Exercise Bikes And Flywheel Weights: Does It Even Really Matter?

If you have actually been looking for an exercise bike lately, you may’ve discovered that the weight of the flywheel is constantly gone over. If a bike comes with a heavy flywheel, the manufacturer will certainly boast this truth as well as go into why having a hefty flywheel is much better.

The same is true for bikes that come with light flywheels- these bikes will certainly promote exactly how light they are and also why light flywheels are the method to go.

But when it comes down to it- does a stationary bicycle’s flywheel weight truly matter?

Well, if you’re searching for an excellent workout, then of course, flywheel weight does issue.

Ok, fine, yet which is much better- light flywheels or heavy flywheels?

The response to this old-time inquiry will require a bit more conversation. Thankfully, this is simply the concern I’m right here to discuss.

In this post, we’ll dive head initially right into this argument as we consider both sides. After analysis, you need to know every little thing you need to determine on your own which camp you belong in.

What Is A Bike’s Flywheel?

First things first- all exercise bikes use a flywheel to produce the resistance for you to work against. On spin bikes, it’s very easy to see the flywheel since it’s clearly visible (it’s the big disc being in the front or back of the bike).

This disc is linked to the pedals using a chain (chain drive) or belt (belt drive). As you pedal, the flywheel spins.

If your bike utilizes a magnetic resistance system, there will certainly be magnets on either side of the spinning flywheel. The resistance is increased by moving these magnets closer to the flywheel (the flywheel is made out of metal, which is magnetic by the way).

Relocating the magnets away from the steel disc minimizes the resistance.

Magnetic resistance systems are terrific due to the fact that nothing in fact touches to create the resistance, unlike older school systems that use really felt pads and friction- these resistance systems function as well, yet ultimately the felt pad breaks down as well as needs to be replaced.

Regardless of which sort of resistance a bike makes use of, you can see exactly how the flywheel is needed to create it.

And also despite the fact that we can not see the flywheels on conventional upright bikes and also recumbent bikes, they are still therein. Many home ellipticals likewise utilize weighted flywheels and also those systems usually function really similarly to exercise bikes.

Oh, basically any kind of flywheel you see currently will be “boundary heavy”, indicating a lot of the weight is placed outside of the disc.

Marketing experts enjoy to claim that their bike has a “border heavy flywheel”, however in truth, they all do- it doesn’t suggest anything.

Ok, we all recognize what flywheels are as well as why they are necessary to the feature of our exercise bikes. Now it’s time to reach the good things.

Heavy vs Lightweight Flywheels

Many people, myself consisted of, begin with the weight of the flywheel when evaluating an exercise bike. As well as this is because the flywheel is directly related to offering the resistance and also feel of the bike.

And also by “feel”, I imply how smooth or fluid it is throughout its pedal activity.

Does the bike provide a constant, smooth acting pedal action or does it really feel choppy or uneasy to pedal? The response to this is mainly based on the flywheel.

In order to get a smooth sensation flight, the flywheel needs to build momentum as you pedal. This momentum assists the pedals continue relocating throughout your pedal stroke, removing any undesirable gaps or pauses between strokes.

Generally speaking, the even more energy your flywheel builds, the smoother your flight is going to be.

There are 2 colleges of assumed when it comes down to the very best method to develop this energy: heavier is much better or lighter is better. Let’s talk about each on its own.

Heavy Flywheels

Most home exercise bikes attempt to raise the flywheel’s energy by providing the flywheel extra weight. A larger flywheel takes extra first energy to get it moving, once it is moving, it wishes to keep relocating longer.

Individuals that are looking to imitate the feeling of riding outdoors generally choose larger flywheels due to the fact that they take a lot more power to begin with a cool beginning- much like a real road bike.

Think about riding a bike outside- you need to push harder up until you get relocating. Once you begin rolling, it gets much easier to pedal (unless you’re going uphill certainly).

This is what a hefty flywheel mimics.

Considering most exercise bikes are created to collaborate with hefty flywheels, it makes sense that going with the heaviest flywheel feasible would cause the smoothest ride, right?

Well, not actually, at some point it would reach a factor where the damn point was as well heavy to get moving in the starting point.

Directly, I take into consideration any type of flywheel over 20 pound to be “hefty”. I believe this is a good place to draw a line in the sand and also say, “anything heavier than this, is hefty enough to finish the job”.

That claimed, a lot of bikes nowadays, specifically spin bikes, are coming out with 30– 40 pound flywheels. Some are also entering into the 50 lb range.

Bikes with flywheels this heavy are mosting likely to be able to develop a lot of momentum as you pedal, which is mosting likely to make for a smooth ride.

Certainly, when that heavy flywheel obtains relocating, it’s going to be tougher to slow it down too (something to remember if you have achy joints).

So, when it pertains to flywheels and developing momentum, it makes sense why hefty flywheels would be chosen- the extra weight just constructs more energy, which helps maintain those pedals relocating seamlessly.

So after that what’s the take care of deluxe bikes like the Keiser M3i which is popular for its 8 lb flywheel?

Light Flywheels

There are a few suppliers who are creating impressive spin bikes that run smoothly by using a light flywheel.

Keiser and also their M3i is the most famous example, yet there are others also that are trying to mimic what Keiser has grasped (like Sunny and also their SF-B1709).

The trick to making a light flywheel successful is in the speed at which it rotates.

I assume I pointed out previously that there are 2 means to enhance energy in the flywheel as it spins- you can make that flywheel heavier or you can make that flywheel faster.

Enhancing the rate at which the flywheel is spinning is likewise going to raise the amount of momentum it builds, which is going to create that fluid pedaling activity which we are seeking from a quality bike.

When it comes to Keiser, I’m pretty certain I read somewhere that the flywheel rotates 11x for every complete pedal stroke- that’s crazy fast.

Keiser had the ability to produce this fast flywheel system via the design of their gears that generates such a high equipment proportion. The outcome is an extremely quick flywheel, which wouldn’t be feasible if the flywheel was hefty.

Unlike hefty flywheels, lighter ones do not take as much power to begin or stop. This is fantastic for throbbing or sensitive knees, yet it might not mimic the feel of a road bike as high as a hefty flywheel bike does.

Bikes that effectively make use of a light flywheel system can develop a very comfortable riding experience, yet it’s all about the rate at which that flywheel is rotating.

Which brings me to a vital point- even if a bike has a light flywheel doesn’t suggest it’s maximized for enhanced flywheel rate.

There are a lot of exercise bikes available that are tailored the same way as standard heavy-flywheel versions, however come equipped with light flywheels.

These bikes are not going to give the very same feeling as a bike like Keiser that is created especially to make use of a light flywheel.

In other words, some bikes make use of a light flywheel to save cost; others make use of a light flywheel purposefully.

Final Thoughts

Ok, exercise bikes been available in all sizes and shapes. They all use a flywheel of some sort and these flywheels can be hefty or light.

Wonderful- but which is better?

I want I could give a cut and There are a few suppliers who are creating impressive spin bikes that run smoothly by using a light flywheel.

Keiser and also their M3i is the most famous example, yet there are others also that are trying to mimic what Keiser has grasped (like Sunny and also their SF-B1709).

The trick to making a light flywheel successful is in the speed at which it rotates.

I assume I pointed out previously that there are 2 means to enhance energy in the flywheel as it spins- you can make that flywheel heavier or you can make that flywheel faster.

Enhancing the rate at which the flywheel is spinning is likewise going to raise the amount of momentum it builds, which is going to create that fluid pedaling activity which we are seeking from a quality bike.

When it comes to Keiser, I’m pretty certain I read somewhere that the flywheel rotates 11x for every complete pedal stroke- that’s crazy fast.

Keiser had the ability to produce this fast flywheel system via the design of their gears that generates such a high equipment proportion. The outcome is an extremely quick flywheel, which wouldn’t be feasible if the flywheel was hefty.

Unlike hefty flywheels, lighter ones do not take as much power to begin or stop. This is fantastic for throbbing or sensitive knees, yet it might not mimic the feel of a road bike as high as a hefty flywheel bike does.

Bikes that effectively make use of a light flywheel system can develop a very comfortable riding experience, yet it’s all about the rate at which that flywheel is rotating.

Which brings me to a vital point- even if a bike has a light flywheel doesn’t suggest it’s maximized for enhanced flywheel rate.

There are a lot of exercise bikes available that are tailored the same way as standard heavy-flywheel versions, however come equipped with light flywheels.

These bikes are not going to give the very same feeling as a bike like Keiser that is created especially to make use of a light flywheel.

In other words, some bikes make use of a light flywheel to save cost; others make use of a light flywheel purposefully. also completely dry answer to that concern, but it all depends on what you’re looking for.

Something you must bear in mind, is that the majority of residence exercise bikes are created with a system that would benefit from a heavier flywheel.

Keiser is an apparent exemption because they have actually created a light flywheel system that functions splendidly. As well as there are various other brands around attempting to copy their success.

However in order for a light flywheel to function as well as a hefty one, it needs to rotate much quicker- if the bike isn’t developed to obtain that flywheel scooting sufficient, the resulting exercise experience will experience for it.

Another thing to think about is that going with a heavy flywheel is a typically a much more spending plan friendly way to go.

Keiser is amazing, however it does set you back $2k. Allow’s be real, not everybody is working with that sort of spending plan.

So if you’re working with a tighter budget, I would certainly recommend choosing a heavy flywheel system.

If you’re searching for a spin bike, yet are taking care of joint inflammation in your knees, you may be much better off with a light flywheel that doesn’t call for as much initiative to start and also quit (light flywheels often tend to be a little much less “disconcerting” on the joints also).

I recognize I’ve been referring to rotate bikes a great deal throughout this post- this is due to the fact that flywheel weight is typically linked most with these bikes that are designed for high strength workouts.

But flywheel weight is an essential factor to consider for upright as well as recumbent bikes also, particularly if you’re searching for a bike that can supply a more exhausting workout.

Similar to spin bikes, upright as well as recumbent bikes that utilize lighter flywheels will likely be substantially a lot more expensive. The truth is, enhancing flywheel weight is one of the most inexpensive way to give a smooth ride.

Ok, I seem like I’m starting to babble on a little bit right here, so I think it’s time for me to sum things up:

When it concerns flywheel weight, I think larger is the method to opt for most of us. It’s a quite safe bet that an exercise bike with at least a 20 pound flywheel is mosting likely to supply a rather smooth flight. These bikes often tend to be even more cost effective than sophisticated bikes that correctly use a light flywheel.

Alright, that’s all I obtained for now. I understand that’s about as clear as mud, but eventually it truly does boil down to personal choice.

I would certainly enjoy to hear what you consider the topic. Leave a comment and also allow’s obtain the conversation going.

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