Heels hit chainstays
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  1. #1
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    Heels hit chainstays

    I've got a new bike with Shimano 150 cranks and a pressfit bottom bracket. The cranks are very close to the chainstays and occasionally my heels brush the chainstays. I've got a pedal washer between the pedal and crank arm, and I guess that helped a little, but am wondering if I can put some spacers between the crank arms and the bottom bracket. I guess I can rotate my cleats and see if that works but that could result in knee pain.

  2. #2
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    Google - bicycle pedal extenders. There are several sources - relatively inexpensive. I've got a set on my touring bike to stop the back of my thigh from hitting the seat stays. Don't alter your set up to fit the bike, make the bike fit you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfdemicco View Post
    but am wondering if I can put some spacers between the crank arms and the bottom bracket
    No. You'll have reduced clamping area on the spindle and risk the arm coming off. Plus the crank arm won't be in the correct position on the spindle for the safety retainer clip... to prevent the arm from coming off.

    I guess I can rotate my cleats and see if that works but that could result in knee pain.
    Maybe. I wouldn't rotate them to push your foot out. But if they're cleats with float, you might be able to rotate them enough to prevent them from floating as much inward.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by coupster View Post
    Google - bicycle pedal extenders. There are several sources - relatively inexpensive. I've got a set on my touring bike to stop the back of my thigh from hitting the seat stays. Don't alter your set up to fit the bike, make the bike fit you.
    I tried them once and they caused knee pain. The problem is the minimum width is 2 cm, which is too much I think.

  5. #5
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    Rotate the cleats until your feet clear the chainstays. If you develop pain, you can always move them back.

    I adjust my cleats so my heels clear the crankarms. Beyond that, I've got plenty of rotational freedom, no knee problems, and easy to clip out.

  6. #6
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    Do you really need cleats with float????.Most people don't. If you use fixed cleats, your problems are solved. I have always adjusted my cleats so that I miss the crank arms......Been doing that for 30 years. Before that, I used toe clips with double straps that didn't allow ANY float.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    Do you really need cleats with float????.Most people don't. If you use fixed cleats, your problems are solved. I have always adjusted my cleats so that I miss the crank arms......Been doing that for 30 years. Before that, I used toe clips with double straps that didn't allow ANY float.
    The guy that runs the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, Andy Pruitt seems to think so. I used to use the original SPD mountain bike pedals that didn't have any float, and didn't have knee pain, but I would assume that your cleat positioning has to be spot on whereas on pedals with float, you don't need to be so careful. Some people's feet rotate all over the place when they pedal. They need float. Others are stay pretty fixed in place. They don't.

  8. #8
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    I would adjust the cleats so they can't rub. Your heal isn't going any further in than the chainstay anyway so you heal movement inward at that point isn't going any further anyway.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    Rotate the cleats until your feet clear the chainstays. If you develop pain, you can always move them back.

    I adjust my cleats so my heels clear the crankarms. Beyond that, I've got plenty of rotational freedom, no knee problems, and easy to clip out.
    It's quite likly that the OP's heels occasionally hit the chain stays, which means your analysis and solution is the correct one. If they were hitting the stays on every pedal stroke, then the solution might have to be cranks with a wider "Q" factor (distance between pedals). But the more likely problem is that the cleat float is allowing the OP's heels to drift about. Twisting the cleats just a little might fix the problem with no risk of knee issues.

  10. #10
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    My feet rotate all over the place if I use float. I need fixed cleats to keep them straight. Back in the day, there was no float. With toe clips and a slotted cleat, few people had knee problems from pedaling.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    My feet rotate all over the place if I use float. I need fixed cleats to keep them straight. Back in the day, there was no float. With toe clips and a slotted cleat, few people had knee problems from pedaling.
    Slotted cleats were easier to set up right. A pedal with float makes it easier to stick a cleat on a shoe and let the foot find someplace to be. No muss, no fuss and my knees don't hurt, cleat must be mounted right.
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  12. #12
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    I use pedal extenders because both of my feet point outwards. Without the extenders there would be a twist in my knees as my feet would be forced to be parallel and my heels would hit the chainstays. For me, there was no cleat position that would prevent me from hitting the chainstays.
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