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  1. #1
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    5'2" rider -what length crankarms would be ideal?

    Hi All,

    I'm putting together a mtb (27.5" hard tail) for my wife, who is 5'2" tall and with inseam 27-28." The Q I have is whether 170mm or 165mm crank arms will be "best." The last bike I put together for her had 170mm crank arms, though the length was "chosen" because it was what I had laying around in my parts bin. This time, I'd like to get the sizing as ideal as possible. My wife is a recreational rider, so she doesn't have enough saddle time to say which length would be most efficient or comfortable. So, I thought I'd ask other similarly sized riders about what crank arm lengths work for them.

    Thanks in advance!
    It's not dirt in my apartment --it's Earth.

  2. #2
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    I didn't realize anyone made 165's, even my 14" bike had 170's. I wouldn't lose too much sleep over .2" either way. Try Sheldon's gear calculator, it looks like they come out the same (in mph or gear inches) for 165 vs. 170 cranks. I would go 170 for more leverage or 165 if you're more concerned about rock strikes.

  3. #3
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    Ok thanks. Yeah 165mm is available on occasion. I think I've come across some XT or RaceFace cranks with that length crank arm.

    So far, sounds like sticking with 170mm is a good way to go. Yes, the length is way more common than 165mm. That fact makes for much greater crankset selection, greater bargain, or both.
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  4. #4
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    170mm shouldn't be a problem.

  5. #5
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    If you have access to a good bike fitter in your area, get their professional opinion. 5mm can make a BIG difference, and in the end, a great fitting bike is going to make a happy biker--your wife! It's always worth it to spend $ after you've spent $$$$ on a bike.

    It is a science, not guesswork.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by djork View Post
    170mm shouldn't be a problem.
    my wife is 5'1" with 27ish inseam, 170mm made her knees hurt, so 165mm is it! granted her townie is on 170's but for her mtb, with aggressive climbing, she needed the shorter length, fyi, 170mm for 27in inseam is like me, with 35" inseam on like 185mm cranks, could you ride that large of cranks comfortably???

    most companies have 165mm cranks pretty cheap, and expensive, vs weight of course, i founds some nice 165mm XT for around $190 which are pretty light compared to the more DH oriented ones that are closer to $100

  7. #7
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    5'2" rider -what length crankarms would be ideal?

    I use mostly 170s and have a 167.5. I'm 5'4". Since I have multiple bikes, even ones with 175mm arms that I haven't swapped yet, I can tell you 5 mm is noticeable in practice.
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  8. #8
    LW Coaching
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    I'm 5' 2" and prefer 170's.

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