When you ride an e-bike, how you ride has as much to do with where you ride to determine your ideal e-bike set up. Of course what type of e-bike you ride will also influence your choices but just because you can roll a complete bike out of the shop doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with the choices someone else made about components, like cranks. Different crank lengths yield different pedaling sensations and ride qualities. To get the most out of riding your e-bike, it’s helpful to know what’s the best crank length for your e-bike, here are some things to consider when choosing e-bike cranks.
What are the different crank lengths?
Crank lengths range from 150 mm – 175 mm with the most common lengths somewhere between 160 – 175 mm. There’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence in favor – or against – one crank length as opposed to another but the conversation should always begin with “Well, it depends…” because one size neither fits all nor fits every situation.
If your e-bike is a…
Mountain bike that you plan to ride exclusively off-road, you’ve less need for a long crank with which to leverage power (that’s what the motor is for). A slightly shorter crank, like 165 mm instead of 170 mm, will yield optimal pedal clearance so that you won’t get hung up on obstacles going either up or downhill. If you go too short however, the result will be a smaller standing platform, which might feel a little sketchy on descents. Significantly shorter cranks will also require more rotations to match pace with your buddy who’s riding with longer cranks.
But don’t just take our word, E-Mountainbike Magazine tested three different crank lengths under controlled circumstances. Read the report here.
Urban e-bike that you use for commuting or riding around town, you can probably go with your customary crank length without incident. Assuming that you’re not going to radically alter your riding habits now that you’ve got on-demand power, then there’s probably little reason for you to change your crank length.
Cargo e-bike that’s outfitted to haul heavy loads, keep in mind that an e-bike motor is meant to assist you, which means you’ll need to do some of the work too. If you’re planning to carry big loads, it’d be a good idea to opt for a shorter crank for better power transfer between you and the pedals.
If you’re able to select your cranks at the point-of-purchase, that’s great news because you can take your e-bike home with your ideal crank length already installed. If you’re thinking about swapping out your cranks or getting an extra pair for special circumstances, first check the warranty conditions for your e-bike. Some e-bike motor suppliers will void the warranty if anything happens to the motor resulting from a DIY project. Your best bet is to have an authorized dealer install the cranks for you and you’ll avoid the hassle of a voided warranty.
Once you know what you’re after, Miranda’s range of e-bike cranks, spiders, chainrings, and chainguards can be purchased a la carte through Miranda’s online store. If you don’t know what you’re after, here’s a little advice: get exactly what you want to make your e-bike comfortable, safe, and to guarantee an enjoyable ride!
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