Thursday, May 10, 2012

Morning Maintenance Quickie: Pedals

Hey!  It's me, Blu Bike, here to ask you an honest question... when was the last time you serviced your pedals?  I doubt your local wrench does anything but check they're still attached to your bike at your annual maintenance check up at your LBS, and I'm guessing you just assume they are fine- right?  But yet you'll buy gadgets and stuff to try to make your bike faster or more efficient.  A thorough pedal check-up takes only about 5 minutes per pedal, so let's talk about it real quick... (keep in mind that your pedals might be a little different, but the concepts are all the same- check your model's tech sheet).

First: we need to take it off the bike.  Don't forget that they thread in relation to the pedaling motion, so one is left threaded.
Dirty Pedal!
Next: take the end cap off, and remove the axle end bolt.  Some older pedals might have loose bearings at next- most modern pedals will be using sealed bearings.  But still be careful not to loose anything important.

Note that some pedals use a special tool from the other end of the axle in this process.

 Tired and dirty grease.  Blech.  No way that is efficient...

Now: Clean all that nasty grease off inside and out (pipe cleaners or cotton swabs are really handy here...) and give everything a good going over with some degreaser.  Same with the pedal body.  Use a brush and degreaser on all the exterior surfaces to get everything clean.  Then rinse everything and dry (compressed air is handy here if you have it).

Important note: Don't do too much dis-assembly to the pedal body!  There are springs in there that have a LOT of tension on them and would be very difficult to put it all back to together correctly.  The brush & cleaner will get it clean...

Last: Apply fresh grease liberally to the axle and re-install it.  Make sure to grease threads on everything to ease future removal.  Lubricate moving parts on the pedal body.  Lubricate the contact surface to the cleat.

Clean, happy, and ready for grease and re-assembly!
And put it back on!  Not hard, right?  Or if it is too difficult or time consuming, have your LBS wrench do it.  I guarantee both you and your bike will be happier for it!
If you find something that looks broken or seriously worn- get it checked out.  It could be a serious safety issue.

How often to do this, you ask?  How about we say once per season for most bikes?  Twice, if you are racking up serious (2500 miles or more) mileage.  So 10 or 20 minutes per year.

And more happy bikes!


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