My cyclocross bike was originally supplied with a pair of dirt cheap ‘just to get you going’ flat pedals, I actually rode these for maybe 500 miles before taking the plunge and trying clipless. I decided to go with the Shimano M520 (white, to match the bike) as reviews said they were bullet-proof and very easy to maintain; I rode with these for another 500 miles or so, however it never felt quite right being fixed to the bike in that way, I wouldn’t dare use them on the mountain bike (would have had some really nasty falls if I had), and after four really silly falls on the cyclocross bike I have decided to give them a miss.
I hardly ever fall off my bike, these four instances were entirely due to the clipless pedals – mostly stalling and keeling over because I couldn’t get my foot unclipped fast enough, except once when the front wheel hit a grass curb which sent me shoulder-first onto the hard grass at speed, hurting my shoulders, neck, knee, and pride; I actually did have my foot unclipped but was concentrating on the pedal instead of watching where my front wheel was going. The bike has also suffered minor damage from these pointless falls – bar tape ripped, pedals scratched, rear mech scratched, admittedly superficial but annoying none the less. One fall onto tarmac has left me with a bad elbow, something which is taking a very long time to put right with physiotherapy and stretch exercises. Thanks a bunch, clipless pedals.
So I’ve decided to put the original pedals back on the bike, but before doing so I cleaned out and re-greased the bearings as the pedals had become lumpy and gritty when turning. What a difference some quality grease has made! The pedals now turn better than when they were new (I compared them to an exact same pair of new pedals). This is just a temporary measure until the (hopefully) much nicer alloy pedals arrive, still in the same style but with alloy body and slightly less unforgiving nobbles on the cage. An important pedal feature for me is being able to ride on them on either side, as fumbling with pedals and looking down when I should be looking forward is something I definitely need not be doing.
I used GT85 PTFE spray to clean out the old grease and muck, then after drying it all with kitchen roll applied Bearing Juice by juicelubes.co.uk to the cups and bearings, tightening just a fraction before the point of binding with the bearings so that the pedals turn smoothly with no roughness. Applied a small amount of copper grease to the pedal thread before attaching to the crank arms. That should do me for a while, I might wait until the better weather arrives before fitting the alloy pedals.