This may look easy enough - well actually it is, as long as you know a few basic facts. If you don't know what you're doing it can be quite easy to damage the crank or the pedal itself. So to get your pedals to work effectively and to stay tight enough for longer rides follow the few simple pointers below. Make sure both wheels are touching the floor to allow a greater friction as the pedal threads will probably be quite tight.
You're going to need:
- A 15mm Pedal Wrench (you can use normal wrenches but these have a longer handle for extra force and they usually fit better into small axle slots)
- Some Waterproof Grease (I usually use Finish Line Synthetic Grease or similar)
- Possibly some elbow grease
Removing Pedals: To loosen the pedals, position the wrench about 50 degrees away from the floor pointing between the saddle and rear wheel. Then for both pedals you need to turn the shafts towards the rear of the bike (the left pedal has an opposite direction thread is to prevent it from coming loose whilst riding), so counter-clockwise for the right pedal and clockwise for the left. Then simply unscrew the pedals until they come off.
Installing Pedals: Firstly it's advisable to give the crank thread a bit of a clean up to make sure there's no grit or dirt in there - just use a rag or clean paint brush. Apply a thin layer of waterproof grease to the pedal threads (this prevents them from seizing so you can replace them again in the future). Turn the wrench to the front of the bike for both sides, so so clockwise for the right pedal and counter-clockwise for the left.
Note: Some pedals don't have flats on the shaft, but instead an allen key bolt on the inside of the tread (on the opposite side). It's best to get yourself a set of long handled allen keys for this so you have a little more leverage. Just use the correct size allen key to remove/install the pedal remembering to turn them towards the back of your bike to remove and towards the front of your bike to install.