How to Remove Road Bike Pedals: A Comprehensive Guide

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Road bike pedals play a pivotal role in your cycling experience, ensuring a seamless connection between you and your bike. Whether you’re a novice cyclist or a seasoned pro, knowing how to remove road bike pedals is a skill that can come in handy for maintenance, upgrades, or transport. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of removing road bike pedals safely and efficiently. Let’s dive in!

Whether you’re swapping out pedals for an upgrade or replacing worn-out components, learning how to remove road bike pedals is an essential skill every cyclist should have. While the task might seem daunting at first, with the right tools and proper technique, you’ll find that it’s a straightforward process.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Before you embark on the pedal removal journey, it’s crucial to gather the tools you’ll need:

  • A pedal wrench or a 15mm wrench
  • A clean cloth or rag
  • Grease or lubricant
  • Allen wrenches (if your pedals have Allen key fittings)
  • A bike stand (optional, but highly recommended for stability)

Preparation: Setting the Stage for Pedal Removal

  1. Find a Suitable Workspace: Choose a well-lit and spacious area to work on your bike. Placing your bike on a stand ensures stability and makes the process more comfortable.
  2. Shift to the Appropriate Gear: Before starting, shift your bike’s chain to the smallest chainring in the front and the smallest cog in the rear. This prevents any accidental chain engagement during the pedal removal process.
  3. Secure Your Bike: If you’re not using a bike stand, flip your bike upside down and rest it on its handlebars and saddle. This keeps the bike stable while you work.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Remove Road Bike Pedals

  1. Position the Wrench: Locate the pedal you want to remove. Identify the left pedal (usually marked with an “L”) and the right pedal (marked with an “R”). Insert the pedal wrench onto the pedal’s axle, ensuring a snug fit.
  2. Turn Counter-Clockwise: For both pedals, turn the wrench in a counter-clockwise direction. Remember the mantra “Lefty loosey, righty tighty.” The left pedal is reverse-threaded, meaning you’ll turn it clockwise to loosen it.
  3. Apply Even Pressure: Hold the pedal wrench firmly and apply steady pressure in the direction required to loosen the pedal. You might encounter initial resistance, but as the pedal loosens, it will become easier to turn.
  4. Remove the Pedal: Once the pedal is sufficiently loose, you can use your hand to unscrew it the rest of the way. Wipe off any dirt or debris from the pedal threads.
  5. Repeat the Process: Follow the same steps to remove the other pedal.

Pro Tips for a Smooth Removal Process

  • Apply Lubricant: Before reinstalling pedals, consider applying a thin layer of grease or lubricant to the pedal threads. This prevents corrosion and makes future removal easier.
  • Use Proper Technique: When using a wrench, position it horizontally for optimal leverage. Push down with your foot to ensure the wrench stays in place while turning.
  • Protect the Frame: To avoid scratching the frame, place a cloth or rag under the pedal wrench while working.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Forgetting the Reverse Thread: Remember that the left pedal has reverse threads, so it tightens in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • Cross-Threaded Pedals: Always start threading pedals by hand to avoid cross-threading, which can damage the crank arms.

FAQs About Removing Road Bike Pedals

How often should I remove and re-grease my pedals?

Regular maintenance suggests removing and re-greasing pedals every 6-12 months, depending on how frequently you ride and the weather conditions.

Do I need a specific wrench for pedal removal?

Yes, a pedal wrench or a 15mm wrench works best for pedal removal due to its thin profile and long handle.

Can I use a lubricant other than grease?

While grease is the preferred option, using a bike-specific lubricant is also suitable for preventing corrosion and easing pedal removal.

Should I remove both pedals at the same time?

It’s recommended to remove one pedal at a time to maintain stability and avoid tipping the bike.

How do I determine if a pedal is left or right threaded?

Look for the “L” or “R” markings on the pedals. The left pedal is reverse-threaded, so it tightens in the opposite direction.

Can I remove pedals without a wrench?

Using a wrench provides the necessary leverage for smooth removal. Attempting to remove pedals without a wrench can damage the crank arms.


Learning how to remove road bike pedals empowers you to perform essential bike maintenance with confidence. By following the step-by-step guide and keeping our pro tips and FAQs in mind, you’ll be able to tackle pedal removal smoothly and efficiently. Remember, regular maintenance ensures your cycling experience remains safe and enjoyable.

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