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When i turn my pedals keep hitting the ground

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When i turn my pedals keep hitting the ground

Old 01-03-22, 09:50 PM
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When i turn my pedals keep hitting the ground

ive had a mountain bike for a while and im not able to buy a new bike currently, and ive recently started going cycling to places like classes, but ive notices that when i turn (i lean a good amount i dont think its to excessive) and i ride on the main road a lot so i need speed in turns but my bikes pedals keep hitting the ground, this also happens sometimes when i cycle too agressively (i tend to point my feet downward and once got my shoe caught on the ground and my foot was out of commision for a while) should i increase the size of my bike wheels so i have more ground clearance or should i be doing something else?
im about 6"3'
the ground clearance of my bikes pedals when the pedal is at the lowest so like straight down is about 5 and a half inches
my seat is 37 and a half inches off the ground
and my wheels are like 26 inches (taken from like the top of the wheel to the bottom)
if any of this info helps
edit: thanks for the suggestions everyone, i upgraded to a 27.5 inch bike and the problem stopped, but im pretty sure that most of it was me not comfortable fully with my bike, when i was younger i was able to do a **** ton while on a bike, but i stopped cycling for a while, and picked it up again recently as its cheaper than uber and doesnt cost too much, my issues were mostly pointing my toe downwards and leaning way too much cause i like cars and wanted to corner something cause i didnt have a car, and to get good speed on the tight turns i pedaled and leaned a **** ton, i remember leaning my bike while i was off of it enough for the pedals to hit the ground and that was excessive af, sometimes subconsiously i still do but with experience its getting less and less, seeing the replies in this thread i know i need to learn a lot with my bike and am thinking of trying some self maintainance cause my bike shop guy has the same experience as me

Last edited by MHunter91; 03-22-22 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 01-03-22, 10:02 PM
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Is it a full suspension bike? If it is the suspension may be too soft and compressing too much. If not, just stop pedaling in the turns.
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Old 01-03-22, 10:10 PM
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doesnt seem like its compressing too much and like i said i ride in the main roads and cars here dont give two ***** and would gladly run me over so i gotta speed through turns (especially if i stopped for a red light and have to turn as soon as the lights green) oh and here we drive on the left side of the road so we got wider turns to make

Last edited by MHunter91; 01-03-22 at 10:23 PM. Reason: information left out
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Old 01-03-22, 10:32 PM
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I ride on the left too. Those wider turns are a real problem.
Much easier when I rode in Europe on the right hand side.
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Old 01-03-22, 10:59 PM
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If you're dragging the inside pedal going through turns, big john has it right- stop pedaling until lean is decreased enough for there to be clearance. There are ways to mitigate that a smidge like with smaller pedals, but it's just how the contraption works. One of those "it's hurts when I do ~thing~", then stop doing ~thing~ deals.

If you're hitting the ground with the bike fully upright (not sure if that's what you meant by "cycle too aggressively"), big john is...also right stiffer springs or locking the suspension out would help if that's the case.
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Old 01-03-22, 11:54 PM
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by cycle too aggresively i mean just pedaling like a madman not sure what happened that time but i was on the lowest gear cause i was teaching someone to ride and i think my seat was quite low cause i put it down for him, i think my foot was in coming out the front of the pedal (i have big feet too :sob: ) and once my foot started to angle downward my shoe got caught in the road
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Old 01-04-22, 07:41 AM
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Outside foot/pedal down, coast through the turn.
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Old 01-04-22, 09:46 AM
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Certainly coast through corners when you can, but sometimes you just can't, like your example of having to turn from a stop. Crank arm length and bottom bracket height sometimes make it challenging to make turns while pedaling. Anything to raise your foot would help: larger diameter wheels, shorter cranks, narrower pedals, etc., but I'd recommend just getting some experience with your bike to gain a feel for what you can and cannot do.
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Old 01-04-22, 09:48 AM
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The bottom of your pedal is 5½" from the ground? Mine is only 3" inches from the ground and I pedal through 20 mph turns and never hit the ground.

So something is wrong. Not only is suspension suspect but crank Q factor and pedal width too. Are you using really wide platform pedals? When I test rode the model bike I now have they put really wide platform pedals on it and I did have some pedal strikes in turns while in the parking lot. But when I put my narrow SPD pedals on the bike it was no issue for turns.

Certainly increasing tire diameter will help, marginally, but if you get to changing actual wheel sizes, then you are getting into more money. Why not just look for a cheap used road bike?
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Old 01-04-22, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Outside foot/pedal down, coast through the turn.
You got that backwards. It should be inside pedal up and coast.
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Old 01-04-22, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MHunter91
... my bikes pedals keep hitting the ground,
I don't understand how you can keep having pedal strikes and not crash. At speeds where pedal strike can occur, it's possible to recover, but a good fraction of the time a pedal hitting the ground results in the rider going down.
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Old 01-04-22, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by MHunter91
ive had a mountain bike for a while and im not able to buy a new bike currently, and ive recently started going cycling to places like classes, but ive notices that when i turn (i lean a good amount i dont think its to excessive) and i ride on the main road a lot so i need speed in turns but my bikes pedals keep hitting the ground, this also happens sometimes when i cycle too agressively (i tend to point my feet downward and once got my shoe caught on the ground and my foot was out of commision for a while) should i increase the size of my bike wheels so i have more ground clearance or should i be doing something else?
im about 6"3'
the ground clearance of my bikes pedals when the pedal is at the lowest so like straight down is about 5 and a half inches
my seat is 37 and a half inches off the ground
and my wheels are like 26 inches (taken from like the top of the wheel to the bottom)
if any of this info helps
Pointing your toes downward is the problem; you need to stop doing that. If nothing else, you increase the risk of a foot slipping off the pedal entirely. Whenever I've found myself doing that, it's because my saddle was too high.

Foot retention of some kind might be a good idea because it would help keep you from advancing your feet too far forward on the pedals.
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Old 01-04-22, 11:22 AM
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this is an avoidable problem
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Old 01-04-22, 12:05 PM
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I ride fix gear and therefor have to pedal through every turn. I've learned a few things.

1) The bike setup. Long cranks make things worse. So do wide and deep pedals. Bottom bracket height. (Much of this is dictated by the frame but wheels and tires also play in as you mentioned above). I ride my fix gears with long (175mm) cranks. (My knees insist.) I also use the old Shimano D-A/600/105 semi-platform pedals that are pretty narrow and have the outboard bottom corner rounded so ground clearance on turns is very good. Q-factor, the distance the pedals are off the center-plane of the bike also is a factor. Cranks that bow out (for chainstay, front derailleur and chain clearance) also add in.

The typical mountain bike has a high bottom bracket but also a bottom bracket spindle and cranks that offer a lot of clearance. Pedals are usually quite wide and often deep. 175 and 180mm cranks are common.

2) Pedaling style. There are several options. Keep the bike in line with your body lean. Pedals strike at the angle determined by 1) above. Lean the bike in more than your lean. This promotes a more aggressive turn and is favored by many but pedals strike sooner. Lean the bike away. It is more of a "fight" to get the bike to turn but a sharper, more aggressive turn can be taken without pedal strike. Or rock the bike so the bike is more upright when the inside pedal comes town and leans more as it approaches the top. (This is easy and natural when out of the saddle but take a little thought when seated and is hard to do at high RPMs.)

So there is a lot you can do to avoid pedal strike on turns (besides the obvious - coasting). The bike. Costs money and may introduce compromises but there is probably a lot you can do. (Starting with a mountain bike. If you were starting with a velodrome worthy track bike there would be very little room for improvement.) And riding style. I haven't seen your riding so I cannot guess the room for improvement but the technique of leaning the bike away makes a big difference, (And every so often, someone will tell you that you are corning all wrong!)

Lastly - hitting pedals. Look at whether this is really an issue. At low leans there is little danger of crashing. I had two Peugeots set up as fix gears. Both started life with 27" wheels but I use 700c and skinny tires. Both had low bottom brackets by design. On the first I used a pedal that eventually started to fall apart after too many impacts but the demise was slow and manageable. On the second I used cheap, decently made Wellgo clipless that had plenty of aluminum in the contact area. Pedal strike wasn't a big deal. Now the bike I used to race had a very high bottom bracket and narrow cranks. Race pedals. Strike happened at big leans. Never crashed but it was heart stopping.

Look at your bike. Measure the height of the bottom bracket spindle off the ground. (My bikes - those Peugeots were under 10 1/2". My city fix gear is 10 5/8", now the lowest I will go. By custom fix gear is 10 3/4'. That old race bike - nearly 11". Can you go narrower with the bottom bracket spindle and cranks? (Look at both clearances as you spin the pedals in your highest gear and you chain alignment. It's a juggling act.) Pedals. For road riding, consider replacing your pedals with clipless and appropriate shoes.

And pedaling style/judging corners well.

Ben (who's pedaled a few miles of corners)
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Old 01-04-22, 12:53 PM
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Pedal strike on the inside pedal on a turn/corner can be a thing. It's scary when you're not expecting it (and when you are), but it's avoidable.

Here's the secret:

Ready for it? Don't pedal in a corner. Drop your outside foot and the inside comes up. No more pedal strike.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:03 PM
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It's really a technique thing, don't pedal when you're leaned into a corner. But if you want to spend money to fix it instead you can get smaller crank arms.
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Old 01-04-22, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac
Here's the secret:

Ready for it? Don't pedal in a corner. Drop your outside foot and the inside comes up. No more pedal strike.
Patient: "Doctor, it hurts when I do this."
Doctor: "Don't do that."
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Old 01-04-22, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
It's really a technique thing, don't pedal when you're leaned into a corner. But if you want to spend money to fix it instead you can get smaller crank arms.
If one is racing, the trick is to learn when to pedal, and when not to pedal. I.E. when not at risk, pedal.

Changing the crank arms may help, although for a tall rider, that may not be optimal.

Are you using clipless pedals and cleats? Most of them will look significantly smaller than your current pedals, but will still hold the shoes quite well.

I prefer 2-bolt SPD which is generally walkable.
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Old 01-04-22, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MHunter91
ive had a mountain bike for a while and im not able to buy a new bike currently, and ive recently started going cycling to places like classes, but ive notices that when i turn (i lean a good amount i dont think its to excessive) and i ride on the main road a lot so i need speed in turns but my bikes pedals keep hitting the ground, this also happens sometimes when i cycle too agressively (i tend to point my feet downward and once got my shoe caught on the ground and my foot was out of commision for a while) should i increase the size of my bike wheels so i have more ground clearance or should i be doing something else?
im about 6"3'
the ground clearance of my bikes pedals when the pedal is at the lowest so like straight down is about 5 and a half inches
my seat is 37 and a half inches off the ground
and my wheels are like 26 inches (taken from like the top of the wheel to the bottom)
if any of this info helps
Originally Posted by Dean V
I ride on the left too. Those wider turns are a real problem.
Much easier when I rode in Europe on the right hand side.
1. The side of the road you ride on makes no difference when it comes to pedal strike. Riding on the left is just a mirror to riding on the right.

2. Wider/slower turns (with less leaning) will cause LESS pedal strike, whereas tighter/faster turns (with more leaning) cause MORE pedal strike.

3. If you really want to pedal through turns and you want to reduce pedal strike, try a shorter crank length, and/or try different pedals (such as the clipless Shimano M520) that don't protrude as far from the crank arm (wide platform pedals are the worst for strike, as well as the pedals with clipless on one side and platform on the other, ask me how I know). Both of these changes will improve the bad geometry that causes pedal strike.

4. Make sure you aren't using wheels that have a smaller diameter (such as 26" or 650b) on a frame that was designed for a larger diameter wheel (possibly a 29er), this will also cause your pedals to be closer to the ground than the frame designer intended, which will cause more pedal strike.

Last edited by Riveting; 01-04-22 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 01-04-22, 04:00 PM
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The Tioga MT Zero is also a super thin pedal. Perhaps not a huge difference, but it might help just a bit. But, it will also push your feet out a bit further.



I'm not sure about bearing longevity.

Is it possible a 26" MTB is a little too small for someone who is 6'3"? Perhaps hunt for a good 29er?
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Old 01-04-22, 04:18 PM
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I suspect your pedals are big blocky pedals. Could you post a picture of one? If that is the case, you will need to get thinner and narrower pedals.
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Old 01-04-22, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveting
1. The side of the road you ride on makes no difference when it comes to pedal strike. Riding on the left is just a mirror to riding on the right.

2. ...
On older derailleur bikes and all of my bikes, right crank arms are set further out than the left so right pedals strike sooner.
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Old 01-04-22, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK
Is it possible a 26" MTB is a little too small for someone who is 6'3"? Perhaps hunt for a good 29er?
I'm 6'2" and I rode 26" wheeled MTBs for 30+ years, both hardtails and full suspension, and I never had pedal strike issues until I got a 27.5 wheeled bike with 6" of rear suspension travel. You can set that thing up soft so it rides nice over rocks and stuff but if your foot is 5 or 6 inches off the ground and the rear drops 6 inches the pedal is going to hit.

I also use pedal extenders and 175mm cranks on road bikes and one of my road bikes has an extra low BB and I just stop pedaling in tight turns.

Last edited by big john; 01-04-22 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 01-04-22, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
On older derailleur bikes and all of my bikes, right crank arms are set further out than the left so right pedals strike sooner.
If that's true it still wouldn't matter which side of the road you ride on.
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Old 01-04-22, 05:57 PM
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The solution is obvious - don't turn.
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