Heels hitting panniers when pedalling


Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted
I have been looking for some panniers so I can dispense with my rucksack and after much shopping around, plumped for a pair of Basil Mara XL from Halfords, not least because they were cheap at £22.99 (less 10% via Cycling UK membership) and 27 reviews on Halfords website led to an average rating of 4.6/5.

They have plenty of space and after picking them up, and fitting them outside the shop, I nipped over the road to Tesco and got a shed load of shopping which I carried home in them.

The problem I have with them is that when pedalling, my heels hit the front bottom corner of the panniers. I put them on my other bike which has a slightly bigger frame, and although it's not as bad, it still happens now and again. I have tried putting them further back on the rack, but can't get rid of the problem. Although a couple of reviewers mention this, most don't.

I am thinking of either returning them, or perhaps trying to get a haberdasher to tuck the bottom corner in a bit, and sewing an extra velcro strap to make the fastening more tight.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with these or other panniers. and if so, have you found a solution that I might be able to try?


Where the panniers 'sit' depends on the length of your bike's chainstays, the size of the pannier, the rack you're using, and where on the rack you attach them. Whether or not your feet hit them also depends on the size of your feet!

On my current bike I have to attach my panniers near the back of the rack simply because it's got one of the pointless spring-loaded clip things on top of the rack that gets in the way of the pannier clips. I've never looked to see how much clearance there is!

It sounds like your bike has short chainstays, but rather than compromise the shape of the bags, why not consider a rack that is a little more offset - for example https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/carriers-racks/axiom-streamliner-road-dlx-rear-rack/
I have to make sure my panniers are as far back as possible on my tourer, otherwise this happens, and I only have size 8 feet, normally though I just move my feet a little forward, it has combination pedals with spd on one side, but I have yet to try my spd trainers, my road bike has spd only, as I don’t want different pedals and shoes for different bikes, but I may find that it happens with the spd trainers on, it being fixed position, no help at all, but you’re not alone.

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
My bikes are xsmall frames, I have solved the pannier kicking problem by getting tubular shaped panniers instead of square shaped ones.
I mean long like Ortliebs, instead of broad like other brands.
Also, I fit them on the racks as far back as possible.
This is fine with Ortliebs that have movable hooks, you may have to improvise with straps or cable ties if your panniers cannot adapt.


Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted
Thanks for the replies, they are helpful. I will try to mount the panniers further back on the rack. If it works on my older bike, that will do fine as I have a very good rack bag to use with the other bike, and I just wanted panniers to give me more room now and again. I may try an alternative rack or different shaped panniers if all else fails. It is also good to know it's not just me. ^_^


Girl from the North Country
I assume you're putting them on the right way round - I didn't when I first got mine. They have a pocket on the back but if you put them on with the pocket at the front it can get in the way.

Heltor Chasca

Out-riding the Black Dog
Reason No. 41 why tourer’s geometry includes longer chain stays. Most people’s preference is to have their SPD cleats set back as far as possible. This also helped me with ‘hot foot’. I like to centralise the panniers in-line with the hub, but of course this would only work if the chain stay is longer.

Good luck with the changes.


Girl from the North Country
The Mara doesn't have pockets and I assume the XL doesn't either.
I didn't honestly think anyone else would be silly enough to put them on the wrong way round :smile:
Top Bottom