How to Remove Stuck Bike Pedals

Removing the bike pedals is easy. However, there are times when the pedal could get stuck. This happens more in the bikes that are old where the pedal starts to rust and causes difficulty in removing them. It could also be that the pedal was put tightly which make it difficult to remove it. Here is how you can remove the bike pedals that are stuck.

The pedals of the bike are  made with threads that fit tight. This is done to improve its hold and to prevent the under the load of the relative motion. If not for this case, the pedals would not be left and right-handed. The pedals, both the left and right one, come with left and right thread. To remove this you will need a pedal wrench of 15mm. You do not need any clever wrench orientation for this. Just a simple rule needs to be followed that when you rotate forward, it tightens and when you rotate backward, it loosens.

how to remove a bicycle gear

What to do if a bike pedal is stuck

Here are some basic things that you will need to remove the pedal from the bike.

  • Open end wrench or a pedal wrench of 15 millimeter
  • Rubber hammer
  • Spray lubricant

Step 1

The first step is to buy some penetrating oil and apply it. This oil should be one that is made specially to loosen the parts of the bike. Spray the oil in the section that is attached to the crank arm. Do not disturb it and let it sit for around 10 minutes. There are some penetrating oils that will work faster than the others. So you need to read the guidelines of the manufacturer before you start to use the oil.

Step 2

Shift the chain into the big ring. This will ensure that any slip is least likely to result in a knuckle injury related to the chainring. This job can be done when the bike is resting on the ground. It makes it hard to do this job when the bike is suspended in mid-air.

Step 3

Determine the direction in which you need to turn. The pedal on the drive-side is on your right and this comes with a normal thread. To loosen the thread you need to turn it in the counterclockwise direction. The left side is the non-drive side and in order to loosen this thread you need to turn it in the clockwise direction.

Step 4

First, start with the drive side or the left side. The crank needs to be placed in the three o’ clock position where it will point forwards and stay parallel to the ground. An Allen key will be accepted by most of the pedals. This key needs to be inserted so that the pedal sits below the cranks level. Now you can push downwards and forwards and turn anticlockwise. You may need to use some force to do it.

Step 5

Now you need to move on to the other side. Here you will have to place the crank in a position that looks like nine o’ clock. The above process has to be done again. The Allen key has to be pushed downward as well as forward. This will let the pedal to rotate in the clockwise direction. Now you can spin the pedal. If any washers have fallen off then they should be kept safely. You will have to use them when you fit a new pedal in your bike.

Step 6

A rubber hammer should be used to tap the bottom of the wrench. This can be used when you do not have a pedal wrench. This is needed to provide leverage. When the wrench is secured and you tap it using a rubber hammer then this helps to make up for the leverage lost and this lets you loosen the pedal.

Step 7

The next step is to inspect and clean up. Wipe down the inside of the crank’s end and the threads on the axle and check if there is any damage. If they look to be worn then you can take it to the local bike shop who can use a tapping tool to mend it.

Step 8

If the axle threads look fine then add some grease or an anti-seize. This will ensure that the squeaking of the pedal is reduced. This also makes sure that the next time when you have to remove the pedal it will come out without a lot of struggle.

Step 9

Check for the markings on the pedals to know which is the right pedal and which is the left pedal. Replace the washers and gently thread the pedals into the cranks. Do not use any force because it can cause damage. Each pedal gets tightened by turning towards the front of the bike. The right pedal will go clockwise and the left will go anticlockwise.

What if nothing works?

In a rare situation, it may happen so that all your attempts to remove the stuck bike pedal goes in vain. If this happens then the bike should be first tipped on the side. Then you need to spray the axle of the pedal and the nut using a variety of penetrating oil. You should then let it to soak all night. Sometimes this is enough for the pedal to easily unscrew on the next day.

Some experts make use of heat in order to loosen the pedal. They run a kind of a torch over the nut and over the axle of the pedal. This is best left to the professionals because if you try to do this at home then it could end up damaging your bike with the open flame.

However, if you still want to try it at home then use a hair dryer and make the nuts hot. This should be done only after you have put some penetrating oil and kept it overnight and have wiped out any excess of oil.

An ordinary wrench or a spanner should be used to take out the pedal. However, if you have experimented with everything possible but still the pedals do not come out then take your bike to a professional bike shop. One important thing to note is that before the new pedal is installed make sure to add some grease on the axle of the pedal. This will make sure that the pedal does not stick again later.