Weekend Projects – Pedal Hacking

Over the holiday we spent some time with family on the central coast, a fringe benefit of which is access to an uncle’s machine shop.  The last few times up there, things were too busy to get any projects worked into the schedule, and this trip was the start of catching up.

I have a love affair going on with the no longer made Sakae Low Fat pedals.  They have just about everything I thought I wanted in a pedal, wide, light-ish, easy to service, durable, a full cm wider than anything else on the market, etc.  The down side is that they have not been made for 15 years or more.  Needless to say I have a bit of a horde.  Then came the Specialized touring pedal, just an idle curiosity at first.  The Low Fat seemed so rough around the edges, even chewing holes in the bottoms of some of my shoes.  The touring pedals, also no longer made, seemed so much closer to what I wanted in an every day, practical sort of road pedal.  Much more refined, lacking traction spikes, my feet still never slipped, the finish was almost like jewelry, really nice.  But they were lacking too, while wide, the end shape was awkward to use with clips, straps and my Flintstone feet.  So close to perfect, missing the mark by a little as well.

I decided it was time to start working out what I really wanted the pedals to be and make it a reality.  Using a beat up set of Low Fats as a starting point, it was off to the mill.  They were a bit awkward to clamp in the vise, the mill was still a better starting point than a file.  I knocked off all of the teeth, excepting the toe flips, and brought the edge of the cage a little closer to the pedal body.

There is still a bit of clean up, fitting of the toe cages, etc.  to get these ready to roll, but I am excited to give them a go.  Here you can see a pair before and after;

I was able to squeeze in one more project, and turn a couple of headset spacers for our tandem, another languishing project.

The project list is still long, I wish I had my own machine shop, more shop space in general, but am incredibly grateful to be able to visit and use my Uncle-in-law’s shop – Thanks Marty

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4 Responses to Weekend Projects – Pedal Hacking

  1. Shawn says:

    Nice idea, looks like the newlymachined LOW FATS are exactly what you were looking for. I have a great pair of Low Fat Sakae’s that I no longer use, great condition. Would be willing to sell if interested? 415-xxx-xxxc – Shawn

    • Rob says:

      Shawn, thanks for the offer, I have quite the horde at the moment. The milled down pedals have been great, as good as the specialized pedals, but different. I am getting ready to move onto some flat DH style pedals for a bit and compare the data.

  2. Shawn Kelsall says:

    Can Sakae Low Fat MTP-129 pedals be rebuilt for bearing replacement? Can outer race be removed & replaced? What grease to use?

    I have several sets beginning to show wear (after long, long mileage). Have used many different pedals (racing clipped/cleats, clip-less, ATB & touring) across five bikes over many years—and Sakae Low Fat are still my favorite!

    PS: I am a different Shawn from the 2012 posting…

    • Rob says:

      I have replaced the balls, a long time ago, in one set. I never took the time to mess around with the races. It is like rebuilding any old fashioned or BMX pedal. I am pretty sure i found a video on youtube for some tricks to getting the adjustment and lock nut setting just right.

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