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How to Take Off Bike Pedals Without a Pedal Wrench

It can be challenging when you don’t have the right tools to repair your bike.

But the first fear for every biker is: what if your pedal breaks or stops working while cycling? This calls for immediate repair, but you can use various methods and tools even if you don’t have a pedal wrench. 

As a cyclist, it is essential to learn this technique because you might only sometimes have a pedal wrench with you while riding. With these hacks, you won’t need to use a pedal wrench to remove your bike pedal.

Steps to Take Off Bike Pedals Without a Pedal Wrench

Bike pedals are easily damaged because they are subjected to the rigors and wear and tear of riding a bike. Plus, if you travel on terrain where your bike hits a lot, there are more chances of your pedals getting wrecked.

Before the pedal breaks, it starts making noise, indicating it is time to change them. 

The pedals may also be more susceptible to damage if they are made of cheap plastic. No matter what the reason is, if you want to take off the bike pedals and you don’t have a pedal wrench, follow these steps:

Step 1: position your bike correctly

First of all, you must position your bike correctly. Make your bike stand stable so the pedals are more accessible. Use a wall as support if you don’t have a bike stand.

When repairing a bike, the pedals should be parallel to the ground. Facing the side where the chain is will make the work easier while you remove the pedal. 

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Step 2: use an open-end wrench

The next step is to use a tool in place of a pedal wrench. Using a spanner or hammer, you can remove your bike pedal without a pedal wrench.

A 15-mm spanner will work. You can also use a standard 15-mm open-end wrench to remove the pedal. 

Now, carefully look at the pedal because you’ll need to put the spanner or hammer on the pedal’s spindle. If the spindle is too narrow, the spanner won’t be able to catch on to it.

In this case, you’ll need an adjustable wrench to catch on the bit’s back end easily. In short, if the 15 mm spanner won’t fit, you’ll need an adjustable spanner to remove the pedal. 

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a bike and its pedal

Step 3: determine the direction of each pedal

To remove the pedals, you first need to determine the direction of each pedal. This is important for turning the spindle. A standard wrench and an Allen key will help you spot the spindle’s location.

Also, remember the direction of each pedal because one is assigned to the right crank and the other to the left. This is important because it will help you put the pedals back after repairing them or even if you replace them with new ones. 

You’ll have to turn the spindle clockwise if it’s the left pedal. The right pedal, on the other hand, requires you to turn the spindle anti-clockwise.

Turning the spindle in the wrong direction can damage your pedal’s threading and make the whole process more challenging.

While you’re reinstalling the pedals, be careful not to damage the threading of the crank and the pedal. If that happens, you’ll need to change the entire fundamental structure of the pedals, which can be much more expensive and time-consuming.

So, follow the above steps carefully to make sure you’re not putting your bike at risk.

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Step 4: Use the Allen Wrench

Put the Allen key (wrench) into the spindle. Make sure it fits smoothly and that you can slide it without effort. After insertion, you can turn the pedal backward and move the spindle so that it gets off the crank.

If the pedal is stuck, you can use your feet to loosen it. To do so, place your heel on the spanner and put force on the pedal spindle so that it loosens.

This step will make it easier to loosen the pedals that are too stiff to move. 

Step 5: unscrew

Once the pedal has been loosened, quickly unscrew it with your spanner or wrench. You can also use your hands, as it isn’t stiff now.

Repeat the whole process on the other pedal. Now keep turning it until the screws are completely removed.

Now you have removed both of the pedals from your bike. 

Additional Tips

  • Take extra care and precaution while removing the pedals. Apply pressure firmly and steadily; otherwise, you’ll hurt yourself or damage your bike.
  • The pedals may be reverse-threaded if none of the above methods work.
  • The right pedals will tighten clockwise, and the left pedals will tighten by moving anti-clockwise. 
  • If you’re having difficulty removing the pedals because they are stuck between the crank’s arms, you must remove the pedals from the crank arm. 
  • Apply grease as it will make loosening and removal of pedals easier. Pedals might get stiff because of oxidation and rust formation. 
  • You’ll need more leverage or chemical help to remove stiff bike pedals. You can use WD40 a few hours before removing the bike pedal so that the pedal’s thread loses connection with the crank’s threads.

Wrap Up!

This brief step-by-step guide will help you remove your bike pedal if you don’t have a pedal wrench.

Remember that pedal removal is a simple bike repair process, and many cyclists can do it themselves. If you follow these steps carefully and correctly, you’ll be able to take off the pedals quickly, even without a pedal wrench.

If you’re a cycling enthusiast, you must consider buying the right tools and equipment for bike repair and maintenance. A pedal wrench is a convenient tool that gets the job done quickly. You can remove the pedals like a pro if you have the right tools!