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  1. #1
    Re Cycle
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    Toe Touches Tire

    I am fairly short at 5'2". It is very hard to find a properly fitting bike. I recently bought a Specialized Sequoia which I just love. Only one thing--if I turn and do not have me pedals at the 12 and 6 position, I run a very good chance of toe touch on the tire. When I was shopping and road testing, I found other bikes with the same issue--esp the Cannondale tourer.

    Does anybody else this problem? What do you do when you want to pedal out of a turn or during a turn?

  2. #2
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Welcome to "toe-clip overlap". It's not uncommon, especially with short wheel base bikes, but others as well, to encounter this. Just one of those little things to be mindful of. So few turns are that low-speed sharp that it's a major concern. But, once in a while............and the first few times can be a little disconcerting-- especially if you find yourself unable to straighten out your wheel. Anyway, you're in company with most of us. Enjoy that Sequoia...it's a deservedly popular bike.
    Last edited by CrossChain; 08-02-06 at 10:28 PM.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  3. #3
    Re Cycle
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    Advice

    So does that mean cycling fast thru a turn will do the trick? Kinda russian roulette, no?

    I have been slowing to a near stop at every sharp turn to make sure my pedals are at 6 & 12, but that makes for a very wierd riding style, and has set me at a dead standstill practically as I turn into an uphill stretch. Would much prefer a little momentum on my side.
    Last edited by Re Cycle; 08-03-06 at 06:28 AM.

  4. #4
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    'front-center' is always a consideration on smaller frames. usually frame builders will slacken the headtube angle to make sure they don;t have overlap.
    I'm surprised the Sequoia has that problem - very poor thing
    things to check...
    1) are your pedal clips aligned so that the ball of your foot is over the pedal spindle? going forward of that can put one into a shoe/tire overlap.
    2) what size frame is it? If a smaller frame, say 52 or smaller, you prolly should not be running crank arms longer than 170s, and 168s may be better. If the bike has 172.5s, then I'd take it back to the dealer and have them put on the right size arms!
    3) large profile tires - 32 to 35 mm - consider going to a 28mm, ride may be a little 'harsher' (but not likely that noticeable), but the smaller profile may give enough clearance to eliminate overlap.
    4? finally is the frame alignment OK? its not unheard of to have fork/frame alignment problems.
    I'd contact Specialized and explain the problem, they could prolly help find the 'source' of the overlap and maybe help with resolution.
    If its just plain bad design, I;d get rid of it and get one thatz done right. Too many good designs out there to settle for a poor one.
    overlap, not good

  5. #5
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Overlap is not a problem. Put front fenders on any size racing bike and it's likely the toes will hit the fenders. At normal riding speeds, the front wheel is never turned far enough for the overlap to be an issue, even when pedaling thru a turn. It's only a problem turning at very low speeds, and I mean very low.

    I can't think of any crash I've ever seen caused by the foot interfering with the front wheel turning. In order to obtain your bike's handling characteristics, the designer had to make some compromises, and the overlap was one result. It's not poor design, it's perfectly normal.

    - L.

  6. #6
    bobkat
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    You are only 5' 2" and I suspect that while overlap is normal, that you might benefit from shorter crank arms for other reasons. It seems that while the bike frames vary for sizes, they all seem to come with 170 - 175's.
    I ride a recumbent, which is different, but I have recently switched to 152's, and this much improved my riding in a lot of respects. I thought I was in heaven before, but now riding is even better.
    Uprights are different and the mechanics of knee movement is different between uprights and bents but a short person like you might benefit from shorter crank arms, which might incidently eliminate the toe overlap problem. You can adjust or buy all different sizes of everything on a bike, but crank arms seem to be all the same length.

  7. #7
    Re Cycle
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    Crank arms

    I will have those checked right away. I have only had the bike three days. I love it, but I am sooo cautious about this toe overlap. I don't want to crash and hurt the bike and myself. I find it really odd that manufacturers sell bikes with this problem. Apparently, it is not all that uncommon, but is it not a legal liability? As in unsafe design??

  8. #8
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Almost all of the uprights that I've owned (I've owned a lot!) has had toe overlap to some degree, a few had very severe overlap. It's not a problem unless you do track stands at stop lights. Turning is rarely a problem since one turns a bike by leaning.

    Dennis
    Dennis T

  9. #9
    sch
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    My frame sizes are in the 52-54cm range and all 4 bikes have the potential for toe overlap with the front wheel at some angle of turn. In 35,000mi of riding past 8 yrs it has NEVER happened while riding. It is not to worry about unless all your riding is tight diameter circles.
    Steve

  10. #10
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Re Cycle
    I will have those checked right away. I have only had the bike three days. I love it, but I am sooo cautious about this toe overlap. I don't want to crash and hurt the bike and myself. I find it really odd that manufacturers sell bikes with this problem. Apparently, it is not all that uncommon, but is it not a legal liability? As in unsafe design??
    It should never cause a problem during normal riding, but if it freaks you out and you ride a small frame, you might want to look into a bike with 650 wheels.

  11. #11
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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    just following up what Big John said above:

    is the bike actually a smaller frame? Like a WSD? (Women's specific design -- regardless of whether you are male or female)

    These smaller frames (TREK makes them) usually use 650 wheels. My Wife is short (4'10") she tried some Cannondale and specialized bikes with 700 wheels, and small frames, and overlap was a potential issue. Not so with her 650 wheels and smaller design frame. You pay a small penalty with the 650 vs 700, but for her, it is more than made up with peace of mind and correct fit, comfort, etc. She feels in control with the WSD vs. the other 'smaller' frames with 700 size wheels

    Just a thought

  12. #12
    Resident Old Fart Olebiker's Avatar
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    My new 55 cm Douglas Precision Ti has that same overlap. It is not a problem since I never have occasion to turn the fork that much.
    Wag more, bark less

  13. #13
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Even with 165mm cranks, my 1970 Peugeot UO-8 commuter has a few mm of toe overlap, because my forks are shorter in rake than stock and because my 27 x 1-3/8" knobby tires are perhaps 1/16" / 1.5mm larger in radius than the stock Michelins or Hutchinsons. The only time I ever notice it is when I start up in the parking lot at work. As the others have mentioned, this is not considered a safety problem, although I recall the Consumer Product Safety Commission getting all hot and bothered about toe overlap during the bike boom era.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    This comes up several times a year, but I've never heard of a case where overlap caused a problem. Next time you ride, notice how far you turn the wheel in normal riding--you'll be surprised to see that it's only a few degrees. I rode a Motobecane with two inches of overlap (I have size 15 feet; they stick WAY out there) for six or seven years and didn't even know I overlapped until I was sitting on the bike with my hand on a friend's car one day and idly turned the wheel. It's just not a problem.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    +1 to all the reassurances above. Go find a parking lot and do some figure 8's of varying diameters and speeds and get familiar with your bike and its characteristics. You'll discover that it takes an extreme turn to bring up overlap-- maybe making a "u" turn on a bike path or similar. I can get such overlap on my 87 Allez anytime I want, but in almost 20 years of riding it have never crashed or come close although maybe 4 or 5 times I've actually touched toe to tire. Normal speeds even down to 5 or 6mph won't allow you to turn the fork that sharply that you would encounter overlap. Go do those figure 8's at various speeds and diameters.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  16. #16
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    fine and dandy
    I know of 2 riders who have gone down due to 'overlap'

    1st rider (not me) did it three times, one of which I was present at - no particular weird thing, just a confluence of minor things caused a fall that skinned his arm and shoulder - road rash, always a minor annoyance and everyone should try it, just for the education.

    2nd rider (me) was bit more 'skinnage' - descending a windy road, not too fast because all turns were 'blind', I had to make a fairly major mid-turn line correction, IMMEDIATELY... more lean, more countersteer... If you've never gone 'highside' on a bike, you should try it - its an interesting perspective... and I have the hip and shoulder scars to remember it all by.

    Ask Moulton and Sachs if its okay for their frames to have toe-to-tire overlap (we're not talkin fenders on a racing bike here...)

    no reason to have overlap, but if you live with it, thatz your problemo

    ...edit...
    the problem was completely my doing. My Limongi is a very short and upright crit bike. I changed the cranks from 172 to 175 and didn't check for overlap. 175 being fine for my size and leg dims. Pepe's design was fine, I just mucked it up. I was not that young, but fairly stoopid. But I did learn...
    Last edited by cyclezen; 08-03-06 at 10:20 AM.

  17. #17
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    I ride 56-58 frames, and size 47 shoes. I have toe overlap in varying degrees on every bike I own. I've been riding since the early 80's and never experienced toe overlap being a problem. I have bumped tire/toes on one bike (more overlap than the rest) on trackstands at stoplights, etc. It's never been more than a mild annoyance. I have decended mountain switchbacks, and ridden crit. course and never had a problem. As was stated before, very little steerage is need to negotiate a turn. Turns are mostly accomplished by leaning, not steering into the turn.

  18. #18
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=cyclezen]

    Ask Moulton and Sachs if its okay for their frames to have toe-to-tire overlap (we're not talkin fenders on a racing bike here...)

    no reason to have overlap, but if you live with it, thatz your problemo

    QUOTE]

    Many of us live with it because we can't afford a Richard Sachs or Alex Moulton, instead happy enough to settle for a Joe Public Specialized or somesuch. Freakish accidents happen in cycling as well as fishing, pie baking, etc. I'm sure George Hincapie was freaked by his accident at Paris-Roubaix.

    Overlap, like tightening a quick release, is something to be aware of at certain times, but not to live in apprehension of.
    Riding and aging don't get easier, you just get slower at slowing down.] (FiftyPlus observation inspired by G. Lemond.)

  19. #19
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    To me, toe overlap is an indication of sloppy frame design, tied to the "need" to use 700C wheels. Frames fixed to one size of wheel usually can only be "perfect" between certain sizes, but at the smaller end, all the nasty elements of bike design start to emerge. It *is* only a matter of time before someone sues over an injury caused by toe overlap (even low-speed/zero-speed accidents can cause death, a-la- hitting the head on the gutter). No manual delivered with a bike seems makes any mention of it. You *can* compensate for it after dropping the dollars on the bike, but next time, as one poster suggested, look at the other options, such as 650C-sized wheels. Usually experienced cyclists are the ones who defend the toe-overlap characteristic because they are used to it. But it is still very disconcerting to be caught out in a forgetful moment of manoeuvring through a parking lot or out of a driveway on to a road and to go down.

  20. #20
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Hm, weird. I am 5'2" with a 26 inch inseam. I ride both a 37 cm MTB with 175mm crank arms and a 44 cm WSD with 700c tires and 165 mm crank arms and never had overlap. Why are you doing so many slow speed sharp turns?

  21. #21
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    Sloppy frame design was mentioned as a reason for toe overlap.

    I'll keep that in mind with my Serotta Ti, Kestrel 200 SCI, Santana Stylus, Santana Tandem, Cannondale 3.0, and Raleigh 531c. Every bike I own has toe overlap to some extent, I surely wouldn't group all those manufacturers into a sloppy design pigeon hole.

  22. #22
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by serotta
    Sloppy frame design was mentioned as a reason for toe overlap.

    I'll keep that in mind with my Serotta Ti, Kestrel 200 SCI, Santana Stylus, Santana Tandem, Cannondale 3.0, and Raleigh 531c. Every bike I own has toe overlap to some extent, I surely wouldn't group all those manufacturers into a sloppy design pigeon hole.
    I got to agree. I ride 53 C-C frames and have owned numerous high end road frames. All have had toe overlap to some degree. For the life of me, I can't figure out why somebody is turning at 1 mph because that's about the only way it can be a problem.
    Dennis T

  23. #23
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I don't mind the occaisional toe overlap when I'm road riding. When I'm on my MTB going uphill and I'm clearing an obsticle followed by a sharp turn, toe overlap can make life interesting. Not to mention my sudden urge to issue a slew of explatives.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  24. #24
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Sometimes it is the simplest things that make a difference. I see no mention of you using toe clips or clipless peddles. If you a using freestyle pedals, place the ball of your foot over the pedal axle (center). Placing the arch of your foot over the center of the pedal definately causes toe overlap. This link will give you a GOOD PICTURE:

    http://www.bikefitting.com/English/T...tPosition.aspx

    I had this problem when getting back into biking last year because my prodthetic feet would slide forward on the pedals. I cured this problem by eventually going to toe clips.

    Hope this information will help. Good luck and have fun riding.
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  25. #25
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    Have overlap on my Cannondale R300 never saw it as a problem. Many years ago my old Legnano had it too. I never move slow enough to turn the wheel that sharp.

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