After bolting and un-bolting our trusty set of Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 pedals to multiple test bikes over the past 2 years, it became apparent recently that like my favorite Merino underpants, they weren’t quite feeling as fresh as they used to. The Eggbeater and Candy pedals are super easy to pull apart to clean and re-grease and is a process we try to carry out every 6 months or so, but once the cartridge bearings begin to wear out the pedals develop play and feel quite rough.
Luckily for us, Crank Brothers make a neat all-in-one service kit for the Eggbeater 3 pedals, as they do for the Candy range and the cheaper Eggbeater pedals. Once the cartridge bearing develops play, it really needs to be replaced otherwise you run the risk of damaging the pedals axle or the outer body that houses the bearing. You can replace this on its own, though it’s safe to assume that there will be other wear in the pedals internals and so it’s recommended to replace everything in the one go.
The higher end Eggbeater 3 and 11 pedals utilise a sealed outboard cartridge bearing with an inboard needle roller bearing to increase the load carrying capacity of the axle while improving durability over the bushing that’s specced on the cheaper Eggbeater 2 and 1 pedals. The pedal rebuild kit is available for about $30 and includes both bearings for each pedal, the inner rubber seal, a new nyloc locking nut and an end cap. Unless the pedal axle has significant wear on it (usually a sign of poor maintenance) you can simply clean and re-grease it during the service.
Also in the kit is a bearing removal tool that will help you get out the press-fit needle roller bearing (the silver ring on the right hand side 2nd from the bottom). As for other tools you’ll need; a rag, some fresh grease, a 6 or 8mm allen key, an 8mm socket wrench and a 10mm socket head.
All instructions are included in the box and are very easy to follow. If you’ve serviced your pedals before, carrying out a rebuild is not that much more challenging. As you can see in the above picture, the hardest part of the service is pushing out the old needle roller bearing, which requires a decent tap with a hammer on the punch.
Crank Brothers have some excellent resources available for servicing their pedals with easy to follow diagrams and video explanations that you can check out here.
Pictured here are the old needle roller bearing (left) and the cartridge bearing (right). The main source of play in our test pedals was the cartridge bearing, but we decided to replace everything as a precaution.
Installing the new needle roller bearing requires a round component that is slightly smaller in diameter than the outer pedal body. A 10mm socket head works ideally to knock in the new roller bearing.
Whether you’re carrying out a full rebuild or just servicing your pedals, give the internals and spindle a thorough clean out and apply a thin layer of fresh grease before putting the pedal back together. You can see the new dual-lipped rubber seal resting on the axle that prevents dirt and moisture getting inside the pedal body.
During our pedal rebuild, we decided we would like to try out the Crank Brothers Tread Contact Sleeves in order to provide a better interface between our shoes and the pedal body. Coming in a pack with 3 different sized shims, the black plastic sleeves are designed to provide a custom fit with your shoes to minimise play and ‘rocking’ of your feet on the pedal. Above you can see the removal of the stock plastic rings in preparation for install.
Also included with the $20 sleeve kit are 2mm and 3mm shims though we decided to go with the thinnest for starters.
Here you can see the black ring surrounding the pedal body, which effectively increases the stack height of the pedal body, while the wings remain in the same position. The result is a closer fit between the tread of the shoe and the pedal.
The fit is much more snug, with minimal play when engaged. Most noticeable is the reduction in side-to-side rocking on the pedal, which provides a stable platform under foot.
While we’ve had nothing but excellent experience with our test pedals, it’s no secret that there are other riders out there with less than positive reviews of Crank Brothers pedals. In our experience, the pedals do require periodic cleaning and re-greasing, especially if you clean your bike regularly or ride in wet conditions. If you carry out the above maintenance accordingly however, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get long lasting performance as we have.
For more information on Crank Brothers pedal rebuild kits and other accessories, check out Aussie Distributor Jet Black Products for more details.