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Tools needed for most repair/maintenance work on pedal axles:
The axle of a pedal is usually made from steel and the crankarms from aluminum alloy. This creates an interface where a chemical reaction can take place between the two metals, so it is important that you coat the threads with grease before you put pedals on your bike. The tools for removing the axles are specific to the brand and model of the pedals, and are either supplied with the pedals or available at a good bike shop.
Most pedals contain two bearings on which the pedal body revolves around its axle. These sometimes need replacing; in the case of ball bearings, they need regular cleaning, checking, and greasing.
Pedal axles can be damaged by an impact or during a fall, and a bent axle can cause riding discomfort or even injury. After removing the pedals, rotate their axles by hand, feeling for the tight spots that are evidence of a bent axle.
Below: Parts of a pedal: axle, cleat-release mechanism, pedal body, release tension adjuster, wrench flats, retainer.
Read our article on How to Pedal on a Bicycle
Removing and lubricating a pedal axle
1. Turn the wrench counterclockwise for the right pedal, which has a right-hand thread, and clockwise for the left pedal, which has a left-hand thread.
2. Hold the removed pedal, with the axle upward, in a vise.
3. Ensure that the remover tool fits snugly onto the retainer. The retainer may be damaged if you do not.
4. Lift the axle from the pedal once you have fully unscrewed the retainer nut.
6. Grease the inner bearing to prolong its life. If it is worn, the whole axle assembly must be replaced.
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