Stuck pedals


Does anybody know a good trick for unscrewing stuck pedals?
Even with a pedal wrench I cannot dismount the pedals
on my 26" unicycle, this thing just moves away if I try
to apply a lot of torque. And I don’t want to dump two good cranks just because the pedals won’t come loose:-)


Kick it!

Seriously, when my pedals get stuck I use feet rather than hands on the spanner. Make absolutely sure you’re pushing it in the right direction to save breaking things, and give it a sharp kick while holding the wheel.

Feel free to ignore me if you don’t want to break stuff. More sensible people will probably be along soon to suggest less forceful measures such as penetrating oil or something. Bah!


Make sure your turning it the right way, One side of the pedals is reverse threaded.

But then you can always try the pipe extention to give yourself more torque on the wrench (put a big long pipe on the end of the wrench and us that to get that pedal off) This has worked often for me when I’m working on my car and I have nuts that are rusted on that wont budge.


Making sure you’re turning the wrench the right way is the most important thing. To do this, don’t assume the unicycle is assembled properly. The left one might be on the right side, or you may even have two lefts. Lots of older unicycles have that, because left cranks (without spiders) are easier to come by.

Good advice, making sure the pedals are on right. After that, I find that I can apply much more torque squeezing my hands around a wrench handle that is closely aligned with a crank than trying to grab the wrench with one hand and the crank/wheel/frame with the other. Set up the wrench and the crank so they’re almost aligned, like a nut-cracker, with the wrench handle on the proper side of the crank to loosen the pedal when you squeeze. Then, use both hands to squeeze the two together.

All good suggestions so far, as a former bike shop employee, here’s another.

Dismantle the pedal, if it is the dismantleable type, so you are left with just the spindle. You can then clamp the flat surfaces where you put the pedal spanner, into a square shouldered vice, and using the extra leverage supplied by the frame pop that sucker off.

This does require some thinking to make sure you’re turning the frame the right way, cos the whole thing is upside down, usually does the trick though.

One thing, on reassembly a small amount of grease on the pedal threads will prevent this occuring in the future.

turn the seat round so you’re riding it backwards and go for a ride, that might help.


I like to tap the wrench with a hammer that has a felt padded head. But, of coure, make sure like everyone else has said, that you are threading in the correct direction.


When in doubt, go to a bikeshop. I’ve never had to do this for a stuck pedal. But I would. It’s much better to give in and admit you can’t do it then to break a perfectly good crank. Question to all who said to make sure the crank is on the right side: How do you know what side crank it is? I mean, if the pedal won’t come off and you don’t want to force it since you don’t know what side it is, how would you find out?


Good question. Here are some things to try:

  1. Look for an “L” or “R” on the crank arm. Obvious enough. Note that if it’s labeled on one side and not the other, they still may be two of the same kind.
  2. Look for an L or R on the pedal. Sometimes they are labeled on the end of the threaded part (old Schwinns), or on the part where the wrench goes.
  3. Look for evidence of spider removal from a pair of bike cranks. If one side looks like it used to have chainwheels attached, you can be pretty sure it’s got normal threads.

Those are the obvious ones. The suggestion of riding the unicycle the opposite way for a while is a good one. If the uni has been ridden a lot, there’s a good chance the pedals are on the correct sides or they would have come loose already. This is not guaranteed though, if they are rusty, stripped, or just on very tight.

Applying gentle pressure with a long-handled wrench in each direction should solve the mystery. If not, I’d give the bike shop a shot at it.

Hi all,

thanks a lot for the advice.

Today I learnt that stuck pedals can be moved if the crank
is heated.

I used a propan torch for 20 seconds or so on the crank,
so the crank was not hot but moderately warm. Then the pedal came
right of! This was a steel crank, alloy should work even better.

I guess this is a good way of ruining both, crank and pedal, so
you should probably be very carefull not to overheat anything.


Yes, we use copper mallets all the time for these situations in the bike shop.