Install Pedals Mountain Bike: How It’s Done in Easy Steps

tips on how to install pedals mountain bike

If you like riding your MTB up in the mountains, you need to have more than just a few maintenance and repair tricks up your sleeve.

Especially when riding in the middle of nowhere, it pays to know how you can fix your bike during emergency situations.

For instance, learning how to properly install pedals mountain bike is a good place to start.

A good set of pedals ensures you don’t get into accidents because of such a simple thing.

There are a few things to consider when trying to learn how to change mountain bike pedals, which is what we’ll talk about today.

Should I Get Clip in Pedals for Mountain Biking?

It’s good that you want to know how to install MTB pedals, but before we talk about that, let’s talk about the basics first.

Among many other things, you want to know what kind of pedal to get for mountain biking.

Although clipless pedals are the best choice, you can always use other types depending on your skill level.

Clipless pedals are a must-have if you are a beginner rider.

If you are already a professional, using a flat pedal will give you more freedom.

How To Choose Mountain Bike Pedals

There are so many bike pedals on the market, but not all of them can provide the convenience and longevity that you are looking for.

If you want to find the best one, here are a few simple things to consider.

1. Clipless vs. Flat Pedals

Clipless and flat pedals have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s up to you to decide which type suits your requirements.

Clipless pedals are focused on efficiency and control.

Since your shoes are clipped on the pedals, your feet are like an extension of the bike.

Because of this, you can fully control the movement of the bike without any hassle.

The only drawback is that you won’t be able to jump out or lift your feet off of the pedal anytime you want.

On the other hand, flat pedals are more versatile and provide more convenience to the rider.

Most people consider this as a bike pedal for professionals.

If you use this pedal for mountain biking, it simply means that you have already mastered the core skills required for professional riding.

The only issue with this type of pedal is the pedal slips.

You will have to deal with this problem more than you can imagine, especially if you are mountain biking.

2. The Type of Riding You Want to Do

The pedal you choose also depends on how you ride.

It may be related to the functionality of the pedals or more on comfort and convenience.

  • Road Cycling

If you plan to do road cycling, you can opt for clipless pedals with a three-hole design. The cleats are larger and are often made of plastic.

This type provides a more functional design, as it allows you to spread the force applied to the pedal on a wider area.

In turn, it will reduce the pressure on the connection points and reduce the stress of pedaling on the road.

  • Mountain Biking

If you are going to do mountain biking, clipless pedals with a two-hole design would be a good choice.

The holes are usually recessed to the sole so that you have more comfort.

Also, there are screws placed on the two holes to allow you to slide the cleat to get the right angle, resulting in a more comfortable ride.

  • Recreational Biking

For casual riders, it would be best if you opt for flat pedals. It is easier to go around if there are no cleats under your shoes.

While you can also choose a two-hole cleat system, a flat pedal is your best option if you want to wear regular shoes.

  • Commuting

If you use your bike to go to work or school, you can opt for the efficiency provided by clipless pedals.

However, these require a special kind of shoes.

Again, choose flat pedals if you want to be able to walk comfortably, as these allow you to wear regular shoes.

how to install pedals mountain bike

3. Weight

The weight of your pedals can also have a significant impact on your performance.

The added weight can affect your pedaling speed. So, for the best experience, look for a lightweight pair.

The problem with lightweight pedals, though, is that they can also be the most expensive.

Where weight is the only concern, you will find great benefits from using magnesium and titanium pedals. Again, the catch here is that they cost more than their aluminum counterparts.

You can try going with plastic pedals, but you may have problems with the fact that the pins cannot be replaced. They also don’t do well when riding through rough terrain.

4. Price

Bike pedals are made from different materials. Some are made from metal, which is usually heavy, while others are plastic and more lightweight.

Metal pedals are cheaper, but they are also sturdier compared to plastic.

If you don’t mind having a heavier pedal, go for the more cost-effective metal pedals.

Another cheap option would be pedals made from reinforced plastic.

5. Flat Pedal Pins

If you decide to buy flat pedals for your mountain bike, you need to look for pairs with more pins.

It is also better to look for pedals with longer pins, which provide better grip.

Although the grip is not the same as clipless pedals, flat pedals with more pins can provide a more comfortable and secure hold to your shoes.

It would be best if you looked for flat pedals with 10 to 12 pins on each side.

Another thing to consider is the type of pin the pedals have.

Some are molded directly to the pedal, which means you cannot replace or adjust them to your liking. They are usually cheaper, though, so many riders use them.

You can also look for pins that can be adjusted and replaced by using an Allen key.

With this kind of pedal, you can decide how sticky they are and quickly replace them if they break or get dull.

How Do You Put New Pedals on a Mountain Bike?

Before you go on a long trip with your mountain bike, make sure you know how to change mountain bike pedals.

This becomes even more important if you plan to change your pedals depending on the terrain you wish to ride on.

Putting new pedals on your mountain bike may be a daunting task if it is your first time, but once you get the hang of it, you can do this in just a few minutes.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to change pedals on a mountain bike.

Step 1: Prepare the Tools

To get the flow going, gather all the tools you need for the removal and installation of the bike pedal beforehand.

You want all of the tools you need to be within arm’s reach.

If you are going out on a long trip, pack an emergency toolkit you can bring with you.

Here are some of the essential items to include in your bag:

  • Bike grease
  • Pedal wrench
  • Hex key
  • Torque wrench

No matter what type of pedal you have, these tools can help you remove and install them with ease.

Step 2: Remove the Pedal

Obviously, before you can install a new pedal, you need to remove the old one first.

Here is a short step-by-step guide to removing the pedals of your bike.

Shift the Chain to the Big Ring

The first step is a safety measure to guarantee you won’t get wounded while removing the pedals.

To do this, lean your bike on a wall or place it in a bike stand.

This is very important because the bike should stay in place for the whole duration of the removal.

Shift the chain into the big ring before you loosen the pedals. The chain will protect you from the sharp teeth of the big ring.

While shifting the chain, pedal the crank arm until it reaches the exact ring that you want.

If your bike is on the wall, shift the chain and start pedaling the crank arm while lifting the saddle. This is done to remove the pressure from the rear wheel.

install pedals mountain bike

Start Loosening the Pedals

After shifting the chain, the next step is to loosen the pedals on your bike.

There are two ways to loosen the pedals on your bike: using a pedal wrench or a hex wrench.

  • Using Pedal Wrench

Look for the right pedal wrench size that would fit the wrench flats between the crank arm and the pedal.

After putting the pedal wrench, put enough pressure to loosen the pedal.

Remember that the left pedal has a reverse thread, so the “right to tight and left to loosen” rule will not work.

  • Using a Hex Wrench

There are mountain bikes that don’t have any wrench flats, which means you cannot use a pedal wrench to loosen the pedals.

These bikes usually have a spot at the side where a hex wrench would fit perfectly.

Check the spot at the back of the crank arm and the end of the pedal axle. Then, pick the right wrench size to loosen it.

Step 3: Install the New Pedal

After removing the old pedals from your bike, the next step is to learn how to install MTB pedals.

The installation process is very simple and is much easier than removing the pedal.

How Do I Change My Pedals?

To learn how to change pedals on a mountain bike, follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Grease the Threads

The first thing you need to do is to clean the threads. For this, you can use a clean piece of cloth to wipe the threads.

Do not use soap and water because the threads are usually made from metal. Moisture will only cause rust to form.

After cleaning the threads, get your bike grease and apply it to the thread. The purpose of the grease is to help you install the pedals faster.

Step 2: Tighten the Pedals

Get your new pedal and insert it into the crank arm at a 90-degree angle.

By doing this, the pedal will fit perfectly on the thread, and you would be able to easily rotate them afterward.

You are installing a new pedal and not removing it, so the rotation will be different for the left and right parts of the crank arm.

To install the pedal on the right arm, it should be rotated clockwise. The left pedal should be turned counter-clockwise.

Do not tighten the pedal too much because it will be harder to remove in the future once you plan to replace it again.

Applying too much pressure when tightening the pedal might also damage it.

Can I Put Any Pedals on My Bike?

If you are asking about the type of pedal to use, you are free to pick whatever kind of pedal you want for your bike.

You can use flat pedals or change it to a clipless pedal.

However, if you are talking about the size of the pedal, the answer is no.

Bike pedal sizes are not universal. Although most bikes can use a 9/16” pedal, there are some models that use the 1/2″ size.

When looking for a bike pedal, make sure you check the actual size you need before buying.

Install Pedals Mountain Bike

Learning how to install pedals mountain bike is a must if you have a mountain bike.

It would be very difficult if your pedal suddenly got damaged while you are riding in the woods or up in the mountain.

For your safety and convenience, always bring a replacement and make sure you have your tools with you.

This would allow you to make repairs or replacements anytime, anywhere.

Also, make sure you invest in the best pedals designed to last for a long time.

No matter what kind of maintenance you perform on a cheaper pair, it will surely break faster than higher-quality pedals.

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