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  1. #1
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    Toe overlap - dislocated and fractured my wrist this morning :(

    So 7 days into the cyclocross experiment withe PlanetX XLS- tbh, the best 7 days cycling I have had in a long time. Despite the bike being the 'right' size, I had a fair bit of toe overlap since the start, something I have never had on my MTBs.

    Short version - Clipped in, turned too sharply on a bend at ~15-20km/h, toe hit wheel, couldn't unclip, came down *hard* on my wrist.

    Partial wrist dislocation, hairline scaphoid fracture, ligament damage. CT scan tomorrow

    Despite this I was back in the bike shop on the way home from the hospital - booked a bike setup, ordered shorter crank arms, thinner tyres and :gulp: a set of light weight racing flats

    Sucks.

    Anyone any advice on avoiding toe overlap, or at least mitigating the issue?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Toe overlap - dislocated and fractured my wrist this morning :(

    You can buy a few mm's by going with a fork that has a different rake. My fixed gear had slight overlap, and that's a scary thing. 5mm extra of rake solved it.

    Do note, it slightly changes the geometry and handling of the bike, similar to a slightly slacker HT.

  3. #3
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    Curious why racing flats would help. You can get the feet back more, but any further back than clipless cleat positioning, wouldn't you lose a lot of efficiency? You'd be literally on your toes.

    I have a very slight toe overlap on my 54cm CC and lots of overlap on my 56cm
    fixed roadie. Hasn't been an issue for me, though...

  4. #4
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    Re: Toe overlap - dislocated and fractured my wrist this morning :(

    It's never an issue until your toe and wheel collide mid turn and send you to the ground.

    With a platform, you're far more likely to harmlessly come a bit off, or slide back, when hitting the wheel. Then, just re-position your foot and carry on. You'd only be back when it's an issue, pedaling prime all the rest of the time. When clipped in, your opportunity to minimize the collision is almost eliminated (outside of timing, back pedaling, or preemptively un-clipping).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaythePedaler View Post
    It's never an issue until your toe and wheel collide mid turn and send you to the ground.

    With a platform, you're far more likely to harmlessly come a bit off, or slide back, when hitting the wheel. Then, just re-position your foot and carry on. You'd only be back when it's an issue, pedaling prime all the rest of the time. When clipped in, your opportunity to minimize the collision is almost eliminated (outside of timing, back pedaling, or preemptively un-clipping).
    Maybe I've been lucky all these years, then. Either that, or having to turn the wheel that much to cause an issue, I'm going slow enough in most likely a techy section that there is plenty of reaction time.

    Regarding platforms, I was assuming we weren't talking about flat/plastic pedals, but proper pedals with pins and shoes to match. There is no sliding around in those. The advantage of platforms is, when/if your foot hits the wheel and you're about to topple over, you can put your foot down quicker, as there is no unclipping. But I will say, I can unclip fairly quick. Again, zero issues with this for me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaythePedaler View Post
    With a platform, you're far more likely to harmlessly come a bit off, or slide back, when hitting the wheel. Then, just re-position your foot and carry on. You'd only be back when it's an issue, pedaling prime all the rest of the time. When clipped in, your opportunity to minimize the collision is almost eliminated (outside of timing, back pedaling, or preemptively un-clipping).
    This is exactly my thinking - if I had not been clipped in, I think I would have just been able to put my foot down and stop the fall. As it was, I had no chance to unclip. Also, with flats, if I forget to position the pedals to avoid clipping at low speed, I suspect I could just slide my feet back, or they would get pushed back, again avoiding an complete off. I use platform pedals on my Ex, so it is not a huge change.

    I just ordered Shimano 105 5750 Compact 10sp Chainset | Chain Reaction Cycles to reduce crank arm length from 175mm to 165mm (I think I can just swap in the 46/36 rings from the Shimano CX50 crank on there), as I guess every cm helps ^^

    The pedals I ordered are superlight magnesium jobs Wellgo CNC M138 Flat Pedals | Chain Reaction Cycles - should be ok for now until I get my confidence back up!

    In the long term, I think that with moving my cleats to the from extreme, the smaller 165 arms, less chunky tyres and maybe some different shoes, I *may* be able to go SPD again one day... but not for at least a month until I heal
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaythePedaler View Post
    You can buy a few mm's by going with a fork that has a different rake. My fixed gear had slight overlap, and that's a scary thing. 5mm extra of rake solved it.

    Do note, it slightly changes the geometry and handling of the bike, similar to a slightly slacker HT.
    Hmm, I am wondering where I can find the rake number for the XLS fork, as I am not averse to changing it if it solves the issue - the figure doesn't seem to be listed though :s

    Planet X XLS Shimano 105 Cyclocross Bike | Planet X
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc2211 View Post
    Hmm, I am wondering where I can find the rake number for the XLS fork, as I am not averse to changing it if it solves the issue - the figure doesn't seem to be listed though :s

    Planet X XLS Shimano 105 Cyclocross Bike | Planet X
    Try calling the U.S. store. Might get better results.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc2211 View Post
    Hmm, I am wondering where I can find the rake number for the XLS fork, as I am not averse to changing it if it solves the issue - the figure doesn't seem to be listed though :s

    Planet X XLS Shimano 105 Cyclocross Bike | Planet X


    You really don't need the specs to see that there is minimal clearance.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  10. #10
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    And I would add that the fork looks pretty normal. Ie, it is frame geometry causing the toe overlap which is what I would expect.

    Sent from a one-finger keyboard...pardon my autocorrect

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the comments - I guess I'll just have to get used to it and mitigate as much as I can Going to be fun :gulp:
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc2211 View Post
    Anyone any advice on avoiding toe overlap, or at least mitigating the issue?
    I think you will find that most people have issues with toe overlap on bikes with cross geometry. For me, I try to stay aware of the point in the steering arc where overlap becomes a factor - sharp corners/switch backs - and either keep the outside foot to the rear or stutter/stop pedaling until steering angle is no longer a factor.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, I have always had a ton of toe overlap, as I'm short with big feet, & my SS cross bike has very little rake.

    It's unfortunate that this happened, but overall, I think it's something you eventually get used to. I wouldn't go apesh*t trying to avoid it, as things like fork rake and (to a lesser degree) crank length can have real impact on performance.

  14. #14
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    I can sympathize as I'm also short with big feet and have had varying degrees of toe overlap on most of my CX bikes. It's more common on CX and track bikes owing to the typical combinations of TT length and geometry, added to fatter tires with more tread on the CX bike end.

    this past fall I got a Civilian belt drive SS and it is by far the worst offender I've ever ridden. It's not even a very good bike I'm afraid, but the main problem for me is that because it is so short in the TT / steep in the HT it generates a positively lethal proportion of toe overlap. It makes the bike essentially un-raceable as I would hit the front wheel in any of the tight 180 turns in our local CX courses.

    I'm either going to shorten the cranks or sell the thing entirely, leaning towards the latter. I suppose swapping the fork out would do it too but I just don't care enough to find out.

    Sigh. Live and learn; there's a reason those bikes were on closeout so cheaply...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaythePedaler View Post
    You can buy a few mm's by going with a fork that has a different rake. My fixed gear had slight overlap, and that's a scary thing. 5mm extra of rake solved it.

    Do note, it slightly changes the geometry and handling of the bike, similar to a slightly slacker HT.
    If you mean that changing the offset changes the handling, as does a slacker HT angle, then you're right. If you mean it'll change the handling in the same way a slacker HT angle would, you've got it backwards.

    With a constant HT angle, greater offset makes for quicker handling. For a constant offset, greater HT angle makes for slower handling.

    I'm not familiar with the Planet X geometry, but I'd bet it's probably set up with a 45mm offset fork, and likely a 72.5 degree HT. You can get similar handling characteristics by combining a slightly slacker HT w/ a fork with a tad more offset to counter the slow steering that slack angles create. For example, the Spec Crux (in 56cm) has a 72 deg HT combined with a 49mm offset fork. This accomplishes two things: quick (almost too quick) handling with longer front-center to counter toe-overlap issues.

    edit: just checked the Planet X website. Turns out that frame has a crazy-slack HT. If you're having problems with toe-overlap on that bike, you have a couple of options. 1) cut off your toes and get new shoes, or 2) weight your outside foot while turning instead of pedaling through turns.

  16. #16
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    You can eliminate the issue with technique for free: you need to ride with your front foot heel-down when you are turning. I am pretty used to doing this now, and even if my toe hits the wheel a little it is deflected up because of the angle of my foot. It isn't perfect, but it works for the occasional switchback. It does get old in technical mtb situations, especially uphill switchbacks where you have to pedal and can't keep your heel down as much while putting power down, then I just kind of deal with it.

    I honestly think you are better off changing technique than your pedals because hitting your foot that hard with your tire is still going to make you bail, you just may avoid hitting the ground with the flat pedals(which is good, but..).

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    Many thanks for the feedback everyone - it's good to know I am not on my own with this issue, and that maybe with practice and brushing up on technique I may be able to regain some trust in the bike. As it stands, I look at it as a 2 wheeled liability sitting menacingly in my hallway. I've gone from being really eager to ride it, to thinking that it may be put up for sale before I break any more bones!

    The wrist CT scan this morning confirmed a fracture of the Lunate bone, not the Scaphoid as first thought - so guess I'll be off the bike for a fair while, with the lots of time to think about how to improve things and weigh up the options! :/
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  18. #18
    jrm
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    I ran into this same thing with a on one pompino frame. It wasnt until i sized up that the overlap was gone.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    edit: just checked the Planet X website. Turns out that frame has a crazy-slack HT. If you're having problems with toe-overlap on that bike, you have a couple of options. 1) cut off your toes and get new shoes, or 2) weight your outside foot while turning instead of pedaling through turns.
    Just saw this, thanks for the info - I am in email correspondence with Brant from PlanetX atm about this (he contacted me after seeing my posts on this forum). I am hoping he may be able to sort out something. He is has asked for pics, some measurements (from bb to hub etc), details of shoe size, pedals used. I am so so hoping he can come up with a compromise/solution - for my style, I find the bike un-rideable on anything but straight tracks - anything with even moderate turns is out, around town is plain dangerous, let alone steep curves on a local CX course

    I guess it comes down to 5 options:

    - Maybe something can be done via Brant.
    - Maybe my changing the crankarms, shoes, cleat position, tyres will work (I won't find out properly until the doc allows me back on the bike )
    - I buy a larger frame. I am wondering if I buy the same XLS frame in a size up (57 compared to 54) would solve the issue?
    - I sell the bike as is. Sad as it is only 3 weeks old
    - I keep the parts (105 all round, BB7 brakes etc) and put them on a new frame. I notice that Trek sell a Crockett 'frame only' which I am pretty sure doesn't have this issue.

    All in all, I sit here pretty depressed about all this - arm in a cast, not able to ride for the next 12 weeks... at this point I may just sell the bike
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  20. #20
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    Glad to see I am not the only with overlap. I did find that technique can fix almost all situations though. Taking the bike out to the mtb trails and doing slow technical climbs with turns helped a lot.

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    Re: Toe overlap - dislocated and fractured my wrist this morning :(

    Chad, while that helps, the potential to overlap that one instant you're not paying attention is still there.

    Mudge, you're correct on that assumption, I meant rake and ht angle have similar effects on handling, not that more rake is like as slacker ht. I guess I should have worded that better, trying to save words typing on a phone...

    Marc, heal fast! Any chance of taking a picture of your shoe clipped in and the wheel turned so we can see how much overlap there is? 5mm and 20mm will have much different solutions (most of which have already been mentioned).

  22. #22
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    This is the minimum overlap I can get. This is with the cleat all the way to the front of my shoe - I am really not sure I could ride like this for more than a few mins.

    The 165mm crankarms are really not going to help.

    Toe overlap - dislocated and fractured my wrist this morning :(-minoverlap.jpg
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  23. #23
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    Dang, that's more overlap than I have on any of my bikes(being 5'3" with size 10.5 shoes gives me overlap on most of my bikes). Looks like you basically can't even turn slightly one way or the other without clipping your toes.

    That's nearly unrideable/safe the way I see it.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakedbabytoes View Post
    Dang, that's more overlap than I have on any of my bikes(being 5'3" with size 10.5 shoes gives me overlap on most of my bikes). Looks like you basically can't even turn slightly one way or the other without clipping your toes.

    That's nearly unrideable/safe the way I see it.
    /Agreed - I really can't ride it as is, it is just too risky on even small turns - as my wrist will testify!

    I am 5'9" with EU44, US 10.5 feet. The frame is a 54, so I just don't get it. The bike is/has been a huge waste of money as there is *nothing* I can do to remedy the situation.
    Last edited by Marc2211; 03-10-2014 at 11:36 AM.
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  25. #25
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    Ok, I have read and re-read this posting and do sympathise with the problem.
    I was a frame-builder back in the early 1980's and I will give you some history and observations for you to consider and hopefully be enlightened by.

    Firstly, CX bikes are very similar to road bikes, with a slacker heat tube angle. So this means that a road bike with 73* head angle with a 700x23 tyre will be roughly equal to a CX bike with 72* head angle with a 700x35 tire. What you gain in Front Centre is absorbed by the larger diameter tire. Your frame is 540 x 535 which is close to the std industry norm of 54 square, so no great revelations there.

    To compare your CX bike to your MTB frame means that your Top Tube is longer. This comes about by the different riding positions due to the Handle bar. MTB = Top Tube + Stem = reach.
    On a Road/CX bike it is TT + Stem + Bar centre to brake lever = reach. This also rather usefully extends the Front Centre (axle to BB measurement) on the MTB so you don't touch the tire with your toe. If you were born in the MTB generation, you have freedom.
    Us old guy's made do with toe overlap as the norm, and as such we learned to ride our way around this problem to the point that it was 2nd nature to free-wheel at certain moments and did not have this problem. After a few falls we learnt - done.

    Bringing ourselves up to the present, my suggestion to you is to look up Strawberry Cycleworks website. Look in 'Build to Measure' and go through the process of learning about yourself and your bike by playing and inputting various numbers. If you are fortunate enough to have short legs and a longish back, you could look at going to a frame with a longer top bar and use a short stem to get the clearance you're looking for.

    You will gather by now that your present bike is for the chop, so grieve and move on.
    When you begin searching for a replacement bike, look closely at ETT, the longer you can get, the better as you can shorten up the stem. This will give you toe clearance. You may wonder about handling issues but in your case, the options are less about desirable handling to being able to handle, so settle on a bike and adjust to it. Don't get fixed on any brand, or frame material type, find what fits!!! The carbon bike you have now at 21lbs is not light, so don't get stuck on that ideal if a steel one will do the job, it will likely weigh much the same.

    Happy hunting.
    Eric
    Last edited by Eric Malcolm; 03-12-2014 at 03:00 AM.
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