It’s amazing what a few minutes spannering and a very few quid can achieve. After my bike was nicked almost a year ago, I bought a Carrera Subway hybrid from Halfords. It’s a great bike: reasonably light, and decent quality for what realistically isn’t a lot of money in bike terms. Most components are good quality, and there’s disc brakes, which are a revelation after v-brakes.

A few things have needed attention: a minor bit of oiling, the perpetually loosening clamp that holds the saddle to the post (as the clamp is alloy, I was probably a bit limp-wristed when tightening it, but just in case it has low-strength threadlock now), and the handlebar clamp worked a bit loose too. Other than that, just a hosepipe to get the worst of the mud off.

One thing I’d been meaning to do for ages was replace the pedals: the original ones came with toe clips, whick i’ve never got on with, so I didn’t fit them, but the pedals were quite smooth, with only minor lumps for grip. This resulted in regular cursing as my feet slipped, and a couple of rides in the wet recently convinced me to do something.

A bit of searching and advice from that very nice BrownhillsBob turned up some new pedals for around £12, and when they arrived, I was pleased to see they were almost identical to the OE pedals, but with grippy studs that screw into the body. Here’s the old and new side by side:

New pedal on left, fitted to bike.

New pedal on left, fitted to bike.

A few minutes with a spanner (remember, pedals are handed- marked L & R, and both unscrew towards the back as one has a LH thread), and it’s time for a test ride.

Trust me, the half-hour or so spent on a bit of maintenance was worth it. It’s like “newly serviced car effect”; everything seems to work better, the riding is easier, and everything’s a lot more pleasurable: a 20 minute spin up to Brownhills had me smiling, even though I was covered in mud, and it has to be said the prospect of loosening handlebars didn’t seem like a good idea.

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