Given that the BMX and mountain bike are both off-road two-wheel beasts, it’s tempting to want to swap their accessories. One such accessory is the pedal. And that brings us to this question – Can you use BMX pedals on a mountain bike?
Yes, you can use BMX pedals on a mountain bike as long as the threads in the pedal and cranks have matching 9/16 inch TPI (Threads per Inch). One can change the axles or use adapters for low-end and children’s bikes that have ½ inch threads cranks, and pedals.
That said, which pedal types and brands would you choose to complete the switch? How can you maintain the pedals that you currently have to ensure longevity?
Read along as we answer all those questions and then some.
First off, though, let’s start by reviewing why one can use BMX pedals on a mountain bike.
Can You Use BMX Pedals On A Mountain Bike? The Explanation
Pedals have an axle that allows for connection to the crank. For modern BMX and mountain bikes, the crank threads are 9/16 inch x 20 TPI (Threads per Inch)
Therefore, BMX bike pedals can go on a mountain bike – or any other bike – as long as the threads on both the pedal and crank match.
However, low-end and children’s bikes have a ½ inch axle instead of the 9/16 inch ones. One has to change the axle and use a 9/16 inch one or an adapter in such a case.
Why BMX Pedals Are a Good Choice for Mountain Bikes
Now that you know that it’s possible to use BMX pedals on mountain bikes, here are the advantages that come with the decision:
1. BMX Pedals Are Cost-Effective
Most BMX pedals are made from engineered thermoplastics, particularly Nylon. Manufacturers use thermoplastics because they are easier to machine and cheaper than die-cast, aluminum, or alloy pedals. You can get a new set of okay-quality plastic pedals for as low as USD 10.
Thermoplastics offer increased strength and resistance to impact, heat, and chemicals compared with other plastics and polycarbonates. The thermoplastics are infused with chemicals and fiberglass for rigidity and strength.
Placing BMX pedals on a mountain bike is also cost-effective because one needn’t worry about purchasing specialized shoes. Any shoe type goes – sneakers or even office shoes. This versatility is made possible due to the wide platform offered by BMX pedals.
One should note that although the high-end BMX bike pedals made from die-cast or alloy come at a premium initially, they save you a ton of money in the long run.
You will replace them less often compared with their plastic counterparts. And on a light note, biking daredevils that do not don shin guards can save on a trip to the ER if hit by a plastic pedal. True, a knock to the shin hurts. But it hurts less when it’s plastic!
2. BMX Pedals Are Built to Endure
BMX biking is an extreme sport. It is made so by a combo of hard-riding styles and outrageous tricks such as spine transfer, tail whip, backflip, drops, and many more.
Added to the mix is the countless times the bike is thrown away due to a failed stunt. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that BMX bikes are constantly pushed to the limits.
Reassuringly, BMX bikes’ designs enable them to withstand such punishing conditions. The ability to withstand extreme conditions is particularly true for the pedals.
They are built with durability and longevity in mind – considering the stress they endure. BMX pedals have a shelf life of between 20 weeks to 20 years.
One can stretch the shelf life to a lifetime if their riding style is “calm” and regularly maintain the pedals.
3. BMX Pedals Have Solid Grip
To properly execute a trick, power from the leg needs to be transferred efficiently to the pedals. The pedals need to provide a solid and sufficient grip for that to happen.
BMX bike pedals offer grip primarily due to their large and broad platforms. The presence of a knurled surface complemented by pins provides extra grip.
4. BMX Pedals Are a Stylish Upgrade
From urban pink to tiffany blue, to oil slick, and everything in between, BMX pedals come in a wide array of colors. While it’s true that mountain bike pedals do also have different colors, replacing them with BMX pedals can earn one some serious “street cred.”
If you are into that kind of thing, then replacing mountain bike pedals with BMX pedals is worth a try.
5. BMX Pedals Are Easier And Cheaper To Maintain
BMX bike pedals are easy to maintain. They do not have bearing seals that need regular maintenance and replacement. They are therefore more affordable to maintain.
Also, some cyclists have noted that mountain bike pedals are easily caked in grime and mud. On the other hand, the BMX pedals seem to only allow dirt or sand on them.
4 BMX Pedals to Use on Mountain Bikes
The choice of pedals that one chooses is subjective. It boils down to one’s budget, personal taste, or experience. Below is a curated list of four BMX pedals available in the market that can work on a mountain bike:
1. Schweek 9/16″ Wide Pedal for MTB/BMX (Aluminum Alloy)
This lightweight, rugged, and durable pedal comes in various colors and is ideal for Mountain bikes, Road bikes, and BMX bikes. Its wide pedal frame structure offers a solid surface area to step on.
The frame structure is CNC-machined from aluminum and dense magnesium alloy. This structure enables the pedal to handle the force and shocks applied while riding.
The Schweek pedal comes complete with steel pins to offer extra grip.
2. Shimano Pd-Gr500 Pedal MTB/BMX (Chromoly Steel)
Almost 80% of bicycle components sales are labeled Shimano. These components are precise, of high quality, and have high performance.
The Shimano Pd-gr500, a high-end metallic platform pedal, lives up to this standard. Its vast beefy body provides a surface area for your legs, while its replaceable pins provide excellent grip.
It also comes with a sealed mechanism for inner component protection.
This pedal has a light yet durable Nylon-surfaced pedal, complete with anti-slip pins on both sides for that extra grip. The Fooker MTB pedals come with a concave topside to provide a wide surface area to hold your foot.
This easy to install pedal has the standard 9/16 inch threads, allowing installation on virtually all bike types – BMX, Mountain bikes, Cyclocross bikes, Road bikes, Hybrid bikes, and many more
4. Fyxation Gates BMX Pedals (Hybrid)
The reasonably priced Fyxation pedal is the way to go – for those that want to experience the platform pedal world and still have an option for compatibility with foot retention systems and straps.
The Fyxation Gates pedal can easily handle abuse because of its high-impact Nylon and Chromoly steel body. It provides a solid and large surface area to step on due to its concave and wide platform design.
And for that extra grip, the surface is knurled and comes with molded pins.
Taking Care of Your BMX Pedals – What to Do
Here is a run-down of a few things you can do to care for your pedals.
- Wash your pedals now and then. Dust and grime build-up can lead to premature wear. Cleaning is the most inexpensive way for bike and component maintenance.
- Regularly grease or oil your pedals.
- Check for cracks on the pedals now and then, especially if your riding style is on the “rough” side. Or if you are new and regularly bailing out on stunts. Catching a crack earlier can also help you avoid injury if the pedal breaks.
- Check whether the pedals are loose and tighten to a snug fit.
- Buy a new pedal now and then. It helps in giving your bike a fresh new look – and keeps the pedal manufacturers in business while at it!
People Also Ask
Can You Put BMX Pedals On a Road Bike?
Yes, it is possible to put BMX pedals on a road bike. Pedals designed with adults in mind come with the standard 9/16-inch pedal thread. Serious road bikers, however, recommend using bike-specific pedals.
How to Put Pedals On A BMX Bike?
Follow the steps below to change the pedals on a BMX bike – or any other bike for that matter.
- Flip the bike upside down for ease of access.
- Using a wrench (a 15mm wrench works for most BMX bikes), turn the right pedal counterclockwise to loosen it. Alternatively, you can use a 6mm Allen and a ratchet to loosen the pedal at the axle. The pedal tends to get stuck, so the wrench is mainly advised.
- For a BMX bike, the left side has reversed threads. To change the pedal, turn the wrench clockwise to loosen it.
- Apply grease to the new pedals before fitting them in.
- The pedals are labeled CR-L (Left) or CR-R (Right) to help you know which side each pedal goes. Some manufacturers even go to the extent of knurling the Left side pedal axle and smoothening the right side for easy differentiating. Take care not to mix up the pedals, not to destroy them. Snugly fit the pedals back using the wrench.
Can Any Pedals Go On Any Bike?
Any pedal can go on any bike if the crank threads match the pedals’ threads. The standard thread size on adult bikes crank is 14.3cm or 9/16 inches TPI (Threads per Inch)
You should note that 1-piece crank BMX bikes have ½ inch pedal threads. Their axles are therefore thinner and will not fit on mountain bike cranks. These ½ inch variants are limited to kids’ bikes and low-end ones.
Can You Use A BMX Bike for Mountain Biking?
Yes, you can – but only if you’re a pro cyclist. Generally, the BMX bike should be the last option for mountain biking, especially for new riders and kids. For several reasons.
First, BMX bikes seats are low. Meaning one has to ride while standing. Standing for a long time while on a trail will exhaust you and place a ton of pressure on your body.
Secondly, BMX bikes come with a single-geared system which won’t allow for shifting of gears on changing terrains.
And Finally, BMX bikes only have rear-wheel brakes, which are not enough to handle the shocks and jolts of mountain trails.
Can You Ride a Mountain Bike On A BMX Track?
You can ride a mountain bike on a BMX track. Your bike handling skills will improve a great deal while riding at the BMX track, and you will have a ton of fun. A word of caution.
While the mountain bike is strong, it has more parts that can break – unlike the bare bone BMX bikes.
In Conclusion – Can You Use BMX Pedals On A Mountain Bike?
As discussed, it is possible to use BMX pedals on a mountain bike as long as the pedal and crank threads match.
So, whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or just starting out, you can vary your cycling experience. You can achieve this by swapping various accessories such as pedals. A ton of fond memories and thrill await you upon the success of your experiment!