How To Remove Bike Pedals
Bicycles are vehicles that contain several parts that must all be working properly and together in order for you to be able to use it to go places. You have probably experienced a jammed chain, popped tire, squeaky brakes, or jumping gears, but an often overlooked part of bike maintenance is in the pedals. Replacing or repairing the pedals is extremely necessary and a useful task to learn because without pedals, you are completely out of luck if you want to ride anywhere.
Only one tool is really required in order to complete the project, and that is either the traditional adjustable wrench or the Allen wrench, which is also known as a hex key. Please note that while a standard wrench may work in your case, many bicycles require a specialist tool for this as the gap is simply too slim for a standard wrench.
A second item can prove to be beneficial if you have not recently or ever fixed your bicycle pedals. A lubricant or penetrating oil can help prevent damage of a possibly dry or corroded pedal thread, and it makes it much easier to remove each pedal. Before starting, though, make sure to place the bike chain on the biggest ring to avoid getting injured.
Removing The Right Side Pedal
Beginning with the right pedal when sitting on the bike facing forward, turn the crank arm counterclockwise until it reaches a 3 o’clock position. Finding a flat area in between the actual pedal and the crank arm, place the traditional wrench in your desired spot. Now, carefully holding firmly onto the brakes with your hands, step down onto the wrench with your foot so that it will turn counterclockwise with much more safety and force than if you were to use your hands for this rotation. You will feel a difference once the pedal becomes significantly loose. Continue to rotate with your wrench until you have removed the pedal completely from the crank arm.
Removing The Left Side Pedal
Now that the first pedal is off, you can remove the other pedal in the opposite orientation since we are now working with the non-drive side pedal. Turn the crank arm until it reaches a 9 o’clock position. Then, grabbing your traditional wrench, repeat the same step as in the previous pedal so that the wrench is connected to a flat spot between the pedal and the crank arm.
Make sure your hands are squeezed to the brakes to keep your bike in place. Again, using your foot, step down on the wrench using your strength and notice how this pedal is moving clockwise, contrary to the drive side pedal. Turn the wrench until the pedal comes off of the crank arm. You have now removed your pedals, a truly essential task as a bike rider.
If for whatever reason, the traditional wrench is not allowing you to get the job done, or you own an Allen wrench instead, then you can most certainly use that tool as well. You will essentially remove the pedals using the same instructions as if you were using a traditional wrench, except for one key difference that you must keep in mind.
When using a hex key, whatever pedal you are working on, you must put the wrench into the axle of the opposite pedal. In other words, when working on the right (drive side) pedal, place the Allen wrench into the left (non-drive side) axle and vice versa.
Reinstalling Bicycle Pedals
Whenever you need to install a new set of pedals or place your current ones back on your bicycle, make sure you pay attention to which pedal goes on which side. There is a reason why many pedals nowadays have an L on one and an R on the other.
Before inserting them onto the bike, applying some oil or grease to the spindle threads is advised. Using whichever tool you desire, place it onto the respective area of the bike as described when removing your pedals (either the area between the crank arm and pedal or the opposite axle) and turn the opposite direction until tight. The right pedal should be clockwise this time, while the left one is a counterclockwise turn. To ensure they are properly tightened, give each pedal another 1/8 of a rotation.
Now that you have learned the proper ways to remove (and install) your bicycle’s pedals, you can now take your bike out for a ride to test your new or improved pedals. For any bike owner, learning proper care, especially that of the pedals, is an important task to master. Luckily, this one is pretty straightforward.