Tough Pedals
June 10, 2004 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Tough pedals- A bike-mechanical question in two parts.

1. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting pedals off of a bike? I have a pedal wrench, and I'm reasonably sure that I'm turning it (or attempting to) the right direction. But the gol-durn pedals won't move. They've been on the bike for three years, and at this point are on pretty tight. How can I get 'em off?

2. And here's the reason I'm taking them off to begin with: a friend is lending me a road bike for a couple of months for an extended test-ride period during which I'll decide whether I want to buy it. But he gave it to me sans pedals. My original plan was to just use the set of pedals I already have, and swap them from bike to bike as my riding needs dictate. But is this dumb? Would I be better off buying a set for the road bike, even when I don't know for sure if I'll be owning it for the long haul (and, in fact, can't even start to make a decision until I get some friggin pedals on it and start riding)?
posted by COBRA! to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
Yeah, old pedals can be a pain. You riding clipless?

Anyways, I assume you know that they are each threaded in different directions. I think the left one is threaded reverse of what you'd expect. I just use some WD-40 or liquid-wrench or whatever, give it time to work, and crank like mad. Having a friend to hold the bike is a plus - I have a bike stand, but it's not nearly strong enough to hold the bike up when applying as much torque as is required for stuck pedals. My last pedals got extremely stuck because I forgot to use a washer or something so they set farther into the cranks then they were supposed to - oops!

Here's Park Tool's little how-to. Nothing real novel there, unfortunately.
posted by mragreeable at 7:30 AM on June 10, 2004

Response by poster: Yeah, they're clipless... although one of the things I'm thinking about for question part 2 is just picking up a cheap pair of platform pedals, sticking toe clips on them, and using them on the road bike for the duration of the test period.
posted by COBRA! at 7:40 AM on June 10, 2004

Do you have reason to believe the old pedals won't work right for the new bike? Or do you think you'll want to ride the old bike while you have the borrowed one? I've ridden road bikes with mountain bike SPDs, and it wasn't so bad. I'd prefer it to toe-clips, personally. Certainly I wouldn't buy new pedals and shoes just for a loaner.
posted by mragreeable at 7:47 AM on June 10, 2004

Response by poster: I'm pretty sure that the old pedals will work just fine for the new bike; the issue is more along the lines of I'll be riding both bikes quite often, and am not sure about the mount of hassle involved in switching pedals every time I want to switch bikes.

And I've got a really dumb follow-up question, trharlan- is "black pipe" a term for a specific type of wrench-extended pipe, or are you talking about any sort of lengthy pipe that I can fit over the pedal wrench?
posted by COBRA! at 8:10 AM on June 10, 2004

If you know your going to buy a bike, not necessarily this particular one, you could invest in good shoes/pedals and take them with you.

On preview, if you're going to ride two bikes, I'd buy 2 sets of the same pedal (and a pair of shoes, if you need a new cleat system). I think spending twice as much on pedals would pay for itself, oh, after the second or third time of switching pedals.
posted by jalexei at 8:13 AM on June 10, 2004

Before you go out and buy a length of pipe, try whacking the other end of the wrench with a hammer. Get everything tense, like you're trying to loosen the pedal, and smack it. Sometimes all you need is a little shock load to loosen things.
posted by notsnot at 9:07 AM on June 10, 2004

To address part of question number 2: If you have a pedal system you really like on bike number 1, use that system on the bike you're testing. You'll have plenty of opportunities when you're testing, for example, to learn whether it matters how big the contact area is. (For example, I use so-called mountain pedals, but I don't find that I get a "hot spot" on long road rides, and I don't usually go more than about 60 miles anyway, so I don't feel like I need to worry about getting road pedals.)

I've gotten multimonth loaners in the past, myself, notably when I was making my final decisions about how to build my mountain bike. I always have an extra set of pedals lying around, so that wasn't a problem, but I found that the true test was whether I kept wanting to get on the tester or go back to whatever my primary bike was at the time. So it may be that switching back and forth turns out to be a nonissue.
posted by caitlinb at 9:38 AM on June 10, 2004

You probably have aluminum cranks and steel axles in the pedals. You might find heating the cranks makes them expand enough to loosen the axles.

Also, I have some Shimano 535(?) SPDs from long ago I could sell you cheap. Want 'em?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:49 AM on June 10, 2004

Response by poster: 1. The pedals are off, thanks for all the suggestions. Extending the wrench and swearing profusely seem to be the ticket.

2. FFF: Check yer email.
posted by COBRA! at 11:33 AM on June 10, 2004

Clean and grease the pedal threads before putting them in a crank and you won't have the problem again.
posted by normy at 9:07 PM on June 10, 2004

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