Tech Tuesday - Pedal Pin Retrofit

Dec 20, 2011 at 0:05
Dec 20, 2011
by Mike Levy  
 
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When it comes time to replace those worn out platform pedals of yours it is often due to ratty pins that no longer hold your feet in place, not a damaged body or bent axles. For this reason it seems odd to me that riders are so willing to shell out their hard earned money for brand new pedals when a few dollars worth of hardware can completely rejuvenate their current ones, and in some cases improve their grip beyond what they offered when new. Sure, some of it can be put down to simply wanting new pedals, but a tap, some hex screws, and a bottle of Loc Tite will allow many others to spend that money on other necessities (or vices).

What is a tap? A tap is a special tool that cuts female threads (a die is used to cut male threads) into metal, allowing you to thread in a bolt. They are made of extremely hard steel, with cutting edges that are designed to slice through softer materials. There are two main shapes of taps: a flat topped version that is usually used on blind holes (holes that don't go completely through) because it can cut threads into nearly the full length of the hole, and the tapered taps that are more common in the bicycle world. A tapered tap is much easier to work with because its tapered tip allows for easy starting and a degree of self centering. Grooves in the side of the tap allow the metal shavings to escape, with this being encouraged by reversing the tap every few turns to break the shavings into smaller pieces. It is generally a good idea to use some type of cutting fluid to ease the job, although chain lube also does the trick.

Tech Tuesday
You need a 4 x 0.7mm tapered tap and a tap handle to do this job, with both items being relatively inexpensive and available at your local hardware store. Never use an adjustable wrench in place of a tap handle... you'll only make the job harder!

For a tap to work it will need the correct size hole, otherwise you risk breaking the tap off - you can't go about using any tap in any hole! Every tap has a corresponding drill bit size that is used to create a hold that is just slightly smaller than the threads on the tap. This allows the tap to do as little work as possible to cut the threads, lessening the chance of it snapping while you turn it in. Complete tap sets can be bought with the included drill bits, while separate taps will usually have the matching drill bit size labeled on their packaging. An adjustable tap handle is your best friend when using a tap, allowing you to applying even and downward pressure as you thread it in. Taps are made from extremely hard steel, but they are very brittle because of this and care must be taken during their use. Using an adjustable wrench will only make the job harder on yourself and increase the chance of damaging the hole or the tap itself.

Tech Tuesday
We used 4 x 10mm screws on our pedals, but you can use different heights to create more or less concave and tune the pedal's grip. Using thin washers under each head allows you to make small adjustment to pin height as well.

Some helpful pointers before you begin:

• You'll need a 4 x 0.7mm tap and 1/8'' drill bit for this job. Using a larger 5mm tap will force you to also use larger diameter screws that won't provide as much bite as 4mm hardware will.
• You need to be aware of how much material you have surrounding each hole. If you don't have enough you'll substantially weaken the pedal body and increase the chances of it breaking once you've cut in a larger hole.
• You won't be able to install new pins in any holes that don't pass right through the body (these are called 'blind holes'). If the manufacturer hasn't threaded a pin through completely it is for a good reason - most likely because the pedal body would be weakened too much. Likewise, pedals that use set screws and blind holes throughout shouldn't be modified beyond install longer setscrews.
• Be sure that the head of your new 4mm screws will clear any edges of the pedal body when it is full tightened down. Pay special attention to the corners where they might make contact as they are turned in.
• Using some blue (medium strength) Loc Tite on your new pins means that they will stay put without you having to over tighten them into the soft pedal bodies that are made of either aluminum, or even softer magnesium.
• Removing the old pins can be the most time consuming part of this job. Vice grips can be used to back out pins that no longer have tool access, or a file can be employed on aluminum pins to create flat edges for a tool to hold on to.
• 4mm metric screws can be bought in 5, 10 and 15mm lengths that will allow you to tune the pedal to have more or less grip. For example, using 10mm pins on the pedal's leading and trailing edges with 5mm pins at the center will create more concave. Pins can also be cut to length, or even have their tips sharpened.
• There is no standard when it comes to pedal pin threads, but many will be very close to the 4mm size required. Because of this it isn't always required that you use 1/8'' drill bit to ream the hole prior to running the tap through. Even if the existing threads match up it is helpful to run the tap through to clean the entry point.
• This job will void any warranty that your pedals may have had, including the axles as well. Don't expect any favours from your shop or the pedal manufacturer, you'll be 100% on your own after you've installed the new pins.

Tech Tuesday

What's needed:
• 4 x 0.7mm tap
• 1/8'' drill bit (optional)
• Tap handle
• Blue Loc Tite
• Tool to remove old pins (hex key, pliers, vice grips)
• Metric 4mm socket screws (5, 10 and 15mm are best)


Tech Tuesday
Step 1 - You'll first need to remove the pedal's original pins before using the tap. Depending on how damaged they are, this could be the trickiest part of the job. The HT pedal shown above uses aluminum pins, many of which have had their wrench flats damaged. We used pliers to turn them out, having to file tool flats onto some to allow the tool to grip. Damaged pins can also be turned out with vice grips. Pins that are threaded in from the opposite side and have had their tops bent over may require you to cut off their tips before backing them out.
Tech Tuesday
Step 2 - Drilling isn't required on our pedals because the HT pedals shown above use a pedal pin size that is close to 4mm, meaning that we could jump right to using the tap. This is the case with a lot pedal bodies, but not so if your's uses smaller diameter set screws for pins. If needed, gently clamp the pedal body in a vice and run a 1/8'' drill bit through the holes. Apply a few drops of cutting fluid or chain lube to the tap before starting before the next step.

Step 3 - With the pedal body still gently clamped in the vice, secure the 4 x 0.7mm tap in your adjustable tap handle and apply downward pressure as you turn it clockwise into the hole, being sure that it is threading in perfectly straight. Because the pedal body is relatively thin you aren't required to clear the metal shavings - most will simply be pushed out the other side as you thread the tap through. Remember that the tap is tapered, meaning that you'll want to thread it fully into the hole to be sure that all of the threads have been cut.
Tech Tuesday
Step 4 - Blow or brush away any metal shavings from the opposite side and back the tap out by turning it counterclockwise. Inspect your hole; it should be clean and free of any burrs. Repeat this process for each location where you want to install your new 4mm pins into, Clean the tap and apply a touch of cutting lubricant to it before starting each hole.
Tech Tuesday
Step 5 - Apply a dap of removable Loc Tite to the threads of each of your new pins before installing them. Otherwise, expect them to come loose in short order.
Tech Tuesday
Step 6 - Carefully thread each new pin into its hole. Pay special attention to make sure that the head of the bolt clears the pedal body on all sides. Snug the pins down tightly, but there is no need to go overboard. Keep in mind that pedal bodies are often made of either a soft aluminum or magnesium metal and that you've just removed material around a critical area of the body.
Tech Tuesday
Drilling, tapping and installing pins into each hole is a time consuming job, but you've done it right of the finished product scares you into wearing shin pads!



Anything to add to our pedal pin upgrade? Put those ideas down below!




Past Tech Tuesdays:
TT #1 - How to change a tube.
TT #2 - How to set up your SRAM rear derailleur
TT #3 - How to remove and install pedals
T #4 - How To Bleed Your Avid Elixir Brakes
TT #5 - How To Check And Adjust Your Headset
TT #6 - How To Fix A Broken Chain
TT #7 - Tubeless Conversion
TT #8 - Chain Wear
TT #9 - SRAM Shift Cable Replacement
TT #10 - Removing And Installing a Headset
TT #11 - Chain Lube Explained
TT #12 - RockShox Totem and Lyric Mission Control Damper Mod
TT #13 - Shimano XT Crank and Bottom Bracket Installation
TT #14 - Straightening Your Derailleur Hanger
TT #15 - Setting Up Your Front Derailleur
TT #16 - Setting Up Your Cockpit
TT #17 - Suspension Basics
TT #18 - Adjusting The Fox DHX 5.0
TT #19 - Adjusting The RockShox BoXXer World Cup
TT #20 - Servicing Your Fox Float Shock
TT #21 - Wheel Truing Basics
TT #22 - Shimano Brake Pad Replacement
TT #23 - Shimano brake bleed
TT #24 - Fox Lower Leg Removal And Service
TT #25 - RockShox Motion Control Service
TT #26 - Avid BB7 Cable Disk Brake Setup
TT #27 - Manitou Dorado Fork Rebuild
TT #28 - Manitou Circus Fork Rebuild
TT #29 - MRP G2 SL Chain Guide Install
TT #30 - Cane Creek Angleset Installation
TT #31 - RockShox Maxle Lite DH
TT #32 - Find Your Tire Pressure Sweet Spot
TT #33 - Three Minute Bike Preflight Check
TT #34 - MRP XCG Install
TT #35 - Stem Choice and Cockpit Setup
TT #36 - Handlebars - How Wide Affects Your Ride
TT #37 - Repairing A Torn Tire
TT #38 - Coil spring swap
TT #39 - Trailside help: Broken Shift Cable
TT #40 - Installing a Fox Float Air-Volume Spacer
TT #41 - Replace the Seals on Your 2011 RockShox Boxxer World Cup Fork
TT #42 - Clean and Lubricate Your Fox F32 Dust Wiper Seals
TT #43 - Thread Locker Basics
TT #44 - Install a SRAM X.0 Two-By-Ten Crankset
TT #45 - VPP Suspension Bearing Service
TT #46 - Rotor Straightening
TeT #47 - Finding and fixing that creak
TT #48 - Bleed and Service Magura Marta Disc Brakes
TT #49 - Cup and Cone Hub Basics
TT #50 - Install and Adjust Pedal Cleats
TT #51 - Cup and Cone Hub Rebuild
TT #52 - Converting Mavic Crossmax SX Axles
TT #53 - Cassette Removal and Installation
TT #54 - Cane Creek AngleSet Installation
TT #55 Wider Rims Are Better and Why Tubeless Tires Burp Air

Visit Parktool.com to see their entire lineup of tools and lubes
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103 Comments

  • + 62
 its like a couple grams. your body weight fluctuates in pounds daily and you don't feel it. I'm sure a couple grams on the pedals won't matter
  • + 29
 finally someone who gets it! Thank you for speaking my language!
  • + 50
 Talking about body weight fluctuation. Sometimes when I take a dump a have to tighten my belt then, no shit. Thats like a lot of grams. I suggest all the weight weenies should take a massive load before they decide to hit it. And that way they can use most bombproof components without geopardising their gnarlyness on the trails.
  • + 22
 Amen bros!...Free laxative for the weight weenies! Smile
  • + 5
 well put bro
  • + 5
 Surely something like a M2 , M3 Tap would be better so it's using small diameter screws so in effect there more "pin" like?
  • + 2
 I did this with some plastic pedals at work the other day, worked a treat!
  • + 1
 well, my chins don't appreciate it
  • + 5
 Easy: get some chin guards! They are inexpensive & effective
  • + 1
 i have shinguards, but still, the pedals allways manage to hit were it's not protected Big Grin
  • + 1
 get fivetens and never look back I use them with answer rove fr's when i ride flats
  • + 0
 Simpler ways is to simply drill out holes where the pedal is strong enough and then thread in WOOD screws. If the hole does not go right through then you will have to lop off the top of the screw after it is in the pedal. If you can put em in from the back, like in this article then you can leave the screw as is OR grind the point down a bit so you do not wreck your shoes. Took me about 20 minutes to do my pedals back in the day.
  • + 3
 If you want to save weight, go to the loo before you ride haha Smile
  • + 0
 @mtz666, directed at the last part of your comment, that is what she said.
  • + 26
 Don't need any more grip on Straitlines, ahah
  • + 1
 true!
  • + 10
 agreed man! 1000 rock bashes - still straight as an arrow and stick like glue.
  • + 1
 ^ True
  • + 1
 @Excalibur-DH; or clipless pedals Smile
  • + 0
 clipless are the best way to a really good crash. I've seen people used to riding on clipless unable to unclip and eat it really hard. If they would of had flats they could just jump off or put a foot out.
  • + 3
 yeah they might be used to riding clipless, but that doesnt necessarily mean they are good at riding clipless. i have never crashed because of my clipless pedals and the only bike i dont have them on is my bmx bike. ironically i have fallen more on my bmx bike than on any other bike. 1 major crash on a road bike, just some big scrapes though. 1 big crash on my DH and that didnt cause any damage to me(that was actually back when i rode flats). never a major crash on my xc bike. lots of crashed on my bmx bike, resulting in completely destroyed legs, a broken wrist with 2 surgeries, and 26 stitches in my shin because my feet slip off the pedals.
  • + 10
 I did something very similar to my 50 50's mid 2010 for a France trip, i purchased some DMR terror pins and some Brand X pins from CRC and put 4 terror pins in each corner only of my pedals, i used my existing pins for the middle front and rear. I then finished them off with the Brand X spiked pins for the middle, i never slip any more but dread the day i do..
  • - 27
flag chyu (Dec 20, 2011 at 1:17) (Below Threshold)
 Buying is part of mountain biking .
  • + 14
 Very true!! But this doesn't mean everything has to have a ridiculous price tag, I mean some products are actully shit.. Mind my French. I mean you pay more for less?
  • + 2
 More for less is generally becoming the norm now though :S which doesn't make total sense in my eyes
  • + 30
 Like they say, Light Strong Cheap Pick 2
  • + 2
 haha and thats assuming its a good design in the first place Razz
  • + 3
 I think it was Colin Chapman that coined Light /strong/ cheap, pick two. Bjammin you've got that right.
  • + 1
 What E D-H said!
  • + 3
 in mountain biking, you practically pay for the throught and technology that goes into something rather than the actual product itself.
  • + 7
 another way is to use good old grub screws that are long enough to go through and come out the back then you get some small nuts and screw them over the exposed thread on the back as a lock nut that way when they get damaged you can screw them back out without risk of killing the thread! plus as you have got a lock nut setup you can adjust the amount of thread that sticks out of the pedal!!!
  • + 9
 Stainless steel bolts should be used.
Brings a rusty bolt wound, tetanus can take.

^^*)
  • + 3
 Tetanus doesn't come from rust, it's a bacteria.
  • + 19
 Which is found in rust
  • + 2
 Hahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha ^^
  • + 1
 Just get a tetanus jab.
  • + 1
 Which is found everywhere. Mostly in dirt...
  • + 2
 Actually very hard to get. Would have to be covered in cow poo or similar and you would still be unlikely to get it.
  • + 10
 Excellent idea for riders on a tight budget
  • + 3
 I bought some 12mm screws for my superstar through pin pedals as I was slipping my feet a little too much with the standard pins, and couldn't afford to upgrade to 5.10s... I've only slipped a pedal once with these new pins, but I do now have a 5mm deep hole in my shin.
  • + 1
 Been there, I once slipped a pedal on a demo bike with holzfeller pedals (with like 7mm pins!) and i had to go and get stiches Frown I think there comes a point where the extra grip just isn't worth it given the damage from slipping.
  • + 6
 You'll eventually learn to wear shin pads, it just takes some stitches.
  • + 1
 Oh yeah, I have knee shin pads now Smile
  • + 3
 I was in Morzine and slipped a pedal, had shin pads on (they were TLD before anyone says they were probably crap) and still got a cut shin through one of the vent holes. Stupid idea putting vent holes on the front of shin pads... Facepalm
  • + 7
 ^^ Having some dudes name on your pads don't make them good
  • + 1
 I wear 661 Veggies after getting 2 parallel 6 inch cuts in my calf from a pedal. About 2 inch of either of them had cut down to muscle, should have gone and got stitches, but for some reason it didn't hurt too much so carried on riding. Now have 2 massive scars on my leg to show off! Big Grin The veggies are bang on though! No they wont help when you fall on a rock, but for pedal strikes I've never had any problems, I really recommend them
  • + 1
 and I run clips Big Grin
  • + 2
 I've found many of the pins have the same size holes on lots of pedal eg Wellgo, DMR, Nukeproof etc, so both drilling and tapping are unnecessary, but the loctite is great. Also longer thinner hollow pins seem really to be the grippiest. +1 on the terror pins in the corners and, but don't forget the shin guards!
  • + 2
 I did this to a pair of GT alloy plats way back in about '99. They only had raised "bumps" for shoe grip so I drilled and tapped mine and added 3 pin/allen bolts fr&rr on both sides,.12per pedal total. They were on my commuter bike that I used to and from work. I remember slipping the pedal a few times and it REALLY wasnt fun. I went clipless in '96 on a set of Times on my trail bike and didnt really like riding flats much after that. I only rode the plats to work on a cheaply spec'd bike that I didnt care alot about just in case it got nick'd since I couldnt take it in to my job and HAD to lock it up outside.
  • + 1
 Just wanna add....
Spend a little extra and buy stainless steel screws instead of the cheap-ass Chinese made Home Depot ones that rust out in 10 minutes. Get them at a wholesale fastener distributor supply store; like Ababa Bolt.
  • + 1
 Yeah really cool if you own a tap and die set. My bloody set cost as much as a good pair of pedals, personally I like my bikes looking fresh and owning a good looking pair of pedals is worth the money. The $60-100 or so is worth putting into mt bike, biking is my passion and true hobby, If you work hard for a living and want to enjoy some of the money you make ..putting into a bike isn't a biggy. Still a really cool article and if your still a student and maybe cant work due to school, if you own a tap and die set or can borrow one then a really great article forsure!
  • + 1
 I'm tempted to do this to a pair of working pedals anyway. The Octane One flats look pimpy and match my hubs perfectly but the grip doesn't compare to my DMR's. Slightly longer pins with a thread in them should give me extra grip, all for a few quid. Will be on my to-do list this holiday season!
  • + 2
 just shapening the pins seems better as the bearings are normaly ruined in my dmrs before the pins and after a years use on my burgtecs the pins still look like new after 2 lots of bearings and bushings and a new axel
  • + 3
 "Inspect your hole; it should be clean and free of any burrs." "...apply a touch of lubricant to it before starting each hole."

Words of wisdom for day to day life.
  • + 2
 Please go back to video tech tuesday reading about it is so much more boring i also think a video is much easier to understand as you see what they are doing as there talking about it Big Grin
  • + 2
 Why all the work? The aluminum pins that are original to those pedals can be purchased separately. Just get some spares and change them out as you damage them...that's what I do with my Deity Decoy LTs.
  • + 2
 ive found over the years that no matter how many pins or how long they are a Knurled or rough surface on the pedal an a deep concave give WAY more grip
  • + 0
 By the time you buy a tap and learn how to use it might as well just buy new pedals for $35 MG-1!!!!!!! Changing pins is as easy as going to lowes and using the set screw guide to find exactly what you need. Then buy a ton of pins for pennies. It not this complicated or expensive. Go to lowes/home depot and spend $2 and your set for another season. If you want to use heavy bolts, or have to , then go to boltdepot.com and get whateva you need.
  • + 3
 Well, I feel like I've seen this before .... www.pinkbike.com/forum/listcomments/?threadid=123109

Yes, yes I have.
  • + 2
 Well, look at that! Great minds think alike? It blows my mind that more riders aren't doing this...
  • + 2
 O Mikey you got scooped bro! lol Great tech tip as usual either way. As a noob I have learned much from them, thanks!
  • + 2
 Great tip, you forgot to sharpen the ends with a grinder before putting them in the pedals... makes a big difference in how much skin you loose on a fail.
  • + 1
 sarcasm? or is it just puncture vs tear, so sharper is better?
  • + 1
 Sharpening them in mentioned in the TT, but very few riders will bother to do that. I breathed some life back into some old aluminum pins with a file once, works well.
  • + 1
 Ye filing the pins slightly is some thing I do every so often , don't even need to take of 1 mm to make a massive difference
  • + 2
 These are exactly the pedals I have on my Enduro bike and I have exactly the same issues with pins ripping off the Mg platform. Great tutorial!
  • + 1
 Does it feel right to stand on 4mm pins? I'd be guessing they are to wide to really bite your shoe sole, and if they do, i bet the pins destroy them quickly.
  • + 1
 Just drill out the old pins and screw in some self-tapping metal screws into the holes. File em off and you're dialed. Kinda ghetto but works well.
  • + 1
 very nice idea! i did some self made pinks one week ago! watch: www.pinkbike.com/photo/7479541
in my opinion they're the nicest ones! grips like on clips!
  • + 1
 # 30 drill bit, not a .125, FYI. Also, I'd highly reccomend not drilling them out, and chasing them out with a bottoming tap instead.
  • + 2
 This actually one of the best tech tuesdays for most people on here don't even know what a tap is haha
  • + 2
 I did the same, but without drillingSmile Just gone to ironmongers and they matched me some new pinsSmile My odsy look like newSmile
  • + 1
 Great idea, but I want new pedals! If you have pedals you like this would be great!
  • + 1
 еще можно вкрутить подпилянные саморезы в пластиковые педали))
  • + 1
 Yeahh what he said!
  • + 1
 i say))
You can still cutted screw screws into plastic pedals))
  • + 1
 see that makes more sense Big Grin
  • + 1
 Great idea, but ill rather buy a new set. Superstars pedals are dirt cheap, so nowadays there is no need to really repair.
  • + 1
 the pedals used in this are around 140 USD, so i'm not sure if you are super rich or something, but I would rather just repair them myself.
  • + 1
 Nah mate, I wish I was super rich, Superstar Components is a cheap MTB parts website here in the UK and there stuff is amazing quality, but so cheap. Ive sent you a link check it out, maybe they post to the US.
superstar.tibolts.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=42&products_id=127
  • + 1
 Superstar pedals are the same as the HT components pedals shown here. I've had Superstar pedals delivered in an HT pedal box before. Same as HT, Nukeproof, Kona Wah Wah, Deity, etc etc.

They just sell them for a lot less Wink
  • + 1
 They look great! But with the price difference between the sterling pound & the dollar, they do not seem that cheap to me (at least the pedals).
  • + 1
 Nevermind. I just noticed those are the old ht pedals. So they aren't that much
  • + 1
 Y arn't there vids to tech tuesdays anymore? Frown
  • + 1
 plastic peadles nuff said
  • + 1
 that's a very Clever idea =)
  • + 1
 Very good idea but I think that the DIN 915 better.
  • + 1
 What i have been wantingto do for years
  • + 1
 my pedals dont have the bolts holding the pins on?
  • + 1
 good way, I've ride pedals like those ow about 2months!
  • + 1
 i'm not shire, if the screws would fit in my pedal
  • + 1
 long pins are where its at!
  • + 1
 I think that this pins are bigger than the original ones, isnt it?
  • + 1
 I have just bought new pins for my pedals, US$15... bargain!
  • + 1
 This is a good idea to customize your pedals, totally doing this...
  • + 1
 Recovering youthful.
  • + 1
 fun project!
  • + 1
 ooops
  • - 3
 I've never had a problem with slipping anyway
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