How to install pedals

11 February, 2020

I want to teach you how to install pedals right first time.

Pedals seem simple enough, but they can be deceptive! If you're assembling a bike such a vintage ladies bike, read this so you're 100% sure what's what.

There are two sides of your bike: drive side and non-drive side.

The drive side has the chain and the rear derailleur. It’s the right-hand side of the bike when you’re sitting on it.

The non-drive side is the other side. It the left-hand side of the bike.

Left or right pedal?

Pedals also come in a left and right. They will be marked with a L or a R stamped somewhere on the pedal or its axle. From the factory, they often have L and R stickers as well to make it clear.

The right-hand side is easy. When installing right-hand side (or drive-side) pedals, you just put a big gob of grease on the pedal threads and screw them in (by hand) in the normal way, clockwise.

Right hand is regular thread - turn to the right to install!

If the thread doesn’t go in by hand, something is wrong. Take it easy. You’ll only need to do it once, so go slow and make sure it’s all square, straight and going in correctly.

The left-hand side (or non-drive side) is where people have trouble. It is a reverse thread. Again, start with a bit gob of grease on the threads and screw them in by hand, in the opposite way, counter-clockwise, anti-clockwise, withershins, to the left. Everything you own in a box to the left. It’s not lefty loosey righty tighty anymore! It’s lefty tighty! Mind blown!

Left hand is reverse thread - turn to the left to install!

If the thread doesn’t go in by hand, something is wrong. Again, just chill. Sort it once, correctly and you won’t need to worry about it again. For the last little bit of tightening, a pedal spanner can be useful, just to make sure the pedal is screwed all the way in. Pedal spanners are really for removing pedals, not installing them. The pedals should go in by hand.

An important note on warranties and bike companies!

If you cross-thread or otherwise incorrectly install your pedals, it is not a warranty issue. It’s really important that you make sure it's 100% right so you don't damage your pedals or cranks. If you're at all unsure, just call one of the Reid Cycles stores and they'll be happy to help.

Happy riding!

Alex - El Presidente at Tenax Ride