I have recently switched from a kh26 to a kh29 as some of you may remember and I have been playing with crank length since the switch to try and find the perfect crank for me as I ride on some pretty big hills (it is a rolling up and down landscape hardly any flat a all).
I started with 170m as this gave a similar ratio as my 145mm or my kh26 now this gave a godlike hill climbing ability but I was disappointed that is was so slower with the massive circles I was having to turn.
I have now done some 20 mile rides on 137mm and the Uni flys along! What I was suprised at was how well it climbs, it is hard work but th big wheel rols over everything and the shorter cranks keeps your speed up so you carry the momentum better.
Also standing up and slogging up the hill is incredible, it is so much easier and faster, the shorter cranks are being pumped in the same sort of start stop cadence as on my kh24 and then kh26 but now each stroke propels me forward so far you fly up the hill, also the short cranks mean you don’t more about so much so the uni feels more stable so it is easier to balance (and combined with the roll over effect of the big wheel it is pretty epic).
There is a loss of control and I am having to brake far more (I am increasing my rotor size as the 160mm is struggling and so is my braking finger) as I can’t stop on a button with just my legs like I used to and hill starts are tricky as you try and pick up momentum and hit a big bump etc (mounting is far easier I find(
Like I said it is hard work and the short cranks make you earn the advantages but they really do feel good and the 137mm cranks have taken me buy surprise.
My Uni is almost perfect