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Heel Hitting the Frame

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Heel Hitting the Frame

Old 03-20-16, 07:33 PM
  #1  
coachcommute
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Heel Hitting the Frame

Hi All,

I recently got a Cannondale Synapse Alloy 6 (2015) and it's been awesome, except for a problem with my heel just clipping the frame unless I slightly rotate my heel out and toes in. The frame on the back is very short (the back wheel is just a couple centimeters from the part that holds the seat).
I took it into REI to see if I could get the bottom bracket replaced with a larger one but he said that Cannondale manufactures a non-standard bottom bracket and they don't make them wider. He also said that rotating my foot slightly in is good riding posture. On the one hand, I figure he has a vested interest in the matter, on the other, it seems really unlikely a 58cm bike is not designed to accomodate size 11-12 feet.

Should my foot be pointed in slightly? Or should it be exactly perpendicular to the pedal?
My concern is that pointing the foot in could lead to pointing the knee in and that might not be good for my knee.

Also, I did move my seat forward quite significantly since I am 5'11" and 58 cm is the max size I can do. Idk, if that would have any effect.
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Old 03-20-16, 07:54 PM
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ypsetihw
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you can move your cleat on your shoe all the way to the inside of your foot, which will position your foot farther away from the chainstay while you pedal. also, move the cleat as far towards the middle of your foot as it will go, this will mitigate how far your heel sticks out as well. also, the advice to work on your form is probably warranted. try to adjust your cleat and see where that gets you.
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Old 03-20-16, 09:51 PM
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Are you wearing cycling shoes or just regular shoes on flat pedals? Cycling shoes are more form fitting at the heel than a wider running shoe or something like that, and also you can adjust the cleats however you'd like, as mentioned above by ypsetihw
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Old 03-21-16, 04:29 AM
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I have had this issue (inside of heel hitting chainstays). It was only on one foot which, if I sat on a high bench or table so my feet were hanging freely in the air, I could see the front of the foot angled outward (the foot was a bit rotated so the front of the foot pointed outward a fair bit). Also, I have wide feet and on flats my foot tended to "roll off" the outside front of the pedal.

I started using a 20mm pedal extender like "knee savers" or the ones pictured here: https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...dal-extenders/. I did not use either of those "brands", just got mine at the bike shop.

This allows my foot to sit in what is for me a more natural angle and on flat pedals my foot now sits properly on the pedal without trying to roll off the outside. And my heel doesn't hit the chainstays.
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Old 03-21-16, 12:07 PM
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trailangel
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Change your technic.
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Old 03-21-16, 12:47 PM
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Go to a good bike store, not REI and have a proper fitting done. The bike has not been fit to you. When it is you will no longer be hitting your heel on the chain stay and your seat will be set according to your feet and knees. Then the cockpit will be adjusted for reach.
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Old 03-28-16, 08:05 AM
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Thanks for all the tips! Adjusting my cleats mostly solved the problem. I adjusted them so my foot is farther out, the heel is rotated out more, and the cleat is nearer to my heel on the left.
The right knee feels a little weird but it's the fussy one (I used to play a lot of squash which puts a lot of twisting pressure on it). Hopefully I can adjust my way out of the problem.
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Old 03-30-16, 09:45 AM
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coachcommute - I am severely toed out when standing or dangling my feet while sitting on a desk so I originally mimicked this with my cleats. This resulted in my heels hitting the crank arms and at times the chainstays. Recently a fitter recommended adjusting my cleats inward and in-line with the shoes so my toes point straight and shockingly that felt good. I did feel a slight tightness in one knee so I slightly toed-in the the cleat so my foot could toe out slightly. With the proper arch support I think toed out individuals can tolerate straight knees when riding and still produce power efficiently.
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Old 04-05-16, 08:41 PM
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I had been experiencing that issue with my left foot sometimes clipping the chainstay and my ankle the crank. I have large feet (12) and wear custom orthotics My left foot has a tendency to toe out and I didn't want to force it in with cleat placement since I felt that would open the door on another set of problems. I brought the foot as far as I could with cleat placement but it really didn't resolve it.
I was being fitted for my last bike purchase the fitter tried putting some spacers on the pedal axle to give a little more clearance. That worked like a charm. I ended up using Dura Ace SPD-SL pedals with a longer axle (4mm longer). Since then it's all good.
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Old 04-06-16, 10:12 PM
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Longer bottom bracket spindles screw up the chain line. Don't do that, even if you can. Moving the cleats inboard and using pedal shims are the right direction. Also, Speedplay offers optional long spindles for some of their models.
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Old 04-09-16, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
Go to a good bike store, not REI and have a proper fitting done. The bike has not been fit to you. When it is you will no longer be hitting your heel on the chain stay and your seat will be set according to your feet and knees. Then the cockpit will be adjusted for reach.
Agree with all this!

Another aspect of fitting (not sizing) is to allow your feet to "stick out sideways so that no undue pressure is generated inside your knee. If you foot "likes" to be pointed out or pointed in, the pedal and cleat arrangement needs to accommodate that.

One approach is a pedal that actually has its foot platform farther out from the bike centerline. Some pedals have this design, and there are also some gadgets from Problem Solvers that actually set the pedal outboard. When you get a good fitting, make sure the fitter pays attention to your cleat placement and choice of pedals or pedal adaptors.

The fitting device to adjust cleat angle used to be called the Rotational Alignment Device. I don't know if shops still use them.
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Old 04-09-16, 11:41 AM
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You can also get bicycle pedal extenders.
Bike Pedal Extenders: Spaces Bicycle Pedals Outward - FGT Motorsport
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Old 04-13-16, 08:40 AM
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I will say that I had this exact same issue on my Synapse until I got it professionally fitted. The fitter took my cleats, did measurements on my feet, adjusted the cleats and now I have no issues with my heel hitting the frame. Even tried to make it hit the frame last night and found it difficult to do so.
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