Do I Need Pedal Washers? (Read This First)

Pedal Washers

Most people forget about their pedal washers when they jam the pedals of their bikes;

Little do they know those pedal washers are critical because they isolate the cranks from the twisting and tightening motion of the pedals when screwed in.

Now, the big question here is, do you need pedal washers?

Pedals are essential in specific bikes. The primary aim of these pedal washers is to ensure an excellent pedal-to-crank arm interface. And apart from that, they can also fit into dialing your bike’s fit. Some bikes do not come with these washers because of their flat pedals, but all SMG crank come with a pedal washer. 

What Is a Pedal Washer?

Pedal Washers

Pedal washers are materials made from steel and are very important because they isolate the crank from the twisting motion of the pedal as it is screwed in.

If you install enough pedals on a crank arm. Eventually, it would lead to crank arm damage. 

You would eventually need to install more pedal washers on your pedals because, with time, the arms get wallowed out, and the aluminum shavings flake off; that is why you need pedal washers. 

However, there are excellent brands of pedal washers and don’t think you don’t need them because, in most cases, you do because these washers save your pedals from long-term destruction. 

Do I Need Pedal Washers?

Pedals washers are handy for your bikes and also for you.

Of course, there are a lot of cases where you do not need to use these washers, but since it saves your crank from damage and makes the pedal to crank arm connection on your bike secure, they are worth installing. 

There are several advantages you should understand before considering if you should get a pedal washer:

#1. Pedal Washers Save Crank Face 

One of the benefits of the pedal washer is that it protects the crank arm face and ensures that it doesn’t get gouged by the pedal.

Without the pedal washers, your pedal axle starts eating itself into the pedal washer crank face when it gets tightened. 

This happens because the pedal axle is made of steel and is much harder than the crank, made of aluminum or carbon fiber.

So the crank surface getting damaged is not a central easy, but it is better to avoid that curbed. 

So, the pedal washer saves the crank face by acting as a buffer between your pedal and crank and further spreads the pressure from your pedal axle shoulder and makes it more evenly unto the crank face. 

#2. Washers May Cure Click 

When the pedal and crank connect, the source of the crankset creates a clicking noise, and adding a pedal washer may be a way to cure the clicking sound.

But, of course, the clicking of your pedal depends on the frictional condition of your pedal. 

The pedal washer changes the setting by making contact with the crank much smoother by adding a second interface, so the change in a clicking pedal changes it into a non-clicking one.

It is not guaranteed always to work, but it is worth trying. 

#3. Washers Help with Poor Pedal Design 

Another advantage you might experience is that the pedal washer allows your poorly designed pedal to be securely connected to the crank.

Pedal washers help by increasing the length of the pedal axle when put under pressure to achieve this.

Having more screw length under tension is an advantage in any threaded connection because it helps secure the connection from loosening due to the vibration.

In addition, the screw helps by acting as a tensioned rubber band as it keeps pulling the axle shoulder to the crank. 

On the other hand, there are only a few disadvantages associated with these pedal washers. Some of these include:

  • A thick washer may allow a pedal with short threads to engage with the crank head. But most times, this is a significant problem with washers and pedals. 
  • A pedal washer may cause the pedals to click, but in some conditions. 

Uses Of Pedal Washers

There is just one primary use of the pedal washer. This washer’s principal use is to ensure a better crank arm interface with your bike and aid in dialing into your bike fit.

All SRAM cranks have pedal washers, while the majority of cranks from other lesser producers don’t include them. 

Some exceptions you might know about include the Shimano saint and zee cranks. The reason is that most of these pedals are flat pedals with no frequent flange on the pedal spindle. 

So, when using an SRAM crank with a continuous flange pedal spindle, you do not necessarily need to use a pedal spindle. 

#1. How Many Pedal Washers Can I Use?

You can stick with just one pedal washer on each pedal, but for riders with wider hips, you should add one or two pedal washers to both sides of your pedals or on one side to compensate for your body asymmetry. 

Is Pedal Grease Necessary?

Pedal grease is necessary as its primary function is as a lubricant as it helps the moving metal parts rub against each other without creating a high-pitched noise or warped metal.

However, some parts of the bike, like the pedals, do not require grease or lubricant to the point that the bike gear parts are extensively high. 

The only factor that affects the pedal is dirt, sand, and dust, which makes it challenging to pedal smoothly, and it eventually reduces the lifespan of these parts, and for this reason, it is necessary to grease it from time to time. 

Most of these general-purpose bike greases are acceptable, but most of them lack performance data, so alternatively, it is recommended that you make use of automobile greases instead.

Some nice greases you can use include Mobil XHP222 and motorbike grease 2000. 

How To Grease Your Pedals Properly

The first thing you have to do is remove the pedal from your crank arm with a wrench.

Most of its pedals can be removed by loosening the nuts on the interior part of the pedal, and you can use an adjustable wrench for this as most of these nuts are sized 15mm

Not all pedals remove easily, so you would be required to use an Allen wrench, which is used by placing the Allen wrench at a hexagonal-shaped hole at the outer end of the pedal; you have to unscrew the crank arm and remove it entirely. 

After that has been done, ensure that you thoroughly clean the crank arm with a clean rag or cloth.

Ensure that you properly press it tightly and follow the treads around the crank to clean it better when cleaning it.

After that part, wipe down the pedal’s exterior, including the crank arm’s entry point. 

After the pedals have been cleaned, apply a liberal grease onto the threads of the pedals.

When applied to the outer layer of the pedal threads, you spin the pedals to disperse the grease throughout the interior parts of the pedal. 

It would be better for you if you use a large amount of grease instead of using it in lower bits so that, in the end, it goes all the way inside the pedal. 

After applying the grease, screw the pedal back into a crank arm thread. If you are bothered about the threads going all the way into the pedal, you can unscrew it and start the process.

After that, you can tighten the pedal the same way you loosened it with the wrench, and you are done. 


It is essential to install a pedal washer on your bike. These washers isolate the cranks from the pedals’ twisting and tightening motion when screwed in.

These washers help to isolate the cranks from the pedals’ twisting and tightening motion when screwed in.

In turn, it helps your pedals last longer and reduces the risk of the pedals having faults.

Josh Matthews

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