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The man who fell to earth
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I ran a 180 for about a year before going back to 175. It wasn't that I disliked the 180, it was ok, it did offer very slightly more leverage, but also offered very slightly more pedal tag and very slightly more 'cantankerosity' when you wanted to spin fast (I've got a 34 inch inseam btw). Plus I found that if I needed to get more leverage up hills, it's easier (and cheaper) to simply change your cog/ring around to get the hill climbing power you're looking for. Overall I thought it was a wash, the 180's really didn't offer any real advantage like I had hoped (and heard they might). But if I got a new bike that came with them, I wouldn't go out of my way to remove them either.

aosty said:
Any long term 180mm crank length users go back to 175mm... and why?
 

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Ziggy, I had about the same experience as you. Started with a 180 for about 1 year and then found some XTR 952s in a 177.5 which were great. This is on my converted SS which had a rather high BB in the first place (Fat Chance Yo Eddy). My current bike is a dedicated SS with an EBB and i use the "top half" of the BB when I set my chain tension with 175 cranks (the bottom half settings sometimes get me tagging rocks in the more technical axcents). No problems with adapting back to shorter cranks.

Another way I get back any leverage I lose going shorter cranks is made up for by inducing more "rowing" the bars on climbs. j
 

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cut like the fog.
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Yup!

aosty said:
Any long term 180mm crank length users go back to 175mm... and why?
Rode 180 XTR 952's for a season and a half and didn't like them at all. I found the 180's difficult to spin and the leverage I got from them didn't seem to be that much greater than the 175's.

I changed to Raceface Atlas 175's last season out of necessity as I couldn't find a spidered chainring anywhere in canada a week before the Canmore gathering. The bike seems to pedal way better with the shorter cranks.

b.
 

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WAWE
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, thanks guys. I have pretty much the same issues... particularly spinning fast (I often ride pavement to the trail now) and tagging rocks often.... gonna downgrade to 175 and see....
 

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Medium?
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Francois

did it too, but he's not a long-legged dude like you. I'm surprised. I've got 180s on my ss, 175s on my gearie, and 170s on my fixie. I can totally tell the difference. I'd get 180s for my gearie if I bought new cranks right now. My inseam is 34".
 

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A hopped on pop.
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aosty said:
Okay, thanks guys. I have pretty much the same issues... particularly spinning fast (I often ride pavement to the trail now) and tagging rocks often.... gonna downgrade to 175 and see....
do it Al...

i switched from a 180 xtr/boone set up to some 175mm eno cranks. my main prob. was that i kept bashing my pedals on particular parts of my weekday ride. when i switched i thought i'd lose some power for sure.

not so...they feel the same when i crank uphill and i am no longer having clearance issues.

who would'a thought 5mm makes that much of a difference???

i can see a pair of these on your dean (with your silver fetish and all)...

<img src=https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/500/234616lores_eno_cranks.jpg>

oh...and good job at the 12hrs of o.c. and sea otter!!

cheers!
 

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I also recently picked up some 175mm 3N0's. I had been using 180mm RaceFace Turbines for the past year and a half, and never did get comfortable spinning them. I used recent knee issues as justification for replacing cranks that were fine functionally.

I did notice it being a little tougher getting the shorter crank arms over on slow, steep tech-y hills, but certainly nothing major. My knees feel better and spinning flats is much better, too.
 

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Steel and teeth.
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I switched back for the same amorphous reasons that Ziggy outlined. It wasn't that I was having excessive pedal strike, difficulty spinning, or any problems really. I got used to any differences I felt when I made the initial switch. But after building another bike as a fixed gear and riding a slightly higher gear with 170 mm crank arms, I got to wondering... I noticed that if I stayed on top of the gear, with a higher spin, I could clean all the hills I normally did. It just felt that much better spinning... So I switched to 175’s on my normal ride and haven't looked back. (I am 6' 3" with a 35" inseam.)

b1umb0y
 

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aosty said:
Any long term 180mm crank length users go back to 175mm... and why?
Cause I buggered up two sets of 180 cranks and had no choice. I'd go back to 180's in a second if I could find some that didn't cost so damn much. I just climbed better w/ the 180's. Call it mental or whatever, I can really tell the difference.
 

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formerly Giantxc
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I started with 175's switched to 180's for a couple of years and switched back to 175's towards the end of last year when my truvativ crank crapped out. Initially the switch was just because I had the parts, but like many others said I feel I can spin better with the 175's with minimal to no loss on the climbs, but I also geared down a tooth to compensate!
 

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Witty McWitterson
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I had been riding 180's for a few years on my 26" SS, and thought I'd try 175's when I got my 29". I wasn't expecting much of a difference, maybe easier to spin or a tad less leverage. What I did find out is that my knees hurt like hell riding the 175's. I tried moving the cleats around a bit and that only made it worse. I ended up losing my shorts on the 175 cranks when I moved back to 180's. Now I hoard 180 cranks. Got three sets now. I won't ride anything but 180's on mtbs. The slower cadence works for me there.

Conversely, I tried 180's on my CX bike and hated 'em immediately. Knees hurt there too. I put 175's back on and everything was hunky-dory. Still using 175's on my fixie too. FWIW, my inseam is 35". Not too long.
 

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~martini~ said:
I had been riding 180's for a few years on my 26" SS, and thought I'd try 175's when I got my 29". I wasn't expecting much of a difference, maybe easier to spin or a tad less leverage. What I did find out is that my knees hurt like hell riding the 175's. I tried moving the cleats around a bit and that only made it worse. I ended up losing my shorts on the 175 cranks when I moved back to 180's. Now I hoard 180 cranks. Got three sets now. I won't ride anything but 180's on mtbs. The slower cadence works for me there.

Conversely, I tried 180's on my CX bike and hated 'em immediately. Knees hurt there too. I put 175's back on and everything was hunky-dory. Still using 175's on my fixie too. FWIW, my inseam is 35". Not too long.
Aosty, your a tall guy like ~martini~ and me. I do notice a very definite difference in climbing with 180s over 175 and use 180 esclusively on my single speed bikes - except for my fixed road bike which I use 175 (and am considering 172.5). I also feel like I can spin 180s out pretty good.

I can see only a couple of reasons to go back to 175 - 1. your bottom bracket is low and you are constantly bashing rocks. 2. 180's make your knees hurt.

But if you already have a set of 175 cranks you can slap on to check out, then go for it. Can't hurt (well, maybe only your knees) ;)
 

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Gotta pipe up...

on the hurting knees front...

I have been on 180's for the better parts of 7 years. Always ran 176 Cook Bros before. I had 175's on my freeride bikes. For the most part it was 180's on the SS. The only time I have tried 29" wheels(KM) they had 175's. Man they hurt. I couldn't get a spin going without feeling a painful sheer on my knees. Then I would 'nurse' the spin to keep the pain away...I didn't dig going back. I have a 31" inseem. From day one on the 180's something just felt right. I think physiology and technique are the two biggest issues that should determine crank length.

Anyway, run what you dig, dig what you run and dig deep while you are runnin'!
 

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I speak for the trees
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If your 180's are

952's, I got some 952 175's I'll trade ya if you're interested. :D They're not brand new, but they are in good shape. I got the 180's on the Ionics and I love em. I did notice that I'd spin out a bit more on pavement, but I try to stay off it as much as possible.
 

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170mm

after riding 175's forever, i was riding fixed this past fall, winter and spring with 170's. so i put on the freewheel and loved it. i found it easier to keep the leg speed up and cruise up climbs and spin easy on the flat. they seem more comfy for me. (33" inseam). i ordered 2 sets of eno's in 170's and ain't going back. so, i am going to be posting my "modified" new style XTR cranks for sale with custom 34 and 36 rings soon. look for it.

ride on

rick
ss 29er serotta, and soon, fixed matt chester :)
 

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Recovering couch patato
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I've got extremely long legs, 39.2", but I did of course grow up with 175mm on MTB's and 172.5 on road.
When I got more serious with biking, I went 180mm, as it just makes sense for a big guy to use big cranks. The 5mm difference is barely noticable, it's that minute. Big guys should be able to get 200mm from Shimnao, but that's a different league of discussion on it's own.
Last year, sping, I entered a training camp and got to test a road bike with 175mm's. Bike fit me like a glove, I was very content to be riding it....everywhere but up. I would roll backwards on moderate climbs, it seems. And I normally love climbing. A few years earlier it had been okay on my spare mtb riding huge alps in France, but now I'd been spoiled too much I guess.
My MTB's all have 180mm, my road and commuter bikes, most SS, 175mm, and it works. I must say that I once had 185mm's on my road bike (still have the cranks), and that was fine as well, just required a lower cadence. I'm only not using them in fear of pedal strikes. I hit my MTB Eggbeaters on the tarmac last week, Surly Pacer, 28mm tires, 175mm 105 Octalink cranks.
None of my 175mm crank'd bikes will now climb worth crap for me, but I can tolerate them on pavement.
I have no trouble spinning 180's, then again, my huge legs aren't natural spinners anyway.
 

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I've been considering going back to 175's. I ride them on my cx bike, I do most of my milage on this bike. I'd riden 180's for the last 10 years and really like them, I have a 35" inseam. However a case of tendonitis necessitated the smaller cranks. I still ride 180's off road but noticed that my pedal stroke is a bit rough when the rpms go up. Supposedly longer cranks can close up your hips and reduce power (at least according to my road weenie friends), but I can really move over the hills with the extra leverage I get from the longer cranks. This is such a subjective topic I suggest you just try it out for a while and see how you like it.

e
 
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