FAQ2018-11-29T15:38:38+00:00

FAQs

Answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Please browse our FAQ to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answer, please contact us.

  • Custom Cranks
  • Bike Fit
  • Custom Bikes
  • Big and Tall
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  • 1. Does Zinn offer full bikes?
     

    Yes. Most of the bikes we sell are complete. We post frame pricing on our site for the custom bikes, and then we work up custom quotes that itemize all of the parts for your bike. We can send you multiple quotes so that you can see a range of pricing options. We also offer non-custom bikes that come as complete bikes in set sizes. All custom bikes can be sold as a frame only or as a complete bike. We are also happy to do partial builds if you have some of the components you need. For example, if you already have a set of wheels you like, we can quote you on the rest of the bike. Click here to request a quote for a bike.

    More
  • 2. Do you ship internationally, and how much is shipping?
     

    Yes, we ship bikes, cranks, components, and clothing anywhere in the world. We have a $200 minimum order for shipping outside of North America. Shipping charges vary depending on the country and the size of the box we are shipping. Please email us for a better estimate of shipping costs for you.

    More
  • 3. How do I know what crank length to order?
     

    For most road riding, we recommend a length between 20.5% and 21.6% of a rider’s inseam. (Inseam is measured in bare feet from the ground up to the top of a level broomstick pulled up firmly into the crotch.) This is based on many years of experience of selling custom cranks. A shorter length is often called for on a mountain bike, cyclocross bike, or Triathlon/TT bike (see below). For most track events, a shorter crank is also advisable.

    More
  • 4. Why does Zinn make cranks in such a wide range of lengths?
     

    Because people range so much in size!When I first got into riding seriously, I got the longest cranks I could (180mm), because it made sense to me that with my 6’6” height I should have the biggest frame, widest handlebar, longest stem and longest crank available. That logic after all held true with clothing, beds, cars, etc., so why not with bikes?Later, when I got my first really nice racing bike, a Masi equipped with 177.5mm cranks, I noticed that when I switched those cranks to 180mm, I immediately started dropping the guys I’d been climbing evenly with. The next year (1980), when I was first on US National Cycling Team and was having my bike fit checked, Edward Borysewicz (“Eddie B.”), the US head coach at the time, told me I needed considerably longer cranks yet. My quest for cranks longer than 180mm began then and never stopped until I could offer proportional-length cranks for tall (and short) people.Little kids’ bikes have small wheels and short cranks as well as small frames, stems and handlebars because it works best that way. A small child is so inefficient as a rider that he or she cannot get the bike going if it is not close to optimally efficient for them in terms of sizing. Remember that, besides being new to balancing on a bike, a kid’s bike is much heavier relative to their weight than your is to your weight.

    As the child grows, kids’ bikes available to them have increasingly longer cranks and larger wheels, as well as bigger frames, stems and handlebars.

    Given that, doesn’t it seem a bit strange that when we become adults our bikes all have the same wheel size and essentially the same crank length? Are we all suddenly optimally suited to the same crank length and wheel size? Nobody questions that there needs to be a wide range of frame sizes, stem lengths, and handlebar widths to fit everybody. However, you can count on your riding buddies and bike shop salespeople questioning it if you want to ride a crank outside of the given 5mm range from 170-175mm.

    Many of the standards in the bike industry are based on traditions that started pre-WWII (even pre-WWI) when people, at least in first-world countries, were smaller on average than they are now. And it also stands to reason that the last thing crank manufacturers, distributors, and bike shops want is the expense in tooling and inventory of as many crank sizes as there are bike frame sizes (or shoe sizes!).

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  • 5. Is there a lead time for cranks or do you keep them in stock?
     

    We try to keep our ZIS, Andel, and JK cranks in stock, but sometimes we sell them faster than we can make or order them, and we run out. If we don’t have the crank in stock, you will have to wait. How long depends on the stage of production at the time of your order. We will give an estimate of when the cranks will be ready, but the estimate is not a promised date. We can’t promise delivery dates of anything until it is actually in hand. There are many steps in the process that can cause unexpected delays, so predicting exact completion dates is impossible. What we can guarantee, is that the cranks you order will be of the highest quality in the world, and they will work great and look great on your bike. Zinn square taper cranks are made to order and take from 6-18 weeks to complete.

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  • 6. How will the proportional length cranks affect my cadence?
     

    Riders who already ride lower cadences often find no cadence change when going from, say, 180mm to 205mm; they instead just report a straight increase in speed, and, usually, comfort as well. However, riders who tend to keep a cadence of 90RPM or higher will find that to be unsustainable with a longer crank.
    As Jan Ullrich demonstrated when attempting to ride with Armstrong’s cadence, turning, longer, bigger, heavier legs around quickly is actually quite inefficient. With longer cranks moving those legs in a bigger circle, this effect is of course magnified. And the longer crank already provides the reduced peak force and hence reduced lactate buildup that high cadence is intended to do, so you gain efficiency as well as leverage even when pedaling at a lower cadence with the longer crank.

    More
  • 7. Do longer cranks cause knee pain?
     

    Our customers without a history of pedaling-related knee pain using cranks in the 20.5%-21.6% of inseam length range almost universally report no new knee pain with the longer cranks. We are choosing a length that is in keeping with the length that champion cyclists use relative to their leg length, so your knee and hip angles will be no tighter than theirs, and your percentage of extension and flexion of your muscles will also be no greater. So mechanically, there is no reason you’d have more knee pain.Lower cadence is often associated with knee pain, but that is without changing crank length. If you pedal at a lower cadence but have more leverage, the peak load can be the same. If you pull a stuck nail out of a board with short claw hammer, you feel more strain in your arm than if you pull it out using the claw on the end of a long crowbar.

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  • 8. Will longer cranks cause clearance issues in corners?
     

    Clearance depends on the crank, the frame, the pedals, the rider’s technique, and the type of event/ride. In the ideal situation, the frame is built to fit both the rider and the crank for the type of riding they do; then the bottom bracket height can be adjusted to provide the desired pedal clearance. At Zinn Cycles, we generally build the bottom bracket on a frame getting a 200mm crank 25mm (one inch) higher than the BB of a frame made for 175mm cranks.The longest crank we recommend for somebody using a stock frame is 200mm, and only if they are not even thinking of racing criteriums. In a criterium, more power is worthless if you open a gap to the next rider in every corner that you have to close at great expenditure of energy because you had to restart pedaling later to avoid hitting your pedals on the road. I think it inadvisable to race criteriums on a stock bike with a standard (265mm) bottom-bracket height using any longer than a 175mm or 180mm crank.We do have successful tall masters racers competing on our cranks up to 195mm who must use a stock frame due to sponsor constraints. But they adjust their riding style and choice of events accordingly.

    For anybody who has a question about whether they’ll have enough pedaling clearance if they buy a crank from us, we recommend taping a styrofoam block the thickness of the length difference they are considering to the bottom of their pedals and notice if or when they touch it to the road.

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  • 9. What other changes are needed when converting to proportional length cranks?
     

    The reason stock big frames have super-shallow seat angles is not because the bike handles better with the rider’s weight cantilevered out over the rear wheel, causing them to pull wheelies on steep climbs, but because the cranks are not proportional in length the length of the rider’s legs. In order to get the knee over the pedal spindle with a crank that is disproportionately short for the rider, you have to have a shallow seat angle to move the saddle further back. If the cranks were proportional to the leg length, the seat angle could be standard. On a custom bike, it would only be based on the ratio of thigh length to lower leg length (longer thigh, shallower angle, shorter thigh, steeper seat angle).The same holds true for tiny frames with super-steep seat angles, of course. Steep seat angles are used to get the knee over the pedal with a stock crank that is overly long for the rider, and to avoid the toe hitting the front tire. With a proportional-length crank, a small rider could also ride a normal seat angle without having the knee way behind the pedal, and pedal-overlap issues would be reduced as well, hence no need for a steeper seat angle to pull the crank away from front wheel as well. And then their bars would not need to be as high, because their knees would not be coming up so high hitting their chest and tugging on their hamstrings.

    More
  • 10. Should I use the same crank length on a road, MTB, Cross, Gravel, and TT bike?
     

    It depends.

    1. Unlike most road riding, which is more steady state with consistent cadence for long periods, thus making full use of the long crank, mountain biking in technical terrain and cyclocross racing involve frequent drastic changes in cadence. Spinning the cranks back up to speed is better accomplished with a shorter crank, while powering up long climbs is best accomplished with a longer one. So I try to strike a balance between those requirements and look for crank length more like 20-21 percent of inseam length for the mountain bike or ‘cross bike (as opposed to 20.5-21.6 percent of inseam for a road bike).Of course, a the same crank length as the road bike works well on a mountain bike or ‘cross bike that is used for riding on dirt roads and relatively smooth trails.

    2. I designed the bottom bracket height on Zinn full suspension bikes for a 200mm crank. On a custom hardtail or a custom full suspension bike, I can adjust this, but I recommend against using any longer than a 205mm on our stock-sized full-suspension 29ers for anyone who rides them in technical terrain, to avoid banging the pedals on rocks frequently. Plenty of people use 210mm cranks on our full suspension bikes but generally they are riding less rocky terrain.

    3. A stock mass-produced mountain bike will probably not have a high enough bottom bracket to ride on technical trails with a crank any longer than 180mm, but some may work okay with up to a 190mm.

    4. Triathlon or TT riding: Most triathletes or Time Trialers may choose to ride a crank closer to the lower end of the recommended range for their leg length to achieve a more aero position. A shorter crank means the knee doesn’t come up as high, so you can get your body down more. A tall rider will still benefit from cranks longer than the “industry standard” of 165mm to 175mm, but most will choose something less than the 21.6% of inseam calculation. So, for example, if your ideal crank length based on our formula is 210mm, you may step down to a 195mm or 200mm on a Time Trial bike.

    More
  • 11. Which of your cranks will work on my road bike?
     
    1. ZIS model cranks are designed and made here at Zinn Cycles in Colorado. We have the ZIS-2, ZIS-3, and ZIS Pro Roadcranks available for road, cross/gravel, and triathlon bikes. We put all of our crank testing and R&D into these cranks. They use a Sram GXP spindle design, and therefore will work on every different bottom bracket shell that is available. You just need the right bottom bracket and you will be all set. Below is a list of the different bottom bracket standards and a link to the appropriate bottom bracket needed to fit the ZIS cranks onto your bike. ZIS cranks are available in lengths from 190mm to 215mm for road bikes with single or double chainrings.
      • BSA (English threaded) - This is the most commonly used bottom bracket shell and is typically either 68mm wide for road bikes and 73mm wide for mountain bikes. Click herefor road bottom bracket and click herefor a mountain bike.
      • Below are links to the necessary bottom brackets to use ZIS cranks on any of the different BB standards. If you don’t see yours, just ask.
    2. The Andel brand that we carry is made in Taiwan, so much cheaper, but a great quality crank. The Andel cranks use the same BB system as Shimano Hollowtech cranks, which is a 24mm spindle. These will work on any bike frame on the market with the appropriate bottom bracket.
    3. Our square taper cranks are available in the most range of lengths and chainring bolt patterns, and they will work on any bike with a threaded BSA or Italian threaded bottom bracket. They are compatible with JIS square taper bottom brackets, not the Campagnolo system. Road double cranks need a 68x113mm BB. Road Triples need a 68x122mm bb. Mountain Bikes need a 73x127mm bb.
      • Click herefor LONG square taper cranks for riders with long legs.
      • Click herefor SHORT square taper cranks for riders with short legs
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  • 12. Which of your cranks will work on my mountain bike?
     
    1. ZIS Pro MTB model cranks are designed and made here at Zinn Cycles in Colorado. We put all of our crank testing and R&D into these cranks. They use a Sram GXP spindle design and Sram removable spider or direct mount chainring system and therefore will work on every different bottom bracket shell and every different chainring configuration that is available on current bicycles. You just need the right bottom bracket and chainrings and you will be all set. Below is a list of the different bottom bracket standards and a link to the appropriate bottom bracket needed to fit the ZIS Pro MTB cranks onto your bike. ZIS cranks are available in lengths from 190mm to 215mm for road and mountain bikes with single or double chainrings.
      • BSA (English threaded) - This is the most commonly used bottom bracket shell and is typically either 68mm wide for road bikes and 73mm wide for mountain bikes.  click herefor bottom brackets for BSA frames.
      • Below are links to the necessary bottom brackets to use ZIS cranks on any of the different BB standards. If you don’t see yours, just ask.
    2. Our square taper mountain bike cranks are available in the most range of lengths and chainring bolt patterns, and they will work on any bike with a threaded BSA or Italian threaded bottom bracket. They are compatible with JIS square taper bottom brackets. Mountain Bikes need a 73x127mm JIS square taper bb.
    3. The JK mountain bike crankswe carry use an ISIS bottom bracket, which requires a BSA threaded bb shell. JK cranks have a 64/104bcd chainring bolt pattern and can be set up with 1, 2, or 3 chainrings. We carry 160mm, 190mm, 200mm, and 210mm. Other lengths from 130mm to 220mm can be special ordered and placed with our next inventory order. JK cranks are only going to work on a bike with a standard BSA threaded bottom bracket shell. These can be used for Fat Bikes with 100mm bottom bracket shells as well.
    4. For short mountain bike cranks, we carry the Andel Mountain Bike Cranksin 140mm and 150mm. These cranks have a standard 64/104 bcd spider, which means they can be set up with one, two, or three chainrings, depending on your drivetrain. These cranks use a Shimano Hollowtech BB system. These will work on any bike frame on the market with the appropriate bottom bracket.
    More
  • 13. If a switch to a longer crank, do I need to change anything with my stem?
     

    If you want to keep the same drop from saddle to bars, then you'll need to lower your stem somehow. Either by flipping the stem to angle down, or removing some spacers. But many tall guys already have too much saddle to bar drop, so the lowering of the saddle is actually helping reduce that drop and makes riding more comfortable.

    More
  • 1. How do I know what crank length to order?
     

    For most road riding, we recommend a length between 20.5% and 21.6% of a rider’s inseam. (Inseam is measured in bare feet from the ground up to the top of a level broomstick pulled up firmly into the crotch.) This is based on many years of experience of selling custom cranks. A shorter length is often called for on a mountain bike, cyclocross bike, or Triathlon/TT bike (see below). For most track events, a shorter crank is also advisable.

    More
  • 2. Do I have to come to Boulder to get fitted for a custom bike?
     

    You do NOT have to come to Colorado to be fitted. You are always invited to come here, but it is not necessary. 90% of our customers do not come here for a fitting. The majority of our customers purchase without a test ride, and are always very happy with their purchase. We have lot's of fitting options including DIY or using a local bike fitter in your area. What we typically do is have you take your own measurements based on the instructions from this page: MEASUREMENTS  Just be sure someone can help you with the measurements for accuracy. Also, I suggest doing each measurement 3 times so you know if you are getting the same answer each time. Lennard will analyze your measurements and advise on any of the non-custom options, or design a custom bike for you. He is really good at picking out errors in the measurements, so if something is done incorrectly, he will notice. We’ve only had one or two instances where the customer got the bike and the fit wasn’t perfect. Each of those instances resulted in small adjustments such as a shorter stem, or different length cranks. We have been fitting customers for bikes remotely for over 30 years, and you can be pretty sure that if we send you a bike, it’s going to fit very well, and you will love the way it rides and performs.

    If you want to work with a bike fitter in your area, we are happy to work with them to design your bike. Click here for a list of fitters that we have worked with in the past.

    We do guarantee the fit of our custom bikes. So if we build you a custom bike that doesn’t fit, we’ll make you another one. The non-custom bikes, you can return for a 10% restocking fee if the bike doesn’t fit and it is still in new condition.

    You are, of course, welcome to come to Boulder and test ride bikes and have Lennard measure you personally. That is definitely the absolute best way to do it, but most people don’t have the time to do that. It always works out very well.

    More
  • 3. Do I have to be tall to get a Zinn Bike?
     

    No. We build bikes for everyone. No other company in the world can truly outfit a wider range of rider sizes. We can make tiny bikes with 650c wheels, or gigantic bikes for 7 foot tall basketball players. We specialize in building bikes for those who may not be able to find a stock bike with the correct geometry. We have great options for short people, tall people, average sized people, and those with different proportions. We also do a lot of specially designed bikes for cyclists with hip, back, joint, or medical issues that require specific geometry.

    More
  • 4. What other changes are needed when converting to proportional length cranks?
     

    The reason stock big frames have super-shallow seat angles is not because the bike handles better with the rider’s weight cantilevered out over the rear wheel, causing them to pull wheelies on steep climbs, but because the cranks are not proportional in length the length of the rider’s legs. In order to get the knee over the pedal spindle with a crank that is disproportionately short for the rider, you have to have a shallow seat angle to move the saddle further back. If the cranks were proportional to the leg length, the seat angle could be standard. On a custom bike, it would only be based on the ratio of thigh length to lower leg length (longer thigh, shallower angle, shorter thigh, steeper seat angle).The same holds true for tiny frames with super-steep seat angles, of course. Steep seat angles are used to get the knee over the pedal with a stock crank that is overly long for the rider, and to avoid the toe hitting the front tire. With a proportional-length crank, a small rider could also ride a normal seat angle without having the knee way behind the pedal, and pedal-overlap issues would be reduced as well, hence no need for a steeper seat angle to pull the crank away from front wheel as well. And then their bars would not need to be as high, because their knees would not be coming up so high hitting their chest and tugging on their hamstrings.

    More
  • 5. Should I use the same crank length on a road, MTB, Cross, Gravel, and TT bike?
     

    It depends.

    1. Unlike most road riding, which is more steady state with consistent cadence for long periods, thus making full use of the long crank, mountain biking in technical terrain and cyclocross racing involve frequent drastic changes in cadence. Spinning the cranks back up to speed is better accomplished with a shorter crank, while powering up long climbs is best accomplished with a longer one. So I try to strike a balance between those requirements and look for crank length more like 20-21 percent of inseam length for the mountain bike or ‘cross bike (as opposed to 20.5-21.6 percent of inseam for a road bike).Of course, a the same crank length as the road bike works well on a mountain bike or ‘cross bike that is used for riding on dirt roads and relatively smooth trails.

    2. I designed the bottom bracket height on Zinn full suspension bikes for a 200mm crank. On a custom hardtail or a custom full suspension bike, I can adjust this, but I recommend against using any longer than a 205mm on our stock-sized full-suspension 29ers for anyone who rides them in technical terrain, to avoid banging the pedals on rocks frequently. Plenty of people use 210mm cranks on our full suspension bikes but generally they are riding less rocky terrain.

    3. A stock mass-produced mountain bike will probably not have a high enough bottom bracket to ride on technical trails with a crank any longer than 180mm, but some may work okay with up to a 190mm.

    4. Triathlon or TT riding: Most triathletes or Time Trialers may choose to ride a crank closer to the lower end of the recommended range for their leg length to achieve a more aero position. A shorter crank means the knee doesn’t come up as high, so you can get your body down more. A tall rider will still benefit from cranks longer than the “industry standard” of 165mm to 175mm, but most will choose something less than the 21.6% of inseam calculation. So, for example, if your ideal crank length based on our formula is 210mm, you may step down to a 195mm or 200mm on a Time Trial bike.

    More
  • 6. If a switch to a longer crank, do I need to change anything with my stem?
     

    If you want to keep the same drop from saddle to bars, then you'll need to lower your stem somehow. Either by flipping the stem to angle down, or removing some spacers. But many tall guys already have too much saddle to bar drop, so the lowering of the saddle is actually helping reduce that drop and makes riding more comfortable.

    More
  • 1. Does Zinn offer full bikes?
     

    Yes. Most of the bikes we sell are complete. We post frame pricing on our site for the custom bikes, and then we work up custom quotes that itemize all of the parts for your bike. We can send you multiple quotes so that you can see a range of pricing options. We also offer non-custom bikes that come as complete bikes in set sizes. All custom bikes can be sold as a frame only or as a complete bike. We are also happy to do partial builds if you have some of the components you need. For example, if you already have a set of wheels you like, we can quote you on the rest of the bike. Click here to request a quote for a bike.

    More
  • 2. Do you ship internationally, and how much is shipping?
     

    Yes, we ship bikes, cranks, components, and clothing anywhere in the world. We have a $200 minimum order for shipping outside of North America. Shipping charges vary depending on the country and the size of the box we are shipping. Please email us for a better estimate of shipping costs for you.

    More
  • 3. How much is a bike frameset?
     

    Click here to view pricing for all of our custom frames. Please email or call us to discuss complete bike pricing. There are so many options for components so we prefer to discuss the options and build a custom quote just for you.

    More
  • 4. Do I have to come to Boulder to get fitted for a custom bike?
     

    You do NOT have to come to Colorado to be fitted. You are always invited to come here, but it is not necessary. 90% of our customers do not come here for a fitting. The majority of our customers purchase without a test ride, and are always very happy with their purchase. We have lot's of fitting options including DIY or using a local bike fitter in your area. What we typically do is have you take your own measurements based on the instructions from this page: MEASUREMENTS  Just be sure someone can help you with the measurements for accuracy. Also, I suggest doing each measurement 3 times so you know if you are getting the same answer each time. Lennard will analyze your measurements and advise on any of the non-custom options, or design a custom bike for you. He is really good at picking out errors in the measurements, so if something is done incorrectly, he will notice. We’ve only had one or two instances where the customer got the bike and the fit wasn’t perfect. Each of those instances resulted in small adjustments such as a shorter stem, or different length cranks. We have been fitting customers for bikes remotely for over 30 years, and you can be pretty sure that if we send you a bike, it’s going to fit very well, and you will love the way it rides and performs.

    If you want to work with a bike fitter in your area, we are happy to work with them to design your bike. Click here for a list of fitters that we have worked with in the past.

    We do guarantee the fit of our custom bikes. So if we build you a custom bike that doesn’t fit, we’ll make you another one. The non-custom bikes, you can return for a 10% restocking fee if the bike doesn’t fit and it is still in new condition.

    You are, of course, welcome to come to Boulder and test ride bikes and have Lennard measure you personally. That is definitely the absolute best way to do it, but most people don’t have the time to do that. It always works out very well.

    More
  • 5. What is the lead time for a custom bike or frame?
     
    Typical lead times: To give you an idea, the typical lead times vary depending on what type of frame you are getting. A titanium frame usually takes us around 6-8 weeks to have ready to ride. A steel or carbon fiber frame normally takes about 3-6 months. Full Suspension bikes, if not in stock, can take 4-8 months to complete as well. We do not give completion dates until the frame is ready to assemble or ship. ETAs are only estimates. We specialize in building the highest quality, fully custom bicycles and products, and when you get your bike, you will, no doubt, be impressed with the quality, workmanship, fit, and ride quality. Our frames are built to order, one at a time, in the order that deposits were received. The only thing we can guarantee, is that it will be worth the wait. Speed is not our goal (except when riding our bikes). Our number one goal is to build you the perfect bike. We want it to be perfect when you get it, even if it takes extra time. You are welcome to send us an email for updates, questions, component changes, or pay us a visit if you are in the area. Otherwise, we will be in contact with you to discuss component details and then to let you know when the bike is ready. We do NOT give exact ship dates until the frame is finished. At that point we can set an exact date for assembly and shipping. Assembly and shipping usually occur within one week of frame completion unless we are experiencing a back up in assemblies.
    More
  • 6. Do I have to be tall to get a Zinn Bike?
     

    No. We build bikes for everyone. No other company in the world can truly outfit a wider range of rider sizes. We can make tiny bikes with 650c wheels, or gigantic bikes for 7 foot tall basketball players. We specialize in building bikes for those who may not be able to find a stock bike with the correct geometry. We have great options for short people, tall people, average sized people, and those with different proportions. We also do a lot of specially designed bikes for cyclists with hip, back, joint, or medical issues that require specific geometry.

    More
  • 7. What materials do you use?
     

    Click here to go to our page on materials and technology. This page explains all of the materials we use, their advantages, and which bikes are offered in each material. Also, when you visit the page for a specific bike, you can see which materials are available for that particular model.

    More
  • 8. Does Zinn Cycles offer financing?
     

    Yes we do! Click here to apply for financing and read the information.

    More
  • 9. How much power do your E-bikes put out?
     
    People frequently ask me how much power my e-bike puts out. Bosch only says the maximum torque at each setting. This is how to figure it out. Looks like the Speed one with 700C wheels will put out 436 Watts.
    For a motor operating at constant torque from 0 to 45km/h (28mph), the power delivered would be P=T*wt with wt representing the rotational frequency of the wheels and tires (depends on the tire's inflated diameter) and T= torque of motor.
     
    circumference of 700 x 30C tire = 2,146mm = 2.146m
     
    maximum torque of Bosch Performance Line = 75 Nm

    wt = 45 km/h * 1000 m/km * 1 rev/2.146m * 1 h/60min * 1 min/60s = 5.8 rev/s
    P = T * wt = 75 Nm * 5.8 m/s = 436 W
    More
  • 1. Do I have to come to Boulder to get fitted for a custom bike?
     

    You do NOT have to come to Colorado to be fitted. You are always invited to come here, but it is not necessary. 90% of our customers do not come here for a fitting. The majority of our customers purchase without a test ride, and are always very happy with their purchase. We have lot's of fitting options including DIY or using a local bike fitter in your area. What we typically do is have you take your own measurements based on the instructions from this page: MEASUREMENTS  Just be sure someone can help you with the measurements for accuracy. Also, I suggest doing each measurement 3 times so you know if you are getting the same answer each time. Lennard will analyze your measurements and advise on any of the non-custom options, or design a custom bike for you. He is really good at picking out errors in the measurements, so if something is done incorrectly, he will notice. We’ve only had one or two instances where the customer got the bike and the fit wasn’t perfect. Each of those instances resulted in small adjustments such as a shorter stem, or different length cranks. We have been fitting customers for bikes remotely for over 30 years, and you can be pretty sure that if we send you a bike, it’s going to fit very well, and you will love the way it rides and performs.

    If you want to work with a bike fitter in your area, we are happy to work with them to design your bike. Click here for a list of fitters that we have worked with in the past.

    We do guarantee the fit of our custom bikes. So if we build you a custom bike that doesn’t fit, we’ll make you another one. The non-custom bikes, you can return for a 10% restocking fee if the bike doesn’t fit and it is still in new condition.

    You are, of course, welcome to come to Boulder and test ride bikes and have Lennard measure you personally. That is definitely the absolute best way to do it, but most people don’t have the time to do that. It always works out very well.

    More
  • 2. Do I have to be tall to get a Zinn Bike?
     

    No. We build bikes for everyone. No other company in the world can truly outfit a wider range of rider sizes. We can make tiny bikes with 650c wheels, or gigantic bikes for 7 foot tall basketball players. We specialize in building bikes for those who may not be able to find a stock bike with the correct geometry. We have great options for short people, tall people, average sized people, and those with different proportions. We also do a lot of specially designed bikes for cyclists with hip, back, joint, or medical issues that require specific geometry.

    More
  • 3. Do longer cranks cause knee pain?
     

    Our customers without a history of pedaling-related knee pain using cranks in the 20.5%-21.6% of inseam length range almost universally report no new knee pain with the longer cranks. We are choosing a length that is in keeping with the length that champion cyclists use relative to their leg length, so your knee and hip angles will be no tighter than theirs, and your percentage of extension and flexion of your muscles will also be no greater. So mechanically, there is no reason you’d have more knee pain.Lower cadence is often associated with knee pain, but that is without changing crank length. If you pedal at a lower cadence but have more leverage, the peak load can be the same. If you pull a stuck nail out of a board with short claw hammer, you feel more strain in your arm than if you pull it out using the claw on the end of a long crowbar.

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  • 4. Will longer cranks cause clearance issues in corners?
     

    Clearance depends on the crank, the frame, the pedals, the rider’s technique, and the type of event/ride. In the ideal situation, the frame is built to fit both the rider and the crank for the type of riding they do; then the bottom bracket height can be adjusted to provide the desired pedal clearance. At Zinn Cycles, we generally build the bottom bracket on a frame getting a 200mm crank 25mm (one inch) higher than the BB of a frame made for 175mm cranks.The longest crank we recommend for somebody using a stock frame is 200mm, and only if they are not even thinking of racing criteriums. In a criterium, more power is worthless if you open a gap to the next rider in every corner that you have to close at great expenditure of energy because you had to restart pedaling later to avoid hitting your pedals on the road. I think it inadvisable to race criteriums on a stock bike with a standard (265mm) bottom-bracket height using any longer than a 175mm or 180mm crank.We do have successful tall masters racers competing on our cranks up to 195mm who must use a stock frame due to sponsor constraints. But they adjust their riding style and choice of events accordingly.

    For anybody who has a question about whether they’ll have enough pedaling clearance if they buy a crank from us, we recommend taping a styrofoam block the thickness of the length difference they are considering to the bottom of their pedals and notice if or when they touch it to the road.

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  • 5. What other changes are needed when converting to proportional length cranks?
     

    The reason stock big frames have super-shallow seat angles is not because the bike handles better with the rider’s weight cantilevered out over the rear wheel, causing them to pull wheelies on steep climbs, but because the cranks are not proportional in length the length of the rider’s legs. In order to get the knee over the pedal spindle with a crank that is disproportionately short for the rider, you have to have a shallow seat angle to move the saddle further back. If the cranks were proportional to the leg length, the seat angle could be standard. On a custom bike, it would only be based on the ratio of thigh length to lower leg length (longer thigh, shallower angle, shorter thigh, steeper seat angle).The same holds true for tiny frames with super-steep seat angles, of course. Steep seat angles are used to get the knee over the pedal with a stock crank that is overly long for the rider, and to avoid the toe hitting the front tire. With a proportional-length crank, a small rider could also ride a normal seat angle without having the knee way behind the pedal, and pedal-overlap issues would be reduced as well, hence no need for a steeper seat angle to pull the crank away from front wheel as well. And then their bars would not need to be as high, because their knees would not be coming up so high hitting their chest and tugging on their hamstrings.

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  • 6. I'm very tall and am looking for a road bike or gravel bike. What options do you have for me?
     
    1. Custom Road or Gravel bikes are going to be the all-around best option because they are designed specifically for you. We offer them with rim brakes or disc brakes, and we will work with you directly to create a perfect fitting bike design and a list of components that work for you. We do a lot of “Gravel” bikes nowadays which is basically a road bike with disc brakes and clearance for larger tires, which offers a ton of versatility. We offer custom bikes in Steel, Titanium, and Carbon Fiber. Price range for custom bikes will start around $4500 and go up from there. Steel is at the lower end of that range and carbon fiber is at the top. All of the Zinn Custom bikes are handmade right here in Colorado. Lead times vary based on which material we choose: Titanium is usually 6-10 weeks approximately and Steel or Carbon are 12-18 weeks approximately. For custom bikes, we can sell just the frame if you prefer, but most people do a complete bike.
    2. We also carry a great non-custom titanium Road/Gravel bike that is a really great option from our sister brand, Clydesdale Bicycles. This bike is available in a 2XL, 3XL, and 4XL and comes in two models. One is with mechanical shifters and hydraulic brakes for $4450 for the complete bike and the other is $5950 with electronic shifting. Here is a link to the Draft at $4450 and here is a link to the Team at $5950. We generally have these in stock so lead times are closer to 2-3 weeks.
    3. The other non-custom bike we carry is the KHS Flite 747 road bike. This is a great bike for the price. It’s a steel frame and fork, and with good components. The bike is $1599 plus shipping, and we also offer it with a premium upgrade for $2695. The premium upgrade drops about 4lbs off the weight of the bike due to upgrading to a nice carbon fork, nicer wheels, and better brakes. We also keep this in stock, so they can be pretty quick. Here is a link to see this bike on our site: http://www.bigandtallbike.com/KHS-Flite-747--2XL-or-3XL-road-bike_p_375.html
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  • 7. I'm very tall and need a mountain bike. What are my options?
     
    1. For hardtail mountain bikes, we offer custom Titanium and Steel bikes. A Custom bike is going to be the all-around best option because it is designed specifically for you. We will work with you directly to create a perfect fitting bike design and a list of components that work for you. Click here to see all of the options for getting fitted for a custom bike. You don't need to come to Boulder unless you can make that happen. This is what most people do. Price range for custom bikes will start around $4500 and go up from there. Steel is at the lower end of that range and titanium is at the top. All of the Zinn Custom bikes are handmade right here in Colorado. Lead times vary based on which material we choose: Titanium is usually 6-10 weeks approximately and Steel is usually 12-18 weeks approximately. For custom bikes, we can sell just the frame if you prefer, but most people do a complete bike.
    2. For Full Suspension bikes we have a really great bike. This is the most popular mountain bike we sell. The B.I.G. Full suspension series is a light but very strong frame, and has great geometry and suspension designs. It comes in a XXL or XXXL and 3 different suspension travel sizes. You can get it with 4”, 5”, or 6” travel. Here is a link to see this bike on our site. We can sell the frame, or we can do a custom build for a complete bike. Just let me know what type of components you prefer, or I can make recommendations. https://zinncycles.com/Zinn/about/project-big-custom-series/full-suspension/gigabike-am-29er/
    3. We also have a great entry level bike that is actually really a great value. It’s a steel hardtail bike made by KHS and designed by us for big riders. It comes in a 2XL or 3XL size and has good components for only $1699. We generally have these in stock, so the turnaround can be pretty quick. Here is a link to check this one out. http://www.bigandtallbike.com/KHS-BNT-29er--2XL-or-3XL-mountain-bike_p_376.html
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  • 8. If a switch to a longer crank, do I need to change anything with my stem?
     

    If you want to keep the same drop from saddle to bars, then you'll need to lower your stem somehow. Either by flipping the stem to angle down, or removing some spacers. But many tall guys already have too much saddle to bar drop, so the lowering of the saddle is actually helping reduce that drop and makes riding more comfortable.

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