Have you recently started riding a road bike? If you have, you’ve likely noticed that the pedal system on a mountain bike works differently than on a road bike. If you find this pedal system uncomfortable or prefer the feel and use of your road bike pedal, you may wonder if you can put road bike pedals on a mountain bike?
You can swap out the pedals on a mountain bike and add road bike pedals if you want to. There are some precautions to note when doing so, as road bike pedals aren’t as durable as mountain bike ones. But if the pedals have the same diameter and TPI, you can use road bike pedals on the mountain bike.
There are several things to know about switching out the pedals on a mountain bike. So before putting road bike pedals on your mountain bike, look at our tips and explanations below. Here you will find everything about using road bike pedals on a mountain bike.
Is It Possible To Put Road Bike Pedals On A Mountain Bike?
When considering switching your mountain bike pedals to road bike ones, your first question is whether it is possible. Fortunately, it is possible to switch out the pedals on a mountain bike and use road bike pedals instead.
But why would you want to swap mountain bike pedals for road bike ones? Most riders who wish to do so have specific reasons. Bike pedals have slight differences that make them unique. Many riders have specific pedals that they prefer using, either because they find it more comfortable or it improves their performance.
Other riders want to use road bike pedals on their mountain bikes because they already have road bike shoes and cleats and are used to the feel of these cleats and how they work. They might want to keep practicing the same movements when clipping and unclipping their cleats while riding off-road as riding their road bikes.
Regardless of their reasons, some riders prefer having road bike pedals on their mountain bikes. And, as long as the pedal’s diameter and TPI match, there is no reason why you cannot try out using road bike pedals on a mountain bike.
So what does TPI mean, and why is it important? Let’s look at some of the considerations to bear in mind before switching your mountain bike pedals for road bike ones on a mountain bike.
Considerations When Using Road Bike Pedals On Mountain Bike
Before switching out your mountain bike pedals, there are a few physical factors to consider. The first factor, of course, is whether the road bike pedals will fit on your mountain bike. The diameter of the pedal and the TPI must agree between the pedals and the bike for the two to be compatible.
The diameter of the pedals refers to how thick (the actual diameter measurement) the pedals threaded part is. The TPI refers to how many threads per inch are on the threaded part of the pedals. Fortunately, most bikes (road bikes and mountain bikes) have pedals with the same measurements of 9/16” x 20 TPI.
Some entry-level bikes have different thread-per-inch requirements, but the above measurements are standard. This means that most road bike pedals should fit on your mountain bike.
Another physical consideration when using road bike pedals on a mountain bike is the cleats on a road bike pedal. Most road bikes have three-bolt cleats, while mountain bikes tend to have two-bolt cleats. This makes it easier to unclip your cleats when putting your foot down on a mountain bike trail.
If you already have bike shoes with road bike cleats, this factor shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you have mountain bike cleats, you will need to purchase road bike cleats or an adaptor for your shoes. Ensure the cleats match the type of pedal you use since different pedals have different cleat requirements.
Physical requirements aside, there are also some advantages and drawbacks of using road bike pedals on a mountain bike. So before committing to it, let’s consider the pros and cons of this swap.
The Pros Of Using Road Bike Pedals On Mountain Bikes
There are several advantages of using road bike pedals on your mountain bike. This is one reason why you sometimes see cyclists make the switch. The advantages of using road bike pedals on a mountain bike include the following:
- You don’t have to buy new cleats if you already have road bike ones.
- You might be used to road bike pedals and want to stay practiced.
- Road bike pedals are more comfortable for longer rides and result in less tired feet.
The Cons Of Using Road Bike Pedals On Mountain Bikes
Of course, there are also some disadvantages to using road bike pedals on a mountain bike, which is why many cyclists don’t advise anyone to make the switch. Some disadvantages include:
- Road bike pedals aren’t as durable or mud friendly as mountain bike pedals.
- Road bike pedals are difficult to walk in when you must get off the bike.
- Road bike pedals aren’t as convenient to clip in and out of when needed.
When deciding whether you should swap your mountain bike pedals for road bike ones, consider the advantages and drawbacks of doing so first. Decide whether the good outweighs the bad, and then proceed with whichever decision you make.
How Do You Put Road Bike Pedals On A Mountain Bike?
Suppose you’ve weighed the pros and cons of swapping mountain bike pedals for road bike ones on your mountain bike and found that you want to proceed with it. In that case, you will have one final question – how do you put road bike pedals on a mountain bike?
The process is relatively straightforward, but you must focus and take care when swopping out the pedals on your mountain bike, or you risk breaking the pedal or stripping the threading on the bike, both cases resulting in ruined pedals. To avoid having broken pedals, follow these steps to switch out your mountain bike’s pedals:
1. Use a spindle wrench on the spindle flats to loosen the pedals. Rotate the wrench clockwise for the left pedal and counterclockwise for the right pedal. Push the wrench in a slow and controlled way to avoid damaging the pedal.
2. When the pedal is free, check the “left” and “right” markings on the spindle to see which side the spindle should be and place it on the correct side.
3. Apply grease to the spindle thread before putting the new pedal straight into the crankarm. Ensure you put the pedal at a 90°-angle so all the threads align.
4. Tighten the new pedal with the spindle wrench. Turn the wrench counterclockwise to tighten the left pedal and clockwise to tighten the right one. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions regarding the torque specifications.
Once your new pedals are tightened onto your mountain bike, you can take them for a spin! Test them out first and adjust as you see fit before going for a long mountain trail using road bike pedals.
You can use road bike pedals on a mountain bike if you prefer the feel of them. Road bike pedals are more comfortable but less durable than road bike pedals. Ensure the diameter and TPI match on the road bike pedals and the mountain bike before switching them out.