Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-21-12, 10:35 PM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
How do I tell if my pedals are sealed?

My drive side pedals feels gritty or chunky and does not spin freely like the other one. How do I tell if the pedal is serviceable, and even then would it be worth servicing an inexpensive pedal? The bike is a Marin Muirwoods 29er so the bike was only $650 SRP to start with. The pedals are BMX-style flat pedals with metal platform. The only marking I see is what looks like VP, but I do not see any similar pedal VP's website.
jsdavis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-12, 07:29 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: '''96 Litespeed Catalyst, '05 Litespeed Firenze, '06 Litespeed Tuscany, '12 Surly Pacer, All are 3x8,9 or 10. It is hilly around here!
Posts: 28,985
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
VP is a maker of various grades of pedals but with out a model name/number or a picture I can't tell if they can be serviced. Look for a pry-off or threaded cap at the outside of the pedal axles. If you can remove a cap, you can access the bearings for a cleaning and relubing.

Here is VP's US web site:

Look under "Products" to see if you can find a match for your pedals and their "Support" tab will let you send them a question about maintenance on your particular pedals.
HillRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-12, 08:08 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 30,345
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 597 Post(s)
The first clue would be if the outer dust cap has an obvious provision for removal, either hex flats, external grip points, holes for a pin wrench, or, if plastic, a cutout to take a pry bar. If he dust cap is designed for removal, then do so and see how the axle is fixed inside, whether bolted, or with a removable circlip.

Note, that if the dust cap can be removed, but the axle cannot, you can still service the pedal if you're a bit creative. About 40 years ago I bought a spare dust cap for my Campagnolo pedals and fitted it with a grease fitting. To service the pedals, I switch dust caps, pump grease into the pedal, pushing the old grease out the drank end. Since then I've used similar system to service all my pedals, and have never had to take one apart.
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-12, 09:18 AM   #4
aka Tom Reingold
noglider's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Bikes: too many
Posts: 27,636
Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 503 Post(s)
Drop gritty kerosene in. If the pedal takes on a gritty feel, your pedals are not sealed.
Tom Reingold,
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-12, 09:33 AM   #5
fietsbob's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 21,121
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 836 Post(s)
Don't worry about it, buy another set of pedals, new.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-12, 01:26 AM   #6
bike whisperer
Kimmo's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Bikes: copy/paste links:
Posts: 7,101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Don't worry about it, buy another set of pedals, new.

Fix, don't waste.
Kimmo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-12, 07:08 AM   #7
Andrew R Stewart 
Andrew R Stewart
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder
Posts: 6,955
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
By using the term "sealed" do you mean a pre manufactured bearing cartridge? I ask this because pretty much all bearings (on bikes) have some attempt at a seal, or a reduction of the gap between the rotating and stationary elements. Whether the actual rolling elements are adjustable for end play/pre load or are able to be dissambled with common tools, then reassembled after cleaning and greasiing, is another issue. If the bearing is of the premanufactured/cartridge type (the kind that is often and inaccurately called sealed) you might be able to source replacements and press the old cartridge out then new in. You migh also be able to remove any gap seal ring (although with the tiny cartridges that are in pedals this seal ring is very small and hard to get off without damage) and flush out the internals then add fresh grease and reinstall the seal ring. If the bearing is a cup and cone type it has some kind of method of holding the cone onto the spindle shaft. How is another aspect of possible serviceability. A threaded axle, and lock nut/cone, means that you might unthread and reassemble with common tools. As was discussed on another thread recently, some pedals use a mashed over spindle end to hold everything together (think rivot). One trick i've used to lube cheap pedals is to simply drill a port hole in the dust cap and then inject grease through the pedal until clean grease is coming out the other end. this doesn't change any bearing adjustment or wear but does make things feel better for almost no effort or risk of ruinning antthing. Andy.
Andrew R Stewart is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:54 AM.