Shimano SPD Pedals: Creaking Resolved

Both Shimano SPD pedals on my Tour Easy have been creaking while climbing hills and I’ve gradually eliminated all the usual mechanical suspects: loose bottom bracket bearings (it’s a cartridge), loose cranks (they’re the old-school tapered squares), loose pedal spindles, and so forth. Of course, it’s impossible to produce the creak with the bike clamped in the work stand, which make debugging particularly frustrating.

After all that, I noticed the shoe soles were wearing the pedal frames just outside the cleat clamps:

Shimano SPD pedal - shoe sole abrasion
Shimano SPD pedal – shoe sole abrasion

So I went so far as to carve away a bit of the sole:

Shimano SPD cleat - trimmed shoe sole
Shimano SPD cleat – trimmed shoe sole

Turns out none of that solved the problem.

What did solve the problem: a drop of oil on the rear of the cleat. You can see a smear of oil on the sole; it doesn’t take quite so much.

As nearly as I can tell, the rear of the cleat drags on the slightly irregular surface of the clamp and, both surfaces being hardened steel, they stick-and-slip just slightly.

A dab of grease may provide longer-lasting relief …

2 thoughts on “Shimano SPD Pedals: Creaking Resolved

  1. As I was reading down in this “creaking” mystery, I had the feeling that it would be revealed that “creaking bones” would turn out to be the cause. I’m there these days but am pleased to hear that you are still able to find a mechanical solution to problems you encounter. Keep it up!

    Bob Werner

    1. There’s a bit of that here, too, but the ‘bents keep the pressure down and we’re doing fine. I still think bone joints should have Zerks, though.

      The bike racks at the 705/6/7 complex aren’t getting much use, from what we see when we’ve ridden through the campus. Of course, there aren’t that many employees left these days, either.

      Good to hear from you …

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