crank length, cleat position question

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crank length, cleat position question

Postby nickobec » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:15 pm

Little background, 184cm tall, 50, just started racing couple months back, but have been riding causally for a few years and own a few different bikes (nothing fancy, only 1 is semi suitable for racing)

Over time, I have ended up on shorter cranks (170mm usually even though I am on the border between 172.5/175mm given my height/leg length), with my cleats far forward.

Which means I appear to accelerate fairly quickly, maintain a high cadence (100+ on a geared bike with 170mm cranks) and have trouble climbing anything I can not "sprint" up.

After a little bit of reading, I decide to experiment and set the cleats back in a pair of shoes and spent time riding with 172.5mm cranks. My my climbing improved straight away, I found I can actually climb at a cadence of 80 or so, something I could not do before. My average cadence dropped close to 90 and there was a small drop in average power over distance (which I hope is only temporary, as I get use to the new geometry and make minor adjustments to saddle height & aft/foreward saddle position).

The question I have, will my body adjust to riding two very different bikes & two sets of shoes: a crit bike with 170mm cranks that I ride with cleats far forward, for acceleration and sprinting and a "climbing" bike with 175mm cranks, cleats far back which is just set up to give constant power over distance.

Or should I just get my body use to riding 172.5mm cranks with the cleats in the middle. Because it can only cope with one pedalling action and this setup is the happy medium of power vs acceleration

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crank length, cleat position question

Postby RonK » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:52 pm

Cleat position will have far greater effect than crank length. I would say adjust the cleat position if you must and don't worry about crank length.
If you used the same cleat position on both bikes I doubt a 2.5 mm difference in crank length would even be discernible.
Personally I feel there is little value in changing cleat positions either for that matter.
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crank length, cleat position question

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:20 pm

Yes your body will adjust... Think of the difference between a tt bike / Mtb / road bike ... All different positions by quite big amounts in some cases.
I would be interested to know how much your saddle is behind the bb of you noticed the difference by moving your cleats. I have a problem with my saddle clamp sometimes in that the saddle slides back over time... The difference in my performance as it slides back changes very quickly.

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Re: crank length, cleat position question

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:06 pm

You sprint for only a short amount of time I am more inclined to go with a happy medium, where you can get the most out of both situations! :idea:

The small amount of compromise between the two, is worth more to me, in a race situation and don't forget, you will become used to the new position. :wink:

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