Toe Overlap - Toe Clip Pedals are outdated unless you are racing the Track.

May 04, 2017

Toe Overlap - Toe Clip Pedals are outdated unless you are racing the Track.

Sometimes toe cages type pedals can cause feet to hang up on fenders or front tires it's called toe overlap.  It is very common. One has a few options to make it less of a problem.  Most of the time folks don't turn slowly while pedaling, at speed leaning the bike turns the bike so the problem is only at slow speeds.  Make sure when you are turning your feet are not in the 3 or 9 o'clock position.  If this does not work for you bring the bike in and we can look at it and find a solution for you.  It may require a few changes to the fender or the pedal to make it better but in general most folks work around "toe overlap" by changing techniques on how they turn slowly.  Another commuter bike solution is to run flat pedals without the cages or use smaller ones on bikes with fatter tires like the cx bikes and adventure bikes coming out.  In general we do NOT recommend toe cages on pedals as they were originally designed for Track racing to lock the foot in the pedal with a cleat on the bottom of the shoe (see photo).  Over the years before modern Clip-less pedals became popular folks used cages to keep their feet on the pedals of 26 inch wheeled Mountain bikes when they got bounced around on rigid frame bikes while riding on trails.  It was a temporary solution that got solved by modern suspension smoothing out the ride and better clip-less pedals and shoes coming to market in the 90's.  
Unfortunately the bike companies sold track type toe clip pedals without cleats on millions of bikes legitimizing the use off the track (so you can back the foot out at lights of if you crash with the cleat the foot does NOT come out unless you loosen the straps before you come to a stop).  Cages and straps were designed for racing originally. 
Toe clip pedals are not a very good solution for riding in my opinion but we DO sell them as customers still demand them, once again we do not recommend them for street use.  
We recommend flat pedals with no cages or clip in style pedals (easy release compared to cages).  Once people get used to flat pedals and slowly stop relying on the cage to keep the foot in place they usually don't miss the cage.  It's a leaning curve for sure but one should get used to it fairly soon if they embrace the new challenge on the bike.



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