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Lubricating Speedplay Pedals

The other day I temporarily put on my second set of Speedplay X/3 clipless pedals (from the recumbent) onto Carrie the Cannondale so I could go out for a night ride using my Speedplay-cleated cycling shoes. The unfortunate thing was the left pedal was so bone-dry of lubricant that with every revolution it would squeak like a mouse that was just about to become a house cat’s lunch.

Thankfully, Speedplay’s minimalistic design allows for easy servicing. Look at the photo here. There are very few parts! Just an axle, a roller bearing, two composite body caps, two metal plates, two countersunk hex-head screws, and a philips screw and nut (which is a lubrication port). Ingenious. One of the most simply elegant designs in cycling I have seen.

It turns out that with the lubrication port, I could have merely injected grease instead of taking the pedal apart to apply some directly to the inner bearing surface. This would have saved about two minutes of disassembly time. Well, I know for next time.

The X/1 pedals may be slightly harder to service judging by this post. And according to the latest Bike Nashbar catalog, the X/3 has just been superseded by the X/5 which uses “durable needle and cartridge bearings… surpassing [the X/3] in ease of use, reduced maintenance, and durability.” Seems like the Speedplay folks figured out a way to improve on the already stellar design.

Disassembling Speedplay X/1 pedals.
Disassembling Speedplay X/1 pedals.