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  • Crank length
  • Will I notice a big difference changing from 175 to 165mm?

    I’ve got a low BB on my frame and as my timimg is crap I keep smacking my pedals. I’m thinking this might help a bit.


    175 to 165 will be pretty obvious

    175 to 170 less so, but will still improve your ground clearance, and it’s surprising the difference 5mm will make.

    The Slider

    I tried exactly that to also get a little more clearance but I didn’t like the (slightly) shorter stroke at all ! I’m only 5′ 6″ and always used to use 175’s when I raced just about EVERY week. Read later that I should REALLY use 170’s (which I switched to) then I read it should be 165’s but, as I said – didn’t suit. Now I’ve decided to go back to 175’s as they just felt right ! There are NO real rules in cycling – just personal preferences I guess…


    i did that to gain more clearance – they felt short and like i couldn’t get any power down.

    i didn’t like it.

    Thanks guys – Anyone selling their shorter cranks so I can give it ago?

    I can only add – on bikes that are subject to pedal strikes – ever few mm here and there adds up to an important log / rock that you miss (and maybe saves you a trip to A+E).

    So what worked for me:
    – shorter cranks
    – more fork and shock pressure (not ideal)
    – thinking ahead
    – bigger tyres (think rubber queens)
    – loose weight
    – get a new frame

    Ok – I never got as far as the last 2.

    In answer to your opening Q- yes you will probably notice it. It might be better or worse for pedalling depending on what you’re used to.

    I looking at this as well as increasing the fork length by 30mm so hopefully it will all make the bike better for me.


    If I go from my hardtail 170 cranks to my rigid 165 cranks and haven’t ridden it for a while I notice the difference. The other way round I don’t. My previous bike had 175 cranks which I found fine off road but if I rode for a few miles on the road where I wasn’t moving around on the bike then my knees didn’t like it. Given the choice I’d probably stick with 165 as I prefer to spin rather than grind but the choices in 165 are limited.


    I use 170mm cranks (previously used 175mm) – probably in my head but I tend to spin a fairly high cadence and they seem to suit that.

    Not sure about reduced power, I think that’s just my legs 🙄

    Premier Icon Cheezpleez

    I swapped to 170mm (from 175) on one of my bikes purely to avoid pedal strikes. It worked brilliantly and I really don’t notice the difference when pedalling.


    Use 175s, 170s and 165s on three different bikes. 165s are very short and noticeably harder to turn compared to 175s but clearance is immense.

    170s on a HT are a reasonable compromise but still harder work than 175s.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

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