Got to keep on your toes or cleats when you can't release!

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Okay, frankly, I don't know how or why or what. I did a 20 miler the other day. But I was having real problems releasing from my Shimano SPD pedals. I mean it was really tough releasing by twisting the heel out. I thought maybe the wet weather and grit got in THERE wherever THERE is. I also thought that the lbs might have adjusted the release tension. But it was a real bear. So in some down time today I took my three active pairs of cleated shoes downstairs and figured I would release more tension. I tried on different shoes from the other day. Still without great force, I would not release. My ankles, knees and hips were squawking. Can't be right. I cranked the release tension to as low as it would go but to no avail.

What the xxxx, I looked them over. No grit or grim. No reason. I then compared to my other bike with the same pedals. "Well, I will be ...." The spring/tension part that moves was the reverse on the "good" bike. Huh!!!??? Did the shop put the pedals on backward? Does the threading even allow that. Do I have a pedal wrench or allen and which way do you loosen the left/right.

I called the shop. He was concerned about possible cross-threading and suggested a visit. Rack on car, bike on rack... At shop... Oh, yes, those pedals are definitely backwards, no wonder you could not release. He decides to let another mechanic check it out, too. Disappears for 10 or 15 minutes. No, the pedals are not really on backwards. Someone when working on the bike reversed the CRANKS! Which, of course, reverses the pedals. I guess, the Specialized bikes, the crank is not attached by a spider to the Chain ring. Cranks can be completely independent.

No riding today and hopefully, things are the way they should be for tomorrow's ride....
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Crank/Chainring on my Aluminum Creo, although my Chainring does not have a visible icon showing chain alignment vis a vis chainring teeth!

Creo Praxis.jpg


Creo Praxis1.jpg
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Okay, frankly, I don't know how or why or what. I did a 20 miler the other day. But I was having real problems releasing from my Shimano SPD pedals. I mean it was really tough releasing by twisting the heel out. I thought maybe the wet weather and grit got in THERE wherever THERE is. I also thought that the lbs might have adjusted the release tension. But it was a real bear. So in some down time today I took my three active pairs of cleated shoes downstairs and figured I would release more tension. I tried on different shoes from the other day. Still without great force, I would not release. My ankles, knees and hips were squawking. Can't be right. I cranked the release tension to as low as it would go but to no avail.

What the xxxx, I looked them over. No grit or grim. No reason. I then compared to my other bike with the same pedals. "Well, I will be ...." The spring/tension part that moves was the reverse on the "good" bike. Huh!!!??? Did the shop put the pedals on backward? Does the threading even allow that. Do I have a pedal wrench or allen and which way do you loosen the left/right.

I called the shop. He was concerned about possible cross-threading and suggested a visit. Rack on car, bike on rack... At shop... Oh, yes, those pedals are definitely backwards, no wonder you could not release. He decides to let another mechanic check it out, too. Disappears for 10 or 15 minutes. No, the pedals are not really on backwards. Someone when working on the bike reversed the CRANKS! Which, of course, reverses the pedals. I guess, the Specialized bikes, the crank is not attached by a spider to the Chain ring. Cranks can be completely independent.

No riding today and hopefully, things are the way they should be for tomorrow's ride....
wow. is this the same shop that installed your road remotes etc? I’m not getting a warm fuzzy feeling….
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
wow. is this the same shop that installed your road remotes etc? I’m not getting a warm fuzzy feeling….
Well, yes. I think that they understood I was not really amused. I and they are probably lucky that I did not get hurt. Since they would not really release, I was really cautious when I knew that I might need to stop, forcefully wrenching my foot free. Lucky there were no real emergency stops over the twenty urban in-city miles. Reversed pedals (well, cranks) really did not come to mind. I've adjusted tension over the years as I recovered from a broken foot and each time the right hip was replaced. So I know that the tension can be hard to overcome. So I just thought that someone adjusted them tight, or like I said, grit got into the system. I never ever considered that the mechanism was facing backward. (try it sometime to see what I was overcoming!!!!) They were trying to determine who worked on the bike. I suspect someone might get a lecture.

They are a big dealer and well-regarded shop. They are also one of the few Specialized shops. I guess things can happen.

Seriously, it is not something one could imagine happening. My friend had a hell of a time with her health insurance carrier today. Lots of calls and exasperation. After she relayed her tale, I said I have you beat. She said not so fast. I relayed the above. She conceded that I had her beat by a long shot. She was also quite pissed. She knew if I got hurt she'd be playing nurse and I would not be baking her anymore apple pies for a while!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
@kahn: My brother has just told me it was perfectly possible to mismatch the cranks if the mechanic worked on the bike in the reversed position (instead of using a proper work-stand).

An anecdote: During my intensive Summer riding, the left pedal in my Vado managed to unscrew itself twice or thrice. Imagine how dangerous that was! I asked Jacek for a diagnosis. He found a pedal bearing got stuck! While it is not possible that the drive-side pedal would unscrew, it turned out to be possible with the left one...
 

PassoGavia

Member
Region
USA
City
Roswell, Georgia
Well you could always switch to Speedplays. But even in that case there is still an issue, because the pedals will tend to unscrew if the right hand thread is on the left side of the bike.
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
@kahn: My brother has just told me it was perfectly possible to mismatch the cranks if the mechanic worked on the bike in the reversed position (instead of using a proper work-stand).

An anecdote: During my intensive Summer riding, the left pedal in my Vado managed to unscrew itself twice or thrice. Imagine how dangerous that was! I asked Jacek for a diagnosis. He found a pedal bearing got stuck! While it is not possible that the drive-side pedal would unscrew, it turned out to be possible with the left one...
Well, it was obviously NOT IMPOSSIBLE to mismatch the cranks. Maybe like me, the mechanic was left handed! As I now recall, reading the work order last week there was mention of the crank holder or whatever and he or she swapped from the other side and that there was this "excess" washer. I bet this is when it happened. I really hope this will be a learning experience for both THEM and me. Seriously, I've been riding SPD pedals for decades and never thought to see if they were inserted backwards. It was just not something in my thought process (whatever processes are left). I thought of tension settings or contamination or that my shoe or cleat got messed up.

re: pedal - I remember years ago a friend had that happen and luckily it did not lead to a catastrophic failure and crash. She had not screwed it in correctly after transporting on a train.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Well, it was obviously NOT IMPOSSIBLE to mismatch the cranks. Maybe like me, the mechanic was left handed! As I now recall, reading the work order last week there was mention of the crank holder or whatever and he or she swapped from the other side and that there was this "excess" washer. I bet this is when it happened. I really hope this will be a learning experience for both THEM and me. Seriously, I've been riding SPD pedals for decades and never thought to see if they were inserted backwards. It was just not something in my thought process (whatever processes are left). I thought of tension settings or contamination or that my shoe or cleat got messed up.

re: pedal - I remember years ago a friend had that happen and luckily it did not lead to a catastrophic failure and crash. She had not screwed it in correctly after transporting on a train.
its weird though if they put the pedals on after they would have noticed the different threading. though I wonder if you flip the arms the treads on the pedals are right?
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
its weird though if they put the pedals on after they would have noticed the different threading. though I wonder if you flip the arms the treads on the pedals are right?
I have not really explored the left/right threading options. I know that the pedals are definitely left or right although web sites indicate Shimano is not great at differentiating that difference. But the cranks (since no spider is forged into drive crank) are probably the same, that swap probably does not require threading. Some other cap or whatever holds them on.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I have not really explored the left/right threading options. I know that the pedals are definitely left or right although web sites indicate Shimano is not great at differentiating that difference. But the cranks (since no spider is forged into drive crank) are probably the same, that swap probably does not require threading. Some other cap or whatever holds them on.
I meant on the pedals. you have opposite threads on them. but if you swapped arms then maybe the threads are still the same direction? not worth thinking about it and hurting my brain.
 

gpburdell

Active Member
Region
USA
its weird though if they put the pedals on after they would have noticed the different threading. though I wonder if you flip the arms the treads on the pedals are right?
Although Shimano pedals (all that I've had) are labelled L and R, I can easily imagine a mechanic just grabbing a pedal and seeing which side it threads into. One side is left-hand threaded and the other is right-handed. Easy to just try starting the pedal thread and if it doesn't engage then switch it to other side.

What I'm curious about though is how nobody noticed the SPD tension screw was in the front?
 

kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
Although Shimano pedals (all that I've had) are labelled L and R, I can easily imagine a mechanic just grabbing a pedal and seeing which side it threads into. One side is left-hand threaded and the other is right-handed. Easy to just try starting the pedal thread and if it doesn't engage then switch it to other side.

What I'm curious about though is how nobody noticed the SPD tension screw was in the front?
Well, as I wrote, I have been using one form or another of Shimano SPD pedals for ages. I've adjusted and re-adjusted those screws. I guess I just never paid attention to them being in back or front. All of mine are two sided - there's no top or bottom.

I helped a friend adjust those screws not that long ago to take pressure off her replaced knee. But I just bend down, find the screw head and "allen" away. Spring in front or spring in back never occurred to me. Not until I compared with three other bikes with SPD's. The Shop guy immediately said, that's backwards. Live and learn.
 

bellandbottle

Active Member
Region
United Kingdom
I have not really explored the left/right threading options. I know that the pedals are definitely left or right although web sites indicate Shimano is not great at differentiating that difference. But the cranks (since no spider is forged into drive crank) are probably the same, that swap probably does not require threading. Some other cap or whatever holds them on.
When I had my Vado 4 replaced recently (broken frame), exactly the same thing happened (ie) the cranks were reversed. This happened because all the components on my old bike were switched to the new one.

The mechanic was really, really embarrassed when I identified the error. Luckily I could not get the SPD shoes to lock into the pedal, so I figured out the problem.

I still bought the staff a box of chocolate biscuits as they did a good job otherwise :), and he did drive 10 miles to my house to fix things.

In some ways, it is a good thing that we have SPD pedals, so that the problems became evident.
 
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kahn

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
northWET washington
When I had my Vado 4 replaced recently (broken frame), exactly the same thing happened (ie) the cranks were reversed. This happened because all the components on my old bike were switched to the new one.

The mechanic was really, really embarrassed when I identified the error. Luckily I could not get the SPD shoes to lock into the pedal, so I figured out the problem.

I still bought the staff a box of chocolate biscuits as they did a good job otherwise :), and he did drive 10 miles to my house to fix things.

In some ways, it is a good thing that we have SPD pedals, so that the problems became evident.
Thanks for reporting that. Interesting that it was not a one time mix-up on my bike. Other than resulting in the pedals being backwards (due to threading into the cranks), is there any other difference between the cranks on these bikes? Are the left and right otherwise identical (other than threading for pedals)? The cranks themselves are not threaded and do not contain the spider. They are retained by some other locking system.

On my bike, getting into the pedals was not that hard - maybe a little more angling. But they snapped in. They just would not snap out!
 

bellandbottle

Active Member
Region
United Kingdom
Thanks for reporting that. Interesting that it was not a one time mix-up on my bike. Other than resulting in the pedals being backwards (due to threading into the cranks), is there any other difference between the cranks on these bikes? Are the left and right otherwise identical (other than threading for pedals)? The cranks themselves are not threaded and do not contain the spider. They are retained by some other locking system.

On my bike, getting into the pedals was not that hard - maybe a little more angling. But they snapped in. They just would not snap out!
When the mechanic worked on my bike, he took the first crank off and looked at the inside face. I asked him if it was marked, and he said it was. He shook his head a bit at the error :oops:.

I have the Shimano pedals with SPD on one side and flat on the other.

I've actually had the RH crank and spider off to fit a 44T chain ring (replacing a 40T). There is a video on this forum on how to do that.
 
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