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  1. #1
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    What do you think about going to 180mm cranks?

    To think the old Homegrown was going to be retired/recycled! It's been ss'ed and is once again my favorite bike. Most of the summer I rode with the original 175mm Sugino/White cranks in 32/18 gearing. Now I'm thinking about putting on some BMX 3-piece chromo cranks- profile types with a 4 bearing BB to increase the stiffness. I'm also considering going to 180s for leverage but staying 32/18 gearing. I've heard stories about knee problems from riding 180s, and also have been told it is harder to switch back to the "other" bike with 175s. What are your experiences going to 180s?

  2. #2
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayndar
    To think the old Homegrown was going to be retired/recycled! It's been ss'ed and is once again my favorite bike. Most of the summer I rode with the original 175mm Sugino/White cranks in 32/18 gearing. Now I'm thinking about putting on some BMX 3-piece chromo cranks- profile types with a 4 bearing BB to increase the stiffness. I'm also considering going to 180s for leverage but staying 32/18 gearing. I've heard stories about knee problems from riding 180s, and also have been told it is harder to switch back to the "other" bike with 175s. What are your experiences going to 180s?
    Did it/love it/highly recommend it/won't go back to stubby cranks.

  3. #3
    ali'i hua
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    running em on the 29er SS and cant get enough. origionally did it to make the 26er and the 29er geared a little closer (34:20 w/ 175's on the 26er and 33:21 w/ 180's on the 29er) but it turned out that the29 with all the bells and whistles is MUCH easier to climb.

    the only downside can be bashing pedals due to longer cranks, but if you're not riding trails that this could be an issue with, run it!

  4. #4
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    long cranks are very good. just watch out pedaling through corners. I am 6 foot 2 and I am considering getting 182.5s but I am not sure if shimano makes them.

  5. #5
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    I had the same question a while back...

    Check out the following thread...there are some great insights from the veteran posters on this forum:

    New Guy intro + crank length question

    I have since made the switch to 180mm and find them to be great for me. I did notice the difference even though I only made a 5mm change, but it wasn't too major. I mainly felt a little weakness in some parts of my leg muscles (probably because they were going through a somewhat wider range of motion), but it only lasted for the first 3-4 rides. It reminded me of the first few days on a new bike with geometry I wasn't used to. My other bikes (2 mountain and 1 road) still have 175's and it really doesn't bother me to go back to them. That said, if I was going to get a new bike or new crank arms, I'd go for 180's.

    Good luck.

    Dirk

  6. #6
    Steamroller
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    Do it if you are a big guy

    I have them on my bike and will get a new set for the new custom SS 29r. I like them a lot. I have heard that they are not as good for riders with shorter legs, makes sense. I did have one unexpected crash when an exposed cement pipe which I've ridden over dozens of times suddenly jumped into the bottom of my crank arm stopping my bike dead, but not me.
    [SIZE=2]Two Wheeled and Too Big[/SIZE]

  7. #7
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    Also switched

    And found out it's like removing a tooth (or two) up front, without actually doing it.

    I'm a spinner by trade (grew up on a velodrome), and none too tall (5'6"), and it surprisingly worked really well.

    I have no problems going over obstacles and don't necessarily hit more stuff on the ground than before. But then around here the trails are so tortured it's hard to feel any difference in that respect.

    The mechanical advantage is definitely improved, very noticeable from the get go, and spinning is not compromised; the latter really doesn't matter much off-road anyway. FWIW I can still cruise at 15-16 mph to the trailhead.

    YMMV though.

    Maurice

  8. #8
    cut like the fog.
    Reputation: bones's Avatar
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    not to sway the discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayndar
    To think the old Homegrown was going to be retired/recycled! It's been ss'ed and is once again my favorite bike. Most of the summer I rode with the original 175mm Sugino/White cranks in 32/18 gearing. Now I'm thinking about putting on some BMX 3-piece chromo cranks- profile types with a 4 bearing BB to increase the stiffness. I'm also considering going to 180s for leverage but staying 32/18 gearing. I've heard stories about knee problems from riding 180s, and also have been told it is harder to switch back to the "other" bike with 175s. What are your experiences going to 180s?
    But I didn't like the 180's. I found that they were tougher to spin. Climbing there is definitely more torque to be had but I felt much more comfortable on the 175's. Going from 172.5 on my cross/road bike to 175's on my heckler, to 180's on my SS seemed to kill my pedal stroke last year. I did blow my knee up on the first race I did last year but I can't conclusively blame the 180 cranks.

    I didn't notice a difference with crankarm clearance to be honest, you get used to the extra length in technical areas.

    I went back to 175's this season after I broke my XTR/Suffring setup and went with the RaceFace ATLAS system. The stiffness in this crank made up for some of the extra tourque in the 180 XTR's that I lost.

    b.
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  9. #9
    One gear to rule them all
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    I went from 175's to 180's a couple of years ago. I won't be going back to 175's on my SS...ever. All of my other bikes are 175's and I don't have any problems switching back and forth. I have a 33" inseam, I think the 180's, generally, work better for riders with 32" inseams and greater. Try 'em you'll like 'em.



    Quote Originally Posted by Wayndar
    To think the old Homegrown was going to be retired/recycled! It's been ss'ed and is once again my favorite bike. Most of the summer I rode with the original 175mm Sugino/White cranks in 32/18 gearing. Now I'm thinking about putting on some BMX 3-piece chromo cranks- profile types with a 4 bearing BB to increase the stiffness. I'm also considering going to 180s for leverage but staying 32/18 gearing. I've heard stories about knee problems from riding 180s, and also have been told it is harder to switch back to the "other" bike with 175s. What are your experiences going to 180s?
    Todd............. If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

  10. #10
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    Good job! I concur with 32seventeen -

    - Good, sound advice.
    Pesonally, I have had the same experiance.

  11. #11
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
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    Ditto!

    Quote Originally Posted by 32seventeen
    I went from 175's to 180's a couple of years ago. I won't be going back to 175's on my SS...ever. All of my other bikes are 175's and I don't have any problems switching back and forth. I have a 33" inseam, I think the 180's, generally, work better for riders with 32" inseams and greater. Try 'em you'll like 'em.
    took the words right out of my mouth.
    my fixie track bike has 167.5's; my fixie commuter has 170's; my older road bike has 172.5's; my newer road bike and full squishy/geared mtb have 175's and my SS has TruVative 180's. i guess i have the range pretty well covered for my 6' build! i have a harder time adjusting to different saddles than crank lengths- but that may be because each length seems appropriate for the particular bike and it's uses...
    just remember, what feels best to you is most important.
    Spinning and Grinning...

  12. #12
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    you really need to look at the length of your legs and riding style. with 180's you will get more power but you wont be able to spin very well. that means easier climbing but slower on the flats.

    i'm 5'9" with average length legs and found that while the 180's did offer more torque, i was un-able to access that torque unless i stood up out of the saddle. the rotation was just too big to comfortably pedal super hard while seated. the perfect compermise for me is 177.5mm cranks on mountainous areas, and 176mm (old school cook's) for everything else.

    180's are not the cure all. if you have long legs than don't even thing twice about it, go 180. if you are 5'6" i would'nt go any larger than 175mm. its all in the length of you legs.
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  13. #13
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    I am with bones on this issue,

    I thought that 180 cranks killed my stroke. In general, if you do long steady climbs I think that there is advantage to long crank arms. But if you ride the rollercoaster, where you have to pick up the spinnning quickly on short steep climbs, 180 are not a good idea. I shifted to 177.5 which is a better compromise between extra torque and ability to spin.

  14. #14
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    It would be going shorter for me. I use 185 & 190 mm cranks off road. Whenever you go longer it will take you a while to adjust. Do not judge by your first or even fifth ride. Remember to lift your knee over and through the top of the pedal stroke. If you do not you are resisting the down stroke.

    Longer cranks = longer power stroke = more torque. I do not change my gearing.
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  15. #15
    AussieLostInNyc
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    New question here. This is interesting

    I have seen a few posts on this and I am fasinated that incremental changes of 2.5mm
    make a noticeable difference. I run 34:20 on my XL Monkey. I have a 35.5 inch inseam
    and my cranks are 170's. Given what I have read here it sounds like I should be running 180's. Would this allow me to change my setup back to 36:20 to help me with some speed on the flats but still have oomph to get over obstacles like rocks etc?
    If so what are some relatively cheap cranks I can grab to test this out?
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  16. #16
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    yup I went to 180s on my SS and I won't use any shorter. as shiggy said, don't judge it right away, and focus on pedaling through the top of the stroke, which is where you'll first notice the extra length.

  17. #17
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    Thanks everyone

    Wow, thanks for all the responses. I'm 5'9" with a 32" inseam, so I'm probably right on cusp. I've always run 180s my 20" BMX and freestyle bikes, but of course I'm not riding those the same way. Plus, I'm more of a "masher" then a "spinner." Anyway, I think I'll go with 180s. Also, it would be cool to have some old-school BMX cranks on my bike again!

  18. #18
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayndar
    Wow, thanks for all the responses. I'm 5'9" with a 32" inseam, so I'm probably right on cusp. I've always run 180s my 20" BMX and freestyle bikes, but of course I'm not riding those the same way. Plus, I'm more of a "masher" then a "spinner." Anyway, I think I'll go with 180s. Also, it would be cool to have some old-school BMX cranks on my bike again!
    I bet since you're a masher then you'll love the extra length.

    On a singlespeed wouldn't it be more desireable to stand and mash up climbs rather than sit and spin? It seems to me that if you use longer cranks, then you can increase your gearing by a couple teeth and go faster both on climbs and on flats. Am I wrong here? I was a spinner until I started riding singlespeed, and now like to honk on a big gear. I have my bike set up to be comfortable in the standing position for long durations. Stand on climbs, stand on flats, stand on descents. Sometimes it feels as if I'm using the elliptical trainer at a gym.

  19. #19
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayndar
    What do you think about going to 180mm cranks?
    Personally, I would not do it. 180mm cranks are too short for me. I ride 195-202mm cranks.

    But 180mm cranks might be right for you... check here and here.

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  20. #20
    meh....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus
    Personally, I would not do it. 180mm cranks are too short for me. I ride 195-202mm cranks.

    But 180mm cranks might be right for you... check here and here.

    --Sparty
    Damn, my cranks are too short, according to the first reference, which has to be credible. Anyone that could come up with the "Fishie Hi-Rise" has got to be good. What a cool idea.



    Monte

  21. #21
    meatier showers
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    Yeahbutt...........

    Quote Originally Posted by Monte
    ... Anyone that could come up with the "Fishie Hi-Rise" has got to be good. What a cool idea. Monte
    Yeahbutt I already own a set of stainless steel BBQ grill grates, so that's one product that should come off Kirby's "there oughta be..." list.

    The guy's good, but he ain't perfect. No matter how good he treats his fishies.

    As for Kirby's crank length formula, I'm on board. Not only is he an engineer, but he's younger than me and retired. That means he's probably smarter than me, which automatically makes him a genius.

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