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  1. #1
    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Installing pedals - how much torque?

    Hi all. I've been riding for years, but here's a "noobie" style question: just bought new Look Keo pedals which install with an 8mm hex -- instructions recommend 40nm of torque. I have never installed my own pedals and do not own a torque wrench, an am worried about stripping out the crank threads. So here's the question: should I just go ahead and put these on myself without a torque wrench, and if so, how far should I torque them -- in other words, how critical is it, and how easily will I strip out the crank threads (Ultegra 9-sp cranks)? Thanks in advance for your advice.

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    Don't worry about the torque wrench. Just tighten the pedals nice and tight - tight enough so you're using your muscles, but not so tight that you're straining them. Be sure to apply grease to the threads. Your feet will do the rest, over time, as you pedal.

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    The tighter you put them on, the more likely you will have blood involved when you are taking them off.

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    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    So, pedals will not fall off if they are under-torque'd?

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    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    My method is once the pedal is tight to the crank, I torque it one-half of a turn.
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    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    snug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender
    snug.
    +1 I use antiseize compound rather than grease. It is only a few $ at the automotive store and will last for years.

  8. #8
    You know you want to. Eatadonut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2
    So, pedals will not fall off if they are under-torque'd?
    doubtful. You'd have to REALLY undertorque them, and pedal backwards a lot.

    40nm is firm enough to tense your arm, but your jaw should still be relaxed.
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    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2
    So, pedals will not fall off if they are under-torque'd?
    The reason pedals are threaded left and right the way they are is so they don't loosen. Don't obsess over torque. Bicycle builders got by without torque wrenches for centuries. In my opinion, on bikes they're only required by people with absolutely no mechanical empathy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDYELLR
    Bicycle builders got by without torque wrenches for centuries.
    Now that's a well researched statement.

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    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2
    Hi all. I've been riding for years, but here's a "noobie" style question: just bought new Look Keo pedals which install with an 8mm hex -- instructions recommend 40nm of torque. I have never installed my own pedals and do not own a torque wrench, an am worried about stripping out the crank threads. So here's the question: should I just go ahead and put these on myself without a torque wrench, and if so, how far should I torque them -- in other words, how critical is it, and how easily will I strip out the crank threads (Ultegra 9-sp cranks)? Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Worry about having them too loose, not too tight.

    Stripping the threads happens when they're too loose, so they move around in the threads.

    If you're using a typical length 8 mm Allen wrench, make them as tight as you can get them.

    Normally pedals are installed with a wrench over a foot long.

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Eatadonut]doubtful. You'd have to REALLY undertorque them, and pedal backwards a lot./QUOTE]

    Don't bet the rent money on that one. If pedals aren't put on pretty snugly they can definitely come off.

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    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    I put them in snug enough while not going crazy on it. I've struggled with too many stuck pedals to make the mistake of over tightening. I count on the fact they'll be kept tight by the forward pedal motion

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    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    The tighter you put them on, the more likely you will have blood involved when you are taking them off.

    Amen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis
    The tighter you put them on, the more likely you will have blood involved when you are taking them off.
    since keo's dont have flats on the pedal spindle for a pedal wrench and only an 8mm allen, I make it tight enough so it doesn't just spin off, but loose enough that I can easily take off the pedal w/o taking off all the skin on my knuckles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDYELLR
    The reason pedals are threaded left and right the way they are is so they don't loosen. Don't obsess over torque. Bicycle builders got by without torque wrenches for centuries. In my opinion, on bikes they're only required by people with absolutely no mechanical empathy.
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    Really tight, with grease = you can take them off again.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitropowered
    since keo's dont have flats on the pedal spindle for a pedal wrench and only an 8mm allen,
    Wow, that seems like a pretty boneheaded design decision.
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    Senior Member Coyote2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nitropowered:
    since keo's dont have flats on the pedal spindle for a pedal wrench and only an 8mm allen,


    "Wow, that seems like a pretty boneheaded design decision."


    Is it gonna be murder to eventually remove those pedals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2
    Originally Posted by nitropowered:
    since keo's dont have flats on the pedal spindle for a pedal wrench and only an 8mm allen,


    "Wow, that seems like a pretty boneheaded design decision."


    Is it gonna be murder to eventually remove those pedals?
    I'd really like to see what happens when someone uses an 8mm and strips out the the hole, now what?
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    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    I'd really like to see what happens when someone uses an 8mm and strips out the the hole, now what?


  22. #22
    Call me The Breeze I_bRAD's Avatar
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    I rarely use my pedal wrench anymore and usually just go with the hex key. I've never had any trouble, although I do have my pedals on and off fairly often switching my favourites between bikes. Don't forget those pedals were put on with a key too, so they won't be as tight as normal anyhow.


    If someone did strip the hex you could always go the ez-out route (well, on the rh pedal at least.) Same argument if you round off the flats on a standard pedal anyhow...

  23. #23
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2
    Originally Posted by nitropowered:
    since keo's dont have flats on the pedal spindle for a pedal wrench and only an 8mm allen,


    "Wow, that seems like a pretty boneheaded design decision."


    Is it gonna be murder to eventually remove those pedals?
    Same on my Time pedals. it means everything can be more snugly over against the cranks as there doesn't need to be any room for a spanner [wrench] to grab.

    Now really bizarrely, each side of my pedals uses a different size hex wrench. No one has been able to give me a good reason why that would be.
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    28lb-ft-regular 5" allen-impossible to strip

    40NM is about 28lb-ft of torque. Sheldon is right of course (big surprise); it will be close to impossible to overtorque these with the typical 8mm Allen wrench which is about 5" long.You would have to be capable of putting out 80 lbs of force with one hand, on a short, thin allen wrench. Superman-maybe-the rest of us, no way. Now, if you have allen bits for a socket wrench(-7"-8" long) you would still have to put out close to 60 lbs of force-a lot for one hand.
    Put them on with antiseize or grease.Clean the threads on the crankarms very well first.
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  25. #25
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoebeisis
    40NM is about 28lb-ft of torque.
    Wow, somebody other than me who remembers the correct English units for torque! :-)

    I've given up correcting folks who ignorantly use "foot pounds" when they should be referring to lb-ft.

    The foot pound is a unit of work or energy. The pound foot is the unit of torque. At least that's what I learned in high-school physics.

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