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Foot overlap on 50cm bike(8 posts)

Foot overlap on 50cm bikeKyle
May 9, 2001 2:02 PM
A 5'4" friend with (apparently) big feet has asked me to help her buy a road bike. All the ones she's tried so far (50cms, generally) have a bit of foot overlap with the front tire when she turns. Being 6' myself, I've never had to deal with this problem. My questions:

1. Is this common? Dangerous?

2. Can 650c wheels be found on bikes this size and would that take care of the problem? I assume that the frame would have to be built specific for them because of the brake bosses.

3. What about a fork with a lot of rake?

Anyway, any suggestions would help. Maybe she just needs to live with it.

re: Foot overlap on 50cm bikerollo tommassi
May 9, 2001 2:36 PM
Being about the same height as your friend, and also riding a 50cm frame, I say that foot is overlap is common is not inherently dangerous. Sure, you will rub a little when you turn the wheel that far (say, at a stop light, or making a slow speed 180degree turn) but this overlap will not affect regular riding at speed.

I would not recommend that your friend get a 650c bike, as she is not small enough to warrant this sizing.
re: Foot overlap on 50cm bikezelig1
May 10, 2001 3:33 AM
I'm about 67" and ride a 51 cm ctc bike. My first serious bike in 1975, a Gios Torino had very little overlap, a function of the relatively slack head tube angle and generous fork rake. As time has gone on, geometry has gotten slightly more aggressive resulting in increasing amounts of overlap and my current ride of a Vortex and a 4cm rake fork has lots of overlap. As Rollo points out, except when making a slow 180 degree turn, overlap is not an issue when you ride. I do a lot of city riding and even there, its not an issue. Also, I would not recommend 650c wheels if her frame size can handle 700c's. Tire and rim choices are restricted at 650c compared to 700c.
re: Foot overlap on 50cm bikexxx
May 9, 2001 2:42 PM
Most any small frame/bike is going to have toe 'correct' way around it, at least with 700c wheels. The smaller the bike, the slacker the head a fork with a larger rake will make the handling sloppy (most good small bikes have larger rakes spec'd and vise versa with larger bikes). So,'s common, no it shouldn't be dangerous, because if he/she is turning far enough for the wheel to contact the toe....he/she is riding very sloooowy. You will never turn your bars/wheel that far while normal riding. You 'lean' a bike, you don't 'turn' a bike (withing reason of course). I'd much rather ride a 700c wheel bike and not worry, then ride a 650c wheel bike, with no overlap, and suffer the other ride consequences.
re: Foot overlap on 50cm bikeBecky
May 9, 2001 2:46 PM
Let me start off by saying that I'm 5'5" with size 8 feet (about average for an American female) and I ride a 47cm frame with 650 wheels. When I first started shopping for bikes, I mistakenly thought I needed a 50cm frame based on the standover height and looked accordingly. None of the 50cm bikes I looked at had 650 wheels and the foot overlap that you describe was common. 650 wheels (and consequently a smaller frame) have taken care of this overlap and I achieved a better upper body fit on the bike. Incidently, my measurements are such that I can stand over a 52 or 54 cm frame comfortably, but there's no way that I could ride it due to torso length. Standover height is not always a good indication of fit, especially with women riders.
My first thought is to try a bike one size smaller in order to get the 650 wheels (48cm and smaller usually have "little" wheels) and see if it doesn't fit better overall while solving that overlap issue. Best of luck to you and your friend with your shopping venture and I hope that this helps!
re: Foot overlap on 50cm bikesimstress
May 9, 2001 3:54 PM
1. I've heard of it on frames as large as 56cm.
2. 650c wheels can be found on 50cm frames, and it may eliminate the overlap. Your assumption is correct.
3. It might feel like riding a Harley?

I ride 48-50cm frames with 700c's. Initially I freaked out about the toe overlap, but quickly learned that I rarely turn the wheel enough to be close to my toes. My bike handles properly, fits well, and has toe overlap. I'll take that over a bike that eliminates toe overlap, but has poor fit and funny handling.
Rode thousands of miles w/overlap, never touched onceRetro
May 9, 2001 4:35 PM
One of my bikes years ago had an inch or so of overlap (I'm 6'4" and it was a 62cm, so it's not just a small-bike problem). I could make my size 14 feet touch the tire any time I wanted, but in the eight years and thousands of miles I rode the bike, they never so much as brushed. I think you don't turn the wheel that far while you're riding. Whatever the reason, though, it just wasn't an issue.
congratulations, overlap sign of a good bikeclub
May 10, 2001 7:24 AM
the best-handling road frames I've owned all had toeclip overlap, and that's on 55cm frames. Dave Tesch's creations come to mind. The big manufacturers try to avoid it, because their legal departments won't let them build that way because noncycling uninformed jurors would think it's a design flaw. Overlap shows the designer didn't compromise the ideal geometry with too much fork rake or a slack head tube angle for the sake of avoiding it. It's literally never been a problem for me, only time you can ever turn the wheel enough to touch your toe is when doing trackstands, so just adapt by putting the forward pedal at 2 o-clock instead of straight forward at 3 o'clock.