for how it felt on the saddle you will have to adjust position to suit but it generally felt the same just nicer to ride in aero. Give it some time as your muscle memory will take some time to adjust but my get feel is you will like it from the get go. Gearing I wouldn't worry about unless you are already under or over geared with what you have.

Hope that helps...
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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172.5 is worth a try since the guy who fit you recommended it (if he hadn't, then I would say not to switch). 5mm is the minimum needed to see a noticeable difference imo.

Years ago, I dropped from 175 (6'0/33" inseam) down to 170 when I first got my (very agressive) bike fit and it allowed me to immediately run much better off the bike with less fatigued hips and calves. Since then, I changed all my bikes to 170 and have recently found I don't like it. I'm actually making more power on 175's on my road bike and the 172.5 that came with my gravel bike seems to be fine as well. But now, when I'm not in aero on my tri bike I find I don't like the shorter cranks (but since I always race in aero, they will stay).

You just have to find that right size that works for you and for the position you want.


-Bryan Journey
Travel Blog | Training Blog | Facebook Page
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [JourneyToGoPro] [ In reply to ]
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Went to fitter, he set me up and we played with everything from 180 to 165.
When i first started pedaling i could tell, once i was spinning it was almost impossible to tell a difference. Odd i expected to feel weird. No issue producing normal power and turning pedals over, the opening of the hips felt great though.
So long story short i setlled on 170, he recommended 165 but that was to radical for me to wrap my mind around.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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I changed from 177.5 to 172.5 on the Tri bike earlier this year. I'm 6'4".
I use 175mm on the road bike FWIW.

I've always tended to be high cadence, normally 95 is easy, or 98 if I'm on flat holding constant power.

Had no issues with the switch, albeit I did it as part of the post bike fit tweaks. Did ease some hip pain I was getting. No issues with power.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [CJAC] [ In reply to ]
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I've tried from 190 to 165 and now I really like the 165s on everything. My shared road/gravel bike Shimano 105 crankset has 165 and I definitely prefer it for climbing, though I do have a 30x36 low gear and would love a 40 or 42 for some off-road. My tri is a 165 left/170 right. I don't sit on that bike like any of the others so it really works for me. I don't even like 175 anymore, but I can live with it.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [cdw] [ In reply to ]
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cdw wrote:
I've tried from 190 to 165 and now I really like the 165s on everything. My shared road/gravel bike Shimano 105 crankset has 165 and I definitely prefer it for climbing, though I do have a 30x36 low gear and would love a 40 or 42 for some off-road. My tri is a 165 left/170 right. I don't sit on that bike like any of the others so it really works for me. I don't even like 175 anymore, but I can live with it.

165/170 cranks on the tt bike. I find that very interesting. It sounds like it's come from experimentation so has a solid reason behind it.
I've been experimenting with a cleat wedge/spacer for the same effect.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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I had the same problem with 155.
I have 37 inch legs and ride 165, I used 155 in an ironman, but felt my power becomes very erratic, it was very fatiguing.

I rode two great bike splits on 155, including a course record HIM, but I had my worst runs ever off them. I found the constant hard punching with the quads too much.

I wish I had a set of 160 to try!
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [TriByran] [ In reply to ]
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If your not having any issues like hip impingement I did especially on hills or tough sections especially later in Ironmans and only for sections I probably would have been happy on 165 and never even tried 160. At 160 my power is good and I don't have any of those issues.
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Re: Shorter cranks for long legs [Shambolic] [ In reply to ]
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I have cam type hip impingement.
On 165 I’m ok.
155 feels great from this respect.
Problem is I use very rare cranks, not available in 160
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