Why does my bike pedal keeps falling off?

It’s annoying!

Last week I was on a bike packing tour with my homies. We had to stop seven times within 10 kilometers.

It was Mitchell whose pedal fall off again and again. He was getting irritated and shouted, asking, “Why does my bike pedal keep falling off?

My answer was simple there. You didn’t maintain your pedal properly, buddy. “How to maintain my bike pedal?” Mitchell asked me further. 

Well, what was my answer then? This post is all about that.

How do I prevent my bike pedal from falling off?

Prevention is always better than cure.

That’s why I always take some preventive steps to protect the pedal of my bike from falling off.

I check the pedal before going for a ride. Fix if there is any problem, and finally give the bike to a repair shop for yearly maintenance.

Why does my bike pedal keeps falling off?

It’s maybe for your pedal is too loose, or the thread is severely damaged. When the pedals get loose, and you ride the bike with that loosen pedal, the thread gets damaged.

It is because the crank is made of heavy steel, which is tougher than aluminum. But, the pedal is made of light aluminum and softer than steel.

So the threads involved in friction when not in perfect alignment. Thus, the pedal threads get broken, and the crankarm can’t hold the pedal while cycling.

When I was helping Mitchell, I notice that the same thing happened to him.

He informed me that he is not maintaining the pedals for months and don’t know when the padel get loosen.

However, sometimes the pedal itself can be the culprit. The pedal bearing can get damaged and prevent the footrest from rotating freely.

Thus, the whole pedal can get loosen and fall off the crank arm.

How do I maintain or fix my bike pedal?

When I commented that Mitchell is not maintaining his bike pedal properly, He asked me how I maintain my bike pedal.

bike pedal

Well, I gave him 3 tips which you can also follow.

Tip1: Be aware at the Beginning

You should be careful when installing a new pedal. The left pedal and right pedal have differences in thread directions.

Identify and install them to the corresponding crank arm. Make sure the alignment is correct, and the pedal sits perfectly on the crank arm.

You can also apply grease to the pedal. Thus, the pedal sits appropriately, and the crank arm can hold them tight in the future.

Moreover, the risk of thread damage decreases as friction gets low after applying grease.
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Warning: Many riders may prefer thread-locker adhesive over grease. I suggest not to use them. It will create more trouble when you need to replace the pedal. Moreover, it’s harsh to the metal and helps a little to prevent damage.

Tip2: Check, Fix and Ride

Before going for a ride, check if the pedal is tight enough or not. If it is loose, then tighten it but don’t overtight.

You can use a hex wrench to do the job. But it’s better to get a pedal wrench. If you know the size of your pedal nut, then go for the exact size of the wrench.

Or, you can also get a multipurpose wrench compatible with different sizes of nuts.

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Also, don’t forget to lubricate the pedal axle so that it can rotate freely.

Tip3: Rely on Professionals

Even after taking all these steps, your pedal can fall off after a certain time. That’s why I suggest giving your bike to a local bike repair shop at least once a year.

If your bike pedal thread gets damaged severely, they will wire out the thread and mount a larger “Helicoil.” It will cost very little to you (around 5-10 USD).

Note: This process requires special tools and machines, which are pretty expensive. So, it won’t be worth it to set up one by yourself.

Anyways, if there is any problem with the pedal bearing, the best solution is to replace it. You will need a professional’s help to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bike Pedal Maintain

1. How much does it cost to tighten the bike pedal?

If you already own a pedal wrench, it cost absolutely nothing. You can do it yourself.

In case you don’t have a wrench, it will cost 15-20 USD to get a decent pedal wrench.

Spend around 40 USD if you are looking for a multipurpose high-end pedal wrench.

2. Do I need a torque wrench to tighten the pedal?

Not always. Most of the pedals are designed in such a way that you can tighten them with a hex wrench or regular pedal wrench.

But there are some distinct types of bike pedals (such as GARMIN Vector) that require a specific torque wrench to be tightened.

3. Do bike pedals tighten as I pedal?

The chance of the bike pedal getting tighten by peddling is meager.

Because the crank arm and pedal axle rotate together toward the same direction while peddling.

4. Can I use vaseline instead of grease?

Yes! Vaseline can be used as grease. But the problem is, it’s not so effective as bike grease.

As a result, the pedal gets degreased after few days. Yet, vaseline can be used if you commute shortly.

But, it’s better to use bike grease if you are a pro cyclist and ride frequently.

Conclusion

Don’t get fool as Mitchell got. Take care of your bike regularly.

Read Also: Bike Repair & Maintenance Guide

I have saved lots of my time and money by maintaining the bike by myself. Remember, negligence can lead you to hassle or even accidents.

However, check, fix and ride is the best way to prevent pedal fall. Besides, you can take professional’s help to get the solution.

I hope you ride safely, stay healthy.

Cheers!

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