How To Remove Bike Pedals: The Latest Guideline In 2021

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The bike pedal is one of the essential components of a bike. When you purchase a bicycle, you could receive a free pair of pedals, or you have to buy bike pedals separately.

Since the bike pedal is the direct contact between your foot and the bike, it also comes with a great deal of force. As a result, bike pedals are more susceptible to damage than other parts of your bicycle.

As such, you have to remove or replace bike pedals sometimes. If you are wondering about how to remove bike pedals, check the following article right now!

Why Should You Remove Your Bike Pedals?

Why Should You Remove Your Bike Pedals
Why Should You Remove Your Bike Pedals?

There are two primary reasons that explain why you should take off bike pedals.

The first one is that your pedals are obsolete or broken, so you have to replace new pedals for your bike. For example, if you are using flat pedals for your mountain bike, it will be more suitable to switch to clipless pedals.

Nowadays, there are many innovative bike pedals that are available on the market. They are equipped with more advanced and outstanding features compared to the old pedals. Thus, you could upgrade your bike pedals for a better cycling experience.

The following reason is that you have to service your bicycle pedals regularly. Maintenance is essential for this component. You have to remove it to clean inside parts like the spindle, crank, threads.

If you own a mountain bicycle or a gravel bicycle, you will know that the bike pedal is one of the dirtiest parts of a bike. As such, if you don’t clean it sometimes, it could rust quickly.

Moreover, bike pedals tend to be tightened after a time of riding. If you don’t lubricate the pedal often, it cannot roll smoothly, or worse, it will get stuck.

Necessary Tools To Remove Bike Pedals

Necessary Tools To Remove Bike Pedals
Necessary Tools To Remove Bike Pedals

In general, you could remove bike pedals without specific tools. You just need a standard open-box wrench and a pinch to remove the bike pedals.

However, I will not recommend using these tools since they could scratch your crank and are not powerful enough to remove a pair of bicycle pedals.

In case you prefer to remove your bike pedals in a more professional method, then you should use the following tools.

Firstly, you will need a pedal wrench. This tool comes with a long handle, which could offer more power and leverage to help you take off your bike pedals effortlessly.

Moreover, almost all pedal wrenches will feature 15mm jaws. Thanks to that, they could work in narrow spaces like bike pedals more efficiently.

Secondly, some bicycle pedals will require a hex wrench. A typical hex wrench will be 6mm or 8mm. This tool is ideal to use for pedals with short spindle and disc brakes. However, it might not work effectively with stubborn pedals.

The subsequent removal tool that you should use is an Allen key. This tool will help you tighten and loosen the bike pedals in seconds.

In case your bike pedals are too stuck, you might need to spray some oil or lubricant to help everything smoother.

How To Remove Bike Pedals

How To Remove Bike Pedals
Loving grandfather and sun laughing and having fun while fixing the pedals of a bicycle at the workshop

Removing bike pedals is not a complicated process. However, you still have to follow some specific steps to make this process quicker and easier.

Here are some notes that you should keep in mind when removing a pair of bicycle pedals.

Step 1: Distinguish the difference between left and right pedals

Distinguish the difference between left and right pedals
Distinguish the difference between left and right pedals

The left pedals and right pedals might look the same, but they are designed with different features. When you remove left and right pedals, you have to use different methods.

Nowadays, most bike pedals have symbols on the surface to help you distinguish between the right pedals and the left pedals. Thanks to that, you can completely mount and remove them in the correct orientation.

In terms of left pedals, all left pedals are reversely threaded. This design avoids the tightness in the left pedals for long-term riding.

Due to this structure, when you take off the left pedals, you have to use the opposite direction when you take off the left pedals. In the other words, when you want to loosen the left pedals, you need to turn it clockwise.

For the right bicycle pedals, you just need to use the standard direction to remove as well as install them.

Step 2: Protect yourself by preparing the right posture

Protect yourself by preparing the right posture
Protect yourself by preparing the right posture

When you remove pedals, you will be very vulnerable if you are not careful or place the bicycle parts in the wrong position. Thus, before starting the removal process, don’t forget to put your bicycle on a repair stand.

Also, you have to move the chain to the biggest chainring to ensure that the chain serrations will not cut your hand and injure you.

Step 3: Don’t forget to grease your bike pedals

Don’t forget to grease your bike pedals
Don’t forget to grease your bike pedals

Whether you want to maintain or change your bike pedals, lubricating them is essential.

For pedals that are too old and filled with dirt, if you don’t grease them before removal, they might be broken inside. As a result, instead of serving them, you have to replace them. What a pity and waste of money!

Not only that, lubricating old bicycle pedals will make the removal process smoother and much easier.

Step 4: Use the axles to tighten and loosen the bike pedals

Use the axles to tighten and loosen the bike pedals
Use the axles to tighten and loosen the bike pedals

In general, a typical axle will include spanner flats and sockets. You should use this tool to tighten and remove the position fixing screws of the pedals and the spindle.

The 15mm spanners could be compatible with almost all bicycle pedals on the market. You should not use narrower spanners since they don’t offer enough leverage for the removal.

Step 5: Use a hex wrench to remove the hex key on the bike pedal

Use a hex wrench to remove the hex key on the bike pedal
Use a hex wrench to remove the hex key on the bike pedal

To take off the hex socket, you will need a 6mm or 8mm hex wrench. This tool is necessary as there are many types of bicycle pedals manufactured with 6mm and 8mm hex sockets.

Step 6: Fitting your bike pedals

Fitting your bike pedals
Fitting your bike pedals

Since the left bike pedals come with the left-handed threads, you have to loosen them clockwise and tighten them anti-clockwise.

To do that, you have to place the axle perpendicular to the bike pedals. Then, slowly and firmly turn it in the direction you want. Make sure that the helical rings are both easily removed and not stuck somewhere.

Notice that you do not need to squeeze the bike pedal excessively. This not only puts the bike pedals under greater pressure but also makes your pedals susceptible to damage.

For the right pedal, you only need to repeat the above process with the upside down direction.

Step 7: Removing your bike pedals

Removing your bike pedals
Removing your bike pedals

You could do that with or without an Allen wrench as well.

Removing your bike pedals with an Allen wrench

In case you want to remove your bicycle pedals with an Allen wrench, It might be a little bit easier. An Allen wrench with a long handle might be very beneficial in taking off your bike pedals. With this useful tool, all you have to do is rotate the pedal in the right direction until it is completely removed from the crank.

Removing your bike pedals without an Allen wrench

Removing your bike pedals without an Allen wrench
Removing your bike pedals without an Allen wrench

In terms you remove bike pedals without an Allen wrench, you could use some tips below to make it quicker and easier.

In emergency situations, you might not always have an Allen wrench on hand to remove your pedals. What do you have to do then?

If you have a spanner, you could place it between the bike pedal and crank. After that, turn the spanner following the normal direction. In this way, you could loosen the pedal effortlessly without an Allen wrench.

The next step is turning your bike around. This will help you have the best position to remove bike pedals. Now, what you have to do is rotate the crank arm.

Finally, you just need to position the spanner to finish the process. I will highly recommend you to use your foot instead of your hand to push down onto the tool because it creates more power and leverage.

A short guide to how to change pedals can be found right here:

Watch video: How To Change Pedals - Remove And Replace Your Bicycle Pedals

Tips for Bike Pedals’ Installation After Removing

After removing bike pedals, you need to re-install them in the bike. The following tips might be helpful for your installation.

Tip 1: Lock for “R” and “L” marks on the bike pedals

Lock for R and L marks on the bike pedals
Lock for R and L marks on the bike pedals

You might think that this step is not necessary. However, it could help you save your time. As you know, the left and right bike pedals have different construction. If you install them in the wrong position, they will not work.

In case you don’t see the above marks, check the threads. If you see the reverse thread, it is definitely the left pedals.

Tip 2: Add grease to your bike pedals

Add grease to your bike pedals
Add grease to your bike pedals

As the removal process, grease is essential to make your bike pedals roll smoother. If you don’t replace your old bike pedals, then lubricating the bike pedals could help them work more effectively.

Tip 3: Tighten the bike pedals

Tighten the bike pedals
Tighten the bike pedals

The final step in installing the bike pedals is tightening them. To do that, you should repeat the steps of disassembly but with the opposite direction. It is the fastest way to fit a bicycle pedal. Remember to use different directions for the right bike pedal and the left right pedal.

You can check out this video to see how to install pedals on your MTB:

Watch video: How to install pedals on your MTB

FAQs

How long does it take to remove a bike pedal?

Generally, you just have to spend about 5-10 minutes removing a bike pedal.

If your pedals are too old and stuck, removal might take a longer time, about 15-20 minutes in total. To fix this problem, you should add some bike grease to the bike pedals.

However, if you follow the right instructions and remove step by step, this process will be much easier.

Are bike pedals reverse threaded?

Yes, they are. Actually, all left bike pedals are reverse threaded. That is why when you want to tighten or loosen the left pedal, you have to turn it clockwise.

By contrast, the right bike pedals come with standard threads. Thus, when you remove the right pedal, remember to use a normal pedal removal direction.

What are the easiest pedals to remove?

If you are a beginner, I will highly recommend you go to flat pedals. Almost all bike flat pedals are easier to install and remove than clipless pedals.

In case you prefer an easy-to-remove clipless pedal, then SPD pedals are the way to go. This type of bike pedal is prevalent all around the world. As such, there are many tools supporting you to remove it effortlessly.

Where can I seek in instruction for bike pedals removal?

Generally, bike pedal manufacturers will release their products with instructions for bike pedal removal. These instructions are truly beneficial, especially for particular products, since each type of bike pedal will have a different removal way.

In addition, you could find out helpful pedal removal instructions on the Internet with illustrated images and detailed videos.

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About Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.