How to Care for Ultegra SPD Road Pedals

Written by randall pierce
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How to Care for Ultegra SPD Road Pedals
Typical clip-in pedal. (Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Clip-in pedals like the Shimano Ultegra SPD actually attach the cyclist to the bicycle's pedalling mechanism, so keeping them in good working order is important. Difficulty clipping in or an unexpected clip out can cause safety issues for the rider. Because pedals are exposed to extreme conditions on every ride -- constant rotation, metal on metal contact, dirt, dust, gravel, mud and rain -- they quickly can become worn, loose and gummed up. Fortunately, general maintenance and care for these pedals is something most riders can do themselves.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Sponge
  • Liquid soap
  • Chain lubricant
  • 3mm hex wrench
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 2 pairs of pliers

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Instructions

    Cleaning and Lubrication

  1. 1

    Wipe down the surfaces of the pedal with a sponge and mild soap. Road grime accumulates everywhere, so be sure to get into the nooks and crannies. Rinse the pedals by trickling a small stream of water over the pedals from the top.

  2. 2

    Lubricate the springs with a light lubricant, such as basic chain oil. On older models, the springs are visible from the top of the pedal near the back. Dribble a little oil over the spring, especially at each end. Wipe off any excess. With newer models, the spring is hidden under a black cover. Place a drop of oil between each edge of the cover and the pedal body.

  3. 3

    Lubricate both the front and rear clips where the cleat comes into contact with the pedal. The clips are the hooklike lips that the cleat snaps under to create a secure attachment. Use the same lube as for the spring. Apply sparingly and wipe off the excess.

  4. 4

    Place a couple of drops of lube where the axle enters the pedal housing. Tilt the bike so the lube runs toward the pedal and doesn't just sit on the axle. Use the same lubricant as on the springs.

    Adjusting

  1. 1

    Adjust the tension of the pedal by turning the tension adjustment screw using the 3mm hex head wrench. The tension screw is located on the bottom at the back of older models. On newer models, the screw is typically labelled as such and located near the rear top of the pedal, generally on the spring cover. Turning clockwise tightens the screw and makes it harder to clip in and out. Turning counterclockwise makes it easier. Work in small increments -- no more than a quarter or half turn at a time.

  2. 2

    Tighten the screws that hold the metal guide plates -- also called the body covers -- into the middle of the top of the pedal. The guide plate is held down by Phillips head screws -- usually three for older models and two for newer ones. Tighten with the screwdriver by turning clockwise until snug. Replace and tighten down any screws that have been lost.

  3. 3

    Tighten the screws that hold the front clip onto the pedal. This generally applies only to older models of Ultegra pedals. The clip is located near the front of the pedal and is the lip the front edge of the cleat hooks under. It usually is held on by three screws located around the front of the pedal body. Tighten using the screwdriver.

    Repairing

  1. 1

    Straighten the guide plates with the pliers if they have become bent. Remove the plate by taking out the screws with the screwdriver first. Turn counterclockwise to loosen the screws. The plates are relatively thin so many bends can be removed. Hold the plate with one pair of pliers and use the other pair to straighten the plate. Reset the plate into the pedal and tighten it down with the screws.

  2. 2

    Replace the guide plates if they cannot be straightened or if one has been lost. Reset the new plate on the pedal and tighten down the screws that hold it in place.

  3. 3

    Straighten the clips with the pliers if they are bent. Don't remove detachable clips as the pedal body gives you something to hold as you try to bend the clip back into shape. Front clips on newer models are generally part of the pedal body and rear clips are not easily removable so both of these must be done on the pedal.

  4. 4

    Replace any clips that cannot be straightened and are removable. This usually applies only to older models that have the front clip that is held on by screws. Bent clips that cannot be straightened or replaced may render the pedal unsafe for use.

Tips and warnings

  • These instructions also apply to many other SPD and Look-type pedal brands.
  • Clean, lubricate and check your cleats for wear. They often wear out faster than pedals.
  • Do not use high pressure to rinse parts or rinse from the side as this can force water into the bearings.

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