For the third episode of Technical Tuesday we'll tackle a quick job that only requires one tool: removing and installing pedals. With the right tool and technique you should be able to finish this one in only a few minutes. Inside you'll find a great How-To video to guide you through the process, as well as step by step instructions with a few tips that could save the skin on your knuckles.
Replacing your pedals should be a relatively simple job when you compare it to other mechanical work that you may have to perform on your bike. After all, it only requires one tool and there are only a few steps. So why is it that a lot of riders run into trouble when they have a go at removing their pedals? What seems like it should be a quick a simple job can sometimes turn into a nightmare of bloody knuckles and confusion. Below you'll find out how to avoid going down that road when the time comes to do this job.Watch the video to learn how to easily remove and install your pedals!
Step By Step Pedal Removal And Installation InstructionsTools needed: Pedal wrench
(a 15 mm open end wrench or 6/8 mm allen key will work with some pedals as well), and grease
You will find it much easier to work your way through this job if you keep your bike right side up on its wheels as you follow these steps. When talking about loosening or tightening the pedals I'll use the terms clockwise and counter clockwise as if you were facing the side that you're working on.
All you'll need is a pedal wrench and some grease
Before you go ahead and tackle this job, you'll need to familiarize yourself with how to loosen your pedals. Sounds easy enough, right? The curve ball is that the left pedal (non-drive side
) is left hand thread, meaning that you turn it clockwise to loosen it from the crank arm. The right pedal (drive side
) is standard right hand thread, turn it to the left to loosen. One more time: Turn the non-drive pedal clockwise to loosen it, turn the drive side pedal counter clockwise to loosen it.
Some pedals have four wrench flats which will make it easier to position the pedal wrench in the correct spot. Some also have a 6 mm or 8 mm allen access in the backside of the spindle. These pedals only have two wrench flats
Unlike a lot of other repair jobs, I find this one much easier to perform with the bike on the ground. The reason for this is that it sometimes takes a good hard push to break the pedals free and sometimes a stand has enough flex to make this difficult. Also, having the bike on the floor should give you much better leverage as you can use your body weight to help you.
By aligning the crank and pedal wrench in this position you'll be able to use your body weight to help you break the pedal free
Let's start with the drive side pedal. Align your drive side crank arm so that it is at the 3 o'clock position or close to it. Some pedals will have four wrench flats (located on the spindle, just outboard of the crank arm
) that will make it easier to position the pedal wrench in such a way that will make it easier to loosen. Yours may only have two opposing wrench flats. Ideally the wrench should be close to parallel, if just above, the crank arm. Because you are turning the wrench counter clockwise
to loosen the pedal, this will allow you to push down from above and use your body weight to break it free. Be weary of hitting your knuckles on the chain rings or chain guide as the pedal loosens. Once it is free you can spin it all the way off, being sure not to lose the pedal washer if there is one.
Align the drive side pedal in the 3 o'clock position
Now we'll remove the non-drive side pedal. Turn your crank arm so that it is at the 9 o'clock position or close to it. Again, this will allow you to apply more leverage once you place the pedal wrench in the same way that you did when you removed the drive side pedal. Turn the wrench down and clockwise
, using your body weight to help. When it's loose spin it all the way off, taking note not to lose the pedal washer if one is present.
Turn the non-drive side pedal to the 9 o'clock position
Before reinstalling your pedals, take a minute to clean any dirt out of both the crank and pedal threads. Apply a small amount of grease to the pedal threads before you begin the install as it will make it easier to remove them again down the road and minimize the chance of any creaks developing. 5.
Always begin threading your pedals back in by hand to reduce the chances of damaging the threads. Turn the drive side pedal clockwise to tighten. Turn the non drive side pedal counter clockwise to tighten. Finish tightening the pedals using your pedal wrench. Always be sure to double check that you've tighten them, as losing a pedaling on the trail could spell disaster!
Did you find this episode of Technical Tuesday helpful? If you have any tips that you'd like to share, add them below!Technical Tuesday #1 - How to install a new tubeTechnical Tuesday #2 - How to set up your SRAM rear derailleur