starting out on a 36", crank size?


I’m heading to Florida in about a week, escaping from an already chilly Vermont. So, of course I’m gonna ride! :smiley:

I’ve been riding a KH 29 with 125 cranks. I have a Nimbus 36 ordered which comes with 150 cranks, but am also getting 125s for it, and having it shipped directly to Florida.

Is it too much to start out on a 36" with 125 cranks? Should I start with the 150 ?

I’m inclined to just go for it since the 125 is the long term goal but don’t know how difficult that might be?



if it comes with 150’s on it
start riding it like that and when you feel ready change it to the 125’s

well i jumped right into 125’s and have been pretty pleased, smooth and fast…

but recently I have been finding myself struggling with the steep hills and thinking I should buy a set of 150’s

based on your qualifying ride pictures… and story :slight_smile: you’ll be happy (and capable) with either set up.

You may even feel that the 125’s are a bit long, and drop to 114’s, like I have. By comparison, my 125’s seem way long now. But it’s perfectly fine to start out on the 152’s as well, but based on your experience with 125’s on your 29er, my guess is you’ll outgrow the long cranks really fast. They do come in very handy when riding coker MUni, and/or trialsy stuff like hopping and various mounts and tricks.

If you have both why not give them both a try, I don’t think you will have any troubles getting used to it with either length but you might as well do your first couple rides with the 150s so you can appreciate the switch to 125s :slight_smile:

Won’t it be cool to see a plethora of 36ers in NS nest spring :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

I started on 110s and think they are awesome.

With 150s I think you’ll have no trouble getting the feel of a 36". 125s and smaller will probably take a few rides to get used to.

Excellent idea! I try both, 150 on the left, and 125 on the right :sunglasses:

Yeah, I agree it will be a blast with a bunch of 36" riders all together (and I’ll be one of them by then :smiley: ).
I guess there will be a ride around town all at once before the race. That’s the photo I want…


What are you using now, those 40mm? :roll_eyes:

Hey Geoff, FL ain’t no VT. Go with the one two fives already. For you, those should be way too long - but you probably don’t have time to get shorter. I should qualify this - as long as you aren’t going into the panhandle of FL, go short.

depends where you ride, i learnt to ride a coker in heavy traffic, 150s were fairly essential for the first few months, then i swapped to 125s. If you’re o nice flat cycle paths wityh no traffic learning on 125s would be feasible.

Don’t stress too much over going short. You can go plenty fast on 150s and then move onto 125s whenever you feel like it. 150s also work well offroad; I rode with them for ages before I started going shorter.

When I bought my 36" I didn’t have anything longer than 114mm and never wanted anything longer, so I wouldn’t worry if I were you.

The first time I rode a 36" (someone else’s) it had 125 cranks. Like you, I was used to a 29" with 125’s (had tried 110’s too). The 125’s were nice on the 36" but a bit difficult to control. Not sure how long it would have taken me to get used to them, I rode it for just half an hour (during which control already increased noticeably).

I bought my N36 with 152, 140 and 125, and have worked my way down that list in the course of a few months. This winter sees little 36-ing. Next spring/summer I intend to go to 114 and possibly still shorter. I think this progression is nice, but that may just be me: I prefer to learn skills in small steps. It also keeps it interesting: every time you shorten the cranks, it is as if you gear up a little, more wind in your hair. For the record: there are virtually no hills where I live. (To be sure, there’s an area for MUni but I don’t ride the 36" there.)

After reading your coments it makes me feel stupid riding my KH29 with 150s I wish I had gone for the double hole cranks. Still there great for offroad and steep hills.

Don’t feel stupid. The 150s are a good offroad and climbing length for a KH29.

I’ve been riding a 36er for about year now, and my recent switch down to 110s has made rides on it way more enjoyable than ever before. The short cranks really make it come alive.

Regarding the original post, I would go with the 125s. That’s where I started, and I too had previous experience with 125s on my 29er. It’s not like Florida has any hills anyways. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for everyone’s input. :smiley: It’s great to have this pool of experience available for those of us with a lot to learn…

I think I’ll start out with 125 cranks.

  • it’s what I’m used to with the 29
  • Florida is flat
  • 125s are my goal in the long run, or maybe 110s one day…
  • I’ll probably be avoiding traffic so hopefully won’t be stopping too much
  • For me it’s easier to switch to bigger than to smaller
  • I can always switch to 150 if I’m having trouble

Yup… look up flat in the dictionary and you’ll see a map of Florida. Hope you find some good riding anyway. The weather at least is ideal this time of year.