Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

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Sweep
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Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby Sweep » 7 May 2018, 11:21am

Sorry, another pedal question :)

Have recently acquired these pedals but not fitted yet - intend to use on a tourer of mine when on tour as I have taken to touring without cleats.

On unscrewing the dust cap there appears to my untutored eyes to be very little grease in the bearings.

So am inclined to take them apart and regrease before putting them on a bike and using them.

But I have memories that brucey advises running them awhile first - or did I get hold of the wrong end of the stick?

Also once I get down to the disassembly and greasing, I am inclined to drown the whole of the insides in grease, even over and above the bearing area as I note that the dustcap end at least appears to have nothing in the way of seals - just the metal-on-metal thread of the dustcap to keep muck and water/moisture out.

So I thought that maybe mega greasing might provide a useful protective barrier for the bearings.

Would this be sensible? Any disadvantages?

Please note that I have no problems with grease coming out of the pedals for a while in use. Have a big tub of Finish line teflon grease and not short of grease.
Sweep

Brucey
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby Brucey » 7 May 2018, 11:41am

it works fine but there are some downsides to filling the pedal with grease entirely

1) it uses a lot of grease
2) it causes a tiny bit more drag
3) the grease will 'weep' a little (mind you it helps stop the spindles from rusting in the winter)
4) you can't see what you are doing when you are adjusting the pedal bearings.

None of these is a show-stopper IMHO.

To pack the pedals entirely with grease you can do it without taking them apart if you are cunning; just fill the outer void with grease, (so that the fill is air-free and flush with the opening) then place the base of your thumb against the opening and push; your soft hand will push into the cavity a little and the grease will be forced into the pedal body. Repeat as necessary (about x20 times on a pedal like that). [BTW A similar scheme can be used to purge cartridge bearings provided one seal is removed first.]

The issue with 4) is that the tab washer has some backlash, and it is important to know if (when the locknut is undone) the cone and tab washer have moved (within the backlash) or not, and if the washer and cone move together or not when you adjust the cone. If you don't know then the usual result is a lot of tedious trial and error trying to get the bearings adjusted properly. You can only see what has moved if the grease doesn't cover everything.

BTW there is a alternative approach which is to drill the inboard end of the pedal and to use a grease gun on it regularly.

The bearings will run in and settle slightly in the first few hundred miles anyway, so any adjustments you make now will need re-doing anyway.

cheers
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Sweep
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby Sweep » 7 May 2018, 11:55am

many thanks for that brucey.

Will study your wise words before I set to work on them.

I did anticipate the drilling suggestion :)

all the best
Sweep

Brucey
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby Brucey » 7 May 2018, 12:09pm

BTW a simpler scheme is to drill a small hole in the dustcap and to use a nozzle type grease gun on it. Thing is, some users find water gets into the hole too easily. However dustcaps are not expensive for this model of pedal, so if water ingress is troublesome, you could keep one drilled dustcap, and only fit it when you are intending to use the grease gun.

Also, the correct spanner for the dustcaps is (IMHO) money well spent

cheers
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Gattonero
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby Gattonero » 7 May 2018, 2:35pm

If one is planning to use the pedals for long, and is taking them apart, it may be a good idea to drill a 2.5mm hole and tap it to M3 for a grub screw that can be removed for the use of a grease gun. Under the pedal is probably the best option.
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mercalia
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby mercalia » 8 May 2018, 3:44am

I would just smear the spindle with grease then load the ends. the cap end, you can dollop more in after you have adjusted the bearings. after a time excess will end up away from the bearings and the free movement will return. I dont use my bike in bad weather though, never thought about filing the entire pedal, seems overkill. and think about adjusting with all that grease around? messy. i didnt wait for mine to wear in but adjusted from new - just like the more expensive ones. the insides seem well enough made and didnt find it difficult - finger tighten the cone than backoff a smidgen then tighten the locknut. you can backoff the cone while the washer is in place. you just need to take the pedal off after a few miles to see if all is well.i didnt find i had to do much trial and error to get smooth but tight action.

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Sweep
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby Sweep » 8 May 2018, 6:09am

Thanks folks. Am impressed with the simple classy looking construction of the things. Confident that they will become my standard pedals for fitting when the expedition bike is on tour.
Sweep

Brucey
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby Brucey » 8 May 2018, 10:38am

when they were first available, they were viewed as a budget alternative to many other pedals, 'copies' of more established designs, if you like. However it fairly soon became apparent that they were at least as well made as many supposedly 'better' pedals. The only significant criticism I have of them is that the sealing could be better and that the spindle design does not have full shoulders, making the use of pedal washers advisable.

BITD (in the early 1980s) they sold for a little over £10 a pair. They are, relatively speaking, a lot less expensive these days.

cheers
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mercalia
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby mercalia » 8 May 2018, 12:47pm

is there any reason why they make pedals with no shoulders like the Sylvan? if any thing the full shoulder with a ridge also stops your spanner going onto the thread?

slowster
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby slowster » 8 May 2018, 6:55pm

mercalia wrote:is there any reason why they make pedals with no shoulders like the Sylvan?

I suspect it's simply that it's an old design which dates from when pedal washers were more commonly used, and they have not felt it necessary to update the design, at least not yet. There are plenty of other MKS pedals which do have full shoulders and cost the same or less, e.g. https://www.tredz.co.uk/mks-cage-pedals#. If you are prepared to pay a lot more, there are now premium versions of the Sylvan range, designated 'Next' which have sealed cartridge bearings and which do have full shoulders (https://www.tokyobike.co.uk/mks-pedals- ... quantity=1).

On one bike I have a pair of the Prime version Touring pedals which I picked up for the same price as the standard version. Like Sweep I thought that there wasn't much grease in them, so pumped in some Finishline teflon grease at both ends. I'm not planning on using that bike in bad conditions, otherwise I might have considered drilling the dust cap and pumping them full of grease.

For me the big advantage of the Touring model is its width, which makes it convenient to use with ordinary shoes, sandals and even lightweight walking boots, providing they are not fitted with metal toe clips which are sized for narrower cycling shoes (I've fitted Zefal plastic toe clips and nylon straps to mine - https://www.tredz.co.uk/.Zefal-Toe-Clip-43-515-Strap-Set_50815.htm). Yesterday I rode 50 miles on that bike wearing Keen Newport H2 sandals, and the combination worked well.

mercalia
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby mercalia » 8 May 2018, 7:51pm

ah the Sylvan Next look nice but at £75 out of my price bracket

https://www.tokyobike.co.uk/mks-pedals-sylvan-next.html?id=133818935&quantity=1

I agree if you have big feet or shoes the large platform of the Sylvan Touring a real asset: I have been wearing some clodhopper shoes recently that are rather big and the pedals just take them in its stride

re the Next version , I think it is the simplicty of servicing the basic version that makes it so appealing ; the Next version says it has triple seals. I wonder what servicing is like , and how easy it is to replace the bearings?

slowster
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby slowster » 8 May 2018, 9:17pm

mercalia wrote:re the Next version , I think it is the simplicty of servicing the basic version that makes it so appealing ; the Next version says it has triple seals. I wonder what servicing is like , and how easy it is to replace the bearings?


MKS provide details of the different bearings they use here https://www.mkspedal.com/?q=en/product/term/24. The webpage for the Next Touring pedal (https://www.mkspedal.com/?q=en/product/node/331) states:

"※Do not dismantle the cartridge sealed bearings since these items are accurately adjusted maintenance free parts.

※Do not inject lubricant into cartridge sealed bearings because lubrication fluid stimulates grease leakage and shorten bearing life span.

※Dust seal cap also work as bearing adjuster.
If you loosen the cap, it may cause over play."

mercalia
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby mercalia » 8 May 2018, 10:02pm

so maintenance free

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hujev
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby hujev » 11 May 2018, 7:12pm

These are my favo(u)rite pedals, and have them on all my bikes (the trike has Suntour Superbes!).

Regreasing and adjusting them when new is a great 'old style' activity that I enjoy.

I usually 'overpack' them, figuring that the extra grease oozing out helps keep dirt out a little.

The only thing that I've found is that I've been bending the axles sometimes, esp. on my 26" wheel mid 80's style commuting bikes (e.g. http://rjl.us/velo/trek830-1.htm). Wish they had stronger axles (because frankly I do not wish I'd drunk less beer in the last decades). Anyway, at $30 a pair I guess it's a decent consumable.

They also wear nicely - here's one that was on about 4 ~4 week tours (shoes were Carnac Carlits):
http://rjl.us/velo/2005LHTpix-6.htm#lb4

landsurfer
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Re: Servicing MKS Sylvan Touring pedals

Postby landsurfer » 11 May 2018, 7:29pm

Purchase a pack of 3mm pressure grease nipples and adaptor.
Open the hole in the cap out to 3mm, press in nipples, apply a v small amount of cyano to the outside of the nipple.
Fit the adaptor to your automotive grease gun.

PUMP GREASE THROUGH THE PEDAL UNTIL IT APPEARS CLEAN AT THE CRANK END.

Maintenance completed. Mine are ball and race not sealed bearings.
Last edited by landsurfer on 12 May 2018, 7:53am, edited 1 time in total.
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