I went out for a MUni ride today on ‘the tractor’ - that’s the 26 with 170mm cranks. The place I went to had steep hills and hard-baked mud with ruts and ridges. Challenging stuff, but ultimately rather monotonous.
And I noticed after half an hour or so that I really wasn’t enjoying riding the unicycle. In fact, I was disliking it. The cranks were just tooo looong. So yes, they gave more torque for control on steep descents - but at the expense of speed if I lose control on a short steep hill and want to ‘spin out’ at the bottom. But they seemed to give less ‘fine control’ when crossing the hard-baked ruts, and I was UPDing all over the place. And I really couldn’t identify any advantages on the UP hills - what I might be gaining in ‘maximum torque’ at one point in the pedal stroke, I was losing in smoothness and ‘sustained torque’.
In the end, I walked back to the car (a rare event for me), went home, put soem 150s on, and then went out and had a jolly good ride, with some difficult technical stuff, one or two steep descents, and a few short but steep ups that I was able to ‘rush’.
Don’t assume longer cranks will be better for MUni. Yesterday I had an hour’s fun off road on a 24 with 110s.
I’m 5’8" when I stand on a phone book, and I reckon 150 is my maximum useable crank length.
This is the second time I’ve reached this conclusion, but last time I put it down to inexperience. Now I know I have enough experience to be sure. So if there’s anyone in the UK who wants a nice set of used 170 alloy cranks for the cost of the postage, contact Mikefule@aol.com