frame size-toe overlap?
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  1. #1

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    frame size-toe overlap?

    I'm totally new to roadbiking so bear with me if I sound stupid. A month ago, I bought my first (real) road bike. Well, because it was still winter, and I was buying the last leftover '04 at the shop, I failed to do a proper road test. Now I've taken my first ride and although the bike seems comfortable enough, my toes hit the front tyre while making tight turns. I've adjusted my cleats to put my feet further back on the pedals but that makes for uncomfortable pedaling. I called my LBS and they told me that all road bikes are like that and I probably will have to live with it. My friends tell me that your feet should NEVER hit the tyres. I've been mtb biking for years and the first thing I learned was there must be clearance between the front tyre and toe. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    GIMME MY BIKE!
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    Quote Originally Posted by akit
    I'm totally new to roadbiking so bear with me if I sound stupid. A month ago, I bought my first (real) road bike. Well, because it was still winter, and I was buying the last leftover '04 at the shop, I failed to do a proper road test. Now I've taken my first ride and although the bike seems comfortable enough, my toes hit the front tyre while making tight turns. I've adjusted my cleats to put my feet further back on the pedals but that makes for uncomfortable pedaling. I called my LBS and they told me that all road bikes are like that and I probably will have to live with it. My friends tell me that your feet should NEVER hit the tyres. I've been mtb biking for years and the first thing I learned was there must be clearance between the front tyre and toe. Any suggestions?
    I have ridden both a 54cm Trek 2200 (2004 model) and a custom Seven (55.3, I think). Both have toe overlap. Everyone I know has toe overlap. It's the degree to which toe overlap is a problem. The only time I have a problem with it is when I make a tight, slow u-turn. How often do I make tight, slow u-turns? Not often enough to make this a major issue.

    The size of your foot also makes a difference. I wear size 42 boats.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by akit
    I'm totally new to roadbiking so bear with me if I sound stupid. A month ago, I bought my first (real) road bike. Well, because it was still winter, and I was buying the last leftover '04 at the shop, I failed to do a proper road test. Now I've taken my first ride and although the bike seems comfortable enough, my toes hit the front tyre while making tight turns. I've adjusted my cleats to put my feet further back on the pedals but that makes for uncomfortable pedaling. I called my LBS and they told me that all road bikes are like that and I probably will have to live with it. My friends tell me that your feet should NEVER hit the tyres. I've been mtb biking for years and the first thing I learned was there must be clearance between the front tyre and toe. Any suggestions?
    How big is the frame? I'm 5'7" and all my frames have some overlap. Like you said, it's only in very tight turns that if happens. I've never had a problem with overlap..

    As for your friends vs the LBS, the truth is somewhere in between. Some road frames have overlap and others don't. It depends on the size and geometry of the frame/fork..

    Overlap is great when you are stopped at a light. Put the crank in the 3 o'clock position and rest the front wheel against your shoe. You don't need to keep both hands on the bar while waiting at a light.

    Ride on and don't give it a second thought..........
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    eminence grease
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    It's a function of head tube angle, your cleat position and the size of your shoes.

    My bikes are all in the 57cm range except one which is a smallish 56cm. I have toe overlap on that one only. The rest are free and clear.

    To say they "all" have serves their purpose of keeping you on the one they sold you. It's simply not true. Many do have it though and it might just be the way it is with the bike you've purchased.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by akit
    I'm totally new to roadbiking so bear with me if I sound stupid. A month ago, I bought my first (real) road bike. Well, because it was still winter, and I was buying the last leftover '04 at the shop, I failed to do a proper road test. Now I've taken my first ride and although the bike seems comfortable enough, my toes hit the front tyre while making tight turns. I've adjusted my cleats to put my feet further back on the pedals but that makes for uncomfortable pedaling. I called my LBS and they told me that all road bikes are like that and I probably will have to live with it. My friends tell me that your feet should NEVER hit the tyres. I've been mtb biking for years and the first thing I learned was there must be clearance between the front tyre and toe. Any suggestions?
    on a mountain bike, you need to make tight turns at very low speed. toe overlap would be a concern, but MTBs are designed not to have it. on road bikes, it's not a concern unless you're riding singletrack.
    your LBS is wrong that "all" bikes are like that. sounds rather sketchy. most smaller bikes, especially smaller bikes with 700c wheels, do have toe overlap. your friends are dead wrong (assuming they were talking about road bikes).

  6. #6
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    Not just small frames

    While it's not accurate to say that toe overlap happens with "all" high performance frames, it is very common. The bike shop was not blowing you off, they were just being a bit hyperbolic in their statement. I ride 59 or 60 cm frames, and with my size 46 feet, I always have toe overlap. DO NOT move your cleats to solve this problem - as others have noted it is not an issue in the real world and as you have figured out, improper cleat position IS an issue in the real world. Just be aware of it at stops and in parking lot maneuvers. To give your friends the benefit of the doubt, one must assume that they are mountain bikers. No knowledgeable road rider would make such a statement.

  7. #7
    wim
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    . . . my toes hit the front tyre while making tight turns.
    Good advice from everyone here.

    On a little different slant, it might help if you look closely at yourself making the tight turns you mention. If you see yourself continuing to pedal through the turn, stop doing that. Unlike a mountain bike on soft ground, a road bike on pavement will easily coast through a tight turn. While coasting, park your overlapping foot out of harms way at the bottom dead center of the stroke.

    Even if you have to apply a bit of power in your tight turn, think see-saw. Do a short power jab, then backpedal. Repeat if needed. That'll allow you to keep the overlapping foot away from the wheel.

    Last: practice this for 10 minutes in a parking lot and it'll become automatic.

  8. #8
    hi, I'm Larry
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    Same here - Overlap

    But I have never really been aware of it. Seriously! It was not until I saw discussions like this on the board and I checked my bikes. Sure enough, toe overlap if I turn the handlebars severely. (But then, why would anyone need to turn the handlebars that much?) If I'm standing still, doing a slow stand or even a track stand I always possition my feet opposite the way I need to turn the wheel without even thinking about it. That's the only time I need to turn the wheel that much. Even hard turns in crits and such only need a minor turn of the wheel to get around the sharp corner, most of the turning is done by banking the bike.

  9. #9

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    frame size-toe overlap?

    Thanks for all the replies in such a short time. You guys were a great help. I'm going back to the bike shop this morning. I love the bike except for the toe issue (or non -issue as it turns out) so I'll be keeping the bike. Now all I have to do is get used to riding pavement instead of dirt, but so far I'm enjoying it. Can't do any mtn biking here in The Berkshires for a while anyway.

  10. #10
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    Good luck and enjoy the sport

    Road riding is fun. Don't let this affect you. Toe overlap is really not a problem since a properly handled road bike should never use such tight turns. But if you find tight turning necessary, try to position your feet away from 3 o'clock positions. Like the others said, do not change your cleat positions.

  11. #11
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    Toe overlap is nothing to worry about. Having your cleats in the proper position is important. The ball of your foot should be over the pedal spindle.

    Al

  12. #12

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    frame size-toe overlap

    OK guys, I've re-adjusted my cleats, talked to the bike shop and decided to keep the bike I have, and did a couple of short one hour rides.........FANTASTIC! You're right, no problems unless I'm doing a real tight turn. Basically, when I'm u-turning in a narrow area. This is going to be a lot of fun. My wife just bought a new bike also and as like me, after four or so years of mtn biking. This is a whole new disipline. Not better or worse, just different, but great . Now between both kinds of biking, we'll never be home. We're even planning a bike vacation to do both road and mtn. All this at a breath away from 60 years old................Thanks again.

  13. #13
    Every little counts...
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    Ride faster.

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