How to Remove Bike Pedals ?


How to remove bike pedals

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a weekend warrior prepping for your first bikepacking adventure, understanding how to remove your bike pedals is an essential skill. This seemingly simple task unlocks a world of possibilities, from routine maintenance to repairs and travel prep. This comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle bike pedal removal like a pro.

In this simple step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to remove the pedals off your bike. Without any ado, let’s dive in!

Difference Between Right And Left Side Pedals

One crucial aspect of bike maintenance is understanding the distinction between left and right pedals. They have opposite threading, a clever design feature that prevents them from loosening due to pedaling forces.

Right Pedal (Drive Side): Located on the side with the chain and gears (cassette), the right pedal uses standard threading. Tightening it requires turning the pedal spindle clockwise, while loosening it involves turning counter-clockwise. Remember, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey” applies here.

Left Pedal (Non-Drive Side): The left pedal, situated on the opposite side, has reverse threading. For this pedal, counter-clockwise rotation tightens it, and clockwise loosens it. Think “lefty-tighty, righty-loosey” for the left side.

This seemingly minor detail is essential to avoid damaging your pedals or crank arms during removal and installation. Always ensure you’re using the correct pedal and rotation direction for each side.

What Tools Will You Require?

Before diving into the pedal removal process, ensure you have the necessary tools:

Pedal Wrench: This specialized tool boasts a slim profile that effortlessly fits between the crank arm and pedal body. It often features open ends of various sizes to accommodate different pedal spindle diameters. A pedal wrench offers superior leverage compared to a standard wrench, making pedal removal significantly easier, especially for stubborn or seized pedals.

Allen Key Set (Hex Key): Some pedals feature a hexagonal socket on the pedal spindle’s inner side, requiring an Allen key for removal. The most common size for bike pedals is 8mm, but having a set with various sizes provides versatility for other applications.

Optional: Grease: Fresh grease applied during pedal reinstallation safeguards the threads from corrosion and ensures smooth future removal. Opt for a high-quality bike grease.

Bypassing the use of a 15mm wrench, the pedal wrench offers a clear advantage due to its compact design that tackles the limited space between the crank arm and pedal body. Additionally, the increased leverage provided by a pedal wrench or Allen keys makes the removal of even jammed pedals less strenuous.

Methods to Remove Bike Pedals (5 Easy Steps)

Now, we will tell you how to remove the bike pedals. Keep reading!

Pedals in the Right Position

Place the pedals in the appropriate positions. While removing pedals, some individuals find it more practical and effective to prop their bicycles up on a bicycle stand. It also allows the crank to turn more efficiently on its axle.

It is advisable to place the crank arm of the bicycle’s pedal, which you wish to remove for strength and simple accessibility, in the right position.

Remove the Right-Side Pedal

Beginning with the right-side pedal, turn the crank to 3 o’clock, such that it faces forward and parallel to the floor. The back of all pedals will accommodate an Allen key. Instead, a tiny 15mm wrench will be necessary. Sometimes, a specific pedal wrench is essential since an adjustable or regular wrench will be too broad.

When you are employing an Allen key, be sure it’s inserted underneath the crank’s level. Next, spin anticlockwise while pushing downward and forward. You have the right to use appropriate force. If you are using a wrench, attempt to maintain the same angles.

Remove the Left-Side Pedal

Put the crank at the 9 o’clock position on the opposite side, which is the left-side pedal. Repeat the procedure by pressing the Allen key downward and forward as previously. The lest-side pedal will spin clockwise this time. Turn the pedal off after that. Any screws that drop out should be saved because you will require them when installing your new pedals.

Wipe Down The Threads

If you have an old set of pedals or a secondhand bicycle, wipe down the threads on the cranks and pedals completely. Threads can be damaged and worn away over time by sand or dust.

If they appear to be damaged, a tapping gadget from your nearby bike store can rescue the day. It’s usually just a concern if the pedals were hard to remove.

Applying a Lubricant

Put a small layer of oil on the bolts on the pedal spindle after cleaning them. It’s a really important phase. It will not just lessen the likelihood of them rattling while you ride; however, it should also guarantee that in the future, when you need to remove pedals, they will come off easily without so much difficulty.

Related: How to Clean a Bike 

Installing pedals having ‘dry’ threads can make them hard to remove at all. If you leave it for a long time, your pedals and cranks may completely fuse.


Why are my bike pedals stuck?

There are a few reasons why your bike pedals might be difficult to remove:

  • Dirt and grime: Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on the threads, causing them to bind.
  • Corrosion: Exposure to moisture can lead to rust on the threads, making removal more challenging.
  • Overtightening: If the pedals were tightened excessively during assembly, they can become stuck.

Can I remove pedals without a pedal wrench?

In a pinch, a basic 15mm open-ended wrench might work as a substitute for a pedal wrench. However, it’s important to ensure the wrench is thin enough to fit between the crank arm and the pedal body. A regular wrench can damage the pedal or crank arm if it doesn’t fit snugly. For optimal leverage and to avoid damage, a dedicated pedal wrench is highly recommended.

How easy is it to replace bike pedals?

Replacing bike pedals is a relatively straightforward task with a few basic tools. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to tackle the job yourself. Remember to properly tighten the new pedals to avoid future complications during removal.

Is a pedal wrench absolutely necessary?

Technically, a specific pedal wrench isn’t mandatory. However, finding a standard wrench at a hardware store that fits the narrow pedal flats is unlikely. A dedicated pedal wrench offers a thin profile that fits comfortably and provides superior leverage, making the removal process smoother and easier on your hands.

Final Words

With the knowledge and tools you’ve gained from this guide, you’ve unlocked the ability to remove your bike pedals whenever needed. This newfound skill empowers you to tackle routine maintenance, repairs, and travel prep with confidence. Remember, taking your time during the pedal removal process can help prevent future complications. Now, get out there and ride! Your bike is ready to hit the trails (or road) thanks to your handiwork.

We have done our job! Before riding the trails, give it a quick spin and bounce around to make sure everything is in working order.

Written by

Jeffrey Kuck

Meet Jeffrey Kuch, a passionate cyclist who has been cycling for more than a decade. With his love for the sport and his unwavering dedication, Jeffrey has not only honed his skills but has also inspired many to take up cycling. As an avid blogger, he shares his insights, experiences, and knowledge about the world of cycling, helping fellow cyclists to improve their techniques and learn more about the sport they love. Whether he is exploring new terrains or competing in races, Jeffrey's enthusiasm for cycling is contagious. Through his writing, he hopes to inspire others to embark on their own cycling journey and discover the joy of the sport.

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