Most modern stationary bikes use magnetic resistance so that you can customize your workout, but if the resistance stops working, it means the exercise bike is pretty useless.
This can really impact your routine and knock your fitness plan off track.
In this guide, we'll explain how to fix magnetic resistance on exercise spin bikes so you can get riding again as quickly as possible.
- Fixing The Magnetic Resistance On Exercise Bikes (Step By Step Guide)
- Common Issues With Magnetic Resistance Spin Bikes
- How To Fix Magnetic Resistance Of Popular Spin Bike Brands
- Fixing Magnetic Resistance On Exercise Bike FAQs
Fixing The Magnetic Resistance On Exercise Bikes (Step By Step Guide)
Exercise bikes are stationary bikes that give you all the benefits of an outdoor cycle.
They're found in commercial gyms but are also popular in garage and home gyms as an effective cardio solution.
Spin bikes are a variation on stationary bikes, but they're pretty much the same thing; they're just designed to closely mimic the riding position of an outdoor bike and force the user to lean forward more.
This gives you a more realistic feel and can make your workout harder.
You’ll be able to control the resistance levels of your exercise bike. This is usually done through a control panel, and modern bikes will have touch screen computers on board.
This lets you adjust the difficulty of your ride so you can push your body and get a great workout.
Many bikes also have pre-set routines that will move through the resistance levels to give you a workout that helps you achieve a specific goal.
Most modern exercise bikes use magnetic resistance. They work using an electrical current and magnets, which create a magnetic field.
This increases the resistance and makes it more challenging to turn the flywheel, so you'll have to pedal harder to complete each rotation.
Some exercise bikes still use other forms of resistance, but magnetic resistance is one of the most reliable methods because there are far fewer moving parts within the mechanism.
From time to time, your magnetic resistance can stop working properly. There are a few different reasons why this can happen, but you need to fix it to continue using the exercise bike.
Unfortunately, magnetic exercise bikes are expensive, and paying to have them repaired will cost at least a few hundred dollars, but the good news is that you can repair them yourself.
We’ve created a quick guide explaining how to fix the most common types of magnetic resistance bikes.
You will need to have a replacement magnetic resistance mechanism that is compatible with your bike, and the easiest thing to do is to check the manufacturer's website to see if they sell replacement parts.
You’ll also need an Allen key, screwdriver, and socket wrench.
On A Stationary Bike
Stationary or upright bikes are the most common, and you’ll see them in home or commercial gyms.
To fix your magnetic resistance, you'll need to follow these steps:
- 1Turn Off The Power
Unplug your stationary bike from the electrical outlet, so there's no risk of electrocution while you're working. Many upright bikes are battery-powered, so remove the battery pack from the device. Make sure you try replacing the batteries first to see if that's the issue.
- 2Remove The Pedal Cranks And Flywheel Covers
Pull the cover from the side of the exercise bike so you can reach the flywheel. Hold it still, and rotate the pedals counterclockwise so that they come off the internal pulley mechanism. Set them aside, and completely remove the flywheel covers.
- 3Remove The V Belt
Use a socket and ratchet to remove the nut which connects into the pulley. Move the pulley to the side and slip the V-belt off. Check to see if there’s any damage to the belt, and replace it if necessary.
- 4Remove The Magnetic Unit
Now that the belt is out of the way, you should be able to access the magnetic unit. Remove the nut which holds it in place, and lift it out of the bike. You'll need to replace this magnetic unit to get the bike working again. Put the new magnetic unit into the bike and secure it in place.
- 5Put It Back Together
Put the v belt, flywheel, and pedals back onto the bike and seal it all up. Make sure everything is secure, and then test to see if the magnetic resistance is working as it should be.
On A Spin Bike
To fix the magnetic resistance on a spin bike, you'll need to follow all the same steps as you should with an upright exercise bike.
Spin bikes usually have much higher levels of resistance because they’re designed for intense workouts, so it may be that you notice any issues more quickly.
Just make sure you check the manufacturer's guide in case they have any specific instructions to follow.
Related Article - Exercise Bike Vs Spin Bike
On A Recumbent Bike
To repair the magnetic resistance on a recumbent bike, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- 1Find The Battery Pack
Most recumbent bikes run on batteries, so locate the hub sensor battery pack by removing the chain gain on the side of the bike. You should be able to loosen this with a screwdriver and lift it off. Then, rotate the flywheel until the battery pack is visible and accessible.
- 2Check The Battery Pack
Replace the batteries in the pack and check for any loose connections. If there are any loose wires, you should repair or replace them and then reattach them to the bike. If this doesn't work, move on to the next step.
- 3Check The Speed Sensor
Recumbent exercise bikes will also have a speed sensor that is located near the pedals. Remove the nut that holds it in place, and then locate the battery cap on the side of the sensor unit. Remove the cover and install a new battery. Put the sensor unit back on the bike and reattach the chain guard.
- 4Check The Bike
With the batteries and wiring fixed, your magnetic resistance should be fine. Test the bike to make sure it's all working.
Read More - Upright Bike Vs Recumbent Bike
On A Mini Pedal Bike
Mini pedal bikes are designed to be used at home or in the office and a perfect for those who are short on time.
There are just pedals and no frame, so you can sit on any regular chair and give your legs a workout while you’re doing something else.
If the resistance suddenly stops working you’ll need to follow these steps:
- 1Remove The Pedals
Use a hex key to remove the pedals and crank arms from the machine. This should allow you access to the main casing.
- 2Remove The Outer Casing
Undo the bolts and lift off the outer casing. Then, unhook the belt within and remove it.
- 3Replace The Magnetic Mechanism
You should now have access to the mechanism. Undo the holding bolt and lift it out of the bike. Install the new mechanism in its place, and seal everything back up again. Your mini pedal bike should hopefully work now.
Learn More - Under Desk Bike Vs Elliptical
Common Issues With Magnetic Resistance Spin Bikes
Magnetic resistance bikes are pretty impressive, but they can still encounter problems. Here are the most common issues to look out for:
How To Fix Magnetic Resistance Of Popular Spin Bike Brands
Every bike is slightly different, and you’ll need to consult the user manual for your individual spin bike.
It's also worth checking your warranty to see if it's still covered because then the manufacturer will repair it for free.
NordicTrack exercise bikes are advanced and don't tend to break down too easily. If your magnetic resistance isn't working, you should start by replacing the batteries.
You should then check the mechanism for any dirt or grime which could be clogging it and apply lubricant to all the moving parts.
If none of this works, open up the bike and locate the tension cable in the gearbox.
Moving this should move the magnetic bar outwards or deeper, and if it doesn’t move, you may need to replace the whole gearbox or flywheel.
Peloton is another premium brand, and their magnetic resistance works very well.
It's all controlled with the touch screen, and if you notice an issue with the resistance, then you should check all the wiring and connections.
You should also look to recalibrate the Peloton exercise bike.
You can do this by tapping on the 3 dots on the bottom right of the home screen, accessing the ‘About’ menu, and then following the ‘Sensor Calibration’ instructions.
This should reset your resistance and get your bike functioning properly.
See Also - Hydrow Rower Vs Peloton Bike
Other brands, like Weslo, are a bit simpler. It's usually either a power issue or a problem with the moving parts.
Check the wiring and replace the batteries if needed. You should also oil and lubricate the moving parts within the mechanism so they can move as they should.
If this doesn't work, it could mean a magnet has worn out and will need to be fully replaced.
There's no single way to fix your magnetic resistance because it depends on the type of bike and the issue.
However, it usually comes down to the onboard computer and controls or the mechanism. Checking and fixing both should resolve the issue.
Fixing Magnetic Resistance On Exercise Bike FAQs
How do you maintain a magnetic spin bike?
You should clean your spin bike regularly with a soft cloth, examine it for damage, tighten bolts and screws, and lubricate the gears and moving parts. This will keep it in working order and prevent it from breaking down.
Do you need a heavy flywheel with magnetic resistance?
The size of the flywheel impacts how much momentum you’ll generate. You can get a magnetic exercise bike with a heavy or light flywheel, and it should work fine.
Are magnetic exercise bikes quiet?
Yes, magnetic resistance is much quieter than other types, and these exercise bikes are perfect for domestic use because they won't make much noise.
What are the benefits of a magnetic exercise bike?
Magnetic exercise bikes are durable, require very little maintenance, and run practically silently. This type of resistance is used in most modern bikes, but magnetic exercise bikes are more expensive.
Related Article - Benefits Of Exercise Bikes
Magnetic resistance exercise bikes won't break down often, but it can be really frustrating when they do.
It generally comes down to the power supply, control panel, or a mechanical fault.
Still, unless the issue is major, you can usually pick up replacement parts and get your bike working yourself.
Hopefully this guide has given you some useful information, and you now feel more comfortable fixing your exercise bike yourself.
Last Updated on December 18, 2022