Bicycle Servicing – Bike Pedal Maintenance
There’s an old saying that goes something like “if you abuse it, you’ll lose it”. I think of that statement every time I’m working on my bike pedals.
I typically do a thorough cleaning and inspection as part of my routine bicycle maintenance program after each ride but I don’t actually take the pedals off the bike and apart to service them.
In Bike Radar’s article Servicing Pedals and Cleats, they get right into the inner workings of your bike pedals and how to fully service them (and I mean FULLY).
Bike maintenance and repair is a passion of mine. Find out why by reading my “Where It All Began” page.
Our Pedals Take a Lot of Abuse
Given their location in regards to the rest of the bike, our bike pedals take a lot of abuse. They get banged and crashed and stepped on constantly.
The Bike Radar article gives an awesome analogy and likens our bike pedals to our shoes and feet. They are typically out of our immediate field of vision and as such get abused quite regularly. They are so right!
Do This Before Removing Your Pedals!
I’ve always been told to shift your chain into the largest gear ring up front when removing the pedals but to be honest never really knew the reason why.
This article has finally shed some light on that task. If you have ever tried to remove pedals, you may have also noticed that your tools tend to slip the odd time and when they do; your hands come crashing against your front chain rings.
I’ll be the first to say that the teeth on your chain rings are very sharp. If you have your bike chain covering them (i.e. in the largest chain ring), it acts as a sort of protector or guard!
See the article Removing Bike Pedals – Direction Matters, for a very important tip of how to remove your bike pedals. I’ll give you a hint; each side unscrews in a different direction
Bike Maintenance – Pedal Servicing
First thing you’ll want to do once the pedals are removed, is to remove the bearings from your bike pedal using a box end/open end spanner wrench. Get the details on how to do this here.
Once removed, the bearing unit should be cleaned and inspected for general wear and tear. When you are satisfied that the unit is clean, add a bit of grease to the bearings and re-insert them back into the pedal.
With the bearing unit cleaned and greased, check over and lightly lube all moving parts of the pedal.
I found it quite interesting that they also offered a suggested procedure for those not bike maintenance inclined. They suggest simply drilling a small hole in the end of the pedal axle (2.5 – 3.0 mm) to allow you to insert a small grease nipple. Simply insert it and grease away. Since the hole is quite small, the grease will stay inside the pedal and not leak out. While not as pretty, this method will get you similar results.
Do This and Your Pedals Will Last a Long Time
As you can see, this type of pedal maintenance and servicing is quite detailed. I would suggest that you do this once each season (depending on how much you typically ride). Barring any unforeseen accidents where your bike pedals get damaged, this type of bicycle maintenance will allow you to ride on your pedals for a long, long time.
Do you regularly inspect your bike pedals? If so, how often and to what degree? Do you do just a glance over or do you actually re-grease the bearings as described in this article? Write in and let me know!
Ride Hard and Bye for Now!