How To Remove & Install Bike Pedals

Until you’re faced with a broken, loose, or worn-out pedals, no one biker pays attention to these bike parts. This is despite them being a bike’s backbone.

Well, although pedals seem easy to remove and replace, they can be painfully stubborn. However, with tips on carefully removing or fixing them, handling pedals that require replacement is effortless.

An excellent place to start is learning their sizes and comprehending that unlike bolts and screws, the pedals’ threads don’t turn the obvious way. Instead, every thread on the crank turns in the reverse direction.

For instance, if you accidentally turn the right and the left threads the same way, you will tighten the pedals and make them stick.

For this reason, it is worth mastering tips on how to remove and fix them. 

Tools Needed To Remove & Install Bike Pedals

It is possible to remove and fix your pedals using the wrench in your toolbox. Although such tools can be readily available for use, you require tools that provide enough grips to remove the pedal. You do not want a tool that scratches or breaks the crank arm in the process.

 1. Pedal Wrench

For instance, a custom-built pedal wrench would do. The fact that you can find one with double sides with multiple specifications is worth the purchase. The best part about these pedal wrenches is that most are affordable. For instance, the GEARDRIVE Flare Nut Wrench set.

GEARDRIVE Flare Nut Wrench Set, Metric, 3-piece, 10-17mm, Chrome Vanadium Steel, Organizer Pouch Included
GEARDRIVE Flare Nut Wrench Set, Metric, 3-piece, 10-17mm, Chrome Vanadium Steel, Organizer Pouch Included

    Last update on 2020-12-04 at 16:53 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    2. Pedal Washers

    A lot can happen when tightening the pedals to the suitable torque. For instance, you stand to damage the crank arms, especially if they are made of carbon or aluminum.

    However, when you have pedal washers, they’ll alleviate the crank from the twisting motion, preventing damage at the crank arm. You can always search for the most suitable and affordable pedal washer you can use. Wheels Manufacturing SS Pedal Washer is a good example.

    Wheels Manufacturing SS Pedal Washer
    Wheels Manufacturing SS Pedal Washer

      Last update on 2020-12-04 at 16:53 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      3. Allen Key

      When removing or installing pedals, Allen keys or hex keys are of great help. This tool, which also falls under the spanner family, helps fasten or loosen pedals. It has a versatile L shape that comfortably accesses the part between the crank and the pedal. 

      Tips Before You Get Started Unscrewing Bike Pedals

      Pedals won’t budge if you don’t dig out the most suitable tools for the job. The good thing is that you can always slip into your local bike shop or online for the gadgets you need.

      Whatever tool you go for, ensure that it helps free up the rotation at the axle. Well, if you have everything ready, read on and find out tips for removing bike pedals.

      Use penetration fluid 

      When pedals are old and hard to remove, penetration fluids like lubricants or oils can help. The lubricants provide more leverage force to what the wrenches apply by allowing the tools to grasp.

      The fluid also helps prevent the threads at the crank from rusting and sticking to each other during removal.

      Protect your knuckles

      To avoid bloody knuckles, wear protective gloves. The reason is that you are prone to busting your knuckles on the metal when removing the pedals.

      Apart from that, ensure that the wrench you use has a longer handle. It’ll allow your knuckles to go over the handle, keeping them away from biting chain rings.

      Protect yourself by placing the chain into the big ring

      Move the chain into the big ring before removing the pedals. The reason is that chaining into rings cause slips. Therefore, if chain into a larger ring, you’ll prevent the teeth of the ring from harming your hand in case you slip.

      Use the Allen key to loosen pedals

      Since the threads on the pedals are reverse, the Allen key is your go-to tool. The reason is their sizes ensure plenty of surface area to rotate the pedal when the direction of the threads makes it hard.

      The left pedal is reverse threaded, and the right pedal is normal

      Before tightening, keep in mind that each bike pedal has threads in the reverse direction of each other. For instance, the right pedal has a normal thread while the left has a left (reverse) thread.

      This occurrence requires that you tighten the right one by turning it clockwise and the left in the anti-clockwise direction. It means that you’d be unraveling the pedals in reverse directions than usual.

      clockwise to remove left pedal and anti-clockwise to remove right pedal

      The right and the left pedals have opposing threads. For this reason, you can break the crank arm if you remove a pedal into the other pedal’s threads.

      Therefore, ensure that you rotate the left pedal clockwise and the right pedals in the counterclockwise direction to loosen the pedals.

      How Remove Bike Pedals In 4 Easy Steps

      Is it the time when you can’t reach your mechanic for help, and you have to take off the pedals by yourself?

      Do not panic if you have the tool kit, because you can easily handle the situation within the shortest time. Here are the four steps you should follow when removing the pedals.

       Step 1: Initial Placements

      After protecting your knuckles, adjust the crank’s position by facing the bike’s drive end. This will keep you in-line with the right-hand side of the bicycle. From this position, shift the crank to a 3 o’clock position, which is the forward-pointing horizontal state.

      It’ll make the crank to lie side by side with the ground. After that, fit the spanner or Allen key between the pedal and the crank arm.

      Step 2: Loosen the Pedal

      While the tool is between the crank arm and the pedal, use your hand to hold the brake. Push your foot down and forward onto the spanner to rotate the tool anti-clockwise. The foot will give leverage and allow you to hold the bike sturdily. This movement will loosen the pedal.

      Step 3: Rotate To Remove Completely

      When the pedal loosens, keep rotating the tool in an anti-clockwise manner until the pedal frees itself.

      Step 4. Repeat the Process

      Move the bicycle around and have the left side (non-drive side) facing you. From the 3 o’clock position, rotate the crank arm in 180° to the 9 o’clock position, such that it lies horizontally with the ground.

      Place the spanner in the same place as the previous step, and move it in a clockwise direction until the pedal loosens.

      How To Install Bike Pedals

      You’ll have to remove the pedals from your bike if you want to replace them. Meaning, there reaches a time to install them. Although it seems a simple task, you can easily mess it up and cause damage in the process.

      Luckily, it can be an effortless task. Read on and discover the installation tricks.

      Step 1. Prepare the Pedals

      To begin with, inspect the crank and work your way to the pedals and the pedal threads. Notice how much lubrication the pedals require because a lack of enough lubrication can make installation difficult.  The lubricant offers grip to allow you to tighten the pedals.

      Plus, lubricating the threads helps to prepare for the time you’ll require to remove the pedals in the future. Ensure that you apply grease threads of both pedals heavily.

      Step 2. Attach the Pedals

      Identify the right side pedal by looking for the “R” mark or checking the pedal’s threads. They should be going to the right side.

      You can use your fingers to thread the pedals. Well, with your fingers on wrench flats, you can screw into place the right pedal into the right crank.

      Place the wrench on the flats for leverage. Then hold the wrench with one hand while holding the opposite crank with the other. Install the left and the right by pedaling the bicycle backward.

      Step 3. Tighten the Pedal

      After it goes to the end, use the spanner to tighten it. You can also use the left arm as the lever and turn the right pedals clockwise to tighten the pedal. Avoid using excessive force when tightening. It’ll draw further when you ride the bicycle. 

      Step 4. Repeat the Process

      Like the pedal on the right, you will thread the left pedal into the left crank. Ensure you identify the “L” mark or the direction of the threads as well.

      This time, however, thread the pedal in an anti-clockwise direction. If you are using torque to fasten the threads, ensure that it has a long handle. Most importantly, ensure that the torque setting is high to avoid over tightening the pedals.

      The reason is that a pedal thread is about 360 inch-pounds. Meaning, a foot-long wrench is about 30 pounds of effort. It can cause the crank-arm to snap. Therefore, rotate it until you feel a click. The sound will signal that it is tight enough.

      Pedal Away

      You see, removing and installing pedals isn’t hard after all. What else after successfully replacing your pedals other than pedaling away into the future? 

      Perry
      Perry
      Hello, my names Perry and I've been a freelance writer for the past 5 years and a cycling enthusiastic since I can remember. I love the road, but my main passion is mountain biking.