I have a Focale44 fixie with a single speed on the other side of the gear (this is called a flip-flop I think?) and I LOVE it so far! I've ridden it for about six months and haven't had to fix anything big on it yet.

The only problem is that I must have screwed the pedals in the wrong sides and now I can't get them back out. But, in trying to fix this, I'm really hoping not to have to buy a whole new crankset.

Any recommendations on this one? Here is the crankset...Focale 44 Crankset

Can I still ride it? I can't really afford to replace anything for a few weeks and I might die if I don't get to ride during that time! Can I just replace the arms? If not, what cranks can you recommend? I really can't drop any more than about $100 on this.

  • Welcome to Bicycles! I tried to make your question a little clearer so the right people can find it faster. Feel free to revert or further edit my changes if something's not right. Our usual style is to emphasize the question and provide only relevant details. – freiheit Jul 5 '12 at 2:32
  • Well, you're probably going to need new pedals. You could remove the crank arms, take them to a machine shop, and have them install "Helicoil" inserts, but probably the left-hand insert would have to be special ordered. I'd go ahead and spend the $69 for new arms. But like I said, you probably need new pedals too. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 5 '12 at 2:34
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    (It sucks, man, I know. But a valuable lesson learned relatively cheaply: A fastener on a bike should NEVER need force to install -- if it isn't threading in by hand it's probably cross-threaded. You should only need the wrench for final tightening.) – Daniel R Hicks Jul 5 '12 at 2:56
  • @Daniel: it's unlikely that the OP will have damaged the pedals. Pedal spindles are almost always a very hard metal, much harder than the cranks. Which might allow a slow learner to trash several sets of cranks without damaging the pedals. – Kohi Jul 6 '12 at 0:26
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    @Kohi -- I've wrecked more than my fair share of threads over the years (though thankfully not on bike cranks), and I know that it doesn't take much at all to muck up a male thread so that it will destroy any female thread it's screwed into. The thread can look OK to the uninitiated eye but still be capable of wrecking its mate. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 6 '12 at 3:06

I doubt that you actually managed to screw your pedals into the wrong sides. If it can even be done, the amount of force required to do so would have easily alerted you that you were doing something dreadfully wrong. Not to mention the aluminum shavings that would have been all over the place.

Pedals can get pretty snug just through the action of peddling the bike and it may take quite a bit of force to get the unscrewing action started.

Also remember that crank arms and pedals are threaded so that the action of pedalling the bike does not cause the pedal to loosen and fall off. This means that on one side of the bike, the right/chain side, the pedal is threaded as a regular clockwise to tighten, counter clockwise to loosen bolt. The left-hand crank is threaded in the opposite direction.

Don't be afraid to apply a good amount of force (in the right direction) to loosen the pedals. If they are threaded correctly, it would be quite difficult to ruin them by applying too much force. If they actually are threaded incorrectly, the crank arms are ruined anyway, so you're not going to make things worse.

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    When you re-install the pedals or get new pedals, put some grease on the threads to prevent this from happening in the future. – Benzo Jul 6 '12 at 18:18

I am not too familiar with fixies, but I do ride a BMX with a Left-Side Drive. When I first flipped my cranks to the left I stripped out my pedals. This had nothing to do with cross threading, but rather because the pedals on the right are right hand threads, and the left are left hand threads FOR A REASON! If you simply flip the cranks around you are cranking with the threads (unscrewing), rather than against them (tightening), and the pedals will twist out of the cranks.

The solution to MY problem was to by a more modern crankset that had a sprocket bolt hole on the left arm and leave the left/right arms on the correct sides. Unless I had your bike in front of me I wouldn't be able to tell, but is your sprocket on the left or right side of the bike? Looking at the link you provided it looks like your sprocket is integrated into the cranks so flipping it to the left would mess up the left/right feng shui!

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    I've never seen left hand drive on anything other than a bmx, so it's pretty unlikely. Although it could be done and would seriously play with the heads of bike geeks... I might have to try this. I have a tandem crankset lying round so I already have the parts. – Kohi Jul 6 '12 at 0:28

Another possibility is that the pedal threads were different from the crank threads - e.g., one English and one French. Not very likely these days, but perhaps more likely than that someone could have somehow managed to force the alternate-threaded pedal into the crank.

  • I think you could force English pedals into French cranks, but not the other way around. And if this was done it might not be totally fatal, since the difference is enough that the threads wouldn't be totally mangled. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 16 '12 at 20:53

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