How to Remove Pedals Without a Pedal Wrench: 9 Tips and Techniques

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How to Remove Pedals Without a Pedal Wrench

You’re driving down the street, and you hit a pothole. Your bike is making a weird noise, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

You’re not sure if you should continue riding or not, so you decide to stop at the next gas station and have a look under your bike. The culprit? Your pedal has come loose from the crank arm! Now, what should you do?

It turns out this is an all too common problem for cyclists who don’t carry tools with them on their rides.

But there are some easy tips and techniques that will have those pedals off in no time! In order to help prevent this from happening again, we compiled 9 tips and techniques that will show how to remove pedals without a pedal wrench!

9 Tips On How To Remove Pedals Without A Pedal Wrench

You already know how to install your bike pedals without a wrench. Now, it is time to know how to remove your pedals without a pedal wrench if you don’t have one.

Tip #1: Use a Screwdriver

Pedal screws are commonly slotted or Phillips heads. You can use either to remove the pedal if you have nothing else on hand. If they’re slotted, just slide in a flathead screwdriver and unscrew them that way.

Sometimes it may take some elbow grease, but don’t worry about damaging your pedals because the screwdriver is softer than the metal of your pedals.

Tip #2: Use a Hammer

If your pedals have flathead screws rounded out, you can use a hammer to remove them. Just find the screw slot and hit it with the head of your hammer until they’re loosened enough.

Be careful not to slip or let any other part of your tool come into contact with the spinning crank arm because it may cause some damage.

Tip #3: Use Two Screwdrivers

Just like using one screwdriver as mentioned in tip #’s above, you could also use two different types of tools on opposite ends of each pedal for leverage.

You will need two long screwdrivers, preferably ones with thin shafts so that there’s less friction between both parts when turning (think needle nose). Using two screwdrivers will help you get a better grip and allow for more torque to be applied.

Tip #4: Use A Hammer With Two Screwdrivers

This is just like tip 1 above, but with two different tools instead of one (two long screwdrivers). One end should have the thin shafted needle-nose type while the other should be your standard flathead.

Just as before, use them both at opposite ends of each pedal for leverage. This time making sure that they’re perpendicular to each other because it will make things slightly easier. The same rules apply, though: take care not to slip or let any part contact rotating crank arm parts.

Tip #5: Remove Pedals From Crank Arms First

If you’re having a hard time removing the pedal because it’s stuck in between crank arms, then try loosening things up by taking off pedals from your crank arm first.

Once removed, attach them to an old bike that has good working pedals and ride around until they come loose enough for you to remove with ease. If this doesn’t work though, continue on to other tips below.

Tip #6: Place Pedal Wrench Into Pedals And Then Tug On It

You can also use a wrench if you have one handy (or access to one). Just place it into opposite ends of each pedal before trying anything else.

You may need someone else holding onto both wrenches while pulling apart so that nothing gets damaged during removal.

If you don’t have a pedal wrench, then place the wrenches into your pedals and tug away. Just be careful not to slip or let any other part come into contact with crank arm parts because it may cause some damage.

Tip #7: Use An Allen Key To Loosen Pedals

Just like using a screwdriver as mention above in tips #’s one and two, if screws are rounded out so that they won’t budge even after applying excessive force (as mentioned before), then an allen key will help you get things loosened up again.

They’re built specifically for things such as this so just find the right size of hex bit and insert it into each side until everything comes loose. You’ll need to apply some force so be careful not to slip or let any part come into contact with rotating crank arm parts because it may cause some damage.

Tip #8: Apply Grease Or Oil To Screw Heads

This will help loosen things up a bit and make removal much easier especially if they’re sticking due to oxidation buildup over time (which isn’t as common). Make sure that you remove them first before applying grease/oil, though.

If your pedals also have washers, then use the same technique, just ensure that there’s enough oil on both sides of each pedal screw head in order for this method to work.

You can even try using WD40 since it works really well when removing stuck screws from metal surfaces in general by way of penetrating the screw. It will also help prevent any future oxidation from occurring, which is why it’s such a popular tool for things like this (just be sure not to use too much though).

Tip #9: Cut Pedals Off With A Saw

If all else fails, you can try cutting pedals with a saw. It may take some time but it is an option if everything else has failed (or you don’t want to risk anything happening). This won’t be the most effective way through so use this only as your last resort.

Just do it outside and wear safety equipment because there will probably be metal shavings flying everywhere at high speeds, not something that anyone wants in their eye or up their nose (gross I know).

You’ll also need someone to hold onto one end of the bike while doing this since things could get dangerous otherwise too.

All said and done, removing pedals without a pedal wrench isn’t always easy especially when they’re stuck in between crank arms (which is actually pretty common too). With that said, try applying some of the tips mentioned above until you find one that works for you.

If everything else fails though and this happens to be a chronic problem then it may be best to ask your local bike shop worker if they can remove pedals instead.

Something like this should only happen once at most anyway so don’t worry about needing any special tools or anything since there are ways around doing things without them.

With those tips above, you should be able to remove pedals without a pedal wrench. Just use what you know and try your best until everything comes loose.

It could take some time, but that’s normal (and expected) so don’t let it get the better of you. You can also check our post on how to tighten spark plug without torque wrench, which you can also read on our blog.

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