How To Remove Bike Pedals? Easy Step by Step Instructions

How To Remove Bike Pedals - Easy Step by Step Instructions

If you’re wondering how to remove bike pedals, wonder no more! This helpful guide will show you how to remove them step by step easily. Whether you need to do some maintenance on your bike or simply want to take them off for storage, follow these directions, and you’ll have those pedals off in no time.

A Glance

  • Use a pedal wrench or a hex key to unscrew the pedals from their crank arms. Turn the crank arms counterclockwise to loosen the right pedals, while the left pedals turn clockwise to reduce them.
  • Apply bike grease to your new pedals, and screw them in at a 90-degree angle. Turn the right pedal clockwise to tighten and the left pedal counterclockwise.
  • Ensure that each pedal is tightened and inserted entirely before getting on the road.

Right Is Wrong

Before you get started, the most important thing is to understand that pedals don’t work right. One of them does not. The right-side pedal screws in like any other, but the left-hand pedal has a left-hand thread. This means that it will unscrew in the opposite direction to what you are used to. To tighten it, turn it counterclockwise.

how to remove pedals from bike

This is why pedal makers have added this complexity. To counter “precession,” the pedal makers use left-handed threading. This is because the crank arm of the axle “spins” in the opposite direction due to the downward force your foot exerts on the spindle.

The left pedal would have regular threads on the right side, but the pedaling pressure could cause it to become loose and fall off mid-ride. By threading the spindles into the crank and pushing down on the pedals, they will stay in place without additional bolts.

Learning Right And Left: Re-Learning

The threads of the Left and Right pedals are opposite. This can lead to significant damage if you insert the wrong pedal into one of the crank arm’s threads.

If the right-side pedal is inserted at an angle, it may feel as if it is catching onto a left crankarm thread. If you attempt to “power through”, thinking the lines are tight or coarse, you could cross-thread the crank arms’ spindle hole and possibly ruin it.

Learning Right And Left Re-Learning

Most pedal manufacturers have now started to label their spindles with an “R” or “L,” so it is easy to distinguish them. Next, look at the angle the threads are angled. The lines of a right-side pedal will slope upwards and to the right. While the lines on the left-side pedal threads slope upwards and to the left.

Tools Of The Trade

A successful pedal swap is as simple as any other maintenance job. It would help if you had the right tools. Modern pedals can be screwed into the crank arm with these tools. A pedal wrench is required for most pedals, including our Thump flat pedals.

Tools Of The Trade

This is a long and thin tool that fits between pedal and crank legs. A good pedal will save you time and money, but it can also check your regular wrench. It’s much easier than you think. You will only need a hex key to upgrade to high-end pedals, such as our premium Trail pedals. This fits the spindle at the crank.

A bike grease and an adjustable torque wrench are also recommended. These tools will ensure that your pedals fit according to the manufacturer’s specifications. They can also be removed later.

How To Remove The Pedals:


Tip 1

If your pedals haven’t been removed in a while, you might need to spray a bit of penetrating fluid, such as GT85 or Muc Off Bike Spray, to get them started. If you’ve managed to expose a few threads after a couple of turns, respray the fluid, repeating every few threads until the pedals are free. A dry, corroded thread can become damaged if you remove the pedal without a little help from a lubricant or oil.

Tip 2

Protect yourself against injury by attaching your chain to the big ring before removing the pedals.

Tip 3

The left pedal spindle has a reverse thread. To remove the pedal, turn it clockwise. To loosen the pedal on the right side, turn it counterclockwise.

You can loosen the pedals by using an Allen key. Insert the Allen key in the pedal axle against the pedal.

How To Remove The Pedals

Steps To Take Off The Pedals

  1. The drive side of your bike is facing you. This is the right-hand bike side with the chainset. Move the crank arm to the three o’clock position.
  2. Spread spanner between the pedal body & the crank arm on the flattened surface.
  3. You can hold the brakes in your hands. To rotate the spanner anti-clockwise, push your foot down on the spanner. We believe that your foot can be used to generate more leverage. It also helps you keep your balance and prevents you from hitting sharp edges or losing your credit if you suddenly lose your pedal.
  4. After the pedal is loosened, rotate the tool clockwise to release the pedal.
  5. The bicycle should now be turned around. Now, the non-drive (left-hand) side is facing you.
  6. Rotate the crank arm until it is horizontal with your floor.
  7. Place the Allen key or spanner in line with the crank arm.
  8. Place your foot on the spanner and push down. To loosen the pedal, the spanner will turn clockwise.

How To Change Bike Pedals?

Step 1: Attaching your bike’s right (drive side) pedal

The threads on the crank and the pedals should both be properly cleaned if you have used pedals or a secondhand bicycle. Threads can be harmed and worn away over time by grit or grime.

Apply a light coat of grease or anti-seize to the threads on the pedal axle after cleaning the threads.

Apply a light coat of grease or anti-seize to the threads

This action is crucially important. At best, installing pedals with “dry” threads can make it very challenging to remove the pedals. At worst, if you wait too long, your pedals and cranks can permanently fuse together.

Chain lube or other oils won’t work in this situation over the long run, so resist the urge to use anything other than grease or anti-seize.

Some pedals and cranks need a tiny pedal washer installed on the spindle before being installed. If you’re unclear, consult the owner’s manual for your crankset or bicycle.

Threading the pedal in by hand

Start by manually threading the axle in after lightly greasing the pedal axle. Turning the axle clockwise tightens the right-hand pedal.

The pedal should be manually threaded until it bottoms out on the crank. Once the pedal has bottomed out against the crank, lightly tighten it with your hex key or wrench.

Tighten up the pedals

The pedals only need to be snugly against the crank; they don’t need to be extremely tight. The only way to explain this is “wrist tight.”

Are you sure that you know the right pedal installed?

It can be impossible to manually thread worn-out cranks or pedals.

Before using your tools, be sure you are absolutely installing the right pedal. The left-hand pedal will not thread into the crank, and attempting to force it in would cross the threads and damage the crank of the bicycle.

Even seasoned mechanics can make mistakes in this situation if they are pressed for time, so take your time and make sure you’re doing it correctly.

You can try using your spanner or hex key to start things after you are positive you are installing the right pedal.

Step 2: Attaching the left pedal (drive side) to your bicycle

The left-hand pedal is reverse-threaded, thus the procedure is identical, but you tighten it by rotating the spindle counterclockwise because it is.

Once the pedals are in place, clean the crank of any remaining grease, and you’re ready to go.

How To Install Pedals?

  • You will find the letters “R” or “L” printed on the pedal’s spindle. Place it on the right side of your bike. If the markings are not there, make sure to check the threads of the pedals. Up to the right goes to the right side and up to the left.
  • Use bike grease on the spindle threads.
  • Place each pedal at a 90° angle into the crank arm of their respective crank arms. They should be easy to thread in place.
  • Your pedal should be placed on the spindle flats.
  • Turn the left pedal clockwise and the right pedal counterclockwise to tighten the pedals.
  • To properly secure the pedal, you should feel resistance.


How do I loosen a cross threaded bicycle pedal?

Using a pedal wrench will be best to remove a cross-threaded pedal, but then what?

If you’re having difficulty getting your pedals in, it’s likely because they’re on the wrong side. Many people try to save money by installing pedals themselves, but this often leads to frustration and wasted time. If you bring your pedals to a professional, they will be able to help you get them on the right side and avoid any further issues.

There is a way to “save” cranks that had improperly installed pedals- using threaded inserts. The mechanic drills out the crank arm, taps it, then installs the insert usually using a high-strength epoxy (which takes 24 hours to cure). This repair should only be reserved for high-end cranks since the job costs about $60 per side.

Why can’t my pedals be removed?

Place the pedal wrench on your pedal spindle facing backward. Push down on the pedal. You can also ride the bike and push the pedal with your foot. The cycle should be against a wall or corner. You should feel the brakes begin to relax.

how to remove bike pedals with a wrench

What direction do the pedals go?

Use a pedal wrench or a hex key to unscrew the crank arms from the pedals. Turn the crank arms counterclockwise to loosen the right pedals, while the left pedals reduce clockwise. Apply bike grease to new pedals, and screw them in at a 90-degree angle.

What other tools can I use in place of a pedal wrench?

You don’t need a pedal, so a standard 15 mm open-end wrench is sufficient. Next, look at your pedal to ensure it has a flat surface for your wrench to attach.



It’s always a good idea to read the instructions and keep an eye on the safety signs while using machinery. This is a handy article for anyone thinking about removing their bike pedals. Have you ever removed them? What was the process like? Have anything to add to the article? Let BSXInsight know in the comments below!

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