Need pedals with bearings that actually last.


New Member
Jun 27, 2017
I have some Shimano XT pedals, but I am quite certain that I have not gone more than 15,000 miles on them and the bearings have already worn out. I have a Phil Wood bottom bracket, and the right and left pedals have different issues. One clicks when I push down and the other gas a smooth grinding feel at the bottom of the stroke.

I also need any clipless pedals to have multi release style cleats that will work at least as well as SPD in snow and mud and with mountain shoes.

So, I need advice on platform and clipless pedals with good bearings.

By good bearings I mean grade 5 with top notch seals or better.
My brother has been using the same pair of Time pedals for ages. He's quite light though.
Have no idea what's in there, but it seems to last.
Bearing grading isn't as easy as it might seem anyhow, so I wouldn't put too much weight on that.
Industrial grade bearings usually see a completely different set of loads and conditions, so what's good for them might not offer any benefit for a bicycle.
I'm not sure about your XT pedals, but many pedals can be removed from their spindles to access the bearings which can then be lubricated ...

Some pedals require EITHER a special wrench if the nut is splined OR a gentle touch ...

One of the two pedals has a Left Hand thread ... probably(?), the right side ... dabac can clarify this.
So, if the XT pedals which you have are amongst those which cannot be readily serviced, then simply ensure that the next pair you buy can be.

BTW. I have found that SOMETIMES the problem you are experiencing is simply due to the grease in-or-around the bearings having dried out ... this is particularly true with "sealed" cartridge bearings ... a temporary solution is to manage to infuse the "sealed" bearings with some light lubricant ...

If you won't be riding your bike for a few days OR if you already have another pair of pedals, then remove your pedals and (AFTER you clean the superficial dirt off the outside of the pedals) soak them in some mineral oil ...

It may only take a few minutes for enough oil to seep in

It may take days ...

So, if you are impatient, then check them at shorter periodic intervals ...

Of course, it is possible that the soaking will accomplish nothing!
So, NO PROMISES as to how successful re-lubing will be by the soak method.
Agree with dabac that the grade of the bearing shouldn't be important for this application. Might make for good advertising though. As alfeng says, more important is the ability to easily re-lube the bearings.

Don't know about all the choices, but Speedplay is one that provides a port for easy lube with a mini grease gun. I've put 40K miles on a set of Zero road pedals from 2004 with no noticeable bearing wear. Re-lube every 2K miles (or more frequently if you like) takes just a few minutes. I use just enough lube so that the old lube and dirt starts to appear on the inside of the spindle. Still on the first tube of Pedro's grease I bought with the new pedals.

Alfeng gives good advice about re-infusing dried-out sealed bearings with oil. Certainly worth a try.....while you're shopping for new pedals at least.