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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 03-02-12, 04:56 PM   #1
mrgrunt99
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Fenders + toe overlap

I have been using my cross bike for most of my commuting. Due to the winter weather I decided to get fenders. I do not experience toe overlap without the fenders, I do get overlap on semi-sharp corners/turns with the fenders. I am assuming this is somewhat normal. Just wondering what others' experiences are.
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Old 03-02-12, 05:13 PM   #2
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I also experience it on my CX bike with fenders.

The way I see it, it is an opportunity to work on my coordination. Cranks vertical into a turn! I still forget fairly often.

So yes, normal for a lot of bike geometries. Remedied as mentioned above.
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Old 03-02-12, 05:47 PM   #3
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Bear in mind this happens only at low speed. My solution is to ride faster.
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Old 03-02-12, 06:02 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I only use the fenders in foul weather commuter mode. When I'm crossing toe overlap isn't an issue. Thanks again
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Old 03-02-12, 07:02 PM   #5
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It depends a lot on how much overlap there is. The more the overlap, the wider the range of pedal positions that could cause a conflict. With that said, I have overlap on both bike that have fenders, and it's almost never an issue. As someone said above, it really only happens when moving slowly.
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Old 03-02-12, 07:06 PM   #6
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Only happens on my cruiser. If you have clips or cages, you could adjust your foot overlap.
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Old 03-02-12, 07:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrgrunt99 View Post
I have been using my cross bike for most of my commuting. Due to the winter weather I decided to get fenders. I do not experience toe overlap without the fenders, I do get overlap on semi-sharp corners/turns with the fenders. I am assuming this is somewhat normal. Just wondering what others' experiences are.
I ride a 52cm frame size, and have three bikes. One 700c bike has fenders and 700x28 tires---toe overlap. Another 700c bike has the exact same tires but no fenders, and I have minimal overlap. My Bridgestone XO2 has 26x1.5 tires and fenders and there's not a hint of overlap.

If I was trying to ride a cross bike with fat 700c tires, I'd always overlap.

I love my XO2. I ride it more than my others, and it is my least expensive bike. Go figure.
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Old 03-03-12, 07:56 AM   #8
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I have overlap on my cross check commuter with fenders, especially with the winter studded tire set up because to their higher sidewall profile. As Tsl said it's a slow speed tight turn problem only. I'm so used to it that I just automatically compensate with pedal positioning. (and always going as fast as possible:-))

As you've concluded the only remedy would be to remove the fender but, the benefits of fenders on my commuter far outweigh the minor toe overlap issue. (can I get some Fred points just for saying that?)
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Old 03-03-12, 09:44 AM   #9
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Just as a counterpoint to the general sentiment here, I had toe overlap with my fenders, and on a cold day, when I was wearing boots (which is unusual for me), as I was getting going after a light, I bumped the fender into the tire, and it got sucked up under the fork, locked up the tire, and flung me right over the bars. Amazingly I ended up with just moderate bruises, but I consider myself lucky to have avoided serious injuries (there's a thread on my incident, you can probably find it easily enough). The bike was pretty much OK, too (had to get the front wheel trued, but that's it).

Anyway, I decided it's not worth it. Maybe on the next bike, if the fit is different.
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Old 03-03-12, 09:57 AM   #10
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Just as a counterpoint to the general sentiment here, I had toe overlap with my fenders, and on a cold day, when I was wearing boots (which is unusual for me), as I was getting going after a light, I bumped the fender into the tire, and it got sucked up under the fork, locked up the tire, and flung me right over the bars. Amazingly I ended up with just moderate bruises, but I consider myself lucky to have avoided serious injuries (there's a thread on my incident, you can probably find it easily enough). The bike was pretty much OK, too (had to get the front wheel trued, but that's it).

Anyway, I decided it's not worth it. Maybe on the next bike, if the fit is different.
I had a flexible Planet Bike fender get sucked up into the front wheel and got thrown over the bars. I replaced the fenders with SKS chromoplastic fenders. The SKS fenders are a lot more rigid, and I don't think an accident could happen the way it happened to me. (This assumes that the bolts connecting the stays to the fender are tight. If those bolts were loose, hitting the fender with a toe could nudge it towards the tire.)
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Old 03-03-12, 10:44 AM   #11
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I had a flexible Planet Bike fender get sucked up into the front wheel and got thrown over the bars. I replaced the fenders with SKS chromoplastic fenders. The SKS fenders are a lot more rigid, and I don't think an accident could happen the way it happened to me. (This assumes that the bolts connecting the stays to the fender are tight. If those bolts were loose, hitting the fender with a toe could nudge it towards the tire.)
Planet Bike Cascadia fenders are hard plastic which will bend side to side (horizontally) but will break instead of bend before you can force them to bend directly (vertically) towards the tire. That being said, I did have to cut the lower fender aluminum stays which were protruding about an inch from the fenders.

I usually take the center line on two lane (same direction) roads when vehicles are stopped near an intersection so I can avoid those taking a right turn which are on the right lane. This means I have to maneuver between gaps while traveling at very low speeds. On a few occasions I hit the protruding wires and one time almost lost my balance. Note that the problem was exacerbated because during winter I am wearing covers over heavy MTB shoes.

I have since cut the bottom stays and now have no more problems. The experience somehow is burned in my brain that I still tend to instinctively set my pedals on the vertical whenever I am maneuvering at very slow speeds.
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Old 03-03-12, 10:54 AM   #12
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The front geometry is made to race it may not be as suitable as a mudguard wearing commuter.

I built a longer top tube bike frame in the 70's to deal with that , 700c 35 tire mudguards
60by58. 'size' the shorter..
the front weight bias is a little lighter feeling because of that extra length..

now the favorite bike for daily riding has smaller wheels , that is a cure.
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Old 03-03-12, 10:57 AM   #13
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I should add that my fender mishap involved old PB "Freddy Fenders," which AFAIK are no longer being sold. I'm not familiar with what PB sells now. I'm glad the Cascadia Fenders don't have this problem.

I agree that it is often necessary to cut down the stays on the front fender. It's bad news to have that piece of metal sticking out, which can catch on a shoe or toeclip. Once I almost fell when my toeclip caught the end of a stay.

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Old 03-03-12, 11:05 AM   #14
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newer planet bike struts go into a plastic chuck sort of piece
that on the fender end just has the edge held.. so you have to cut the strut,
to get the right fender 'line.'
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Old 03-03-12, 06:09 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies. I only use the fenders in foul weather commuter mode. When I'm crossing toe overlap isn't an issue. Thanks again
Yeah, that's my experience too. It's weird that you can make a 180 degree turn in slick mud while deep in oxygen debt and never hit your foot on the tire, then a couple of month later you go to pull away from the bike rack and you're kicking the fender.

Anyway, I think tsl is right. Go faster.
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Old 03-03-12, 08:03 PM   #16
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I have fenders on my Cross Check and yes, at slow speed in sharp turns, I can have toe overlap. It is not an issue since several of my racing bikes also have toe overlap--without-- fenders. It has never been a problem for me and I consider it normal. At the slow speeds where this happens when making very sharp turns, even if a fender sucked up, I am not going nearly fast enough to launch me through the air but I suppose a fall could occur, this is really a matter of technique.
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