How To Tell If My Pedals Are 1/2 Or 9/16?

How to Tell if my pedals are 1/2 or 9/16

You may want to know how to identify the size of your bike pedals. Bike pedals come in different sizes, which are 1/2 and 9/16.

Both pedals consist of 20 threads per inch, so it may be difficult to tell what size your pedals are.

Asides from the number of threads per inch they both have, they look very similar, and you can hardly tell them apart unless you have both in hand at the moment.

To know what size diameter thread you have on your pedals, whether 1/2 or 9/16, you will carry out a proper check on the cranks of the bike. While the 9/16 thread fits on a three-piece crank, the 1/2 thread fits on a one-piece crank. Therefore, a proper check on your cranks will help to know the exact size of your pedals.

How do I Know what Size Thread my Pedals are?

How to Tell if my pedals are 1/2 or 9/16

Check the cranks of your bike. Run a proper check on your cranks to find the size thread of your pedals.

Luckily, only two different thread sizes are available presently, making it easier to identify the size you may have on your bike. These available sizes are the 1/2 and the 9/16.

While checking your bike cranks, you should watch for certain characteristics.

If you notice the cranks of your pedals have three separate sections each, consisting of a spindle that goes into the frame and two crank arms, then the thread size for your pedal is 9/16.

But if you notice that your crank is just a single piece, then its thread is 1/2. Checking your crankset is the easiest way to know what size thread your pedals are. 

Most modern bikes presently use the 9/16 thread size for pedals. This size thread is very common for adult mountain and road bikes.

It is a good standard for thread sizes. The 1/2 thread size on the hand is very common for kid’s bikes and cheaper adult cruiser bikes.

Although this pedal size is not as common as the 9/16, it is still very much used. 

You could also use a caliper to measure the diameter of your thread carefully. This process would help you to know what size thread you have on your pedal.

However, you must pay close attention to this method and ensure accuracy. You can ask someone knowledgeable about how to use calipers to help you. 

Also, you can decide to contact the manufacturer of the crank to find out what thread size you have on your pedal.

Or take it to a local bike store for more help. Most times, the bike comes with a manual.

If you can go through the manual to find the pedal section to see the thread size, that would be much easier.

What is the Difference Between 1/2 and 9/16 Pedals?

The 1/2 pedal is similar to the 9/16 pedal as they are both thread sizes for bicycle pedals.

But the table below contains a few differences between the two. 

1/2 pedals9/16 pedals
Smaller in size Slightly larger
Mainly for kid’s bikes andMainly for adult bikes
Used on one-piece cranksUsed on three-piece cranks 
They are not appropriate for mountain bikesThey are very appropriate for mountain bikes

These differences outline their strengths also, and this may help you to select according to the need you may have.

For example, if you want pedals for your kid’s bike, with the differences above, you would see that the 1/2 pedal is the right option. And if your bike is a mountain bike, then you’d know to go for the 9/16. 

How do you Measure Pedal Diameters?

To measure the diameter of your pedals, use a vernier caliper. A vernier caliper will allow you to measure your pedal’s internal and external diameters.

Also, you must note that the standard pedal measurement is 9/16. A vernier caliper has two scales, the main or major scale and the vernier scale.

The major scale tells you the whole number plus the decimal number. Read the major scale to the zero on the vernier scale.

If, for instance, the zero on the center scale coincides with a 6-inch mark on the main scale, your measurement is 6 inches.

  • Place your caliper inside your pedal to take the internal diameter.
  • Read both the vernier and main scales and write them down
  • Repeat the process to get the external diameter
  • Add the vernier and main scale measurements for the internal diameter
  • Add the vernier and main scale measurement for the external diameter 

So, for a 9/16 inch pedal, take the main and vernier scale measurements and add them together.

You should get an external diameter of 14.2mm. The internal diameter is usually much smaller; it may be 1.72mm, maybe less, or even more.

But it is always less than the outer diameter. That measurement should tell you that your pedal is the standard 9/16-inch pedal. 

For the 1/2 pedal, the external diameter is usually about 12.7mm, and the internal is about 1.27mm. With this diameter, it is very easy to know that your pedal is the 1/2 size pedal. 

The process of measuring the diameter of your bike is easy and barely takes half an hour.

If you have trouble operating and understanding the vernier caliper, you can ask a friend for help.

Better still, the attendant at your local bike shop can easily help get the diameter for your pedals. 

Are 9/16 pedals the Standard Size?

9/16 pedals are the standard size for pedals. It is the most common presently, though it is only appropriate for adult bikes.

Hence it is the standard for pedal sizes. Many modern bikes now come in 9/16 pedal size, so getting one should be easy. It is also a standard for mountain bikes and even road bikes. 

If you decide to go for a 9/16 pedal like this one, you’d probably have the best option for your bike, especially if it is a mountain bike.

The 9/16 pedals are exceptional and proper for riding in all areas, whether mountains or roads.

Because of its high demand, though it is the standard for bike pedals, it is the least expensive of the two sizes. Therefore, purchasing it would also help to save more money. 

The 9/16 pedals also go with the name, standard or regular pedals. That tells you that it is very much the standard for pedal sizes.

The 1/2 is a very good option but doesn’t suit the adult bikes. That is why it is not the standard. 


There are differences between the 1/2 pedals and the 9/16 pedals. You could compare them to know which you have on your bike. Check the cranks in the absence of one to compare to the other.

While the 1/2 has just a single crank, the 9/16 suits a three-piece rank. Measuring the diameter can also help you identify which pedals you have.

Josh Matthews

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *