Maybe 165mm crank, short girl's first weekend on bigger wheels-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Maybe 165mm crank, short girl's first weekend on bigger wheels

    Maybe this will help others decide on and set up a bike for a shorter female rider.

    First big weekend on her Furtado. Coming from 26er with 3x9. Her engine is more diesel instead of explosive power. Years of 12 and 24 hour races and marathon running has turned her into the tortoise.

    The 30T and 10-42 is not low enough for her power to weight and all-day climbing; 4000' days are the norm. After reading about 28T on some designs anti-squat, I think Eagle is coming home so we can stick with 30T. I get at dealer cost so not atrocious....although to think it's for 1 gear does kinda make me go 'ugh'.

    Being it is only early February (we have a winter), her in-season power is months away and she'll lose a few pounds come summer, the 30T/10-42 made the first few rides not super enjoyable, to put it kindly. But I am in no way going to say "when I lose 5 or 10 pounds I can pull a larger gear all summer." That would be moronic on my part.

    Also thinking of going with 165mm cranks instead of her usual 170mm. Did a lot of reading on mtbr and roadie forums, and it seems there are no disadvantages even for taller riders. Selecting crank length has many variables, but there is one constant: there seems to be no disadvantage going to a shorter crank for vast majority of riders.

    She's enjoying the proper fit of the new bike and the 1x simplicity. Still hasn't touched the dropper, ha, and said "I have no experience with droppers and our terrain really doesn't need one" but I'm sure that will change once she gets in the flow of dropper vs trail vs comfort.

  2. #2
    Reputation: mahgnillig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Nothing wrong with being a tortoise... I got passed by a couple of trail runners going uphill last summer, and some hardcore hiker dude who was motoring along uphill at like 4mph. I beat them on the downhill though!

    I run Eagle with a 28t oval and 165mm cranks. It means I don't have to get off the bike and push as much... the Sierras are steep, and I like to ride my bike not hike it. I didn't notice any weirdness with the anti squat on my DW Link bike when I made the switch, and someone on the Ibis forum emailed them recently to ask the same question... the reply was that they probably wouldn't notice. I would imagine it's the same with a VPP setup, with the difference being more pronounced on paper than in real life.

    My hubby is the same way with his dropper... never touches it! I keep thinking he'll figure it out one day

    Sent from my SM-T800 using Tapatalk
    Ride like a girl! :cornut:

  3. #3
    Reputation: petey15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Running 165s here, too. 28T and 9-46 crankset. Money! But seriously, my new bike was the first one I have as a 1X. I'm 5'4". I don't have the super long climbs people have out west, but they're long enough and often much steeper than fire roads. Until now, I've always had 175mm cranks on my bikes, because that's what they came with. I honestly cannot believe what a difference 10mm can make in comfort and control. I feel like I climb much better (and I'm totally a tortoise) and am a lot more comfortable standing and pedaling now. And droppers are amazing, once you start using them 😉
    RideGG, Cycle-CNY

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    I have 165mm on my road bike and love it, wish I could on my mtb but Iím running shimano and the shortest boost cranks are 170mm.

    But totally agree on the shorter cranks for smaller riders especially on short, punchy or technical climbs itís easier to turn over and I feel more comfortable and have less hip flexor issues with the shorter crank arms.

    Watch out, once she does start using the dropper thereíll be no stopping her. It can take a little getting used to but itís one thing that I wonít give up and first thing to install and upgrade on my bike.

  5. #5
    always licking the glass
    Reputation: stripes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    I run 165mm right now, only because I haven't gotten a replacement chainring for my 160mm cranks. I relaly like the shorter cranks and shorter and higher cockpits setups. Feels much more natural for me.

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