Monday, January 27, 2014

TIme ATAC XS pedals - Overhaul Service

Last Friday night, on my last leg of the commute home my pedal started giving a strange griding sensation. At first I thought it was the cleat engagement so I stopped and looked at the bottom my shoe - everything was fine there, bolts tights, cleat in 'acceptable' condition. So I kept going, but it started to get a little worse. The pedal really was putting up resistance to turning. I got off and turned it by hand - I could rotate it but it was catching. Close to home and without much other choice I pedaled the rest of the down the trail. As soon as I got home I pulled the pedal and removed the dustcap. Bearings and bits of steel just fell out - ungood. On Saturday I pulled everything apart (after unscrewing the retraining nut it fell apart) and inspected what was left of the sealed bearing - which wasn't much. It was completely shredded. I couldn't figure out what caused it though, perhaps some foreign material was in there from the factory? 
Later I went to my bike shop to see if they had replacement bearings on hand. Fishing through everything didn't turn up anything close to the right size - I figured amazon was my next best bet and I was off. One of the guys pulled me back in from the parking lot though and said he had the same set of pedals in his car, not currently being used. He let me cannibalize one of them for the bearing and it's on him to find a replacement now I guess? No charge but I think I owe them some beers (Thanks Ryan!). 

New bearing above, on the right.

Once i started cleaning all the parts I saw that the retaining nut had developed a very sharp edge all the way around the inboard side that sits up against the bearing. I don't know what exactly caused this groove but it's definitely what chewed through the bearing. The nut would have to be replaced. I walked up to Ace and bought a 4 pack of nuts for $.59. The sum total of my expense for this repair.

Whenever I'm dealing with small parts I lay them out in my olive dish (not for use with olives any longer), in order, so that I don't get mixed up in reassembley. Not so crucial for this job, but if its a headset or something it's easy to gets mixed up.

Here's the pedal spindle - it still has the inner race from the old bearing stuck on the threaded end. Could be tricky to remove. I don't have a vise to clamp it in in order to tap it out.

But I have Vice Grips!

With a firm grip on the race with the ViceGrip pliers I tried to tap on spindle with a tap (really a piece of all thread) and a mallet. But I couldn't hold it firmly enough. Eventually I was just able to twist it off with the ViceGrips and the spindle held with the pedal wrench. Now just to reassemble.
After a very thorough cleaning to get rid of all the old grease and bits of chewed bearing, drop the new bearing in, with plenty of grease.

Be sure to coat the spindle in plenty of grease and cat hair, replace the rubber seal on the side closest to the crank, then just refasten the nut with a socket. The nut cinches up against the bearing and holds everything tight, easy peasy.

Grease the threads of the dust cap and replace it with snap ring pliers. 

All back together and good as new! Grease the crank threads and rotate it in - there isn't any need to take your pedals much past finger tight. You'll just give yourself a headache trying to remove them next time.

Reinstalled and ready to ride!


  1. I feel like I just got a free bike surgery CBE (continuing bicycle education) point. Nice blog while sober entry.

  2. The craziest thing is that I actually did a bike repair while sober. I always thought that a greasy grip on the beer bottle was a required step.

  3. I certainly like em, I have two pairs now. One on my stumpjumper and one on the Volagi. These ones are only about a year old whereas the other pair is like 5 years old now and has never needed any service (though probably due). Comparing the two, the newer pair has a much bigger (better) seal on the inboard side and the spindle machining has changed shape a little bit. fwiw

  4. I've got 2 pairs of the Vintage Atacs:

    They only get better with age!