Multi hole cranks - crank length for a 36er

Do you ever really need 150mm cranks on a 36"? Im thinking about what to buy. I want to ride mostly with 110mm, but wonder what double cranks to get.
I ride on mostly flat roads on with the occasional hill.

Are you asking @JimT or more generally to all in this thread because, while I mostly ride my 36" with 125mm these days I certainly appreciate having 150mm. There are some very steep routes around here. I avoid routes that are 10% or above on 125mm cranks.

Its a general question of what people think. Im probably gonna get the VCX triple. But 100mm on a 36" sounds really short to me - maybe it isn’t.

If you want off-the-shelf triple cranks that are longer than 100 mm, you might want to consider options by mad4one (110-129-148mm or 117-138-159 mm).

I personally would mostly ride with sizes between 110 and 130 mm, but for certain extreme cases, it does not hurt to have longer cranks available :wink:

(the cranks in the video are bike cranks though)

Never tried any mad4one products. Are the fully compatible with nimbus an kh unicycles?

Yes, they are standard ISIS cranks

Cool. They are pretty expensive compared to VCX at 69€.

The 110-129-148mm sounds like a good option for a 36er. I’ve used 109mm for the last year and they are good for grades up to 12% but for longer or steeper grades or rough ground longer cranks may come in handy.

109mm on a 12%. That sounds tough. I thought I was reasonably strong at climbing, clearly I have work to do! :smiley:

They sell cranks with their own interface as well but as long as you choose their ISIS cranks you will be fine.

Mad4one are made with forged alloy 7075 T6
very expensive but … also strog strong strong … the Agile version are lighter and strong as the tecno.
We never seen one Tecno or Aglie crank broken.
You can have it in 14 colors :wink:
Prices are different for UE customer and NON UE customer.

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And he can also freemount like that :frowning:

I want to be like @JimT when I grow up. Is the secret to always eat all of your vegetables?


You also have to pay 30€ extra for a color change

The geezer can’t keep up with you! :grin: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Just kidding, Terry is awesome.

I’m fine for strength but do run out of wind on longer steep hills. There is a 0.4 mile (0.64 km) hill with the steepest grade of 12% near me, I can ride it but have to stop and catch my breath half way up. Of course I then have to remount on the steepest part.

Totally depends on what you ride. For road with no big hills, no, anything more than 136 is too long.
I’ve had the VCX 100/125/150 for a while now and like the range a lot.
For road/commuting I use 100 for speed or 125 for more relaxed cruising.
For off-road I use mostly 125 for XC and 150 some.
Last weekend I did a 3hr XC ride and started with 100s, then switched to 125s after too many uphills, and then switched to 150s as my legs got tired. When I first starting riding the 36, it took me a while to learn to mount with shorter cranks, but it’s mostly practice. I only ride <120 if I don’t have a lot of slow walking speed riding around pedestrians and know I won’t have to dismount a lot. That said, 100mm for flat road is definitely not too short for me. For road racing (which I’ve never done, I could see 89s being good).

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I’ve been learning to ride a 36er after a 35 year hiatus from riding unicycles and what I find right now is that 170mm cranks are what I prefer. I recently switched back to 150mm, which I had thought I preferred, only to find 170mm cranks gave me more control. 138mm? Fuggedaboutit! Maybe in another 3 months I’ll feel differently, but for right now as a beginner, 170 rocks.

It’d probably be a personal preference thing. Anywhere from speed and maneuverability, to hill climbing, to just ease of mounting. All things I would take into consideration based on the ride planned.

I definitely think 150mm cranks serve their purpose but as others have stated, they’ve managed hills on shorter lengths. I rode down 12% and up 8% grades on 125s (for whatever that’s worth) but of course to each their own.

I also, personally, see 150s as a good recovery length. Like any other training day, sometimes something longer diatance and more casual is just what the body needed after a harder previous ride. Not that you wouldn’t ride relaxed with 100mm but it’s definitely easier to get a little more excited the more opportunity you afford yourself. Like how difficult it is not to bite a Jolly Rancher after the first 2 minutes of opening it. I wouldn’t recommend getting them if it was only to ride recovery but if you’re buying the 3 hole set then I don’t see a problem with this.

150s are great for practicing free mounting the 36, if that’s something you or someone else would like to work on and the triple holed cranks definitely allows you to easily move back and forth when you feel the confidence and comfort start to increase. But as it was mentioned, long flat roads with the occasional hill on 150’s can feel like you’re running through water if you try to let loose.

So, I guess in conclusion. They are nice to jump around to when tired, riding up Everest, you’re learning some new stuff, or off-road for some extra mustard over those roots. But ride on them enough and I’m sure you’ll be glad to switch to something shorter when the chance presents itself.

Sidenote: Those mad4ones seem great, if nobody else takes anything out of this thread I’m glad I stumbled upon that tidbit for myself.

I’m currently running 170mm cranks on my 36er. Do I need them? Well, maybe not, but as a novice unicyclist riding a 36er they make things easier for me. I switched back to 150mm, rode 1.5 miles and then switched back again to 170mm. The difference in leverage going up and downhill was dramatic and I just felt more confident with the long cranks. In a month or so I’ll try it again and see what I think.

Riding with long cranks 150 and longer on a 36" are ok but it meaning you are fighting the wheel as you would a muni. To get the best out of a 36" is to go with the flow. It is the boss!

It is a totally different machine with shorter cranks. There is no messing around idling - they just go and are super smooth and flowing. The shorter cranks give you considerably greater speed when you get in to the grove with them. So if you are doing 10mph on 150mm, it will be 15mph with 100mm.

Climbing with the long cranks you are doing it stroke by stroke. The shorter cranks you need to spin to keep the wheel moving smoothly. 125mm is the sweet spot for many beginner/intermediate riders as it allows you to keep the spin up and lots of control. The other sweet spot is 110mm for many riders. It gives quite a bit of control while still giving amazing speed. I have had 89mm on mine for so long I can not go backwards.