Bike Pedal Removal: A Step-By-Step Guide

bike pedal removal

Most bike owners only know how to ride a bike; they don’t really have any idea how to maintain their bikes or how to do simple repairs.

If you are still a beginner, it’s fine if you don’t know anything. But, as a biker, it is your responsibility to know how to fix your bike.

You should know about bike pedal removal, changing tires, adjusting the seat, and more.

Hence, we’ll provide you with some of the things you need to know about removing and installing a new bike pedal.

How To Change Pedals on a Bike

Changing the pedals on a bike is an essential repair skill that you need to know.

The pedal is usually one of the parts that get damaged easily, especially if you are using a cheap pedal.

Here are the steps you need to take to change your bike pedals correctly:

1. Prepare the Materials

The first thing that you need to do is to have your tools and other necessities ready.

You don’t want to spend so much time searching for the tool you need while removing the pedal.

When it comes to bike pedal removal, you need to have the right set of tools to make it easier for you to remove it.

There are four important items that you need to have at your disposal:

  • Pedal Wrench: It is a long and thick tool designed to fit perfectly on the external spindle flats located between the crank leg and the pedal.
  • Hex Key: The hex key is a very important tool when upgrading or changing high-end pedals. It would fit the spindle right from the inside of the crank leg.
  • Torque Wrench: You need this tool to tighten the pedals after installing a new one.
  • Bike Grease: This will make the removal easier.

2. Buy a Replacement Pedal

Before you start the pedal removal process, you need to buy a bike pedal first.

Since you’re planning to change your pedal, you need to buy something that would give you exactly what you need.

Here are some of the things that you can consider when you are looking for a bike pedal.

  • Weight

You should determine if you want a heavy or a lightweight pedal.

Some bikers prefer using a heavier pedal, while some like a lightweight model.

It would depend on your preference and where you plan to use your bike.

  • Durability

You should always focus on durability if you don’t want to replace your bike pedal over and over again.

If you always go on trails or participate in bike races, make sure that you only use high-quality and branded bike pedals.

  • Price

You need to know your current budget. Even if you want a high-quality pedal, it won’t be a good idea to buy something expensive if you don’t have the money.

You can just buy the bike pedal that you can afford. It’s not a bad idea to do bike pedals removal multiple times.

You can just save money for the future and buy a high-end brand.

3. Remove the Bike Pedal

Once you have prepared the tools or materials and already have a replacement for the bike pedal, the next step is to learn how to remove bike pedals.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to remove bike pedals effectively:

  • Rotate the Crank Arm To Your Liking

You need to rotate the crank arm to help you access the spindle with ease.

Although you can neglect this step, it makes the removal a bit easier and faster.

  • Unscrew the Pedals Using a Wrench

The main job of a pedal or hex wrench is to unscrew the bike pedal so you can easily remove it from the crank arm.

If the bike is using spindle flats, you need to use your pedal wrench to unscrew it.

If the bike has a port inside the crank arm, you need to use your hex wrench.

This is very easy to spot since you can see the appearance of the port.

  • Loosen the Spindle

After using the pedal wrench or the hex wrench to unscrew the bike pedal, the next step is to loosen the spindle.

Rotate the spindle until the pedal is free. You have to repeat this on the other pedal.

Which Way Do You Turn Pedals To Remove Them?

When it comes to bike pedal removal, rotating or loosening the pedal is probably one of the most confusing tasks in the process.

To loosen, you should rotate the left pedal clockwise and the right pedal counter-clockwise.

However, many people are confused about why the bike manufacturers had to add this complication when they can always turn the left side counter-clockwise.

The answer is a mechanical phenomenon known as “Precession”.

When you are pedaling, the spindle’s downward force will cause the axle to spin in the opposite direction of the crank arm.

If the left pedal also has the same threads as the right pedal, it will start loosening every time you pedal your bike.

It means that after a few meters of biking, the left pedal will fall off the crank arm.

This is why the left pedal has a contrasting thread as the right.

bike pedal removal

How Do You Remove Pedals Without a Pedal Wrench?

You don’t really need a pedal wrench to remove the pedals.

As long as you have any kind of wrench that can hold the bike pedals steady, you can easily remove the pedals.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to remove your bike pedals effectively without a pedal wrench:

  1. You can use a regular wrench and put it on the flat area of the spindle.
  2. Make sure that it fits perfectly so that it can rotate the pedal.
  3. Place the wrench on the flat area and spin the crank arm.
  4. The wrench should be in a parallel position to the ground.
  5. After that, step on the pedal and the wrench.
  6. Apply pressure on your Achilles heel to push down on the wrench.
  7. Once you successfully unscrew the bike pedal, you can just manually remove it.

How To Install a New Bike Pedal

After learning how to remove your pedal, the next thing to know is how to change pedals on a bike.

Installing a new pedal is a lot easier, especially if you already did the removal.

Here is a short guide on how to install a new pedal for your bike.

Step #1: Look for the “R” and “L” Sign on the Pedal

The first thing to do is get the new pedals and look for the “R” and “L” signs stamped on the spindle.

The R stands for right and the L stands for left. This will help you know where to put the new pedals since they have opposing threads.

If there are no marks on the pedals, you can check the threads to see which one’s left and which one’s right.

Step #2: Apply Bike Grease

The next thing you need to do is apply bike grease to the spindle threads because the pedal is still new.

You need to make sure that the moving parts are operating properly, so you need to add grease to give it a smoother operation.

Step #3: Insert the New Pedal Into the Crank Arm

Once greased, you have to insert the new pedal to the crank arm at a 90-degree angle.

If you do this, they will fit right in place and you won’t have any issues in rotating them.

Step #4: Tighten the Pedals

Since you are installing a new bike pedal, the rotation will differ from the left and right pedals.

Again, rotate the right pedal clockwise and the left pedal counter-clockwise.

You have to remember not to tighten the pedal too much. It will be harder for you to remove in the future if you put too much pressure on tightening the pedal.

There is even a chance that the pedals would break because of the pressure.

Simple Safety Tips When Removing and Installing Pedals

When working on your bike pedals, here are the things you need to do to stay safe:

  • Remember always to wear your gloves. You are working closely with the chain and sprocket, so your hands need protection.
  • You also have to make sure that the bike is supported when you’re doing bike pedals removal and installation. Putting pressure on the bike pedal may force the bike to fall towards you.
  • Use bike grease if the pedal is very hard to remove. If you force the pedal, there is a chance that you will get hurt or the bike will get damaged.

Bike Pedal Removal: The Conclusion

Removing your bike pedals is not as complicated a task as you think.

Knowing how to remove it will be a big help to you, especially if you are having fun with your friends on the trail.

If an unexpected accident happens and your bike pedal gets damaged on the road, you can remove it and replace it without asking for help from others.

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