Stopping pedals from coming undone

Ok i am at a loss and looking for some thoughts on this one.

I have just started riding backwards and in the process of learning my uni hits the ground all the time and the pedals seem to keep on coming loose.

I have just killed a set of nimbus cranks in less than 2 weeks by the pedals coming loose and not hearing the sound and stripping the thread.

So today i put on a spare pair of cranks / pedals and went riding again. About 40 minutes in to the ride i heard the sound of the uni hitting the ground change and sure enough one of the pedals has come loose again.

I put grease on the pedals before i put them in could this be the problem? Should i flush them clean and the end of the crank and then put blue loctite on them and go to bed and ride the next day.

As having to replace both cranks and pedals because i am learning new skills sux…

Riding backwards puts reverse pressure on the pedal threads, and unless they are super tight, which is not recommended, they can loosen over time. And it sounds like you are very hard on your uni if you are ruining cranks simply by riding backwards. If you really like riding backwards as much as you seem to, try turning your uni around, and then ride it backwards. Your cranks will NOT come loose that way, and loctite isn’t necessary. But you should never over tighten your pedals.

Good idea about turning the uni around :slight_smile:

It is just the learning part that is making me ride so much. Trying not to over tighten as i know that may have been part of the killing of the cranks.

You should never over-tighten anything, by definition.
But pedals do need to be tight enough.
Looks like about 25 to 30 ft lbs is about right. You probably don’t have an open end torque wrench, but with a foot long wrench you would need to push with the same strength to move 25 to 30 lbs. With a 6" wrench you would need to push the same strength to move 50 to 60 lbs. If you have some weights around you should get a feel for it. You could hang the weight from the end of the wrench. But once you get the feel for it you don’t need to be so technical, in my opinion. If you think you’re pushing way too hard, something’s probably not right.

Another thing…
Do your pedals spin freely? If they bind up they can work to unscrew themselves.
A small amount of grease on the threads is a good idea and shouldn’t cause them to loosen if they are tightened properly.

With more practice/experience, you will be able to feel loose pedals through your feet. They wiggle. Until then, keep dropping the uni. :slight_smile: This is the opposite of how I learned (in the 70s), when dropping the uni would ruin the seat. So you always tried not to, and maybe pedals got worse before you would notice. Today’s seats can withstand thousands of drops.

Only if you’re putting a lot. It should be a very tiny amount, of which I wipe most away before installing them.

Better yet, if you are focusing on backwards, just turn the seat around. It’s more comfortable.

Actually I don’t think that has anything to do with it. Pedals tighten/loosen because of precession, which I don’t think is affected by the amount of friction in the bearings. That’s why it seems like they should be threaded the opposite way.

Last bit of advice; long as you’re concentrating on backwards, Check your pedal tightness every half hour or so. I do this often before starting off on long rides far from the car (MUni), and also tighten my square tapers, if I’m riding one of those, before most rides.

Thanks for all the advice. Makes sense :slight_smile:

As a question has anyone made up a Torque settings sheet that lists by brand / component recommended torque settings?

If not i will start one and post it :slight_smile:

John that is what i have started to do for riding for about 30 mins then check the pedals but this current set i need a pedal wrench for and not just a hex key so it makes a bit harder.

Thanks for all the advice / thoughts

I had the same problem, put a little loctite on the threads and haven’t had the problem since.

Bearing friction is actually even less significant a factor in loosening pedals when riding backwards, as any bearing friction in that case will tend to tighten the pedals!

If I decide to put blue Loctite on my pedal threads, should I first remove all traces of grease? Do I need a bottle of paint thinner to do this and/or to remove the Loctite later on?

It has now been a few months since I had any problem with my cranks, partly because I bought some fancy cranks, but mostly because I carry a pedal wrench religiously and never go more than 2 revolutions in reverse without stopping right away to inspect my pedals for looseness.

Well on the loctite direction at back it says:


So my guess is yes.

Removing grease:

Didn’t you make a thread or post awhile back and were told to turn the seat backwards and it would be okay? I heard of people still messing up their expensive cranks just the same if the pedals were loose.

If you’re planning to go backwards a bit, just remember to go forward as well. And turn seat backwards if going a long way. Make sure to tighten it when installing. There was a link I found awhile back where people were discussing which part were better for loctite (adhesive) and which were better for greasing.

Ah, here it is:

You shouldn’t be that paranoid when riding backwards, there’s something wrong with being THAT paranoid. I also check my pedals to see if they’re loose, but maybe once or twice a ride maybe (and I thought that was being paranoid already heh).