Been switching back and forth between 172.5 and 175s on the Stevens cross bike. i think the 175s perform a little bit better, just a touch more leverage. However, Stevens bikes typically have lower bottom brackets and it seems that there's been a few more pedal strikes in the tight corners, or maybe it was just a bad day...
So, an informal poll, how tall are you or what size frame do you ride and what length crank do you prefer?
Alternatively, does it really make any difference?
I have one cx bike with 170s (bought used, never bothered to change), the rest with 175, and I can feel the difference. but that "feel" is on my body. whether it makes any speed difference I have no idea - I have never done real testing. switching bikes all the time (blessing and curse), I like to reduce some of the variables so I prefer them all being the same, as it's one less thing to get used to. But I've done 7 races on 4 bikes this season and they weren't all 175 and I can't ever blame anything on a crank length though.
I think riding style can often be a deciding factor - spinner vs masher, and of course height. what are you?
Good question- I'm 5'11" with a 33" inseam and run 175's on everything- both CX bikes, road and MTB. I also go back and forth wondering whether the 175 or the 172.5 would be better. Nys runs 172.5 and he's roughly 5'10-5'11"...but I don't know how much of that is leg length.
It seems the three factors in determining crank length are femur length (more than actual leg length), pedaling style and most common course profile. I ride and train often on a very hilly course that's mostly grass where 175 is key, but when I ride faster grass crit courses like the Cycle Smart GP in Northampton with higher speeds and more turns I think I'd like to be running 172.5.
When you get this one figured out please let me know because I'm also looking for the right answer!
I'm 6'4" with a 35" inseam (cycling inseam) and I just this year switched from 175 to 177.5 cranks. I'm more of a spinner, but as a previous post alluded to, spinning in 'cross is a sure way to go backwards. For me I think the added length is a help. If I had beefier legs, I probably would stay at 175 so I can accelerate a bit better at the same gear ratio, but as it is, my challenge is more so on the open fields of bumps where you just have chug through them. Like Trebon, I did notice more pedal strikes in turns (in the beginning), but it just took some getting used to.
6'00"- 56cm road and CX= 172.5 for me. I tried 175 at first on my CX last year but now with my 172.5's i feel i get over the top much quicker on the pedal stroke. I am a firm believer in keeping the same for both road and cx
6'1", 18" Karate Monkey, 175mm cranks. Had a 58cm Major Jake for five years that came with 172.5mm cranks, possibly due to toe overlap issues. Didn't really notice the length difference after switching back to 175mm. I prefer longer cranks as long as my shoes ain't hittin' the front tire.