Historically, and for years, bmx racing hovered around the physics of a 44/16 gear ratio powered by a set of 180mm length cranks.
And it seems that, through the evolution of bmx freestyle, we’ve either accepted that we don’t need that much torque, have adjusted for lower frames and different gear ratios, or maybe we just wanted to be different?
Regardless of the true catalyst, 175mm cranks have become freestyle’s unstated standard.
And that is completely ok, but, can you go lower in size with benefits?
Here’s a list of the advantages of shorter cranks:
1. Shorter cranks allow you to bunny hop higher. As a simple experiment, try jumping with your feet spread apart, then try with your feet closer together (as if being in a position for pedaling). You can always jump higher with your feet closer together.
2. Ambidextrous spinning: It’s much easier to 180 (360, 540 etc…) both ways with your feet closer together.
3. Lighter weight: The shorter the crank, the less steel used in its tubular construction.
4. More rigid/less flex: Shorter cranks should, in theory, last longer over time because there’s less leverage put upon them.
Profile has prepared for those options. We offer both our classic 19mm cranks as well as our 22mm Column Cranks in several sizes:
19mm: 125, 145, 160, 165, 170, 175, 177, 180, 182, 185, and 190mm.
22mm Column: 160, 165, 170, 175, and 180mm.
Here’s some personal feedback from our riders with their height and crank length.
We hope this helps.
Thanks for the support.
Crank length: 170mm
“I bought short cranks in highschool because Kerry Sayre told me it would help with flatland. Now it’s just comfortable. I used to get made fun of for having short cranks. Now people comment they’re not short enough. Oh, BMX.”
Crank length: 170mm
“I rock the Profile Column 22mm cranks in 170mm. I rode 175mm cranks for the longest time, then on a trip one day, Matt and I were having a discussion about shorter cranks and how they feel. Shortly after I ended up snagging a pair of 170’s and have been riding them since. For me the one thing I notice the most, is how responsive things are.“
Crank Length: 165mm
“165mm Column Cranks – I made the move on a recommendation from Matt Coplon. Shorter cranks help move my feet closer together which is a huge benefit with peg clearance vs. size 14 shoes. It also allows for more control over my bike in reference to spins/responsiveness.”