Crank Brothers Pedals for Heavy Riders

Posted by SuperClydesdale on November 14, 2013 under Commentary | Read the First Comment

I get constant reminders that being a 240-pounder is not the ideal weight for this sport. The most regular occurrence is whenever I go uphill. Gravity loves me. It embraces me. Gravity makes love to me.

Making it worse is when some squeaky-voiced little hill monkey passes me, dancing on the pedals, chirps out a “good morning!” That’s when I battle Clydesdale Climbing Tourette Syndrome.

Other times are the mechanicals: snapped frames, bent seat rails, snapped/crushed seats, cracked wheels, bent wheels, broken chains, pinch flats, overheated rear wheels (and accompanying burst tire) from trying to slow my fat ass down on a long descent.

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The snapped spindle of the Eggbeater 3

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Another view of the pedals – once I removed them

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My leg. That top cut is actually pretty deep

 

I had a new and unpleasant and mildly painful mechanical problem last week when one of my Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 pedals snapped. Lucky for me, it snapped about ½” out from the crank, so there was still a sharp stub of pedal axel to shave my leg with. You could say I cut it a little close — no stiches required, but a nice little gash. It’s a week and a half now and I still have a nice scab clinging to me.

I’ve noticed that you can judge the depth of a cut by how long the scab takes to fall off. A minor little scrape, it may be a couple of days. Something more substantial like major road rash will likely clear off in a little over a week id properly attended to. So, having the majority of the scab still there after a week and a half means it was a little deeper than I originally thought.

This was on my third season on these pedals. I check them regularly to make sure that the axels are not bent – I figure that if its bent, it’s a sign of metal fatigue and time to replace the pedal. In this case, no warning, just a sudden snap as I stood up on a short descent. My foot immediately was in the dirt. Luckily, I wasn’t going all that fast, or it could have been a disaster. This trail I was on at times is on the edge of a very steep, rocky hill. I can only imagine what could have happened if I’d have had that happen at speed over one of these areas. Since I love to go fast, It could have been on a rocky descent at 20 miles per hour. That would have ruined my day.

As it was, it just ruined my ride. I was about three miles into my ride, and had to limp back as best I could, at times doing the one-legged pedaling routine as if I was doing a pedal stroke drill on my road bike. I can attest that its very difficult to ride a mountain bike with one pedal.

I sent the pedal into to Crank Brothers. I was thinking “crap – that damn spindle is about ½” think shaft of chromoly steel!” I got an email from Danny Valencia, and he acted concerned, stating:

“The issue you have encountered is very uncommon. Because of this we want to get as much information as possible to document the issue and prevent it from happening. Here are some of the details we would like you to outline for our records. What is the weight of the rider with any/all gear they carried at the event of the issue?: What were the trail conditions(i.e. Rocky, Drops, Flat)?: Was this product being used on a Hardtail?: Was this product being used on a Single Speed?: Were you climbing or descending during the event of the issue?: How many hours of ride time has the product had since it’s last maintenance?: Thank you for your time.”

Through this carefully crafted note, I could tell that they were very concerned. At any rate, Danny was concerned. Concerned enough to have to go to the spa apparently, as shortly thereafter I got another email:

spa and rebuilt w/ new springs and spindles

Why would Danny need to go to the spa? I’m the one that crashed. I’m the one that cut my leg. I should be going to the spa! Perhaps that’s not what he was saying?

So, at least they are apparently rebuilding the pedals for free (I think). I like that. Certainly at 240 pounds, I can’t expect things to last forever.

I think that its incumbent upon heavy riders to check our equipment regularly, and perhaps give it a time limit. I’m think for these pedals, probably replace the spindles (axels) every two years. Crank Brothers sells rebuild kits and replacement spindles. Now, I’m going to be even more diligent about checking the pedals before every ride.

Its also important to note that us heavy guys should not use titanium spindles. I already knew that, and the Eggbeater 3 has a chromoly spindle, so I had already given myself that best chance of success. A titanium spindle will not be rated for a Clydesdale. Most if not all that I have seen have published weight limits on the titanium pedals.

  • andypandy said,

    Wow. If you can’t trust a 1/2 inch chromoly spindle, what can you trust?

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