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Old 01-01-12, 12:59 PM   #1
ilikebikes
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Bent steel pedal arm

My "James" cycle has a bent pedal arm and am asking what the best (safest) way of bending it back into place would be. Its slightly bent but enough to just make contact with the chaingaurd while pedaling. I checked the chaingaurd and its fine. I've seen the LBS use a long steel pipe to bend them back in place, is this "the norm?" or do you guys have a better way? Please let me know.
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Old 01-01-12, 01:12 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what a pedal arm is. Are you talking about the crank arm?
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Old 01-01-12, 01:19 PM   #3
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Yes, slipping a long pipe over it is a good first attempt.
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Old 01-01-12, 01:24 PM   #4
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I'm not sure what a pedal arm is. Are you talking about the crank arm?
Yup, the crank arm.
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Old 01-01-12, 01:24 PM   #5
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My "James" cycle has a bent pedal arm and am asking what the best (safest) way of bending it back into place would be. Its slightly bent but enough to just make contact with the chaingaurd while pedaling. I checked the chaingaurd and its fine. I've seen the LBS use a long steel pipe to bend them back in place, is this "the norm?" or do you guys have a better way? Please let me know.
I think that's fine to do, so long as it's steel. Alloy is another story, of course.

PS. I still want that bike... Not jealous, just envious.
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Old 01-01-12, 02:13 PM   #6
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I think that's fine to do, so long as it's steel. Alloy is another story, of course.

PS. I still want that bike... Not jealous, just envious.
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Old 01-01-12, 02:24 PM   #7
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If you do intend to straighten the arm, might I suggest that you remove the crank from the bicycle, first. You would not want the excessive pressure finding a way into the frame set.

For what it is worth, I am working on a Peugeot with a seriously bent steel crank arm. I intend to try to replace it but, being a Peugeot five speed, I might have a tough time finding the perfect crank. If that is the case, I will straighten the arm out using the cold set method. If it looks good when done, I will be set...


You will notice that the crank arm was bent far enough in to actually damage the lovely original alloy Peugeot fender. How did it get bent so badly? Incredibly poor shipping technique...





So far, I have collected everything I need to restore the bike, except the correct crank arm. And that might not even be a problem. There just might be one hiding in The Old Shed.
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Old 01-01-12, 04:26 PM   #8
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@ Randyjawa, Sweet find! Hope things go well with that crank arm! OK, I remove the crank arm to cold set it, how/what do I anchor the arm to to keep it still and secure enough to bend it with the pipe?
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Old 01-01-12, 04:46 PM   #9
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Remove the crank arm and take it to someone with a hydraulic press. You can then have them bend it back right where it needs it. They can control the amount of force needed with the press. Of course, the arm needs to be steel.

Tom
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Old 01-01-12, 04:57 PM   #10
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OK, I remove the crank arm to cold set it, how/what do I anchor the arm to to keep it still and secure enough to bend it with the pipe?
Clamp it in a bench-mounted vise.
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Old 01-01-12, 05:05 PM   #11
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The press is the best way. The pipe can work. But before you do. Wrap the heck out of it with electrical tape first to keep the pipe from marring the chrome. If you have a bench vise, that would work also. put it in the jaws with the arc of the bend compressed in the jaws and tighten it down till it mates flat with the jaws and leave it over night. just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-01-12, 05:16 PM   #12
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I would heat it and bend in a hydraulic press.
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Old 01-01-12, 05:21 PM   #13
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I've had success propping the arm a half inch off the concrete floor and using a maul and a hardwood block. Those arms can be very soft and you can control the bend easily. Or a bench vise and a couple of shims...
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Old 01-01-12, 05:28 PM   #14
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Remove the crank arm and take it to someone with a hydraulic press. You can then have them bend it back right where it needs it. They can control the amount of force needed with the press. Of course, the arm needs to be steel.

Tom
Hydrolic press, yeah, I don't know anyone with a hydrolic press.
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Old 01-01-12, 05:29 PM   #15
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Vise and pipe works. I did one not too long ago. First measure how far it needs to be bent and do it a littie at a time. You don't want to go past the amount you need because metal fatigues quickly in its "plastic" zone.
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Old 01-01-12, 05:40 PM   #16
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I've had success propping the arm a half inch off the concrete floor and using a maul and a hardwood block. Those arms can be very soft and you can control the bend easily. Or a bench vise and a couple of shims...

Hmmmm, this sounds like a plan! I'm pretty good at whackin' stuff with a hammer! LOL! Think a hard rubber mallet might do the job? I've got one of those.
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Old 01-01-12, 05:43 PM   #17
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OK, I remove the crank arm to cold set it, how/what do I anchor the arm to to keep it still and secure enough to bend it with the pipe?
Use the vise and blocks, as clubman suggests. That is exactly what I intend to do and I know I will get the arm straight.
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Old 01-01-12, 05:45 PM   #18
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Do not use heat. Do not use impact. Use a vise, three hardwood or alloy blocks, and press the arm straight. That is what I intend to do and I have done it before, but only with steel. Do not use a bent alloy arm!
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Old 07-12-14, 04:37 PM   #19
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I've had success propping the arm a half inch off the concrete floor and using a maul and a hardwood block. Those arms can be very soft and you can control the bend easily. Or a bench vise and a couple of shims...
I agree with this method. Used it more than once. Wood block and a BFH. If aluminum, you only have very few shots to get it right. Bang on it too much and it will work harden and break, or at least develop cracks which will eventually lead to catastrophic failure at the worst possible moment. Steel, you can beat on all day long.
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Old 07-12-14, 08:55 PM   #20
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OK, I remove the crank arm to cold set it, how/what do I anchor the arm to to keep it still and secure enough to bend it with the pipe?
Clamp it in a bench-mounted vise, preferably with the bench bolted securely to the floor. Slip a long steel pipe over the arm and apply Great Force to move it where it needs to be.
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Old 07-12-14, 09:01 PM   #21
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This thread is two years old, that bike id loooong gone.
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