125mm cranks on a 36er - why didn't I do this earlier?

Today I had some spare time and decided to take the plunge and move from 150mm cranks to 125mm cranks on my 36er. And I was blown away - it’s amazing! I was able to freemount it straight away (which I attribute to my recent practice idling with 150mm, etc). It’s a bit harder to accelerate / decelerate the thing now, but manageably so. And it’s blisteringly fast now, just plain ridiculously fast. And due to the reduced wobble and the extra speed headroom it actually feels safer at high speeds than with 150mm cranks.

In short: I’m convinced, I’m impressed and it’s worth making the switch when you feel ready (if you don’t like it you can always switch back).

nb. I live somewhere pretty flat. I’ve tried it up some steep slopes, and it is quite hard work now :wink:

Thought the success report might be useful for some of the newer cokernauts we’ve seen of late - and I’m just so stoked that I just had to post something. It feels good like the move to 36" in the first place felt :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I also prefer 125mm cranks on a Coker … but freemounting is a nightmare!
nonetheless I will stick to those until I manage freemount.
for unknown reasons I feel shorter cranks are easier on big wheels.

Oh, I forgot to mention the numbers…

My cyclometer read out 21mph as my max speed for the day. Subsequent rides maxed out at about 18.3mph. Later on my cycle computer got bashed and we think it switched silently to kph mode… I think the 21.1 and 18.3 were measured before that happened - otherwise I wouldn’t be going especially fast.

I like the short cranks so much I might consider moving to even shorter ones. But for the moment, I do believe that 125mm cranks are a better choice for road riding and don’t need to sacrifice much in handling characteristics. They’re just waaaaaaaaaay awesome :slight_smile:


I think I’m going to buy myself a set of 125’s over the summer. I’m not sure that they’d be better on campus will all the hills and such…but for riding at home they should be fun. I can always switch between the two.

Your enthusiasm was very inspiring though. Thanks!

i don’t think you can truly experience the ‘cokerness’ of a coker until you ride it, experiencedly, with 127mm cranks.

caution: wipeouts get much more messy!

Yes Brian, but didn’t you also experience the ‘cokerness’ of 40mm cranks?? :astonished:

Well the first week I had my N36 I thought that the 150s felt overly long and gangly. I tried to stick with them as long as possible to give me time to get used to the rest of the unicycle, but after 2 weeks or so I had to put 125s on.

I don’t have a problem free-mounting (except towards the end of a long ride when I have jelly legs), and they’re fine up/down reasonable hills. I can’t idle on them, but then I couldn’t on 150s, and can’t on 110s on a 29" either.

Thanks for posting though. Having changed from 150s fairly quickly I have sometimes wondered what life would have been like if I had stuck with them.


That was my experience when I switched to 125s as well. I didn’t think I was a short crank kind of guy, but apparently I am.

You told me when I got it that it “would’nt feel like a coker” until I put 127mm cranks on. I wasn’t convinced at the time, but I am now, thanks :slight_smile:

Indeed! I used to be able to spin pretty fast on the 150s so I’ve already had a few nasty crashes to make me wary. I’m getting the hang of rolling out - your articule about it in uni #1 was helpful there :slight_smile:

When I talked to Roger during BUC one day, he said real men rode 110mm and that longer cranks were for sissies :wink:

I’m sure you’ll hear this again here when he reads your post :wink:

-Jedrzej (who hasn’t got the 36er yet, but is just about to
buy one and is torn between N36 w/steel rim and the
new qu-ax w/alloy rim)

Not only is it a nicer, smoother, faster, more fun ride, but I also find that long rides cause less saddle soreness. The thought of a 100km ride on 150mm cranks isn’t that great, but is no problem on 125mm.

And if you like 125mm, just try 114 or 110. Very very smooth, and very very fast.


When I first got my Airfoil wheelset I only had a set of 125’s to put on it, I had 150’s on the steel rim Coker prior. The 125’s were fine for flats and slight inclines but I didn’t like them at all for Seattle area hills (same thing for 102’s on the 29er).

For all-around Cokering I am very partial to my 140’s (and 110’s on my 29er).

Maybe when I’m in better conditioning I’ll try 125’s again but for now that’s this desk jockey’s opinion.


For the info. I will buy some !:smiley:

If you want a real challenge do what i do. Get 110s on your coker. This is what makes speed fun. I’m soon to be getting 102s for mine but I haven’t decided yet. :smiley:

It’s great fun :slight_smile:

I was glad that I’d had lots of practice on 150mm cranks beforehand. It got me good at spinning smoothly and got me used to piloting the big wheel. In fact, having had a bit of practice on it I can now actually idle with the 125mm cranks a bite

So don’t be put off if the short cranks feel tricky to start with; you can always go back to longer ones and you’ll probably get comfortable with it with enough riding (assuming that length suits your legs, I guess!).

I, too, was blown away when I made the 150mm to 125mm switch. The first couple of rides I felt like a superhero.

Since I’ve lately been doing all Muni training (w/150s on a 29er) I loved getting back on the Radial/125s for a road ride last Sunday. I mounted up and said “Ahhhhh”.

yes too true… longer than 110 is for sissies. Although the real men ride 89’s :slight_smile:


That was a ‘see if I can do it’ kinda thing, I have done no 100km rides with those things!

Brian is not just a MAN! but is nearing to god status with 40mm cranks. :slight_smile:


Yes indeed - as long as 114 still counts as the non-metric version of ‘110’ (or I’ll be in the sissy bracket most days) :wink:

If you are considering 100’s… you’ll probably be glad you did. Fast, and can still go up non-monsterous hills. I think 89’s hit the sweet spot for ‘really really fun’ on the flat - 80s started getting much less fun.