How to Reassemble a Bicycle Crank & Pedals

Written by contributing writer
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If you ride a mountain or road bicycle and you begin to feel a wobbling or play while you're pedalling, there's a good chance that your cranks or pedals need to be reassembled. For some types of pedals, this is a simple process that you can do at home with a few basic tools. With more complicated pedalling systems or with heavily damaged equipment, a replacement may be necessary.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pedal wrench
  • Vice and/or hammer
  • Crank puller

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  1. 1

    Inspect your pedals to check for any problems. If the wobble occurs where the pedals meet the cranks, you'll need to replace the pedals. If the wobble is occurring in the pedals themselves due to a bent cage, you can reassemble the pedals. This can be done easily with the tools listed above.

  2. 2

    Remove any reflectors from the pedal by prying them off. Remove the cage of the pedal from the body. The cage is typically held in place by four or more screws. Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove these screws. Look at a new model of the same pedal to get an idea of what the shape is intended to be. Using a hammer or a vice, bend the pedal cage back into its original shape.

  3. 3

    Consider replacing the pedal; this process is even simpler. Place a pedal wrench over the pedals spindle and immobilise the crank set. This can be done by laying the bike on the ground and placing your foot on the opposite pedal. Aim the wrench handle at the top of the bike and turn the handle toward the back wheel to loosen the pedal from the crank. Pedal sets contain a separate pedal for the right and left crank, and will typically be marked as such.

  4. 4

    Check for play between the crank and the frame of the bike. If this problem is occurring, the problem could be a bent and damaged crank or a faulty bottom bracket. Pry off the plastic protector cap located at the pivot point of the crank. Remove the crank with a crank extractor tool and inspect the spindle of the bottom bracket for signs of wear, such as rounding.

  5. 5

    Purchase a new bottom bracket, or crank, or both if necessary. Different cranks and bottom brackets come in different sizes and types, depending on the specifications of your frame and riding style. Consult the manual that came with your bicycle frame to find these specifications.

Tips and warnings

  • Shop online to compare prices of pedals, cranks and bottom brackets. Often, online bike shops will sell parts at cheaper prices than brick-and-mortar bike shops.
  • If you aren't confident with a repair that you've done, bring the bike to a local shop for inspection. Riding on a bike with a faulty set of pedals, cranks or bottom brackets could result in a crash.

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