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Pedals on an antique bike

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Pedals on an antique bike

Old 12-14-17, 04:00 PM
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mlcorrad
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Pedals on an antique bike

I'm rebuilding a Crescent bike from the 1890s. I've gotten the right pedal off, but the left is stuck. I'm afraid to force it because I don't know if pedals on bikes of that period were threaded the same as more recent bikes. I mean, I don't know if the left pedal has a left hand thread. Anyone have any information on this? Thanks.
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Old 12-14-17, 04:02 PM
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Wow, that's an interesting question. I'd like to hear what an expert has to say.
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Old 12-14-17, 04:10 PM
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While it's not a definitive answer, I found this snippet on wright-brothers.org:

In 1900, the Wrights announced a "bicycle pedal that can't come unscrewed." Pedals were mounted to the crank by threaded posts. On early bicycles, both posts had standard right-hand threads. As the cyclist pedaled, the action tended to tighten one pedal and loosen the other, with the result that one pedal kept dropping off the bike. Wilbur and Orville used right-hand threads on one pedal post and left-hand threads on the other so the pedaling action tended to tighten both pedals.
Source: https://www.wright-brothers.org/Infor...t_Bicycles.htm

If that passage is accurate, it would seem that a pre-1900 bicycle would likely have right-hand threading on both pedals.
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Old 12-14-17, 04:14 PM
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see this: https://www.purecycles.com/blogs/bic...t-it-all-means
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Old 12-14-17, 04:15 PM
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Taken from the "useless bike trivia" thread, the Union Cycle Co first patented left hand pedal threads in 1893 and the Wright brothers followed suit in 1900. So depending on the exact age and who manufactured the bike the left may be reverse threaded, though it's really hard to say because the bike is nearly exactly as old as reverse left pedal threading and who knows how quickly that standard was adopted.
T-mar was the one who posted about all this in the bike trivia thread so hopefully he sees this thread and can elaborate.
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Old 12-14-17, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyDog75 View Post
While it's not a definitive answer, I found this snippet on wright-brothers.org:



Source: Wright Bicycles

If that passage is accurate, it would seem that a pre-1900 bicycle would likely have right-hand threading on both pedals.
That's helpful. I'm willing to put a little pressure on it to see what happens. I don't suppose there is any way of discovering how the threading goes without actually unscrewing it.
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Old 12-14-17, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by F.Bacchus View Post
Taken from the "useless bike trivia" thread, the Union Cycle Co first patented left hand pedal threads in 1893 and the Wright brothers followed suit in 1900. So depending on the exact age and who manufactured the bike the left may be reverse threaded, though it's really hard to say because the bike is nearly exactly as old as reverse left pedal threading and who knows how quickly that standard was adopted.
T-mar was the one who posted about all this in the bike trivia thread so hopefully he sees this thread and can elaborate.
Crescent had a rather advanced plant by the time this bike was made. So there's a chance it is a left hand thread. Now I'm reluctant to force it. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 12-14-17, 05:50 PM
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First: soak the thread and spindle in PB Blaster if you haven’t already .

Second: ???
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Old 12-14-17, 09:29 PM
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With the wrench on the pedal, use a heavy rubber mallet or a dead blow hammer. Don't use a metal hammer. Hit it ONCE in 1 direction, then ONCE in the other direction. Alternate back and forth with only 1 hit. Once it breaks free keep going in that direction. Do Not keep pounding on it in 1 direction, the alternating blows will break it free quicker and with less damage.
And see above, leave the PB Blaster or Kroil on it overnight or even longer.
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Old 12-15-17, 08:02 AM
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My God, Vefer, it worked! Thank you. It seemed hopelessly stuck, and it took just a couple of times (in each direction, as you said) to get it loose. For the record, the left pedal has a left hand thread. (Crescent bike, described in the 1895 catalog.)
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Old 12-15-17, 08:06 AM
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By the way, before your post I had been using a metal hammer, tapping several times in one direction, then several in the other. The only thing that saved the threads, I guess, was that I was reluctant to hit the wrench very hard, knowing the damage I could do.
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Old 12-15-17, 09:06 AM
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Old 12-15-17, 07:08 PM
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Glad I could help. I don't why but rubber mallets or a dead blow hammer will break free bolts and nuts with less damage than a metal hammer. I learned this 45 years ago from a mechanic that was even older than me. It just works!
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