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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have only owned one bike since I started road riding. The bike is an older steel frame with good components that has treated me well. I am doing some club rides now that average over 20mph and have been thinking about a new bike. I have been taking a lot of measurements of my current ride and just realized that I am riding 165mm cranks. I never really gave them much thought as a novice but now I am curious as to the impact of moving to a longer crank.

All opinions welcomed.

Thanks
 

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Some swear this matters, but I can't tell the difference

I have 170, 172.5 and 175 cranks and don't notice any difference other than my toe hitting the front tire more frequently turning at low speed on my utility bike with 700x32 tires. Picture the thickness of a 5m hex wrench relative to 1/3 of the circumference of the pedal circle. If you're lucky, you won't be plagued by sensitivity such small differences.
 

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You don't say what size frame you have. I hope that's it's not a 62 cm. Since you mention toe overlap, I'm guessing that you have a "small" frame. In that case, 165 might be correct.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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I've commented on this before (components forum I think), however I switched from 172.5 to 175.0 on my Colnago last year, and I swear that's the reason my knee started giving me trouble. It really doesn't seem that 2.5mm would be noticable, however i'm a believer now. I switched back to 172.5 for this season and no issues...
 

· duh...
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collectorvelo said:
seems to me - on middle sizes
56 and 58 - the 172.5 is the standard

however, i like shorter cranks - but i think it is a personal choice which feel you like

a 51 is not a "middle size"
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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Einstruzende said:
I've commented on this before (components forum I think), however I switched from 172.5 to 175.0 on my Colnago last year, and I swear that's the reason my knee started giving me trouble. It really doesn't seem that 2.5mm would be noticable, however i'm a believer now. I switched back to 172.5 for this season and no issues...
I haven't had any related physical problems, but I can tell the difference between 170s & 175s. My commuter has 170s & my DeRosa has 175s. Maybe it's my imagination, but I seem to use a slightly faster cadence on the commuter with the slightly shorter cranks.
 

· What the Hell is going on
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Recently upgraded by 2.5mm

I've always rode 175's but recently I put on a 177.5 on my road bike and I found it made quite a difference for me. I'm not really a spinner and at 6'2" 225lbs I'm not really a climber either. As for sprinting . . . fhagetaboutit. Anyway, that extra 2.5mm has helped me mix it up with the big dogs on my club ride (still can't sprint though) and when I climb. I can't do the Lance spinning thing but when climbing I feel better using a slightly bigger gear than I normally would with a slower cadence. I can't wait to get my hands on some 180's!
 

· Just one more switchback
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I can feel the difference

My new bike came with 170's and I rode it for a year that way. I switched to 165's and could spin a little better. I am 5'4" with a 28" inseam.

On the mtb I had been running 175's and recently went to 170's. I could tell the difference there too. Now I just need to switch to 170's on my other mtb.
 
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