Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fitting Your Bike
Reload this Page >

Heel Hitting the Frame

Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and dont know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. Its more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, youll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya go..the location for everything fit related.

Heel Hitting the Frame

Old 03-20-16, 07:33 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
coachcommute is offline  
Old 03-20-16, 07:54 PM
Senior Member
ypsetihw's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 1,109

Bikes: s-1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 221 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
ypsetihw is offline  
Old 03-20-16, 09:51 PM
Surf Bum
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pacifica, CA
Posts: 2,184

Bikes: Lapierre Pulsium 500 FdJ, Ritchey breakaway cyclocross, vintage trek mtb.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 2 Posts
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
Thirst is stronger than the rules. - Stars and Watercarriers, 1974
pacificaslim is offline  
Old 03-21-16, 04:29 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 360
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
Igualmente is offline  
Old 03-21-16, 12:07 PM
Senior Member
trailangel's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 4,611

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1765 Post(s)
Liked 524 Times in 311 Posts
Change your technic.
trailangel is offline  
Old 03-21-16, 12:47 PM
Senior Member
obed7's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Porter, Texas
Posts: 4,125

Bikes: Trek Domane 5.2, Ridley Xfire, Giant Propel, KHS AeroComp

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1648 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 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.
obed7 is offline  
Old 03-28-16, 08:05 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
coachcommute is offline  
Old 03-30-16, 09:45 AM
Doc V
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Brentwood, TN
Posts: 139

Bikes: Novara Trenta Road, Trek ZX6000 MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
Doc V is offline  
Old 04-05-16, 08:41 PM
TCR Rider
Senior Member
TCR Rider's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
Posts: 879

Bikes: Pinarello Dogma F8 Giant TCR Advanced 2 Jamis Coda

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
Liked 135 Times in 114 Posts
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.
TCR Rider is offline  
Old 04-06-16, 10:12 PM
Senior Member
oldbobcat's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Boulder County, CO
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: '79 Gios, '80 Masi, '06 Felt, early '60s Frejus

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Liked 104 Times in 77 Posts
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.
oldbobcat is offline  
Old 04-09-16, 11:28 AM
Road Fan
Senior Member
Road Fan's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 15,483

Bikes: 1980 Masi, 1984 Mondonico, 1984 Trek 610, 1980 Woodrup Giro, 2005 Mondonico Futura Leggera ELOS, 1967 PX10E, 1971 Peugeot UO-8

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1293 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 205 Posts
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.
Road Fan is offline  
Old 04-09-16, 11:41 AM
Senior Member
CliffordK's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,199
Mentioned: 204 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13593 Post(s)
Liked 1,894 Times in 1,436 Posts
You can also get bicycle pedal extenders.
Bike Pedal Extenders: Spaces Bicycle Pedals Outward - FGT Motorsport
CliffordK is offline  
Old 04-13-16, 08:40 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Indiana
Posts: 22

Bikes: 2012 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
jfries is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
General Cycling Discussion
12-03-18 05:42 PM
08-05-14 09:49 AM
Road Cycling
05-10-14 12:24 AM
Road Cycling
08-22-12 08:19 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.