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I have clipless pedals that I love and my standard flat pedals with toe clips. However, the clipless pedals just aren't comfortable for me to wear without cleated/clipless shoes, and they tear up my regular shoes. I don't want to bring extra shoes with me every day to work, so every weekend I've been changing out my pedals for clipless and on Sunday evenings changing them back to flat for the week's commuting. I don't mind spending 15 minutes a week doing this, but will this lead to long-term problems, like the crankshaft/pedal getting stripped or getting stuck?

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    You could get dual use pedals, flat one side and clips the other side, have a Google search for double shot pedals. – Dan K Sep 10 at 14:10
  • I've thought of that, but then riding clipless I'd scrape the toe clips. – hmmm Sep 10 at 14:16
  • Eventually you will wear the threads out or cross thread one and then you'd need to replace the crank. How long they will last I don't know but it's never good to keep turning and tightening threads, eventually they strip. – Dan K Sep 10 at 14:19
  • @ringofjuuling what do you mean by "I'd scrape the toe clips" ? in my experience (what I use) dual purpose SPD pedals are safe in both modes. – Max Sep 10 at 14:58
  • Just a minor clarification: when you say "crankshaft", I think maybe you mean the pedal's spindle getting damaged. Correct? Also, in relation to fasteners, I think we say "stripped" to refer to threads or to allen/torx bolt holes. So, I presume that here, you were talking about the pedal's threads getting stripped. Feel free to edit the question to clarify if this isn't what you meant. – Weiwen Ng Sep 10 at 15:40
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Changing pedals every week should not cause problems long term if correctly done.

Here are the possible types of issues changing pedals could create.

  1. Cross threading - this includes normal cross threading and getting the wrong pedal on the wrong side.
  2. Thread wear - from installing and uninstalling - cranks are aluminum (usually) and pedals are steel (usually). Wear would be on the softer material - usually aluminum.
  3. Over / under tightening - over tightening damages threads in the softer material, under tightening risks the pedal working it's way out tearing out the last few threads in a worst case scenario.

All that being said correctly uninstalling and installing pedals should not cause long term problems.

  • Not all new cyclists may know what cross threading is. Here's a good description from a fellow SE site: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/58429/… – Weiwen Ng Sep 10 at 15:35
  • It may be worth adding this: all tools take some wear when you use them. Lower quality tools will wear out faster. Using a worn tool will result in a poorer interface with the pedal, and this could damage the pedal's wrench flats or its hex opening over time. I know this would be a concern on smaller bolts, e.g. 5mm hex bolts. I'm not sure how much a problem this might be on pedals, which typically take either a 15mm wrench or an 8mm hex. – Weiwen Ng Sep 10 at 15:37
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    Anecdotally, a guy in my club uses Look pedals, but at spin class all the bikes have SPD. So he brings his pedals and, twice a week through the winter, swaps his pedals onto a spin bike. Hasn't messed up his pedals yet, and it's been years. – DavidW Sep 10 at 15:58
  • (High) quality tools are part of the game! They may be expensive but they save a lot of money. – Carel Sep 11 at 6:42

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