“Hi Felix,” my neighbor and good friend Tim wrote. “I just got back from biking to the library, but my pedal came off and I had to walk it back some of the way, maybe you could take a look at it tomorrow but I think it came clean off. If it’s repairable I’ll be able to go, but I think it needs welding or something.”
I was surprised to read this because Tim has a new bike. Well, it’s an old (1980s) road bike, but it has a nice Reynolds frame and top-of-the-line Shimano Dura-Ace components from that same vintage. This sounded suspiciously like what was happening to Tim in the last few years, except that was on a mountain bike. In that case, one of his crankarms kept loosening even though I kept torquing it down to proper spec with a torque wrench.
As it turns out, the failure mode of this was a bit different. See the photo above!
In fact, the axle of his left pedal completely sheared off. I haven’t seen this happen in a while.
“Do you think I am just pedaling too hard?” asked Tim. I responded with a smile, no, remember, these things are supposed to be able to withstand Tour de France racers sprinting up hills who can presumably induce far more material stress than a guy leisurely riding home from the library.
The good thing is that he was able to find a near exact replacement from the Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op for just $2. Yes, that is a really good deal.
In any case, I find it odd that Tim manages to come home so frequently with only one pedal attached to his bicycle. My neighbor eats pedals.