Cycling is a pastime that requires periodic repairs or replacements, and whether replacing a damaged pedal, or just swapping the old pedal for a new or interesting design, it is important that the pedal is removed and replaced properly to prevent any breakages or injuries whilst on the move. With this guide, buyers will not only be shown how to replace their bicycle pedal properly, but also how to select the ideal kind of replacement pedal on eBay.
Replacing a Bicycle Pedal
It is important that before even considering replacing a bicycle pedal, the buyer should make sure that they have all the necessary items to ensure not only a smooth changeover, but also to make sure that the new pedal has a long and successful service life. The usual items needed for replacing a bicycle pedal are:
- Pedal Spanner – this is a specialised kind of spanner designed for use on the particular shape of bicycle pedal shafts, as they are narrow and can easily fit between the pedal and the crank arm without too much manoeuvring. Other types of spanner may be compatible, but they may also instead damage the shaft.
- Grease – this is used to make the job of removing the bicycle pedal much easier, and grease may be necessary for an older bicycle that has not had its pedals changed or been serviced recently.
Technique to Remove Bicycle Pedals
Though many different bicycle specialists and riders have their own techniques for removing bicycle pedals, the main method is essentially the same. The basic method to remove pedals is:
The buyer should just make sure to keep their hands clear of any items such as the moving chain or spokes – many people turn their bicycles upside down and block the wheel to achieve this. Add some grease to the pedal shaft where it means the bicycle crank, then put the spanner there at a 3 o' clock position.
Check which pedal is being worked on, as the threads on pedals run in different directions depending on whether they are left or right. The left hand pedal is removed clockwise, whereas the right hand pedal is removed by turning the spanner anticlockwise – doing it the incorrect way will only tighten the pedal and may scratch the bicycle crank's own thread.
Apply just enough pressure to loosen the pedal, and as it begins to come loose add more grease to the thread, which will make it easier.
As it comes completely loose, some buyers may wish to use their hands to keep the pedal straight, to prevent the crank thread being scratched as the pedal comes out.
Technique to Replace Bicycle Pedals
Replacing the bicycle pedals can be an easier or harder task, depending on how the buyer goes about it. Many bicycle specialists recommend still using lubricant, but putting the pedal in by hand and only using the spanner to do the final tightening of the pedal. Putting the pedal in by hand means that the buyer can feel if there are any problems, like cross threading.
The buyer should look at the pedals to check whether they are left or right – most pedals will be labelled L or R, but the buyer can always double-check by looking at the direction of the thread. It is especially important to ensure the pedals are the right way round if that buyer has decided to keep using a spanner, as they may not be able to sense the pedals and crank cross-threading, which can do irreparable damage to the crank.
The buyer should use some grease or lubricant and a rag to thoroughly clean out the crank threads, to prolong the lifespan of both the crank and pedal. They should also apply some lubricant to the pedal thread to ensure an easy fit.
The technique to replacing pedals is, naturally, the opposite way round to removing them – so right hand pedals are screwed in clockwise, and left hand pedals anticlockwise. The pedals should be screwed in tightly – and buyers can use a spanner to finish the job to be certain – but not so tight that the buyer begins to do damage to the threads.
These are the methods used for replacing screw thread bicycle pedals. However, there are some that are attached to the crank by a bolt. These are simple to remove and replace, the buyer will simply need to replicate these methods with an Allen key of the correct size – preferably long-handled to make the work easier.
Types of Pedal
Purchasing replacement pedals can be difficult because of the huge variety of designs, sizes and extra additions present in many modern bicycle parts. When looking at replacement bicycle pedals, the buyer should consider the different types of pedal available, because each has its own special attributes, as well as difficulties. Some are better suited for beginners, for off-road bikers as well as racers, and they should consider which type of pedal would suit them. Some of these include:
Flat or platform pedals are the most traditional type of pedal, with none of the added accessories or design features. They are very serviceable, easy to replace and ideal for buyers who do not need any special features from their bicycle.
Cage pedals are slightly wider that flat pedals, and are designed to have a toe clip or strap attached to them, which encases the front of the foot – keeping the foot firmly tethered to the bike and making sure it doesn't slip off during movement. Cage pedals, however, can be hard to get in and out of compared to clipless pedals, especially when urgent, such as trying to avoid a crash or fall.
Clipless pedals are a type of pedal rather confusingly named – though there are no clips in the sense of a cage pedal, the process of attaching feet to pedals is still referred to as a ‘clip-in'. These pedals anchor the foot to the pedal through the use of special shoes designed to attach the sole through cleats to the top of the pedal.
These pedals allow a smooth transfer of movement from the leg to the bicycle, but there can be a quite steep learning curve, as cyclists learn how to quickly detach their feet from the pedal.
Each type of pedal has its own particular uses, with many cyclists choosing to change upwards from flat pedals to cage or clipless pedals once they have gotten used to their bicycle. The buyer should keep in mind where they will be cycling as well. Clipless pedals are favoured by track and off-road cyclists, as well as road users, because of the firm anchoring and the smooth transition of movement.
When buying replacement bicycle pedals, the buyer may wish to consider the material they are made of. The materials used not only affect the weight of the pedals, but also their strength and longevity. The most common materials used for pedals are:
- Steel – steel is a very common material used for all kinds of bicycle pedals, as it is strong and durable but not too costly.
- Aluminium – aluminium is quite light and strong and found as the main component of cage and clipless pedals, yet it is a bit more costly than steel.
- Carbon – carbon is known for being very light, yet incredibly durable and strong. It is, however, quite a bit more expensive than other materials.
Buying Replacement Bicycle Pedals on eBay
When the buyer understands the various factors they can begin to search for bicycle pedals online. When searching for replacement bicycle pedals on eBay, the buyer should consider:
- Price – the cost of items is often the most important factor to keep in mind, and there are many pedals available online at a variety of prices. Buyers can tailor search results by using the search preferences to match their budget, and with many items available at both Auction and Buy It Now there is a great deal of flexibility when purchasing items.
- Type – once the buyer has picked out their preferred type of pedal from the several available, they should be aware that prices differ depending on the type of pedal.
- Material – whatever material the buyer prefers their pedals to be made of, they should keep in mind that the materials used will affect the final price of pedals.
- Local Seller – buying replacement bicycle pedals from local sellers is an ideal way to keep shipping prices down
Should the buyer need any further advice, they should make sure to consult eBay's Search Tips page for more guidance on how search terms and preferences can be adjusted to achieve the perfect result. If buyers have any questions about any of the items they see listed, they should not hesitate to ask the seller.
Cycling is a favourite activity around the world, whether for sport or pleasure, and it is important that the bicycle pedals are well cared for, removed and replaced properly with the kind of pedals that will suit the cyclist best. This guide should be of use to buyers not only as an explanation of the finer points of pedal removal, but also the various replacements there are to be found on eBay.