Changing, unscrewing and fitting bicycle pedals: simple step-by-step instructions

aktualisiert am: January 31, 2021 in:
Startseite > How To > Changing, unscrewing and fitting bicycle pedals: simple step-by-step instructions

How to loosen or mount bicycle pedals? Bicycle pedals are easy to change. Even as a beginner you can quickly learn this assembly work. A few important things should be followed.

Bicycle pedals change unscrew mount instruction
Bicycle pedals change unscrew mount instructions, ©NorGal – stock.adobe.com

Bicycle pedals change and assembly – Overview

The steps for mounting new bicycle pedals in the overview. With these simple steps, you can do it too. In the main body, you’ll find more helpful details and a step-by-step guide.

Which tool is needed? Some bicycle pedals are screwed on with an Allen key. Others with a wrench. With some bicycle pedals, both tools can also be used.
✅ Remove old pedals: Apply the tool and note the thread direction for screwing. Bicycle pedals are always unscrewed in the direction of the rear wheel.
✅ Fit new pedals: Bring the new pedals correctly into position and fit the tool. Also note the direction of the thread: Screw both pedals in the direction of the front wheel.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 20 minutes
Tools required: Inbus wrench (hexagon socket) 8 mm, or wrench (open-end wrench) 15 mm.

Bicycle pedals thread – How to recognize right and left pedal?

The thread of the left bicycle pedal is different from the right pedal:

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  • The right pedal can only be mounted on the crank on the right side
  • The left bicycle pedal can only be attached to the crank on the left side

The pedals can be easily distinguished from each other:

  • Right on the thread, the left pedal has a double groove notch and sometimes it is marked with a L for left
  • The bike pedal for right does not have this notch and sometimes it is marked with a R for right

With this tip you can now distinguish the left bicycle pedal from the right bicycle pedal.

Bicycle pedals thread – what to consider?

The most important hint first: When changing the bicycle pedal you should absolutely pay attention to the thread direction! Then you can mount the bicycle pedal correctly without damaging the thread.

The bicycle pedals have different thread directions:

  • The right pedal has a right-hand thread: Somit the right bicycle pedal is screwed counterclockwise
  • The left pedal has a left-hand thread: so the left bicycle pedal is unscrewed clockwise.

If you do not want to deal with the thread type, you can simply remember the following:

Both bicycle pedals are unscrewed in the direction of the rear wheel and screwed tight in the direction of the front wheel

  • Some pedals can be mounted from the outside with a wrench
  • Other bicycle pedals are mounted with an Allen key from the inside
  • With some pedals there are also both possibilities

Change & mount bicycle pedals

Now you can find out how to change and mount bicycle pedals – explained in a simple and comprehensible way.

Important: Always tighten the bicycle pedals with a very high torque! You can often read that bicycle pedals tighten due to the reverse thread on both pedal sides by the crank movement. That is not the case! You even have to tighten the bike pedal yourself with a very high torque.

Example Shimano: Shimano recommends in its dealer manual ei n tightening torque of 35 to 55 Nm for SPD-SL/SPD pedals. Other Shimano manuals also recommend this torque.

Bike Pedals Change Mount Shimano
Bicycle pedals Changing and mounting Shimano, source: Shimano dealer manual page 104

Example Crankbrothers: Crankbrothers recommends a tightening torque of 34 Nm. for its pedals from the Eggbeater series.

Bicycle pedals change and mounting at Crankbrothers, Source: Crankbrothers Eggbeater Technical Documents

Why do bicycle pedals have to be mounted very firmly? Often you stand with your full body weight vertically on the pedals. Enormous forces act on the bicycle pedals. With violent off-road driving, the forces again amplify many times over. Even small gaps can lead to movements that damage the pedal thread in the long term. For tightening a torque wrench or an Allen wrench with a long lever is suitable. Wrenches usually have quite a high lever.

Tip: Use some assembly paste or another grease during assembly. So you prevent the solid rusting of the pedals in the crank arm. Spread a little assembly paste in the thread of the crank arm or on the thread of the bicycle pedal itself. Even after a long time, the bike pedal is much easier to release.

Shimano assembly paste, bearing grease
  • Montepaste 50ml - WS8000424
  • Ref.WS8000424
  • Marke - SHIMANO GRASA

* Aktualisierung am 2021-12-03, Preis kann gestiegen sein, Werbung, Bild:Amazon

Loosen bicycle pedals – instruction

This way you can easily remove the bike pedals. For dismounting use either a wrench for outside screwing or an Allen key for inside screwing. Apply tool and unscrew pedal in direction of rear wheel.

Mounting bicycle pedals – Instruction

So you can easily mount the bike pedal. Also for bike pedal mounting you can either use a Inbus wrench (hexagon socket) for screwing inside or a spanner (open-end wrench) for screwing outside.

To mount the bike pedals, screw in the direction of the front wheel. As mentioned earlier, the threads in the crank arms should be greased with assembly grease or other grease. The bicycle pedal should also be tightened to the torque specified by the manufacturer.

Note: Switch the chain to the highest chainring for safety. If you slip, you slip on the chain and not in the chainrings

Frequently asked questions about changing, unscrewing and mounting bicycle pedals

My bicycle pedals do not release – what can I do?

On new bikes, the pedals are usually fairly easy to loosen. If the bicycle pedals are too tight, there are several possible solutions:

  1. Use as long a lever as possible on the Allen wrench or wrench. You can work easier in this case with the wrench
  2. A WD-40 Multifunktionsprodukt Classic 100ml can loosen tight pedals. Sometimes even a short exposure time helps. For complicated cases, soaking overnight can help.
  3. In a pinch, tap your tool (allen wrench or wrench) with some force with a rubber mallet to loosen the pedal in the correct direction.

With what torque should I tighten the bicycle pedals?

Bicycle pedals must be mounted very fixed. Often you read that the pedals would tighten themselves while driving. However, this is wrong. Manufacturers sometimes recommend torques of 35 to 55 Newton metres for assembly. It’s best to check the manual for your bike pedals. There you will find the torque recommended by your manufacturer.

How can I tell the direction of the bicycle pedals?

The left pedal is marked with a L or has a double notch at the end of the spindle
The right pedal is marked with a R and has no notch at the end of the spindle

How can I mount pedals on the bike?

The bicycle pedal mounting is always in the direction of the front wheel

How can I dismantle pedals on the bike?

Pedals unscrewing always works in the direction of the rear wheel

Was the bicycle pedals change guide helpful? Do you have any questions about unscrewing or fitting bicycle pedals? Feel free to write me your comment 😉

Sources and further links:

Cover image: ©NorGal- stock.adobe.com

Geschrieben von Michael Luplow
Hallo, ich bin Michael, Bikepacker, Abenteuerfan und der Mensch hinter Bikepacking-Adventures. Die Idee für bikepacking-adventures.com entstand direkt hinter dem Fahrrad-Lenker! Nämlich als ich auf einer Fahrrad Tour von Deutschland nach Istanbul war. Hier geht es um Abenteuerreisen mit dem Fahrrad und um Bikepacking auf allen Kontinenten dieser Erde! Du möchtest mehr wissen oder hast Tipps? Schreib mir einfach!

3 thoughts on “Changing, unscrewing and fitting bicycle pedals: simple step-by-step instructions”

  1. The steps to remove pedals from the bike: Loosen the spindle by rotating it until the pedal pops out of the crank arm. Repeat the same procedure on the other pedal on the opposite side. After removing the pedals, you have to check the new pedal set: You should use adequate lubrication of the pedal threads to ensure optimal mechanical performance of the new pedals. The next step in replacing a bike pedal involves inserting the correct pedal into the hole of the corresponding crank arm. Always insert the spindle at a 90-degree angle.

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