How to Repair a Resistance Exercise Bike
Resistance exercise bikes use several methods for creating resistance. The most common is mechanical resistance that uses brake pads to slow the flywheel. Air resistance uses a high-pressure air flow against the flywheel to create resistance. Magnetic resistance employs electromagnets and a magnetic field to generate resistance. Typical repairs on a resistance exercise bike include replacing sensors, the chain, brake pads and adjusting the flywheel alignment. Basic hand tools are used to perform repairs.
Rotate the pedal cranks back and forth 1/4 turn. Delay in the rotation of the flywheel indicates a problem with the chain or chain adjustment. Rotate the pedals fully several times and observe the alignment of the flywheel. The flywheel should rotate uniformly between the rear frame arms.
Remove the chain guard bolts with an Allen wrench and remove the chain guard. Rotate the pedal cranks as you inspect the chain and sprocket for wear. Loosen the nuts on each side of the flywheel axle with a hex wrench. Loosen the tension adjustment bolts on each side of the axle with an open-end wrench and move the flywheel forward to slack the chain. Remove the chain.
Rotate the flywheel by hand to a position that provides access to the hub sensor battery pack. Use an Allen wrench to remove the cap from the battery pack. Install new batteries, replace the cap and tighten the bolt.
Locate the speed sensor that resides just below the pedal crank sprocket. Remove the keeper nut with a hex wrench and slide the sensor out. Use a flat screwdriver to remove the battery cover on the back of the speed sensor. Install a new battery and replace the cap. Reinstall the speed sensor onto the bike and tighten the keeper nut.
Use an open-end wrench to turn the brake cable tension nut counterclockwise. Loosen the cable stop with a screwdriver and remove the ball end of the cable from the brake arm assembly. Remove the bolts on the boss posts with a hex wrench and lift the brake arm assembly off the flywheel.
Remove the nuts or clips that secure the brake pads to the brake arms. Replace the brake pads and secure the nuts or clips. Reinstall the brake arm assembly over the flywheel and tighten the bolts on the boss posts. Reattach the brake cable and tighten the cable stop. Consult the owner’s manual for brake the adjustment procedure.
Install a new chain onto the front and rear sprockets. Align the flywheel and adjust the chain tension using the tension adjustment bolts. Tighten the bolts alternately as you spin the flywheel to ensure a proper alignment. Tighten the flywheel axle nuts with a hex wrench. Replace the chain guard and bolts that hold it in place.
Consult a qualified service technician for information regarding bottom bracket and sprocket repairs.
Order new parts by model number, part number or refer to the exercise bike manufacturer.
Refer to warranty conditions before performing any repairs. Aftermarket replacement parts are not recommended.
William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.