Bicycle pedals are crucial components in safe cycling. Whether you ride a mountain bike or a road bike, race or simply cycle for recreational purposes, your pedals must be in excellent working condition to propel the bike forward and keep you safe in the process. As you know, the pedal must be depressed for the bike to engage in motion. Since pedals are made up of a spindle, crank, body and bearings, there are chances that something might break or simply wear out from constant use.
Cage Pedals Cause Abrasions
Some riders have platform pedals with an attached cage. This cage is designed to keep the foot firmly on the pedal and thus greatly decrease the chance of a slipped foot. Slippage leads to accidents and a sudden loss of balance and speed. The problem with cage pedals arises when the rider suddenly stops short or something occurs that causes her to remove the foot from the cage pedal rather quickly. Preventing these injuries can be done either by removing the cage altogether and relying on toe clips for the pedal security, or attaching foam strips to the exterior rim of the cage.
Worn Down Cleats Result in Unanticipated Movement
This common pedal problem is actually the fault of the shoe rather than the pedal itself. The cleats on the bottom of cycling shoes have a tendency to wear down, and eventually they no longer provide the connection between the foot and the pedal. This causes unanticipated foot slipping. The only fix for this common pedal problem is to replace the cleats or the cycling shoe.
Avoid riding a recreational bike with pedals devoid of reflectors. These reflectors keep you safe as you ride by ensuring that motorists can actually see you. Buy replacement reflectors at the bike store and apply them with adhesive tape, or you can simply place a strip of reflective tape in the pedal space provided for the plastic reflector.
Single Pedal Click
Listen for the single pedal click. This is the kind of click you hear when depressing a pedal. It is usually one-sided, and this makes it easy to determine which pedal makes the clicking sound. Usually this clicking noise indicates that the pedal in question is no longer as tight as it needs to be. Tighten the pedal with an all-purpose bike tool, and you are back on the road.
Difficulty Removing the Pedal
One of the five most common pedal problems actually has to do with difficulty removing the pedals. The right pedal spindle is threaded to the right, while the left spindle is threaded in the other direction. Remove the right pedal with a counterclockwise motion while using a clockwise motion on the left one. This is frequently overlooked by hobbyists ready to replace their worn pedals with new ones.