When it comes to lubricating pedals most of us tend to ignore them which can cause problems in the long run also if you are installing new pedals on your bike you should definitely lube them.
Problems you can face if you don’t Lube your pedals :
If you don’t lube your pedals for a long time they can start making squeaky noises or start getting stuck, the simplest solution to that is applying a little bit of lube and everything should be great again here’s how to do it.
How to remove pedals and properly Lube them :
There are usually 3 types of pedals to quickly see what kind of tool you can use to unscrew your pedal sit cross next to your pedal and see if you can see a hexagonal shape in the middle of the pedal if you don’t see one you can use a 15mm wrench on it usually that’s the size of the flat area on the pedal.
And if you see that hexagonal shape in the middle of your pedal screw you can use an Allen wrench usually all pedals can be unscrewed with a 6mm Allen key.
But in some cases, you can also there are 8mm wide hexagonal threads on the inside of the pedals again for that you can use an 8mm Allen key.
If you are having trouble opening it with just the Allen key you can use a 15mm wrench and an Allen key to work on both ends and open it that way.
If there is no opening for the wrench on the side of the pedals you can use grease on it I don’t recommend using oil because when you tighten it later it will tighten too much but their also dedicated products which I have mentioned below you can use that as well, its just personal preference.
Also, your right-hand pedals should open anti-clockwise and your left-hand pedals clockwise so make sure you are applying the force in the right direction.
Step 2 :
From here on things get easier if you are installing new pedals make sure you wash off the threads on the crank arms if the dirt is still stuck on it it will damage the threads in the future, if the dirt is not coming off or you are having a hard time removing old grease from the threads just use a little bit of wd40 on the pedals it should get the great of completely.
and if you don’t have even wd40 on hand then you can use oil it should do the trick for the time being, but make sure you use a cleaning agent like wd 40 on it later on.
If your bike is brand new you can just use a rag to clean the threads on the crank arm apply some grease on them and screw them back on.
Step 3 :
After you have cleaned the pedals with wd40 use a rug to clean the pedals completely remember not to put grease on the pedals right after you had applied wd40 it, wd40 will wash away the grease if it’s still left on the threads and if there is water present it will thicken the grease so make sure you wipe it clean before applying grease on it.
Step 4 :
apply grease to the threads of the crank arm not inside on the pedals thread and it’s also important that you apply a little amount to it so that it just sinks the threads if you apply it in large amounts it may help you screw it faster but it will be sure of hell lot harder to unscrew it later on because they will tighten too much.
Step 5 :
screw the threads on and tightly screw I should mention that don’t go overboard when tightening your pedals on because the thread tightens in the same direction you pedal and over time they will tighten on their own.
So for now just put optimal pressure on them to tighten them to the extent that you can easily tighten them.
How often you should Lube your pedals :
Pedals should be lubricated every month or 2, if you live in rainy or in snowy areas you should lubricate them at least every month it will prevent rusting on the threads, and in case you had like to remove them to clean them it would be much easier.
That being said the threads are strong but over time if the rust keeps on accumulating on the threads it will weaken them and they may break threads on pedals in this case are less of a concern but threads inside the crank arm are what you should be worried about if the threads on the inside of the crank arm get damaged then you might have to replace them.
Pedal lubes dedicated products :
There are many dedicated products in the market for pedals and cleats of clipless pedals like
- Finish line pedal and cleats
- Gibraltar lubricate for pedals
- bike pedal grease
But I would recommend anti-seize lubricant for the pedals it costs a few bucks and you can get it from any departmental store near you.
The reason that I like it is that it’s an anti-seize and it protects the pedals from rust, salt, and moisture repellent. the other lubes are great as well but this one just gives extra bonus from salt accumulation making it perfect for cold environments.
Pedal Lubes Alternatives :
Dedicated products should be your top priority since they are very specifically designed for that part of the bike but of course, it’s not the end of the world and if you don’t have a dedicated product on your hand you can use
- normal grease of any type
- Dry chain lube(not wet chain lube)
- dropper post lubes
you can use all of these as temporary lubes if you don’t have any dedicated product on hand there are many dropper seat post lubes that can be great alternatives for the pedals I recently wrote an article on that as well Dropper Seat Post Lubricants | what to use and what to avoid You can check out that article as well for a wider range.
Can you use Wd40 as lube for Pedals :
WD40 is a cleaning agent so it cannot be used as a lubricant you can use it to clean the grease on the pedals or other parts of the bike.
Tip : never use WD40 after applying grease it will melt the grease making it useless
you can use it before you apply new grease it will wipe off all the grease from the pedals making it easier to clean them and apply new grease also remember to completely wipe off wd40 before applying grease on any part of the bike.
Can you use Grease as pedal Lubes :
Yes, grease is a good alternative for pedal lubes or dedicated products most pedal products are actually based on the grease itself.
Can you use oils as pedal lubes :
I wouldn’t recommend using oils on the pedals as grease the problem with oil is it will wash away in a few days and also the fact that it will keep tightening your pedals and that would not be a great experience.
What to Do if your pedals are firmly stuck :
if your pedals are firmly stuck and you can’t seem to open them up in 3 simple steps.
- Check you are applying force in the right direction( right-hand pedals should open anti-clockwise and left-handed clockwise)
- sip in wd40 inside the threads and try unlocking them after a few seconds
- using oil the same way as wd40
Lubricating clipless Pedals :
If you use clipless pedals lubricating clipless pedals can be very good. it will make them easier to tuck in and out of cleats you can use grease or oils on them greasing or oiling them will also make them long-lasting and less prone to rusting and easier to wear.
lubricating clipless pedals depends on you, or your riding style you can lubricate them on daily bases or even on weekly basis it totally depends on you how you had like them to be.