Exercise bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals are fantastic equipment for fitness lovers as they offer excellent aerobic workouts. They are the most preferred exercise machines for home gym owners.
While it is fun to exercise using these machines, you should also know about repairing them if need be. Most of the repairs you encounter with them are easily fixable if you know how to identify them and what to do to make them right.
When you can fix few small things at home, you will save several trips to the service center or visit by the repairman.
Also, finding time to fix an appointment with the service people and waiting for them to come and repair your machine is a time-consuming process.
Meanwhile, you might lose your fitness track or waste your time and money on trivial issues. This article discusses identifying malfunctions and how to fix them.
From expelling a flywheel case to fixing a treadmill belt, everything is discussed below.
You’ll also learn how to change a stationary bike belt and focus on a treadmill belt. The most common reason your equipment is not working as it should is improper maintenance, followed by lubrication issues and power or battery-related problems.
Also, replacing a few parts is a belt that fixes your issue if your machines are worn off. Let us get into the details below and keep our machines in tip-top shape using these tips.
Working of Exercise Equipment
As already mentioned, stationary bicycles, treadmills, and elliptical’s are common home exercise machines.
A stationary bicycle comes with the belt-flywheel, which imitates the riding experience of a standard bike.
The treadmill they are an engine-driven machine, and they recreate that running or walking motions using a roller, belt, and a motor.
Ellipticals come with a flywheel and pedals, which offer versatile activity.
Common Issues With Exercise Equipment
Treadmills are controlled using electronic circuit sheets as they come with a control panel to control the electric engines.
There is nothing you can do about the circuit board apart from replacing any breakers and checking if the board is properly connected.
Other issues with the treadmill include falling flat, deteriorated belts or broken belts, worn-out drivers, etc.
Its internal engine is connected to a running belt that needs to be checked from time to time.
The stationary bike uses a flywheel. A chain and belt support it for accelerating the bike. So, when you find any issues, you need to check for the chain and belt.
Wiping down your exercise gear using a dry cloth after every session will keep it free from the sweat and dirt that can corrode metal parts.
Also, make sure to wipe them down thoroughly using a mild cleanser and water every week and taking care not to wet the electronic parts.
How To Prevent Or Delay Issues With Exercise Bikes?
When you regularly keep up with the maintenance routine, you will not have any issues with a stationary bike or a treadmill.
You may need to change the treadmill belt once in a while by checking if the belt’s tension gives you around ½ inch when lifting the belt off the flywheel using a screwdriver.
If the bent strain handle does not work, then look for the belt modification catch. Suppose he could bite a chain that is too free then replace it, and the process is similar to the normal bicycle.
The placement of the belt and chain is such that you may need to remove the flywheel case to address this issue.
Replace the batteries based on your usage or after every six months if your console uses them.
You should consider replacing them frequently even if you have not drained them because older batteries tend to leak, which can corrode the battery chamber.
What Tools Are Required For Repairing An Exercise Bike?
Having tools such as screwdrivers, multimeters, and torques can be handy in repairing your exercise machinery.
Replacement parts can be bought from the manufacturer’s website or secondary hardware selling shops.
Also, fundamental latches such as fasteners and screws are lifesavers, and all you need is just a screw. Lubricating oil is also an essential element for after repair lubrication.
Step By Step – Repairing Your Exercise Bike
There are three commonly found problems with exercise bikes. They are electronic issues, maintenance problems, and mechanical failure.
Exercise equipment suitable for home use is great for enjoying workouts at home.
It might be a little annoying when they start having issues, but if you know about those issues in and out, you will face them differently and fix them in no time.
Most issues involve slipping of the belt, squeaking noises, resistance refit issues, and error codes.
Check out below on how to deal with these issues.
Electronic stationary bikes generate some error codes such as E1, E6 which indicate the issue, and its explanation can be found in your user manual.
This is the case with electronic consoles machines, and manual machines such as a treadmill or bike roller do not have such problems.
When the error code is displayed, the machine usually might not start. It might be related to the electronic console and different from regular bike issues.
Note down the error code and use it to know more about the issue by checking the manual on your machine.
If you cannot locate your manual, you can also look it up online and download it.
When you find the error code in the manual, you will see the solution listed beside it. Sometimes only the issue will be listed. In that case, you can call a professional and take help.
Note: Before performing invasive actions on your machine, check the warranty and verify if the issue you are having is covered under warranty.
Also, if your machine is under warranty and this particular issue is not covered, try not to open the machine as it might void the warranty for other parts.
Slipping Of Belt
When you find the exercise belt slipping, you have to replace it. This is also the most common problem many people encounter as most pressure is exerted on the belt, making it give away. Below given are the steps to replace the belt.
Step 1: Once you decide to open up the machine, unplug it first. To gain access to the drive belt, you should remove several components.
Do not use power tools to open the bike as it is fragile, and the force may damage the machine.
Step 2: By using a thin wrench, remove both the pedals. Please note that the right pedal opens clockwise, and the left pedal opens anti-clockwise.
Ensure that you are not harming the threading while removing them.
Step 3: After removing the pedals, pop open the upright cover and slide it up and out of the way.
Gently pry the side covers using a flathead screwdriver and slide them off the crank arm. Unfasten the screws on the left and right crank shields and remove the shields.
Step 4: Now drop the belt tension by loosening the adjustment bolt and idler bolt. If tension is all you need to adjust and the belt is not slipping anymore, you can start reassembling the machine.
However, if you find the need to replace the belt, then go through the next section.
Replacing The Belt
Perform the three steps mentioned above and follow the below instruction if you need to replace the belt.
Step 1: Walk the drive belt off the pulley gently.
Step 2: Use the locknut on the axil of the Eddie mechanism just enough to pull the Eddie mech from the idler bracket. If any screws are holding down the Eddie mech, then remove them before pulling it out.
Step 3: The resistance cable is connected with the motor, and you need to relieve the tension by pressing the tension-creating part down using the screwdriver into the gap carefully.
This will loosen the cable and will allow you to pull it off the resistance motor. Remove the cable completely from the bike.
Step 4: Place the drive belt into the idler Eddie mech bracket and return the Eddie mech to its proper place.
Ensure that the locknut is fully tightened. Replace the cable by pressing on the top end of the resistance cable, allowing you enough scope to connect it back to the resistance motor.
Step 5: Walk back the drive belt onto the crank pulley, ensuring it returned to its proper place.
Adjust the proper tension and reassemble the machine by putting everything back in place. After assembly, check and ensure proper working of the bike by slowly pedaling it.
Sometimes your machine makes rattling or hitting noises. It is because of the improper maintenance of the bike.
You can avoid it by maintaining your bike from time to time by wiping it down and lubricating it as necessary.
If you neglected it for a long time or did not store it properly when not in use for an extended period, then it might rust or jam which can lead to squeaking noises. The issue might be in wheels, pedals, motor, or belt.
Identify the source of sound from your exercise bike to begin, and the most probable cause would be pedal.
The pedals or belt might be jammed, and you need to ensure their smooth functioning by cleaning and polishing that place.
Also, make it your weekly routine to keep those parts clean, which will not only improve the smoothness of the machine but also keeps it from squeaking later on.
It will be easy to deal with this issue once you make it your maintenance routine.
Magnetic Resistance Exercise Bike Problems
The magnetic strength mechanism is present at the center of the stationary bike. This mechanism helps in building the resistance of the bike.
The electric circuit, pedaling action, flywheel, and gearbox are involved in creating this resistance.
Speed and resistance monitoring are possible using the electric console board, which consists of complex circuits.
If you have issues with the console, then you should get it repaired or replaced, both of which are best left to a professional.
In case of failure in the gearbox or flywheel, you can fix them by replacing the defective parts easily using the below steps.
Step 1: Unplug the exercise bike before attempting to fix it. Ensure you are not invalidating any warranty and do not use any power tools.
Step 2: Remove both pedals using a thin wrench by turning the right pedal side clockwise and left pedal side anti-clockwise. Turn carefully to keep the threading intact, and using the right tools will ensure that you are doing it properly.
Step 3: Slide up the upright cover by popping it out and pry open the side covers using a flat head screwdriver. Remove the side covers by sliding them out. This exposes the gearbox and the flywheel where you can perform further operations to fix them.
Step 4: Identify the tension cable and check its connection to the resistance motor. Even the wheel and gearbox are right in front of you. Check for the magnetic strength and ensure if it is proper.
Else adjust it by changing the tension of the cable by moving the magnetic slab deeper or to outside.
If still the issue is not fixed, then you may need to replace the wheel or gearbox. For spares, you can call the service provider and order a gearbox at an amicable price.
Tension control: If your bike’s resistance control panel is not working, then it might be time for you to check your batteries.
Your monitor should start working soon after you replace the batteries. Always use new batteries and not the used ones or use batteries from some other device.
As you cannot be sure how much power they still have left in them, it is not a good measure of checking the working of the tension control panel.
Similarly, consider purchasing new batteries and trying again even if the batteries you are using are right out of the pack but bought a long time ago.
Batteries do lose power by just sitting there even though they are not used in any device.
If it still does not, you should suspect that the circuit might be damaged and need to replace the parts.
Exercise Bike Maintenance Tips
When you maintain the bike regularly, there will be lesser issues in the long run. Use the checklist provided below to provide standard maintenance to your bike from time to time.
- Wipe down your bike after every exercise with a dry cloth to remove the sweat
- Check the pedals and straps
- Ensure all the sensors are in place and are working fine
- Identify if there are any squeaking or grinding noises and fix them
- Polish the motor, pedals, and flywheels regularly
- Adjust the belt pressure as needed
- Wipe the dust and lubricate as required
As you are aware of fixing simple hardware issues, you can now keep your fitness journey smooth even when you have small hiccups as you go.
You will master them as you go, and as your bike ages, you will have to perform several of them.
These days you can find several videos with the visual guidance of these repairs of the exact model of your stationary bike.
You can refer to them if you need more inputs or are more of a visual person.
It also offers you a better insight into what you are about to do and if you are prepared to do it or require professional help.
But always remember two things, check the warranty and make use of it, plus always unplug your machine when you open it up.