Bad toe/pedal rub on 16" Goblin. Anyway around it or just bad geometry for me?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    is the fork on backwards?

  2. #2
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    Bad toe/pedal rub on 16" Goblin. Anyway around it or just bad geometry for me?

    Just received and put together a 16" Airborne Goblin. First, let me just say the bike is gorgeous. Like many others, I was skeptical about the cool aid green. However, all the pictures I've seen do not do the green justice. In person, it is really a metallic candy green like the one used on some Lamborghinis. It's really eye-catching and different, in a good way. The bike was well packed and everything was securely zip-tied or taped. I really like this bike and would love to keep it, however I found two glaring problems I don't know if I can overcome...

    1) Even in a 16" frame, this bike is huge! I've tried out 15.5" 29ers from Specialized and Trek but they don't feel nearly as substantial as the Goblin. I am 5'6" with a 29" inseam and with the seat set up where I could get a full leg extension, I can barely swing my leg over to clear the seat post. I don't recall that problem on other 29ers I've tried out. Could 0.5" really make that much a difference?

    2) When I took it for a quick spin in the driveway, I immediately noticed that I can't turn the handle bar without getting really bad toe/pedal rub with the front tire. I am a platform rider and using a new set of Wellgo MG-1s. Even without the pedals, the tip of the crank clears the front tire by only one inch. With the MG-1s, the tire/pedal overlaps the front tire by more than an inch and half. Adding my shoes on top of that, the overlap is enough to stop the tire from rolling (who needs disc brakes right?) I can't turn the front tire more than 10 degrees in either direction without the front tire rubbing on my toe or the pedal.

    Needless to say I am completely bummed out by this. I immediately tried using a smaller (and narrower) pair of pedals from an old bike and while the pedal itself cleared the front tire in some orientations, my toe would still overlap the tire by half an inch or so. I assume using even smaller pedals or a shorter crank would help, but even that would be no guarantee. Before someone suggests clipless/egg beaters, I just want to say they are not an option because I don't feel comfortable with them. I also don't want to just “learn to live with it" and "learn to not pedal while turning" because I consider inadequate clearance to be a safety issue and don't want to take the risk when I am riding in traffic. So my question is, are there any other good ways to tackle this issue without making any major modifications to a brand new bike? Is this problem common among small frame 29ers or is Goblin's geometry just not right for me? Thanks in advance.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by irv_usc View Post
    is the fork on backwards?
    I don't think so. The fork came preinstalled and I think it can only face one way or the cables would be tangled. The text (Reba RL) on the top of the fork is facing the cockpit. I am pretty sure the fork is not on backwards.

  4. #4
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    Something else is going on if there's that much overlap. Post up some pics and that will help diagnose the issue. Like irv said, wonder if the fork is installed correctly.

    Regarding the size, yes, .5" can make a difference especially with different manufacturers- it's all about geometry.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucbsupafly View Post
    I don't think so. The fork came preinstalled and I think it can only face one way or the cables would be tangled. The text (Reba RL) on the top of the fork is facing the cockpit. I am pretty sure the fork is not on backwards.
    On my bikes, the Reba RL text faces out and not in- meaning you can read it when standing in front of the bike. Of course depends on who is "installing" the sticker. Is the arch on the frame side or the other side? I know, dumb question but this is just odd.
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
    - 2011 Salsa El Mariachi XL
    - 2011 Kona Unit (singlespeed) XL

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    It sounds like the fork is backwards. The bike ships with the stem turned backwards for fitting into the box. You spin it around to face forward when you are installing the bars. Does that make sense?

    The "Reba RL" should be facing forward, with the brake rotor on the non-drive side of the bike, the same as the rear rotor.

    Please contact us if that's not the problem, thanks~
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I will double check the fork orientation when I get home this afternoon as well as take some pictures of the clearance and overlap.

  9. #9
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    Please contact us directly if you are indeed having a problem. It's the best and fastest way for you to get resolution.

    If you take photos, you can send them to us at [email protected]. Thanks!
    Please Note: I no longer work for Airborne. If you have an Airborne question or problem please contact them directly.

  10. #10
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    There are a number of things in this post that are great examples of why newbies should buy their first bikes at reputable bike shops.

    Quote Originally Posted by ucbsupafly View Post
    Just received and put together a 16" Airborne Goblin. First, let me just say the bike is gorgeous. Like many others, I was skeptical about the cool aid green. However, all the pictures I've seen do not do the green justice. In person, it is really a metallic candy green like the one used on some Lamborghinis. It's really eye-catching and different, in a good way. The bike was well packed and everything was securely zip-tied or taped. I really like this bike and would love to keep it, however I found two glaring problems I don't know if I can overcome...

    1) Even in a 16" frame, this bike is huge! I've tried out 15.5" 29ers from Specialized and Trek but they don't feel nearly as substantial as the Goblin. I am 5'6" with a 29" inseam and with the seat set up where I could get a full leg extension, I can barely swing my leg over to clear the seat post. I don't recall that problem on other 29ers I've tried out. Could 0.5" really make that much a difference?

    2) When I took it for a quick spin in the driveway, I immediately noticed that I can't turn the handle bar without getting really bad toe/pedal rub with the front tire. I am a platform rider and using a new set of Wellgo MG-1s. Even without the pedals, the tip of the crank clears the front tire by only one inch. With the MG-1s, the tire/pedal overlaps the front tire by more than an inch and half. Adding my shoes on top of that, the overlap is enough to stop the tire from rolling (who needs disc brakes right?) I can't turn the front tire more than 10 degrees in either direction without the front tire rubbing on my toe or the pedal.

    Needless to say I am completely bummed out by this. I immediately tried using a smaller (and narrower) pair of pedals from an old bike and while the pedal itself cleared the front tire in some orientations, my toe would still overlap the tire by half an inch or so. I assume using even smaller pedals or a shorter crank would help, but even that would be no guarantee. Before someone suggests clipless/egg beaters, I just want to say they are not an option because I don't feel comfortable with them. I also don't want to just “learn to live with it" and "learn to not pedal while turning" because I consider inadequate clearance to be a safety issue and don't want to take the risk when I am riding in traffic. So my question is, are there any other good ways to tackle this issue without making any major modifications to a brand new bike? Is this problem common among small frame 29ers or is Goblin's geometry just not right for me? Thanks in advance.
    May the air be filled with tires!

  11. #11
    Noli Me Tangere
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    This should be easy to answer:

    Is your front disc brake on the same side of the bike as the rear? If not, the fork is backwards.
    Annie are you ok? Are you ok, Annie?

  12. #12
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    Sounds like fork backwards would explain the increased height of the front end as well. I thought this only happened on WallyWorld specials! You should have had to turn the fork around when you unpacked it. Did you just turn the stem around instead of the whole fork?
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  13. #13
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    Thanks all! The fork was indeed on backwards. Turned it over and all is good again. Silly rookie mistake. Appologize for the false alarm. Now I can't wait to go out and enjoy this baby!

  14. #14
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    Well with a 29er you can't exactly have that much clearance there or your wheelbase will be so long that the bike won't turn...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucbsupafly View Post
    Thanks all! The fork was indeed on backwards. Turned it over and all is good again. Silly rookie mistake. Appologize for the false alarm. Now I can't wait to go out and enjoy this baby!
    I'm lengthening my fork to 100mm (from stock 80mm) which is suppose to help some. I'm supper happy with my bike overall and am a fan of the color green.
    Last edited by Durzil; 05-07-2012 at 11:42 PM.

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