An indoor cycling bike is an excellent investment in your fitness and health. Having an indoor cycling bike, according to Harvard Health Publishing (2016) allows you to stay fit even if the weather is bad outside.
Keeping it well-maintained is very important to ensure safe and efficient riding. It can also save you more money in the long run if you do regular maintenance.
Now, if you’re unsure which part to clean, inspect and lubricate, then this guide is for you. To help you create a schedule, I’m dividing the steps into a daily, weekly and monthly checklist.
What Are the Materials You Need to Maintain Your Exercise Bike?
Before we go into details of the actual maintenance, you need to prep your tools first. As you’ll be cleaning and checking your exercise bike regularly, I suggest creating your maintenance kit.
Here are some of the items you need on hand:
- Soft Clean Cloth (x2)
- Light mineral/silicone-based lubricant or oil
- Spanner set
- Philips Screw Driver
- Socket Set
- Hex Key Set
- Pedal Socket
- Lubricant or light mineral oil
- Antibacterial wipes
- Soft cleaning cloth
What Are the Things to Look Out For?
Here are some of the things you need to look out for to keep your indoor cycling bike well-kept.
1. Cleaning and Dusting
Working out on an exercise bike is excellent for your cardio fitness. That also means you’ll be sweating a lot and transferring most of it onto your fitness machine.
The problem is, sweat can cause rusting. If you do not wipe or dust it off, metal parts of your bike will be at risk of corrosion. It can lead to long-term problems and costly repair or replacement, too.
So, after your workout, add the following to your exercise bike maintenance list:
- Use antibacterial wipes or a damp cloth for wiping spots you touch, like the seat, frame and handlebars.
- Pay attention to areas prone to sweat droplets, including the handlebar and seat post, flywheel and chain guard.
- For stubborn stains, you can do spot cleaning with lukewarm water, mild detergent and lint-free cloth. Make sure not to use too much water, and wipe away excess moisture with a dry cloth right away.
2. Storage and Protection
Remember to use a bike cover to keep your indoor cycling bike protected from dirt and dust when not in use. Investing in a good-quality bike cover will help ensure that no unnecessary damage will happen to your bike.
3. Bottom Bracket Assembly
The bottom bracket assembly can loosen over time and will require tightening. Always check this part to ensure a smooth ride.
4. Pedal Maintenance
Test the pedals for vibrations. If there’s unnecessary movement, use the pedal socket or wrench for tightening.
Doing this should prevent any pedal parts from becoming loose, which can potentially cause severe damage.
To lubricate the pedal bearing, loosen the nut to remove the pedal. Then use a soft cloth to wipe the crank arm and pedal threads. Next, clean the pedal, and lubricate the pedal thread before putting the nut back on.
5. Chain Maintenance
Belt-driven indoor cycling bikes require little maintenance since they are built to last. The belt requires cleaning from time to time using a dry cloth. This will ensure that the belt’s grooves don’t get hampered by dirt and dust buildup.
6. Chain Tension
This step is for chain drive bikes only, so if you have a belt drive bike you can skip this step.
Lubricate the drive chain with any chain lubricant such as DuPont Teflon Chain Lubricant (we do not recommend using WD-40 or 3-n-1 lube for chain lubrication).
This is accomplished by removing the outside chain cover and rotating the crank slowly while lubricating the drive chain. This will help to distribute the lubricant more effectively.
Why Maintaining Your Bike is Important
Maintaining your bike is necessary to give you a smoother ride, help prevent the risk of injury and avoid paying big amounts of money for future repairs.
Correct maintenance can also help prolong the lifespan of your bike making you enjoy indoor cycling for a long time.
How to Troubleshoot Common Issues
The first step that you need to take is to identify the problem with the exercise bike. Some of the common issues of an exercise bike include noises, belt slipping, and resistance problems.
Below is a guide on how to properly address these issues.
First, you need to identify where the source of the noise. In most instances, the noise may come from the belt, wheels, or pedals. Whichever it may be, you more likely need to detach, tighten, loosen or lubricate it.
Check the threading if the noise comes from the pedal. If it is already worn out then you may need to replace it.
One of the common reasons why you have resistance issues is because of bent pins or cross-cabling. The first thing to do is to make sure that all pins are straight and the device is plugged in properly.
Cleaning and lubricating the gears that control the resistance can also help if you have a hard time changing the resistance level.
If your bike has a magnetic resistance system and you are having resistance problems, then it may be because of loose bolts or screws. To fix the problem, ensure that the two magnets are in the right place and are properly secured.
The belt slipping issue should not be ignored because it may result in serious injury. Once you get a slipping sensation, tighten the drive belt or replace it right away.
Unplug your bike before tightening the drive belt. Detach the pedals and then detach the sides and top shields. This will give you access to the flywheel and belt of the exercise bike.
Tighten the belt by fine-tuning the idler bolts and nuts. Make sure you have the exact model part that you need for your indoor cycle bike before replacing the belt. Follow the manual or contact a bike repair service.
Monitor Display Problem
If your monitor display is not functioning, then a loose cable may be the culprit. Plug your bike into the power outlet properly. You need to contact an expert to help you if the monitor still does not work after plugging in correctly.
When is Professional Help Necessary?
There are some bike issues that you simply cannot fix on your own. Though some minor bike problems can be easily resolved, there are bike issues that need to be done by a professional.
Do not attempt to fix a problem yourself if you are not confident about what to do because it might just make the problem worse. Professional bike services have the right tools and experience to solve any of your exercise bike issues.
Final Thoughts on Exercise Bike Maintenance
Exercise bikes, no matter the type or brand, cost money. So, it’s only natural that we want it to last to make the most of our investment and its many benefits.
Make it second nature to wipe your fitness equipment clean after use. Then habitually check its parts for occasional tightening or lubrication.
Keep these in mind, and you’ll be biking to good health for years to come!
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