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How long does a spin bike last? At least a few decades as long as you maintain it properly.
Just like you’ll burn out if you work out every day with no recovery, exercise bikes also need regular maintenance to keep spinning smoothly. From daily, to monthly, and preventive maintenance, we’ve put together this spin bike maintenance checklist to keep your trusted fitness equipment operating smoothly for years to come.
The importance of spin bike maintenance
Spin bikes go through a lot of use and abuse, especially if you use them regularly. Minimal and periodic exercise bike maintenance will keep your indoor bike running smoothly for years to come and prevent it from falling into disrepair. By reducing the likelihood of your bike running into major problems in the future, or worse, giving up on you completely, you’ll save on costly repairs or worse, a replacement.
A properly maintained indoor exercise bike is also a safe exercise bike. If your bike isn’t functioning properly, it can cause accidents and injure you mid-ride. Performing essential maintenance will keep your indoor bike operating at peak performance, preventing any safety issues.
In short, regular exercise bike maintenance keeps your equipment healthy, increases its longevity, is cost-effective, and makes for a safe workout.
Basic spin bike care routine
Performing basic maintenance periodically will keep your spin bike in tip-top shape.
After every workout session, take a few minutes to perform the following daily maintenance tasks. You can even think of it as part of your post-workout routine.
1. Wipe down your exercise bike
Wiping down your spin bike removes all the built-up sweat and dirt from your indoor cycling session. This helps prevent rust and corrosion as sweat is a corrosive agent, and leaving it on for too long can cause damage to your bike parts.
Use a damp cloth or an antibacterial solution to wipe down your bike seat, seat post, handlebars, handlebar post, frame, resistance knob, pedals, and chain guard. Dry it thoroughly afterwards. Don’t use any abrasive or oil-based cleaning solutions as this will strip your bike’s paint.
2. Check for vibrations
Hop on your bike and engage the drive chain to check if you feel any vibrations through the pedals. If yes, you need to tighten your pedals or bottom bracket, and adjust your drive chain tension.
3. Release the resistance
If you have a friction resistance bike, turn the resistance all the way down after each session. This lifts the brake pads away from the flywheel, ensuring that moisture doesn’t get trapped in between.
Next up is a weekly maintenance checklist to ensure that your exercise bike is performing well.
4. Clean the flywheel
The flywheel is a solid disk and can easily accumulate dust and debris, so clean it once a week by applying brake cleaner and scrubbing it with a dry cloth. Make sure that you thoroughly clean the hub assembly, too.
5. Tighten bolts and screws
Screws and bolts can get loose over time, causing your spin bike to wobble and not function properly. Sometimes, this may lead to injury, so make sure all the bike parts are tight. This includes checking the bottom bracket of your bike as well as the pull pin frame fittings.
6. Torque the pedals and crank arms
Loose pedals are a common occurrence in spin bikes, so take your pedal wrench and tighten the pedals and crank arms (the levers that the pedals are attached to) till they feel secure.
7. Clean and lubricate resistance pads
If you have a friction resistance bike, you need to clean and lubricate the felt or leather resistance pads with a silicone lubricant. This reduces the amount of noise generated by the friction pads rubbing together.
8. Caring for your seat hardware
Once a week, loosen the nuts and bolts and lift your seat and handlebars to their highest setting to allow any trapped moisture to escape.
After a few minutes, adjust them back, but ensure that it’s done correctly to prevent any wobbling or discomfort and pain while riding. The saddle should be parallel to the ground and at hip level. If it's too high or low, use the seat slider to adjust the height. You should be able to comfortably grip the handlebars while sitting on your spin bike.
9. Polish the chrome
Keeping your exercise bike nice and shiny makes it look new and keeps corrosion at bay. You can use a specific chrome polish or a regular one.
Finally, here are some monthly maintenance tasks to perform on your spin bike to make it last longer.
10. Lubricate all moving components
Lubrication prevents any squeaky noises and keeps your indoor bike running smoothly and performing at maximum capacity. Get a silicone lubricant and lubricate all moving components of your spin bike, including seat slider, brake tension rod, adjustment knobs, handlebar and seat post, pedals, and pop pin assemblies.
11. Clean belt or chain drive
If your spin bike has a belt drive system, clean it with a soft cloth. If you have a chain drive bike, take off the drivetrain cover, use a toothbrush to remove any debris, and lubricate it with a chain lubricant. Slowly rotate the pedals while lubricating so that the entire chain is covered. This reduces any friction and prevents the drive chain from getting dry and rusty, keeping your spin bike running smoothly.
12. Perform a hardware check
Check to see that all hardware such as water bottle holders, console, as well as all the nuts and bolts such flywheel nuts, chain guard bolts, and brake caliper lock nuts (thin nuts that wedge up against other nuts to stop them from rotating) are secure and working properly.
13. Check the brake tension assembly
Clean and lubricate the brake tension rod. Check for any missing threads.
Preventive maintenance for spin bikes
In addition to regular maintenance, performing some preventative maintenance will help you avoid expensive damages and repairs later on.
1. Store spin bike properly
Storing your indoor exercise bike properly after your workout session reduces its chances of wear and tear. Store it in a cool and dry environment away from direct sunlight or humidity. Make sure to avoid extreme temperatures!
Place your spin bike on top of a mat and keep the place dust free. If possible, invest in a bike cover.
2. Calibrate the resistance system
In magnetic spin bikes, the resistance settings need periodic recalibration to remain accurate. Turn the resistance knob all the way down, and follow the instructions given in your spin bike manual.
3. Inspect parts for wear and tear
Inspect your spin bike thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear to protect yourself from injuries due to loose or worn-out parts. Occasionally, you may need to replace certain parts. Here are some things to check:
- Check bike frame for any cracks
- Inspect the seat for any tears
- See if resistance pads are worn out/ damaged
- Check for worn-out pedals and foot straps
- Inspect tires
- Look for loose bolts or frayed cables
Fixing common spin bike problems
Now that we’ve covered the bases for spin bike maintenance, let’s look at some common indoor bike problems and how you can fix them.
Squeaky noises are one of the most common problems that indoor bikes face. The first step is identifying where the noises are coming from: wheels, belt, motor, or pedals. Once you trace the noise to a particular part, remove it and lubricate it with a silicone lubricant.
If the noise is coming from your pedals, check the threading to see if it’s worn out. The pedals should be at 90° to the crank arms. If you see any bulges in the pedals or any bumps in the pedal stroke, it’s time to replace them.
If you have a magnetic spin bike, the belt can stretch over time, causing it to slip. This can cause serious accidents, so you should tighten it immediately. Unplug your stationary bike and use a crank arm or Allen wrench to remove the pedals carefully. Make sure that you’re not damaging the threads.
Unfasten the screws and remove the side and top shields. This will expose the flywheel and belt. You’ll see the idler bolt on the top and bottom of the Eddie Mechanism idler bracket. Tighten it, and your belt will stop slipping.
If you notice your belt slipping frequently, it means it’s worn out and needs to be replaced.
Malfunctioning resistance system
Sometimes, you may notice that the resistance level hardly changes, or there’s no resistance being applied at all. This could be due to cross-cabling or bent pins. Ensure that the spin bike cable adapter is plugged in properly and all the pins are straight. Clean and lubricate the gears that control the resistance.
Another probable cause could be wobbly resistance wheels, in which case you need to replace the flywheel hub.
If you have a magnetic spin bike, the problem could also be due to the magnets shifting from their position or getting completely separated from the motor. In this case, tighten any loose bolts and screws and bring the magnets back to their designated place.
Erratic heart rate readings
If your heart rate readings are nonsensical and all over the place, the heart rate straps might not be fastened firmly to the bike. Simply tighten them and you’ll be good to go.
Display console not working
This could be due to loose cables. Check to see if your spin bike is plugged in properly. If you’re still experiencing problems, it might be time to contact a professional.
Professional spin bike maintenance
Sometimes, your spin bike may run into a problem that you’re unable to fix no matter how many YouTube videos you watch. In such cases, you should contact a professional for help.
If your bike still falls within the warranty period, contact your spin bike manufacturer to see if the warranty covers your issue. If the warranty doesn't cover it, check to see if they're still available for service.
If neither of those options are possible, look for other reliable brands that offer repair services.
Ascend spin bikes come with a 1-year warranty that includes repairs and replacements. The warranty covers the bike frame, seat and upholstery, mechanical and electronic parts, as well as the functional movement of the exercise bike.
Stay fit with Ascend spin bikes
Whatever your fitness goals may be, spin bikes are great at helping you achieve them. And the best part? This cardio machine can last for decades so long as you take care of it properly. Set aside some time, and follow the spin bike checklist above to keep your exercise bike healthy.
Ascend spin bikes help you get stronger and live better without ever having to leave the comfort of your home.