How to Remove Stuck Bike Pedals – Quick Guide

In this article, we will tell you everything you need to do when you get your pedal stuck. Also, there are some useful tips and advice on how to prevent it.
John Watson
John Watson
John is an experienced cycling enthusiast and a great asset when it comes to writing skills. He's a Bachelor of Arts and a talented journalist. John is in charge of our blog read more
Reviewed By
Jessica Kingston
Jessica Kingston
Expert Consultant
Jessica is our expert consultant on all things connected to biking - gear, technique, you name it. Being a pro cyclist in the past, she knows exactly how things work in and read more
Last updated: August 21, 2023
Bike The Site is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Although it’s quite straightforward to replace your bike pedals, it becomes challenging and sometimes frustrating when they become stuck. This might be because of mud, water, or built-up rust in the pedals, or they might have been tightened when you assembled them. Regardless of what the cause is, you can fix it if you know how to remove stuck bike pedals.

If you can’t remove and get the bicycle pedals off, our guide has all you need to get your bike moving again. Let’s take a closer look at the steps to follow and tips to keep in mind.

What to Do if Your Bike Pedals Are Stuck on Bike and Won’t Come Off?

How to Remove Stuck Bike Pedals - Quick GuideIf your bike pedal is stuck and needs a removal, you would need a spray lubricant, 15mm pedal wrench, or an open-end wrench and a rubber hammer. Here are seven steps to follow when your bike pedal is stuck.

  • Step 1: Apply the spray lubricant on the part of the bike pedal stuck in the crank arm, and let it remain like that for about ten minutes. Ensure the oil is made for loosening bike parts and check the manufacturer’s guidelines to see how fast the oil would work. While some oils are ideal for mountain bikes, other kinds of oils are good for normal bikes.
  • Step 2: Figure out how to turn your pedal because some bikes have different directions that they move in. The drive side pedal on the right should be turned counterclockwise.
  • Step 3: Then, the non-drive side pedal on the left would be turned clockwise to loosen it.
  • Step 4: The drive side pedal should be in a 3 o’clock position, while the non-drive side pedal should be aligned in a 9 o’clock position.
  • Step 5: Using your 15 millimeters pedal wrench or your open-end wrench, press down and turn the wrench based on the thread direction.
  • Step 6: Tap the bottom of the wrench with a rubber hammer, although it would be better if you have a pedal wrench.
  • Step 7: Secure your wrench and tap it with a rubber hammer to give yourself leverage so that you can loosen the pedal.

Once you’re done with this, you can start driving your bike again without having to worry about stiff bike pedals.

Tips and Advice

Although the seven steps above are important to take your bike pedal off safely, there are a few tips, tricks, and advice that you should keep in mind if you want to stay safe and do it without damaging your bike.

Directions to Loosen Bike Pedals to Remove Them

How to Remove Stuck Bike Pedals - Quick GuideBike riders might not know, but the left and right bike pedal threads are different. So, you need to understand the differences between them before you start fixing the problem. While the left bike pedal moves the left way, the right one moves in the opposite direction. So, if you turn the right bicycle pedal counterclockwise, it would loosen, while the other way would tighten it. Then, with the left bike pedal, turn it clockwise to loosen and remove it and counterclockwise to tighten it.

Use the Right Oils and Tools

Using all your strength to loosen the bike pedal might not always work, so you need to use penetrating oils used for bikes. Ensure you’re hitting the right part of the crank with the oil. It also helps when you add heat to the bike pedal and let the oil soak for some time. A blow dryer would work well in adding heat to the pedal. It’s also important to use proper tools for removal of seized pedals. The tools that we have mentioned earlier in this guide are the right ones for loosening your stuck bike pedals.

Focus on Safety

Although it doesn’t seem like anything bad can happen when you repair your bike, it’s still important to be safe. For one, you might have to apply brute force to the bike pedals to loosen them, which means that you can end up stressing yourself. You also shouldn’t hold your breath when applying force. Another thing that you need to be mindful of when being safe is the chainring, which has sharp edges that can cut you. So, move the bicycle chain to the biggest chainring before removing the stuck bike pedals.

Keep Your Bicycle Stable

How to Remove Stuck Bike Pedals - Quick GuideIt won’t be easy or safe to loosen your bike pedals while the bike keeps on flopping around or falling. So, you should keep your bicycle stable while work is being done. If you don’t have a repair stand, you should lean your bike against the wall with the pedal you’re fixing facing you. Or, you can turn it upside down while the handlebars are touching the floor. You can also have someone with you, holding your bike in place.


Should I Use a Hammer to Loosen My Bike Pedal?

If your bike pedal won’t budge, you need a hammer to add more leverage. When you have your 15 mm wrench in the pedal, you should hit it with the hammer so that it would budge. If you applied the heat and oil to the pedal, it would be easy for the hammer to add leverage. Once it was loosened, you can then use the wrench to finish up.

Why Do Bike Pedals Get Stuck?

Bike pedals get stuck because of different reasons, but it can be because of natural factors like mud, sand, or water that got in the way. If the pedals rust, it can also cause them to get stuck. Another cause is if it was too tight from the beginning.

How Can I Lubricate the Bike Pedal?

To properly apply oil to your bike pedal, you should first clean the pedal threads with a clean cloth or rag. Then, apply a generous amount of grease to the pedal threads.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to remove stuck bike pedals, you can start with the proper maintenance of your bike whenever the pedals are stuck. Remember to use the right kind of tools and oils when fixing your bike pedal, and make sure it’s balanced so that you don’t get into a small accident. All in all, always check if your bike pedals are loose or stiff before you start cycling.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *