Are your bike pedals loose and worn out? Then they most likely need replacing. The good thing is, changing your bike pedals is simple. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to take off bike pedals in 6 easy steps.
To make things easier, we have divided this guide into two parts – removing old bike pedals, and installing new ones. But first, let’s see what tools you’ll need for the job:
The right tools
- Pedal wrench – this is a type of spanner wrench that works for pedals with flats. If this sounds like your bike pedals, you’ll need a 15mm pedal wrench to remove them.
- Allen-key wrench – this is a type of spanner wrench that works for pedals with sockets. If this sounds like your bike pedals, you’ll need a 6mm socket wrench to remove them.
- Grease – this is used to reduce friction between hard, movable parts to enable better mobility and performance.
Important note: Find the right direction!
Unless you want to spend your precious time unsuccessfully removing your bike pedals and getting frustrated in the process (not to mention probably breaking the bike pedals), it’s important that you understand the correct removal direction of your bike pedals.
The thing is, the right and left-hand pedal have opposite threads. While the right pedal has a normal right-hand thread, the left pedal actually has a left-hand thread so it doesn’t come loose and fall off whenever you use your bike.
This means, in order for you to remove the pedals, you need to rotate the left pedal CLOCKWISE to loosen it.
How to take off bike pedals
Before you can change your bike pedals, the first part has to do with removing the old ones. Now, let’s review the basics: The flats are located in between the pedal arm and the clank, while the sockets are at the end of the axle connecting the pedal arm and clank.
This involves three simple steps, but you might have a hard time if the spindle feels stuck. Don’t force it, instead, apply a little grease to make it slick and easy to remove.
Step 1: Rotate crank
First, prop your bike up to a steady position, with the right side facing you. For easier access, put your bike on a bike repair stand., rotate the pedal crank until the pedal is at the top to see what kind of wrench you’ll need. Place the wrench on the right pedal in such a way that it securely grips the spindle flats or sockets.
Step 2: Loosen spindle
Hold your wrench with one hand and the left pedal with the other, and rotate the wrench (counter-clockwise if you’re using a pedal wrench, or clockwise if you’re using an allen-key wrench) to loosen the spindle. The pedal should easily unscrew from the crank.
Step 3: Repeat on the other side
Move on to the left pedal, repeating the same process, only this time rotating the wrench in the opposite direction. This means clockwise for a pedal wrench, and counter-clockwise for an allen-key wrench. Set aside the removed pedals.
How to install bike pedals
It’s important that you do this part carefully and correctly, so your new bike pedals can do their job properly, and so you won’t have a hard time taking them off in the future, once they need to be replaced once more.
Moreover, make sure to check which pedal goes where. They should either be marked with “L” and “R” or curve up to either the left or right side.
Step 4: Apply bike grease
Bike grease does three things: they prevent seizing, they help you pedal smoothly, and they help you remove the pedals easily. Apply enough grease on the spindle threads until it’s fully covered with a thin coat.
Step 5: Tighten pedal
Insert the new pedal onto the spindle and rotate it a couple of times by hand before using your wrench. This time, it’s clockwise for the right pedal, and counter-clockwise for the left pedal when you’re using a pedal wrench. Do this step for both right and left pedals.
Step 6: Check manufacturer’s torque
To fully secure the pedals in place, tighten them a bit more after you feel a bit of resistance. How much you need to do so depends on the manufacturer’s specified torque, but on average, it should be ⅛ of a full rotation.
To sum it up, when it comes to how to take off bike pedals off a bike, you need a wrench to loosen the old pedals from the crank, a bit of grease to coat the spindle, and the same wrench to screw the new pedals back in place.
That’s it! Changing your bike pedals is simple and easy. Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments!