How to Fix Bicycle Pedals

How to Fix Bicycle Pedals
Bicycle pedals are not merely a means of applying power to the drive train. They also serve as a control surface, allowing the cyclist to steer his bike more accurately and effectively by means of shifting his weight in different positions upon the pedals. Not surprisingly, the pedals receive a fair amount of abuse. In time, due to grime and general wear, pedals may creak or in some cases bind, in which the pedal surface is no longer spinning freely around the spindle. Many times the problem can be solved by removing the pedals, giving the spindles and bearings fresh grease and then reinstalling them tightly.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Remove and Clean

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pedal wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Bearing grease
  • Standard set of wrenches
  • Tweezers
Step 1
Remove the pedals from the crank arm. Rotate the crank arm forward, toward the front of the bike. Using a pedal wrench and holding the other crank arm in place, push the wrench down to free the pedal. While the left, non-drive side pedal is reverse threaded, this procedure is the same for both pedals.
Step 2
Clean the pedals of old grease and any dirt or grime. Pay special attention to the spindle threads. Any grit on the threads can affect contact with the crank arm threads when the pedal is screwed back in place. A mild solvent such as rubbing alcohol works well for removing grease.
Step 3
Apply fresh grease to the spindle threads, coating them evenly.


Step 1
Pry the dust cap from the end of the pedal. A flat-bladed screwdriver is sufficient for most models.
Step 2
Remove the locknut and washer on the end of the spindle. The locknut will appear once the dust cap has been removed. You will need to hold the opposite end of the spindle in place while unscrewing the locknut with a proper size wrench. Holding the spindle will keep it from rotating during locknut removal.
Step 3
Thread off the cone from behind the locknut and washer. Remove the bearings with tweezers and carefully set them aside.
Step 4
Turn the pedal over and pull the spindle free of the pedal body. Remove the second set of bearings. Apply a fresh bead of grease inside each bearing race (the compartment in which bearings sit) and reinstall the bearings.
Step 5
Reassemble the pedal. Gently thread the spindle back through the pedal. Screw the cone back onto the bearings. Place the washer over the cone and screw the locknut back in place. Spin the pedal to make sure it is not binding; loosen the locknut if necessary. Reattach the dust cap.
Step 6
Thread the pedal by hand back onto the crank arm. Remember, left, non-drive side pedals are reverse threaded (turning counterclockwise will tighten them). Using the pedal wrench, tighten the pedal the remainder of the way.

Tips & Warnings

Work over a rag or shop towel. Old bearings may fall from the pedal. A towel will make them easier to locate.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

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