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  1. #1
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    Big Dogs; Avoiding Heel Strike

    My wife and I have a deal; when I lose 50 lbs I get another bike - no questions asked, no recriminations.

    Whatever bike I get will have to be a multi-use bike. It will be my commuter (40 mile r/t) and I'd like to do a tour eventually.

    Here's the thing - I wear size 13 shoes. I had to do some creative mounting of the Wald fold-out baskets on my Trek 7100 hybrid to avoid heel strike. I have been thinking about getting a touring bike and using it as a commuter. I figured that touring bikes are built with panniers in mind so it would be hard to go wrong with one.

    However, I've also read that a lower center of gravity means the bottom bracket is closer to the ground (don't pedal through a turn) and odd handling unloaded.

    I've also seen cyclocross bikes recommended for use as a commuter/light touring bike. That seems like a good idea, but I'm wondering about heel strike.

    So, I figured I'd ask here. Any of you guys w/ particularly big dogs overcome the issue of heel strike? What chain stay length should I be looking for to avoid it?

    It'll be a while before I've lost 50 lbs, but I'm one of those anal shoppers that likes to make big ticket purchased after doing a bunch of research.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kc0yef's Avatar
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    I wear a 15 heel strike would be welcome versus instep strike on these new fangled short chain stay bikes...
    riding

  3. #3
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Depending on how much gear you have to haul on your commutes, a Carradice bag will eliminate any heel strike issues...

    I've got 16.3" chainstay and size 11 shoes, so I fully understand heel strike. My next bike will have the chainstay length moved way up on the decision making matrix- like the Giant Escape and Via models or the Raleigh Misceo, all of which measure at 17.9" for the chainstays
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    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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    I wear a size 11 and have heel strike on my Wald 535 baskets mounted on my Giant Escape.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbacon View Post
    I wear a size 11 and have heel strike on my Wald 535 baskets mounted on my Giant Escape.
    Do you have the baskets centered on the rack? If so, you can move them rearward a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  6. #6
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    The baskets are the rack.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hamiltonian's Avatar
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    I expected actual big dogs striking at heels in this thread. What a disappointment.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChrisM2097's Avatar
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    I wear size 15, use a Topeak Explorer rack and MTX trunk/panniers.

    I had the rack mounted on my '07 Rockhopper when I was commuting on that, and heel-strike was a problem. I purchased a '12 Trek FX 7.5, and installed the rack, and noticed that there was a considerable difference in the chainstay length. No more heal-strike. Sorry, don't have any measurements.

    On my commute, I bring a full change of clothes - pants, shirt, underwear, socks - lunch, bike U-lock w/ cable, multi-tool, & spare tube. I used to bring a change of shoes, too. Size 15's would take up one entire pannier. I now just leave a couple pairs of shoes at my desk, which frees up lots of room.
    Last edited by ChrisM2097; 08-01-12 at 03:27 PM.
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  9. #9
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    I need to carry lunch and a clean shirt and gotch to work in the morning, so I don't need to use big panniers. Lucky thing, because I use a pair of small panniers mounted as far back as possible on my rac, which is tilted slightly back from level, and I have about 1 cm of clearance. If I accidentally mount the forward clip of the pannier in front of the middle stay of the rack my feet will hit. I also have re-routed the bunjee cord holding the bottom clip to make the previously ambidextrous bags into side-specific bags so they fit better on the backof the rack.

    Size 14 feet, cheap aluminum rack, and front 'Kangaroo' panniers.

    I also have a set of medium sized rear panniers that don't fit the rack as well, but have a cutaway on the front side to reduce heel strike, and these work OK too. If your baskets are square then heel strike is likely to always be an issue.

  10. #10
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamiltonian View Post
    I expected actual big dogs striking at heels in this thread. What a disappointment.
    I thought he was having a problem like this.

    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    I wear a size 13 and ride a bikesdirect cross bike (short chainstays) with a rack and full sized panniers with a wedged side. The only heel strike I've noticed is when starting off, but I've learned to be diligent about which foot is forward and mindful of when I clip the other foot in.

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    look for a frame with chainstays that are narrow all the way back, then
    have an abrupt curve outward to the required dropout spacing..

    if the square basket is in the way.. move its mount, further back, up ,
    and backend tilted forward.
    so lower front corner is moved back.. or a combination of the 3.

    I wear a size 11 and have heel strike on my Wald 535 baskets mounted on my Giant Escape.. The baskets are the rack.. Bacon lover

    those basket-racks remain in production, as chainstays shrank,
    in length on MTBs
    from their schwinn and excelsior beach cruiser days ..

    look for a beach cruiser frame to retain the basket, or
    different racks and baskets..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-03-12 at 11:48 AM.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the input guys. I particularly loved the dog in the rack.

    I stumbled upon a pretty good deal on a C&V bike and bought it yesterday. A 1981 Fuji S12-S Ltd. It looks to have a long-enough chain stay for me. The bike fits me perfectly.

    It's in the bike shop right now getting the general overhaul done (new cables, lube, adjustment dérailleurs, properly tension the spokes, etc). I am having them put a wider set of drop bars on it. The stock ones were way too narrow for me. I'm spending a bit more on it than I had hoped but I figure it'll be worth it. The guy at the bike shop said "well, you could always get a new one! I ride a chrome moly Jamis and we have them in stock."

    "How much?"

    "$3,500"

    "Uh....no thank you. The amount I'm spending on the Fuji seems much more reasonable when put into perspective."

    Jeeze, before I did that I'd buy a Surly LHT.

    I'm toying w/ the idea of fenders.

    I'm also looking at a Brooks B17 that they have. $120 for a saddle seems crazy to me, but given reviews like the ones in my signature.........I dunno.....sounds pretty appealing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Epicus07 View Post
    That being said..Chamois butter is mandatory for me and this saddle. It makes the difference between painful chaffing and god cupping my balls.

  14. #14
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    To avoid heel strike, you need panniers with a heel cutout profile and a rack with sufficient length.
    Long legs deserve long cranks, which can add to the heel-strike issue.
    If your bike has horizontal dropouts, the moving the wheel back even by 1cm enables you to carry the pannier further back with no ill effects on handling.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkippyX View Post
    The guy at the bike shop said "well, you could always get a new one! I ride a chrome moly Jamis and we have them in stock."

    "How much?"

    "$3,500"

    "Uh....no thank you.
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...esport_rd.html
    MSRP $700.

    He was telling you about the most expensive steel bike Jamis makes, which is a racing-style bike.
    THey also make two steel touring bikes, and a fancy steel commuter bike with disk brakes and fenders - the most expensive of the three has a msrp of $1600.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCB0 View Post
    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...esport_rd.html
    MSRP $700.

    He was telling you about the most expensive steel bike Jamis makes, which is a racing-style bike.
    THey also make two steel touring bikes, and a fancy steel commuter bike with disk brakes and fenders - the most expensive of the three has a msrp of $1600.
    And when it's all said & done I'll be into my Fuji for far less than the $700 Jamis.

    I knew he was talking about an upper-end bike when he showed it to me. He was, justifiably, proud of his ride. I'd be proud of it too were I him.

    I don't have the disposable income to toss down the kind of money which would be required for a new bike, so I had to bide my time and find something older, serviceable, and upgradeable. I'm pleased so far. I'm looking forward to getting it back from the shop and riding it.

    Besides, I think there's a certain panache to be had from riding a bike that was built when I was a youngster still in school. I'll might be the old guy rockin' an old bike, but I think I'll be happy being that guy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Epicus07 View Post
    That being said..Chamois butter is mandatory for me and this saddle. It makes the difference between painful chaffing and god cupping my balls.

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