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Solutions to toe overlap?(13 posts)

Solutions to toe overlap?jtolleson
May 25, 2002 5:24 PM
(Short of the "get a new bike" solution).

My housemate picked up a Merlin Agilis for a song in one of the smaller sizes. She's feeling unnerved by what looks to be about 1 1/2 inches of toe overlap.

There are things I can think of doing, but I don't know how they'd affect handling or riding. One is going from 172.5 to 170 cranks. I've never ridden 170s... should a shorter (5'5" ish) rider care?

Another is a fork with more rake, but I don't know what that would do to handling (and I don't know what's on it now, I think a Reynolds Ouzo Comp but I don't know the offset). I think I mean more rake (less trail) right?

She's talked about moving her cleats forward a bit (ie., moving the shoe back) but I don't think that's a good fix.

Ideas, thoughts, ??

Or is 1 inch or more toe overlap not a big deal? (She's whacked it a time or two leaving a stop light, as well as making a swerve while downshifting on really steep climbs).

She's asking me as the "expert" and I don't have a clue.
re: Solutions to toe overlap?JohnG
May 25, 2002 5:34 PM
Hi Julie

A 5' 5" rider should definitely use 170 mm (or shorter) cranks.

Unless the fork has the wrong rake I wouldn't fool with that. I also agree about the cleat thing.... leave them where they are the most comfy.

Most shorter riders just get used to this toe overlap deal. It's a bit odd feeling at first but she'll start to "toe down" when track-standing (which will minimize any toe/wheel bumps).

FWIW: all of my bikes have some toe/wheel overlap. I'm riding 54cm sized frames and I've got a cm or so of overlap on all of my bikes.

ride on
agree nmgtx
May 25, 2002 5:35 PM
re: Solutions to toe overlap?Sharky
May 25, 2002 6:09 PM
Shorter crank arms are a good idea. I have overlap and I am 5'6" and use 165 mm cranks. My knees felt a lot less stress when I went to 165. You get used to the foot hitting the front tire and seem to compensate but its wierd at first. At higher speed lean steers the bike but slow swerves are bothersome, but like I said only until you compensate for it. More rake on the fork will help but only by a few mm, and is expensive. I would try shorter crank arms first. I wouldnt mess with the cleat position. Good Luck
re: Solutions to toe overlap?flying
May 25, 2002 7:17 PM
Overlap is common on many bikes.
It really is a non issue & not something to worry about.
The only time ( as you probably know ) that it is an issue is when your going 1 mph in your garage making a tight turn ;-)
It will never be an issue at speed as you never *turn* a wheel so much as lean a wheel over.
Know what I mean? ;-)
Agree with Flyingelviento
May 25, 2002 9:34 PM
DON'T MESS WITH THE FORK RAKE OR CLEAT POSITIONS! That would do much more harm than benefit because handling would be screwed up.
re: Solutions to toe overlap?harlett
May 25, 2002 10:11 PM her height, 170 cranks may be a better size for her anyway--
this may be more about learning new bicycling techniques to compensate for it.
two things to have her think about.
when stopped turning the back of the front wheel to the clipped in side can become a habit----that can cause unnecessary wheel movement back and forth when starting up again--
while only really causes serious problems with turns that only take place at very slow situations like that. have her pedal slowly with one foot unclipped-- that unclipped foot can give her a sense of security--
if she finds other instances where it is a problem help her find a technique to deal with it that gives her a new riding habit-- in my mind, helping her feel comfortable and in control of the overlap would be the best way to do this--

btw. being an expert is also about having people feel confident in your ability to help them think through new strategies-- since you have that ability you're an expect on this subject too--

re: Solutions to toe overlap?Juanmoretime
May 26, 2002 2:38 AM
The shorter cranks may be just a good idea, it won't elminate the problem. Your only reducing 5mm per coomplete revolution. Your friend will only be 2.5mm further away from the front wheel. Now for the good news. Lots of people overlap when riding a small frame. I've done when I had a too small frame but was compensating using a longer seat post and stem. Like any thing new, you have to give it time to get used to it. Where you comfortable your first time using clipless pedals?
2.5 mm change in cranksAFred
May 26, 2002 6:18 AM
is not going to have any impact whatsoever, either in solving the overlap or pedaling style. Overlap is common, especially on bikes with a short wheelbase. Seven's custom fit literature spends an inordinate amount of time discussing this issue and basically tells customers to learn to live with it, and that's from a manufacturer of custom rigs!
just live with itcyclopathic
May 26, 2002 7:35 AM
you don't wanna mess with fork it effects handling. Most likely you won't find fork with more rake as they generally made in sizes 40-45. Smaller frames have shallower headangle and use 45mm forks. There're no CF forks with 50mm+ rake some steel and they're hard to find.

I wouldn't bother with cranks/cleats also. Changing cranks from 172.5 to 170 will not have much effect. Moving cleats forward may cause injuries.

It really depends on the frame. I am the same size and though most frames would have toe overlap the one I ride now doesn't (it has longish TT).

I would just live with it if it bothers try different shoes and/or pedals (Look has pedals with adjustable Q-factor) good luck
rode w/overlap for years; never touched once (nm)cory
May 26, 2002 8:14 PM
Thanks for all the wisdom, everyonejtolleson
May 27, 2002 7:48 AM
I'll print the whole thread out for starters. I think if the LBS will cut her a deal (which I think they will) she may want to do the crank swap anyway ... though 2.5mm is pretty tiny!

We'll give a few weeks and see how the adjustment goes.

Thanks again.
How do you get your toes to overlap???tirider
May 27, 2002 9:26 AM
I don't have enough room in my cycling shoes to cross my toes.