Who needs two pedals?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 @ %I:%M %p | Cycling

imgp0187.jpgDoesn’t the bicycle operate equally well using just one pedal?

Went for an after work bike ride today with Charles, my BikeFriday folding bike. From the Marriott hotel next to Great America in Santa Clara along the bike paths to Milpitas, up on Calaveras Road, down Old Calaveras and back via the bike paths. When crossing over the 580 highway I notice that my right foot makes a wobble. Looking down I see that the pedal has partly unscrewed itself from the crank arm. Not good, and a little odd. The threading is so that the pedal is supposed to tighten itself while riding. Guess I left it a little too loose when putting Charles together in the hotel room.

imgp0185.jpgI pull over, unlock my foot from the clip pedal in order to screw the pedal back in. Not much success. I don’t have a tool with me to do that (it’s in the hotel room) and with just my fingers I can’t generate enough force to screw it back in. It also seems that the thread in the crank arm is damaged probably due to having cycled along for a while with that pedal half loose. From this point it is 9 miles back to the hotel. I get back on and start to ride back to the hotel. I try to keep an easy pedal rhythm in order not to put too much force on the pedal. The back wind helps.

This goes reasonably well until two miles further I have to slow down to let an approaching cyclist pass at a very narrow spot on the bike path. Automatically I stand on the pedals to pull the bike back up to speed. Not a good idea. This bends the pedal connection in the crank arm and the wobble becomes a lot worse. About a mile further the pedal comes loose altogether. I still have five miles to go and now the pedal is stuck to my shoe and won’t screw back into the crank arm anymore. I ride back alternating between riding with just the left leg and leaning the right pedal into the crank arm opening and pedal with both legs carefully (which works for about 2 or 3 rotations before right foot comes loose again).

The crank arm will need to be rethreaded or (more likely) replaced. I hope that the pedal will screw back in because without the pedal firmly connected to something it will be most entertaining to get the shoe free.



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    2 Responses to “Who needs two pedals?”

    1. Charmaine Says:

      Hi – this happened to me with a brand new Tikit the other month. I had only ridden it about 60 miles, and all of a sudden, the pedal did the same thing your’s did. I thought it was pretty odd. When I got home, I took the pedal off and tried to put it back on. It just made it worse. I called Bike Friday and told them what happened. They said a few other people had called to say that it had happened to them as well (with the Tikit). So, I was surprised that they were going to send me a new set of pedals and cranks! 🙂 I installed those, and everything’s been fine now. You may want to call them about your’s as well….I don’t know how old your bike is…

    2. tim Says:

      Exactly same thing happened to me.

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