Sunday, December 9, 2012

44 Balls Help the Pedals Go Round

Adjustable cone, requires 3/8" finger spanner, or something else...

First thing when I looked inside the Specialized Touring pedals from the 1980s, I noticed the old-looking grease, which would have to come out and be replaced with fresh. Second thing, I took a closer look at the adjustable cone, and wasn't sure what type of tool, if any, was meant to be nestled into those notches to hold it in place while tightening the lock nut and washer on top of it. In practice, I found that the lock nut plus washer transferred little enough torque to the cone that I didn't really need a spanner (of some sort) to hold it.  I'd be obliged if someone knows what the correct tool would be, though, since I was unable to identify the exact one online with various searches.

Once again, though, I found that some soft jaws in a vise holding the pedal axle really would have made the job easier. That, or having three hands. I may acquire the pedal vise jaws, and (if I can identify it) the square pronged pedal cone spanner, to make the job that much easier when I have to service these again in 2015.

Job just getting started

These pedals use 11 x 5/32" bearings at each end, x 2 pedals, equals 44 balls. They all came out, got degreased and de-degreasered, dried, and then bedded down in a pretty new cushion of fresh blue grease.

Yes, ironically that's a pretty old tube of PPL-1.

Nesting the 44 balls, 11 at a time, back into place, then slipping the lightly greased axle back into the pedal body, I didn't knock any balls out of place, or drop any on the floor. One or two did try to roll off the work area a few times, so I kept them in bowls while I was working. Also, I only did one pedal at a time. Although I don't think any of these parts (except axles) were specific to one side or the other, you never know with pedals, and I didn't want to find out the hard way.

Nice shiny axle, although the threads haven't been cleaned yet

Pedals and hubs with adjustable cones are something I enjoy working on. It took a pretty light touch to get the cones adjusted just right on these. I would estimate the difference between too loose and just tight enough at about 5 degrees of rotation of the cone. Which those square notches came in handy for keeping track of. I just visually lined them up with a reference, loosened the lock nut, used a tweezers to nudge the cone one way or the other, then tightened the lock nut back down, just far enough that the knock was gone. The result was 44 balls helping the pedal go round quite smoothly.


  1. You gotta keep those pedals spinning.....!


    1. Trevor, after having experienced two pedal failures far from home, both due to my own inattention to maintenance, I try to keep them spinning smooth.

  2. Must have Park Tool ruler.......

    1. limom I used it to measure the ball bearings. It has little holes for the common sizes.

  3. With such things, one should work inside, so that any dropped spheres are easier to retrieve...


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