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Old 05-24-11, 11:34 AM   #1
Cablestein
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MKS pedals: How often do you re-pack the bearings?

I bought some MKS Sylvan Touring pedals recently, and after the first week I started hearing 'clicking' sounds, so I re-packed the bearings. Then after a week I heard clicking, and re-packed them again.

When I re-pack, I'm making sure the pedals are tight enough that there's no play, and loose enough so they spin freely.

Question: Why am I getting the 'click' sound so soon after a re-pack? Have I been like 98% perfect, and just need to get it at 99% to be set for a year? Is it that finicky?

Question: How often does someone typically re-pack pedals on a daily commuter bike?

Question: I use a Phil Wood & Co. grease, should I use something else?

I hope I'm doing something wrong as this is my first experience with re-packing pedals --- I've always used sealed cartridge pedals. These pedals are fantastic otherwise (they are BIG and the same on both sides of the pedal, exactly what I want) but if I have to re-pack every month, even with 99% good packing, then what's the point?
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Old 05-24-11, 03:35 PM   #2
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Both pedals are clicking or just one? Which side? You will hear a click on your downward stroke if your pedals are not tightly wrenched to your cranks. Make sure you wrench them on to the cranks as hard as you can and see if that solves the problem. I don't think the bearings are the problem. When the MKS pedals are new the grease is not uniform, but time on the bike will smooth them out some.
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Old 05-25-11, 02:54 AM   #3
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I used one pair for 3 years of daily, all-weather riding. When I opened them up they seemed to be OK. I cleaned up, re-used the bearings and packed it with grease.
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Old 08-16-12, 10:40 AM   #4
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I have some Sylvan Touring pedals. Anyone know the bearing size in these?
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Old 08-16-12, 11:44 AM   #5
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They copied Campag's dust covers, so seek out one of those <C> wrenches..

Other end, fits the locknut.underneath.
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Old 08-16-12, 12:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cablestein View Post
I bought some MKS Sylvan Touring pedals recently, and after the first week I started hearing 'clicking' sounds, so I re-packed the bearings. Then after a week I heard clicking, and re-packed them again.

When I re-pack, I'm making sure the pedals are tight enough that there's no play, and loose enough so they spin freely.

Question: Why am I getting the 'click' sound so soon after a re-pack? Have I been like 98% perfect, and just need to get it at 99% to be set for a year? Is it that finicky?

Question: How often does someone typically re-pack pedals on a daily commuter bike?

Question: I use a Phil Wood & Co. grease, should I use something else?

I hope I'm doing something wrong as this is my first experience with re-packing pedals --- I've always used sealed cartridge pedals. These pedals are fantastic otherwise (they are BIG and the same on both sides of the pedal, exactly what I want) but if I have to re-pack every month, even with 99% good packing, then what's the point?
You shouldn't have to re-pack the pedals very frequently. I had a set of MKS that clicked and eventually felt rough. I opened them up and and they looked fine. I repacked and had the same issue shortly thereafter. I took them apart again and noticed that they had room for one more bearing in each race. I added a bearing and they worked fine after that. Other MKS pedals weren't short a bearing.

Maybe this situation applies to you?
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Old 08-16-12, 01:42 PM   #7
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I just bought a set of MKS touring pedals.In my case they needed to be torn apart from the get-go.They were set up too tight and were dry as toast.I could not take up as much play as I would have liked or they would start to feel crunchy,so had to leave a tiny tiny bit of play in them.They will be fine as is now,but they are not the smoothest pedals I have ever run.

They feel like $30 pedals and I'm OK with that.I'll try readjusting them in a week or two,see if running them helps any.

Mine had all of the balls in them.

I repack all of the bearings on my bike once a year or 10,000 miles,whichever comes first.

Last edited by Booger1; 08-16-12 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:07 PM   #8
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Whenever someone mentions the word "clicking" in regard to their bicycle drivetrain, I always ask how they know it's the pedals or the chainrings or the bottom bracket or the chain....

When I suspect I have a pedal problem, I usually try to swap out some other pedals to be positive the pedals are the source of the problem.

BTW, I have these pedals on all my bikes. I've never needed to repack the bearings.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:30 PM   #9
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....OP is 15 months old....

Sorry #4, IDK ball diameter, but I'd guess 1/8" or 3/16". I think all my pedals are sealed bearing now. Why don't you remove one and measure? Or email them and ask:

http://www.mkspedal.com/English/company_data.htm
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Old 08-16-12, 11:12 PM   #10
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I have not used MKS pedals in quite a while, but all free bearing pedals are similarly serviced. I did have a pair of MKS on a bike for about 25 years. They were still spinning smoothly when I sold the bike.

When I have one of our bikes with serviceable pedals up on the stand for maintenance, I'll check the pedals. The best way that I found is to remove the pedals from the cranks, and spin the axle by hand. If I feel any roughness, it is time to repack and adjust the bearings. I do the same for sealed bearing pedals. Unfortunately, It is usually pedal replacement time when sealed bearing (Look pedals) feel rough. When getting ready for a tour, I'll service the pedals as part of my pre-tour maintenance. That usually means the pedals on our touring bikes get serviced once or twice a year. We have completed 2 tours this summer ( about 1000 miles), and are leaving in a couple of weeks for another 6 weeks. I'm not messing with them for this upcoming tour. That would be overkill. However, I'll still pull them off and check them for smoothness.

Last edited by Doug64; 08-16-12 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 08-17-12, 08:45 AM   #11
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I had a pair of old cup and cone pedals from the 1980s, the cone in one of them would regularly tighten with pedaling, I was unable to get the bearing locknut tight enough to prevent this and eventually bought a different pair of pedals. They did not have a click sound, so that might be a different issue than you have. It only happened on one side.

On a different pair of pedals, I suspected I had a pedal issue because I had an intermittent spot in my pedal stroke where it felt like the bearing was hitting a sudden obstruction, but when I realized it only happened on one of the cogs on my cassette, it became obvious that it was not a pedal issue.

I recommend grease over oil for pedal bearings (and Phil grease should be just fine) but there have been times when I am trying to diagnose which bearing is giving me difficulties that I will instead use oil because I can drop in a few drops without taking time to disassemble and reassemble things.
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