Removing your bike pedals doesn’t have to be hard. You’ll have to remove them if you’ve bought a nicer set of pedals or a different style to replace your current pedals. It’s also a good idea to remove your pedals from time to time to keep them clean and make the whole process easier for when you actually do need to replace them.
Not to mention using more efficient bike pedals increases the speed of your hybrid bike. You can find out more about how to increase the speed of your hybrid bike by reading our article on that topic here.
The first thing you need to determine is what type of pedal you have. This will then dictate what tools are necessary to get the job done.
An 8mm Allen key will work for most types of pedals. A select few require a 6mm Allen key. The most common brands that use an Allen key are Shimano, Look, Speedplay, and Time, but there are many others that fall into this category. Allen keys are the easiest to come by because they are used for many other household tasks. You probably will not have to purchase one.
If your bike has flat pedals (also called platform pedals), you may need to purchase a 15mm pedal wrench (or spanner in the UK). There are several brands that can use this as well as an Allen key, such as Speedplay. A normal 15mm wrench should also work if you aren’t able to find a pedal wrench.
Platform pedals are generally found on bikes meant for commuting, recreational riding, and entry-level or downhill mountain biking.
If you have never before removed your pedals, or if it has been a while since the last time, you may need some type of lubricant to loosen them. Finish Line and GT85 both have quality products that will suffice.
- First, you’ll want to find a spacious area to spread out an get to work. A backyard or garage would be ideal, but if there’s no available space outdoors an open space indoors will work as well. In the latter case, be sure to put down a towel or other material to protect your floors.
- Depending on what condition your bike is in, you may want to wear some old clothes and gloves to keep from getting dirty.
- Place your bike in an easy position to work on it. This could be as simple as setting the kickstand in place. If your bike does not have a kickstand, you can also stabilize the bike with other household items.
- If necessary, spray penetrating fluid to loosen up your brakes. Repeat as many times as necessary until the pedals can move freely.
- Place your chain on the big ring to prevent any personal injuries.
Removing Your Pedals
- Begin facing the drive side (right-hand side), where you will find the chain set and chain. Turn the crank arm – the device connecting the pedal to the circular disk – to the 3 o’clock position.
- The drive side is easy, as it is normally threaded. If using a wrench, place it in line with the crank arm. If using an Allen key, insert it into the pedal axle opposite the pedal.
- Rotate counter-clockwise. You may have to use your foot or some other sturdy device to build up more leverage. Using your foot will also distance you from any slippage that could cause injury. Continue to turn wrench or Allen key until you have successfully removed the pedal.
- Turn the bike around to begin working on the left side, or non-drive side. Set it up just as you did with the drive side.
- This is where things get tricky, because the non-drive side is reverse-threaded. This means you will rotate clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. Continue until pedal is completely removed.
If you’re more of a visual person, the video below will give you some extra guidance:
Getting Back On The Road
Congratulations: you managed to remove your bicycle pedals! Now what are you planning to do to replace the ones you’ve taken off?
If you just planned to clean your pedals and put them back on, you’re done!
If you are interested in finding new pedals to improve your biking experience, be sure to find the best ones to suit your needs. Do you need platforms, clip-ons, hybrids, or clip-less? Learn about the different types of pedals here.