Bicycles/Maintenance and Repair/Pedals
Types of Pedals
For standard platform and cage pedals: Most (if not all) modern (c.2006) non-clipless pedals (like the one shown at right) are made to be disposed of when they wear out. This includes many pedals with toe clips: the days when 'serious' cyclists used toe clips are long gone, and so the manufacturers don't bother with making pedals for the low end of the market that can be overhauled. This makes maintenance obvious: remove the old pedals and install some new ones. These disposable pedals can last a long time. Make sure the plastic plugs in the ends of the pedals don't fall out; this is where the water and dirt will enter and speed up bearing wear.
- It's worth having pedals that you can service yourself. (You do like working on your bike, don't you? That's why you're reading this book!) If you're not a 'serious' cyclist (and let's face it, most people aren't; if you are, we've got more information for you coming soon) then being able to re-pack the bearings in your pedals will save you lots of money over the years. It's also nice to not have to throw away gear that, but for want of a better design, could be renovated and used again.
Toe Clips, etc
- Different pedal retention systems (or lack thereof) and how they interact with your feet and footwear. (Plain (do not use toe-clip-only pedals without toe clips!!!), toe clips, half clips, PowerGrips, clipless.)
- The spindles (axles) of pedals are made from hardened steel and can be reused to make tools such as punches.
- The most popular standard for pedals is 9/16", but some cheaper bicycles use 1/2" (based on nominal hole size).
Extra long spanners/wrenches are available for the removal of pedals. These typically have a head with a 9/16" opening on one side and a 15mm opening on the other side and long comfortable handle for extra leverage. If the pedal was installed properly, a pedal spanner is typically not required. But often pedals become seized and the longer lever arm and comfortable handle are useful in removing the pedal. Properly installed pedals should be removable with a standard spanner/wrench, mostly commonly 15mm. Usually the flats of the pedal are too small for a shifting spanner/adjustable wrench, unless the tool is very small (6" in length or less). Some pedals have a 8mm allen hole on the frame side which can be used for removal and installation.
See the article on removing pedals
Pedals should always be greased before installing them, especially in areas where corrosion (i.e. from salt) is a problem. Any general purpose grease is acceptable. Ungreased pedals are very likely to become seized later and make for troublesome removal.
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