I have a bicycle that after a some amount of use (at least 3000 kilometres since I bought it from someone else) began having some problem on one of its pedals. Basically at every single rotation, there is a snap in some place, like if there was a crack inside the pedal. That snap its almost impossible to feel when going low on pressure applied, but reasonably felt when running at normal speed, and feels like something is definitely not right and its going to break when either sprinting or climbing.

The closer to the left the foot is, the less I can notice it, (its the right pedal), what can be the cause?

Is it too dangerous to keep going with it this way? By dangerous I mean, the pedal simply getting lose or something like that and go off the bike.

The weird thing is that its a fully metal platform pedal, like this one: Bicycle pedal

What is there to break? Aren't these pedals just a shaft and the solid outside of the pedal?

  • 2
    First make sure it's the pedal and not the crank arm. If the crank arm is loose that's an emergency and it needs to be tightened immediately (if not sooner). But if the "snap" is definitely coming from the pedal then the bearings are somehow mucked up. A few pedal designs allow you to rebuild the bearings, but in most cases you must (eventually) replace them. But it's no hurry -- the pedal will likely fail eventually, but probably not for hundreds of miles. Apr 22, 2015 at 1:39
  • Swap with another pair of pedals and check. Once you have the first pair of pedals out, rotate the axle while holding the body. You may 'feel' a smooth or less smooth rotation indicating a broken bearing or just sand/grit/rust inside the housing.
    – Carel
    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


There are bearings inside the pedal that are meant to keep things running smoothly. If it was just the pedal itself around a metal shaft, then things would probably wear out quite quickly. Some pedals are serviceable, while others are meant to be replaced completely.

If you are sure that the snaps is coming from inside the pedal, and not from inside the bottom bracket or where the crank arm mounts to the bottom bracket, then it's probably a good idea to just replace the pedals.

New pedals, especially platform pedals, can be obtained quite cheap and can be replaced basic tools you may already have. If you don't have tools, the bike shop would probably install them for free if you asked nicely.

  • Any way to repair those bearing if that is the problem? I'll try to get this pedals in some other bicycle and test them. Its the simplest way to know if the problem is within the pedal. Is it of any danger to ride this way, or it is more about the friction and disconfort it makes?
    – SOMN
    Apr 21, 2015 at 22:34
  • Still not sure, but I'd bet on the bearing you're talking about. If I spin the good pedal freely it does about 8-9 full rotations before stoping, the bad one does about half and sometimes I can hear clicks. Weird thing is that it only snaps in the front bottom part of the rotation (~150º), I'll just assume that it is the only position I can feel it because is where I have more strength applied, and even more on the outer part since it does a lever-like effect. I'll leave it running till it breaks.
    – SOMN
    Apr 22, 2015 at 14:05
  • 1
    This indicates a broken bearing. If you can open the bearing, it's similar to hubs, you can check for damage. Otherwise replace the thing!
    – Carel
    Apr 22, 2015 at 14:14

I doubt it is the pedal. If the pedal bearings were going out it would not be in just one position. Bit still start with eliminating the pedals as it is easy. If you have a spare set of pedal try them or take pedals from another bike. To really be sure put the bad pedals on another bike and test.

More likely the crank is loose or the crank bearing are going out.
Test the crank for any play. Grab the crank arms and try in twist and pull in all directions.

It could be a number of other things as it is hard to find the source of clicks or snaps on a bicycle. It could even be a chain ring or headset. I had snap that turned out to be a loose headset but it felt like it was coming from the crank.

  • 2
    Not necessarily. The OP stated that the problem lessens when riding inboard on the right pedal. There could be a problem with outboard bearing.
    – Rider_X
    Apr 21, 2015 at 20:14
  • @Rider_X Could be but I still "doubt" it is the pedal. I don't see how lessens with more pressure on one side eliminates crank.
    – paparazzo
    Apr 21, 2015 at 20:43
  • I can try that. I only ride once every day, so I can replace the pedals tomorrow with some cheap plastic pedals I have around and give it a shot. The crank at least from the outside seems just fine, and the only thing I would consider possible to damage it recently was a fall I had two months ago in a wet wooden bridge, that crank never felt or had excessive force applied in my hands except that time, and it doesn't yet looks worn. I'll try, but I doubt a bit.
    – SOMN
    Apr 21, 2015 at 22:31

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