When you frequently use your bike for a long time, the pedals get worn out and eventually need replacement.
Installing the brand new bike pedals is crucial to make it safe and enjoyable to ride the bike. It also makes it comfortable for riders and saves time when there are minor issues with the pedal that need repairing.
However, since both sides of the pedals are not threaded the same way, it can get a bit confusing for someone not used to changing a bicycle pedal. Since we know how difficult it might be for a total newbie, we’ve put together this short guide to help you install pedals by yourself.
Before starting, make sure you are well-equipped with the right tools to remove and replace the bike pedals.
Some of the essential tools you will require for this job are:
- Waterproof grease
Although your pedals do not require greasing as frequently as the chain or gears, lubricating them before and after replacing the pedals makes it easier to turn the wrenches. It also helps in protecting the threads and ensuring a smoother ride.
- Allen key wrench or a hex wrench
It is a small hand-held tool used for tightening or unscrewing hexagonal sockets. They come in several sizes, so make sure you have the right size for your bike. You will need this to unbolt pedals from the outlet.
- Pedal spanner or wrench
A 15mm pedal spanner is an ideal size for removing most pedals. But depending on the size of your pedals, make sure that they are durable and sturdy as the pedals can get quite hard to remove over time.
Now that you have the right equipment to remove and replace the pedals, here is a step-by-step guide to help you get new pedals!
Guide to removing and replacing a Bike Pedal
Locating the parts
The drive side cranks are located where the chain rings are. You can easily unscrew it in the conventional manner, which is anti-clockwise.
For the non-drive side crank, you will have to turn it clockwise to unscrew it.
Remembering the location of the cranks and how to extract it can get confusing if you are inexperienced. However, there is a quick trick to remember this.
If you attach the wrench or the Allen key on the pedals as you turn the cranks in a normal direction, you can loosen it while holding it in place.
Removing the Pedals with an Allen key
Firstly, put the bike on a stand so that it makes it easier to work on the pedals and the wheels. You will have to keep it elevated above the ground and have enough workspace to turn it upside down.
Starting with the non-drive side, first place the cranks facing downwards and the Allen key pointing towards the rear of the bike.
When the bike is on the stand, you just need to push down the Allen key to keep it in place and prevent the crank from moving forward. Once you put a little pressure forward, the crank will easily come loose.
Once the crank comes free, the next step is pretty easy. You can set the long end of the Allen key into the socket of the crank and quickly turn it clockwise.
Make sure to place your hand on the pedal to be ready to hold the other side of the pedal when it comes off.
Coming to the drive side, repeat the same method by facing the crank downwards and put the Allen Key in.
The long handle of the Allen key should be facing towards the rear end of the bike. Once it is in place, push down the handle and with a little force, and the crank will release it.
Once you unscrew it repeat the same steps as you did for the non-drive side by using the long end of the key and turning it till it comes out.
Removing with a Spanner or a Wrench
If an Allen key is not available, you can also remove and replace a pedal with the help of a spanner or a wrench.
To start first, place the bike on a bike stand or suspend it above ground level.
This situation is slightly easier if you put the non-drive side crank facing forwards and get your wrench so that it is about the same angle as the ground.
This angle gives you a better position to hold on to the pedal and put your weight downwards. This position is also ideal for preventing hitting your hand on a surface if the pedals suddenly come loose.
Hold the standing position with your hand firmly in the same angle while putting your weight on the spanner. With a little pressure on the pedal, the pedal should loosen.
Once the pedals are loose from the crank, you can easily use your hand to unwind the rest of the crank fully.
Continue the same steps on the drive side by placing the crank facing forwards and the spanner facing the rear of the bike. Then, push down with both hands until the pedal releases.
Replacing the Bike Pedals
Replacing the Pedals with an Allen key
Before replacing the pedals, make sure the threads are clean. After this, you can apply the waterproof grease on the threads, and you are ready to proceed to the next step.
After ensuring that the pedal threads are clean and greased, put it on the crank, so it is roughly in the right position.
Put the Allen on the opposite side of the pedal and holding the long handle, turn it clockwise on the same side of the Allen key. In the meantime, make sure you are also turning the pedals anti-clockwise on the drive side.
Continue to turn in opposite directions until the pedals firmly attach to the crank. You can easily do this by continuously spinning the Allen handle until you fill that it is almost tight.
Once it is firmly engaged by spinning the Allen as tightly as you can, then put the key on the long side. This time, the Allen key should face the front part of the bike.
Again, put your weight on the pedal and the Allen key to make sure that it is tight.
As for the non-drive side, repeat the same procedure by putting some grease on the crank and the thread after making sure it is clean. Then place it on the crank to resume a rough position with the support of your hand.
Once you assume the position, put the Allen key on the other side of the crank and turn it clockwise. And on the pedal side, you will be turning it anti-clockwise on the drive side.
Before it is completely screwed or engaged, put the Allen key on the way around, facing forward, put some weight on it and turn it to confirm that it is tight.
Replacing the Pedals with a spanner or a wrench
Since both pedals look alike, it can sometimes be confusing as to which pedal goes on which side.
However, if you look closely, both the pedals are marked on the inside of the pedal axle. The left one is marked with “L” and the right with “R.”
On the drive side, screw it in by hand by turning it clockwise to tighten. Get the cranks at an angle so that you can engage your spanner to face forward towards the front of the bike.
Then push the wrench down until it is adequately tight and secure. It is vital to get your hand into a safe place or position that if it slips, you can prevent injuries on the sharp chain rings.
Over the non-drive side, repeat the same by initially using your hand to tighten the cranks. Make sure that the spanner is facing the front and push down until it is tight.
Lastly, make sure to check the axle alignment as well by turning the pedal crank backward and carefully observing the pedals. When you make a rotation, the pedals should stay aligned in a straight line, perpendicular to the crank circle.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to complete the removal and installation of bike pedals?
The time required varies from individual to individual; some adept handy individuals can complete it relatively quicker than one who has never indulged in said activity.
How much does it cost?
Since you’ll be the one undertaking the removal and replacement of the pedals, the service cost will be nil. Expenditure will comprise of the necessary parts and tools exclusively.
Where can I purchase said parts and tools?
You can check at your local cycle stores or cycle repair shops as well as purchase them online via various shopping sites.
Can I get my pedals removed and replaced by professionals instead?
Of course, your local cycle repair shop will be more than grateful to offer you their services.
Do note that usually, pedals that are newly installed do not spin freely. This is because the bearings need time to break in.
Before you pack up, make sure that you inspect all the little details on the pedals by pulling on them gently to ensure that they are tightly secured.
If you notice that there is a slight looseness or that the pedals are spinning too fast, recheck and tighten them again.
It does take some patience and effort, but once you get it right, it is worth the ride and the comfort. Wipe away any remaining grease and examine the bike for any damages during installation.