The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crank Bros Egg Beaters Rebuild!

For those that don't have Mukluks or Pugsleys or those that simply choose not to subject themselves to the elements, winter can be tough. A lot of time is spent on trainers and cursing the sky upon waking up in the morning in the dark to huge piles of snow. I feel for you guys, I really do. To ease the pain of putting away the bike for a few months consider tinkering.

I know when I first started tinkering with my bike I was terrified that something would blow up or fall off while I was riding but it's amazing what kinds of resources are out there to help. It also helps to start small, like rebuilding pedals. My personal favorite clipless pedals are Crank Brothers Egg Beaters (you can't beat four points of entry when your cleats are full of mud.) Now before you start telling me about your brother's best friend's cousin's son's Egg Beaters blew up on a ride a few years ago let me mention that they have addressed their earlier workmanship problems.

I got my first pair of Egg Beaters from an awesome friend who had raced a lot of cyclocross on them. Upon attaining them I put 'em through the wringer at Almanzo, Tuesday night 'Cross, and other races I do annually. On my ride to the campgrounds at Carver Park, I felt and heard a very unfriendly creaking in my pedal and that to me means it's time for a rebuild. Lucky for you there was a camera handy to document all of the fun and grime involved.

Here you go, the tools of the trade:
White Lightning Clean Streak Dry Degreaser This stuff melts away a ton of grease and road nastiness and leaves no trace, what's not to love?
Needle nose pliers
Ice pick/awl
(I had two!)
Flat head screwdriver
3 mm hex wrench
8 or 6 mm hex wrench
(depending upon which generation of pedal you have)
Cotton swabs
8 mm socket wrench (I used a 8/9/10 tri-socket for better grippage... yes that is a technical term)
lube (I was going to use Polylube 1000, but this was closer and works just as well if not better)
Crank Bros Egg Beater pedals
Crank Bros Egg Beater rebuild kit

Start with your flat head screwdriver to remove the plug

Once you've removed the plug you'll see an 8 mm nut in there

Grab your socket wrench and either your 6 or 8 mm hex wrench and unscrew the nut. Feel free to pitch it once you've got it out, Crank Bros gives you all of the innards in their kit.

From here you can remove the spindle and admire all of old grease and road muck you've acquired while riding.

Next, remove the seal. The seal has an internal steel reinforcement so it can be somewhat tricky to remove...

Thankfully there are ice picks hanging out around the shop. A little bit of wiggling and you'll be able to get it out.

Next is my least favorite, the most hated bushing. I found it to be the hardest part to remove from the pedal body...

I had to use an ice pick and some elbow grease to break the old bushing to make removal easier.

...and finally the needle nose pliers to pull the tricky bugger out of there. ***NOTE!*** Crank Bros mentions that if you are planning to break the bushing you should wear safety glasses

Lastly, remove the old ball bearings. Mine were stuck in the muck so I had to use a hex wrench to push them out from the opposite side we just removed the bushing from.

Hooray, it's all apart!

Next up we're going to blast all of the nastiness out and off the spindle and body assembly with some Clean Streak.

The best way to keep your work area clean is to fold up a towel and place it underneath to collect all of the refuse.

Crank Brothers advises us to use a paper towel to clean off all of the bits from inside the body assembly but I was worried about the towel tearing and leaving pieces of it inside so I opted for the cotton swab route. This also allowed for deep cleaning in the nooks and crannies. Make sure you clean it all, well, inside and out.

So fresh and so clean, clean...

If you have access to some pressurized air this helps to make sure you've got the last of the grit out.

Once you've got everything squeaky clean, push the new cartridge bearing provided in the kit into the body assembly.

Aah tttssss push it...

Next, get out the new bushing. I've found the best way to make sure it gets pressed in evenly is to use your socket wrench.

Tri-socket wrenches are sooo ergo

Nice, clean bushing.

Now time to place the seal. Make sure the thin rubber lip side is facing out.

Don't forget about that steel reinforcement, use your socket wrench again to apply even pressure to push it into place

Almost there!

Grab your lube and apply the grease to your spindle but only the parts that are going into the body assembly.

Slide the greased up spindle into the body. Take care not to pinch the lip of the seal.

Next screw the new nut on the other end...

Grab the trusty socket wrench and your 6/8 mm hex and tighten the nut to. ***Make sure to tighten correctly or the body assembly could fall off while riding. Crank Bros says 30 in/lbs or 3.5 NM***

Last but not least screw in the end plug.

...almost there