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How to uninstall/re-install new pedals on your bike

We got new pedals for our bikes (road and mountain) and installing them was a real pain in the ass.

Attempt one - regular 15mm wrench

I didn't have a good 15mm wrench, so we went to the bike shop and they had pedal wrenches and regular wrenches - the regular wrench set was on sale so we got that. I think at that point I just got lucky because I got the pedals off of my road bike - great. Then I started working on Nikki's road bike and had no success.

bike pedals unscrew in a fun way!

One thing to note about bike pedals is that one is regular thread and one is reverse thread. The reason for this is that as you pedal, your left foot would naturally be unscrewing the pedal if it were a regular thread. The story goes that the Wright brothers encountered this problem first and created reverse threads. So, the one thing that I finally learned in the process was that you should read (and re-read and re-read) the Park website about this process. Left pedal, reverse thread. Right pedal, regular thread.

A real pedal wrench

Because I had tried to unscrew in the wrong direction so many times, I couldn't unscrew them in the normal direction with our regular wrenches. That's when I learned the second lesson of the process: buy a real pedal wrench. If you take your bike in to the shop they are going to charge you around $10 per bike for a pedal change. If you like biking enough to get specialized pedals you are probably going to do this more than once in your life: buy a specialized pedal wrench for $20. The pedal wrench is about twice as long and tapers from a nice big thick soft handle down to the skinny 15mm & 9/16" wrench that you need for most bikes.

People Involved: 


taking off pedals is easy...

Here's the "trick":

  1. Adjust the crank of the pedal you want to remove in the forward horizontal position.
  2. secure the pedal wrench, then push downwards on the wrench to loosen it.
  3. If you have the bike in a repair stand, you can then just "pedal" the bike cranks until the pedal is completely removed.
  4. Repeat this for the other side.
  5. To put pedals back onto your bike, it's the exact opposite. In essence you will be pedaling 'backwards'.

install bike pedals

First of all, as everyone is advising, buy a pedal wrench. I got one for $12 at the local bike shop. A piece of advice that I read on another forum and I found very helpful is that when removing your old pedals, remember "back off". That way you won't have to remember how the reverse thread works. Just unscrew back to take them off and forward to put them on.

Bike Blog

Hi there,

You can't imagine how ****** long it took to install MY new pedals on my bmx-bike.
Damn, I can really feel with you ;)
There should be a whole website about fixing problems like that, because it seems to be so easy but in the end you spend several hours in screwing these little things on your bike..


removing pedals

The clue to "back off" that I got from someone online was what I needed to remove my pedals. I positioned the crank so the pedal was forward and horizontal, then "backed off" with the wrench--i.e., wrench back--and presto! Same on the opposite side, even though they're threaded opposite--"backing off" still worked perfectly. This is something I'll always remember now!

removing pedals - STUCK!

What if they're the type of pedal that is removed with an Allen key (on the inside of the crank) and you can't turn turn the Allen key no matter how hard you try?

Sheldon Brown?

Hi there, I think Sheldon Brown's website is a total must-read when fixing anything bike. Here's the pedal bit:

Ones i had gone to change the

Ones i had gone to change the pedal they charged me around $50 .Now I think its better to buy specialized pedal wrench for $20 . Thanks for the useful information.