Sunday, July 4, 2010

Shorty crank arm review

WHY 155mm's?
I wasn't sure what to expect with the shorter crank arms. I suspected 165mm's wouldn't be a big enough difference from the 170mm stock ones to be worth the purchase. As a test, I picked the 155mm's in preparation for my future Schlumpf Mountain Drive which has a 152mm option. No 155mm, but that's close enough.

My first test run was up and down the block. There was a noticeable difference, but I knew the real test would happen after a few miles. Immediately though, it felt easier to pedal a full stroke. My knees no longer had to come up so high.

Getting back to my familiar routes, I found that climbing the hills are indeed easier. It felt like getting an extra 1.5 gears. In other words, I can climb one hill at 5th gear as opposed to 3rd gear when I had the stock crank arms. I can't commit to this reasoning until I try it a couple times more. My increased superman powers could easily have come from adrenaline or other unrelated factors.

I found my triking today similar to my experience up and down the block earlier in the morning. It's more comfortable reaching the same speeds and cadence. I'm sure this translates to better endurance and speed in the long run. For now, I'm just getting used to the stroke.

I can't strongly say that I can reach the same top speeds more quickly. The comfort level is probably the biggest benefit of the shorter crank arms which is good enough for me.

Gone? After riding 28 miles earlier in the day, I kept going for another 20 miles trying out the new crankset. My knees started hurting a bit towards the end of the day, but it wasn't the same type of pain as I had experienced before with the stock 170mm ones. The pain before was just under my knee cap; it's now mostly around my knee. I'm hoping it's b/c I'm just not used to the setup yet. We'll see.


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