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26ers, 29ers and crank length for muni

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  • 26ers, 29ers and crank length for muni

    Do people increase their crank length when switching from a 26er to a 29er for muni? I've just started riding a 29er having borrowed the 150s from my 26er (which I'm very comfortable with on that). I expected them to feel a bit short, and that I'd really need 165, but in the event they don't. However am I missing out by not having longer cranks? What's the general consensus on this - size the cranks with the wheel size or stick with what you're comfortable with and cope with the higher effective gear?

    I have to admit I am also wondering about going with 650B, as I want to build myself a nice light high end one, but I'm undecided about 26er or 29er!
    Last edited by aracer; 2013-05-15, 10:03 PM.
    Unicycling: great for your thighs.

  • #2
    Do you have brakes on your 29er?

    The only reason I could see to go to a longer crank would be if your knees were giving you trouble going downhill and you didn't have a brake.

    I've been very happy with 150's on my 29 muni, I recently got brakes though. I was getting frustrated at one point with the big wheel, but the brakes helped a lot. Now flying down a steep hill is fun instead of a workout.

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    • #3
      No not yet - one of the reasons I'm thinking about crank lengths is that I'm looking at getting some Spirits to add one (was going to be on my 26er, but I thought I should try a 29er to see as I had a road one I just needed to stick a tyre on and I think I'm converted already).
      Unicycling: great for your thighs.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aracer View Post
        No not yet - one of the reasons I'm thinking about crank lengths is that I'm looking at getting some Spirits to add one (was going to be on my 26er, but I thought I should try a 29er to see as I had a road one I just needed to stick a tyre on and I think I'm converted already).
        You could maybe get dual holed spirits.

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        • #5
          Not in 150/165 I can't. I'm fairly sure 137 would be too short for muni for me.
          Unicycling: great for your thighs.

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          • #6
            I run 137/165's. They're awesome IMO. The 165s are really nice for longer/steeper climbs, and the 137s allow you to fly down the hill you just climbed, or on flats.
            "I used to watch Highway Patrol whittlin' with my knife..." - NY

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            • #7
              For this past winter I changed all my unis (29, 26, 32, 36) to 150's, then when the weather warmed up and the trails started drying out I switched back to 165's.

              When I went down in crank length it was a compromise, I was trading increase climbing power with improved spin, but in the winter everything is so wet that most of my rides are flatter and less technical. Then, when Spring came and the trails dried out, I wanted my climbing power back, and so I swapped all my cranks back to 165's.

              I do tend to use my cranks for braking when I run 165's vs 150's, though I still use my brakes a fair amon for coasting grades. It seems like brakes throw my balance off more when I'm running longer cranks, but then when I run longer cranks I don't need the brakes as much...

              My climbing is clearly better with 165's, with the longer cranks I can clean sections that would be a struggle or not possible with 150's, but with 150's m ride is smoother and takes less effort.

              When I rode with Killian at Antelope Island, I was borrowing a 29er with 165/137 cranks. At one point Killian swapped his cranks to the 137 position, a while later I did the same. I wouldn't say it was easier with shorter cranks, but I was feeling really "wonky" with long cranks after having been riding 150's for the past six months, so though the 137's were short they felt closer to normal.

              If I was riding trails that were consistently graded and no technical, I'd probably run shorter cranks, I mean why not, a longer crank would serve no significant purpose, but where I live it is very technical and there is nothing graded about our trails; they go up and down at the same time

              My ideal cranks would have three positions: 165, 150, 135.
              I dream of hamsters and elderberries

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              • #8
                I prefer 165s for anything technical, but I've ended up using 150s on the 29er even so, just because they spin so much better on fast terrain. I ended up deciding that I would be using the 26" on technical, and the 29" would be for "XC" stuff, but if I were using the 29" for everything, I probably would go back to the 165s.

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                • #9
                  I use 150s for everything 24,26,29,36(even on trails). Brakes are nice for really steep downhills for the 29, but not required.
                  http://www.tucsonuni.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nurse Ben View Post
                    My ideal cranks would have three positions: 165, 150, 135.
                    Yeah, with pedals which swap between the positions in seconds

                    I think one of the things I'm actually taking away from this thread is that maybe I do need a 26er and a 29er muni, when I thought the consensus was that it was pointless having both, and I was trying to decide what size to build up a nice one in. Still tempted by the idea of a 650b though (if nothing else because it would be so rare).
                    Unicycling: great for your thighs.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nurse Ben View Post

                      When I rode with Killian at Antelope Island, I was borrowing a 29er with 165/137 cranks. At one point Killian swapped his cranks to the 137 position, a while later I did the same. I wouldn't say it was easier with shorter cranks, but I was feeling really "wonky" with long cranks after having been riding 150's for the past six months, so though the 137's were short they felt closer to normal.


                      My ideal cranks would have three positions: 165, 150, 135.
                      I really want to get some triple holes, I wish Kris would do some, but I'll live.

                      Side note: I found a few other hills out at the island that'd definitely warrant the 165's for climbing.
                      "I used to watch Highway Patrol whittlin' with my knife..." - NY

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                      • #12
                        It depends on how you ride the 29er compared to the 26. If you ride the same terrain and want the same leverage for climbing etc. going up one size generally gets you pretty close to the same gain ratio or "gearing"

                        eg: going from 137 to 150 or from 150 to 165

                        Last edited by saskatchewanian; 2013-05-16, 01:52 AM.
                        My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

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                        • #13
                          OMG! 75mm cranks with a G36 would be brutal! Has anyone ever tried that?
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                          • #14
                            Reminds me of that prank Terry Peterson did a while back with fake 40mm cranks and a 36er

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                            • #15
                              I used to use longer cranks on bigger wheels but I've come to use 145-150 for everything (26,29,36) off-road. There are times when more leverage would be nice but most of the time it isn't worth slogging the longer cranks.

                              650b could be a fun experiment (Vee Rubber's Trail Taker 2.4 looks nice) but I'm skeptical of the difference and I want a wider rim than what's available right now.

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