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  1. #1
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    How to properly put pedals in.

    Hi I was reading a bit on SSFG and now I have gotten a bit worried about putting in my pedals. I currently am sharing pedals between my road and track bikes, but I have read a lot about people stripping their pedals. I just wanted to double check for look keos, you just put the wrench in and turn until it goes in. This is how I have been doing it and the pedals just basically attach themselves to the crank. Is this the proper way because it seems to work and I have yet to strip them in the years I've been using them. How do people manage to strip the threads on their pedals/cranks? Thanks.
    It would be much appreciated if you kept your opinions about things you have only read about, and not really experienced or tried, to yourself.

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    Liberally apply anti-sieze compound first. bk

  3. #3
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    There are a couple ways the threads are stripped. Pedals are right/left specific - the left pedal is reverse threaded. Try forcing the left pedal in the right side and the right pedal in the left side and you'll damage, if not strip, the threads.

    Also, if the pedal is not tightened down it can possibly unthread. When not all threads are engaged, downward force on the pedal can rip it from the cran arm, stripping the threads - usually on the crank arm.
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    The usual way that pedal threads become stripped is from riding the bike with loose pedals. If the pedal spindle moves around loosely inside the crank arm the threads become deformed. The crank arm alloy is usually softer than the pedal spindle so that those become stripped first. Another way to strip the threads is to "cross-thread" the spindle into the crank arm. Be sure that the spindle is perpendicular to the crank arm while starting the spindle into the crank.

    edit: Had not seem post #3 when typing my post.

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    Sounds like a bunch of horror stories. Looks like my pedals & cranks will be fine as long as I am paying attention to what I am doing. Thanks for the help.
    It would be much appreciated if you kept your opinions about things you have only read about, and not really experienced or tried, to yourself.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TLCFORBIKES's Avatar
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    Pedals can be stripped but not easily. Add a little grease to the threads - bring pedal axle up to the crank - the pedal axle is turned clockwise - the axle threads on to the crank. The pedal comes off by turning the pedal axle counter-clockwise. The amount of pressure needed to snug the axle up to the arm isn't very much. Certainly less than gorilla force. If you are swapping the pedals often consider having the arm threads chased. That way you can screw the pedals all the way on by hand and then snug the axle up to the arm and you are done. Easy on & easy off. Also you may look for another pair of pedals.

    The threads on the right side are opposite to the left side threads. But since they are on opposite sides both pedals are threaded clockwise going on and both sides are counter clockwise to remove. Never force any threaded part. Be smarter than what you are working on.
    Last edited by TLCFORBIKES; 01-09-11 at 05:03 PM.

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    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I normally put anti-seize on the threads then thread the pedals in by hand, then tighten with wrench.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    It is tough to strip pedals. Not so hard to strip alloy crank arms. Continually removing and installing pedals increases the possibility of this happening. I'd invest in another set of pedals.

  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aoto View Post
    Sounds like a bunch of horror stories. Looks like my pedals & cranks will be fine as long as I am paying attention to what I am doing.
    Exactly
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  10. #10
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    Be sure that the spindle is perpendicular to the crank arm while starting the spindle into the crank.
    This is worth repeating. It's very very easy to strip pedal threads if you don't hold them perfectly straight as you screw them in.

    Quote Originally Posted by aoto View Post
    Sounds like a bunch of horror stories. Looks like my pedals & cranks will be fine as long as I am paying attention to what I am doing. Thanks for the help.
    I guess if you know how to "pay attention" to whether the crank arm is perfectly perpendicular to the crank arm by eye. My eyeballs personally lack such laser precision, so I don't even like occasionally trying different pedals.

    If I were you I would get some detachable pedals (MKS, Wellgo, or Xepdo) made for the job or just pony up the dough for a second set of pedals (if that's the issue). Replacing the crank arms is way more expensive and a major pain compared to using proper pedals on the ones you have. The thought of regularly swapping pedals makes me cringe.

    BTW the more grease, anti-seize, etc you use the dirtier your hands will get every time you swap the pedals.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    I guess if you know how to "pay attention" to whether the crank arm is perfectly perpendicular to the crank arm by eye. My eyeballs personally lack such laser precision, so I don't even like occasionally trying different pedals...... The thought of regularly swapping pedals makes me cringe.
    I think you are overstating the difficulty. If you hold the pedals aligned with the crank arm and start the threads and turn them in by hand, the possibility of stripping either set of thread is nearly zero. You can get into problems when they don't engage smoothly and you have to use a wrench to turn them in. If you are careful, change them anytime.

    And TLCFORBIKES comment; "The amount of pressure needed to snug the axle up to the arm isn't very much. Certainly less than gorilla force." is very true. There is no reason to tighten pedals excessively and a bit beyond snug is sufficient. Pedal are threaded the way they are to prevent spontaneous loosening so they don't require a lot of force to keep them in place.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    It is tough to strip pedals. Not so hard to strip alloy crank arms. Continually removing and installing pedals increases the possibility of this happening. I'd invest in another set of pedals.
    Ditto from me. If crankarms were intended to have pedals swapped frequently they would have steel thread inserts instead of using alloy threads. Get yourself a second pair of pedals quite soon.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  13. #13
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    I think you are overstating the difficulty. If you hold the pedals aligned with the crank arm and start the threads and turn them in by hand, the possibility of stripping either set of thread is nearly zero. You can get into problems when they don't engage smoothly and you have to use a wrench to turn them in. If you are careful, change them anytime.

    And TLCFORBIKES comment; "The amount of pressure needed to snug the axle up to the arm isn't very much. Certainly less than gorilla force." is very true. There is no reason to tighten pedals excessively and a bit beyond snug is sufficient. Pedal are threaded the way they are to prevent spontaneous loosening so they don't require a lot of force to keep them in place.
    Unless your bike was assembled by hand chances are the threads were already a little wonky from the bike factory and once those first few threads are damaged it's difficult to get the threads started in proper alignment.

    The size of pedal threads were engineered for steel cranks and it is unreasonable to expect aluminum crank arms to reliably perform the task. That's okay because pedals don't need to be threaded on often, but if you do it regularly it's inevitable that the threads will get damaged. "Possibility nearly zero"...1/1000 are good odds if you do something once, but if you do it 1000 times...

    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Ditto from me. If crankarms were intended to have pedals swapped frequently they would have steel thread inserts instead of using alloy threads. Get yourself a second pair of pedals quite soon.
    On the other hand if the OP damages the threads he could always get a steel threaded insert to fix it and continue swapping pedals.

  14. #14
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Ditto from me. If crankarms were intended to have pedals swapped frequently they would have steel thread inserts instead of using alloy threads. Get yourself a second pair of pedals quite soon.
    I don't know if it's really going to cause you mechanical problems; it might, but only on your nth pedal swap, when you need it done quickly, it's dark out, and you're tired you might be a little less careless and accidentally cross thread it. To me, the hassle would be worth a second set of pedals, if just to save me dealing with the greasy axle, and the continual potential for bloody knuckles.

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The French TA company makes marvelous specialty flatwashers to put under Pedals.
    keeps nicks from happening in the crankarms where the pedals screw in...

    available thru many sources..

  16. #16
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    Threads fatigue, aluminium isn't known for its fatigue resistance. Grab another set if you're worried about the life of your crank-arms.
    You've got a bike, so you gotta move.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    I'll just mention here that it is also possible to "strip" the flats on the pedal spindle or the hex socket in the spindle used to tighten and remove the pedals.

  18. #18
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    It is tough to strip pedals. Not so hard to strip alloy crank arms. Continually removing and installing pedals increases the possibility of this happening. I'd invest in another set of pedals.
    I think I'm sixth or seventh on this, so +6. Mathematically:
    $Cost of another set of pedals < $cost of a new set of alloy cranks



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  19. #19
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    .....On the other hand if the OP damages the threads he could always get a steel threaded insert to fix it and continue swapping pedals.
    Which would cost... oh let's see..... about the same as a second set of pedals? Or likely near enough?
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  20. #20
    Junior Member TinyL's Avatar
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    I just put in my first set of pedals. Used a couple drops of blue locktite on the threads after cleaning and inspecting the treads for damage. Blue Locktite is a lubricant while installing, and still allows fastened item to be removed without damage. This way you only have to just seat the pedal lightly, not stressing the aluminum threads by overtightening. Blue locktite will hold them in place and will not cause any damage when you go to remove them again. Used this stuff for years on motorcycles, works like a charm. Just be sure to use the blue color.
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  21. #21
    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyL View Post
    I just put in my first set of pedals. Used a couple drops of blue locktite on the threads after cleaning and inspecting the treads for damage. Blue Locktite is a lubricant while installing, and still allows fastened item to be removed without damage. This way you only have to just seat the pedal lightly, not stressing the aluminum threads by overtightening. Blue locktite will hold them in place and will not cause any damage when you go to remove them again. Used this stuff for years on motorcycles, works like a charm. Just be sure to use the blue color.
    I would prefer to not get in a long and fruitless
    back and forth over this, but as a long time user
    of loctite myself, I would personally not use it
    in this manner. Neither do I believe that

    This way you only have to just seat the pedal lightly,
    not stressing the aluminum threads by overtightening
    is particularly good mechanical practice in
    a location that takes as much force and
    abuse as the junction between pedal and
    crank.

    But hey, like it says in the signature line...
    Quote Originally Posted by CKey_Cal View Post
    Lawlessness is illegal.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    +1. No Loctite on pedal threads, IMO. Follow pedal/crank manufacturers' instruction sheets which call for grease and proper torque.

  23. #23
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Which would cost... oh let's see..... about the same as a second set of pedals? Or likely near enough?
    Well the OP never said he was swapping pedals due to cost of a second set. Perhaps he just wants to use the same pedals on multiple bikes (for adjustment tension consistency or to save space in his apartment) or multiple pedals on the same bike (for variety)?

    If the goal is to save money then, yeah, it would be best to simply get another pair of pedals, but if the goal is to be able to swap the pedals then a steel threaded insert would allow him to reliably continue to do so. But in this case I think I'd still recommend a quick release pedal made for frequent removal from Xpedo or MKS.
    Last edited by chucky; 01-11-11 at 09:49 AM.

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