There’s very little that can beat a good day out riding bikes. Getting out into nature and enjoying the tough climbs, fast descents, and hopefully great coffee.
Bikes are a lot of fun, but they require a certain level of care to stay in tip-top condition, and things have to be done in a certain way for the bike to perform properly.
At Bike Test Reviews we’re asked a lot of questions about bicycle maintenance, and many people ask if you should grease your pedals and why.
In this article, we’re going to tell you why it’s important to grease your bike pedals and how to do it properly.
What do people mean when they say to grease your bike pedals?
The pedal is broken down into various parts. You typically get the axle which goes through the pedal. The spindle which houses the bearings and gives the pedal the ability to spin. Then the base of the pedal, which you contact with your foot.
The axle is how the pedal connects to your bike and typically comes in 1/2″ and 9/16″ pitch thread. When people speak about greasing your bike pedals, it refers to greasing the axle before it connects to the bike’s pedal arm and cranks.
Why do we grease a bike’s pedal?
There are a few reasons why you should grease the pedal thread, and it will really benefit you to ensure some grease goes on. Here’s why;
It stops it from getting stuck
When you apply grease to the pedal thread, it stops it from getting stuck. Pedals, because of the direction they go in, have the ability to tighten themselves as you pedal.
If you don’t grease the pedal threads, they can get tighter and tighter to the point the pedals become stuck. Putting grease on the pedal thread stops this from happening.
Stops the inside drying out
If you put your pedal in the bike without greasing the axle, it can dry out inside, and you can end up in a situation where the pedal becomes stuck. When stuck because of being dry inside, they can become near impossible to remove, and you might end up needing a new crank.
It makes them easier to install and remove
Greasing your pedals lubricates them, and this makes them much easier to remove and also to install. There are many reasons why you might want to remove your pedal, such as to take the bike flying or to swap them to another bike.
How to grease the pedals of a bike
In this next section, we’re going to run you through installing pedals with the grease on correctly.
Step One: Identify and clean
With the pedals off the bike, you are going to want to identify the axle. You will be able to find this as you will see it should be the only piece with screw threads on.
Once you have the axle, you will take a cloth and clean all the threads up. After that, it’s time to go to the bike, locate the hole where the pedal screws in, and then clean it to remove any dirt inside it.
Step Two: Grease
Now you’re working with clean parts, and it’s time to start getting some grease on them. You are going to want to dab a spot of grease onto the pedal thread and then use a cloth to rub it over all of the pedal threads.
Don’t worry about greasing the inside of the crank pedal thread. The grease on the pedals will be enough.
Step Three: Insert pedals correctly
Now you need to insert the pedals, and before you start, ensure you have the right pedal on the drive side and the left pedal on the non-drive side. Use your hands to screw them in to start with, then when it gets too tight, use an Allen key or 15mm spanner to ensure they are locked in tight.
A lot of people say any grease will do. Personally, we recommend using a proper bike grease for this job. Bike grease is properly formulated to be used on bikes, and not any old grease will be as effective.
The best you will find on the market is probably the Park Tools grease link below.
When it comes to your pedals, it’s best practice to ensure they are greased. If you don’t grease them, it can cause them to get stuck and further damage your bike. Grease is something definitely worth having in your garage or shed because it will also have a lot of other uses.
Robbie Ferri has spent years working in a bike shop, has worked with industry leading brands on product creation, has been a semi pro athlete, and is a fully qualified strength and conditioning coach. He has broken World Records, bikepacked all over the World and raced ultra distance at a top-level.