Heel clipping Chainstay when cycling

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New Member
Hi all,

I've recently purchased a Boardman hybrid from Halfords and am finding that as I ride the heel of my shoe is occasionally clipping the chainstay (I think that's the right word- the bit of frame that connects the front and rear derailleurs).

Now I'm not sure what this means; do I have the wrong size bike, or has it been built incorrectly? I'm about 5'10 and opted for a medium as it felt a bit more comfortable than the large - I think I fall between the 2 sizes really.

Any advice on what I should do would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
If your clipped in to the pedals, you may just need to adjust the alignment of your cleats to move your heel out slightly.


It's not the bike but rather the position of your feet which at a guess are either at 10 to 2 instead of the more usual 5 to 1 position or alternatively they are too far back on the pedal.

If you use cleats put them back as far as they can go on the sole and see if the heel now clears the chainstay.


New Member
Hi addict freak, thanks for the reply but no I'm not clipped in - just standard pedals, although they still have the toe clips on. Is it just a case of adjusting my foot position then? I'm not a cycling newbie - had another hybrid before and never had this problem.

Looking at the bike sizing this section of the bike doesn't seem any different between the medium and large - only the top tube and seat post that are different so perhaps the size isn't the issue.



New Member
Hi accountantpete - Ok well good to know it's not the bike that's the issue!!

To be honest I think my feet are pretty straight on the pedal - and the position is sort of dictated by the toe clip - I'd say the ball of my foot is square on the pedal which I thought was the correct position. Maybe I'll try taking the toe clips off and see if that helps.


Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire
I am pretty close with toe clips even to the extent of flicking the chain stay protector with my heel although not the chainstay itself, with a clipless setup you can have your feet slightly further forward so your heel wont get that close. As the sole on a cycling shoe is fairly rigid you don't notice any change in power by being a few mm further forward on the pedal.
I bought a new bike yesterday and experienced this same issue for the first time in my life. I have not yet fitted my pedals of choice in order to ride clipped in, but I suspect that the Q factor (the width between the pedals) is rather less than I am used to. It only takes a bottom bracket to be a couple of mm narrower than one is accustomed to for the heel to strike the chainstay occasionally. I suspect that I'll get used to it after a while and adjust my foot positioning slightly.


As long as I breathe, I attack.
I find this if i use my lidl cycling shoes on my roady.

Both bikes use 2 pin spd cleats + pedals to make it easier to walk etc and the lidl shoes have a wide heel like a normal trainer rather than a narrow profile like a road bike shoe ( lake shoe in my case )


Nr Cambridge
Not noticed this but had a look & my heal is very close to the chain stay but it's not quite hitting on the limit of float on the cleat.


New Member
If it's your feet/ankles that are a bit bent (mine are, or rather is), then these help:


They're neat little pedal extenders that move your pedal up to 30mm OUT from the crank, so that your feet can sit at a bit of an angle, rather than the dead straight line favoured by fit young cyclists.

I've used them with big flat pedals, and have just moved on to cleats, where I still use them, as they mean I've got more room for an in-swinging 'twist' to unlock.

(Later: I'd forgotten
who are a UK firm (Wales) doing a similar bit of kit, although theirs only extends 23mm. Their prices are a bit higher than the US firms, but taking into account exchange rates and postage may be cheaper).

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