The range of modern bicycle pedals is so broad that today, it can satisfy even the most demanding tastes and preferences. And the most common question that buyers and sellers of bikes face is: Are bike pedals universal?
We can’t say that there is a universal type of pedal, a single size that fits all bike models. But there are popular and more standardized bike pedal sizes you should know and consider to make the right choice!
Pedal threads size
The main difference and versatility of size is probably the compatibility of the pedal thread with the bicycle’s connecting rod. Today, there are two common basic sizes and the less common French pedal thread used to complete old-style bikes.
9/16 20 TPI
The 9/16×20 TPI threaded pedal is the most common standard size used in today’s adult bicycle models. Manufacturers often use this thread size because of its reliability and compatibility with a wide range of bikes.
1/2 20 TPI
The other thread size is 1/2×20 TPI, mainly used to complete children’s and BMX bikes. It is very important to consider this thread size when replacing or upgrading pedals on these types of bikes to ensure a secure fit and safe riding.
A final, less common size is 0.55×20.32 TPI (0.55×0,03 in), often referred to as French. It is less common and incompatible with most modern bike models.
Right and left pedal threading
The pedal position also affects pedaling efficiency and riding safety. The left and right pedals must be properly locked into place. Right and left pedal designs have their unique threads and are always labeled L – Left and R – Right.
It is important to note that the right pedal (drive side) is threaded clockwise to maximize the pedal’s pressure on the crank and prevent it from unscrewing while riding. The left pedal (non-drive side) can loosen due to rotational force, so the left side is threaded counterclockwise to counteract this force and prevent loosening of the system.
Types of bike pedals
Nowadays, the 9/16×20 TPI size is the de facto standard and is used for road bikes, mountain bikes, or hybrids. Cyclists also use other types depending on their riding style and bike model. To make this information easier for you to understand, I have prepared a special table for you:
Bike pedal sizes
- Road, mountain, hybrid, touring, or cross bikes.
- Flat/Platform pedals.
- Clipless/off-road pedals.
- Clipless/road pedals.
- Hybrid pedals.
- 1/2×20 TPI
- Children’s bicycles and BMX.
- Flat pedals.
- Kids platform.
- French (0.55×20.32 TPI)
- Vintage bikes.
In summary, when selecting pedal models, you should carefully consider your riding style, bike configuration, and personal preferences. The slightest omission of any of these requirements can result in reduced cycling performance, discomfort, or safety issues.
If you are interested in learning more about the types of bicycle pedal mounts and how and for which riding style they are most suitable, this article will help you!