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How to Remove and Install Pedals

You’ll need:

  • Pedal wrench
  • Grease

This guide will cover removing your old pedals and installing some new ones.

The concept of removing and installing pedals is quite simple. However, it can be a very hard repair to do, depending on how strong you are.

Also, remember that the conventional wisdom of “righty tighty, lefty loosey” does NOT apply to pedals. Instead, remember “turn the pedals towards the front of the bike to tighten them.”

We’ll assume that you’re going to install some new pedals and you have to remove your old ones first.

Part I: Removal

1. Get a proper wrench.

You’ll need either a pedal wrench of an Allen wrench. A pedal wrench is better than a big adjustable wrench because it will cause less damage to the pedals and will also give you more leverage. If your pedals don’t have wrench flats, you’ll need an Allen wrench (probably 6 mm) that will fit into the spindle.

2. Remove pedals.

If your pedals have wrench flats: Starting with the right side (drive side) pedal, put the wrench on the flats and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it. It’s possible that the pedal will be on there REALLY tight. Once that pedal is off, remove the left pedal in the same way except you will turn it clockwise to loosen it since it is reverse threaded.

(If it wasn’t reverse threaded like this, pedaling would cause it to loosen and fall off during a ride!)

If there are no wrench flats: Get an Allen wrench to fit the pedals. This time, since you are working on the opposite side of the pedal, you will turn the right pedal clockwise to loosen it. (Which is the same effect as turning it counterclockwise with a regular pedal wrench.) For the left pedal, turn the Allen wrench clockwise to loosen.


Part II: Installation

1. Grease the threads.

First you will want to grease the threads on your new pedals. Also, note which one is left and which is right. (Sometimes they are marked with an L and an R.)

2. Install right pedal.

Starting with the right pedal, line up the threads with those of the right crank arm. Start threading it on by hand, clockwise, being sure not to cross-thread it.

3. Install left pedal.

Take the left pedal and thread it into the left crank arm, turning it counterclockwise to tighten.

4. Tighten.

Now use the necessary wrench to tighten both pedals completely to the proper torqe specification. (Regular steel pedals can take a lot of force, but be careful when installing lightweight titanium/carbon pedals.)


This video will show you how to remove and install the pedals on your bicycle. This applies to mountain and road bikes, as well as BMX bicycles using 3-piece cranks.