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New pedals' bearings adjustment

Old 12-08-11, 05:06 AM
  #1  
Glottis
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New pedals' bearings adjustment

I bought some Shimano pedals, the m540. I always inspect everything really closely, so I noticed that the left pedal has very little play in it. It's only noticeable if I grab it with my fingers and rock it perpendicularly to the pedal's axle. It's not noticeable when I'm riding.

Should I adjust the bearings if the play is barely noticeable? Or is a little play normal in pedals? It's not a difficult task and no special tools are needed for this pedal, but I don't want to waste time fixing something that shouldn't be fixed!

I don't know about high-end products, but I noticed that with middle level stuff, it's better to make sure everything is working properly if you want the parts to last.

Thank you.
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Old 12-08-11, 05:32 AM
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I wouldn't have expected there to be any play. Sounds like the shaft that threads onto the crank might need it's bolt tightening up? Shouldn't take long to quickly whip it apart, even if there's nothing wrong.
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Old 12-08-11, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mikezs View Post
Sounds like the shaft that threads onto the crank might need it's bolt tightening up?
No, it's definitely in the pedal itself.
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Old 12-08-11, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
No, it's definitely in the pedal itself.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. The part of the pedal that you bolt onto the crank can be separated from the pedal casing by the bolt that's nearest to the exposed threads.

This is the part I would attempt to tighten up. Be careful because there's right and left hand threads going on with these.
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Old 12-08-11, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
No, it's definitely in the pedal itself.
It's normal with the M520s, in my experience. I would think the M540s are the same. After over two years of riding 20 miles per day (including two dirty winters) the play has become no worse and cannot be felt when riding.

I would leave them alone, if I were you.
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Old 12-08-11, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mikezs View Post
The part of the pedal that you bolt onto the crank can be separated from the pedal casing by the bolt that's nearest to the exposed threads.

This is the part I would attempt to tighten up.
This one was tight, and it was the only thing I unscrewed. I started the disassembly, but stopped when I realized that I need a 7 mm wrench to adjust the bearings. Then I thought it's a good thing I don't have the wrench, because maybe I don't need to adjust anything. So I created this thread to confirm.
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Old 12-08-11, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt View Post
After over two years of riding 20 miles per day (including two dirty winters) the play has become no worse and cannot be felt when riding.
That's good to know, thanks.
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Old 12-08-11, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
That's good to know, thanks.
No problem. Forgot to say that I have a replacement pair (brand new still, long story) with the same amount of play - that's how I know it's no worse than when I first started using them.
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Old 12-08-11, 07:18 AM
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shimano makes a special tool to adjust the bearings. It's a good idea to open them up and get rid of the play. Cup and cone bearings need a little preload or in time they will begin to ruin the cones.
Every 5k miles or so you can pull the bearing and clean out the housing. Pump fresh grease into the housing and replace the bearing forcing the old grease in it out.
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Old 12-08-11, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
shimano makes a special tool to adjust the bearings. It's a good idea to open them up and get rid of the play. Cup and cone bearings need a little preload or in time they will begin to ruin the cones.
Every 5k miles or so you can pull the bearing and clean out the housing. Pump fresh grease into the housing and replace the bearing forcing the old grease in it out.
This is true. I'm just not sure that any amount of preload will remove the play that the OP is describing. I am more than willing to be proven wrong, however.

As an aside, this option is no longer available to me on my original set of M520s since a paceline took me straight over a piece of industrial wrapping material which bound round the left pedal spindle and destroyed the bearing cap. Hence the replacement set.
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Old 12-08-11, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
shimano makes a special tool to adjust the bearings.
Is this tool just easier to work with, or do I need it to adjust the bearings? I thought 7 mm and 10 mm wrenches and a vice are all I needed to get the job done.
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Old 12-08-11, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt View Post
I'm just not sure that any amount of preload will remove the play that the OP is describing. I am more than willing to be proven wrong, however.
How can I possibly ignore this challenge? Did you post this on purpose?
BTW, only the left pedal has play in it.
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Old 12-08-11, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Glottis View Post
How can I possibly ignore this challenge? Did you post this on purpose?
BTW, only the left pedal has play in it.
Not really, but I can see why you wouldn't believe that

Might be worth a go if the play isn't equal in both pedals.
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Old 12-15-11, 02:50 AM
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Went out and bought a 7mm wrench (I had almost all sizes except the 7mm one!). Adjusting the bearings was a breeze and took about 2 minutes. I thought it'd be frustrating.
No play now in either pedals. I didn't touch the right pedal to check if the bearings were too tight, as it spins freely enough.
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Old 12-15-11, 09:38 PM
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In my experience it's common for new, from the factory, pedals to be poorly adjusted, usually too tight. As somebody mentioned above, a little preload is good. They shouldn't be loose, but if you can feel significant "bumping" when you rotate them or they are hard to turn, you should adjust them.
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Old 12-15-11, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Wake View Post
In my experience it's common for new, from the factory, pedals to be poorly adjusted, usually too tight.
In my (insignificant) experience, this also applies to new bikes' wheels. I don't know about wheel sets though, but I imagine it to be true for non-custom built ones.
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Old 12-16-11, 11:06 PM
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I had a brand new M520's that had play in it when I received it. It felt like there was a clicking in my bottom bracket so I needed to tighten it up. easy to fix. You need a special tool to remove the spindle of the M520 but I don't think any special tools are necessary for the M540.
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