There comes a time in every cyclist's career when the pedals need to come off the bike - usually to be packed into a bike box for a cycling holiday or training camp.

If you were careful last time you changed the pedals, this should all go smoothly. If not - you might be looking at something like the next 11 stages...

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The cycle of pedal removal actually begins several days before the main event. The process starts the moment you realise you need to take the pedals off, and continues until you actually complete the task.

Until you get the pedal spanner out, you'll be mainly just putting it off...

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When it finally comes to the time to get down to the job, you'll begin with a hopeful attitude - this will be FINE - you used grease last time you put the pedals on (you think), you didn't overtighten them (you think).

What could go wrong?

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With your hopeful attitude, you march up to the bike, holding the pedal spanner high, like a weapon - hopefully this will intimidate the bike into dropping its pedals at the mere sight of you.

You settle down and give the pedal a nudge. Nope - nothing doing. Nudge a little harder. Nothing budges.

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You calm down, and check an online guide - like our guide to changing pedals.

Hopefully, you've been turning the pedal spanner the right way - remember "pedals will tighten going forward, loosen going back. Which means that on the drive side of the bike, it’s normal thread, and on the non-drive side, it’s reverse thread – lefty tighty, righty loosey."

If you've been going the WRONG way, it means the 'nudging' you've done so far has only further tightened the little blighters.

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Little angry girl looks straight into your eyes

The toddler within is getting close to tantrum... the battle is ON.

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Your housemate/partner/other hears your cries of frustration and the two of you sit crouched next to the bike, pretending to make an effort but gradually getting closer to giving up as the pedal refuses to budge.

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The cavalry realises the job isn't that easy, and slowly backs away from the situation... remaining close enough to make you feel watched.

Because that's not annoying... much.

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Frustration starts to fill you with strength, and the pedal makes a little movement towards loosening (ok - also you tried stepping on the pedal spanner, that might have helped).

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Finally there's a CLUNK, the spanner moves, and the pedal gives way! By this point you've thrown the 'keep your hand away from the chainrings' rule book out the window, so your hand smashes straight into the spiky metal.

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You've done it - and no injury to the hand can undo that.


You solemnly vow that you will NEVER let this happen again - you will ALWAYS grease your pedals, and you will NEVER overtighten them. Just like you did last time.

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