My Shimano SPD clipless pedals: the PD-M747 (XT groupset), purchased in 1992, was only re-lubed once in 2005; the PD-M737 (LX groupset), purchased in 1991, has never been disassembled and re-lubed; both are still going strong. The Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals, however, require periodic lubrication. A maintenance interval of once per season seems to be the general consensus.
The steps outlined in this post feature the Eggbeater SL (blue spring). The procedure is identical for the Eggbeater 4Ti (gold spring).
As the Eggbeaters come with a grease port attachment, I purchased a grease gun:
It seems like a painless, 5-minute job: remove dust cap; install grease port attachment; squirt in new grease, wipe off the old grease (pushed out from the seals on the inboard side); reinstall dust cap; and you are done.
Call me anal, but I decided to double-check with the manufacturer — and I am glad I did:
Thank you for your e-mail.
...we would suggest not using the grease port. We would rather you take the spindle out and grease it like that. Just unscrew the endcap and take the nut off - then pull the spindle out and re-grease.
Hopefully this helps,
Sigh. So much for the grease gun. I guess I can resell it to the happy people flouting Section 377A of the Penal Code. :-P
The route recommended by Crank Brothers is more involved, but still relatively simple compared to the Shimano pedals: no special tools are required; there are no loose ball bearings to fall out; and the entire procedure can be performed without removing the pedal from the crank arms.
To reduce contamination of the internal mechanism, clean the outside of the pedal as much as you can. Then, use a 10-cent coin (Singapore) or a nickel (USA) to unscrew the dust cap. Tip: it is easier (and faster) to rotate the pedal body instead of the dust cap. Dust caps on both pedals are right-hand threaded. I.e. counter-clockwise to loosen.
Dust cap removed. The retaining nut and cartridge bearing are visible.
Use an 8 mm socket to remove the retaining nut. The nut on both pedals are right-hand threaded. I.e. counter-clockwise to loosen.
Retaining nut removed. Gently slide the pedal body out toward you.
Use a paper towel to wipe off the old grease. A little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel is very useful in removing any remnants. Pay attention, in particular, to the threads for the retaining nut, and remove all traces of grease from them.
Ensuring that the parts are not mixed up is a good habit. This is also a good time to take an old toothbrush and wash/scrub the dust caps clean at the sink.
Retaining nut specifications:
Stainless steel Nylon insert locknut.
M5 thread. Socket size 8mm.
I was taught in automotive classes — and by my Dad, who taught Mechanical Engineering — that locknuts with plastic inserts should not be reused (unless they are reusable Nylok™ Blue Torq-patch™ locknuts). Curiously, Crank Brothers' advice deviates from this:
You shouldn't need to replace the nut. If ever you need a new one, we can send you some.
Torque should be 30 in. lbs.
Looking at the way the pedal is designed, I can understand why Crank Brothers prefers eschewing the grease gun: with the retaining nut and pedal spindle blocking the center, the only way for the grease to get to the rest of the pedal is to push through the seals of the cartridge bearing. Ouch.
The inboard side of the pedal. Clean up any old grease from the lip of the seal with a Q-tip (cotton bud). Be careful not to introduce any dirt into the interior. (Here, you will appreciate having priorly cleaned up the outside of the pedal.)
Apply new grease to the pedal spindle, taking care not to get any on the threads where the retaining nut will mount. I use Teflon Bicycle Grease™, by Finish Line™. Phil Wood™ (of San Jose, CA) also makes an excellent grease.
Taking care not to get any grease on the retaining nut threads at the tip of the spindle, slide the pedal body back on. If you accidentally "catch" the cartridge bearing on the spindle tip and dislodge it, do not panic.
Use a paper clip or similar object to gently prod the cartridge bearing back in place. Do not use a sharp object such as a nail or pin as you may puncture or deform the seal.
Pedal body fully seated and cartridge bearing in place.
Wipe off excess grease from the seal lip on the inboard side.
If you are re-using the retaining nuts, clean both nuts thoroughly with rubbing (or denatured) alcohol and let dry. Put a small drop of Loctite™ 222 or 242 on the threads.
Install retaining nut.
Torque to 30 inch-pounds or 2.5 foot-pounds.
Put a small dab of Loctite™ Assure™ 425 on the threads of the plastic dust cap — if your Eggbeaters come with metal dust caps (i.e. Ti, 2Ti, Triple Ti, and 4Ti), use Loctite™ 222 instead — and reinstall.
Repeat the procedure for the other pedal.
Check and ensure that pedals rotate smoothly.
You are done. Go ride.
Crank Brothers Eggbeater servicing II