How Do You Maintain Your Indoor Bike?

How Do You Maintain Your Indoor Bike

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Working out is a way for you to maintain your body. That being said, if you want to stay in shape then you also need to maintain your equipment. If you don’t, then you may find that you end up with way more repairs than you need. Luckily, all of this can be avoided

A lot of people think that they don’t need to maintain their bike at all, purely because they are not cycling outside. They don’t need to worry about cleaning the gears, the tyres, the brake pads or the pedals. This may be true, but you still need to make sure that you maintain the flywheel, the chain and the belt drive.

If you can do this, then there’s no reason at all why you shouldn’t be able to make your stationary bike last for years to come.

Clean Your Bike

Cleaning an indoor bike

You need to begin by cleaning the bike. It doesn’t matter how hard you push yourself or how long you cycle for because every workout you do will cause you to sweat. A lot of this sweat will end up on your bike, regardless of how much you wipe your face. Unfortunately, sweat is easily one of the biggest enemies when it comes to your exercise equipment. Sweat is far more corrosive when compared to water so if you leave it on the metal for too long then this will cause a significant amount of damage, especially over time.

The best and the easiest way for you to clean your bike down after a workout would be for you to use some antibacterial wipes. Keep a box close to your bike, because this will make it much easier for you to stick with your cleaning regime.

So it’s important that you wipe down every surface on your bike, especially the spots where you touch and where the sweat lands. If you have a bike where everything can be adjusted then this is great, but make sure that you clean the parts that can slide as these are very vulnerable when it comes to sweat getting in.

Don’t Forget The Lower Parts

Make sure that you don’t forget about the flywheel and the lower parts of your bike. This is where the sweat tends to go, purely because of gravity. This is especially the case on the wheels, due to corrosion. Most of the time, you will find that your flywheel is made out of stainless steel and this is the last place where you’d want any corrosion, so if you know that yours is exposed, then try and make sure that you wipe it down enough so that it keeps on looking nice. If you have dirt or stains that are a bit more stubborn then make sure that you use a tiny bit of water.

A lint-free towel, mild some mild detergent and a bit of water will do this. If you can, don’t use too much water as this will find its way into the machine and it will cause electrical issues. If the bike you have has magnetic resistance then it will have a plastic shroud, so make sure that you take this off around once a year.

Clean Your Space

Cleaning your bike is absolutely required, but you have to make sure that you clean your space as well. If you have a lot of dirt around your bike, then it’ll make it onto your bike in no time at all. A build-up of dust can also cause you issues, especially if it manages to find its way into the moving parts. Believe it or not, vacuuming around the bike will stop the dust from ever touching the machine.

If you can, it’s also helpful to place your bike on a rubber mat as opposed to a carpet. Rubber mats will stop dust from collecting around your machine as much.

Inspect Everything

Tightening loose bolts on indoor bike

Before you do anything else at this point, it’s important that you inspect the bike for any signs of damage. Some of the things that you need to check out include the seat, adjusters, fasteners, bolts, nuts, foot straps, pedals and the drive belt too. 

A cracked or worn seat can compromise your overall comfort while you are sitting on the bike, so if yours is looking a little worse for wear then it’s important that you try and get it replaced as soon as possible.

Adjusters

Most stationary bikes have a couple of adjusters. This means that you can adjust everything to your liking. On your bike, the adjusters will usually consist of a frame fitting, spring and pull pin.  Adjusters have to be tight, but at the same time, they still need to be able to move. Make sure that the frame fittings are solid in the frame if possible. If they are not then you risk stripping the thread.

If you have a wrench then this can easily be used to tighten up some of the loose fittings. If the pin doesn’t move smoothly, simply pull it out, spray some lubricant and reinsert it.

Resistance Pads

Cleaning Resistance Pads on indoor bike

You have to make sure that you check over your brake pads too. These will wear out and if you don’t have the right placement then they will not last long at all. It’s important to know that not all exercise bikes come with a brake pad. This is more aimed at bikes with a friction resistance.

Just give these a quick rub with a clean cloth. You may notice fibres fall off these but this will happen as the friction against the momentum of the flywheel will wear it down.

Stationary bikes that come with magnetic resistance often have other ways to create resistance and this means that they do not require a brake pad.

Flywheel

Next up, the flywheel. Spray some lubricant on the flywheel, on the sider that the pad is touching. You also need to pulse the pad, so that the pad can absorb some of the lubricant too. In a lot of cases, this will resolve any problems you might have been having. If not, brake pads are not expensive to replace.

If you notice that your brake pad is made out of leather and it is looking a touch glazed, then you can rough it up with a wire brush. When you’ve done this, soak the pad in lubricant for around 2 hours.

Drive Chain & Belt

There are three ways for you to drive the flywheel if you have a stationary exercise bike. You have the belt, the chain or direct system. It’s very easy for you to know which one you have on your bike.

If your pedals are in the same place as the wheel, you have the direct version. If you notice that your wheel is not in the same place as your pedals then you have a chain or belt. A belt drive is essentially a rubber or Poly-V belt with numerous small teeth. This connects the pedals with the flywheel. The drive belt needs a bit of maintenance now and again, but if you keep it clean then most of the work is done. Clean off any dust, and wipe it down now and again.

If you have a chain then a bit more maintenance is required. A chain drive is a bit more sensitive. It needs some cleaning and some lubrication too.  If you want to lubricate your chain then take off the guard and then clean the chain with some chain cleaner. You can also use a Teflon lubricant or WD-40. If you are spraying your lubricant, put a piece of cardboard behind the chain. When you have done this, spin the flywheel or move the pedals.

As it’s spinning, spray the chain. This will distribute the solution over the chain as uniformly as possible. When you have sprayed it all down, wait a good 10 minutes and then wipe off any excess.

Pedals

Tightening Pedals on indoor bike

Pedals are a very important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your exercise bike. You have to make sure that your pedals are fastened and that they are also secure enough. It’s not common at all, that something will go wrong with your pedals.

That being said, they are an essential part of your bike, so you have to make sure that they are in good shape. Just get on your bike and ensure that everything is tight and smooth. If you feel vibrations, you probably need to tighten them. A pedal wrench can be used to do this. When you have your pedal wrench, it becomes way easier for you to grease the pedal.

Here I have the Favero Assiomo Power Pedals which comes with its own wrench which is easy to tighten up ensuring they are totally secure.

If you want to grease the pedal, take off the pedal by taking the time to loosen the nut. Wipe down the crank and then the pedal with a soft cloth. You then need to follow the threads so you can really clear any grime.  Make sure that you use grease here, and not a lubricant. Lithium grease is very good for pedals.

If you follow this guide then you should find that maintaining your bike is easier than ever before. You may find that your bike lasts longer and that you are also able to get more out of it as well.

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