How to Change a Mountain Bike Pedal
There comes a point in time when you need to change your mountain bike pedals — maybe you got a new pair, maybe you’re switching from flats to clipless, or maybe you’re letting your friend borrow your bike. Whatever the reason, learning how to change your own bike pedals is a good skill to know…if only so you don’t have to pay a shop to do an easy, five-minute job. Aside from your spare set of pedals, you’ll need a pedal wrench or hex wrench (if there are no pedal wrench flats) and grease to get the job done right.
Shift Into the Big Ring
Lean your bike up against a wall or secure it in a bike stand so it stays in one spot for the duration of the task. It’s a good idea to shift your chainring into your big ring before you go about loosening (or tightening) your pedals. This way, if your hand slips when you’re applying pressure to the wrench, you won’t find yourself with a gash from sharp chainring teeth. Simultaneously, shift and “pedal” your crank arm until you are in the appropriate ring. If your bike is leaning against a wall, shift, then “pedal” your crank arm while lifting your saddle so your rear wheel is off the ground.
To loosen pedals that are already on your bike, fit the appropriate size pedal wrench over the wrench flats between the pedal and the crank arm. Apply as much pressure as needed to loosen the pedal. Note that the left pedal is reverse threaded. This means the old standby, “righty tighty, lefty loosey” does NOT work on this pedal. You’ll need to rotate the wrench toward the back of the bike (as if you were tightening it) to loosen.