How to Remove Stuck Pedals from Cranks- A Brief Overview
The importance of the pedal to your ride is more than just propelling the bike. It gives balance when you are biking, due to the force you exert with your foot.
Bike pedals consist of two main parts, which are the pedal body and the pedal axle. The majority of cyclists think that all parts of the pedal rotate with respect to the foot and ground. This is not true, because the pedal body does not turn toward the ground like the pedal axle.
However, many people struggle when trying to remove the pedal, especially when it sticks to the crank. Some get this problem because they rely on conventional logic, which says that turning the pedal left (counterclockwise) loosens it while the right (clockwise) direction is for tightening.
In the case of a bike, the right pedal loosens by turning in a counterclockwise direction. In contrast, the left pedal loosens by turning in the clockwise direction. The principle guiding the pedal’s removal is based on the kind of threading within the crank.
The right pedal has a regular thread, but the left pedal has a reverse thread to counter the mechanical effect known as precession. It would help if you were careful not to turn the pedal in the direction opposite to the thread.
Why Does Your Bike Pedal Get Stuck?
Pedal removal should be easy, but in certain cases, they could become stuck:
- Rusted Pedal: Most old bikes have a rusting pedal because the metal part will be dirty and weak due to exposure to moisture.
- Over-tightened Pedal: Once your pedal tightens too much, it will be difficult to remove it
If you have a pedal that is hard to remove, you can use heat to loosen the pedal. This procedure is suitable for cranks made of aluminum because aluminum will expand as you apply heat.
However, if the pedal is still stuck, you can use penetrating oil, which softens the thread on the crank arm.
Removing a Stuck Pedal from the Crank
Some pedals are so tight to the extent that if you use any of the above methods, it will not loosen, and you may ultimately get an injury. Thus, to remove the stuck pedal, you should follow the steps below:
- Get a pedal wrench: The ideal wrench for removing a standard pedal is the 15mm pedal wrench with an open end. It has a longer handle, which gives you more leverage.
- Align the pedals: The best position to put the right pedal is at the three o’clock position. In contrast, the best location for the left pedal is the nine o’clock position.
- Insert the wrench into the right position: The wrench should not be at a 180-degree angle. This will make the crank and the pedal to be in the opposite direction, and it will be impossible to remove the pedal in this orientation.
- Press down the wrench: Your whole body weight will give the optimal press down on the wrench.
- Turn the wrench: The direction of the thread will determine which way to turn the wrench.
Here’s is a video showing an overview of this process (credit to The Adventure Biker):
If you are still unsure of how to remove your stuck pedal from the crank, make sure to ask the nearest bike shop or an experienced biker for assistance!