I am 1,85m tall, have shoes sized 58-59 (European) and have classic non sloped frame with seat tube 55cm. Problem is that my feet land with their middle on the pedals, not with the front part where the toes are.

I will try to move seat more to the back, but other than that, is it possible to look for different geometry on the frame, or are almost all frames the same in that respect?

  • I would like to thank all for useful answers, and clarify some points. First, the frame is probably to small and for my next bike I would go with larger. But as it is now, my seat is raised enough so my legs are fully extended. So I am not sure that just larger frame would solve problem of my feet, since the distance from hip to the toe would remain the same. Maybe smaller seat tube angle. Are there seats with extra long rails available? Nov 23, 2012 at 8:58
  • Regarding seats with long rails, the longest I've found are Selle An-Atomicas. I have one and the usable portion of the rails (on which you can secure a clamp) is almost 10cm, as opposed to 6-7 on other saddles: selleanatomica.com Nov 24, 2012 at 20:53

6 Answers 6


You could always add some toe clips to your pedals they will keep your feet positioned on the pedals better. Clipless pedals - like Shimano SPD or Crank Bros Egg Beaters - work great too, but they do require special shoes with cleats on them.

  • The thing is if I move my feet backwards I feel uncomfortable. Nov 21, 2012 at 17:52
  • This was why I said that clipless might be the answer, because they essentially turn your entire shoe into a pedal platform. However, I would bet that your frame is too small for you. I'm the same height as you and I feel very comfortable on a 58cm frame. If you decide to look for a new frame you might want to consider something with a more slack geometry. I.E. Has a head tube angle of < 70 degrees. Also the a less vertical down tube angle will move the bottom bracket and thus your feet further forward, relative to your hips. Slack geometry = better stability. Maybe this would work...
    – Wadelp
    Nov 22, 2012 at 6:50

If I understand the problem correctly, it sounds like you're sitting too far forward on this bike. Whether you're too tall for your frame or not is difficult to diagnose without at least pictures, but you might consider that this bike is simply too small for you. (If you're having trouble getting the handlebars far enough forward, that's a sign that this could be the case.) Are you able to get the saddle high enough so your knees are locked with the heel of your foot on the pedal?

You might also consider simply moving your saddle back on the rails. That might give you a little more room.

I'd also repeat Wadelp's suggestion - toe clips will help you keep your feet correctly positioned on the pedals.

  • 3
    It's also possible to get offset seat posts that shift the seat back, however you can only to so much if the frames is the wrong size.
    – mattnz
    Nov 21, 2012 at 21:16

Ideally, the ball of your feet (the part just below the toes), should be on the pedal to transfer power to the pedals (efficiently and bio-mechanically healthy).

This is also likely causing your knees to "flare" away from the frame (like a V). You'll want to keep your knee, toes and hip on the same vertical plane. otherwise long term could lead to knee ligament problems.

It looks like the bike is too small for you. At 185cm, I would think a 58-62cm frame is better suited depending on your leg length. see http://bicycling.about.com/od/howtoride/a/bike_sizing.htm and http://www.ebicycles.com/bicycle-tools/frame-sizer/road-bike/size-sheet?utf8=%E2%9C%93&u=in&r=man&h=1879.6&i=863.6&b=Calculate


Try an offset seat post, that will help get your seat back a little further.

Other than that, sure, a different seat tube angle would change the spatial relationship between your rear and your feet. But that angle doesn't change too much between the various road bike frames.

Perhaps shortening the effective top-tube length (forcing you more upright) might help the feeling - you can get a shorter stem, or different handlebars.

It begs the question - why do you care where your feet hit? If the current scenario is comfortable, then why change it? Unicyclists (mountain at least) ride with the pedal just in front of their heel.

Given your shoe size (58-59), I can imagine your feet are hitting the front wheel when you turn sharply - so maybe that's the reason... On some bikes I have that problem, and I wear only 48.

More drastic changes could be switching seat types, like a banana seat (yes, you might look silly). Or switching bicycle styles, say to a recumbent.

But, really, if the change doesn't "feel" right, have you tried it for an extended period of time? I'm thinking a couple hours (cumulative) - to get past the initial reaction. Maybe you've just been riding mid-foot so long it will take a while to change what feels comfortable.

  • ups, I have mistyped my shoe size, I am 48-49, so my feets are similar to yours. As why I am asking, I have read that one should pedal witrh the top part of the feat, and if I try to move backwards on the edge of the seat, it does feel better in deed. Thanks! Nov 24, 2012 at 23:36

You may want to try this online fit computer. It does require several measurements, but the results are generally pretty good.

Regarding changing the geometry, you can sometimes make a small bike work, but it will never be as good as a properly-sized bike. I know someone who rides a too-small Colnago because he's so attached to it. He has a 120mm stem (maybe longer, can't recall), and his seat is as far back as possible. He's around 1.83m tall, and his bike is a 54 or 55 (can't recall). He was commuting on the bike, around 200 miles (322 km)/week. But just because it works for him doesn't mean it will work for you. It depends on your geometry, too. Long legs, short arms would be worse on a too-small bike than short legs, long arms on the same bike, because you need a certain amount of leg extension to pedal efficiently.


What type of pedal are you using? You're a relatively tall guy for a 55 cm bike. You're almost my height, I think you would be much more comfortable on a frame that's closer to 59 cm.


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