If you’ve ever tried to put on or take off a set of pedals, maybe you’ve run into the confusion of not being sure which way to turn the wrench. Right pedals loosen by turning counterclockwise and left pedals loosen by turning clockwise. It’s not an easy thing to remember.
But it turns out that there is an easy way to keep things straight that’s always the same. When you loosen a bike pedal, turn the wrench handle when it is at the top or “noon” position (or allen wrench handle if you’re using one of those) toward the rear of the bicycle. It doesn’t matter which side of the bike you’re working on. Turning the wrench toward the back of the bike will loosen, and turning the wrench toward the front of the bike will tighten.
The reason for this makes a lot of sense. Pedals are threaded in the opposite direction that you push them so that pedaling forward will tend to keep the pedals screwed in place. If they were threaded in the other direction, then you might end up pedaling them loose so that they could fall off while you’re riding.
Before I learned this trick, I’d always have to either look it up again or painstakingly study the threads of each pedal or use trial and error to get my pedals on. And when taking them off, there were a few times where I accidentally tightened them instead of loosening, which made it much harder to get them off. But now it’s always a snap to remember how to take my pedals BACK off.