This post may only be of interest to those masochists of you who like pulling old bikes apart and putting them back together again better than they were, but it really is relevant to all cyclists.
My recent purchase of some new MKS pedals got me thinking about pedal quality and how much it can improve a ride.
Pedals, saddle and bars are the parts of a bike that we have first contact with, and since the pedals are “way down there” they are often ignored while collecting all sorts of mud and crud thrown up by the wheels.
A pet gripe of mine is about pedals that can’t be disassembled or adjusted, and I have noticed the pedals on my beloved Gazelle becoming somewhat loose after only a year and a bit. They are mushroomed together by the maker rather than being bolted together like the nice MKS 3000R ones (above).
Gazelle didn’t make the pedals of course, merely chose the supplier, but the point is that it’s something to look out for if you are replacing pedals on your classic and want the new ones to last the life of the bike. These probably won’t, and that’s not sustainable manufacturing …
The MKS Sylvan pedals below have made my road king feel 20 years younger – though the old ones will be serviced, I will keep them for other bikes. The Sylvans have no safety reflectors but they do look clean and work really well, if a tiny bit slippery at first.
Platform pedals really should be bolted together and have an end cover that is removable in some way for re-greasing and reassembly (or merely re-adjustment).
The inside of a proper pedal is much like a front hub axle, but with a fixed inner cone and an an adjustable outer one plus locknut to hold the bearing adjustment in place. Without these things a pedal is a throwaway item.
Plastic pedals may have an end cap that allows servicing too, but often the pedals become so scraped around and abused that a new ones are in order anyway … and they are often mushroom-bashed together rather than bolted up (above).
These Wellgo pedals have lasted pretty well in spite of being unserviceable (I think?) They are compact and for a modern style pedal can look good on classic bikes.
Here are some other examples from my humble pedal collection :
These three are all serviceable, the alloy Mongoose BMX pedals came up nicely with an overhaul and now run smoothly again. They are well made for a basic BMX bike, and probably need to be !
May your pedals spin smoothly…