Bicycle FAQ's Which Bicycle Pedal Is Reverse Threaded

Which Bicycle Pedal Is Reverse Threaded

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Have you ever found yourself trying to figure out which bicycle pedal is reverse threaded? Well, you’re not alone. Many cyclists have encountered this perplexing question at some point in their cycling journey. Whether you’re a seasoned bike enthusiast or just starting out, understanding the intricacies of bicycle pedals is crucial. In this article, we will shed light on the mystery of reverse threaded pedals, providing you with the knowledge you need to confidently navigate the world of bicycle maintenance. So, buckle up and get ready to unravel the secrets of reverse threaded pedals!

Which Bicycle Pedal Is Reverse Threaded

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When it comes to bicycles, one of the crucial components that often goes overlooked is the bicycle pedal. Pedals are what connect our feet to the bike, allowing us to propel forward and experience the joy of cycling. However, not all pedals are created equal, and today, we will dive into the world of bicycle pedals to understand the different types, functions, and specifically, the intricacies of reverse threaded pedals.

Understanding Bicycle Pedals

Before we delve into the realm of reverse threaded pedals, let’s first gain a basic understanding of bicycle pedals in general. There are various types of bicycle pedals available in the market, each with its unique features and advantages. Let’s explore these types and their functions in more detail.

Types of Bicycle Pedals

The most common types of bicycle pedals include platform pedals, clipless pedals, and toe-clip pedals.

Platform Pedals:

Platform pedals are the simplest and most basic type of bicycle pedals. They consist of a flat surface where you place your foot and allow for easy entry and exit. These pedals are commonly found on mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and casual city bikes.

Clipless Pedals:

Clipless pedals, despite their name, actually involve clipping in. These pedals use a cleat system that attaches to the bottom of cycling shoes. This design ensures a more efficient transfer of power and allows for a greater connection between the cyclist and the bike. Clipless pedals are widely used by road cyclists, triathletes, and competitive riders.

Toe-Clip Pedals:

Toe-clip pedals, also known as cage pedals, are a combination of platform pedals with an added strap or cage to secure the foot. These pedals offer a more secure connection compared to platform pedals while still allowing for easy entry and exit. Toe-clip pedals are popular among commuting cyclists and touring riders.

Function of Bicycle Pedals

The primary function of bicycle pedals is to convert the rotational energy generated by the cyclist’s leg movement into forward motion. Pedals provide a platform for the rider’s foot to push down and forward, applying force to the cranks, and ultimately propelling the bicycle. Additionally, pedals play a crucial role in maintaining stability and control while riding.

Common Terminology

Before we continue, let’s familiarize ourselves with some common terminology used when referring to bicycle pedals.


The crank is the metal arm or rod that extends from the bicycle’s frame and is attached to the pedal. The circular motion of the cranks is what drives the bicycle forward.


The spindle is the central component of the pedal that connects the pedal body to the crank arm. It allows the pedal to rotate smoothly around the crank.


While the term axle is sometimes used interchangeably with the spindle, it can also refer to the entire pedal, including the spindle and associated hardware.

Thread Direction

Now that we have a grasp of the basic types of pedals and their functions, it’s essential to understand the concept of thread direction. Thread direction refers to the direction of the screw-like threading on the pedal spindle that determines how the pedals are installed or removed.

Pedals have either a right-hand (standard) thread or a left-hand (reverse) thread. In a right-hand threaded pedal, the left pedal is installed by rotating it counterclockwise (to the left) and the right pedal by rotating it clockwise (to the right). Reverse threaded pedals, on the other hand, have the opposite threading, with the left pedal requiring clockwise rotation and the right pedal requiring counterclockwise rotation.

Right-Hand (Standard) Threaded Pedals

Now that we understand the concept of thread direction let’s take a closer look at right-hand threaded pedals, which are the standard in most bicycles.


Right-handed threaded pedals are the most common type of pedal found on bicycles. As mentioned earlier, these pedals are installed by rotating the left pedal counterclockwise (to the left) and the right pedal clockwise (to the right). This standard threading ensures that the pedals naturally tighten as you pedal, preventing them from loosening unintentionally.


Right-handed threaded pedals can be used on any side of the bicycle. This means that the left pedal can be used on the left side of the bike, and the right pedal can be used on the right side. However, it is important to note that using the appropriate pedal on the correct side is essential for proper installation and optimum performance.

Thread Direction

The threading on right-handed threaded pedals is right-hand thread, meaning it follows the traditional clockwise-tightening pattern. This right-hand thread direction ensures that the pedal remains securely attached to the crank arm while cycling.

Installation and Removal

Installing and removing right-handed threaded pedals is relatively straightforward. To install a right pedal, screw it in clockwise (to the right) onto the crank arm. Similarly, to remove a right pedal, rotate it counterclockwise (to the left) until it is loose enough to be unscrewed by hand or with tools.

Left-Hand (Reverse) Threaded Pedals

Let’s now turn our attention to left-hand threaded pedals, also known as reverse threaded pedals.


Left-hand threaded pedals are less common than their right-hand counterparts but are still found on certain bicycles. These pedals feature the opposite threading, with the left pedal requiring clockwise rotation and the right pedal requiring counterclockwise rotation for installation and removal. The reverse threading helps eliminate the chances of the pedals loosening when subjected to the rotational forces of pedaling.


Similar to right-handed threaded pedals, left-hand threaded pedals can also be used on any side of the bicycle. However, using the correct pedal on the appropriate side is vital for proper installation and optimal performance.

Thread Direction

Left-hand threaded pedals have left-hand thread direction, which means they follow a counterclockwise-tightening pattern. This reverse threading prevents the left pedal from loosening during pedaling, ensuring a secure attachment to the crank arm.

Installation and Removal

Installing and removing left-hand threaded pedals will differ from the process used for right-handed threaded pedals. To install a left pedal, rotate it clockwise (to the right) onto the crank arm. When removing a left pedal, rotate it counterclockwise (to the left) until it is loosened enough to unscrew by hand or with suitable tools.

Which Bicycle Pedal Is Reverse Threaded

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Identifying Reverse Threaded Pedals

Now that we have explored the basics of reverse threaded pedals, it’s important to know how to identify them correctly.

Visual Inspection

One way to identify reverse threaded pedals is through a visual inspection. While this method may not be foolproof, it can often provide some hints. Look for any distinguishing marks or uneven threading on the pedal spindle that might indicate reverse threading.

Manufacturer’s Markings

Pedals may sometimes have markings or symbols etched or printed on them to indicate reverse threading. Look for arrows or letters such as “L” or “R” to determine which pedal goes on which side of the bicycle.

Owner’s Manual

If you have access to the owner’s manual of your bicycle or the specific pedal model being used, it can be a great resource for identifying reverse threaded pedals. The manual should provide detailed instructions on pedal installation and removal, including any specific information about reverse threaded pedals.

Bicycle Shop Assistance

If all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a knowledgeable bicycle shop. Professional bicycle mechanics will be well-versed in different pedal types and can easily identify reverse threaded pedals.

Reverse Threaded Pedal Applications

While reverse threaded pedals are less common, they do have specific applications. Let’s explore some scenarios where reverse threaded pedals are used.

Specific Bike Brands

Certain bicycle brands, such as some models from Shimano, employ reverse threaded pedals. Shimano’s Ultegra and Dura-Ace lines, for example, use reverse threaded pedals to ensure a secure connection between the pedal and the crank arm.

Pedals for Specialized Riding

Reverse threaded pedals are also commonly found in specialized cycling disciplines where pedal retention is critical. Mountain bike trials, downhill biking, and freestyle BMX are examples of disciplines that often utilize reverse threaded pedals to prevent them from inadvertently unscrewing during intense maneuvers.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Reverse threaded pedals offer the advantage of being less prone to loosening during pedaling due to the opposite thread direction. This added security can be especially valuable in high-intensity cycling disciplines where riders perform aggressive movements and face frequent impact. However, one potential downside of reverse threaded pedals is that they may be less readily available or slightly more expensive than standard threaded pedals in some cases.

Which Bicycle Pedal Is Reverse Threaded

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Maintaining and Replacing Pedals

Now that we’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of bicycle pedals, it’s essential to know how to maintain and replace them when needed.

Pedal Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for prolonging the lifespan of bicycle pedals. It is recommended to periodically inspect the pedals for any signs of wear, such as excessive play or grinding. Cleaning the pedal threads and greasing them can help reduce friction and ensure smooth rotation. Additionally, tightening the pedals periodically can prevent them from loosening while cycling.

Replacing Pedals

If a pedal becomes damaged or worn beyond repair, it may be necessary to replace it. To replace pedals, you will need the appropriate tools and knowledge of the threaded pedal system used by your bicycle. It is advisable to consult the owner’s manual or seek professional assistance to ensure correct pedal installation.

Tools Required

The tools required to maintain and replace pedals typically include a pedal wrench or a 15mm wrench, a grease gun or grease, and a cloth for cleaning. Some pedals may have specific tool requirements, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a bicycle mechanic for guidance.

Safety Precautions

When maintaining or replacing pedals, it is essential to practice safety precautions. Ensure that the bicycle is stabilized and secure to prevent accidents or injuries. Always double-check pedal installation to avoid loose pedals while riding, as this can be hazardous.

Common Misconceptions and FAQs

Here are some common misconceptions and frequently asked questions about reverse threaded pedals:

Can Reverse Threaded Pedals Be Used on Either Side?

Yes, reverse threaded pedals can be used on either side of the bicycle. However, it is crucial to install the correct pedal on the appropriate side to ensure proper installation and optimum performance.

Is a Different Tool Required for Reverse Threaded Pedals?

No, the same types of tools used for standard threaded pedals can be used for reverse threaded pedals. However, if your pedal requires a specific tool, refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult a bicycle mechanic.

Are Reverse Threaded Pedals More Prone to Loosening?

No, reverse threaded pedals are specifically designed to be less prone to loosening during pedaling. The opposite thread direction ensures a secure connection between the pedal and the crank arm.

Can I Convert a Standard Threaded Bike to Reverse Threaded?

In most cases, it is not feasible or recommended to convert a standard threaded bike to reverse threaded. The threaded direction is typically determined by the bike’s design and components and cannot be easily altered.

Are Reverse Threaded Pedals More Expensive or Hard to Find?

Reverse threaded pedals may be slightly less common, depending on the application, but they should not be significantly more expensive or harder to find. They are readily available for specific bike models and cycling disciplines, and bike shops or online retailers should be able to provide suitable options.

Which Bicycle Pedal Is Reverse Threaded

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Bicycle pedals are the crucial link between our feet and the bike, allowing us to harness the power of our leg muscles and propel ourselves forward. Understanding the different types of bicycle pedals and their functions is essential for every cyclist. Additionally, being knowledgeable about reverse threaded pedals can save you time, frustration, and ensure proper installation and performance. So the next time you’re examining your bike or need to replace your pedals, you can confidently approach the task armed with the knowledge needed to conquer any challenge that comes your way. Happy riding!

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