Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 05 2020 5:01pm

I have a bit of history of pedals coming loose while riding and getting stripped. The manual of my latest bike states (page 14) that the pedals need 37 +/-3 NM of torque. I'd like to get this right so I don't continue to have problems.

How do you install pedals at a measured torque? Obviously a pedal wrench is useless. I'm thinking I need something like this:

Image

but the attachment cannot be that thick.. it has to be thin enough to fit between the pedal and the crank arm. I'm also not sure if I can trust the torque setting with that kind of attachment (edit: yes but must be 90 degrees). Also, I think the torque wrench needs to work in both directions, correct? Although I can probably change cranking direction on the pedals just by flipping sides on the reverse threaded left-hand pedal, that trick wouldn't work when torquing the crank arms.

Anyone know where to get the proper tool?
Last edited by xtinctionRebeller on Apr 05 2020 8:52pm, edited 2 times in total.

aroundqube   1 kW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by aroundqube » Apr 05 2020 5:39pm

Simply attach the Tork-Grip to the pedal wrench https://sheldonbrown.com/tork-grip.html

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by flat tire » Apr 05 2020 6:05pm

You don't need to actually measure the torque for pedals you just need to put them on tight enough. There is a decent range of torque between tight enough and stripping the threads. Stop using the wrench like a girl!

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by Dauntless » Apr 05 2020 6:12pm

I was 10-12 when I was getting the pedals on and off just fine. Short handled wrenches at that. 37 foot pounds ain't much.

Out of curiosity is it both pedals that come loose, or always the same side? The thread direction reverses for the opposite sides, they should both be tightening as you pedal. This is a curious situation indeed, I don't recall anyone having pedals come off the crank completely.
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efMX Trials Electric Freeride   1 MW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Apr 05 2020 6:18pm

you don't need a torque wrench for this but you do need a good quality pedal wrench.. grease the pedal threads and tighten your pedals as tight as possible using a long pedal wrench.. then use the rear wheel as a lever and tighten them some more (they may even dig into the crank alum a bit) .. in other words position the wrench, hold firm and then turn the rear wheel backwards and the pedals will tighten via the chain with this added leverage.. recheck crank and pedal tightness after first few rides..
some ride & sk8 videos:
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http://www.youtube.com/natas666damien
i have nothing for sale.. :)

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 05 2020 6:50pm

I found this video:

http://mfqczy4mysscub2s.onion/watch?v=LFbSBG7jMzY

It shows the pedal wrench technique and also shows that those open wrench socket mahoochies "crow foot wrenches" work. He says the adequate torque results from 10 inches of turn once it's finger tight (I think). I'm tempted to buy a torque wrench anyway, for tightening the crank arms and also for the lug nuts on a motorcycle. So I may try to track down some open wrench sockets that are thin but not too thin. (edit: found one).

I'm also looking to buy a bike tool kit (budget ~$250). They all have inadequate torque wrenches. This kit has the best torque wrench after an extensive search, and it's limited to 24 NM.

This thread has several people telling someone not to torque their pedals on, but I'll be scrapping that advice. Replacing stripped out crank arms (or rethreading them) isn't cheap.
Dauntless wrote:
Apr 05 2020 6:12pm
37 foot pounds ain't much.
It's 37 newton meters actually.
Dauntless wrote:
Apr 05 2020 6:12pm
Out of curiosity is it both pedals that come loose, or always the same side? The thread direction reverses for the opposite sides, they should both be tightening as you pedal. This is a curious situation indeed, I don't recall anyone having pedals come off the crank completely.
It's always the right-side pedal that comes loose for me. Note as well that it was always a pro bike shop that installed the pedals, not me. I've also seen other cyclists pedals fall off when riding in a Critical Mass event.

@efMX - thanks for the tip. I was half tempted to grab this kit but now that you mention it the pedal wrench looks like junk.
This looks better.
Last edited by xtinctionRebeller on Apr 05 2020 8:31pm, edited 3 times in total.

markz   100 GW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by markz » Apr 05 2020 7:31pm

I had the problem of wheels coming loose even when I tightened them and put grease on. I have a few threads posted. I just use blue loc-tite now and tighten them a lot by feel. I know everyone will say use grease or lube, but blue loc-tite is actually working for me. I have broken a half dozen crank arms due to the pedal coming loose, making the whole 1pc. crank useless and the arm useless. Blue loc-tite I havent had one issue at all. I have even taken the pedal off easy enough, I had it on through winter, then taken it off, was easy.

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 05 2020 7:45pm

markz wrote:
Apr 05 2020 7:31pm
I have broken a half dozen crank arms due to the pedal coming loose, making the whole 1pc. crank useless and the arm useless.
Perhaps it'd be worth it for you to get one of these tap and die bushing kits. (procedure)

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efMX Trials Electric Freeride   1 MW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Apr 05 2020 7:46pm

using the rear wheel as leverage to tighten the pedals on (with the bike in the stand) is key.. not sure if you understand it but the pedals need to fully bottom into the crank threads, that's not easy to do without grease, a long pedal wrench, AND the rear wheel used as leverage all together.. unless your arnold schwarzenegger;)..
some ride & sk8 videos:
metacafe.com/channels/NATAS666DAMIEN
http://www.youtube.com/natas666damien
i have nothing for sale.. :)

markz   100 GW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by markz » Apr 05 2020 7:51pm

xtinctionRebeller wrote:
Apr 05 2020 7:45pm
markz wrote:
Apr 05 2020 7:31pm
I have broken a half dozen crank arms due to the pedal coming loose, making the whole 1pc. crank useless and the arm useless.
Perhaps it'd be worth it for you to get one of these tap and die bushing kits. (procedure)
I have broken mostly used gear, I bought a box of used cranks, arms, and gears about 2 yrs ago. I did break Cyclone freewheel arms, and new Shimano Tourney 1pc 3 gear crank (some have bolt on gears), the rest are old, used components.

Tapping the old holes would make them larger, good for the smaller pedal thread.
Most pedals have 9/16" x 20 tpi threads.
Pedals for one-piece cranks are 1/2" x 20 tpi.
I have one or two single, not paired 1/2" but the rest of mine are 9/16.

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 05 2020 9:08pm

efMX Trials Electric Freeride wrote:
Apr 05 2020 7:46pm
using the rear wheel as leverage to tighten the pedals on (with the bike in the stand) is key.. not sure if you understand it but the pedals need to fully bottom into the crank threads, that's not easy to do without grease, a long pedal wrench, AND the rear wheel used as leverage all together.. unless your arnold schwarzenegger;)..
I have a hoist for storing the bike, but it may not take much extra pressure. I might try your technique with the bike upside down.. if I don't end up getting the crow foot. I'll have to wing it since none of the videos I've seen make use of the wheel for leverage.

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by markz » Apr 05 2020 9:30pm

xtinctionRebeller wrote:
Apr 05 2020 9:08pm
efMX Trials Electric Freeride wrote:
Apr 05 2020 7:46pm
using the rear wheel as leverage to tighten the pedals on (with the bike in the stand) is key.. not sure if you understand it but the pedals need to fully bottom into the crank threads, that's not easy to do without grease, a long pedal wrench, AND the rear wheel used as leverage all together.. unless your arnold schwarzenegger;)..
I have a hoist for storing the bike, but it may not take much extra pressure. I might try your technique with the bike upside down.. if I don't end up getting the crow foot. I'll have to wing it since none of the videos I've seen make use of the wheel for leverage.
Yeah you just rotate crank until the direction of the pedal tightening counteracts the direction of the wheel, so the wheel is locked when you pull on the wrench to tighten it or loosen it. Can also throw in a steel bar so the arm hits the metal thats resting on the chain stay. Lots of ways to skin the cat bro.

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efMX Trials Electric Freeride   1 MW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Apr 05 2020 9:37pm

it's from decades of bike shop work.. when you assemble hundreds or even thousands you don't want them coming back stripped out.. cranks are easy to over-tighten (without torque wrench) pedals are not.. bc threads need proper bottom to tension as opposed to press fit cranks which need specific torque.. upside down bike should work, report your results when done..
some ride & sk8 videos:
metacafe.com/channels/NATAS666DAMIEN
http://www.youtube.com/natas666damien
i have nothing for sale.. :)

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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pedal torque hacks

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 06 2020 8:36am

aroundqube wrote:
Apr 05 2020 5:39pm
Simply attach the Tork-Grip to the pedal wrench https://sheldonbrown.com/tork-grip.html
That's an interesting hack, though I don't have much confidence in vice grips. I'd prefer this hack if it weren't absurdly overpriced.

Image

what is a "one way" torque wrench, and how can we avoid it?

I was under the assumption that torque wrenches were like rachet wrenches in the sense that you can pivot a switch to crank in either direction. But then I discovered some torque wrenches are described as "one way". What does that mean? It seems to suggest that it can only tighten clockwise, which would make it useless for tightening reverse-threaded bolts like that of the right (drive-side) crank arm. Yet when I look at a torque wrench marked 1-way, it still has the switch on it:
Image
What is that switch for if the torque wrench is "1-way"?

So I'm a bit concerned that I could order a torque wrench that is not labeled as "1-way" or "2-way", since most are not labelled as such, and end up with one that is only 1-way.
Last edited by xtinctionRebeller on Apr 06 2020 10:36am, edited 6 times in total.

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efMX Trials Electric Freeride   1 MW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Apr 06 2020 8:49am

ratchets in either direction but only measures torque in one direction.. tighten to torque, loosen has no torque..
some ride & sk8 videos:
metacafe.com/channels/NATAS666DAMIEN
http://www.youtube.com/natas666damien
i have nothing for sale.. :)

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 06 2020 9:23am

efMX Trials Electric Freeride wrote:
Apr 06 2020 8:49am
ratchets in either direction but only measures torque in one direction.. tighten to torque, loosen has no torque..
Does that mean this "2-way" racheting torque wrench is a rare exception? Do most people use this style of torque wrench to install the drive-side crank arm:

Image
?

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efMX Trials Electric Freeride   1 MW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Apr 06 2020 9:30am

that's a two-way, non rachet torque wrench..
some ride & sk8 videos:
metacafe.com/channels/NATAS666DAMIEN
http://www.youtube.com/natas666damien
i have nothing for sale.. :)

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 06 2020 9:42am

efMX Trials Electric Freeride wrote:
Apr 06 2020 9:30am
that's a two-way, non rachet torque wrench..
I assume you're talking about the one in the picture. The one I linked must be a rachet.. otherwise what purpose would the switch have? BTW, this one looks like another exceptional 2-way racheting torque wrench, which the seller calls "reversible" (which unfortunately means I have to search for "reversible" and "two way").

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Apr 06 2020 10:07am

the pedro's is a nice tool.. two way torque :thumb:
some ride & sk8 videos:
metacafe.com/channels/NATAS666DAMIEN
http://www.youtube.com/natas666damien
i have nothing for sale.. :)

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 06 2020 10:31am

efMX Trials Electric Freeride wrote:
Apr 06 2020 10:07am
the pedro's is a nice tool.. two way torque :thumb:
Indeed it looks good but my motorcycle lug nuts need 108 NM and I'd rather not buy two torque wrenches.

I noticed this pedal wrench has a square hole apparently to attach a torque wrench to, but they don't tell us how big the hole is.. so we can't be sure what it's there for. Many of the Park Tools pedal wrenches cut a tear drop hole for no apparent reason.

Image
Last edited by xtinctionRebeller on Apr 06 2020 10:41am, edited 1 time in total.

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efMX Trials Electric Freeride   1 MW

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by efMX Trials Electric Freeride » Apr 06 2020 10:37am

motorcycle stuff tends to be larger diameter, higher torque fasteners than pedal bikes.. thus different tool for different job..
some ride & sk8 videos:
metacafe.com/channels/NATAS666DAMIEN
http://www.youtube.com/natas666damien
i have nothing for sale.. :)

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 06 2020 10:47am

efMX Trials Electric Freeride wrote:
Apr 06 2020 10:37am
motorcycle stuff tends to be larger diameter, higher torque fasteners than pedal bikes.. thus different tool for different job..
Why would I need two different torque wrenches? Certainly there are adapters from 1/2 inch to 3/8. This one is two-way and covers the torques needed for bicycle crank arms and motorcycle lug nuts. My only issue with it is it's not quite low enough in the torque range for pedals.. but maybe I'll use your approach on the pedals without torquing them.

Note as well that I'm struggling to trust some tools that are designed for bikes. E.g. this VENZO Bicycle Torque Wrench is part of some bike tool kits, and yet it's apparently 1-way and can't be used on the reverse threaded bolts that we encounter on bikes. And the torque range misses the pedal and crank arm torques. This Icetoolz torque wrench also hopes to cater for bicycle maintenance; it has the right torque range but still doesn't handle reverse threaded bolts.
Last edited by xtinctionRebeller on Apr 06 2020 11:09am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by speedmd » Apr 06 2020 10:52am

CDI, I found my mid sized wrench "like new" used on ebay for not much more than the cheap ones! New, around $130. Treat yourself. Went without and used the cheap beam type for years that suck unless you can get in a good position to pull comfortable and see the scale with any accuracy. CDI provides tolerance spec. for both directions.

Even one well used is better than the cheapo breako types. https://www.ebay.com/itm/CDI-TORQUE-PRO ... SwIexecHGY

The smaller size. https://www.ebay.com/itm/3-8-Drive-30-2 ... SwWnhegltu

No going back!

As far as the crows foot not fitting the flats, just grind it thinner. Slowly, quench often. Keep it under kitchen oven temperatures.

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xtinctionRebeller   10 W

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by xtinctionRebeller » Apr 06 2020 11:14am

I appreciate the suggestion speedmd. I'm with you.. I prefer quality used things over cheap new. But ATM Craigslist is down and I would never use eBay-Paypal or anything tied to Peter Thiel.

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Re: Torquing the pedals on -- what special tool is needed?

Post by speedmd » Apr 06 2020 11:18am

My larger one is a proto which is also excellent. Local Kid had it and mechanical work was just not his thing. Tons of them out there. Some good 1/4" ones also in the small size for most bike hardware. Patience and one will land on you! :P

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