How to: Maintain a Group Exercise Bike

Basic Steps for Increasing the Longevity of your Group Exercise Bike

Weather you have a group exercise bike studio or one just for use in your home you can reduce costly repairs and keep your exercise bike looking great for many years.  Most of these steps are very basic and in the case of a group exercise room, the instructor can have the participants do most of these steps at the completion of their workout.

Procedures to do After Each Use

  1. Dry the bike after each use to remove sweat and moisture.  A participant in a class could use a paper towel and possibly a non-alcohol based disinfecting solution to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
  2. Bring the Handle Bars and Seat Posts to their highest position.  This prevents rusting from sweat and cleaners that can slide between the frame and the posts.  Again, this is something that an instructor can have a class participant do.

Procedures to Complete Daily

  1. Clean your bike or bikes using a non-ammonia based cleaner.  In a club or studio setting, this should be completed either by the instructor who just completed the last class or a floor attendant, if available.
  2. Make Sure the Frame is Wiped Dry.  Do not leave cleaners to dry on the frames without being wiped off.  This prevents build-up and the possiblility of rusting
  3. Special Considerations.  Be sure not to get the resistance pad wet on group exercise bikes equipped with them (Some bikes are now equipped with Magnetic Resistance), do not wipe the chain with cleaning solutions, and never use a petroleum based solvent for cleaning the bikes as this can damage the paint.

Procedures to Complete Monthly

  1. Re-torque the bottom bracket and crank arms.  Refer to the owner’s manual for the correct amount of pressure to torque the crank arms and brackets to.  This can be done by an instructor in a group setting or you can contract with a fitness repair company that specializes in preventative maintenance packages.
  2. Inspect all Parts.  Look for loose nuts and screws.  Also make sure to inspect all wear and tear parts such as hand grips, turn knobs, resistance pads (on those equipped), etc.
  3. Lubricate the Chain.  The best bet is to go to a local bicycle shop and pick up some of their heavy duty water proof chain lube.
  4. Lubricate Posts.  Using a non-petroleum based silicone lube, wipe the lube onto the handle bar and seat adjustment posts to prevent rusting and to ensure a smooth motion

Procedures to Complete Quarterly

  1. Inspect Resistance Pads (on bikes equipped).  Look for wearing, fraying, and any other kinds of damage.  If anything is noticed, replace the resistance pad as soon as possible.
  2. Lubricate Resistance Pad (if equipped).  Spraying a small amount of silicone lubricant onto felt resistance pads will increase longevity and can reduce squeaking.  On exercise bikes equipped with leather resistance pads, lubricate lightly with 3-in-1 oil to keep them from drying out, thus increasing longevity and reducing squeaking.
  3. Inspect the Drive Mechanism.  Chain or belt drive systems need to be inspected for signs of wear and for proper tension.  Adjust tension to reduce slippage during use as needed.

In conclusion, following these simple steps will increase the life of your group exercise bike.  Many procedures are easily done by participants in a class setting.  In large facilities with many units it may be wise to consult with a local fitness equipment repair company to see if they offer preventative maintenance packages specifically for group exercise bikes. 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy the following:

How To: Maintain Weight Training Equipment, click here

How To: Maintain a Fitness Treadmill, click here

-The Staff at

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