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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 07-12-05, 01:07 AM   #1
Erich Zann
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toe overlap

I recently got a good deal on a Mercian Path Racer (track bike designed to have brakes and raced off-road). It was from 72 I believe and was designed for 700 wheels. I put some 170mm cranks on and used Large sized cages on my pedals, but when I went to ride when the build was complete I noticed a toe overlap of 5+ mm. I am going to try switching to 165mm cranks with small cages tomorrow, but I am a little but disturbed that I have to do this because it is a 57 frame for crying out loud. No other frameset of 57cm+ had any overlap except a crashed Colnago, (those italians). How could it be that Mercian such a touted frame building company would have such a poorly designed frameset? I could see if the frame was small like under 54cm, but its pretty large, and it is a "path" frameset drilled for brakes, with original routing braze-ons, too! I am running 700c wheels which the frame was designed for, and the bike has never been crashed. Has anyone else ever had similar trouble with overlap on a frame of this size? Is this just a design "flaw"? I refuse to compromise to having overlap, i just dont feel safe riding the thing. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-12-05, 01:52 AM   #2
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My Condor (british made as well) 56cm has about a cm of overlap with 165 cranks, size 42 shoes and 700x23 tires.
What size tires do you have? And how much tire clearance in the rear? If there's more in the back then it might not be the original fork.
I'm guessing by 'off road' you mean grass tracks? Traditional grass track bikes should have clearance for larger tires. The presence of brazeons suggests it might've been a custom time trialing bike which could explain the cable routing.
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Old 07-12-05, 02:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich Zann
I recently got a good deal on a Mercian Path Racer (track bike designed to have brakes and raced off-road). It was from 72 I believe and was designed for 700 wheels. I put some 170mm cranks on and used Large sized cages on my pedals, but when I went to ride when the build was complete I noticed a toe overlap of 5+ mm. I am going to try switching to 165mm cranks with small cages tomorrow, but I am a little but disturbed that I have to do this because it is a 57 frame for crying out loud. No other frameset of 57cm+ had any overlap except a crashed Colnago, (those italians). How could it be that Mercian such a touted frame building company would have such a poorly designed frameset? I could see if the frame was small like under 54cm, but its pretty large, and it is a "path" frameset drilled for brakes, with original routing braze-ons, too! I am running 700c wheels which the frame was designed for, and the bike has never been crashed. Has anyone else ever had similar trouble with overlap on a frame of this size? Is this just a design "flaw"? I refuse to compromise to having overlap, i just dont feel safe riding the thing. Any suggestions?
For reference or comparison.

http://www.cannondale.com/Asset/iu_files/115971.pdf

Most of my bicycles have some toe overlap. I wear a size 47 shoe and I like racing designed frame geometry. But the overlap is only apparent when turning sharply at very slow speed. I have never crashed or fell because of the overlap.

I use 170mm - 172.5mm cranksets and get some overlap as described above. Also my Bianchi Pista uses a 165mm crankset and has much toe overlap.

Last edited by wildjim; 07-12-05 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 07-12-05, 05:27 AM   #4
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My old 57cm KHS Aero had 2+ cm of toe overlap w/ large MKS cages and 165mm cranks. It was ridiculous. Some of it was contributed by the aftermarket straight bladed fork, but truly, even with the stock fork, it would have been a problem. You'll get used to it, it's really not that big of a problem.
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Old 07-12-05, 05:45 AM   #5
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My new frame has over an inch of toe overlap with 170mm cranks and it's a 56. I've gotten used to it though and it hardly ever bothers me now. My old 57 KHS aero had about 1mm of toe overlap... but I ride clipless so that would explain a lot.
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Old 07-12-05, 06:19 AM   #6
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My combination of mismatched frame and fork (53 c-c), size 43 shoes, 170mm road cranks and 700x23 tires gives me over an inch of toeverlap. It's only a problem when doing sharp u-turns at slow speeds.

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Old 07-12-05, 07:15 AM   #7
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my bikes got loads of overlap, like more than 2". i just got used to it. its only made me crash once just after i got some cages. it is like a 49cm top tube tho.

tightest frame ever!!
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Old 07-12-05, 07:23 AM   #8
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pedal overlap is normal. Honestly it doesn't bother you unless you are going very slow and making sharp turns.
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Old 07-12-05, 07:41 AM   #9
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Yep. My spanky-new Mercian track (which I ride offroad too) has about 1cm with size 45 shoes and Times. Except when performing stupid manouevres, it ain't an issue. I can corner as deep and hard as I dare.
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Old 07-12-05, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benny
pedal overlap is normal. Honestly it doesn't bother you unless you are going very slow and making sharp turns.
When I first started riding a track bike, it was my first experience of ever having toe overlap and it totally freaked me out. I was really worried about it. Despondent even. Then people started telling me I would just get used to it. And I did. Your brain and body just eventually "know" sort of automatically what movements you can't make (i.e. where in the pedal rotation it's bad to make a sharp turn). Obviously, in an emergency situation, this phenomenon is uncontrolable, and I guess a little dangerous. But track bikes weren't designed with "sharp turns at slow speeds" in mind. Tis' the price you pay for being on the shorter side and riding em' in the street.

FYIW, when I made the switch to clipless from cages, the toe overlap vanished.
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Old 07-12-05, 09:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnLaCalle
FYIW, when I made the switch to clipless from cages, the toe overlap vanished.
and of course you can also just use a smaller cage. I went up a size and wound up with a cm or two of overlap, worth it though given how much better I can brake with the properly fitting toe clips...
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Old 07-12-05, 09:41 AM   #12
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i have overlap on my 62cm frame. just a tiny bit, with 170s

frame size only eliminates toverlap issues if the clearances on the front end are bigger-than-ideal.

i guess what i mean to say is that a good track frame has overlap.
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Old 07-12-05, 10:00 AM   #13
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As you can see, many ride with toe overlap. This is not uncommon. You'll get accustomed to it in no time and it won't even be an issue.
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Old 07-12-05, 12:40 PM   #14
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None of my other track frames have toe overlap, in my opinion it seems like a well designed frame will not allow for any. My Peugeot and Holdsworth have none even with 170mm cranks and large cages. I would rather just only ride frames that dont allow for than try to get used to it.
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Old 07-12-05, 12:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich Zann
I would rather just only ride frames that dont allow for than try to get used to it.
It's really not a matter of getting used to it. Under normal riding conditions you'll most likely never encounter toe overlap.
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Old 07-12-05, 01:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
It's really not a matter of getting used to it. Under normal riding conditions you'll most likely never encounter toe overlap.
Is turning the front wheel during a track stand considered abnormal?

(Also the frame has the original fork.) I'm going to try putting my 165 pistas on there with small cages, if I can't get this overlap under control I'm probably going to sell the thing.
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Old 07-12-05, 01:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich Zann
None of my other track frames have toe overlap, in my opinion it seems like a well designed frame will not allow for any. My Peugeot and Holdsworth have none even with 170mm cranks and large cages. I would rather just only ride frames that dont allow for than try to get used to it.

did you read the link wild jim posted up? makes quite convincing reading and certainly steers thought away from the frame not being "well designed"

also my overlap went when i changed my fork- but then again so did the sweet feel my bike had before i swapped out...
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Old 07-12-05, 01:54 PM   #18
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Turning the wheel during a trackstand is not abnormal, however, you need to develop a technique that allows the leading foot to be on the turning side. If you are still swinging the front wheel in a huge sweeping path, then you are forcing the issue. It's all about being smooth on the movements.

This is not a design flaw. If it were, most all track bikes and a very large amount of road bikes would be such.

Take the advice above for what it is.
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Old 07-12-05, 08:14 PM   #19
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I read the link and I understand that toe-overlap is not considered a "flaw" but a "characteristic" by cyclists, as framesets have the potential for toe-overlap in their angles on purpose and not by mistake. However I do consider the presence of toe overlap with the set up I'm running on my Mercian frameset to be a negative characteristic because in my opinion the performance of the frameset would be superior if it were designed with angles which allowed me to move my front wheel without possibility of striking my pedal. I would rather just ride a frame without potential for overlap because in riding in city traffic sometimes does not allow me to plan which foot is forward if I have to swerve or stop quickly. It is just my opinion that a frame that allows for more freedom of movement in turning has a better design. You know I'd rather just not have to worry about it. Anyway thanks for the info.
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Old 07-12-05, 08:43 PM   #20
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We Must Form Gangs To Stop Them!
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Old 07-12-05, 08:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich Zann
It is just my opinion that a frame that allows for more freedom of movement in turning has a better design. You know I'd rather just not have to worry about it. Anyway thanks for the info.
It shouldn't really come as a shock to anyone that a track frame isn't designed for sharp turns. Get something with relaxed geometry (ie, not a track frame) and you'll be a happy pappy.

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Old 07-12-05, 09:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich Zann
Is turning the front wheel during a track stand considered abnormal?

(Also the frame has the original fork.) I'm going to try putting my 165 pistas on there with small cages, if I can't get this overlap under control I'm probably going to sell the thing.
Well, I don't turn my front wheel (to the other side) during trackstanding. If I have to change front wheel direction for some reason, I half pedal forward or backward. All my bikes have overlap and I'm not selling any of them.
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Old 07-12-05, 09:29 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcatano
It shouldn't really come as a shock to anyone that a track frame isn't designed for sharp turns. Get something with relaxed geometry (ie, not a track frame) and you'll be a happy pappy.

m.
But I do have 4 track frames with track geometry with no toe overlap and I am happy with them, it is just this one that I am not happy with.
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Old 07-12-05, 09:31 PM   #24
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We Must Form Gangs To Stop Them!
Good idea, we should form gangs and stop them!
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Old 07-13-05, 03:24 PM   #25
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Good idea, we should form gangs and stop them!

Better yet, we should form gangs to stop toe overlap!
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