Pegs on a Bike
If you’re thinking of adapting pegs to your mountain bike, make sure you understand what you’re committing to. Consider what pegs are for, and why they’re not typically found on most bikes. As a mountain bike frame already has a fair weight, any extra pieces may be unnecessary additions.
The main use of pegs on a bike is to perform acts or stunts with BMX or motocross bikes. Together with the acrobatic pivot, it allows different types of aerial maneuvers to be performed, from double-peg movements to front wheelies. If you’re wondering if you can stunt on your mountain bike, it’s certainly possible, but pegs can also be used for other purposes.
What are Bike Pegs?
Simply put, bicycle pegs are those little cylindersyou may have seen sticking out from both sides of the wheel axle. Whether placed by the front wheel, rear wheel, or both wheels, the pegs allow riders to center their weight. By placing your feet on the hangers, you have a more stable platform for better control of the bike when performing certain movements.
In this case, “movements” could be stunts or tricks. Street BMXers and flatland riders care less about weight and aerodynamics than traditional BMX riders (in fact, pegs are prohibited in racing) and more about balance and maneuverability during complex movements. Pegs add all kinds of weapons to a BMXer’s arsenal, especially when it comes to stunts like grinding. If you’ve ever seen reckless people on YouTube jump and slide along innocent curbs, railings, fences, walls, or other municipal structures using their pegs, then you’ve seen a grind.
Although some BMX bikes come with pegs, you will usually need to purchase them as separate accessories. If so, here are a few things to know when browsing your options:
- Although the pegs themselves are metal, the surfaces can be coated in rubber for better traction. Replaceable nylon or plastic covers are also available for riders looking for an even longer or smoother routine.
- If you are installing them yourself, make sure you have a wrench with a plug and a deep tube that will allow you to tighten the shaft nut on the peg.
- Pegs are typically made to fit standard 14mm wide axles on most freestyle bikes. If you are interested in trying them out on a racing BMX, larger adapters for 3/8 inch axles are available for these models.
- Pegs are typically chrome steel or aluminum alloy. Steel is strong and inexpensive, whereas aluminum is lighter but more expensive.
- Some pegs offer design options. For example, you can buy versions with flatter lids for a better grip. Some stacks rotate freely around the axis to suit your stunt preferences.
Functions of Bike Pegs
Bike pegs give the rider room for their feet and weight in the center of the wheel. It allows a stable platform in terms of pedal usage. You can also gain more control over your movements by specifically using a designed motocross bike. With the position of the axles, balancing on a wheel is easier, giving you a pivot point to move or rotate the bike.
Features of the Peg
While most motocross bike pegs have a design that allows free-spinning on the axles, many have a fixed, rigid construction that reduces slipping risk when performing tricks. Most bike frames are strong enough to carry the weight burden.
Depending on what kind of grip you need, you can utilize rubber or metal surfaces. Others may have flatter covers that would provide a better shoe grip. The width will vary and depend on your needs and the space needed to rest your feet during stunts.
As pegs are designed according to the rider’s needs, you can find them painted or often without covering. For this reason, style is not always at the top of the list of concerns. The peg remains optional because not all bikes have a pre-set, not even motocross bikes.
Having the option to choose the screw helps your feeling and performance when performing stunts. As well, the frame of BMX bikes designed for racing do not need pegs, as they would be useless in racing, simply adding weight to slow you down. But if you are using your bike for stunts, then pegs are the thing for you.
This video shows you how to install pegs on a bike (Credit to Mongoose Bikes):
Can you put pegs on a road bike?
Probably not a good idea. Most quality road bike wheels are secured with a quick-release lever, complicating matters. In this case, to assemble you would have to replace the axle so that the tips extend out enough that you can screw in the pegs.
If you already have a low-end road bike with lug nuts and a longer axle, this may help, but know that adding any significant weight to the rear wheel (which already supports most of the weight) won’t be good for the wheel, stability, or safety.
How do acrobatic pegs fit?
Now, if you’d like to try to put a stunt peg on a mountain bike frame, here is how you can add a stable peg. However, it works best on a semi-horizontal mountain bike frame. You will need a 3/4 inch shank, two 10mm wrenches, a hacksaw, and some car grease. You also need two BMX style steel stacks.
Steps for adding pegs to a road bike:
- Use the hacksaw to saw both sides of the guide peg (the protrusion that is screwed in so that it is flush to the frame when screwed into the shaft). Ensure that the pole is thick and heavy enough to support the weight. It must be level, or it will bend the rear axle over time.
- Most mountain bikes now come with a quick release, and if you find one with a solid rear axle, there is no exposed space for mounting the pegs. Therefore, 3/8 inch shafts are needed to cut the guide screw to the proper length. You may also find that you will have to rebuild the rear hub of the mountain bike.
- Remove the rear wheel with the wrenches and unscrew the nuts to loosen the bearings. Repeat on both sides. Pass the threaded shaft, repack the bearings into both sides with grease, tighten the nuts and re-tighten them even further, preventing them from moving.
- If your bike has a bearing cartridge, grease the area and slide the shaft into it without repacking the bearings. Be sure to always tighten the lug nuts. Place the rubber on the bike and secure the chain. Screw the stunt peg to the frame.
- On the inside of the peg, mount the washers and nuts to the shaft and tighten them. Make sure they are inside the peg and that the axle or wheel does not fall out. Remember that pegs are useful for tricks with your own body weight but can be dangerous with passengers on the frame.