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Pedal Wrench?

Old 04-19-12, 05:27 AM
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Pedal Wrench?

I'm making the leap to clipless - I'm planning on ordering SPD shoes and dual-sided pedals because I only have (and want) one bicycle, and use it for long pleasure rides and commuting/toodling around town.

I was reading the chapter in my Zinn Roadbike book, and in it he talks about needing a pedal wrench to install road bike pedals, gives the size as 15mm. Is there something special about wrenches sold as "pedal" wrenches, or can I use the 15 mm crescent wrench I already have?
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Old 04-19-12, 05:35 AM
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In my experience the jaws of the crescent wrench might be too thick to fit between the crank arm and the body (axle) of the pedal. A pedal wrench is quite a bit thinner so it doesn't have that problem and some of them have longer handles to provide you with more leverage when removing the old pedals and installing the new ones.
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Old 04-19-12, 05:36 AM
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The "special" think about them is they're thin. I've had a hard time with some pedals with a crescent wrench not fitting between the pedal and the crank arm.

Edit: choclabman beat me to it.
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Old 04-19-12, 06:05 AM
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Thanks for the info! There's some available from amazon for ~$10, so I'll just throw one on my order. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't buying something that I already had.
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Old 04-19-12, 06:24 AM
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They are quite useful. I bought one over 25 years ago and still use it regularly. Yeah, as stated above they are thinner and longer than a knuckle-buster or open end wrench.
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Old 04-19-12, 06:29 AM
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I have 3 different models of SPD pedals on 3 bikes, and all of them take a hex key from the back which is what I use. Only one or two of them even have wrench flats.
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Old 04-19-12, 07:31 AM
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I wasn't clear about your need for a pedal wrench. Is it just so you can install the new pedals or is it needed so you can be switching to the appropriate pedal for the ride? If it's needed for constant switching, you might consider MKS quick release pedals. You can switch pedals without a wrench with those. An added benefit is theft deterrent as you can easily take your pedals when you lock up your bike, if the thief wants to ride away on the stolen bike, they are out of luck.
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Old 04-19-12, 07:40 AM
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No, not planning on switching pedals often - that's why I'm getting the dual sided ones, so I can still hop on the bike for a quick trip to the store.

For theft deterrent, other than my lock, I take the saddle with me. But I live in a really low crime small town - my bike is the only one I've ever seen locked up, actually.
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Old 04-19-12, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
I have 3 different models of SPD pedals on 3 bikes, and all of them take a hex key from the back which is what I use. Only one or two of them even have wrench flats.
Yep some Crank Bros pedals are like that too.
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Old 04-19-12, 09:20 AM
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1/8" thick 15mm is a pedal wrench spec .. sold for decades,
with a loose ball BB fixed cup box wrench on the other side.

but yes a lot of pedals use a 6mm hex so a long allen wrench is also needed.

my Ergon use an 8mm Allen, the left one on my Brompton
a folding pedal needs a 24mm socket.
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Old 04-19-12, 10:50 AM
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note some pedals are 15 mm and others are 9/16" my Park pedal wrench has both sizes. also remember Left hand pedals are reverse thread...ie lefty tighty
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Old 04-19-12, 01:02 PM
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everything I've ever worked on is 15mm.

I've bent more "pedal wrenches" up - they're usually made out of crap stamped steel, even the so-called good ones. You get a really stuck pedal that's been riding over slushy salty roads all winter, and you have to literally jump up and down on the sucker to break it loose.

I finally went and bought a decent 15mm drop-forged open-end wrench and ground it down a bit to make it thinner.
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Old 04-19-12, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
everything I've ever worked on is 15mm.

I've bent more "pedal wrenches" up - they're usually made out of crap stamped steel, even the so-called good ones. You get a really stuck pedal that's been riding over slushy salty roads all winter, and you have to literally jump up and down on the sucker to break it loose.

I finally went and bought a decent 15mm drop-forged open-end wrench and ground it down a bit to make it thinner.
I agree. Most pedal wrenches are garbage, even the $25+ versions, so I seldom use a 15mm pedal wrench anymore if the pedal has an allen socket on it's axle, and instead opt for an 8mm allen socket on a 12" ratchet. The ratchet provides plenty of leverage to tighten or loosen the pedal, and in fact I often use the allen wrench to remove a pedal where the pedal has been installed so tight that the standard 15mm pedal wrench just deforms when it is used. Some pedals apparently also use a 6mm allen rather than an 8mm, but I haven't seen any lately, and I would be wary of getting the pedal tight enough using the smaller diameter allen.

Also, many 1/2" threaded pedals on older C&V bikes (usually with one-piece cranks) do use a 9/16" wrench, so a 15mm x 9/16" wrench is handy to keep around if you work on older bikes.

Last edited by Stealthammer; 04-19-12 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-19-12, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Stealthammer
Some pedals apparently also use a 6mm allen rather than an 8mm, but I haven't seen any lately, and I would be wary of getting the pedal tight enough using the smaller diameter allen.
Shimano uses two different hex socket sizes on their SPD pedals, depending on model.
Go figure.
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Old 04-19-12, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
everything I've ever worked on is 15mm.

I've bent more "pedal wrenches" up - they're usually made out of crap stamped steel, even the so-called good ones. You get a really stuck pedal that's been riding over slushy salty roads all winter, and you have to literally jump up and down on the sucker to break it loose.

I finally went and bought a decent 15mm drop-forged open-end wrench and ground it down a bit to make it thinner.
+1. I haven't even needed and wrench grinding for mine. Pedal wrenches are nice though for when you really need some leverage on a pedal. Although I don't have one at home.
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Old 04-19-12, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SuncoastChad
They are quite useful. I bought one over 25 years ago and still use it regularly. Yeah, as stated above they are thinner and longer than a knuckle-buster or open end wrench.
My exact situation. One of the best and most used tools in my inventory.
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Old 04-19-12, 08:49 PM
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haven't managed to break the Park yet. great tool. and as only one of my bikes has QR's, the long handled 15mm is multipurpose.
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Old 04-19-12, 11:22 PM
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I have the smaller Park pedal wrench. I'm probably not strong enough to break it :-) I could only get one pedal out. But the Liquid Wrench did the trick with the second pedal. If you purchase the Shimano M520/M540, you will need a pedal wrench. Some of the higher end models seem to only take a XXmm allen wrench. It's pretty beefy, maybe 15mm? It's bigger than the useless allen wrench on the M520. And don't forget to grease the pedals before installing them.
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Old 04-20-12, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
note some pedals are 15 mm and others are 9/16" my Park pedal wrench has both sizes. also remember Left hand pedals are reverse thread...ie lefty tighty
I also have the park wrench, have had it for many years, never had an issue with it.
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Old 04-21-12, 03:28 AM
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The best post I saw gave this advice: If you have the pedal wrench at the 12 oclock position, you turn the wrench toward the rear of the bike to remove the pedal.
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Old 04-21-12, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin
The best post I saw gave this advice: If you have the pedal wrench at the 12 oclock position, you turn the wrench toward the rear of the bike to remove the pedal.
Thanks for the tip! I'm ambidextrous so I have a REALLY hard time remembering things when put into terms of "right" and "left" (I still have to do the L thing with my fingers to remember sometimes when driving) - turning towards the rear of the bicycle makes total sense to me, though.
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