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Servicing pedals?

Old 11-26-23, 03:17 PM
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Servicing pedals?

I found a bike dumped on the side of the road that was damaged and had been rattle canned. The serial # is gone, but I've been trying to locate the owner.

I just pulled off the pedals to service them. (If the owner shows up, he'll get them.) There's a precision bearing on the outside of the spindle, but there are no bearings on the side near the crank. Are the bearings missing, or are some pedals manufactured without inner bearings?



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Old 11-26-23, 03:41 PM
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Not unusual to have a bushing on one end and bearings on the other. If you can determine the make/model of the pedals, there will probably be some info about them on the net.
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Old 11-26-23, 04:37 PM
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As noted, some pedals use plain bearings, so that's a real possibility.

But you need to keep an open mind.

Arguing for a plain bearing is the shiny zone on both spindle and pedal. Doubly so if it's a nice close fit, less so if it's sloppy. Mose so if you see a pressed in brass or steel sleeve (bushing).

OTOH

It would be more logical for the ball bearing to be on the more loaded end. Also, the spindle has a curve that looks awfully like a ball bearing cone. Doubly so if the pedal has a pressed in cup. Triple that if you see a polished or rusty band that could be a worn ball track.

A real possibility is that there was a ball bearing there, but the pedal loosened and the balls fell out, leaving the body to ride the spindle.

So, use your eyes and follow the evidence.

Last edited by FBinNY; 11-26-23 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 11-26-23, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
A real possibility is that there was a ball bearing there, but the pedal loosened and the balls fell out. So, use your eyes and follow the evidence.
That's what I'm thinking. The weird thing is both sides were missing the ball bearings, but they were spinning pretty smoothly even without them. One side didn't feel quite right so I took it apart and noticed the lack of bearings. I took the other side apart to hopefully figure out what size bearing to use and that side is missing bearings also. The funny thing is, both sides were adjusted so there was no play in the pedal and one one side actually felt right even with no bearings.

I will eventually take them to a bike shop. I expect they'll figure out if I need bearings and what size.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
.....
I will eventually take them to a bike shop. I expect they'll figure out if I need bearings and what size.
You don't need another opinion. Let the pedal itself tell you. Besides the above, the spindle length may be decisive, as would the presence or lack of a steel ball cup in the pedal body.

Consider that balls would push the spindle out by 3/16" or so. Is the spindle long enough? Would there be a gap?
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Old 11-26-23, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Consider that balls would push the spindle out by 3/16" or so. Is the spindle long enough? Would there be a gap?
I'd say there isn't enough length. Thanks
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Old 11-26-23, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
I found a bike dumped on the side of the road that was damaged and had been rattle canned. The serial # is gone, but I've been trying to locate the owner
I just pulled off the pedals to service them. (If the owner shows up, he'll get them.) There's a precision bearing on the outside of the spindle, but there are no bearings on the side near the crank. Are the bearings missing, or are some pedals manufactured without inner bearings?
That spindle looks like it's been precision ground, so I'd expect something like an Igus sleeve bearing, but if the spindle is a proper close fit in the body then it would seem to be a plain bearing.
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Old 11-26-23, 10:25 PM
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Old 11-27-23, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
I'd say there isn't enough length. Thanks
I've found most pedals to be 5/32 or 1/8 bearings.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:51 AM
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The inboard sleeve bearing has the advantage of being simple, inexpensive, and good load carrying capacity, albeit with more friction than a ball or roller bearing. The outboard ball bearings hold things in alignment, so the sleeve doesn't seize.
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Old 11-27-23, 01:58 PM
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Every rotating component I've ever used has a full set of load supporting bearings, not merely on one side.
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Old 11-27-23, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Every rotating component I've ever used has a full set of load supporting bearings, not merely on one side.
Me too. It doesn't make sense that there doesn't appear to be enough length on the spindle for bearings to fit. The pedals do spin well without them. I'm at a loss...



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Old 11-27-23, 03:00 PM
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Shimano 534s?
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Old 11-27-23, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Shimano 534s?
I couldn't find any info about 534s online. I'd be interested in knowing what bearings 534's use.

They could be Shimano. They're all metal, no plastic anywhere. The inside of the cages say made in Taiwan, but I can't find anything on the outside of the cages. The outside of the cages are a bit scratched up, but you'd think you'd still notice if they said Shimano on the cage. My guess is they're at least 10 years old and probably older.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud
I couldn't find any info about 534s online. I'd be interested in knowing what bearings 534's use.

They could be Shimano. They're all metal, no plastic anywhere. The inside of the cages say made in Taiwan, but I can't find anything on the outside of the cages. The outside of the cages are a bit scratched up, but you'd think you'd still notice if they said Shimano on the cage. My guess is they're at least 10 years old and probably older.
sorry that product number was off the top of my head. Looked it up and I think itís M324? Not 100% sure though, the edge cage bit looks different and the little bumps on the platform. Maybe a copy of the design.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by choddo
sorry that product number was off the top of my head. Looked it up and I think itís M324? Not 100% sure though, the edge cage bit looks different and the little bumps on the platform. Maybe a copy of the design.
324 have silver cages . That's probably a Wellgo with black cages.

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Old 11-27-23, 10:08 PM
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Plain bearings ---- meaning without rolling elements ---- with or without bushings of one kind or another are very common in pedals.

We see them on kid's trikes as a plastic pedal on a bolt, and also on mic priced modern pedals. Besides cost, there's a benefit in a thinner profile that has the top closer to the axis.

It's easy enough to spot them by that narrow profile that simply lacks the room for rolling elements, ie. balls, like the pedal a pictured above.

Keep in mind that the large contact area provides plenty of load capacity, so they are not as bad as some suggest.
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