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  1. #1
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Do you ever clean and lube pedals?

    The pedals on my mtb don't spin like they used to. In fact, one was squeking and squalling. I lubed them with some light oil but they are still balky. I have access to several "parts" bikes, and the pedals on them ranged from stiff to frozen. These are all mtb's with metal platform pedals.
    Does anyone do pedal maintenance and such? Or do you do like I just did and ordered some new ones. Decent pedals ain't cheap. They cost much more than a new chain - but we spend so much time discussing chain maintenance. I was just wondering. Maybe I should go out in the garage and see if I can take my pedals apart.

    Who knows what I'll find.

  2. #2
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    sknhgy, Only once, but not on a mountain bike pedal and I don't know if all pedals can be serviced. In my case it was similar to servicing a hub.

    Brad

  3. #3
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    Many platform and clipless pedals can be serviced. Usually there is a dust cap at the outside end of the spindle that can be unthreaded or pried out and the bearings are either cartridge-type roller or ball or they are cup-and-cone. For the cup-and-cone types, the problem is working in the very narrow channel the spindle and bearings are in. Usually a very thin wall socket is needed for the adjustments and to tighten the locknut.

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    Once every few years does it for me.
    MKS pedals are typical platforms and can be stripped for cleaning.
    You need to remove the end cap, this is usually plastic. The flat ones prise out , the domed ones unscrew. I use a pipe wrench but handle with extreme care or you crack the plastic. The plastic "seal" on the crank end just prises out but again, try not to cut or damage it.
    I adjust and hold the cone with needle-nosed pliers and use a small wrench on the locknut. There is an anti-rotation washer between but it wont stop the cone from turning a smidgeon during assembly.
    You often get a hard residue on the bearings from decomposing grease. Just clean and scrub in solvent and rebuild with plenty of waterproof grease. I reuse the ball bearings.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Once every few years does it for me.
    MKS pedals are typical platforms and can be stripped for cleaning.
    You need to remove the end cap, this is usually plastic. The flat ones prise out , the domed ones unscrew. I use a pipe wrench but handle with extreme care or you crack the plastic. The plastic "seal" on the crank end just prises out but again, try not to cut or damage it.
    I adjust and hold the cone with needle-nosed pliers and use a small wrench on the locknut. There is an anti-rotation washer between but it wont stop the cone from turning a smidgeon during assembly.
    You often get a hard residue on the bearings from decomposing grease. Just clean and scrub in solvent and rebuild with plenty of waterproof grease. I reuse the ball bearings.


    Velo Orange sells a dustcap wrench which fits MKS, Campy and others; no pipe wrench(!) required. http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...ap-wrench.html

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I used service my old campy pedals, but ever since I went with the clipless, I haven't serviced any pedals. I just don't have the problem that you describe. Also I don't do off road riding so there is less crud getting into the pedals and probably less stress on the pedals.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    Yours probably need to be taken apart and cleaned. The axle acts as the cone and is likely pitted. If so it's best to replace the pedals.
    I run shimano SPD pedals and evey 2500 to 5000 miles pull the cartridge out and clean the housing. I then fill it with grease and install the cartridge pushing out the old grease in the cartridge.
    On the MKS and other pedals you can remove the cap and push the grease through until clean grease comes out of the crank side.

  8. #8
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    Does anyone do pedal maintenance and such?
    I have Speedplay Frogs on all my bikes, and I try (<< that's the operative word!) to follow the manufacturer's recomendation for routine maintenance:

    - once a week (which for me is ~100-200 miles) I lube the cleats and cleat contacts with a dry Teflon-based lubricant. (I use the Finish Line stuff in the red bottle.)

    - once every ~2,000 miles I grease the axle mechanism with a grease *** and standard waterproof grease via the access ports on the ends of the Speedplays. Keep squirting grease into the port while spinning the pedal until old dirty grease oozes out the opposite side around the spindle.

    My oldest pair of Frogs is over 5 years old and has maybe 20,000 miles on them; they show no indication that I can't get several more years use out of them, so regular maintenance seems like a good -- and relatively cheap -- idea.

  9. #9
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    I ride decent pedals and feel it's worth keeping the spindle bearings properly greased. Taking them apart is a pain, so I've hiton an easy solution taking advantage or the fact that on pedals only one side is open and exposed to dirt and water.

    My pedals all have thread dust covers, and I bought or scavenged an extra cover for the two brands I ride. I fitted a Zerk grease fitting to the dust cap, and whenever I want to lube, I switch caps, and pump grease through, until it comes out clean at the spindle. The only drawback is that grease will continue to weep from the pedal for a while, so I need to do a bit of cleanup now and then.

    My old Frejus's original pedals now have over 50k mikes on them, and still are good as new (at least as far as the bearings are concerned)
    FB
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  10. #10
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Here's what I found out. Took off left pedal. Dust cap came off with allen wrench. There was a nut on the outer end of the spindle. Took it off and pushed out the tapered spindle. There was a cartridge bearing at the end of the spindle just under the nut, but the bearing stayed in the housing. Cleaned it all up and greased it. All went well.
    Removed right pedal. Took off dust cap. Tried to remove nut on end of spindle but something was wrong. Turns out, the right side spindle has left-handed threads on the outer end of the spindle. So, I stripped the 10mm nut trying to get it off. Perhaps if I can find a replacement nut I can salvage those pedals.
    Now I don't feel so bad about placing an order yesterday for new pedals.
    You live and learn - or don't, as someone has said.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I service all of mine, including brand new ones.

  12. #12
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    Lots of pedals can be greased easily with a Finish Line hand pump grease ***. (about $20.00) I do my Drillium Platforms every winter with the rest of the yearly maintenance. Just remove the screw at the end of the spindle and pump in grease until it starts coming out the seal on the opposite side. Clean up the excess grease and you're done. bk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    I have Speedplay Frogs on all my bikes...... My oldest pair of Frogs is over 5 years old and has maybe 20,000 miles on them; they show no indication that I can't get several more years use out of them, so regular maintenance seems like a good -- and relatively cheap -- idea.
    I currently have Frogs on three bikes. I'm not as diligent about cleaning and lubing the cleat interface but I do inject Phil grease into the grease ports about every 500 to 1000 miles on each pair.

    I've worn out two other pair over the years. The first died at over 30,000 miles when the inner stops finally broke off of both sides of the right pedal (the foot I always unclip at stops) and the second ate the inner needle bearing at 38,000 miles.

    You can get complete bearing and outer plate rebuild kits but they are priced high enough that buying a new pair is almost the same cost and new pedals come with new cleats. At over 30,000 miles a pair, I have no complaints!

  14. #14
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    Nope, not really. I just ride 'em until they fall apart or make unbearable noise.

    I do use just cheap BMX flat pedals though, so cost/benefit weighs in here. I've done it before and don't really like messing around with those tiny bearing balls.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Some pedals are worth maintaining, some are cheap, and just get tossed.

    Even cheap pedals are coming with sealed bearings, these days.
    My last purchase at the LBS was the latter, off sale table for $25.
    was an MTB flat platform type .. one of QBP's brands..

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I grease my Speedplay X1's once per year.

  17. #17
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    I use Time Atac's and ROC's, I just give them a spray of lube before I ride

  18. #18
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    Yes,once a year,when I do my wheels and headset.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  19. #19
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=sknhgy;12060969] So, I stripped the 10mm nut trying to get it off. TE]

    If it makes you feel any better, I've stripped nuts too, trying to get them off.
    Be glad it wasn't something expensive like stripping a crank when using an puller (extractor ?).

    After I've settled down, I shrug it off as a lesson...
    Sometimes the cost per lesson is on the steep part of the learning curve.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  20. #20
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=skilsaw;12062874]
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    So, I stripped the 10mm nut trying to get it off. TE]

    If it makes you feel any better, I've stripped nuts too, trying to get them off.
    Be glad it wasn't something expensive like stripping a crank when using an puller (extractor ?).

    After I've settled down, I shrug it off as a lesson...
    Sometimes the cost per lesson is on the steep part of the learning curve.
    I still can't think of a reason that that thread was left handed. It was on the right-side pedal, holding the pedal platform to the (tapered) pedal spindle.

  21. #21
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidad View Post
    Yours probably need to be taken apart and cleaned. The axle acts as the cone and is likely pitted. If so it's best to replace the pedals.
    I run shimano SPD pedals and evey 2500 to 5000 miles pull the cartridge out and clean the housing. I then fill it with grease and install the cartridge pushing out the old grease in the cartridge.
    I did this with my original Shimano XT-grade PD-M737 pedals. They lasted 15 years before the clip mechanism broke apart. The bearings were still good.

    In the OP's case, it's probably not worth it to overhaul the pedals. Replace 'em.
    Jeff Wills

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  22. #22
    Eternal n00b
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    my shimano pedals rarely ever need servicing, once every couple of years, if that.
    Giant OCR3 w/ Ultegra, D/A, Chris King- Commuter/Road bike
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  23. #23
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    hehe my shimano DX work just fine until now...

  24. #24
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    Left pedal has right hand thread,right pedal has left hand thread,because of precession.

    If you take a pencil and move the eraser in the palm of your hand in a small clockwise circle,the pencil will rotate counter clockwise,that is precession.

    It's the same reason the pedals thread into the crankarms the way they do.
    Last edited by Booger1; 01-12-11 at 10:47 AM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
    Left pedal has right hand thread,right pedal has left hand thread,because of precession.

    If you take a pencil and move the eraser in the palm of your hand in a small clockwise circle,the pencil will rotate counter clockwise,that is precession.

    It's the same reason the pedals thread into the crankarms the way they do.
    The pencil analogy is OK, but you're using the wrong term to describe it. Precession refers to the circular change in the axis of a rotating body such as a gyroscope. It describes the wobble observed in a spinning top or coin, and has nothing to do with why ball bearing pedals and British bottom brackets are threaded the way they are.

    The key to understanding why pedals are threaded opposite to what you'd expect is to look closely at how ball bearings act. Draw yourself a quick sketch consisting of a circle surrounded by smaller circles and one larger circle around the whole thing to represent a ball bearing. The outer ring is the pedal body race, and the inner circle is the spindle with the other circles being the balls.

    As you pedal forward, the right pedal body rotates to the left with respect to the right crank arm. Going to the sketch draw arrowheads on the outer ring indicating counterclockwise rotation. Since the balls have a rolling (not sliding) motion in the race they each rotate to the left. (draw in the arrows). Now extending the rolling motion to the innermost circle you'll see that it's driven to the right, or in the opposite direction of the pedal body. The effect is mirrored on the left, and is the same in BB, except that there the spindle is the input.

    BTW- it's important to note that this happens only ball bearing pedals when things are OK. Bushing pedals should be threaded in the opposite direction, and if BB pedals have rust or frozen bearings they'll unscrew.
    FB
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