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Can the squeaking pedal be silenced?

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Can the squeaking pedal be silenced?

Old 07-14-13, 02:13 PM
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Can the squeaking pedal be silenced?

I've been happily using XPEDO platform pedals (MX-FORCE 3, magnesium, about $100 from my LBS) for a few years, but a recent rainy-day ride seems to have resulted in an annoying squeak on the right side. The pedal has a single cartridge bearing which I assumed to be sealed to prevent water and dirt contamination. The squeak suggests my assumption, like many others, is incorrect.

Does the term 'cartridge bearing' mean it is sealed to keep contaminates out and factory installed lube in? Or does this nomenclature mean something quite different?

I haven't tried treating the squeak with oil because I thought it would be useless. Should I give 'er a shot and see if it helps?

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Old 07-14-13, 02:16 PM
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Old 07-14-13, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SwampDude View Post
.... but a recent rainy-day ride seems to have resulted in an annoying squeak on the right side. The pedal has a single cartridge bearing which I assumed to be sealed to prevent water and dirt contamination. The squeak suggests my assumption, like many others, is incorrect.

Does the term 'cartridge bearing' mean it is sealed to keep contaminates out and factory installed lube in? Or does this nomenclature mean something quite different?

I haven't tried treating the squeak with oil because I thought it would be useless. Should I give 'er a shot and see if it helps?
Most bike components using "sealed" or "cartridge" bearings use standard commercial bearings with single lip seals. These seals are intended for indoor use such as on electric motors and not, despite the marketing, weather sealed.

A proper weather seal requires a double lip seal with a gap between the seals so water cannot migrate in. Read more about seals here.

Odds are that after some use in weather water got into the bearing, and washed out or compromised the grease. If you open them odds are up you'll find brownish grease or stains, and it isn't food coloring.

Depending on the specific design and your skill level, some of these can be serviced, and others not.
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Old 07-14-13, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Most bike components using "sealed" or "cartridge" bearings use standard commercial bearings with single lip seals. These seals are intended for indoor use such as on electric motors and not, despite the marketing, weather sealed.

A proper weather seal requires a double lip seal with a gap between the seals so water cannot migrate in. Read more about seals here.

Odds are that after some use in weather water got into the bearing, and washed out or compromised the grease. If you open them odds are up you'll find brownish grease or stains, and it isn't food coloring.

Depending on the specific design and your skill level, some of these can be serviced, and others not.
Thanks for a thoughtful response. I'm disappointed expensive bike pedals (obviously an outdoor-use device) would be subject to water damage after one 5 mile exposure to the rain (though it was a gully washer with deep puddles). After contacting XPEDO's customer service for relief (which isn't likely to be provided), I'll just use the pedal until it binds. THEN, I'll take it apart to see how these puppies are constructed.
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Old 07-14-13, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SwampDude View Post
... I'm disappointed expensive bike pedals (obviously an outdoor-use device) would be subject to water damage after one 5 mile exposure to the rain (though it was a gully washer with deep puddles). ....
There's no need to go out of your way to kill them. Remove both pedals, and bake them at 130 for a long while to drive out water then see if some heavy oil can be worked in to freshen the grease.

Be careful about how hot you get them because some plastic parts aren't very heat tolerant. (130 is pretty safe). An easy way to dry the entire bike, inside and out is to put it into a solar oven --- your car parked in the sun with one window cracked 1/2" for ventilation. Leave it there all afternoon, and it'll be totally purged of water.

As for the seal issue, it isn't simply a matter of spec'ing a different bearing. It requires though to weather sealing in the entire design. Look around, and you'll find exposed bearings all over the place; hubs, bottom brackets & pedals. Since the bulk of high end clients are fair weather riders, little attention is given to weather protection. The pors that use this stuff have their bikes serviced nightly so they don't care either.

Not saying this is reasonable policy or isn't, just telling it like it is.
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Old 07-15-13, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
There's no need to go out of your way to kill them. Remove both pedals, and bake them at 130 for a long while to drive out water then see if some heavy oil can be worked in to freshen the grease.

Be careful about how hot you get them because some plastic parts aren't very heat tolerant. (130 is pretty safe). An easy way to dry the entire bike, inside and out is to put it into a solar oven --- your car parked in the sun with one window cracked 1/2" for ventilation. Leave it there all afternoon, and it'll be totally purged of water.

As for the seal issue, it isn't simply a matter of spec'ing a different bearing. It requires though to weather sealing in the entire design. Look around, and you'll find exposed bearings all over the place; hubs, bottom brackets & pedals. Since the bulk of high end clients are fair weather riders, little attention is given to weather protection. The pors that use this stuff have their bikes serviced nightly so they don't care either.thr

Not saying this is reasonable policy or isn't, just telling it like it is.

Thanks for an interesting suggestion. I've never heard of baking a bike component to dry it or using a vehicle to dry the entire bike. Because I live in SW Florida and drive a large SUV, the whole-bike dryer concept will be easy to adopt for year around rainy day riding.

What heavy oil would you suggest and by what method would you work it in. I've lubed auto and trailer wheel bearings and bike bearings I could hold in my hand, but I've only relied on gravity to get liquid oil into places that can't be oiled directly. Sorry to seem so uninformed, but it is what it is.
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Old 07-15-13, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SwampDude View Post
Thanks for an interesting suggestion. I've never heard of baking a bike component to dry it or using a vehicle to dry the entire bike. Because I live in SW Florida and drive a large SUV, the whole-bike dryer concept will be easy to adopt for year around rainy day riding.

What heavy oil would you suggest and by what method would you work it in. I've lubed auto and trailer wheel bearings and bike bearings I could hold in my hand, but I've only relied on gravity to get liquid oil into places that can't be oiled directly. Sorry to seem so uninformed, but it is what it is.
A gear oil, or heavy machine oil would be fine. You want something that once in, stays there. Try to help it migrate inn by holding the pedal vertical and spinning it. No guaranties but you have to try what you can.

You also have options depending on the pedal's design. If the seal is exposed, these can often be carefully pried out with a sharp pick. If done right the seals can be popped back in after you've serviced the bearing. Or you can replace usually the bearings entirely.
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Old 07-15-13, 08:54 AM
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Are you sure it's the pedal and not the bottom bracket that's creaking?
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Old 07-15-13, 09:03 AM
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If you are capable the pedals can be taken apart the seal can be removed and replaced quite easily you can clean and repack the bearings.
You can also replace on the bearing are #'s pick up the same.
Squeak's come from dry metal to metal surface even getting some oil in the bearing will help but you really need to get some grease back in it.
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Old 07-15-13, 09:38 AM
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If your careful,you can pull the seals out with a pick and repack the bearings.Or you can go to a skateboard shop and buy new ones.
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Old 07-15-13, 01:01 PM
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I'm encouraged and challenged to find a solution for my squeak.

dbg, I think its the pedal. However, I know how a sound source can be tricky to pin down...so, it might be the bottom bracket! I hope to ride today, so some detective work is in order. A bottom bracket problem would be more manageable.

No matter how this turns out, I'll be smarter for it. Thanks to you all. I'll post a report on any progress (or ask for more help).
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Old 07-15-13, 05:33 PM
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XPEDO customer service responded quickly to my e-mail today by saying they will replace my pedals if I ship the pair to them. Needless to say I'm pleased and surprised by the quick answer and their cooperative attitude. No fuss, no fight, no copy of purchase invoice, just 'we will help you'.

Now the ball is back to me and I've got to verify the noise is in the pedal and not the bottom bracket. I can handle that.

Thanks again. Its great to have you experts out there.

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Old 07-22-13, 05:49 PM
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I switched out the pedals to send the squeaky XPEDOs back for replacement. The Shimanos I put on came with the bike (spd on one side, platform on the other).

The XPEDO right pedal spins much less freely than the left. I was surprised at how much difference there is. I guess thats what happens when bearings lose their lube or wear significantly.

Changing pedals seems to have made riding the bike a bit easier. I didn't think it would make a noticeable difference, but it feels that way during a ride. I'm riding the platform side of the temporary pedals, since I've given up on clipless.

I will be more tuned into pedal condition in the future. I paid no attention before, unless they were making noise.

Last edited by SwampDude; 07-22-13 at 05:52 PM.
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