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  1. #1
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    Bigfoot design issues: Heel strike and toe overlap

    I'm sure that many of us have noticed how the clearance problems of spinning your cranks in circles gets drastically worse as foot size increases. If you wear size 12 shoes or larger, you've probably experienced both of these clearance problems. It isn't getting any better with newer design. Longer crank arms, wider rear ends on frames, and a leaner Q-factor in bottom bracket design have made modern frames more problematic than the older ones. Sometimes curved chainstays compound the problem, sweeping out right where your heel is going to strike it. On tighter frames, toe-overlap can be an issue even for those with normally-sized tootsies. That's an issue one can learn to live with through cautious technique. Heel-strike at the chainstay is more annoying. How have others dealt with this?

    1. Stick with older frames designed for 126 mm O.L.D. hubs?
    2. Prioritize long chainstay length/longer wheelbase when buying a frame?
    3. Use a triple-chainring bottom bracket spindle (even if you're running a double)?
    4. Cleat adjustment: as far back as possible...pigeon-toe the angle?
    5. Stick with 170mm crank arms?
    6. Pedaling technique?
    Last edited by bismarck; 09-25-06 at 08:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'm a 13 1/2 EEEE++. Pedaling technique all the way for me. Wish they'd make pedal extensions...

  3. #3
    Broom Wagon Fodder reverborama's Avatar
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    I wear a 13 (although my bike shoes are 14's, go figure) and I've never had problems with overlap. Of course I'm a cheap bastard too and ride 80's road bikes found on Craig's list. I even have a too-small thrift-store Huffy mountain bike (in name only) that I ride when conditions are bad for the bike and I never overlap on that either. I hear people talk about it all the time but I've never had a problem with it myself.

  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reverborama
    I wear a 13 (although my bike shoes are 14's, go figure) and I've never had problems with overlap. Of course I'm a cheap bastard too and ride 80's road bikes found on Craig's list. I even have a too-small thrift-store Huffy mountain bike (in name only) that I ride when conditions are bad for the bike and I never overlap on that either. I hear people talk about it all the time but I've never had a problem with it myself.
    Gawd, you sound like me! I use clip and strap though, hate clipless!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewey Oxberger
    I'm a 13 1/2 EEEE++. Pedaling technique all the way for me. Wish they'd make pedal extensions...
    Like these:http://www.bikemania.biz/PEDAL_ADAPT...aladapters.htm
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  6. #6
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    Jump'n jeepers! There isn't a day go by that I don't wonder about peddle extenders a.k.a. Knee Savers:

    http://www.bikemania.biz/KNEESAVER_P...kescorknee.htm

  7. #7
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I've used the Kneesavers for years, they're great. Had some custom made before they were on the market. It's the only way I can use clipless, as I toe-out with my 49s.
    Never had a problem with toe clip overlap.

  8. #8
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    I've got US14 EEE/UK13 G feet and the only time I notice heel/ankle/toe clearance issues with any type of frame(bmx, cyclocross, road, mtb) is when I'm

    trying to turn sharply at low speed - my fault incorrect foot position
    pedalling heels in - my fault incorrect foot position

    apart from that no problem at all - the bicycles I ride all have "quick" geometry frames that lean to steer rather than turn to steer like touring/delivery bikes. I also use modern low profile cotterless cranks and clipless pedals with float.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

  9. #9
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    Toe overlap is a non-issue. I've ridden for more than 30 years with size 15 (Euro 50 or 51) shoes, overlapped on every bike I've ever owned except my current Atlantis, and I've never touched once. On my first "real" bike, a Motobecane in the late '70s, I lapped over more than two inches. No problems ever.
    I'm curious about the pedal extenders, though. What problem do they solve? I'm not saying they don't solve one, but I can't think of what it would be....

  10. #10
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog
    I'm curious about the pedal extenders, though. What problem do they solve? I'm not saying they don't solve one, but I can't think of what it would be....
    I toe-out a lot and if I try to use clipless pedals my heel and even my ankle will hit the crankarm. My knees can't tolerate being forced into the straight ahead position. Even with the extenders my heels hit the chainstays. In the late 80's I was using Time pedals and I drilled holes in my shoes to move the cleat as far as I could to the inside. This gave me the same position as the extenders, but I kept breaking pedals. A friend knew a machinist who made custom extenders for me.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    I don't have oversized feet, but an ankle condition that makes it uncomfortable to have my foot straight forward, these look great, kinda expensive though for little metal bits, i still will probably get them though. do they have any pedals with extra long spindles?

  12. #12
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I've never seen longer spindle pedals, I think all clipless pedals are the same length. $45 is not a lot to spend if it works for you. I got them from SCOR and they are durable, quality parts. I have 25,000 miles on the set on the road bike and lots of abuse on the set on the mtb with no problems.
    Another thing available is shims for your cleats to change the angle your foot meets the pedal. I don't have a link but when I have used Look pedals I shim the inside of the cleat with washers.

  13. #13
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    Kneesavers go fairly cheap on eBay from time to time. Just keep watching and eventually there will be a pair on there that few people are bidding on. It's not even a matter of support your LBS with these things, because I've never seen them in any of the bike stores around here. I haven't bought any yet myself, I just got a pair of MKS Touring pedals and they are doing the trick for my 13EE (average, somtimes bigger and wider, depending on the company). Doesn't it suck that most shoe companies only make shoes in whole sizes after size 12? It sucks even more that so few companies even bother with different widths. Thankfully there is New Balance for athletic shoes.

    My biggest, big foot problem has always been when I wanted to use panniers. I've never had a long chainstay dedicated tourer, so heel strike has been a problem. I finally picked up a Jandd Expedition and it has made all the difference. I haven't mounted any really big panniers on it, but before I couldn't even use medium or small sized bags. The Expedition is heavy, but I love it.

    Sometimes I'll accidentally clip my toe on a tight turn, but I've gotten pretty used to putting my self in a good position without thinking about it.

    I don't know if there's a big helmet thread here or not, but that's a whole other problem I have. Big helmets are out there, but the choices are limited.
    Paul the Alloy Addict

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