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Climber
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Rode 2007 R3 (49 cm) for over two years now and have never liked the fact that there is toe overlap on this bike. Have I ever gone down due this? No. But, you would think with a slogan like 'Enjoy. Engineering.' that they would not have this problem. They obviously recognize it, because the RS in this size is now offered with 650cc wheels. I just purchased a new '09 Tarmac Pro SL (R3 is now in RBR classifieds) virtually the same dimensions and no toe overlap. Overall, I liked the R3 a lot, a little sketchy on descents, and am expecting the Pro SL to be just as smooth, but better engineered. Any smaller riders have these concerns?
 

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You say your new bike has "virtually the same dimensions and no toe overlap". How do explain this? I have a 51 cm R3 SL and there is toe overlap. I accept this because it is the nature of the size and geometry. If they designed this size to eliminate toe overlap, the steering geometry would be too relaxed. That would mean slower response in turns and overall handling. It is designed as a race bike. That would explain your describing your descents as sketchy. It's a trade off. You can't have both. This same design philosophy even holds true with competition motorcycles.
 

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Meow!
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I just had a custom bike built knowing full well that it has a bit of toe overlap. My other road bike has the same issue. Like you, I've never gone down and the only time I ever noticed it was at slow speeds.

I'm generally of the opinion that toe overlap has been overblown as a design concern. At least with my new bike, I was willing to accept it to achieve the geometry I otherwise wanted and to continue to use 700 cc wheels.
 

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Even though I believe it could be raced at a professional level, I think the RS is targeted toward a slightly more recreational rider, where toe overlap might be a real issue. Doing the same 650c wheel or some other "fix" on the R3 might be considered to be a design (performance) compromise that Cervelo isn't willing to make on that level of frame. Implying that Specialized is "better engineered" because they may have made that compromise, is off the mark, in my opinion.
 
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