How to Remove a Bicycle Pedal

Removing broken pedal on mountain bike

If you love biking, it is in your best interests to learn about every element of your bike and figure out how to maintain and replace components on your own.

These skills are especially useful if you ride long distances or go on solitary trails where you may not find assistance if something goes wrong.

Knowing these things will also help you save money and time if you need to replace bike parts – you won’t need to wait for a mechanic to do the work for you.

Learning how to remove a bicycle pedal is crucial if you need to take them off for traveling or if it’s time to replace them with new ones. It seems like an easy task, but if you’re not careful, a simple mistake may lead to ruined pedals and a damaged crank arm.

This guide has everything you need to know about how to remove a bicycle pedal. Let’s get to it!


Guide on How to Remove a Bicycle Pedal

Tools and Equipment

tools needed

Here are the tools that you will need for removing and changing a bike pedal:

  • 15mm spanner or an 8mm Allen (hex) key
  • Clean, dry cloth rag
  • Grease or anti-seize
  • Thin pedal washer (optional)
  • Old pipe (optional)

Step-By-Step Guide

Here is how to remove a bicycle pedal and replace it:

How to Remove a Bicycle Pedal

Man replacing pedal on his own bike
  • Spin your cranks and view your bike from its drive side. The crank on the right side should roughly point in the direction of the wheel on the front.
  • If your bike pedals use wrench flats, place your spanner over them to point to the rear of your bike. If your bike pedals use a hex key, place the short end into the pedal’s rear. The long end should point to the rear of the bike.
  • Fit your tool and clamp down with force. At the same time, hold the crank on the opposite end to unscrew the pedal. Continue loosening the bike pedal.
  • If you did not lubricate the bike pedals well during their installation or haven’t replaced them for years, you’ll need to apply a good amount of pressure.
  • If you cannot unscrew the thread, increase your leverage carefully using a pipe or another similar tool. Secure your tool to the hex socket or wrench flat.
  • Alternately, set your bike wheels on a flat area and use your foot to apply extra force while someone holds them in place. You can put an old book or a thick piece of cloth underneath the bike pedal to protect your floor.
  • Remove the non-drive side or left side pedal from your bike. View your bike from the non-drive side and spin the crank on the left side. It should point to the wheel on the front.
  • Repeat the earlier steps and point the tool to the rear of your bicycle.

How to Change a Bicycle Pedal

  • Firstly, attach the right pedal or drive side pedal. If the pedals are old, thoroughly brush or wipe the threads on the pedals and crank. This step is vital as dirt wears out and can damage the threads over time.
  • Apply a bit of anti-seize or grease to the pedal axle’s threads. If you don’t lubricate the pedals, they will be hard to remove later on. Moreover, if not replaced for a long time, the cranks and pedals can merge permanently. Do not use chain lubricant or bike oil as they are not effective in the long term.
  • Some pedals and cranks may need a pedal washer on the axle before you can install them. Check your bike’s manual if you have doubts.
  • Next, thread in the axle by hand. Turn the spindle to the right to tighten the right pedal.
  • Keep threading it back on the crank. After it bottoms out, carefully tighten the pedal using a spanner or hex key. Make sure you are installing the correct pedal. If you use the left instead of the right or vice versa, the pedal will damage the crank.
  • Don’t fit the pedal too tightly. Stop threading once the pedal is snug.
  • Repeat the process for the left pedal; just turn it to the left to thread and tighten it.
  • Once you have installed both pedals, use a rag to wipe away extra grease or anti-seize on the crank.

Reasons to Remove Bicycle Pedal

Reasons to Remove Bicycle Pedal

There are many reasons you may need to remove your bike’s pedals. One of the most common reasons is wear and tear. If your bike is old or you are an avid rider, your bike pedals will wear down eventually and will need to be replaced.

Bike pedals made of plastic wear out much more quickly than metal ones. And the pins of metal pedals eventually wear down due to frequent use.

If your pedals get stuck and refuse to move, you may need to remove and replace those stubborn ones with a new pair. Some riders prefer clipless pedals, especially on mountain trails, for greater comfort and efficiency.

You may want to replace your bike pedals to opt for wider, narrower, or lighter ones, or if you want to replace them with a pair in another color.


Removing a bike pedal is quite easy. With the right knowledge and tools, you can efficiently complete the job without making any mistakes.

This is a crucial skill that will keep you in good stead on solo bike rides across isolated trails and other such situations. You will not have to depend on a mechanic for the care and maintenance of your bike for years to come.

We hope you enjoyed reading our handy article on how to remove a bicycle pedal. Head to our website for more helpful guides and blog posts. Happy reading!


Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic

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