Monday 28 November 2016

How to fix a wobbling excercise bike

Hi, I’m John. I’m an engineer by trade and also an expert in fitness machines.

This is an upright bike and I’ve almost finished building it.
I’m just going to test it out before I put the final covers on a bit of trim just to make sure everything’s okay. Let’s see what we’ve got.
No, there’s something definitely wrong with this bike. I can feel all sorts of movement coming to the frame, definitely not right at all.
We’ll stop there, let’s take a look and see what the likeliest causes are: well, everything seems nice and tight up here, just check with my spanner: check my column: that’s tight, seat fairly tight.
It’s not sitting levelled on the floor for some reason, I think that’s given us the problem in this particular case. Now I know that the floor in the workshop here is nice and levelled so we need to tip the bike over, let’s see what’s going on.

I’m just going to lay it on its side there, it will be perfectly safe and that we can see underneath that we’ve got two fixing screws here: this is for the rear leg and we’ve got two fixing screws here. I’m going to check in with the spanner that came with the bike, see whether they’re tight maybe I didn’t do them up tight enough.
Well, there’s a problem. I don’t think I did them up at all. I think I probably did the finger tight but I’ve not tighten those up, let’s do those.
I suspect the back ones are probably the same, let’s just check. So there were fixing bolts that need to be nice and tight otherwise these legs are going to cause a wobble and while I’m here we’ve also got the feet, we’ve got four feet on this bike, one in each corner. These are actually adjustable.
If I remove this foot from here you’ll see what I mean, there we are, so we’ve got a rubber pad that sits on the floor and then there’s the shaft which comes out there and a nut, this is a locking nut so these are designed to be adjustable.
They go into the screw hole there and if I screw them in, or screw them out, I can adjust the height of the foot so I need to just have a look and make sure these are all levelled. Let’s put those the same, just put those in. On the front there I can see that with this particular one there’s a good two fingers worth of gap between there and on here.
This is all the way and I can’t even get one finger in there, so obviously what I need to do is tighten the nut up so it looks about the same as that one.
If I want to make a fine adjustment I can just adjust this foot here, let’s just do that, just unscrew that ever so slightly.

That’s better, that’s perfect, let’s double check, back on the bike, feet in the feet straps, these machines have got foot straps (I’m going to use them because if I don’t I’m worried that my these might actually start knocking on the side of the frame). I feel it is a lot better.

Friday 18 November 2016

How to maintain the pedals on a spin bike/studio cycle

This is an indoor training cycle and I’m just going to give you a tip with regard to maintenance.
Quite often pedals will be subject to wear so this is the sort of thing you might need to check every 6 to 12 months, it depends on how much you use the bike.
Pedal straps for example are wearing parts and they can fray, particularly the edges, and at the top here, these are quite inexpensive so if it starts to fray it’s always best to change it before it breaks.
And also, while you’re at it, check the pedal as well because these pedals have got bearings that go through the center and obviously, if you use the bike a lot, those bearings can be subject to wear.
What you can do is, with your spray oil, apply a little bit of lubricant in between the end of the pedal and the crank arm, just give it a couple of turns, work it in and we’ve really invigorated the bearings and just make them turn free again.
That’s all you need to do and that’ll help keeping the pedal going for quite a long time and avoid bearing wear.

If you’ve got the residue just clean it up. Check for corrosion because obviously if you’re perspiring on the bike this joint can get corroded so with a damp cloth or gym wipes give a clean and then they are good to go.

Monday 14 November 2016

How to lubricate a treadmill running belt

Hi, I’m John. I’m an engineer by trade and also an expert in fitness machines.
We’ve got here a treadmill and I’m going to show you how to lubricate the running belt. In my opinion, lubricating the running belt is the number one thing that you can do to look after your treadmill. You have to do this, and it’s that easy to do and I’m going to show you how to do it.
So, lubricating the treadmill belt involves putting a lubricant underneath the running belt (better: on the platform). I am using my screwdriver to get under there, so underneath this area where my hand has just gone. That’s where the loop is going to go.
You might be tempted to use the grease or wd-40, please DON’T. These are not lubricants for treadmill running belts, so get rid of those. What you need to be using is silicon oil, as a couple of examples there, or wax. The wax in my opinion is not quite as good, but there are some treadmills manufacturers that insist you use wax, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions, if you’re not sure. Generally speaking, the silicon oil is the most popular and it’s the best so we’ll put the wax to one side and I’ll show you how to use the silicon oil.
With your machine you’ll usually get a little bottle or a little tube of silicon oil and my recommendation is to put all of that oil on that comes with the machine especially when it’s new.
You notice I’m using the screwdriver just to allow me to get the good access. I’ll open up the screw cap and slide the bottle underneath, give it a squirt, move it around a little bit and withdraw it. What we’re trying to do is to get all of the silicon oil into this area or the running belt. This is where your feet go so this is the part of the belt in the system that gets all the work and takes all the pounding, so this is the area where you need to get your lubricant.
So, when you first get your machine, put all of the lubricant on, primarily put into this area here. As soon as you’ve put it on, walk the belt in. So stand on the machine, switch it on at three or four kilometres an hour and then with your feet just walk, so that lubricant will naturally spread around the belt, so you don’t need to worry about getting the lubricant everywhere because just the process of walk-in it in with your feet spread it around for you.
All this will take care of the system for the first three to four months. It depends on how much you use the machine and how thick the belt is, but periodically you need to redo this. The way to check what you need to do it is again lift the side of the belt (if you can’t get it open with your fingers) insert a little screwdriver, get the edge up pop that under, nice good access, feel under there. You should feel the residue of the oil, it should feel slippery on your fingers and greasy under there and if it is then it’s just a case topping it up, so for example you could use this kit here, this is the 500 millilitre of lube that comes with the syringe and I’ll show you how this works. It’s nice and easy to do. The tube goes on the end of the syringe and then the advantage of the syringes is that you can put a measured amount on so, if you’ve already lubricated the belt when it was new, then when you go to reapply the lubricant all you need to do is to put three or four of these syringes on. We have to equate to around 15 to 20 millilitres and you put it in the same place in the center of the belt. You put 5 millilitres 10 millilitres and finally 15. And then again I walk it in. So I’ll stand on the machine, set go into three or four kilometres an hour, and with my feet I spread that lubricant around and maybe walk it in for two or three minutes and then check it again. To check it again, you feel under there and you should feel the greasy slippery residue of the silicon oil.
If you think it’s a little bit dry, it is because sometimes the running belts absorb all the oil straightaway, in that case just pop another two or three squirts and that should do the trick.
If you’ve decided to invest in new running belt and fit it on, for example, a five or six year old machine, the chances are that the belt will be dry, in that case you might need to put another six or eight squirts on using the five millilitres syringe in order to get the right dosage. Put enough on it until you can feel that residue and as long as it’s there you know it is good to go and the reason is that it keeps the friction between the underside of the belt and the platform which reduces the amount of wear on your motor and your controller and those are really expensive parts. If you have a motor or controller fail, than can be four five six hundred pounds easily even on a domestic machine and it’s much more expensive on a commercial machine. So it’s a little thing you can do, the silicon oil is cheap, you only need to do it every three to four months but if you don’t , you could be in for a big bill, so top tip: use it, do it.

How to fix a squeaking/creaking treadmill

I’m John, I’m an engineer by trade and also an expert in fitness machines.
We have here a treadmill and I’m just going to show you a little test and a couple of little tips really useful for curing noises. So there are things that squeaks and creaks on your treadmill. I’m talking about the noise that you get when you’re running on the machine and every time your foot goes down you’ll get a sort of a creaking noise or an irritating squeak.
First, please check and see where it’s coming from. Just position yourself in the middle of the treadmill and bounce up and down a little bit. Quite often you’ll get the noise to occur, this machine hasn’t got a noise. This is a brand-new machine and it’s fine. The sort of noises that you get every time you do that and every time you bounce on it, it’s quite distinctive noise and really irritating if you’re using the machine a lot.
So things you can check are the arms. They are nice and tight, if not you can check the pivots at the front of the treadmill. You also have the incline mechanisms here. They’re quite easy to check, because you can get a kind of lubricant and just pop a little bit of lubricant on to those pivots. There’s one at the front and one at the back and you can do the same on that side as well. There’s another set there and also you can turn the machine. You can lift the back of the machine up. So when you lift in the back of the machine you will hear a click when the deck reaches upright position.
On this machine there’s actually a locking leave, so to release the locking lever just give it a push press down with your foot and it comes off the latch obviously.
Listen for it to be clicked in, because we’re going to work down there so we don’t want this falling on our heads.
And we can do all of these places with just a little bit of lube inside and out. [the video shows Jon lubricating some pivots and the gas struts]. The chances are that in amongst all of those little points all those pivots leave now lubricated the one that was making the noise will now be secured so that when you release the machine and pop it back down again you should find that when you bounce up and down and you don’t hear anything, that’s ideal!