Heel started hitting crank

Weird but over the last few rides with no change in anything im starting to get rub marks on my cranks from my heel hitting it. Haven’t changed any setup wondering if it could be something worn? Though cleats were new less than 4 months ago.

Setup is Red cranks with HT pedals and the H5 cleats (ones with float)

Any chance the cleats slipped rotation?

I try to re-check my screws after some initial rides and they usually need a bit more twist to lock them in for the long term.

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Looked at the outline i drew on my shoes when i replaced them and they seem the same place. Can pedals wear to give more float?

That happened to me. I think it was my Hollowtech crank failing. When it was replaced, post failure, with the same shoes/cleats there’s absolutely no ankle rub.

Define failing? Got me worries about my red cranks now!

Hollowtech cranks have a design flaw even though sh1tmano dont admit it despite the 1000s of folk who have encountered it; you’ll be fine with SRAM. Hollowtech cranks are bonded together either side of a hollow section. That bond is failing (corroding maybe) and that enables the outer face to break away from the inner Shimano denies design problem with Hollowtech cranks despite reports of cracked arms | road.cc

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This is a VERY long shot, but is it possible your cranks have moved in or out a bit?

Any knee pain, saddle adjustments, or anything else that would cause you to change position involuntarily?

No as far as i know. Its also a little strange as i don’t notice my heels tap the cranks at all just the faint lines left on them after riding. Does it with both pairs of shoes i have so thinking its not the cleats and possibily something to do with the pedals or cranks as you say. Though no idea who DUB cranks can move.

I’d come at the problem from the opposite direction. Whatever has changed on your cleats/pedals that has allowed your feet to get into this position, it’s clearly a position they want to be in. I.e. Changing your setup to reduce the amount of float might stop the rub but would do so by stopping your feet from going where they want to go. That may cause other issues down the line. So I’d be talking to a fitter to help look at whether you might need pedals with longer axles, cleats with more float, shims, fitted insoles, etc to get a setup that avoids heel rub but is also biomechanically sound.


Good advise, im just confused why its only just started.

Possible it’s always done it but it’s only recently that the marks have started showing up enough to notice? I used to have a commuter bike where I had enough heel rub that it went from wearing off the paint, to polishing the metal, to eventually making a noticeable depression in the crank (wore holes in the inside heel of 2 pairs of shoes along the way). Always wondered how long it would have taken until a crank just snapped off!

Other than cleat or pedal wear leading to increased float, other possible explanations could be something like glute tightness, or saddle slipping.

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Time to get the measuring tape out again i think. Cheek the lengths compared to my most recent fit!

Another random thought, FTP and power has been increasing a fair amount recently. Could an increase in strength possibly be meaning im turning my heel in / a different riding position?

Im no expert but I think if more power is making ligaments tighter your legs might have change track slightly. I think that’s one of the arguments that fitters use.


Did you put on muscle? Could make your legs track slightly different, or change how you sit on the saddle.

I would expect so as im not sure i can gain much power without it.

I have seen a failure of the red crank (not personally, someone posted the picture below in another cycling group I’m in).

:open_mouth: I thought it was just a sh1tmano thing!

I hadn’t paid any attention to the crank brand until I saw your post, then went back to check, and voila.

It’s just a picture, they might have crashed on it before, hit a rock/kerb etc. Anything can break now and then. The hollowtech thing seems to happen a bit too often, more like a design flaw.

Deffo worth checking cranks and pedals for play, cracks, etc. Tap the crank arms with a coin or your fingernail and listen for unusual dull sounds. Compare left and right arm, I’d imagine the structure is similar towards the pedals, but might be different near the BB.

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