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!

How to choose flat pedals under £20 which can be cheaply repaired
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Shimano MTB Cranksets 2017

Shimano Mountain Bike Crankset Trends in 2017 and an introduction to the Hollow tech bottom bracket

The HOLLOWTECH II bottom bracket system has made changing cranksets less complicated. After a brief introduction to this system, I discuss current Shimano MTB crankset options.

HOLLOWTECH II cranksets have the bottom bracket (BB) axle fused to the drive side crankarm. While the non drive side crankarm attaches to a splined region of the axle using pinch bolts. The advantage of this system is that the BB bearings are externally mounted to the frames BB shell. Consequently the BB axle can be a larger diameter, making it stiffer and lighter and replaceable sealed bearing cartridges can be used with some bottom brackets. I use the Hope bottom bracket to avoid the one fault of some HOLLOWTECH II bottom Brackets, premature bearing failure.

Previously other bottom bracket standards such as with Square taper and OCTALINK had separate axle. Consequently, these are called three-piece crankset. Changing your crankset often needed a different bottom bracket axle length to achieve the correct chainline. This process was normally accomplished with a trip to your local bike shop.

Continue reading “Shimano MTB Cranksets 2017”

Shimano MTB Cranksets 2017
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