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In the (near) future i plan on getting clipless pedals. I was curious how hard it is to install the pedals myself. I want to gain some mechanical bike knowledge so i want this to possibly be my first major venture. Any information would be appreciated. thanks.

P.S.
I was planning on going with Crank Bros Candies with a Sidi Rampa shoe to start out
 

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local trails rider
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Not hard at all, unless your current pedals are seriously stuck.

A pedal wrench is what usually gets recommended, but I have managed with a fixed open ended wrench (cannot remember if 14 or 15 mm fits) or a hex key (cannot remember the size either, but it is metric).

One of the pedals has a reverse thread:
To remove pedal, you rotate the wrench/pedal towards the rear of the bike.
To install, rotate towards the front.

Getting enough leverage can be a problem because the cranks also want to rotate. Either you angle the wrench so that you can push down on the other crank and the wrench, or you angle it so that you are pushing the wrench towards the BB.

The first time I removed a pedal I had to use a small hammer - gently - to get the wrench moving. People have used seat posts and other similar items to extend a wrench for more leverage.

When installing pedals, put some grease or other thread saving stuff on the threads. That will keep the threads from getting stuck.
 

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The easiet way I foud to remove pedals is to put the cranks/pedal parallel to the floor, place a 2x4 standing up under the crank close to the pedal. You can then use your foot if it is really tight to push down on the wrench. This way you do not really have to worry about holding the crank while turning the wrench.
 

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13pumps said:
The easiet way I foud to remove pedals is to put the cranks/pedal parallel to the floor, place a 2x4 standing up under the crank close to the pedal. You can then use your foot if it is really tight to push down on the wrench. This way you do not really have to worry about holding the crank while turning the wrench.
The only issues one likely has are stuck pedals, as was mentioned, and which way the threads go, as was also mentioned.

Stuck pedals aren't usually a big deal. You gotta know the answer to the second issue to know which way to turn. Just remember that as your pedal turns going forward it is designed to NOT loosen the thread. So for each pedal Clockwise is to tighten and counterclockwise is to loosen.

If the pedal is stuck I'll usually hold the wrench on the pedal bolt with one hand and with the other I will hit the end of the wrench with the palm of my hand. The jarring will usually loosen it. Use a leather glove to keep from getting hurt.
 

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Be careful!

LukeC55 said:
In the (near) future i plan on getting clipless pedals. I was curious how hard it is to install the pedals myself. I want to gain some mechanical bike knowledge so i want this to possibly be my first major venture. Any information would be appreciated. thanks.

P.S.
I was planning on going with Crank Bros Candies with a Sidi Rampa shoe to start out
There was a bit of confusing info on one of the posts in this thread. To set the record straight:

  1. When viewed from the right side -- the RH pedal unscrews counterclockwise.
  2. When viewed from the left side, the LH pedal unscrews clockwise (it is a left hand thread)
  3. Use a 15mm wrench (a specific pedal wrench is highly recommended -- makes the job so much easier)
  4. When installing the new pedals, thoroughly grease the spindle threads with a good, waterproof grease or a copper based anti-seize compound (found in most auto stores)
:thumbsup:
 

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Everyone recommends to use a pedal wrench but I'm curious as to why they are so special? I used the open ended side on my Craftsman ratcheting wrench and had no difficulties.
 

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kevin6s said:
Everyone recommends to use a pedal wrench but I'm curious as to why they are so special?
Leverage.
The pedal wrench I saw used at a bike shop was really long.
 

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Pedal wrench

kevin6s said:
Everyone recommends to use a pedal wrench but I'm curious as to why they are so special? I used the open ended side on my Craftsman ratcheting wrench and had no difficulties.
As Perttime mentioned in his post, the advantage of a pedal wrench is leverage. If the pedals have been on the crank a long time (say 3+ years or more), and if they were installed without the use of grease or antiseize on the threads, they could be very difficult to remove with a standard wrench. The pedal wrench is much longer, and the head is thinner so that it can engage all types of pedals, even ones with a narrow hex width. Spend the $20-$25 it takes to buy a good pedal wrench -- it beats "buggering up" a set of pedals, or worse yet ruining a crankset.
 

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I used a normal wrench when I changed my pedals recently and didn't have any difficulty. Granted I'm used to working on cars when bolts are usually rusted and seized.

I guess I'm just cheap - well maybe frugal is a better word. If you don't already have a set, for $20 you can get an 8 piece set of wrenches from either Craftsman or Husky that carry a lifetime guarantee. Wait for a sale and you can get them half price. For $25 you can get a 3 piece (6 sizes) Craftsman Extreme Grip Set. I'm still waiting for these to go on sale... ;)
 

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The first time I removed pedals, I was doing it to old broken pedals on my old commuter/errand bike. I thought I would not lose anything by trying with the open ended wrenches I already had. It worked OK, with a couple of gentle "taps" with the small hammer.

On my mountain bike, I installed pedals with a normal metric hex key, just as tight as I could make them with my bare hands. Seems to work OK (except the time I had the problem with the Holzfellers with soft spindles and one pedal loosened and fell off while riding).

(.... now I have three pairs of pedals for my mountain bike: clipless, cheap flatties, and the Holzfeller warranty replacements I got about a year after the LBS determined that a soft spindle was the problem.... )
 

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FrankinMich said:
As Perttime mentioned in his post, the advantage of a pedal wrench is leverage. If the pedals have been on the crank a long time (say 3+ years or more), and if they were installed without the use of grease or antiseize on the threads, they could be very difficult to remove with a standard wrench. The pedal wrench is much longer, and the head is thinner so that it can engage all types of pedals, even ones with a narrow hex width. Spend the $20-$25 it takes to buy a good pedal wrench -- it beats "buggering up" a set of pedals, or worse yet ruining a crankset.
Just wanted to agree the other main benefitt besides leverage is a thin head for clearance. I have always used my regular automotive wrenches, and I've been lucky when I come across many a pedal where there is not sufficient clearance to fit my fat head wrench, there has been a hex on the other side. I then use my DeWalt impact gun with a 5mm hex socket on a 3/8" adapter bit and zap my pedals off.
 

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danthesoundman said:
WRONG! WTF are you talking about??!?!?:nono:
I seem to have a dimentional space imaging mental issue... my bad...
On the left side of the bike Clockwise to unscrew
On the right side of the bike Counter Clockwise to unscrew.

Better?
The key, I think, is that forward pedaling is always a tightening rotation for each side. So you have to turn opposite to unscrew.
:thumbsup:
 

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iviguy said:
The key, I think, is that forward pedaling is always a tightening rotation for each side. So you have to turn opposite to unscrew.
:thumbsup:
I think you still have dimentional space imaging mental issues :)

When pedaling, the cranks turn forward but the pedals turn backwards, in relation to the cranks. That is why I managed to unscrew my sticking Holzfellers while trying to pedal.
 

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perttime said:
I think you still have dimentional space imaging mental issues :)

When pedaling, the cranks turn forward but the pedals turn backwards, in relation to the cranks. That is why I managed to unscrew my sticking Holzfellers while trying to pedal.
no.. That was simply vague explanation issues... :p

It's the friction of the pedal body on the pedal shaft (which turns the same direction as the cranks) that creats a slight tightening of the pedals to the cranks. The threads are setup this way so that the act of pedaling will always tighten rather than loosen the pedal shafts to the cranks. It would be a disaster if it loosened.

So, yes the pedal body does turn opposite of the cranks but the friction being caused on the shaft is what counts.

That's too confusing though. So on the right side: "righty tighty, lefty loosey" applies
On the left side just remember that on the "Left" everything is backwards which is why only the "Right" can be right. (ok, poor attempt with the political humor... ) Left is opposite than the right. Easy enough.
 

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Sooo, explain this: I had soft -> bent pedal shafts and they started binding. I kept pedaling forward although the (flat) pedals wanted to turn with the cranks. One of the pedals became unscrewed and fell off.
 

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The right side of the bike (that is when you and the bike are facing both directions) is the normal way of tightening - right->tight, left->loose. The left side of the bike is reversed. However, if you stand on the right side of the bike and work through/over the frame, the directions are the same. Easiest way to explain it, "its an optical illusion"... ;)
 

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Pedal thoughts

On the drive side, it is lefty loosy. On the non-drive side it is lefty-tighty.

To answer someone's question above about why pedal wrenches are special, it is because they are usually long, always 15 mm (in my experience) and the business end is pretty thin. Often a normal wrench will work if the flats are quite broad, but in all cases - whether the flats are narrow or broad, a pedal wrench will work. Oops, there is an exception, when there are no flats - you go with a hex of the right size, natch
 
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