Okay, did the installation over the weekend in my spare time installing my brand new Crank Brothers Candy SL pedals. The following is a basis for a DIY particularly geared towards newbies like myself. If anyone has any comments or clarifications to add, please feel free to do so. I will eventually work this into a web page on my DIY site.
So, this is what a Crank Brothers box looks like. Very stylish, very Apple-like.
Once you open the box you see the care for detail and style continues in the packaging of the components.
This is what you get when you take everything out. You get a sticker, 4 short-ish cleat bolts, 4 long-ish cleat bolts, two pedals, a grease fitting adapter for lubing the guts of the pedal, two cleat shims, two cleats and the instructions.
I have a 2005 Kona Blast and these are the strap pedals I'm replacing. The bike is only a month old so as you can see it's pretty clean. What you can notice on this picture is the hex-shaped part of the pedal that butts up against the crank arm. This is what must be removed. Pedals are symmetrically threaded. This means that the two pedals turn as mirror images to each other and to remove the pedals you have to turn wrench towards the back of the bike. This one point deserves repetition and emphasis: To remove pedals, always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike.
In the previous picture you'll notice that my pedals offer a good amount of clearance between the pedal body and the crank arm allowing me to put a wrench on the hex with little trouble. Apparently other pedals are not as generous in their spacing so they require a special pedal wrench that is much thinner and also longer. The thin factor is obviously to get it onto the hex, the length is because of the amount of torque that is typically needed to remove the pedals. Anyway, geta 15mm wrench and turn towards the back. I found removing the left pedal to be pretty easy.
This is what it looks once the pedal is removed.
I found removing the right side to be much tougher than the left. I think this is only because the right pedal may have been torqued more than the left one. The trick I used to finally remove the right pedal was to brace the pedal with my right foot while standing over the bike and to keep pulling the wrench down. Here's an excellent tip I picked up from one of the DIY sites I came across. Put the chain on the largest front sprocket. This way if your hand slips you'll hit a roundish chain and not a pointy sprocket.
This is what the crank looks like once you remove the right pedal.
Because of the symmetrical threading, Crank Brothers distinguishes the left pedal from the right one by having an indented band on the flange. Notice the pedal on the left has a ring on the flange.
OK - the instructions say to lube the threads before installing the new pedals to the crank arms. This is to prevent seizing. A great recommendation that was offered to me was to pick up marine grease for a few bucks. I didn't have a chance to hit Home Depot to pick this up so used on of the lubes I have lying around in the garage. The stuff you see below is one of my favourite things to use. It is high temperature anti-seize compound. This is the stuff that's meant to be used on the slider pins of automotive brake calipers. It does a tremendous job of keeping stuff from seizing. I butter this stuff on any part that I even suspect of potentially seizing. This is pricy compared to the marine grease and likely overkill but it's what I had lying around.
In this pic I buttered the anti-seize on the threads of the pedal.
The first step in the installation of the new pedals following the application of the anit-seize is to hand-thread the new pedals. This is a normal procedure. If you have to ever thread a bolt or a nut, always start it by hand. It is way to easy to cross thread something if you start by using a tool so take this advice, always start threading by hand to avoid cross-threading.
Time to torque the new pedals. The new pedals differ from my old ones in that they have an allen key hex on the threaded part of the pedal. The pedal is to be tightened by turning the pedal using an allen key through the hole in the crank. You need a 6mm allen key and a torque wrench. Recommended torque value is 25 to 30 lb-ft of torque. If you don't have a torque wrench then I recommend you do the following. Find a bathroom scale and place it on your counter. Apply force down onto the bathroom scale using one hand until you see it read 30 lbs. Using a wrench that is a foot long, this is how much force you need to get 30 lb-ft of torque.
This is where the magic happens. Turn the torque wrench until you hear the clicking.
Time to mount the Crank Brothers cleats. Notice the bolts come in two lengths. The longish one is presumably used in case you need to use the spacers. I first tried by installing without the spacers but still used the long bolts since I had the clearance. I figured the more threads the better as long as it isn't piercing your foot from the bottom.
You need a 4mm allen key.
This is what the bottom of my Specialized shoes look like. The plate that the cleats bolt to can slide forward or backward depending on fit and comfort I suppose. I opted to push it as far forward as possible. You'll also notice that my shoes have a pretty aggressive tread. This presumably can get in the way of the cleats and pedals from working well and easily together. When I tried locking the shoes to the pedal I found I had a really hard time to lock them in. I was told that the cleats do need to be worn out a little but I still found it overly difficult which is why I opted to use the spacers.
In this picture you can see the spacer in place. The instructions state to put the rough side of the spacer facing the shoe and the smooth one facing the cleat.
This is what a cleat looks like installed on the shoe. The two cleats are not identical in that one of the cleats has two indented holes in the cleat. The one in the picture is NOT the one with the holes. If the cleat with the holes is installed on the right shoe then it means an easier/earlier (15deg) disengagement from the pedals. If it's placed on the left shoe then you have a later disengagement (20deg).
Here are my shoes with the cleats on. The shoe at the top of the image is the one with the two indented holes I described ealier.
This is me trying to test the fit of the pedals and the shoes. I think the thread is too close to the cleat and is too high.
This is a better shot of me trying to lock it in. You can see how elevated the shoe's tread is.
My thoughts - I have no experience with clipless shoes so I have nothing to base my opinion on. I did find during my test rides that the left shoe did not come off as easily as the right one. As a matter of fact, I would say that it had a great deal of trouble coming off. I may dremel part of the sole away to see if that improves locking in and getting out.
I did try riding with normal shoes on the pedals. The Candy models are okay as a platform if you're in a real pinch but I would not qualify these pedals as platform-like. Getting tired now. I may add more tomorrow.