eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Short Cranks – First Impressions – Wow!!!

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Slipstream – Spring 08 – Short Cranks – TerraCycle Idlers – Grocery Bags

Continued from So you want shorter Crank Arms Now What?

My new shorter cranks(155MM) from Bike Smith Design & Fabrications are now installed and I have taken my first few rides with them.

Here are my first impressions:

1. Installation was very quick and simple, once you have the tools. Most of the tools I needed were to remove my HolloTech II 170 MM cranks. I didn’t need any new tools to install the new cranks. The videos I posted earlier show you how simple removal and installation is.

2. The Hollow Tech II design is very elegant and simple. They are very easy to remove once you have the tool to remove the caps. Kudos to Shimano on this design. I just wish they offered shorter cranks for recumbent riders.

Old & New Cranks with tools

Old & New Crank Arms

3. The impact of shorter cranks is much bigger than I expected. I am spinning easier and I am not putting the stress on my knees and hips that I was with the longer cranks. This is a very significant improvement, now I understand why riders with shorter cranks love them them. I am very pleased with this change.

4. My impression is that the impact of shorter cranks is much bigger for recumbent riders than for diamond frame riders. Recumbent riders need that lower stress spin a lot more because their bikes are usually heavier and  they don’t have the leverage advantage that getting out of the seat provides.

I have been thinking about shorter cranks for a long time but the cost always put me off. The problem with my hip is what finally motivated me to buy short cranks,, now all I can say is that I should have switched to short cranks years ago. The effect is much bigger than I expected. My spin is back and the season has just begun … Wow!


Written by Roland

April 10, 2008 at 9:40 am

Posted in Equipment, Tips

Tagged with , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. I’ve been thinking about doing this, but haven’t had the guts to actually proceed. Please do a follow-up review in a month or two to see how they’re working out for you long-term.

    What combination of chainrings did you go with?

    And just out of curiosity, did you weigh the old and new crankarms to see what the weight difference was?


    April 10, 2008 at 10:47 am

  2. Randy, I do plan to do a follow up.

    I run standard mountain gearing 42-32-22 on the front and 11-34 on the rear. We’ll see how that works out with the new cranks.

    The new cranks are heavier than the HolloTech II but at my weight and with what I normally carry I don’t think that makes any difference. I carry tools that weigh more than the cranks. No I didn’t measure the weight difference.


    April 10, 2008 at 11:05 am

  3. […] This is a follow on from Short Cranks First Impressions. […]

  4. r71eh64ko30aixtw

    Maryjane Rojas

    November 12, 2008 at 9:49 pm

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