How to Change the Pedals on a Road Bike

How to Change the Pedals on a Road Bike
Most people with road bikes have clipless pedals on them to improve their efficiency on the ride. However, if you take just the one bike on vacation and want to get around town after a long day's ride, you may need to change your pedals from clipless to flat pedals so that you can wear street shoes. You can accomplish this with the right tool and a little patience.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pedal wrench
  • New pedals
Step 1
Stabilize your bicycle so that it will remain steady once you begin removing the pedal. You can use a bicycle stand, lean it against a sturdy wall with at least two points of contact (the saddle and handlebars work best for points of contact) or have a friend hold the bicycle.
Step 2
Familiarize yourself with the pedal wrench and how it fits onto the nut. Make sure you can get a snug grip on the nut with the wrench. Many pedal nuts do not twist with the standard "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" formula, which means you will be turning the nut in the clockwise position.
Step 3
Turn the crank arm upwards so that the pedal is at its topmost position and grab the nut with the pedal wrench. The wrench should be at approximately 90 degrees from the ground for good leverage. Begin to push down on the wrench waiting for the nut to give.
Step 4
Guide the pedal in a clockwise position around with the pedal wrench still on the nut. You will be essentially "pedaling" the bike at this point while holding the wrench. This will continue to to loosen the pedal until you can remove it.
Step 5
Affix the new pedals into the now-empty screw holes and hand-tighten. Once you have hand-tightened the screws, use the pedal wrench in the opposite direction to tighten the new pedals. As before, get a grip on the nut and "pedal" the crank arm in the opposite direction to tighten.

Tips & Warnings

If you plan on changing your pedals frequently while away from home, try to do this before you leave. Occasionally the pedals could be on too tight to remove for the average person. If this is the case, you can have an expert at your local bike shop loosen them very slightly before your trip.

Article Written By Frances Hall

Frances Hall is a librarian and writing and women's and gender studies instructor. Hall has written for Her Active Life and Queercents and has been blogging since 2004. Hall holds a Master of Arts in library science from Dominican University and a Master of Arts in English/literature with a focus on feminist writing pedagogy, as well as a graduate certificate in women's and gender studies.

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