Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

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Freeasabird
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Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Freeasabird » 10 Sep 2020, 7:06pm

Hello everyone,

This is my first post, so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong section.

I am 5ft 3" with an inseam of 29" and have just bought a second-hand Dutch style bike, as I wanted a very upright riding position. The cranks are 170mm. I plan to ride on mainly flat pathways for maybe 30 mins to an hour, 3 days a week, purely for pleasure.

Do you think it will do my knees/lower back any harm to have long cranks? It feels comfortable to ride, and I don't feel like it's a stretch, but I just wanted to check.

Many thanks for your input.

Jdsk
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Jdsk » 10 Sep 2020, 7:40pm

Welcome.

It feels comfortable, and you're not rocking your pelvis as you pedal?

Cycle on!

Jonathan

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Freeasabird
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Freeasabird » 10 Sep 2020, 7:51pm

No rocking at all. Thanks so much for the reassurance!

jb
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby jb » 11 Sep 2020, 8:24am

As Above, also, if when sat on the saddle with your leg stretched out straight you can put the flat of your shoe heel on the pedal when its at its lowest point - and there is enough adjustment in the seat post to allow this - then if the cranks were too long it would feel like your knees were coming up uncomfortably high.
If all this is okay then crank length is more a question of preferred riding style than how tall you are.
Cheers
J Bro

bikepacker
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby bikepacker » 11 Sep 2020, 8:58am

Freeasabird wrote:Hello everyone,

This is my first post, so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong section.

I am 5ft 3" with an inseam of 29" and have just bought a second-hand Dutch style bike, as I wanted a very upright riding position. The cranks are 170mm. I plan to ride on mainly flat pathways for maybe 30 mins to an hour, 3 days a week, purely for pleasure.

Do you think it will do my knees/lower back any harm to have long cranks? It feels comfortable to ride, and I don't feel like it's a stretch, but I just wanted to check.

Many thanks for your input.


My wife is a similar size to you and has always insisted on 170mm cranks on all her bikes. In fact about 20 years ago at Mildenhall Rally, Francis Thurmer told her she needed 165mm at most. After some persuading by both of us she let me fit 165s on her most ridden bike. She rode them for a few days and found they aggravated an old knee injury. Actually ridding the longer cranks had helped rather than hindered recovery from the injury. So really it comes down to if you feel okay with them carry on and enjoy ridding your bike. If you start to get any joint problems then you can think about changing them.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

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Freeasabird
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Freeasabird » 11 Sep 2020, 9:05am

jb wrote:As Above, also, if when sat on the saddle with your leg stretched out straight you can put the flat of your shoe heel on the pedal when its at its lowest point - and there is enough adjustment in the seat post to allow this - then if the cranks were too long it would feel like your knees were coming up uncomfortably high.
If all this is okay then crank length is more a question of preferred riding style than how tall you are.



That's really helpful, thank you. I would need to put my saddle up a little bit to have a fully extended leg with my heel on the pedal, but then I would be unable to put my feet down at all, as at the moment I am on absolute tiptoe. As I'm only riding small amounts, I'll see how it goes, but it sounds like I may need to change to shorter cranks in the long term. Thanks for your advice.

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Freeasabird
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Freeasabird » 11 Sep 2020, 9:05am

bikepacker wrote:
Freeasabird wrote:Hello everyone,

This is my first post, so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong section.

I am 5ft 3" with an inseam of 29" and have just bought a second-hand Dutch style bike, as I wanted a very upright riding position. The cranks are 170mm. I plan to ride on mainly flat pathways for maybe 30 mins to an hour, 3 days a week, purely for pleasure.

Do you think it will do my knees/lower back any harm to have long cranks? It feels comfortable to ride, and I don't feel like it's a stretch, but I just wanted to check.

Many thanks for your input.


My wife is a similar size to you and has always insisted on 170mm cranks on all her bikes. In fact about 20 years ago at Mildenhall Rally, Francis Thurmer told her she needed 165mm at most. After some persuading by both of us she let me fit 165s on her most ridden bike. She rode them for a few days and found they aggravated an old knee injury. Actually ridding the longer cranks had helped rather than hindered recovery from the injury. So really it comes down to if you feel okay with them carry on and enjoy ridding your bike. If you start to get any joint problems then you can think about changing them.


That's really interesting, thanks for that. I'll have to see how it goes.

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Jdsk » 11 Sep 2020, 10:19am

Freeasabird wrote:I would need to put my saddle up a little bit to have a fully extended leg with my heel on the pedal, but then I would be unable to put my feet down at all, as at the moment I am on absolute tiptoe.

Is that while sitting on the saddle?

It's common for the best riding position to be incompatible with getting both feet to the ground while still on the saddle. It might be necessary to start and stop off the saddle.

(We do teach children and set up their first bikes so that they can get at least their toes down, and this topic comes up quite often in the forums. I'm just working through it with a granddaughter.)

Jonathan

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Freeasabird
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Freeasabird » 11 Sep 2020, 10:24am

Jdsk wrote:
Freeasabird wrote:I would need to put my saddle up a little bit to have a fully extended leg with my heel on the pedal, but then I would be unable to put my feet down at all, as at the moment I am on absolute tiptoe.

Is that while sitting on the saddle?

It's common for the best riding position to be incompatible with getting both feet to the ground while still on the saddle. It might be necessary to start and stop off the saddle.

(We do teach children and set up their first bikes so that they can get at least their toes down, and this topic comes up quite often in the forums. I'm just working through it with a granddaughter.)

Jonathan



Oh, that's interesting, thanks. I always thought I was supposed to be able to have at least my toes on the ground while still sitting on the saddle. Wow, I'm such a novice. Thanks for this.

Jdsk
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Jdsk » 11 Sep 2020, 10:44am

: - )

Now you're used to the bike try starting and stopping off the saddle every time. And when you're happy with that try setting the saddle height as above.

Jonathan

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Freeasabird
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Freeasabird » 11 Sep 2020, 11:04am

Jdsk wrote:: - )

Now you're used to the bike try starting and stopping off the saddle every time. And when you're happy with that try setting the saddle height as above.

Jonathan


Thanks for that, I will. :)

mumbojumbo
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby mumbojumbo » 11 Sep 2020, 11:22am

Would not worry about crank-length.A difference of 5mm is minimal when a slice of bread is about 7mm .You can make up difference by adding an extra sole to your shoes.If you were in T de France might be worth it but given your choice of bikes this seems unlikely.

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Freeasabird
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby Freeasabird » 11 Sep 2020, 11:35am

mumbojumbo wrote:Would not worry about crank-length.A difference of 5mm is minimal when a slice of bread is about 7mm .You can make up difference by adding an extra sole to your shoes.If you were in T de France might be worth it but given your choice of bikes this seems unlikely.


Very true, thanks, and yeah...I'm just ambling through winding pathways, nothing that high-paced or exciting!

jb
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby jb » 11 Sep 2020, 11:48am

mumbojumbo wrote:Would not worry about crank-length.A difference of 5mm is minimal when a slice of bread is about 7mm .You can make up difference by adding an extra sole to your shoes.If you were in T de France might be worth it but given your choice of bikes this seems unlikely.


Thicker soles alter the point of rotation & would allow you to sit higher, it makes no difference to crank length.
Cheers

J Bro

mumbojumbo
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Re: Short legs, long cranks, Dutch riding position.

Postby mumbojumbo » 11 Sep 2020, 12:02pm

I must agree but the effective length is reduced thus.My first bike,when about 7 had wooden blocks on pedals so I could reach.Surely this in effect the same as deepening the soul.Once your foot touches the blocks aka pedal you can impart force.I had double -blocked pedals,and every other kid had that arrangement.The really poor kids had no bike at all.No one had abike which fitted-as you had to grow into the bike.Mine lasted me till 11plus exams when my treat was to replace the wooden blocks with black rubber ones.