Editor’s Note: Jim Langley‘s Tech Talk column last week on basic clipless pedal care elicited some excellent tips from readers and a fellow RBR contributor. In sum, they seemed to make a perfect QT. Read on. —John Marsh
Remembering Which Way to Loosen Pedals
First, Mark Barrilleaux, who blogs about his own wrenching exploits at Killa’s Garage (that’s his nickname, BTW), offered what I think is one of the simplest, best tips I’ve ever heard about which way pedals are threaded (in terms of remembering which way to tighten and loosen pedals).
Personally, I always have to take a moment to remember to turn the wrench toward the back of the bike to loosen pedals. Mark has an excellent way to remember that.
He wrote: “I Use the mnemonic ‘Back Off’ to remember which way to turn to remove pedals. It works for both sides, and keeps me from getting confused, especially when approaching a pedal from the back with an allen wrench.”
Protecting Your Knuckles
Jim mentioned a knuckle-protecting device in his piece, and both Mark and Coach Rick Schultz offered their own takes on the topic.
Mark wrote: “Always wear work gloves when removing pedals to prevent busting your knuckles on something.”
And Coach Schultz wrote: “As a ‘knuckle-saver’ I use a piece of thick-walled 3/4″ PVC pipe – about 2 feet long. This goes over the handle end of the 8mm allen wrench. It gives me leverage as well as keeps my knuckles away from the chain rings and other odd bits that tend to bite. And it cost me about 12 cents vs. the $24 of your referenced product.”
For Those Super Tight Pedals
Both Coach Schultz and Mark had additional suggestions on removing those pedals that just seem super glued on.
Coach Schultz wrote: “For those tough pedals, I place the bike on the ground and have another mechanic hold it, or I lean against the wall. I place the 8mm pedal wrench so the handle is facing to the rear, then using leg power, quickly stomp on the wrench. The pedals come loose every time.”
And Mark wrote: “For seriously seized pedals I remove the cranks from the bike, clamp my pedal wrench or allen wrench in my bench vise, and use the crank arm as my lever.
“My last resort is using a heat gun to loosen the threads. Be very careful applying this tactic to carbon fiber cranks. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t hold the crank in your hand, it’s too hot.
Lefty Loosey, or Tighty?
Mark added one last worthy tip:
“Finally, regarding pedal disassembly: Just as the thread between the pedal and the crank arm is left-handed on the left side, some of the threads used to hold pedals together are left-handed. Check the service instructions, or at least try loosening in both directions before getting rough with it.”
If you have an idea for a QT, fire away. We’re always looking for good info we can share with fellow roadies. We would love to hear from you with any suggestions you have. Contact us by clicking Quick Tips Ideas.
—John Marsh & The RBR Team
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John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.