How to Remove Mountain Bike Pedals?

Mountain bike pedals are the components on a mountain bike that provide a connection between the rider’s feet and the bike’s crankset. They come in various designs, including flat pedals and clipless pedals. Flat pedals offer a platform for riders to place their feet on, while clipless pedals use a locking mechanism to secure the rider’s cycling shoes, allowing for efficient power transfer during off-road biking adventures.

Ready to tackle those tricky mountain bike pedal removals? If you’ve ever wondered, How to remove mountain bike pedals, we’ve got you covered. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll have those pedals off in no time. Don’t let a stubborn pedal stand in the way of your next thrilling ride – let’s get wrenching!

Removing mountain bike pedals is a crucial skill for cyclists who love to wheelie a mountain bike. To do it, you’ll need a pedal wrench or an Allen key, depending on the pedal type. Start by locating the pedal’s axle, then apply force in the opposite direction to unscrew it. This simple process ensures you can maintain and customize your bike with ease.

Tools and Materials


Before you begin, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and materials. Having the right equipment on hand will make the pedal removal process smoother and more efficient.


1. Pedal Wrench: A pedal wrench is a specialized tool designed for pedal removal. Its long handle and opened design provide excellent leverage.

2. Allen Wrench or Hex Key: Depending on your pedal type, you may need an Allen wrench or hex key for removal. Ensure you have the correct size.

3. Grease or Lubricant: You’ll need some grease or lubricant to ensure easy pedal removal and to prevent future issues.

4. Rags or Towels: Keep some rags or towels handy for cleaning and wiping down components.


 Safety Goggles: Safety goggles protect your eyes from any debris that may fly off during the pedal removal process.

 Gloves: Wearing gloves will protect your hands and provide a better grip on tools.

 Bike Stand or Stable Surface: Ensure the bike is on a stable surface or use a bike stand to secure it during the procedure.

Safety Precautions

Your safety is paramount when working on your mountain bike. Before diving into pedal removal, take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and prevent accidents.

 1. Wear Safety Goggles

Always wear safety goggles to shield your eyes from any flying debris. When you’re applying force to loosen pedals, there’s a possibility of small metal fragments breaking off.

 2. Use Gloves

Gloves not only protect your hands but also provide a better grip on tools. This extra grip is crucial when loosening tightly secured pedals.

 3. Secure Your Bike

Ensure your bike is on a stable surface or, even better, use a bike stand to keep it in place during pedal removal. A stable bike minimizes the risk of accidents.

Step by Step Guide

Now that you’ve prepared your tools and taken the necessary safety precautions, it’s time to delve into the step by step process of removing mountain bike pedals.

 1. Identify the Right and Left Pedals

Before you begin, it’s important to know that pedals are usually marked “R” for right and “L” for left. It’s crucial to identify which pedal you’re working on since they have different threads.

 2. Choose the Appropriate Wrench or Key

Depending on your pedal type, you’ll need either a pedal wrench or an Allen wrench/hex key. Ensure you have the correct tool ready for the job.

 3. Position the Bike for Easy Access

Place your bike on a stable surface or secure it in a bike stand. Ensure that you have easy access to the pedals, and the bike won’t tip over during the procedure.

 4. Secure the Pedal with the Wrench

With your pedal wrench or Allen wrench, grip the flats of the pedal spindle securely. It’s crucial to get a good grip to apply the necessary force.

 5. Apply Counter Clockwise Force

Remember the rule: Lefty loosely. To remove the pedal, turn the wrench or key counterclockwise. This is the standard direction for pedal removal.

 6. Unscrew and Remove the Pedal

Install, Remove & Change Bike Pedals in 3 Steps: Continue turning the wrench or key counterclockwise until the pedal is completely unscrewed from the crank arm. Once it’s loose, you can remove it by hand.

 Tips and Tricks

 If the pedals are stuck, apply some penetrating oil to the threads and allow it to sit for a few minutes. This can help loosen stubborn pedals.

 Be prepared for some resistance, especially if the pedals haven’t been removed in a while. Use steady, controlled force to avoid damaging the pedals or crank arms.

 Common Challenges and Solutions

Common challenges when removing mountain bike pedals include stuck or seized pedals due to rust. To tackle this, apply penetrating oil and, if necessary, use gentle heat. Stripped threads can be problematic, and a tap and die set may be needed for re-threading. If unsure, seek professional assistance to avoid further damage.

1. Stripped Pedal Threads

If you encounter stripped threads on the pedal spindle or crank arm, it may be challenging to remove the pedal. In this case, you might need to use a tap and die set to rethread or reap the components.

If you’re uncomfortable with this process, it’s a good idea to seek professional assistance to avoid further damage to your bike.

2. Stuck or Seized Pedals

Pedals that haven’t been removed in a long time can become seized due to corrosion and rust. To address this, use penetrating oil to loosen the threads, as mentioned earlier.

For extremely stubborn pedals, consider applying heat to the crank arm with a heat gun, but be cautious not to overheat and damage the components. Seek professional help if necessary.

 Maintenance and Lubrication

Regular maintenance and lubrication are essential for pedal longevity and overall bike performance. Here’s how to clean and lubricate the pedal threads for reinstallation.

1. Clean the Threads: Use a rag or towel to clean the threads on both the pedal spindle and the crank arm. Remove any dirt, debris, or old grease.

2. Apply Grease or Lubricant: Apply a small amount of grease or lubricant to the pedal spindle threads. This will help prevent corrosion, make future removal easier, and ensure a smooth installation.

3. Thread the Pedals Back On: Once you’ve cleaned and lubricated the threads, carefully thread the pedals back onto the crank arms by hand. Make sure you’re threading the right pedal into the right crank arm and the left pedal into the left crank arm.

4. Tighten with a Wrench or Key: Use your pedal wrench or Allen wrench to tighten the pedals securely. Remember the rule: Righty tight. Ensure they are snug but not overly tight to avoid damaging the threads.


While pedal removal is a straightforward process, you may encounter some issues along the way. Here are solutions and tips for addressing common challenges.

 1. Stripped Pedal Threads

Problem: If the pedal threads or crank arm threads are stripped, removal can be difficult.

Solution: Use a tap and die set to rethread or reap the components. Seek professional help if you’re unsure about this process.

 2. Stuck or Seized Pedals

Problem: Pedals that haven’t been removed in a long time can become seized due to corrosion and rust.

Solution: Apply penetrating oil to loosen the threads. In extreme cases, use a heat gun to carefully heat the crank arm, but take care not to overheat it.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQS)

What tools do I need to remove mountain bike pedals?

 You’ll need a pedal wrench or an Allen key, depending on your pedal type.

How do I identify the left and right pedals for removal?

 Look for the “L” or “R” markings on the pedals, typically near the axle.

What direction do I turn the pedals to remove them?

 Pedals have reverse threads, so you turn them counterclockwise to unscrew.

Do I need any special skills to remove mountain bike pedals?

 It’s a straightforward process, but some pedals may be tightly secured, requiring some effort.

Why is it essential to know how to remove mountain bike pedals?

 Learning this skill allows you to maintain and customize your bike and replace worn-out pedals easily.


Understanding How to Remove Mountain Bike Pedals is a fundamental skill that every mountain bike enthusiast should possess. It empowers cyclists to maintain their bikes, switch out worn pedals, and customize their rides to their preferences. While the process may seem daunting at first, with the right tools and a little practice, it becomes a straightforward task. So, don’t hesitate to dive in and master this essential skill, ensuring your biking adventures remain smooth and enjoyable.

Knowing how to remove mountain bike pedals is not just about mechanical prowess; it’s about independence and self-sufficiency on the trails. With this knowledge in your toolkit, you can confidently tackle any pedal-related issue that may arise, all while embracing the freedom and thrill of mountain biking. So, whether it’s for routine maintenance or a quick upgrade, go ahead and take that first step towards becoming a more skilled and self-reliant mountain biker.

Table: Common Pedal Thread Sizes
Pedal Type
Standard Pedals
Some Road Bike Pedals
Some Shimano SPD Pedals
Some Look Keo Pedals
Some Crank Brothers Pedals

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