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drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today a buddy of mine was putting cranks on his fixed gear mountain bike. As a joke and to throw people off, I suggested putting the drivetrain on the left side of the bike. Since he is using a Boone disc fixed cog, there wouldn't be any worries of the cog unscrewing. It was a square taper crank so the arms could be simply swapped after inserting the bottom bracket properly. He uses Eggbeaters, so the cleats would work properly as well.

However, another buddy mentioned that the pedals might unscrew. I have a hard time imagining why. The only time I could see anything happening is if the bearings go bad and the pedal axle doesn't rotate freely. But in this scenario, doesn't it make sense that if you swapped sides (for the cranks) that the pedals will get tighter? Well, it does to me, but it's late and I should sleep. ;) Bottom line, has anyone tried this with success?
(Apparently it didn't work for this guy.)
 

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My bike was -TWO- Wheels!
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Keep a wrench with you and some loctite maybe.

My friend tried that with his BMX. Funny as hell. The freewheel caught in the wrong direction. So his bike had reverse...
 

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If you want to get fancy, use a tandem lhs crankset.
 

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Hit The Road Cyclery
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Actually, pedals are designed to unscrew themselves by default, NOT stay tight. A hundred years ago, when fixed gear was the only option and pedal bearings or bushings sucked, it wasn't uncommon for the spindles to seize while riding. If that happened with your foot strapped in (think clips and straps), you wanted the pedal to unthread itself, otherwise it would rip your foot off. The design has just carried over into modern times, even though it isn't really necessary any more, so while your friend's idea is technically "dangerous", I seriously doubt he'll have a problem with it.
 

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They will unscrew themselves and bung up the threads in the process.
I've done it.
why do you think BB's are threaded backwards? Same reason.
Plus, his clipless pedals will be backwards and shoes are never that comfy when you put them on with the heel in the front.
 

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drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Knuckles said:
They will unscrew themselves and bung up the threads in the process.
I've done it.
why do you think BB's are threaded backwards? Same reason.
Plus, his clipless pedals will be backwards and shoes are never that comfy when you put them on with the heel in the front.
Anomies' reasoning is in line with what I was thinking. Imagine the BB is installed correctly (drive side cup goes into the frame counterclockwise). If the axle were to sieze, it would unscrew itself out of the frame. Same thoughts with the pedals: the right side pedal should unscrew if its axle siezed.

So if you switched the cranks (and pedals) to the opposite side, then doesn't it stand to reason that it should get tighter?

Anyways, sounds like you and some of the others have tried it unsuccessfully, so I defer logic to experience. ;)
 

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Manicmtbr said:
Well, the BMX guys are doing it with a LHD freewheel, so I think it should work fine.
The BMX guys are doing it with specific parts that are designed to work with left side drive. The left crank arm is made to mount the chainring - this way your pedals go on the right way. The hub is left hand thread for a specific left side drive freewheel.

On that fixie, I'd be more worried about the cog coming off. When you pedal it forward, it will want to un-thread. Make sure that lock ring is dang tight and check it often.
 

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drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ssmike said:
On that fixie, I'd be more worried about the cog coming off. When you pedal it forward, it will want to un-thread. Make sure that lock ring is dang tight and check it often.
Ayup:
Drevil said:
Since he is using a Boone disc fixed cog, there wouldn't be any worries of the cog unscrewing.
 

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uncompliant
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A friend of mine tried it....

...briefly ;-)



Note the flats! He toyed with putting his cleats on backwards... then thought better of it.

He's waiting to come across some tandem cranks before trying again.

On the unscrewing pedal spindles issue - they'll unscrew regardless of whether the bearings seize as it's the "stirring" action on the spindle in the crank arm that make them unscrew (I'm sure there's a technical term fo that that someone will supply!) My friends came loose fairly quickly apparently.
 

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JonathanB said:
...briefly ;-)

On the unscrewing pedal spindles issue - they'll unscrew regardless of whether the bearings seize as it's the "stirring" action on the spindle in the crank arm that make them unscrew (I'm sure there's a technical term fo that that someone will supply!) My friends came loose fairly quickly apparently.
It's called precession. I think sheldon brown has an article on it somewhere.
 
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