Sunday, February 8, 2009

What's in the stand...

One of the people in the bike industry I respect is Lennard Zinn. I like to approach the bicycle from a technical stand-point. Lennard's tech column in VeloNews and on velonews.com are among my must reads whenever they come out. There is always something I learn from his tech columns.

It was pretty cool when his bike came in the shop. Not only was it a Zinn brand frame, but it was also Lennard's bike at one time. It's current owner bought it from Lennard a while back. It was in to be checked over after being involved in a crash involving a brother and black ice out on Hicks Valley Rd. Luckily the Zinn had no major or really even minor damage from the crash. But it got a thorough going over and left with an excellent bill of health.

One of the things that Lennard is known for is custom extra long cranks. He advocates crank lengths that are appropriate for leg length. The lengths he offers begin where other manufacturers leave at 180mm all the way up to 220mm. According to his sizing formula, I should be on 210mm long cranks. I'm on 175's right now.

Now some interesting (at least to me) information on the bike that came in. Its rider was at least 6'5" tall - maybe 6'6". I know this because at 6'3", I had to look up at him. The bike's seat height was 4mm lower than where I have my seat height set, but the top tube length of the bike was pretty stretched out at about 63.5cm (my top tubes are in the 60cm range). When I finished the bike I took it out for a test ride. Interesting to note was that on the brief ride, I really couldn't notice that the cranks were a full 20mm longer than what I usually ride. Made me want to put more thought into considering longer cranks. Might be time to start saving pennies to try out a set of extra-long cranks.


(What's playing: Pine Valley Cosmonauts Bad News)

6 comments:

Head Honcho said...

Surly Mr. Whirly's in 185. Really, do get them, and do try them out Mike. I've been on 180's for the longest time, and moving up to the 185's on the SS does feel good.

63.5cm tt? dang. I thought my 61tt was long.

blackmountaincycles said...

That would mean I would actually have to get my single-speed out and ride it. I've been on my ss twice in the past year. Might be time...

Anonymous said...

Hey! Looks like you took the back wheel off the bike in the background. What happened? A flat? Just curious, not complaining.

blackmountaincycles said...

Good eye. Naw, nothing wrong - just took the wheels off when I cleaned the bike and wheels. Cleaning the bike is easier with the wheels off.

Ben said...

A good friend has a set of those cranks if you are interested. I'm pretty sure that they are 210's. He tried them on his Zinn Magnesium bike, but couldn't get used to them. The bike then cracked, so he had the replacement bike built for "normal 180mm's." I'm sure they'd be cheap if you wanted to try them.

blackmountaincycles said...

Thanks Ben. I'm not sure how those cranks would work with a frame that has about 70mm of drop. I think I read that the Zinn frames that are designed for these cranks have a drop in the 30mm range.