Saturday, January 5, 2013

A New(ish) Flatland Pedal

So, I'm not that great of a rider, and I will take all the help I can get.

Recently, some things I have been working on have been thwarted by my pedals. If I set them one way, they're in the way on the other side of the bike, and vice-versa. I started wondering if I could get away with smaller pedals. After all, I don't really pedal all that much... really just to get into tricks, and then again to ride out.

Once I decided that I could get by with much smaller platforms, it was a matter of finding said pedals. I don't have a pedal-making machine, and I figured it would be hard to get someone to make a pedal specifically for me. Maybe Matthias could get something like that done, but not me.

So, I thought about other pedals out there. As a mountain biker and cyclocross rider, I'm well acquainted with clipless pedals... small pedal bodies that connect to your cycling shoes via special cleats. Often, when getting on or off the bike, you have to pedal for a bit while not securely connected. The pedal body that's there is usually enough to get by, so I figured a clipless pedal would be the perfect start.

I tried some other designs, but the cleanest version I've come up with started with a pair of Crank Brothers Candy X pedals. It took me a little while to figure out how to remove the spring assembly, but it turns out it was very easy (some parts of these instructions are online with videos):

  1. Remove the dust cap on the outside of the pedal with a flat head screw driver.
  2. Remove the inner nut with a socket wrench.
  3. Slide the spindle out of the pedal body.
  4. Remove the bushing that the spindle rested against (on the side of the pedal closest to the crank arm, I used a bent spoke to reach inside).
  5. Put the pedal in a vice with the outside of the pedal facing down and the side that's closest to the crank arm, facing up.
  6. Stick a 10mm allen wrench in to the pedal body (or other similar sized item that can be used to drive the inner spindle liner out), and smack away with a hammer. The liner that holds the spring assembly in place comes out and the springs can be removed.
  7. Get the 10mm Allen wrench out, and replace the bushing, the spindle, and the cartridge bearing that would have also fallen out from the outside of the pedal body. 
  8. Replace the nut and then the dust cap.
  9. Done.

I think it looks pretty clean, and it's just enough pedal body to do what needs to be done. The resulting pedals weigh just about 109g each (3.8oz), which is pretty cool too.

So, that's one less excuse I can use...

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