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I took my pedals off my old bike to grease them and I noticed that they were both splayed outwards on the outside edge. This means that either they sit on the top of the axle cup (if that is the name) on only one side. If they are in place on the outside cup the inside edge rolls round the nut of the axle. I wanted to replace the dust caps to stop them gunking up inside but it would cause them to sit in this position. Are they bent, should they be like this? If they are can I just bend them back? They need replacing at some point but I can't do it at the moment.

Pedal

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    Can you add more detail about where the problem is? I can’t tell what part of the pedal you are taking about from your description. Maybe add some pointers to the photo ? – Argenti Apparatus Jul 2 at 14:04
  • I'm a bit confused. The nut on the end of the shaft should prevent the pedal from spreading out and hold the bearings properly in place. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 2 at 18:34
  • The nut does hold the entire structure of the axle body in place. The pedal itself cannot exist as a separate entity, as the bearings on the crank side are directly between the axle (which is formed into the angled surface they run against) and the bearing holder/that angled silver piece. Nothing screws together. So once you loosen that nut the whole thing falls apart and bearings go everywhere (as I found out). The rectangular cage is independent of all the rest and moves on its own. I think @David D has the explanation - it was stamped in at some point and is no longer. – Gill Jul 2 at 18:53
  • Looking at the crank, I'm not entirely sure whether it is straight. To me me the picture reveals a slight curve towards the left, the right when in place because it is the left crank. – Carel Jul 9 at 17:35
  • You might be right but it doesn't look as bad in real life - I put it back on a few hours ago. The right hand side is worse and the whole thing needs replacing at some point soon. – Gill Jul 9 at 19:36
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Should my pedal be this shape or is it bent?

Yes, your pedal is bent.

I drew some straight lines on your photo to illustrate the places I see bends.
enter image description here

"Side A" is bowed in toward the pedal axle.
"Side B" - the ends are bent toward the crank arm.

In a more direct top down picture I think it would be clearer that your pedal is no longer a rectangle - a quadrilateral with four right angles - and that the whole pedal cage is off square.

can I bend them back?

Yes you can bend them back.

If you:

  • Figure out exactly what it should look like.
  • Analyze where you need to bend to get it back to ideal
  • Carefully apply force in the correct place

You can get it closer to the original but probably not perfect.

If they are in place on the outside cup the inside edge rolls round the nut of the axle. I wanted to replace the dust caps to stop them gunking up inside but it would cause them to sit in this position.

I'm not sure what this means - possibly that the cage is no longer connected to the axle housing preventing the installation of the dust cap. Straightening the cage may help, but it also might make it worse.

It might be best to ride what you have until you can afford to replace the pedals and not worry about the dust caps.
Maybe look for some used pedals in better condition.

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  • Thank you. You are correct in all of your points. The cage is no longer connected to the axle housing so the cage sits on the nut connecting to the crank when I am pedalling. I am going to the bike co-op in a few weeks and I will try to replace them. I can't get the axle off the crank arm on either side (they are very old) and the last three threads of the axle fell off with the outside nut when I disassembled the pedal. So I need to replace the whole thing. – Gill Jul 2 at 16:12
  • I wanted to try and improve the shape so that the cage sat on the axle housing (the tapered silver parts at each end of the cylinder) at both ends rather than the nut. Is this where it is supposed to sit? I assume this is what causes the bumpy pedalling rather than the fact they needed greasing (I see in hindsight). – Gill Jul 2 at 16:16
  • @Gill It is possible that straightening the cage will help. It is not supposed to sit on the nut. That part of the cage is stamped or pressed onto the axle housing and it sounds like it has come loose - it can be tough to fix. – David D Jul 2 at 17:13
  • It moves completely independently and none of the parts (the cylinder and the two end pieces) attach together. So once you undo the end nut and remove from the axle the whole lot falls apart. It is a pain to put back together. I think I will try and get it to sit on the axle housing. It can't be any worse! – Gill Jul 2 at 18:57
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If I am viewing this correctly, the backplate is bent inward, which would pull the other parts of the pedal out of alignment.

You could try to straighten things out. I don't think that would make the situation worse. But this is not an expensive pedal, and replacing it would be a faster, easier, and complete solution.

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enter image description here

So I reshaped it and it stays on the axle body now. Thank you everyone for your advice.

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