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Why You Need Shorter Cranks!

Crank-Length-Clean

Shorter cranks not only solve many bike fit problems, they also have been proven to benefit the key performance measure that all cyclists desire - more power! More and more research now shows that when cyclists change to shorter cranks on their bikes, they not only reduce the effects of hip joint restriction, but they can get more aero, actually produce more power and therefore ride faster and further. This bike fit and performance hack has been discussed for years in the cycling exercise science literature, but very few riders know about it and even fewer have done anything about it. I'm about to find out for myself. I'm 192 cm tall, have 175 mm cranks on my two road bikes, and am about to change over to 160 mm cranks that would normally only ever be fitted on the smallest of bike frames. Will this help me reduce my hip pain, ride faster and improve my power figures? Let's find out! 

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Comments 1

Guest - Nic on Sunday, 02 June 2024 08:00

Excellent. I really think this has been a weird blindspot in cycling, and the disadvantages for shorter riders have been terrible.
I anticipate crank length to be the next major disruption in bike design, especially gravel and mtb, but possible road. That said, bike geometry can/should be optimised around crank length too.
Ive been testing some 150mm on my gravel bike, much more comfortable, betta endurance (hopefully less cramp!). Unsure about speed/power returns yet. Definitely an increase in cadence and HR. Therefore, less muscle fatigue, but taxes aerobic system more.
Keen to hear your experience.

Excellent. I really think this has been a weird blindspot in cycling, and the disadvantages for shorter riders have been terrible. I anticipate crank length to be the next major disruption in bike design, especially gravel and mtb, but possible road. That said, bike geometry can/should be optimised around crank length too. Ive been testing some 150mm on my gravel bike, much more comfortable, betta endurance (hopefully less cramp!). Unsure about speed/power returns yet. Definitely an increase in cadence and HR. Therefore, less muscle fatigue, but taxes aerobic system more. Keen to hear your experience.
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Friday, 21 June 2024

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