How to choose flat pedals under £20 which can be cheaply repaired

Are you looking for a cheap, reliable pair of flat pedals?

I’ve been on a mission to find a pair of bicycle pedals which can survive our wet weather and never-ending winters!

I’ll share my insights into what features to look out for and which you’d be wise to avoid. So you can buy a pedal for your winter bike that should last.

I’ll show you a few I’ve tried and explain why I don’t use them anymore, and I’ll explain my current pedal of choice, how to make it last longer and repair it when the bearings or bushings wear out.

The Wellgo Lightweight Let Down

Wellgo KC001 Flat Pedal
Wellgo KC001 Flat Pedal

My Wellgo KC001 Flat Pedal lasted ages and stayed looking good. when their bearings broke I planned to buy a second pair. But on closer inspection I saw their thin aluminium  bodies were riddled with fractures!

Even worse, both axles  were  seized in my crankarms and I ended up hating those pedals as I had to throw away the whole crankset.

Avoid pedals without wrench flats

Park Tool HT6 - 6mm Hex tool
Park Tool HT6 – 6mm Hex tool

I bought the Park Tool HT6 Hex Wrench to remove the seized pedals. Trying to apply enough torque to break the galvanic corrosion bond, I ended up damaging the socket.

Anodise Pedals Stay looking Pretty

The wellgo pedals had aluminium body but were anodized and despite some scuffing they kept their colour. This wasn’t the case for the WAKE Y0304 flat pedal.

Comfy feet on long rides

WAKE flat pedal Y0304

The WAKE pedals were very comfortable but looked awful after 6 months because their paint had flaked off.

I tried a second pair but the same thing happen.

I’ve written a review of the WAKE pedal which shows you just how bad they ended up looking. Prepare to recoil in disgust!

I’d only recommend the WAKE pedals if you live in a dry and salt-free part of the world.

Worst Pedal Ever

The most disappointing pedal I’ve used recently was the SMS 5.10 XC-pedal (CS395).

SMS 5.10 XC-Pedal (CS395)

I was looking for reliability so having 3 sealed bearings convinced me to try the SMS pedals.

Firstly they have a uncomfortable lump, which forced my feet into unnatural positions. It look several days to get used to this new riding stance and made cornering unnerving.

The final straw was after just a month, while commuting the left axle broke in half.

Broken SMS 5.10 XC pedal axle

It’s a horrid feeling setting off from Traffic Lights and have your foot plunge further than expected as your pedal body fall to the floor.

It’s no fun pushing your bike home for repairs before your first coffee of the day. I was late for work and very peeved.

Nylon Fibre Pedal Perfection

SCUDGOOD SG-1512B Flat Pedal

Now I use a Nylon Fibre pedals, the SCUDGOOD SG-1512B.

I’d avoided plastic pedals until reading a review of the Race Face Chester composite pedal which convinced me to give them a go.

The SCUDGOOD’s shape was slightly more appealing than the Chester and they are under £20.

Grease makes your pedal last longer

The SCUDGOOD pedals were not the most durable pedal I’ve tried. The bearing failed after 4 winter months in the United Kingdom.

Before installing new bearings, I washed the pedal body down and I was impressed to see them looking brand new.

Upon disassembly I realised there was substantial corrosion in just the one pedal that had failed. They would have lasted substantially longer if I had just put some extra grease around the seal before installing them.

Axle with DU Bushing and 686ZZ bearing

Their axle has a bushing and a 686ZZ bearing. Bearing ending in ZZ are less waterproof as they don’t have rubber seals. Once water got inside the 686ZZ bearing was doomed!

How to replacing damaged pedal bearings

Screw extractors are also useful for Bearing race and bushing removal

The 686ZZ bearings had collapsed and it’s inner bearing race just fell out when I removed the axle’s lock nut.

The outer bearing race was much harder to remove and required a screw extractor and brute force to hammer the extractor / outer race out.

Buying new pedal bushings and bearing

I’ve orders a new pair of the SCUDGOOD pedals and loads of bushings and some generic ABEC-3 bearings with rubber seals.

While searching for a precision bearing manufacturer of bottom bracket bearings for my Hope Threaded Bottom Bracket I got talking to the Lily Bearing Manufacturing Company in Shanghai.

They describe themselves as the ‘WORLD’S BEST BALL BEARINGS MANUFACTURER’ on their homepage. A bold claim! Are they the best? Time will tell…

686-2RS Pedal Bearings

I was really impressed with the high specification of their ABEC-5 hybrid ceramic bearings I need for my Hope threaded bottom bracket.

Lily bearings are new to me, so I was reluctant to buy in bulk from a new bearing supplier without testing their quality for myself.

But Lily Bearings were so confident with their bearings they offered to send me a pair of MR2437-2RS hybrid ceramic bearings for product testing.

When I suggested they include a  high quality pedal bearing to put up against my generic 686-2RS bearing they jumped at the chance to prove their reputation.

Assuming the bearings and my replacement DU bushing arrive soon I’ll be able to do a 6 month review on them before Christmas 2018, but the real test will be how they are coping after a British winter.

Watch this space: I’ll keep you updated!

WAKE Flat Pedal Review

WAKE Best Bicyle Y0304 Flat Pedals
WAKE Best Bicycle Y0304 Sealed Bearing Flat Pedals

Does your hybrid bike need a reliable sealed bearing flat pedal that costs under £15? if so then read to the end to see if this might be the one for you. This review is a summary after 6 months use of the Y0304 sealed bearing WAKE flat pedal. These pedal’s brand is ‘WAKE best bicycle’ and throughout the autumn and winter they have not failed me yet. Continue reading “WAKE Flat Pedal Review”

Finding Shimano Specifications

Shimano specifications and component compatibility can be found quickly, if you know how. Cycle 2 Health guides you through four search methods on Shimano’s website. Reading the examples below, should make it clear as to when one search method is better than another. There is even an email competition at the end which will test your understanding and perhaps earn you a little prize. Continue reading “Finding Shimano Specifications”

Best value Shimano cassettes

Shimano HG51 8-speed cassette
Shimano HG51 8-speed cassette

When selecting an 8-speed cassette from Shimano in 2017 we have plenty of choice. This post concentrates on finding the best value Shimano cassette. Best value to me means durable and cheap. There are cycling bargains to be had after Christmas. Why not buy what you will need in the summer when it’s on sale now. Continue reading “Best value Shimano cassettes”

Cassette Compatibility Tutorial

This post looks at replacing an 8-speed cassette to down gear your bike, however, the issues discussed are equally relevant to other speed drivetrains. Down gearing a bike can make cycling up hills easier. Buying a wider range cassette is a relatively inexpensive way to upgrade your bicycle.

If it’s hard to pedal, you’re in the wrong gear.

By the end of this article, you will be able to choose a compatible wide range cassette. If you want me to double check your conclusions, simply leave a comment with specifics. Continue reading “Cassette Compatibility Tutorial”

Improvers’ Plan – Week 3

I have actually been finding it easier to fit in the mid-week rides, relative to the longer rides at the weekend. A flat tyre on Friday evening’s commute meant Saturday involved swapping out tubes and tyres on my rear wheel, and this lead to various other repairs and tinkering. The flat tyre was due to the failure of a glueless patch. A further annoyance was Parcel force not actually doing what I told them. They took the spare parts I needed to my local post office instead of delivering the parcel to my neighbours.

I ended up buying the 27.5 x 1.5 Schwalbe Marathon Plus slick MTB tyres. Initially the ride felt harsher. As they are narrower I have to run them at a  higher pressure but now I don’t notice the difference. Continue reading “Improvers’ Plan – Week 3”

Punctures – Park to the Rescue

Today’s ride was endurance training (Strava Ride) and I got a puncture, it really took the shine off what was turning out to be a great ride despite the fine rain. Until recently punctures seldom were a problem on my commuter bike. Now I’m doing longer bike rides that take me further away from home I always take the essentials, as I explained in a recent Bike Ride Essentials post.

Yet again the Park GP-2 Super patch has come to the rescue. I’ve tried other glueless patches in the past on my daughters bike and they failed within 24 hrs. Yes they get you home, but then you have to change the tube or patch it properly. It’s more hassle and I’d rather do the job right first time. Continue reading “Punctures – Park to the Rescue”

Tour de Manc Mistakes #2

Christmas Eve 2016 and I have just registered for the second Tour de Manc 2017. I pre registered so was able to secure a ticket this morning. In this post I want you to learn from my biggest TdM mistake. Back in 2016 on the big day, I was nursing a shoulder injury from a recent car accident but medication and physiotherapy had helped me overcome that problem. I was not the last rider to arrive at the first feed station, but I was the last to leave and the reason I didn’t discover until a week later was a revelation. Continue reading “Tour de Manc Mistakes #2”

Bike Fit Basics – Knee Pain

Several months ago I watched a really useful video, which gave me insight into the possible causes of my knee pain when cycling. It helped me understand how moving a saddle affects the knee and the strain that this joint can undergo when pedaling

When I started riding longer distances and especially when Allez Prestwich (AP) Cycling Club introduced me to some of the local hills they love so much, I found that I got a few aches and pains in my legs. Continue reading “Bike Fit Basics – Knee Pain”