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Can't get pedals off! Help!

Old 07-24-20, 05:44 PM
  #1  
Toller
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Can't get pedals off! Help!

I bought a used Specialized Allez Elite. The pedals on it are for bike shoes, and I want plain pedals. I don't have a wrench thin enough to get in, so have been using a Allen's wrench. They won't budge. I tried penetrating oil; didn't help. I tried an hex drive with both an impact driver and a socket wrench. Won't budge.

The only things I can think of now are to buy a pedal wrench or take it to a bike shop. Are either of those going to work any better than my Allen's wrench?
Any other suggestions?

My father says he can take the bike shoe pedal apart and attach a flat piece of plastic impregnated plywood to it to work like a plain pedal; but even if that worked, it would look like garbage.

Thanks.
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Old 07-24-20, 06:17 PM
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I'm not sure where or how you are applying an Allen wrench to this job, but you need either a pedal wrench or (most likely) a 15mm flat wrench.

VERY IMPORTANT: Turn both pedals to the REAR to REMOVE and to the FRONT to FASTEN!
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Old 07-24-20, 06:23 PM
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Are you turning them the right direction? Keep in mind that when working from the crank side of the pedal, the sense of the thread is reversed. You turn the right pedal clockwise to loosen when using the hex (Allen® is a trademark) drive, left pedal counterclockwise, the opposite of what you would do with a wrench on the flats..
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Old 07-24-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I'm not sure where or how you are applying an Allen wrench to this job, but you need either a pedal wrench or (most likely) a 15mm flat wrench.

VERY IMPORTANT: Turn both pedals to the REAR to REMOVE and to the FRONT to FASTEN!
Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Are you turning them the right direction? Keep in mind that when working from the crank side of the pedal, the sense of the thread is reversed. You turn the right pedal clockwise to loosen when using the hex (Allen® is a trademark) drive, left pedal counterclockwise, the opposite of what you would do with a wrench on the flats..
These two posts are crucial. Make sure you are applying force in the correct direction.

If that still doesn't work, just take the bike into a shop. A mechanic will likely have a longer wrench (for more leverage) and will know a trick or two if the pedals still won't budge.
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Old 07-24-20, 08:00 PM
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I was confused at first. It was obvious which way a pedal wrench would turn, but I foolishly thought a hex wrench would turn like a wrench on a nut would turn. Looking at the new pedal I realized that was wrong.
I will try a bike store tomorrow.
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Old 07-24-20, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I'm not sure where or how you are applying an Allen wrench to this job, but you need either a pedal wrench or (most likely) a 15mm flat wrench.

VERY IMPORTANT: Turn both pedals to the REAR to REMOVE and to the FRONT to FASTEN!
I've got bikes with hex opening on the bolt end, but seems it would be really tough. I can't recall if I've ever done it not.
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Old 07-24-20, 08:38 PM
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For both right and left pedals: turn the spindle towards the front of the bike to tighten, turn to the rear of the bike to loosen. Doesn't matter if you're working on pedals with 15mm wrench flats or pedals that use Allen wrench engagement on the end of the pedals' spindles, this rule applies.
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Old 07-24-20, 08:45 PM
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I'll add, when it comes to difficult pedal removal, leverage is often your best friend.
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Old 07-24-20, 09:06 PM
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I've always used hex wrench on Keos. But often it's easier for me to remove the cranks and put them in a vice then remove the pedals. Need to be sensible about it if crabon cranks of course.

It's true that between remembering you are wrenching on the back side, and the ND side is left-hand thread you need to check and recheck which way you are working the wrench if they don't seem to be unscrewing.

scott s.
.

Last edited by scott967; 07-24-20 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 07-24-20, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I'm not sure where or how you are applying an Allen wrench to this job, but you need either a pedal wrench or (most likely) a 15mm flat wrench.
There are several pedal models that have no open end wrench flats but only a hex wrench socket at the inboard side of the spindle. I have Shimano XT MTB pedals with only 8 mm hex sockets for removal.

Last edited by HillRider; 07-24-20 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 07-24-20, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
I've always used hex wrench on Keos.
.
Since Look Keo pedals have no wrench flats, there is no other way to remove or install them
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Old 07-25-20, 12:00 AM
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Last time I had a jammed pedal I stripped it down to the spindle and took the crank arm with the jammed spindle to the LBS. They used their bench vise to remove it.

Now the replacement pedal is jammed. Reckon I'll do the same again. Kinda wondering if the threads were buggered, but I didn't before replacing the pedals a few years ago.

With my other bikes I grease the threads and don't over-tighten the pedals. They hold fine.
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Old 07-25-20, 05:55 AM
  #13  
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Yeah I have pedals that are allen key only and ones that are flat wrench only.

The way I remember which way to turn is holding the pedal shaft so it doesn't spin and pedaling forward loosens the pedals. Completely counter intuitive, but I guess that is the way precession works.
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Old 07-25-20, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by well biked View Post
I'll add, when it comes to difficult pedal removal, leverage is often your best friend.
+1. I've been using Look pedals on my builds ever since I began cycling almost 12 years ago. I always torque them to spec, 40nm but when it comes to removing them, a 3/8 or even a 1/2 breaker bar makes removing them much easier than a pedal wrench.
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Old 07-25-20, 06:38 AM
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I use a piece of pipe to fit over my 15mm open end wrench to get more leverage and I've never had a problem with that working. For my pedals without flats I use an 8mm bit on a long breaker bar ratchet wrench that I bought at Harbor Freight really cheap. It also always works without problem. The difference may be though that I'm the only one that ever works on my bikes and they are always properly greased. But even when I don't torque them they still seem to get very tight after a ride or two. It's just the nature of it.

And yes, turning them the proper way helps immensely, When looking at the bike directly, not from behind the pedal but from the front, the drive side loosens normally. The non-drive side is reverse threaded and loosens the "wrong" way. When using a hex wrench from the back I still stay on the front side so as to not confuse myself. The way the guys above look at it is also helpful, always loosen towards the rear. But even after 45 years of working on my own bikes I still have to think about it before I start!
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Old 07-25-20, 07:37 AM
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Assuming you actually are turning in the right direction. Was the impact you used a real 1/2 inch square drive impact or or one of those 1/4 hex impacts for driving screws? Heat from a torch will work assuming you are turning the right direction. Great solution for what is probably galvanic corrosion between your steel pedal and aluminum crank. Might screw up your crank paint on the end of the cranks. Compare to other options if that means a lot to you.

An easy way to determine thread direction. The pedals come off in the opposite direction that you normally pedal the bike. This is to reduce the chances of a pedal working itself lose while riding. That is the understanding or why part, knowing that you can deduce the direction to turn them on and off without having to remember specific orientations either on or off the bike, bike sideways, upside down, looking from the other side etc...

That being said.. One of the easiest ways to remember in my opinion is drive side is normal, non drive side is reverse or use one or both of the following

A wrench facing towards the rear of the bike on a pedal would move down to loosen, up to tighten. "up-tight-rear"
A wrench facing towards the front of the bike on a pedal would move up to loosen, down to tighten.


This assumes your bike is upright and not upside down

Last edited by u235; 07-25-20 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 07-25-20, 01:06 PM
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Try wrapping the pedal in a plastic bag filled with crushed ice. I had a friend's crank arm with a stuck pedal and couldn't get it to move even with leverage and my trusty 4 pound maul. I found the idea about the ice online and was surprised that it worked.
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Old 07-25-20, 03:50 PM
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Take it the bike shop.

They know the drill. Your $10 will be well spent.
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Old 07-25-20, 03:57 PM
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I tried an hex drive with both an impact driver and a socket wrench. Won't budge.

Turning it the wrong way (?), the Impact driver made it worse..
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Old 07-25-20, 05:46 PM
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clarification to this great simple rule:

Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I'm not sure where or how you are applying an Allen wrench to this job, but you need either a pedal wrench or (most likely) a 15mm flat wrench.

VERY IMPORTANT: Turn both pedals to the REAR to REMOVE and to the FRONT to FASTEN!
This R to R and F to F works providing you always apply the wrench ABOVE the pedal and not below!
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Old 07-25-20, 06:26 PM
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One other thing to mention, when you are working on the drive side, a loss of skin on the knuckles is a requirement. When that pedal finally loosens with all that force, it'll drive that hand directly into the teeth of the chainring.

Just sayin...
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Old 07-25-20, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
One other thing to mention, when you are working on the drive side, a loss of skin on the knuckles is a requirement. When that pedal finally loosens with all that force, it'll drive that hand directly into the teeth of the chainring.

Just sayin...
Put the chain onto the big chainring BEFORE trying to loosen the pedal. Put a piece of split foam pipe insulation over that to further protect your knuckles.

Cheers
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Old 07-26-20, 10:55 AM
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If using hex wrenches on the in the the axle, you may need a pipe or other additional leverage. I often use a big box end wrench on allen keys, or on socket wrences when working on my car.
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Old 07-26-20, 12:19 PM
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If if has flats for a wrench, get one that fits. Even the Shimano documents for some of their pedals say that you can't get enough torque on them without stripping the hex key.


https://si.shimano.com/pdfs/si/SI-45K0B-001-ENG.pdf


Worse thing about using a allen key is that sometimes if very high torque being used either tightening or loosening, you can make a crack in the corner of the hex socket. Then when you try to loosen or tighten, the sharp edge of the crack opens into the item it is threaded into and jams things up.
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Old 07-26-20, 01:27 PM
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I use this method...I have found it the best/easiest way to remove pedals....start at 22 seconds.
Ben
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