I am now in the market for new pedals. I have gone through three sets in one year. I am very surprised at how long pedals don’t last. I didn’t expect the first two sets to last very long, both were cheap nylon pedals, but when my aluminum platforms broke last week I was quite surprised. Granted the platforms were also cheap, $10, I really thought they would hold up better.
Now I need some tips for my next set. I know I want platforms again, but what do I need to be aware of? Reading this thread, I have come to understand that sealed bearing pedals are the way to go… right? Currently my only two concerns are cost, and durability.
My other option is to repair the set I do have. There is a clicking sound coming from my right pedal. At first I thought it was my crank, so I made sure that was tight, but the sound persists. In addition to the sound, I can also feel a slight tap every time I hear the click. Are there any web sites that show how to repair such a problem? I have tried that Sheldon Brown page, but I couldn’t find anything.
Take your pedal to your local bikeshop and ask them if they will walk you through the procedure of rebuilding a pedal. There is nothing better than having someone show you how the first time. They may have some references on bicycle repair there also.
Even though you say you said it was tight, I would check those cranks again. Make sure with a long wrench. I had this problem recently and thought it was the pedals too until I tried 3 pedals in a row and they all had the same problem.
Take off the plastic end cap, (pry it off with a screw driver or similar tool) unscrew locknut, washer and cone, pedal should slide off spindle. Clean off bearings, (assuming you have unsealed bearings) clean out the races, repack the bearings with a high quality grease (I reccomend Finish Line or Park Tool bearing grease reconstruct and adjust the pedal so it has no play (side to side motion) but still spins freely. If it still makes a clicking your races are probably pitted and you need new pedals. Some of the bmx pedals designed for flatland would probably work pretty well, like the Odyssey Southgates. Good luck.
Give the repair route a try. The way to learn to overhaul pedals is to first take them apart. You could practice on one of your nylon pedals first.
The tricky parts with unsealed pedals (pedals with loose ball bearings) is keeping track of the loose ball bearings, getting the ball bearings back in the bearing cones, and then tightening it up just right (too tight and it won’t spin freely, too loose and it will have too much play). It’s the getting it just the right tightness that always bugs me the most. The difference between too tight and too loose is just a smidgen of a turn of the nut.
Stillwater gave a good overview. While the pedal is apart check the bearing cones (a.k.a. races) for pits, check that the ball bearings are still round and not chipped or flattened, and make sure there is no grit in the pedal. If you ride in sandy areas a little bit of sand can get in the pedal and the ball bearings and cause them to click or feel rough. If the bearing cones have pits (indentations or craters caused by the ball bearings) you’ll need to replace the pedals. If a few ball bearings are bad you can get new ball bearings from a bike shop.
When overhauling unsealed pedals I do it in a shoe box so I don’t loose the ball bearings. Count how many ball bearings there are in each pedal so you’ll know how many to put back in.
New pedals tend to come with not much grease in the bearings and on the spindle. After they have had their first overhaul and gotten lots of grease they can usually go longer between overhauls.
Sealed pedals are nice (sealed just means that it uses sealed cartridge bearings instead of loose ball bearings) but they will still require maintenance. The nice thing about sealed pedals is that the maintenance is easier. I can regrease a pair of sealed pedals in under 30 minutes (including cleanup time) while it takes me much longer and more frustration to overhaul a pair of unsealed pedals.
If you’re looking for some grippy sealed pedals I just noticed that Performance Bike has the Wellgo B-37’s on sale. These are grippy outdoor pedals. Not safe for indoor use. Not recommended for freestyle. Best used for commuting, trials, or muni.
They’re currently on sale for $24.99 USD. That’s a good deal for a good sealed pedal with replaceable grip pins.
They also have the Wellgo WAM B-27’s on sale too for $22.98 USD. These are lighter weight than the B-37’s and don’t have grip pins in the center of the pedal.