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Toe Overlap

Polymer Head

May 13, 2008
48 cm frame + 165 mm cranks + 25.5 cm shoes = chronic toe overlap


Almost came a cropper several times today as well as getting used to clipless pedals again. Anyone else experience this on other frames and does it only afflict short @$$&$? Estimated to be a good 5 cm :eek:

That Soloist in the spare room finally got built up a year later and I couldn't resist a quick test today. Still limited to short distances. Now, if only the engine could take me to the second nearest konbini :eek:

Great looking bike perfect for stealth missions, as for overlap I haven't experienced anything like that! What is the toe rubbing on?
Love those gun-metal grey Soloists--very nice!

Cervelo talks briefly on their site about small sizes and toe overlap. Basically, the solutions are:

1. Slacken the steerer tube angle
2. Use 650c wheels
3. Live with it (so as not to compromise handling)

Their solution is 3. I think this is the article I'm thinking of:

(Edit: Can't link direct to the article on the Cervelo site; pasted here)

"Answer - Toe overlap
Toe overlap is common for smaller frames, it is not a deficiency of the Orbea you currently have. At any significant speed, the turning angles of the front wheel are so small that the toes will never hit the front wheel, this can only happen when you make sharp turns while almost standing still so you have to be careful in those situations. The alternative (which some companies use) is to push the front wheel further forward, but that means that you won't have enough weight on the front wheel, leading to poor handling. Given the choice between poor handling during normal riding, or toe overlap at extremely slow speeds, the choice for toe overlap is an easy one."
Hi Polymer Head,

Looks great! I have a 51 Soloist whose geometry also causes toe overlap. As Phil says the 48 and 51 frames use parallel head and seat tubes (73 degrees (actually the 48 head tube is 72.5)) the same as the larger frame sizes so as not to compromise fit. It is a little disconcerting on the first day out but you soon adjust. I imagine you have steepened the learning curve if you are relearning to ride in clipless pedals. The fun begins when you are climbing gradients beyond 20% :D

You may also discover the downtube bottle holder is "snug" - I have read many people with the 48 frame choose a side loading bottle holder.


Thank you for the feedback chaps.

The shoes rub on the front tyre. Better make sure the battery in the ol' pace maker is topped up before a ride :)

I'll learn to live with it, though nobody has mentioned toe surgery as an option yet.

Space is tight but 500 ml bottles just about make it through.
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