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We now have black annodizing available for all models - for those who want or need to color coordinate with their trusty steed. Black annodizing will incur a $25 upcharge.

black powercranks

This page tries to answer some common questions that come up to help you get the choice that is right for you. This can be confusing. A more detailed description of the various products (and some pros and cons of each) can be found here.

"Practice makes perfect" except when you practice imperfectly

 

Help in selecting the Right PowerCranks

PowerCranks offer many alternatives and options! How can you know you are getting the right set for you?

There are several decisions you need to make to get the PowerCranks for you.

Decision 1. What kind of bottom bracket do I have or do I want to use?

Decision 2. Do I want or need the Dual mode (locking) option?

Decision 3. Do I want the entry, basic, X-lite, or "special" model?

We will take these in order.

What kind of bottom bracket do I have or need?

There are many different ways people attach bicycle cranks to bicycles. The attachment mechanism is commonly called the bottom bracket. PowerCranks make adapters for the three most common types available on typical road bicycles. We also make special adapters to work with external bearing or wide bottom brackets found on the latest high end racing bicycles. If you want to fit your bike please call or email as there are some special considerations.

The common Bottom Bracket Choices

PowerCranks must be mounted to a standard bottom bracket we make five types for the three most common standard bicycle bottom brackets and for two different ones frequently seen on high end exercise bikes. These choices are:

•tapered square - this has been around "forever". This is our standard BB type and if you have to buy a BB to adapt your bike this is what we would recommend. If you have to buy a TS BB a 110-112 length works best on most bikes.
•Shimano V1 octalink - Shimano has made two different versions of the octalink system, V1 and V2. We work with the V1 road/track version. This is a special order item.
•ISIS - designed to be a new "standard but not in widespread use.. This is a special order item.
•a heavy duty hexagon (six sides) used on the classic Lemond Revmaster. This is a special order item - includes special spider for the classic Lemond Revmaster.

ISIS exampleShimano exampletapered square example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The newer Bottom Bracket configurations

Newer high end racing bikes come with what are being called integrated crank sets. These configurations have no axle to mount the PowerCranks. Unfortunately, there are several "standards" that are out there. We are working hard to make adapters so the PowerCranks will work on these machines. We have adapters that will work on machines with external 24mm bearings and the BB90 (24mm) configuration. We are working on adapters for BB30 and BBright. Call for availability.

The common chain ring configurations

There are lots of chain ring configurations but PowerCranks are made to fit the most common road bike configuration which involves a 5 bolt pattern. Aside from this, our spider is a "one-size-fits-all" pattern if your chain rings have either a 110, 130, or 135 mm bolt circle diameter (BCD). So, don't worry about chain ring patterns. PowerCranks wil work with what most of you already have and if they don't you will have to get chain rings that fit. If you know that you need and want 110 mm pattern (commonly called compact chain rings) then you might ask for the 110 only spider. This will save a little weight and allows keeps your shifting more standard as to fit 110 mm chain rings on our one-size-fits-all spider requires some shims to move the small chain ring away from the spider so the chain can drop down. Call if you have questions.

Do I need or should I want the dual (locking) option?

In the past we have tried to talk people out of getting this option if they are interested in it (usually unsuccessfully). We felt it simply made it too easy to be lazy such that a lot of the benefits of the PowerCranks might be lost if the lock-out function was used too much. But, there are a few instances where the dual mode option is definitely good to have. Plus, there is something new on the horizon that might make it a good option for everyone. The known good uses for the dual mode option are:

So, why are we changing our thoughts on the Dual mode option that we might recommend them for everyone? Well, in 2009 the first 2nd generation power meter was announced. The product? Metrigear Vector pedals, a new cycling power meter that will actually give left and right pedal forces (and force direction) around the entire circle. We were very excited at this prospect because most PowerCrankers race on regular cranks and this product would allow them to see if and how their technique changes as they return to regular cranks. And, would allow the athlete to analyze technique and design training to optimize both technique and fitness. Unfortunately, technical challenges have prevented these from reaching the market as of yet. But, in the interim other manufacturers have announced other implementations of this idea but none of them have made it to market yet either. The first to make it to market is going to be iCranks, a modification of a pair of dual mode PowerCranks, expected for delivery in December, 2012. We expect these to be very powerful tool for the serious cyclist and you can read more about that here. You won't need iCranks to make the changes PowerCranks give you but, most of our customers still race on regular cranks and having the dual mode function on a bike with with the iCranks power meter one will be able to immediately see how much they "revert" when they go back to regular cranks or how much they revert after 4 hours on the bike compared to the first hour. Just because you can go out of an 4 hour ride on the PowerCranks doesn't mean one is fully adapted. This product will really let the PowerCranker know how well adapted they really are and how much more work there is to be done. It will be a great fine-tuning device and the dual mode (which is standard on the iCranks) will facilitate the benefits to the PowerCranker.

Entry, Basic, or Xlite, or "special" which will it be?

Will the Entry Level PowerCranks satisfy my needs?

The PowerCranks Entry level model is for the cost conscious athlete. There are two models, one fixed at 170 mm for the rider who knows they will be happy with a standard size crank and another incorporating 5 different crank lengths, 170, 150, 130, 110, and 90 mm which allows the rider to experiment with crank length and help the user to get pretty close to optimum crank length for them with a minimal cost investment. The main drawback to either of these models is the crank lengths vary in 20 mm increments such that the user cannot experiment to "fine-tune" their optimum crank length and the longest crank length available is only 170 mm.

Will the Basic PowerCranks satisfy my needs?

The "basic" PowerCranks are the traditional PowerCranks with all the options we have recently offered. The difference between these and the entry cranks are: 1. the dual mode option (the ability to turn them into regular cranks) is available. 2. The cranks are all adjustable in 2.5 mm increments and depending upon the model can be adjusted from 145 to 182.5 mm (for those who can't believe they will ever go any shorter than 145 mm) or from 90 to 182.5mm (for those who do not want to limit their options on how short they can go). The basic option should be right for most users who are looking for more than what the entry level crank can offer but are not concerned about weight in a training device. If the weight is going to keep you from using the cranks or you think you might race on them someday, either get the X-lites (if you don't need to go any shorter than 145mm) or special order lightweight racing cranks from us in the length you specify. If you can get past the weight issue and cost is not the controlling factor then, as a training tool, the basics are probably ideal for most. For more information on the pros and cons of the different PowerCranks models visit the product description page.

Do I need or want the X-lite or special racing PowerCranks?

Some people simply cannot stand to add all the weight of the basic PowerCranks to their bike, especially if they are thinking of racing on the product. For them we have the X-lites, where we have tried to remove as much weight as possible from the crank arm while keeping the ability to fine-tune experiment with crank length. Unfortunately, the X-lites only go as short as 145 mm. If you are small and feel like you will want to experiment with even shorter cranks than 145 mm while also keeping the weight down then you can special order shorter X-lites cranks with a range of 110-150 mm.

You don't need the racing model unless you have are well trained on PowerCranks, have decided what the best length for you is, and have decided you want the lightest cranks possible. Short racing cranks are our lightest PowerCranks by far. They are made to optimize lightness and stiffness at the length you determine. Available in lengths down to 70 mm. Not all sizes in stock.

Do I need or want the "Extra long" option?

This option is for the user with special needs. These are designed to meet the needs of the rehabilitation specialist who needs more flexibility than can be achieved with our short basic cranks. Or, to meet the needs of the sprinter (who needs especially strong hip flexor capability), or the very tall athlete (where "normal" crank lengths don't provide much hip flexor stress.

1. The option adds about 30 mm to the adjustability range at each end of our regular cranks. So you can make your basic or X-lite cranks longer or shorter than how they came. Even longer range adjustment can be made available through special order, of course (contact us)

2. This option makes it possible to easily go as long as 220 mm (and longer with a special order) for those who have special needs, such as very tall athletes where the standard crank length doesn't stress their hip flexors very much or the runner who needs to stress these muscles more than the typical cyclist.

3. This also makes is possible to go about 30 mm shorter than our basic cranks. You could go as short as 115 mm or 60 mm (depending upon the basic model you have). This is useful in helping small children fit an adult exercise bike sooner, if your children are anxious to start training like mom and dad.

Do I need the racing fixed cranks?

Most of our customers race on regular cranks but short regular cranks (especially those made light for racing purposes) are almost impossible to find. It does little good to do all this crank length testing if you can't find a suitable crank of the appropriate lenth to race on. For this reason we decided to fill this need for our customers who we have convinced to experiemnt with crank length and now need a strong, lightweight, small regular crank for racing. Call for availability and cost.

 

All models come with an unconditional, 90 day, satisfaction guarantee and a 2 year mechanical warranty.

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