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Crank length

Bobs Biltong

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What would be correct crank length for a person 185cm tall?


Reason i am asking; did the 94.7 with a friends bike that was a 52cm bike with 171crank; found me cramping even the bike set up was as per normal ,except for the crank length ( quad cramps ).


Would this cramping be because of the smaller crank length?

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The bike overall is to small for you so your whole set up is compromised . If crank length must be considered a set of 175mm cranks for your height should be correct .  Your ideal frame size should be between a 54 to 58 cm (medium ) .The top tube length will also be longer , so if you have a longer upper body this will then help getting your position better set up  . Stem length and saddle position are critical as well .

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Crank length would not make you cramp. and you either used a 170mm or a 172.5mm.


Bike was too small for your length in the first place, so your saddle was probably too low.

Cleat setup could also be a cause or even fitness.


Track sprinters use cranks as short as 160mm, no matter how tall they are. On a MTB your standard length is 175mm.


If you like spinning and keeping your cadence up, try shorter cranks, if you like a lower cadence then try longer.


How tall you are has the least amount of influence. 

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@185 I doubt you should be on a 52cm bike to start.

But since that isn't the topic in question, 175 cranks would probably be a good starting point at your height.

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I’ve been down this rabbit hole before. It seems that there are so many expert opinions, and there are so many variables to bike setups. Find out what works for you. A good starting point is 175 cranks (they’re pretty much standard on a suitable sized bike for you). At 185cm, a 52cm bike is tiny for you.. I believe Marco Pantani used 180 cranks when riding in the mountains, and he was less than 6ft. There’s no right answer to your question, but there are standard norms.

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Bike size was too small and probably why you cramped.  At 185cm you should be looking at a 58 or even a 60.  Go have a bike fit assessment done to get idea of size.


As for crank length it makes very little difference, the standard on most road bikes is 172.5mm so would stick to that size for ease of resale of bike or if upgrading the components at a later date.


Your cramping would have been down to a bad bike setup on a bike that was too small for you.

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