How To Remove Bike Pedals

Although bikes are simple in nature, sometimes fixing and changing parts can turn into a nightmare. There are times that you will need to remove the pedals of your bike.

You may need to do this for multiple reasons, but whatever your reason – it is very important that you remove them correctly. If you don’t, you might find yourself in a world of issues such as a broken crank or a pedal getting jammed.

So you’re looking to change your bike pedals yourself – but without intricate knowledge of bikes and how to repair and take them apart, how can you be sure that you’re doing the right thing?

How To Remove Bike Pedals

How can you be sure you have the right tools, and that you’re following the right instructions? We know that changing parts of your bike can be intimidating – so we’re here to help!

We’ve compiled an extensive guide that will take you through each step of the process, including tips and tricks for each section so that you can learn how to remove bike pedals with confidence.

We’ve also included a handy Frequently Asked Questions section to answer any of the more specific questions you might have.

Step One – Safety

The first step when learning how to remove bike pedals, is to to insure your own safety. Bike parts are heavy and have many different moving sections – all of which can injure you if you’re not careful.

Whatever you do, do not put your fingers inside your wheels, chains or the chain wheel of your pedals. All of these parts can move and do damage to your fingers.

Keep a keen eye on the moving parts of your bike at all times and make sure you are being careful. You’re just changing bike parts after all – the last thing you’d want to do is injure yourself?

Step Two – What You’ll Need

First you’re going to need a wrench that has been specialised for taking off pedals. If you haven’t got one of these, we suggest you buy one.

It’s going to make the entire process a lot easier. Second is an allen key – the one you’ll need can vary though generally it is likely either going to be an 8 or 6mm.

Step Three – Watch out!

The most common point of confusion when it comes to removing pedals is because of the way they sit on your bike.

They are not threaded exactly the same on each side, this is so that when your bike moves they move your wheels easily alongside your pedaling.

The ‘drive’ crank – where the rings that your chains are threaded to are – is going to unscrew in a different way to the other.

This is important – the ‘drive’ side crank will unscrew anti-clockwise. The non-drive side (without chain threading) will unscrew clockwise.

Step Four – Unscrewing The Non-drive side

Place your allen key inside the pedal and make sure the pedal is pointing down. It’s very helpful here to have your bike elevated – on a stand if you have one – so that you will be able to easily move it without the wheels moving.

Push down on the allen key and turn it. You’re likely to feel some pressure here until the tightest part unscrews and you get a small ‘pop’ of tension.

Once it becomes loose you swap to the longer end of the allen key and unscrew until the pedal comes off.

Step Five – Unscrewing The Drive Side

Step Five - Unscrewing The Drive Side

This is just the same as before. Make sure your pedal is pointing down, and then place the short side of your allen key into the pedal screw.

Now apply pressure until the pedal comes loose – swap your allen key around, and unscrew until it drops out.

Step Six – Cleaning Up

Okay so you’ve done it! You have both of the pedals in your hands. Make sure you put them somewhere safe. If this is all you were coming to this guide for – then that’s all done! But wait – there’s more to learning how to remove bike pedals!

We recommend that you take a little bit of time to clean up the axles of your pedals and double check that they aren’t damaged.

If your pedals were more difficult to remove than how we described, it might be that the axles are damaged. If this is the case, it could be difficult when it comes to adding extra pedals.

If this was the case, it could be that the axles are in need of lubrication. If you have bike grease available, this would be the time to place a tiny bit into the holes and spread it.

This will do two things – firstly it will make your new (or old) pedals easier to fasten on, and secondly it will help them to move in the future and prevent them from becoming still.

Regular maintenance on some of the smaller sections of your bike like this is vital for the overall health of your bike!

Final Thoughts

We hope that our quick guide has given you all the knowledge you need to be able to confidently remove your bike pedals.

As we said before, although removing bike pedals might be simple, the different ways in which they turn can be confusing to those uninitiated in bike repairs. If you’re struggling to get one of them off – it’s probably that!

Swapping your pedals is great if you have some new shiny ones, or else it’s important to sometimes take them off just to have a look at the axles. Worn out axles can stop your pedals from working as they should!

We hope that you are easily able to remove your pedals, and wish you the best of luck on your next bike ride!

Frequently Asked Question

How To Remove Stuck Bike Pedals?

If you find that your bike pedals are not coming off easily, this is probably due to lack of lubrication. If this is what is happening, you may have to apply more leverage.

Ensure you have the correct allen key, that you are turning your pedals the correct way, and with two arms put as much leverage into turning the allen key as you can.

This should get it to loosen – often the most important thing when it comes to getting something unstuck is the correct amount of leverage. Apply bike grease in future to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

Can I Use A Normal Wrench To Remove Bike Pedals?

It’s not that you can’t remove them with a standard wrench, it’s just that it’s much harder.

A correct allen key is going to be your best bet, but that’s not to say that your standard wrench won’t do the trick with some good leverage. Just be very careful when pulling hard, as you don’t want to damage your bike or yourself.

There you have it! A complete guide on: How to Remove Bike Pedals!

Cathy Welks
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