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How To: Remove and Install Pedals

  • Bicycle Maintenance
How to: Remove and Install Pedals

When it comes to pedals, it is important to keep in mind that the pedal threads are specific to the left side and the right side. The right side pedal has a right-hand thread (i.e it removes anti-clockwise, installs clockwise). While, the left side pedal has a left-hand thread (removes clockwise, installs anti-clockwise). It is for this reason that pedals are generally clearly demarcated with “L” and “R” for left and right. Also, the thread will appear to slope up toward its tightening direction. Left hand threads slope up to the left, while right hand threads slope up to the right.


1. Mount your cycle on a repair stand or place your bicycle against a wall, and shift chain to largest chainring. This helps protect against cuts from chainring teeth.

2. Make sure that the pedal is easily accessible.

3. Use your wrench in such a way that the wrench and crank arm form an angle of 90 degrees or less. This gives you the right mechanical advantage, which is critical on pedals since they are often overly tight.

4. Grab the opposite crank for a second lever, for additional support. Turn pedal wrench anti-clockwise to remove right pedal. Alternatively, turn the crank so that the pedal is pedaling forward. Use care not to abrade skin. Continue to turn the wrench anti-clockwise and remove the pedal completely from the crank.

5. Now for the left pedal. Move your bicycle as necessary so that the left pedal is easily accessible.

6. Position the pedal wrench for good mechanical advantage (90 degrees or less) onto the left pedal, and grab the right crank for second lever.

7. Turn the pedal wrench clockwise to remove left pedal, alternatively, turn the crank so that the pedal is pedalling forward. Now, remove the left pedal from the crank.

Some models and makes of pedals do not use a flat pedal wrench. Such pedals typically have an 8mm hex fitting behind the pedal thread. Inserting the 8mm hex wrench into this fitting will remove and secure the pedals. When turning the pedals, remember that the wrench is behind the pedal. Technically, the direction of the pedal thread has not changed, but the appearance of the wrench turning “clockwise” or “anti-clockwise” will appear different. To avoid confusion, view the wrench from the orientation of the pedals - standing to the right side of the bike for the right pedal, and the left side of the bike for the left pedal. Turn the wrench accordingly.

How to Remove Pedals


Start with identifying the right and left pedals. Look for “L” and “R” marking on axle or wrench flats. If no “L” and “R” marking are seen, use pedal thread direction to identify pedals as mentioned above. Heavily grease threads of both pedals and follow the following step-by step instructions:

1. Using your fingers on the wrench flats, thread right side pedal into right crank. Use a wrench to fit the pedal so that it is snug.

2. Position wrench on flats for good mechanical advantage. Hold wrench with one hand while holding opposite crank with other. (Pedal the bicycle in a backward manner to install both left and right).

3. Using the opposite arm as a second lever, tighten the pedal. Repeat this process to install the left pedal, but threading the pedal anti-clockwise to install.


Remember to be gentle when it comes to handling pedals, and using the wrench. The threads on pedals can be damaged easily if incorrectly handled. Also, when installing ox fixing a pedal back on, make sure that it is tightened enough so as to stay fixed while riding your bicycle!


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