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  1. #1
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Damn Just how tight do pedals have to be, anyway?

    I was going to swap out the pedals on my bike today and, I don't know what the LBS used to tighten these, but they won't budge... They're so tight that i'm afraid of cracking my frame. Now, I need to bring my bike into the shop just to swap out some stupid pedals. They don't need to be that tight, do they? Jeeeeez
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Sounds like they didn't use enough grease when putting them in.

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    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    They appear to be pretty greased
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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    The left pedal is reverse threaded so if you are trying to unscrew in the regular direction you are just tightening it more. But you probably know that already.
    I have a lot of bike issues

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with my wife's '97(?) Giant hybrid. Tried and was unable to remove the original pedals a few months ago. Recently got a Park pedal wrench - added leverage did the trick.

  6. #6
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    They're so tight that i'm afraid of cracking my frame.
    That leads me to believe that you're not doing it the "easy" way. Your frame should not be part of the equation. Try placing the wrench so that it creates a shallow angle with the crank arm so that you can squeeze them together to loosen the pedal. Also remember that the non-drive side is an opposite thread.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    15mm wrench and tap on it with a mallet. Put the wrench on and when you tap it, tap the wrench toward the rear.
    George

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    i bought a spanner from a bike shop still did not work so i sprayed wd 40 and left it for a 4 hours.Trying again it worked but it was still difficult.

  9. #9
    Old Roadie Ncoastbykr's Avatar
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    Easy tip for removing pedals- move the crank arm so that the pedal is horizontal and forward, position your pedal wrench (a pedal wrench or something else providing a lot of leverage) so that you are pushing down toward the bottom bracket. It's an easy way to remember (or ignore) the reverse threading issues.

  10. #10
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    To address the original question, no pedals don't have to be installed super tight and I never understood why so many makers and shops seem to put them on with an impact wrench. Grease the threads and get them good and snug but there is no reason to bear down hard on the wrench.

  11. #11
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Well, here's the deal... I've swapped out pedals a fair number of times over the past couple of years and, yes, I do know about the reverse threading and how to angle the wrench and use leverage and I even have the Park Tool pedal wrench. That's not to discount anything anyone has said here; it's ALL good -great- advice and you had no idea that I knew all of that.

    No, these suckers had to have been tightened by someone who stood on the wrench.

    So, that's what I did. I put the wrench on, sat on my bike, put on foot on the opposite pedal and pushed down on the wrench with my other foot. Can't be any worse than cranking the pedals up a steep climb, right? In any event, that broke the suckers free and now I have swapped pedals.

    Thanks, really, to all of you.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  12. #12
    Senior Member MudPie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    IThey don't need to be that tight, do they? Jeeeeez
    I don't use a torque wrench to install pedals, but I probably install them with 15 to 20 ft-lb (just an estimate), definitely not gorilla strength torque. As you pedal, the action is a "self tightening" motion. Also, I do grease the threads and for added measure, I probably break that joint loose every six months or so just to keep it from freezing.

  13. #13
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    I install pedals all day and double check bikes that others install pedals on all day. I've usually found it better to to do them up a little tighter, just to be safe. I would rather have it be hard to get them off than to have them come loose. Whats worse, a little extra wrench time or having a pedal come loose and strip the threads and ruining the crank?

  14. #14
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    While I've never had to resort to the trick (I make a point of removing and reinstalling my pedals ever couple months), I've heard that pouring hot water on the crank arm can help, since the aluminum will expand faster than the steel pedal shaft.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by christama View Post
    I install pedals all day and double check bikes that others install pedals on all day. I've usually found it better to to do them up a little tighter, just to be safe. I would rather have it be hard to get them off than to have them come loose. Whats worse, a little extra wrench time or having a pedal come loose and strip the threads and ruining the crank?
    Well, better safe than sorry is ok but that doesn't mean the pedals have to be anywhere near gorilla tight. I've been installing and removing pedals for 20+ years and way over 100,000 miles on my and other's bikes and: 1) never tighten them beyond firm, say 15 or 20 pound-ft, and 2) none of them have EVER come loose or damaged the crank threads.

  16. #16
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    Well, better safe than sorry is ok but that doesn't mean the pedals have to be anywhere near gorilla tight. I've been installing and removing pedals for 20+ years and way over 100,000 miles on my and other's bikes and: 1) never tighten them beyond firm, say 15 or 20 pound-ft, and 2) none of them have EVER come loose or damaged the crank threads.
    +1

    Just tightening them up by hand with an ordinary hand tool. In most cases I just using 6mm hex wrench, not a lot of leverage with those. I've had a couple times where I've needed to add a couple extra inches to the wrench with a cheater bar to break on free but never have I had a struggle.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  17. #17
    Member Coach Ice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber View Post
    While I've never had to resort to the trick (I make a point of removing and reinstalling my pedals ever couple months), I've heard that pouring hot water on the crank arm can help, since the aluminum will expand faster than the steel pedal shaft.
    I had to remove my pedals so I could take my bike on a plane (request from the airline). Like you they were way too tight. Worse, it was allan key only!
    I took my bike along to an engineers workshop and we heated the crank with a blowtorch. Similar to the boiling water idea, then sprayed on some CRC. The pedal came off fairly easily straight after that.
    I put the pedals back on when I landed at my destination and just hand tightened them.
    When I went to remove them a week later to fly back, they were much tighter, I only managed to get them off with leverage.
    They have now been on for a year and I do not even want to think about how hard it will be to get them off next time!
    Trek 5000
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai View Post
    Well, here's the deal... I've swapped out pedals a fair number of times over the past couple of years and, yes, I do know about the reverse threading and how to angle the wrench and use leverage and I even have the Park Tool pedal wrench. That's not to discount anything anyone has said here; it's ALL good -great- advice and you had no idea that I knew all of that.

    No, these suckers had to have been tightened by someone who stood on the wrench.

    So, that's what I did. I put the wrench on, sat on my bike, put on foot on the opposite pedal and pushed down on the wrench with my other foot. Can't be any worse than cranking the pedals up a steep climb, right? In any event, that broke the suckers free and now I have swapped pedals.

    Thanks, really, to all of you.
    Great idea, I'll have to remember that trick! I'm blessed with more weight than strength, and it looks like this way you can get high force with control.

    Road Fan

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