Pedals get stepped on, smashed against the curb or rocks, dragged though dirt or mud and are often ignored. Pedal maintenance is, however, important. If you take care of them, they will last longer and perform better with more consistency. If you pay no attention to them, eventually you will learn how difficult riding is without your pedals.
So take note of the following pedal maintenance tips and guidelines:
1. Replace worn out cleats that release inconsistently and unexpectedly. If you are not sure, take new cleats and compare them to your old ones, and pay close attention to the front and back edges immediately above where the cleat make contact with your shoes’ sole. Signs of wear include grooves and missing materials.
2. Bearing likewise need occasional attention. Crank Brothers pedals has a grease-injection end cap and grease gun that forces out the old and lets in the new while Speedplays have a built-in grease port. On many SPD and Shimano models, the spindle or bearing assembly can be removed from the pedal body.
Pedal maintenance tip: apply grease inside the pedal body and screw the spindle assembly back into place. This is to force the old grease out of the bearings and push in the new grease. With other types of pedals, disassembly, cleaning, and rebuilding are necessary. Most pedal manufacturers offer rebuild kits with new seals, bearings, and hardware.
3) Check for and tighten loose fasteners, and replace missing ones. Check for damaged binding pieces by comparing the pedal’s top and bottom. Note that they should mirror each other. Look for broken or bent springs and any other visual damages.
4) When installing pedals on the crank arms, apply grease to the pedal threads. If you don’t do so, the spindle can seize on the crank arm. If this happens, you may need to replace both pieces. A pedal can give a wobbling sensation when the spindles are bent during a major impact. Such sensation could also mean that there’s a damaged crank arm. So it’s important to check both pieces if you suspect a bent pedal spindle.
Watch this video to learn more about pedal maintenance.