Have you ever been around a cycling class in session? Then you must have heard the unique sound indoor cycling bikes make when in use. This sound you heard emanates from the flywheel as it rotates. And we must state that the flywheel is a core component of an indoor cycling bike and one of the main decision making factors when choosing a spin bike.
Also, if you’re a rider, you must have probably thought about what flywheel weight you need for a spin bike and what types there are. In this article, I’ve explored the best flywheel weights for a spin bike, how they differ, why they are significant, and what you should consider when making a selection.
What is the Flywheel of an Indoor Bike
The weighted wheel positioned in front or back of the cycling bike is termed the flywheel. The wheel is attached to the pedals via a chain drive or belt drive transmission, and this makes it rotate as the pedals turn. This feature of a bike plays a part in building momentum and also in intensifying and reducing resistance during the ride.
Spin bike flywheels come in different sizes, weights, and weight distributions and vary from 8lbs light weights like the one in Keiser M3i bike to heavy flywheels of almost 50lbs like the one built-into Stages SC3 bike. The way weight is distributed within different flywheels also vary. A perimeter-weighted flywheel dispenses the flywheel’s weight to the external portion of the wheel.
Centered-weighted flywheels, on the other hand, feature the weight centrally fixed within the wheel. In addition, the center-weighted flywheel’s weight provides excellent weight distribution due to the central location of the weight, which makes it easier and more relaxed on joints.
The spin bike flywheel also plays a key role in the resistance a bike offers. The heavier the flywheel, the more resistance you get. Of course flywheel is not the only factor that affects the bike’s resistance intensity. Some exercise bikes use a friction-based braking system where wool pads apply pressure to the wheel to regulate the resistance. Some others use an electronic or manual magnetic resistance system involving magnets that move closer to the flywheel to increase the resistance or farther away from the flywheel to reduce it. Read more about spin bike resistance.
Why is Spin Bike Flywheel Weight Important?
The weight of the exercise bike flywheel is essential to understanding the kind of ride that any particular indoor cycling bike offers. Indoor cycling bikes with more weighted flywheels make for smoother rides. In contrast, those with lighter flywheels often produce jerky, irregular pedal strokes, which are not gentle on the joints and pleasant.
That said, the weight of flywheel is not always the most important factor, especially if with high-end indoor bikes that come with higher gear ratio drive mechanism. Keiser M3i with 8-lbs flywheel is one of the best spin bikes and very popular among indoor cycling instructors.
Front Flywheel Vs. Rear Flywheel of Indoor Bike
The design of a classic indoor cycling bike has been modified from those with predominantly front flywheels with the evolution of technology. And new bikes are breaking into the market with new designs, mostly magnetic spin bikes with rear flywheels. But the real question here is which design is more efficient?
The front flywheel, as the name implies, has the flywheel located in front of the bike, and several manufacturers create bikes with this design.
The key merit of a bike with its flywheel at the front is that it provides the rider with more stability, especially when you’re getting off the saddle. The main disadvantage, however, is that this flywheel sits in the location called the “sweat zone,” which significantly increases the likelihood of sweat erosion.
This type has the flywheel situated at the back, just behind the pedals, and is a much lighter option compared to front flywheels.
The key merit of this type is that it demands less maintenance compared to the front flywheel variant, which usually has the flywheel located in the sweat zone. However, the major downside is that it might take some time to get used to the feel of a rear flywheel if you’re accustomed to using a front flywheel bike.
Heavy Flywheels Vs. Light Flywheels of Spin Bikes
Heavy Flywheel of spin bike is best suited for those who enjoy road biking as the experience it offers is very similar to riding a road bike. They measure between 30-50 pounds, and you would find them located in front of the cycling bike. A plus is that they offer smoother rides, and you can rapidly build momentum and maintain speed with spin bikes that have heavier flywheels. And once you’ve built a desired level of momentum, regulating resistance becomes easier without any significant disruption to pedal strokes.
You should know, though, that the phrase “bigger is better” is not applicable here as bikes with heavier flywheels are harder on the joints. Also, it can be a bit of a challenge to move this equipment in the house due to the difference in weight of the flywheel in relation to the rest of the device, which is a significant flaw. Plus, you should get ready for more frequent belt maintenance with a very heavy flywheel.
This type has been quite commonly associated with a bumpier ride as compared to the heavy flywheel variant. An overly light-weighted flywheel has a tendency to produce rough and jerky movements with irregular pedal strokes, which can damage joints. If the momentum cannot be sustained, then speed control becomes a major issue for the rider as the rider will struggle with maintaining the speed.
The effectiveness of a light flywheel is dependent on a properly built momentum where the flywheel spins faster than the pedal stroke. Keiser and Life Fitness are two companies that offer bikes with light flywheels that spin much faster than pedal strokes.
We should, however, state that a bonus of stationary bikes with light flywheels is that the weight makes it easy to move the bike. Also, these bikes don’t require as much belt/chain maintenance, which is usually the case with the heavy flywheel.
A flywheel on a spin bike is an important consideration when choosing an indoor cycling bike for your needs. The weight of the flywheel will affect how much resistance you feel as you pedal and how smoothly the bike rides. Heavier flywheels provide more resistance and a smoother ride, while lighter flywheels are good for people who want to increase their speed or who are just starting out with spin bikes. If you’re not sure what weight would be best for you, ask a fitness professional at your local gym or sporting goods store to help you choose the right spin bike flywheel weight for your individual needs.
What is the best flywheel weight for spin bike?
The answer to this depends on what you want from your bike in regards to performance and budget. If you want a bike with a front flywheel, chances are it has a heavier flywheel and vice versa. Although, there are a few exceptions. As you’ve found out from all we’ve shared, there are various factors to consider when choosing the right flywheel. And if possible, you should try out a couple of options to get a feel of the features before settling for the one that best suits your needs.
Is a 35 pound flywheel good?
The answer to this question really depends on your own fitness goals and the type of workout you are looking to get from your spin bike. If you are planning to use your spin bike primarily for cardio workouts and light weight training, then a 35-pound flywheel should be just fine. However, if you are looking for more of a challenging intense workout, you may want to consider opting for an indoor stationary bike with a heavier flywheel. Ultimately, it’s important to choose a flywheel weight that feels comfortable and safe for you as you ride.
Is a 40 pound flywheel good?
A 40-pound flywheel is a good weight for a spin bike because it will create more resistance and make your workout harder. If you are looking for an intense cardio workout, a heavier flywheel is the way to go. Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Have you tried using a heavier flywheel on your spin bike? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
How do I choose a spin bike?
First decide how much you want to spend, then consider the maximum weight capacity, and look for a spin bike with adjustable features, consider the resistance type, go for a spin and test seat comfort, and finally look at the warranties and customer reviews when choosing a spin bike.
Is it worth buying a spin bike?
A spin bike can be a great investment for cyclists and fitness enthusiasts alike. With a spin bike you can burn up 800 calories, get in shape, and improve your cardiovascular. However, it’s important to consider whether or not a spin bike and spinning workout is the right exercise for you. So, take with your doctor if you are not sure you should use a spin bike.
What is the best spin bike to buy?
Nordictrack S22i is the best spin bike to buy. This indoor bike has been put to test in commercial facilities and cycling studios across US and Europe and has passed every durability and performance test. If you are trying to stay fit, it’s the right equipment. If you’re thinking about buying a spin bike, there are also some cheaper models to consider.
Which is better spin bike or exercise bike?
If you’re looking for a workout that will get your heart pumping and your legs moving, then you may be wondering if a spin bike or exercise bike is right for you. Both types of stationary bikes offer a great cardio workout, but they differ in some key ways. Spin bikes tend to be heavier than other exercise bikes, making them more difficult to move around. They also typically have a higher weight limit, making them a good choice for heavier users. Traditional exercise bikes, on the other hand, are easier to use and often come with additional features such as heart rate monitors and built-in programs that can make your workout more effective. So, which is better? Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference.