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Old 05-21-12, 10:35 PM   #1
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How do I tell if my pedals are sealed?

My drive side pedals feels gritty or chunky and does not spin freely like the other one. How do I tell if the pedal is serviceable, and even then would it be worth servicing an inexpensive pedal? The bike is a Marin Muirwoods 29er so the bike was only $650 SRP to start with. The pedals are BMX-style flat pedals with metal platform. The only marking I see is what looks like VP, but I do not see any similar pedal VP's website.
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Old 05-22-12, 07:29 AM   #2
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VP is a maker of various grades of pedals but with out a model name/number or a picture I can't tell if they can be serviced. Look for a pry-off or threaded cap at the outside of the pedal axles. If you can remove a cap, you can access the bearings for a cleaning and relubing.

Here is VP's US web site:

Look under "Products" to see if you can find a match for your pedals and their "Support" tab will let you send them a question about maintenance on your particular pedals.
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Old 05-22-12, 08:08 AM   #3
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The first clue would be if the outer dust cap has an obvious provision for removal, either hex flats, external grip points, holes for a pin wrench, or, if plastic, a cutout to take a pry bar. If he dust cap is designed for removal, then do so and see how the axle is fixed inside, whether bolted, or with a removable circlip.

Note, that if the dust cap can be removed, but the axle cannot, you can still service the pedal if you're a bit creative. About 40 years ago I bought a spare dust cap for my Campagnolo pedals and fitted it with a grease fitting. To service the pedals, I switch dust caps, pump grease into the pedal, pushing the old grease out the drank end. Since then I've used similar system to service all my pedals, and have never had to take one apart.
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Old 05-22-12, 09:18 AM   #4
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Drop gritty kerosene in. If the pedal takes on a gritty feel, your pedals are not sealed.
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Old 05-22-12, 09:33 AM   #5
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Don't worry about it, buy another set of pedals, new.
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Old 05-23-12, 01:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Don't worry about it, buy another set of pedals, new.

Fix, don't waste.
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Old 05-23-12, 07:08 AM   #7
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By using the term "sealed" do you mean a pre manufactured bearing cartridge? I ask this because pretty much all bearings (on bikes) have some attempt at a seal, or a reduction of the gap between the rotating and stationary elements. Whether the actual rolling elements are adjustable for end play/pre load or are able to be dissambled with common tools, then reassembled after cleaning and greasiing, is another issue. If the bearing is of the premanufactured/cartridge type (the kind that is often and inaccurately called sealed) you might be able to source replacements and press the old cartridge out then new in. You migh also be able to remove any gap seal ring (although with the tiny cartridges that are in pedals this seal ring is very small and hard to get off without damage) and flush out the internals then add fresh grease and reinstall the seal ring. If the bearing is a cup and cone type it has some kind of method of holding the cone onto the spindle shaft. How is another aspect of possible serviceability. A threaded axle, and lock nut/cone, means that you might unthread and reassemble with common tools. As was discussed on another thread recently, some pedals use a mashed over spindle end to hold everything together (think rivot). One trick i've used to lube cheap pedals is to simply drill a port hole in the dust cap and then inject grease through the pedal until clean grease is coming out the other end. this doesn't change any bearing adjustment or wear but does make things feel better for almost no effort or risk of ruinning antthing. Andy.
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