- Yes, you can put pegs on most mountain bikes, provided they have a long enough bolt-on axle for the installation.
- Pegs are generally not suitable for mountain bikes given that installation can be unsafe (for quick-release wheels) and you can damage your frame, fork, or derailleur.
- To safely use pegs on a mountain bike, make sure you have a bolt-on axle and are riding a steel single-speed MTB.
Pegs are an iconic characteristic of BMX bikes and they open up a lot of possibilities for tricks and movements, but can you put pegs on a mountain bike?
Yes, you can put pegs on most mountain bikes, provided they have a long enough bolt-on axle for the installation. However, pegs are generally not suitable for mountain bikes given that installation can be unsafe (for quick-release wheels) and you can damage your frame, fork, or derailleur.
After extensively researching bike mechanics and customizations, I have gathered enough information to determine if bike pegs can be installed on a mountain bike. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the process of putting pegs on a mountain bike and whether installing this feature is necessary.
Can You Put Pegs on a Mountain Bike?
It’s quite rare to see pegs on a mountain bike, but it's by no means unheard of. You should be able to install pegs on your mountain bike, provided that the bolt-on axle is long enough for the peg. You can do so with some quick-release skewers, but this is not recommended due to safety risks.
Not all mountain bike manufacturers design their bikes with long bolt axles, so you need to confirm the length of this component to determine if pegs can be installed. While you may be able to successfully install pegs on your mountain bike, this feature is not necessary for MTB riding.
In addition, the mountain biking community may not respond very well to a rider who has pegs on their bike given how MTBs are typically used. Nonetheless, there are still people who like using pegs on mountain bikes, especially for certain types of riding.
Can You Put Pegs on Any Bike?
No, pegs will not fit onto every bicycle. Traditionally, BMX bikes are the most common types of bikes where you would see pegs.
The bolt-on axle length of each bike is different and some bikes have quick-release skewers that are simply unreliable for pegs. Road bikes and a lot of dirt jumpers in particular will generally have quick-release skewers or short bolt-on axles. This will limit how you can use the bike and it generally implies that pegs are not an option without additional customizations.
What Are Bike Pegs Used For?
Bike pegs are intended to be used for tricks. There are a lot of different types of tricks associated with cycling and pegs open up a lot of possibilities to try new things with your bike.
Given that pegs are normally used on BMX bikes, most of these tricks are best practiced on this type of bike. However, given that even some mountain bike riders are hopping on the peg trend, you can essentially use them on any bike where they fit. These are the most common ways that pegs are used.
The most classic trick associated with pegs is grinding. Achieving a grind on a bike is a major accomplishment and a challenging trick, especially if you are using a mountain bike instead of a BMX.
By installing pegs onto your bike, you can essentially hop onto a suitable surface to grind on. This requires you to jump with your bike and land on a platform or rail with your pegs, which will let you grid and slide. Timing is critical to land a grind and you can expect some failed attempts before you pull it off.
BMX riders are capable of maneuvering their bikes in some pretty intricate ways thanks to their pegs. While traditional cycling tricks generally involve riding in some form, pegs enable you to get off the seat of your bike to perform standing tricks.
Without ever touching the ground with your feet, you can plant yourself on either your front or back pegs to try certain hops, jumps, and spins.
Riding solo can get boring at times, which is why some cyclists like to install pegs simply to let a buddy tag along with them. This is rarely something you will see adults doing, but many kids love having pegs on their bikes because their friends can enjoy riding with them.
The back pegs of a bike are particularly useful for this, as they enable a second person to stand on them and piggyback a ride. Although you can technically do this with front pegs as well, I would not recommend it.
Why You Should Not Put Pegs on a Mountain Bike
You should avoid putting pegs on a mountain bike in most cases. These bikes were not designed to be used with pegs and you may struggle to pull off some of the same tricks that BMX riders are able to land. There are reasons why putting pegs on a mountain bike is a bad idea.
1. Unsafe Installation
Given that most pegs need to be fixed onto long bolt-on axles, installing this feature can be unsafe for many riders. Many mountain bikes feature a quick-release wheel design that will limit your peg options or simply make installations impossible.
While you can technically install pegs on some quick-release skewers, it will likely be unstable and unsafe for riding, especially if you are planning on doing tricks. Riders who install pegs on quick-release skewers run the risk of hurting themselves if the pegs were to come off while being used.
2. Damaged Frame and Fork
The bottom line is that mountain bikes are simply not meant to be ridden with pegs. BMX bikes can safely be ridden with pegs because they were designed for this riding style. Their frames are incredibly durable and will not break easily when met with lateral impact.
Mountain bikes, however, are generally built with carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum. These are great materials for mountain bike riding because they are light and relatively durable. That said, if you try to grind or do tricks with your mountain bike, you can seriously damage the frame and fork.
Both carbon fiber and aluminum can't withstand direct impact and lateral stress. If you continue to ride your mountain bike with pegs while attempting BMX tricks, you can expect the frame or fork to get damaged eventually.
3. Damaged Derailleur
Most mountain bikes are not single-speed and come with gears that can be changed to accommodate your riding style and terrain. This implies that there should be a derailleur located on your MTB.
You can easily damage the derailleur of your mountain bike when riding with pegs. This is a fragile component that is not supposed to be hit with impact. A failed or miscalculated grind can potentially result in your derailleur receiving permanent damage.
4. Social Backlash
If you don’t care what other mountain bike riders think, more power to you! However, you should keep in mind that some members of the mountain biking community may not react very well to an MTB with pegs.
These bikes are supposed to be ridden in specific ways - namely trail riding and dirt jumping. There is not a single scenario in mountain biking that would require you to have pegs installed, which can prompt a severe reaction from some MTB riders.
How to Safely Ride With Pegs on a Mountain Bike
Riding with pegs on a mountain bike is not very common, but many people still want to go ahead with the installation. As I covered above, you run the risk of experiencing complications with your mountain bike if you decide to ride with pegs.
While I would not recommend using an MTB with pegs, you can mitigate the risks of damaging your bike or injuring yourself by following these guidelines and installation procedures.
1. Install Long Bolt-On Axle
Since most modern mountain bikes feature quick-release skewers instead of bolt-on axles, you run the risk of the peg loosening while you are riding. You can secure the peg onto your mountain bike much better if you replace your quick-release set-up with a long bolt-on axle.
2. Steel Frame and Fork
If your Mountain bike frame is made out of carbon fiber or aluminum, you can easily damage the frame or fork with peg tricks.
If you decide to use pegs on your MTB, make sure the frame and fork of your bike are made out of a durable material like steel.
3. Single-Speed Bike
Derailleurs are fragile components and can get damaged very easily. While a single-gear mountain bike may limit the type of grade you can ride on, it will ensure that you can use pegs without damaging your derailleur.
Plastic vs Metal Pegs on a Mountain Bike
When you go out to buy pegs, you will likely see two different types of options: plastic and metal. The most common and traditional types of pegs are metal, but it’s really a matter of preference which one you buy.
Metal pegs are much better for longevity and can last for years before getting noticeably damaged. If you want durability and to get as much riding time out of your pegs as possible, metal options are going to suit your needs better.
On the other hand, if you want to practice tricks, particularly grinding - plastic pegs come with certain advantages. Plastic pegs are regarded for their smooth texture which makes it a lot easier to slide when you try to grind.
This can improve your speed on grinds and it can even make it easier to make contact with rails and platforms. However, plastic pegs will get worn out considerably faster and will not last nearly as long - requiring you to replace the pegs periodically.
How to Put Pegs on a Mountain Bike
Take a look at the bolt-on axle located on each of your wheels. This is essentially the component that locks your wheel in place and keeps it from coming off while you are riding. If the bolt has enough length to fit a peg, you are good to go.
That said, not every mountain bike will have long bolt-on axles. Many modern MTBs feature a quick-release function for the wheels instead, allowing riders to remove their wheels without using additional tools.
You cannot safely use mountain bike pegs on your bike if it has a quick-release wheel design. If you want to install pegs on this type of bike, you will first need to buy a bolt-on axle to customize your wheel set-up. I recommend buying a fairly long bolt-on axle to ensure that the peg will fit. You will need the following tools and supplies to install pegs on your mountain bike:
- Front Pegs
- Back Pegs
- Socket Wrench
- Bolt-on Axle (if you have a quick release)
Step 1: Remove Nuts
Before you can install your pegs, you first need to remove the nuts that are currently holding your wheel in place. Using a socket wrench, loosen the nuts and remove them from the assembly.
As you remove the nuts, you should also see a washer on each side that also needs to be removed. Keep these parts in a safe place while you continue with the installation.
Repeat this process for both the front and bag wheel if you are installing pegs on both sides of your bike.
Step 2: Install Pegs
With the nuts removed, you can place the peg on the end of the bolt-on axle. Using the socket wrench, stick a nut and the tool inside of the peg and locate the grooves.
Slowly tighten until you have confirmed the grooves are in line. Once you’ve lined up the grooves tighten the peg onto the bolt until the installation feels firmly tight. Repeat this process for each peg that you want to install on your bike.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson