Are you wondering whether you should choose 170mm or 175mm cranks for your bike?
It’s a common question among cyclists, and for good reason!
The length of your cranks can affect your pedaling efficiency, power output, and even comfort on the bike.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between 170 and 175 cranks, and help you determine which length is right for you. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, let’s dive into the world of crank length and find out if it really matters.
Intro: What are 170 and 175 cranks?
If you’re new to cycling, you might be wondering what cranks are and how they work.
Simply put, cranks are the part of the bike that connect the pedals to the chainring, allowing you to transfer power from your legs to the bike’s drivetrain.
They come in a variety of lengths, but in the case of 170 and 175 cranks, the numbers refer to the length of the crank arm in millimeters.
How to measure crank length
If you’re not sure what length cranks you have, you can measure them with a ruler or tape measure.
Start by locating the bottom bracket, which is the part of the frame that the cranks attach to. Measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the center of the pedal spindle, which will give you the length of your crank arm.
What crank length should you be using on your bike?
The ideal crank length for your bike will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- your body proportions
- riding style
- personal preference.
There are a few different methods for determining your optimal crank length, but one popular approach is to measure the distance from your hip joint to your knee joint and add 2.5cm to that measurement.
Others recommend a crank length that is 20% of your inseam length.
Ultimately, the best way to determine the ideal crank length for your bike is to experiment with different lengths and see what feels most comfortable and efficient for you.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider consulting a bike fit specialist or physiotherapist who can help you find the perfect setup for your body and riding style.
Pros and cons of 170 and 175 cranks
Now that you understand the basics of crank length, let’s dive into the specific differences between 170 and 175 cranks.
The main difference, as you might have guessed, is the length of the crank arm. 170mm cranks are generally considered “standard” length for most adult riders, while 175mm cranks are considered “long” and may be more appropriate for taller riders or those with longer legs.
Advantages of using 170 cranks
One of the main advantages of using 170mm cranks is that they tend to be more efficient for riders with shorter legs.
This is because shorter cranks require less range of motion to complete each pedal stroke, which can lead to a more comfortable and efficient ride.
Additionally, shorter cranks can be easier to spin at a high cadence, making them a good choice for road riders who prioritize speed and efficiency over raw power.
Disadvantages of using 170 cranks
One potential disadvantage of using 170mm cranks is that they may not provide enough leverage for riders who require a lot of power, such as sprinters or track cyclists.
Additionally, riders with longer legs may find that they are unable to fully extend their legs at the bottom of the pedal stroke, which can lead to discomfort and inefficiency.
Advantages of using 175 cranks
One of the main advantages of using 175mm cranks is that they can provide more leverage, allowing riders to generate more power with each pedal stroke.
This can be especially beneficial for mountain bikers and those who need to generate a lot of power, such as for climbing or sprinting.
Additionally, riders with longer legs may find that longer cranks provide a more comfortable and efficient ride by allowing them to fully extend their legs at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Disadvantages of using 175 cranks
One potential disadvantage of using 175mm cranks is that they require more range of motion to complete each pedal stroke, which can be less comfortable and less efficient for riders with shorter legs.
Additionally, longer cranks can be more difficult to spin at a high cadence, which may be a concern for road riders who prioritize speed and efficiency over raw power.
Which crank length is right for you?
As we’ve seen, the choice between 170 and 175 cranks depends on a variety of factors.
So, how can you determine which length is right for you?
First, consider your body proportions.
As a general rule, shorter riders or those with shorter legs may prefer 170mm cranks, while taller riders or those with longer legs may prefer 175mm cranks. However, this is not a hard and fast rule, and you should experiment with different lengths to find what works best for you.
Next, think about your riding style.
If you prioritize speed and efficiency over raw power, you may prefer shorter cranks that are easier to spin at a high cadence. On the other hand, if you need to generate a lot of power, such as for climbing or sprinting, longer cranks may be the better choice.
Finally, consider your personal preference.
Ultimately, the best crank length for your bike is the one that feels most comfortable and efficient for you. So, experiment with different lengths and see what works best.
If you’re buying a new bike or upgrading your current setup, it’s important to make sure that the cranks are fitted properly.
A professional bike fitter or a bike shop can help you select the right crank length and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your bike.
Are there any benefits to using longer cranks?
One of the main benefits of using longer cranks is that they can provide a greater mechanical advantage, allowing you to generate more power with each pedal stroke.
This can be especially beneficial for climbing or riding at a low cadence.
However, longer cranks can also increase the range of motion required by your legs, which may be uncomfortable or even cause injury for some riders.
In summary, the choice between 170 and 175 cranks is an essential one that can impact your cycling performance and comfort.
By understanding the pros and cons of each length and considering your body proportions, riding style, and personal preference, you can make an informed decision about which crank length is right for you.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and the best way to find the ideal crank length for your bike is to experiment with different lengths and see what feels most comfortable and efficient for you.
With the right crank length, you can enjoy a more comfortable, efficient, and enjoyable ride.
FAQ: Best crank length for cycling
How much difference does crank length make?
Crank length can make a significant difference in cycling performance and comfort, particularly for riders with specific body proportions or riding styles.
Is there any recommended crank length for every cyclist?
There is no one optimum crank length for every cyclist, as the ideal length will depend on a variety of factors such as body proportions, riding style, and personal preference.
Cranks that are too long: How can you tell you need shorter cranks?
If you’re experiencing knee pain while cycling, you may benefit from switching to shorter cranks, particularly if you have shorter legs or are experiencing discomfort at the top of the pedal stroke.
Which is better 170mm or 175mm cranks?
The choice between 170mm and 175mm cranks will depend on your individual body proportions, riding style, and personal preference.
Shorter cranks may be more efficient and comfortable for some riders, while longer cranks may provide more leverage and power for others.
Do shorter cranks help knee pain?
Shorter cranks may help alleviate knee pain for some riders, particularly if the pain is caused by overextension of the leg at the top of the pedal stroke.
What crank length do the pros use?
Professional cyclists use a variety of crank lengths, depending on their individual needs and preferences. Some may prefer longer cranks for added power and leverage, while others may opt for shorter cranks for improved efficiency and comfort.
Hi dear visitor! I’m Sebastian, a bike maniac who loves to spend a lot of time on two wheels in nature (I love white chocolate, so I absolutely need a calorie-burning balance that’s fun to boot 😅). Blogging is my second great passion. That’s why cyclinghalloffame.com regularly features new bike-related content.