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Toe hitting tire - Normal ?(9 posts)

Toe hitting tire - Normal ?6828
Dec 18, 2001 1:49 PM
G'day all,

I just got my first road bike last week and I have a question that I need help with.

When your pedalling, and turning around a tight corner, is it normal for the toe of your cycling shoe to come into contact with the front tire ? I'm learning quickly not to pedal when the tire is that turned, but I'm not sure if it's normal or not ?


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re: Toe hitting tire - Normal ?jtolleson
Dec 18, 2001 2:19 PM
Quite normal, especially on smaller frames (say, 51 cm or smaller). It is called "toe overlap" and is generally only an issue at very slow speeds, very sharp turns. It will quickly become second nature to avoid it.
re: Toe hitting tire - Normal ?6828
Dec 18, 2001 2:54 PM

Thanks for the answer.

When I touched I thought my forks had cracked/bent till I realised what had happened.

I guess there are a few new things to learn after riding a MTB around for 10 years.

Dec 18, 2001 3:14 PM
I practiced riding in small circles and allowing my toe to clip the wheel. If you're used to the way it feels, you can control it and you won't crash. Another thing to look out for (though I think mountain biker's know this instinctively) is to keep your pedals at 9 & 3 o'clock when rolling off a curb. I learned this the hard way. Doh!
It's Normal (nm)DCP
Dec 18, 2001 2:19 PM
re: Normal ?allervite
Dec 18, 2001 9:47 PM
No it's not normal.
No it does not happen to all guys.
Yes it is a big deal.

Wait wrong subject ha?
Toe/tire overlapbrider
Dec 19, 2001 6:22 AM
This is a somewhat normal occurrance on (1) small frames that use 700 size wheels, and (2) very tight "crit geometry" bikes. For most road bikes, it isn't normal. A couple things to look at: Check the fork -- is it bent back? Are your cleats too far back on your shoes? This would only be a concern when going very slowly, or possibly when starting off (like from an intersection). I know Terry bikes used smaller front wheels partially to overcome this very problem.
Toe/tire overlapguido
Dec 19, 2001 2:15 PM
Agree, it isn't normal, generally speaking. No bikes have toe-tire overlap except these tight wheel-based "criterium" road bikes. For one thing it's a liability issue. It also puts more of the rider's weight over the front wheel, not ideal in terms of stability.

I have such a bike with parallel 73 degree angles and short 39 inch wheelbase, that I had no problems adapting to, but still have to scoot back on the saddle to take weight off the front wheel when descending. Otherwise the front wheel will sometimes wobble.

In the interest of good fore-aft balance, good fit and predictable handling, most road racing bikes don't have this overlap, including the best ones. A good builder can design around that problem.
re: Toe hitting tire - Normal ?josh_putnam
Dec 19, 2001 9:17 PM
Yes, it's quite normal on many small to mid-sized bikes.

The front end of a bike has many compromises -- if you want a shorter top tube for any reason, or a smaller frame overall, at some point you have to either accept toeclip overlap or start slackening the head tube angle. Since a slack head tube angle compromises handling and requires a different fork rake than other sizes of the same model of bike, most manufacturers allow a bit of toe clip overlap instead.

I've had overlap on bikes from Bianchi, Trek, Specialized, Peugeot, and others, and make no effort to avoid it when building my own custom frames, since it's really not a problem in real-world riding.