Let’s look at what you can do if you have the problem where your feet hit your front tire when you turn…

I have a KHS Flite 100 And when I turn my feet hit the front tire. This is happening with my new soma cages and the older Mini-Clips I had. The clips are as far away from the bike as they can be.
Do I need shorter crank arms or new pedals?

I’m 6’0″ and it’s a 57. The guy said it was a perfect fit… I really don’t want to but a new bike, it doesn’t happen on my brothers swobo sanchez. (His is a 58 and it has a good inch of room.)

Sincerely,
Bigfoot

Hi Bigfoot,

I’ve had that same problem before and I know many others who deal with it too. It is commonly referred to as toe overlap.

It’s not uncommon, especially on road bikes with racing geometry. Racing bike = racing geometry = short wheelbase. (Some bikes have very relaxed geometry with a long wheelbase for stability, which is why it doesn’t happen on all bikes.)

Toe overlap can certainly be annoying, but I have come to deal with it. When you know it’s there, it’s relatively easy to avoid.

Remember this: Bikes with toe overlap are made to go fast. When you go fast, you don’t need to turn the wheel to turn – you just lean. So in most cases, you won’t actually notice the wheel/toe overlap.

I usually only notice it when doing a trackstand. In other words, when I’m going very slow or not moving at all, but still turning the front wheel back and forth.

So what you want to do is not turn when going slow. If you do need to turn when going slow, do it with your feet at 6 and 12 o’clock, and don’t twist the bars too far to either side.

It might sound like a big deal, but it’s not bad once you try. It’s pretty simple, and the trackstand is an integral component of bike handling skill, so learning is worthwhile. After a few rides, it should be second nature.

Just don’t buy new cranks or pedals! It won’t help, and it could screw up your bike fit. At your height, I don’t think you want shorter cranks. You’d have to replace the frame and/or fork with a different style to make a noticeable difference, and that’s not the best solution.

Replacing the clips/straps pedals with a clipless system could help ever so slightly, since there won’t be any sort of strap in front of the toe, but that isn’t a guarantee. (The toe overlap would have to be very slight, like 1/4″, for the pedal switch to make a difference.)

Summary: Get used to working around the toe overlap, because that happens on most race frames!

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2 Comments
  1. Actually it happens more on cyclocross bikes, which are even more compact than road bikes. You just have to time pedal and turn properly. Cross bikes don’t go that fast and we do 180 degrees turns often!

  2. @Dessa

    Thanks for the comment, absolutely right! I’ve never been on a cyclocross bike without experiencing toe overlap. And if a CX rider can handle the toe overlap in those kinds of conditions, anyone can! (With enough practice at least!)

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