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Pedals keep locking up! Not the rotation, the thread itself. Best practices?

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Pedals keep locking up! Not the rotation, the thread itself. Best practices?

Old 05-13-15, 01:46 PM
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mdilthey
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Pedals keep locking up! Not the rotation, the thread itself. Best practices?

Hey all,

Getting my chops with bicycle repair. I can do almost everything myself (and I'm getting good at clean cabling and bar tape wraps!).

Every time I go to swap pedals from one bike to the next, it's a huge hassle. They're always locked up. Sometimes, I have to take the crankset off, pin it on the ground, and physically kick the wrench to unlock the threads. I clean and lubricate the threads every time I put them on, and I don't tighten it down with more than 7-8 Nm of torque.

So, how can I keep this from happening? I often find it necessary to swap pedals and I want to keep riding in bad weather and winter.

Thanks for all advice,

Max
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Old 05-13-15, 01:57 PM
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I was going to say to grease the threads, but sounds like you're already doing so.
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Old 05-13-15, 02:04 PM
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I use some thick wheel bearing grease on my pedal axles. Or you could use antisieze paste. I put bike on ground, put on 15 mm pedal wrench, as if seated on bike, spin axles backwards on both sides to loosen. Are you using pedal washers so you don't gouge the aluminum crank interface? Works for me. I tighten some, enough so they don't get loose. I do not have a torque wrench. Never had and issue. I use plenty of grease. Lean over the bike and your weight plus the tire/ground resistance should be enough leverage. Using a hex wrench? Using a beefy pedal wrench I hope.
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Old 05-13-15, 02:04 PM
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Your problem is that it's easy to tighten pedals because the chain is holding the crank from turning. But, when you go to remove them, the crank turns back and you can't get great leverage (or any to speak of).

Here's the answer.

1- easiest and works 95% of the time. Arrange your wrench back toward the center of the crank, and above so that you can grab the wrench and crank in one hand and squeeze as you would pliers. Works great if you have strong hands.

2- Put the bike near a wall and set the pedals with the one you want to remove high in front and the other on a book or coffee can so it can't turn back. Arrange the wrench so it's pointing back. Sit on the bike, using the wall for support, and press the wrench down with your foot. If necessary, try to lift yourself suddenly to generate plenty of force.

3- set the cranks horizontal, and put a wooden brace across the chainstays to support the rear crank arm so it can't turn backward. Set wrench the wrench backward on the pedal which is toward the front of the bike, and heave it down while supporting the brace so it can't flip up.
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Old 05-13-15, 02:19 PM
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it happens to me too.

because i've never had one come loose in over about 100,000 miles. i've decided to just not tighten them so much. i now use only my multi tool that has a very short handle. even though i'm using much less torque on them, i still haven't had a problem.

BTW, i DO use grease and change them often enough, for some unknown reason, to be convinced corrosion is not a factor.
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Old 05-13-15, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
it happens to me too.

because i've never had one come loose in over about 100,000 miles. i've decided to just not tighten them so much. i now use only my multi tool that has a very short handle. even though i'm using much less torque on them, i still haven't had a problem.

BTW, i DO use grease and change them often enough, for some unknown reason, to be convinced corrosion is not a factor.
This could be a problem.

Threaded fasteners must be torqued to spec or they can work loose, and when a pedal does that it usually trashes the threads in the crank arm...
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Old 05-13-15, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Your problem is that it's easy to tighten pedals because the chain is holding the crank from turning. But, when you go to remove them, the crank turns back and you can't get great leverage (or any to speak of).

Here's the answer.

1- easiest and works 95% of the time. Arrange your wrench back toward the center of the crank, and above so that you can grab the wrench and crank in one hand and squeeze as you would pliers. Works great if you have strong hands.

2- Put the bike near a wall and set the pedals with the one you want to remove high in front and the other on a book or coffee can so it can't turn back. Arrange the wrench so it's pointing back. Sit on the bike, using the wall for support, and press the wrench down with your foot. If necessary, try to lift yourself suddenly to generate plenty of force.

3- set the cranks horizontal, and put a wooden brace across the chainstays to support the rear crank arm so it can't turn backward. Set wrench the wrench backward on the pedal which is toward the front of the bike, and heave it down while supporting the brace so it can't flip up.
Easiest way is to position the crank so the pedal is foremost (3:00 on the drive side, 9:00 on the off side), mount the wrench so it is parallel to the crank going towards the rear of the bike, and just push down on the wrench.

You can step on it for extra power; the crank will stay in position as the pedal is loosened.

I think I may have to start doing YouTubes of this stuff; it's so much easier to show than describe...
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Old 05-13-15, 02:52 PM
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I put stainless pedal washers between the pedals and crank and put Tef-Gel TEF-GEL - Ultra safety systems - Home page on the washers and threads. It works fine for me, never had a problem getting them loose.
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Old 05-13-15, 03:29 PM
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FB and rnf both make good suggestions. Pedals are normally quite tight, and will often get tighter with use due to precession. That's why pedal wrenches are so long. As mentioned tightening less is not a good solution.
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Old 05-13-15, 04:06 PM
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Another vote for buying a Proper Pedal wrench BITD they had the Fixed BB cup wrench on the opposite end.
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Old 05-13-15, 10:04 PM
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Auto parts stores sell anti-seize specifically made for steel in aluminum threaded connections. It's like eight bucks for a can.
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