As a passionate mountain biker, I understand the importance of regular bike maintenance. One task that often comes up is removing bike pedals. Whether you want to upgrade your pedals or simply perform maintenance on your bike, knowing how to remove mountain bike pedals is an essential skill. In this guide, I will take you through a step-by-step process on how to remove bike pedals quickly and efficiently.
Tools Needed for Removing Bike Pedals
Before we dive into the process of removing bike pedals, let’s make sure we have the necessary tools at hand. Here are the tools you’ll need:
Pedal wrench: A pedal wrench is a specialized tool with a long handle and a thin, open-ended wrench on one side. It is designed specifically for removing bike pedals.
Allen wrenches: Depending on the type of pedals you have, you may need an Allen wrench to remove them. Most pedals require an Allen wrench with a 6mm or 8mm size.
Grease: Having some grease on hand is always a good idea. It will help with the removal process and prevent any rust or corrosion from forming.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Remove Bike Pedals
Now that we have our tools ready, let’s jump into the step-by-step process of removing bike pedals:
Step 1: Prepare Your Bike: Start by finding a clean and stable surface to work on. Turn your bike upside down or use a bike stand to secure it. This will make it easier to access the pedals and provide stability during the removal process.
Step 2: Determine Pedal Rotation: It’s essential to know that bike pedals have different threading on each side. The right pedal has a normal, or right-handed, thread, while the left pedal has a reverse, or left-handed, thread. To determine which way to turn the pedals for removal, stand on the side of the bike and face forward.
Step 3: Position Your Wrench: If your pedals have flats for a pedal wrench, position the wrench on the pedal flats. If your pedals have Allen wrench fittings, insert the appropriate-sized Allen wrench into the fitting.
Step 4: Loosen the Pedals: Apply force in the appropriate direction to loosen the pedals. Remember, the right pedal loosens by turning it counterclockwise, while the left pedal loosens by turning it clockwise. Use a steady and firm grip on the wrench or Allen wrench to avoid slipping.
Step 5: Remove the Pedals: Once the pedals are loose, you can now remove them by rotating them completely in the appropriate direction. The left pedal will unscrew clockwise, while the right pedal will unscrew counterclockwise. Keep turning until the pedals are completely detached from the crank arms.
Tips for Removing Stubborn Bike Pedals
Removing stubborn bike pedals can be a daunting task, especially if they haven’t been removed in a while. Here are some tips to help you tackle stubborn pedals:
Apply penetrating oil: If the pedals are stuck, applying a few drops of penetrating oil can help loosen them. Allow the oil to penetrate the threads for a few minutes before attempting to remove the pedals again.
Use a longer wrench or pipe: If you’re struggling to generate enough leverage, try using a longer pedal wrench or place a pipe over the wrench handle for added leverage. This will provide more torque and make it easier to loosen stubborn pedals.
Heat the crank arm: In extreme cases, where the pedals are extremely stubborn, applying heat to the crank arm can help. Use a heat gun or a hairdryer to heat the crank arm for a few minutes before attempting to remove the pedals. Be cautious not to overheat or damage any other components.
Different Types of Bike Pedal Systems
There are several types of bike pedal systems available, each with its own unique design and features. Here are the most common types of bike pedal systems you may encounter:
Platform Pedals: Platform pedals are the simplest and most common type of bike pedals. They feature a wide platform that allows you to ride with any type of shoe. These pedals are easy to install and remove.
Clipless Pedals: Clipless pedals, despite their name, actually require a special shoe with cleats that clip into the pedal mechanism. They provide a secure connection between the shoe and pedal, allowing for more efficient power transfer.
Toe Clip Pedals: Toe clip pedals feature a cage-like structure attached to the pedal, allowing you to slide your foot in and secure it with a strap. They provide some of the benefits of clipless pedals while still allowing you to ride with regular shoes.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Removing Bike Pedals
While removing bike pedals may seem straightforward, there are a few common mistakes that beginners often make. Here are some mistakes to avoid:
Using the wrong-sized wrench: It’s crucial to use the correct-sized wrench or Allen wrench when removing bike pedals. Using the wrong size can damage the pedals or make removal more difficult.
Forgetting to grease the pedal threads: Before installing new pedals, it’s essential to apply a thin layer of grease to the threads. This will prevent future seizing and make removal easier next time.
Over-tightening or cross-threading the pedals: When reinstalling pedals, make sure not to over-tighten them or cross-thread them. Over-tightening can damage the threads, while cross-threading can strip the pedal or crank arm.
FAQs About Bike Pedal Removal
Q: Can I remove bike pedals without a pedal wrench?
A: While it is possible to remove some pedals without a pedal wrench using an adjustable wrench, it’s generally recommended to use a pedal wrench for a more secure grip and better leverage.
Q: How often should I remove and clean my bike pedals?
A: It’s a good practice to remove and clean your bike pedals at least once every few months or whenever you notice excessive dirt or debris buildup. Regular maintenance will prolong the life of your pedals and ensure optimal performance.
Q: Do I need any special tools to remove clipless pedals?
A: Most clipless pedals require an Allen wrench to remove them. However, some pedal systems may require a specific tool provided by the manufacturer. Refer to the pedal’s user manual or the manufacturer’s website for specific instructions.
Final Thoughts – How to Remove Mountain Bike Pedals
Removing bike pedals is a fundamental skill that every mountain biker should know. With the right tools, proper technique, and a little patience, you can easily remove bike pedals in just a few minutes. Remember to follow the step-by-step guide, use the correct wrenches, and avoid common mistakes. Whether you’re upgrading your pedals or performing maintenance on your bike, knowing how to remove bike pedals will come in handy. So go ahead, give it a try, and enjoy the smooth ride with your newly removed pedals!
Now that you know how to remove bike pedals, why not share this guide with your fellow mountain bikers? Spread the knowledge and help others master this essential skill. Learn how to change a mountain bike tire.