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Quick question on pedal removal- CW or CCW?

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Quick question on pedal removal- CW or CCW?

Old 06-18-10, 09:15 AM
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ROJA
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Quick question on pedal removal- CW or CCW?

I am quite comfortable removing pedals using a pedal wrench from the outside of the crank. My new(ish) bike, however, has SPD 540s (I think)- mountain pedals that are installed and removed by means of a large allen that is accessed from the inside of the crank arm. For some reason, I'm not sure if they should both be turned CCW (when looking out from the bike, meaning the allen wrench is in front of you) to loosen and remove or if the right and left are different.

In other words, if I am on the left side of the bike using an allen wrench to loosen the bolt on the inside of the right crank arm to remove my pedal, will I be turning the wrench CW or CCW to loosen it?

Thanks.
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Old 06-18-10, 09:20 AM
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The left pedal is reverse threaded; the right pedal is standard thread.

If you are loosening the left pedal, you need to turn it CW if you are looking at the crank from the left side of the bike. This direction is will appear CCW if you are looking at the crank from the back side (where the allen socket is).

The right pedal is opposite.

Makes sense?
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Old 06-18-10, 09:22 AM
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So if you think of it like a regular bolt (meaning that you are holding the wrench in front of you and facing the bolt that you are turning), the left one is loosened by turning it the usual way to loosen (CCW to loosen) and the right is reversed (CW to loosen).
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Old 06-18-10, 09:32 AM
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Clicky^ Always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike to loosen, regardless, and you will be golden.
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Old 06-18-10, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
So if you think of it like a regular bolt (meaning that you are holding the wrench in front of you and facing the bolt that you are turning), the left one is loosened by turning it the usual way to loosen (CCW to loosen) and the right is reversed (CW to loosen).
The left pedal is loosened by turning the allen socket CCW if you are viewing the left crank arm from the back side.
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Old 06-18-10, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
In other words, if I am on the left side of the bike using an allen wrench to loosen the bolt on the inside of the right crank arm to remove my pedal, will I be turning the wrench CW or CCW to loosen it?Thanks.
To loosen the RIGHT pedal You will turn the allen wrench CLOCKWISE when viewed from the LEFT side of the bike.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post


Clicky^ Always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike to loosen, regardless, and you will be golden.
Wow, that's easy. I ALWAYS forget. Now I won't! Cheers!
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Old 06-18-10, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
Always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike to loosen, regardless, and you will be golden.
This method requires you to know if the wrench is above the pedal. If you start below the pedal, you'll be turning things backwards.

The easiest way to remember is that you tighten pedals by turning them in the same direction as the cranks rotate when you're pedaling.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:29 AM
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Got both off! Thank you all for the help. I was using a regular L-shaped allen wrench (turned with the short end in the bolt for extra torque) and it physically took 100% of my strength to get it loose- that's why I wanted to be sure I was turning in the right direction. Are you supposed to crank it down super super tight or did the bike shop overtighten it?

Thanks again.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
it physically took 100% of my strength to get it loose- that's why I wanted to be sure I was turning in the right direction. Are you supposed to crank it down super super tight or did the bike shop overtighten it?
WAY too tight -- this is a great way to strip your cranks.

Just make it snug. Be sure to grease the threads, finger tighten, and then finish the job with your allen wrench.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
The easiest way to remember is that you tighten pedals by turning them in the same direction as the cranks rotate when you're pedaling.
+1 Common sense prevails. You don't want to be able to spin your pedal off while pedaling. Hence the reverse threading on one pedal.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
Got both off! Thank you all for the help. I was using a regular L-shaped allen wrench (turned with the short end in the bolt for extra torque) and it physically took 100% of my strength to get it loose- that's why I wanted to be sure I was turning in the right direction. Are you supposed to crank it down super super tight or did the bike shop overtighten it?

Thanks again.
They'll tighten some as you ride.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:54 AM
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Grease pedals and tighten. You don't need to tighten them very hard, but don't do it too loose. I like to tighten the pedal my hand all the way (ensures that I won't cross thread my cranks) then use a wrench (unless you can only use an allen wrench) to tighten the pedal with a small amount of force. Just make sure it's not too tight or loose.

Pedals will self tighten, but if you have it too loose they can also loosen and eventually fall out or strip your threads.
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Old 06-18-10, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
Always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike to loosen, regardless, and you will be golden.
That's how I always remember. clockwise and counter-clockwise start to get confusing when you are looking at the back of the pedal and an allen wrench...
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Old 06-18-10, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
Always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike to loosen, regardless, and you will be golden.
Not enough information. Over the top or bottom.
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Old 06-18-10, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
Always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike to loosen, regardless, and you will be golden.
Yup.
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Old 06-18-10, 12:24 PM
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Okay, start with your wrench above the crank arm and always turn towards the back of the bike regardless of side. Thanks for helping me clear that up guys and gals.
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Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 06-18-10, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr View Post


Clicky^ Always turn the wrench towards the rear of the bike to loosen, regardless, and you will be golden.
This.

Over the top toward the front to tighten (Pedaling motion tightens) and to the back to loosen.
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Old 06-19-10, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ptle View Post
Pedals will self tighten
Actually, the opposite is true. If your pedal axle bearings were to seize up while pedaling, you would actually spin the pedals right off the crank arms.
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Old 06-19-10, 11:27 AM
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To loosen, always turn the wrench towards the seat stay.
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Old 06-19-10, 11:36 AM
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The way I remember it is:

The right pedal comes off the right way.
The left pedal comes off the wrong way.
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Old 06-19-10, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ptle View Post
Pedals will self tighten
Originally Posted by lunacycle View Post
Actually, the opposite is true. If your pedal axle bearings were to seize up while pedaling, you would actually spin the pedals right off the crank arms.
The opposite is true? Pedals will self-loosen? I am pretty sure that's wrong. How about "under normal conditions, when things work like they are supposed to, and nothing bizarre or exceptional happens like pedal axle bearings seizing up, pedals will self tighten." Most pedals I've worked on required far more force to remove them than used in installation.
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Old 06-19-10, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by scruggle View Post
The opposite is true? Pedals will self-loosen? I am pretty sure that's wrong. How about "under normal conditions, when things work like they are supposed to, and nothing bizarre or exceptional happens like pedal axle bearings seizing up, pedals will self tighten." Most pedals I've worked on required far more force to remove them than used in installation.
Okay, just for fun, with your bike up on the stand, use a 15mm pedal wrench to loosen your pedals. Which way do you need to turn the cranks? The answer is FORWARDS. Now, if you were pedaling forward with a seized pedal axle, you would unscrew the pedal from the crank same as if you were using a wrench.

Under normal circumstances, of course, this rarely happens. If anyone can explain how a pedal could conceivably tighten itself during riding, I would be interested to hear it.

Last edited by lunacycle; 06-19-10 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 06-19-10, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lunacycle View Post
If anyone can explain how a pedal could conceivably tighten itself during riding, I would be interested to hear it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precess...8mechanical%29
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Old 06-19-10, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by lunacycle View Post
Okay, just for fun, with your bike up on the stand, use a 15mm pedal wrench to loosen your pedals. Which way do you need to turn the cranks? The answer is FORWARDS. Now, if you were pedaling forward with a seized pedal axle, you would unscrew the pedal from the crank same as if you were using a wrench.

Under normal circumstances, of course, this rarely happens. If anyone can explain how a pedal could conceivably tighten itself during riding, I would be interested to hear it.
There are bearings between the pedal and spindle. The top of the bearing moves in the same direction as the pedal, which means the bottom of the bearing moves the opposite direction. Since you accept that seized bearing lead to loosened pedals, it shouldn't be a large leap to accept that the opposite direction would tighten pedals.
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