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(Redirected from Evaluating Pedals)



Pedals have two sets of ball bearings; there is one set more or less at each "end" of the pedal. These bearings are often not adjustable, and our standards for them aren't nearly as high as on other bearings on the bike. Two two criteria for pedals being ok are that they should have bearings, and the pedal should not be otherwise broken.

Toe clips and straps

Some pedals are made for these and some aren't. For purposes of evaluating the pedal, they don't make any difference - if they are on, but broken, or if one pedal in a pair has a clip and the other doesn't, it makes no difference. They can be removed or replaced, so judge the pedal on its other aspects [[picture of pedal with clip and strap to show what they are]


You can check the bearings in the pedal by turning the spindle, and then by trying to wiggle it up and down. If the axle won't turn, the pedal is bad, since it's probably rusted together inside. If it turns ok, but moves up and down a lot when you wiggle the spindle, it may not have bearings. Hold it by the spindle and shake it around. If the sound it makes is more of a "click", it probably has loose bearings. If it really rattles, it is missing the bearings, and you should throw it out. [[picture of pedal to show what the spindle is?]

Broken parts

If any part of the cage (the body of the pedal) is broken, or if parts are missing, the pedal is bad and should be scrapped.


Left pedal threads slope up to the left.
Right pedal threads slope up to the right.

The primary task in sorting pedals is to determine the size of the spindle. There are two sizes:

  • 1/2": Used on lower quality bicycles.
  • 9/16": Used on higher quality bicycles. The 9/16" pedals are more useful to the co-op because they are in demand. Although it seems easy to sort pedals, take care, as pedals are very frequently mis-sorted.

Spindle Size

The co-op has ruined 9/16" crankarms which are available as sorting tools for pedals. The easiest way to sort pedals is to try to insert the spindle into one of these crankarms without screwing it in. If it goes in, it is a 1/2", and if it is too big to go in without turning, it is a 9/16". You may believe that it is possible to tell the difference visually, and while it is technically is possible, resist the temptation to try, because no matter how experienced you are, you will eventually get bored and make a mistake. Use the crankarm tool.

Right and Left

Once sorted by size, pedals can be split between left and right and paired. You will usually only bother with this step with 9/16" pedals, since 1/2" pedals are rarely needed and it is not worth the time. Left pedals always have left-handed threads. Right pedals always have right-handed threads. You can tell which way the threads go by looking at the spindle: left handed threads appear to slope up to the left, right handed threads appear to slope up to the right. For the purposes of sorting pedals, if you have a left pedal and a right pedal, and they look exactly the same as far as you can tell, they are a set, and you can fasten them together using plastic zip-ties. Don't worry that they might not have started out as a set at the factory.


Pedales (m)

Bicycle Parts

Ball BearingsBrakes (Caliper Brakes, Cantilever Brakes & Disc Brakes) • Brake LeversChainringsChainsCranks
Derailers (Front & Rear) • ForksFrameFront DerailersHandlebarsHubsPedalsQuick Release