Here are some tips and guidelines on how to fix pedal problems.
1. For most pedal problems, the cleats are the culprit. If cleats are worn, they will cause sticky and unpredictable releases, and slop between the pedal and the shoe. Wear can be easily noticed in plastic cleats. You’ll see that the edges become chipped or uneven. Wear on metal cleats can be a bit tricky to diagnose. Look for extra-shiny or sharp edges. Your best clue is the performance of the cleats. You will know if you need new cleats when you feel your entrances and exits are weird and unusual.
2. Lightly lubricate any spot your cleat contacts the pedal (except of course the soles of your shoes). Most pedals have metal contacts. But for pedals with plastic contacts, check to be sure the cleat is not wearing through the pedal body. Take note that the pedal body requires regular lubrication.
3. Check and adjust tension. If your cleats are not worn and you are still having problems clicking in or out, most likely, the tension had become maladjusted. Most bicycle pedals have a screw on the rear that allows you to dial in more or less tension.
4. Regrease the threads. Remove your pedal, wipe the threads with a clean rag, lightly grease it, and then reinstall. These steps will help your pedals not to get stuck.
How to Fix Common Pedal Problems
1. When you hear a clicking sound during each pedal stroke, your pedals may have loosened. Simply tighten it.
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2. When you can’t get the pedal off even if you’re using a pedal wrench, it may be simply because you’re turning the pedal the wrong way. To loosen the right pedal, turn it counterclockwise, and the left pedal is turned clockwise. If it’s still stuck, add a cheater bar to your pedal wrench for more leverage.
3. If you need to replace your cleats, but the bolt heads are full of crud, clean them with an awl. If your cleats are rounded or damaged, force a hex wrench in by tapping it with a hammer.
4. When your pedal is wobbly when you ride after a crash, perhaps your pedal axle is bent. In this case, you’ll have to replace it.
Pedal Maintenance Tips:
- Clean and lubricate your pedals at least once a month, or after each wet or muddy ride.
- Inspect your cleats every six months.
- Have your bearings overhauled every year for road bike pedals, and every six months for mountain bike pedals.