Does Changing Crankset Make A Difference? (Answered)


Are you devastated by the current quality of your rides? How does changing a crankset make a difference in ride quality and power output? Can it help overcome back and knee pains?

Changing your bike crankset can make a huge difference in your riding experience. It helps to alleviate knee and back pains while increasing general comfort. In addition, upgrading your crankset improves the power output per stroke.

Too long or too short cranks are as bad as faulty or broken ones.

It is one of the crucial parts of your bicycle that affects your ride quality.

Could you be in a hurry, here are some of the best cranksets you can go for.

Look 695 Lite Black Red Frameset- Does changing crankset make a difference?

Best Mountain Bike And Road Bike Cranks Found On Amazon

  1. BUCKLOS Square Taper Cranksets – Best MTB crank set for budget
  2. ALTUS CHAINSET FC-M311-L – Best for mountain biking beginners
  3. SHIMANO 105 FC-R7000 Crankset – Best compact Crankset for road bike
  4. SHIMANO M361 Hybrid Crankset – Best for general biking
  5. SHIMANO Dura-Ace 9100 Standard Crankset – Best 53/39T for racing

Is Crankset Worth Upgrading?

Today’s critical question is whether upgrading a bike’s crankset is worth it. As observed above, a crankset upgrade is all about performance improvement and comfort.

Changing out your crankset can improve performance and increase comfort. In addition, replacing your crankset can also save you money over time.

If you’re looking for an upgrade to your crankset, several options are available. For example, if your old crankset was made from steel, then you may want to consider replacing them with aluminum cranksets.

shanmashi Andeshunk 27-Speed Mountain Bike Crankset Hollow Integrated Chainring Bicycle Chainring Sprocket red

4 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Bike’s Crankset.

There are numerous reasons why you should consider upgrading your crankset. Some of them include:

1. To Make Your Bike Lighter

One advantage of upgrading your bike’s crankset is to make it shed any unnecessary weight. This will allow you to go faster on longer rides.

You can also use this opportunity to replace your worn-out crank arms with new ones. It will give your bike a fresh and modern look.

2. To Improve your Bike Performance

Another reason why you should consider changing the crankset is to improve your bike performance.

For example, if your old crank arms were not properly aligned, they could have caused friction between the chain and the sprocket teeth. This could result in wear and tear.

In such cases, you need to change your crankset to avoid these problems.

A cyclist on a road bike - Does changing crankset make a difference?

3. To Reduce Back Pain

If you suffer from back pain while cycling, you should consider changing your crankset to a new one and feel the difference.

This is because the problem lies within the position of your feet when pedaling. If your foot is too far forward, it can cause back pain.

However, if your foot is too close to the pedals, it can also lead to other issues such as less torque or leverage.

4. To Increase Comfort

Finally, another benefit of changing your crankset is to boost your comfort level.

As mentioned earlier, your feet are positioned at different heights depending on the length of your cranks.

Therefore, if your feet are closer to the ground, then it means that you must bend your legs more than usual during the upstroke.

This can be uncomfortable, especially during long rides.

So, if you’re looking to improve your biking experience, then you should consider upgrading your bike’s crankset.

When Should I Upgrade My Bike’s Crankset?

At times, the cranks aren’t the cause of poor ride quality. For example, if the bottom bracket is faulty and your crankset is in good shape, there is no need to upgrade. So when should you upgrade your bike’s crankset?

a) If the Cranks Are Too Long Or Too Short

The first thing you need to check is whether your cranks are too long or too short. If your cranks are not the best size, the best solution is to upgrade and get the most suitable size.

When the cranks are too long, you will have to overreach your saddle height. This can cause discomfort or injuries.

On the contrary, if your cranks are too short, then you may find yourself having to push down harder on the pedals when riding uphill. This can cause fatigue and leg aches.

In both cases, you shouldn’t hesitate to replace your crankset.

Broken crankset - Does changing crankset make a difference?

b) When the Cranks Are Broken

Sometimes, bike cranks can break due to various factors. In this case, you need to replace them immediately.

Your bike won’t last forever, but it is prudent to take good care of it. One way of caring for a bicycle is replacing broken components cranksets included.

Cranksets may break due to accidents or normal wear and tear.

If this happens, then you should visit a bike shop immediately for repairs. The sooner you do so, the better.

c) When The Threads Are Damaged

One of the most overlooked problems in bikes is thread damage. However, it can affect your ride quality.

For instance, if the threads are damaged, the bolts can become loose. This can cause the cranks to come off easily.

In addition, corrosion may also damage crank threads. This can cause the bolt head to loosen up.

You should always use a high-quality tool such as Eklind Allen key wrenches (View on Amazon) to prevent thread damage.

You can also use a torque wrench such as EPAuto torque wrench  (View on Amazon) to ensure that the bolts stay tight.

EKLIND 10111 Hex-L Key allen wrench - 11pc set

d) When The Cranks Are Bend Or Twisted

Another reason that would warrant a crankset upgrade is crank bending or twisting.

Crank bending usually occurs when a bike is involved in an accident or suffers a massive knock on the pedals.

Low-quality material cranksets will bend easily with regular use.

Crank twisting is a result of improper maintenance and use. All the same, it can happen after years of use.

In such a scenario, you need to replace the crankset.

What Makes A Good Crankset?

There are many things that go into making a good crankset. These include:

1. Quality Material

Quality materials are essential for any product. They are what makes a good crankset great.

2. High Tensile Strength

High tensile strength means that the material has enough strength to withstand heavy loads.

3. Low Weight

A low-weight crankset is more comfortable to pedal. It doesn’t weigh much and thus adds no extra strain to your legs.

4. Material Durability

Durability is another factor to consider. You don’t want a crankset that will fall apart after just a few months of use.

5. Easy Installation

Easy installation ensures that you have less trouble installing the crankset. It should be easy to install without causing any damage to the frame.

6. Smooth Pedaling

Smooth pedaling refers to how well the crankset works with your legs. If they are smooth and responsive, you will enjoy a better ride.

 7. Ideal Crank Arm Length

A good crankset shouldn’t be too long or too short. Ideally, it should be between 170mm and 180mm.

Are Longer Or Shorter Cranks Better?

Longer or shorter cranks aren’t necessarily better than the other. In fact, longer or shorter cranks can lead to problems.

Longer cranks are more likely to rub against the chain and chainstays. This can result in premature chain wear.

On the other hand, shorter cranks may not provide sufficient leverage for the rider. This can lead to poor performance, especially for mountain bikes.

A cyclist on a road bike closeup showing the bike and his legs.

What Is The Best Crank Length For Cycling?

The ideal crank arm length depends on the type of bike and the rider’s height. For example, if you ride road bikes, then you should choose a shorter crankset.

This is because road bikes require less leverage from their riders.

However, if you ride mountain bikes, it’s advisable to opt for a longer crankset. This is because mountain bikes require maximum leverage.

How To Choose A Crankset That Is Right For You?

Choosing the right crankset shouldn’t be a daunting task. There are so many options out there, but assuming that all riders have similar body proportions, we can use some math.

According to HIGHPATH Engineering, the ideal crank length for an adult rider should be 20% of effective leg length and 22% for children.

Rider’s Leg Length (CM)Adult’s Crank Length (MM)Children’s Crank Length (mm)
92.5185185
90180180
85170175
80160170

Are There Any Benefits To Using Shorter Cranks?

Shortening the cranks can improve your pedaling efficiency.

For example, if you shorten your cranks by 2cm, you will increase your cadence by 6rpm.

If you do this over time, it could mean that you burn fewer calories while riding. Some people prefer shorter cranks because they find them easier to pedal, and they rarely cause knee pains.

Also, there is more space between the torso and the upper leg during the up-stroke. This allows greater freedom of movement and improves comfort.

Does changing crankset make a difference? - Croder Spirit Crankset - Double Chainrings

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is It True That Shorter Cranks Are More Efficient?

Yes, shorter cranks are more aerodynamic. They also reduce the amount of energy wasted when moving the pedals through the air.

In addition, shorter cranks allow for more flexibility in terms of foot placement. This makes it comfortable to ride for long distances.

2. Do I Need Different Cranksets For Road And Mountain Bikes?

You need different cranksets depending on what kind of bike you ride.

Road bikes usually have smaller wheels compared to mountain bikes. Hence, they require less leverage from the rider.

Mountain bikes have larger wheels which mean that they require more leverage.

Therefore, you need a longer crankset for mountain bikes.

3. How Long Will A Crankset Last?

Cranksets can last for ten years or more, depending on the care given. Actually, some cyclists have stayed with one crankset for over 20 years. So long as the crank arms are tight, it’s possible to use the same crankset for long enough.

As a golden rule, you should replace cranksets when they are about 75% worn out.

Also Read: Can You Use A MTB Crankset On A Road Bike?

Conclusion – Does Changing Crankset Make A Difference?

There are no fast and hard rules when it comes to choosing the perfect crankset. You need to customize your bike for improved ride quality, especially on cranksets.

An excellent way to determine whether your crankset is the right fit for you is to measure your leg length.

Once you know how long your effective leg length is, you can get the right crankset for your needs by doing some simple math.

Bike Finest Team

We’re passionate about bikes and love sharing everything we learn about them. Bike Finest is your ultimate resource for learning everything about bikes and cycling or any information when trying to find the right bike for you.

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