If you’ve been looking for an exercise bike recently, you might have noticed that the flywheel weight is frequently mentioned. The flywheel weight is the most important of all the specifications.
As a novice, you can find it difficult to select the appropriate flywheel weight for your spin bike. You may be wondering, “What does a flywheel weight do?” Is a heavier flywheel better on an exercise bike? What are some Common Flywheel Weights?
So, in this post, we’ll explain what a flywheel is, which better, exercise bike magnetic vs. flywheel is, and why it’s the most important thing to consider when buying a spin bike.
What Is a Bike’s Flywheel?
An exercise bike’s flywheel is its nucleus. It’s the large circular disc-shaped mechanical structure at the front of an exercise bike that stores rotational energy and keeps it running smoothly.
A chain or a belt drive connects a flywheel to the pedals. The flywheel rotates as you pedal. The flywheel is easily visible on spin bikes because it is the large disk in the front or back.
If your bike has a magnetic resistance feature, there would be magnets on each side of the spinning flywheel. By bringing the magnets closer to the flywheel, the resistance is increased. The resistance is reduced by removing the magnets from the metal flywheel.
Unlike earlier school systems that used felt pads and friction to produce resistance, magnetic resistance bikes are great since nothing really contacts to build resistance. Such resistance systems do perform, but the felt pad gradually wears out and must be changed.
Regardless of if a bike uses an electromagnetic or mechanical resistance, the flywheel is needed to produce it.
Flywheels are also present on upright and recumbent bikes with arms, even though they are not visible. The majority of home ellipticals often feature weighted flywheels, which operate in a manner comparable to exercise bikes.
Marketers love to boast about their bike’s “perimeter weighted flywheel,” but it’s a meaningless word and almost all the flywheel you see now is weighted perimeter such that much of the weight is placed off the disk.
Heavy Weight Flywheel vs Low Weight Flywheel
When selecting the flywheel weight, it is suggested that heavy flywheels are better than lighter ones. The greater the weight of the flywheel, the smoother the process. A heavy flywheel produces more power at a constant rate of force over time than a lighter ones.
A heavier flywheel results in a more balanced and less jerky rotation. The heavier the weight of the flywheel, the greater the ratio of friction and momentum you will produce during your workout.
But a heavier flywheel has some difficulties:
- One drawback with a heavier flywheel is that it takes more energy and traction to get it started and moving.
- Heavier flywheel makes the bike more burdensome and difficult to drive.
- In addition, the bike becomes costly as the wheel becomes heavier.
The common flywheel weight for indoor home bikes is approximately 18-20 kg while it can weigh between 20-22 kg for commercial bikes.
A lighter weight flywheel, on the other hand, takes less work to operate. These flywheels are incapable of producing enough inertia to allow for smooth pedaling.
As a consequence, the riders’ joints can be stressed, potentially leading to injuries. Lighter flywheels also promote in hamstring and glute formation while pedaling, allowing you to ride quicker and work harder.
Bikes with heavy flywheels generally have the pedals equipped with flywheels just underneath the rider’s feet. This ensures that the bike moves smoothly.
However, putting the flywheel in the sweating zone is not suitable because it raises the chance of wear and tear, meaning that the bike would eventually have to be maintained further.
Today, many cycling bikes place their flywheel on the back of the bike, that is, away from the sweating zone in order to minimize the wear and tear.
In summary, the bikes with heavier flywheels sell for a higher price because they have a bigger flywheel.
Furthermore, in order to meet the desired construction criteria for an indoor cycling bike, the wheel must be located at the back of the bike, away from the sweating area. This reduces wear and tear while also making it easier to transport the bike.
Flywheels in the front of the bike, on the other hand, do a decent job. While this article focused on selecting a bike based on the flywheel, it is important to note that flywheels need not be the only consideration when purchasing a spin bike.
Other important factors to consider include pedaling technique, material reliability, and the simplicity of which the bike can be operated.