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  1. #1
    Senior Member bryroth's Avatar
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    How much grease should you put on the pedal threads when installing pedals?

    Also, do you really need a pedal wrench?

    I'm buying a used bike and am too broke to go also pay to have the pedals put on it. The person that I'm buying it from rides it every day, so I'm not even going to tune it up.

    Putting pedals on isn't t something I can screw up, is it? It sounds pretty straightforward. Could I just use some vice pliers or and actual normal wrench to put the pedals on? Any special grease for the threads, or will any grease do? Perhaps just some WD-40? Plumber's tape?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    You probably don't need a pedal wrench - a narrow 15mm wrench will usually do.

    Yes, it is something you can screw up, as the left side pedal screws in counter-clockwise (so it doesn't come off as you pedal). If you are careful, you can certainly do it.

    Use white lithium grease - dirt cheap and a can lasts a LONG time. You just need enough grease to ease the threads in - a very small amount.

  3. #3
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    Find a thin steel washer to go on the pedal shank. It will prevent the pedal from cutting a circular groove in the crank arm as you tighten the pedal.

  4. #4
    Map maker cbchess's Avatar
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    just enough to fill the threads - the left pedal will have backward threads

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    Just make sure you put enough on to cover the treads. Any extra will be squeezed out anyway, and so you don't have to worry about it.

  6. #6
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    Use just enough, but not too much.

    Seriously, just ****** the stuff on, attach pedal, wipe off excess.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  7. #7
    DOS
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    Since the act of pedaling works to tighten the pedals, I like to use an anti-seize compound rather than regular grease. Makes getting them off later easier

  8. #8
    Senior Member bryroth's Avatar
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    Thank you!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOS View Post
    Since the act of pedaling works to tighten the pedals, I like to use an anti-seize compound rather than regular grease. Makes getting them off later easier
    +1

    Anytime you're putting different metals together (steel and aluminum alloy, in this case {usually**), you want antisieze, not grease.

  10. #10
    Bill
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    I believe grease is the right thing to use. I'd wipe the threads clean with a rag, lightly grease the threads, and be sure to start screwing the pedals in with your fingers so you can feel that it's screwing in and not cross threading. Cross threading the pedals will definitely screw things up! You don't want to do that cuz then you may need new cranks. The cranks are usually softer aluminum. You don't need antisieze if you tighten the pedals with the proper amount of torque - in the neighborhood of 300 in-lbs. Using the proper torque is a better solution than gluing the threads with antisieze.
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    Forget grease, there's no good reason for it. Just run a bit of wax across the threads. If its good enough for aerospace applications, it's good enough for your pedals.

    However, if you want to feel that you're doing something special, go ahead and get a little pack of anti-seize for spark plugs from Autozone (or similar). I think they sell it for about 75cents and there's plenty to coat the threads of your pedals. It'll not only prevent rusting, but also seizing.

  12. #12
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I don't care if you all use peanut-butter from that horrible factory. But I've always used a good quality Teflon-based grease - enough to slather the threads - and screwed and torqued on the pedals. After 15 years I removed the pedals, without noteworthy difficulty, and the grease was still very much in evidence. Same for an old freewheel. You want to spend extra $$$ on anti-seize? Be my guest. My grease works fine from where I'm sitting.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Skipper's Avatar
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    You should use antisieze even if you tighten the pedals with the proper amount of torque - in the neighborhood of 300 in-lbs. Using antisieze and the proper torque is the best solution.

    Fixed that for you. Anti-sieze compound is not glue.

    +1. Anytime you're putting different metals together (steel and aluminum alloy, in this case {usually**), you want antisieze, not grease.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I bought a tube of this stuff at the LBS years ago. Works in BBs, headsets, you name it. Including pedal threads.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  15. #15
    Senior Member bryroth's Avatar
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    Someone told me Vaseline works as an alternative.

  16. #16
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Vaseline is somewhat volatile and will "dry out" over time. Cave in - get some grease. I'd suggest a Teflon-based one. It lasts decades.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Johnny Nemo's Avatar
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    Really... any lube (except for those 'adult' ones) will do the trick.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post


    I bought a tube of this stuff at the LBS years ago. Works in BBs, headsets, you name it. Including pedal threads.
    +1. A tube will last you a lifetime, and is great on everything. I use it on all threads, and the seatpost and headset race to keep water out of the frame.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post


    I bought a tube of this stuff at the LBS years ago. Works in BBs, headsets, you name it. Including pedal threads.
    + 1000

    I can't remember when I bought my tube... years ago... and I'm still using it on threads, etc.

    Use some of this on your pedal threads and torque em right and you'll never have that annoying mystery clicking sound people get so worked up about, blaming (and changing) everything from their BB to seat, but not realizing that dry pedal threads will eventually start to creak with a clicking sound when pressure is applied in a very particular way, such as in a particular part of your pedaling stroke in a particular gear.


    .

  20. #20
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Using anti-seize compound/grease is the safest way. Most pedals and cranks are made of different metals/alloys/composites. It's a similar procedure with installing spark plugs into an aluminum head...use anti-seize or risk pulling out/gouging the aluminum threads when you dis-assemble, esp if it's been a long time.

    That being said, many over the years have used automotive grease with success or even used plumbers/teflon tape. There's no such thing as using too much grease, just wipe off the excess after you tighten the pedals down...it's cheap enough to waste a little and to make sure you have max coverage on the threads. Use a q-tip or toothpick if you want to be thrifty on the grease, coat the crank threads and pedal threads and then assemble them.

  21. #21
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    This is the most important thread I've ever seen. 21 posts!
    I once watched a whole pro peloton go down because some jerk-wad mechanic put the wrong stuff on their riders' pedals.

    Keep 'em coming.

  22. #22
    Oldtimer borgagain's Avatar
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    If the former owner rode that bike "every day" (for how many years?), it's undoubtedly due for a tune up. I wouldn't put it off.
    Resistance is futile. Mechanical enhancement is inevitable. You will be assimilated into your bicycle.
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  23. #23
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post
    Find a thin steel washer to go on the pedal shank. It will prevent the pedal from cutting a circular groove in the crank arm as you tighten the pedal.
    Available here.

  24. #24
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    I find all this complicated advice kind of amusing. Any kind of bike grease, Teflon or traditional, has always been fine for me. Never had a problem in 40 years. If you put enough on that it oozes out when you tighten the pedal, you know you've got enough in there. That's all there is to it. You don't need anything else, because pedals are one part of a bike that you should check and regrease periodically anyway, like quill stems. The one time I ever had trouble removing pedals was after I had let somebody else put them on.

    Grease them, and then don't put them on too tight. You should give them a check before a ride just to ensure they haven't loosened.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryroth View Post
    Could I just use some vice pliers or and actual normal wrench to put the pedals on?
    Thanks!
    A set of metric wrenches could cost as little as $15 if you shop around. For pedals you only need a regular 15mm open-end (or combination) wrench.

    Do not use pliers or vise-grips on your bike, unless it is a bike you plan on throwing away within a month. The repair you do once with pliers will often be the repair you cannot do again.

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