What Is a Good Flywheel Weight for A Spin Bike? Heavy or Lightweight Comparasion
So you’re shopping for your new spin bike. But when you go to the store, the salesperson asks what weight spin bike flywheel you need. Flywheels can range from 8 to over 40 pounds.
You didn’t do your research and hoped for the salesperson’s recommendation, and he’ll probably give it to you. However, it is recommended that you do more research and at least have a small idea of what is right for you. Otherwise, you may spend more than necessary.
What is a sports bike flywheel?
On an exercise bike, the flywheel is a large circular mechanical device that is attached to the pedals by a chain or strap. The flywheel stores rotational energy and ensures smooth operation. When you pedal, the flywheel spins.
Why is a flywheel important in a sports bike?
Do flywheels provide smooth and safe performance when cycling indoors? If the bike is not equipped with it, it will cause inefficient and uncomfortable riding and may lead to serious injury.
The weight of the flywheel affects not only the rotation but also the traction and inertia of the bike.
In other words, flywheel weight is an essential component of a spinning bike. Let’s find out why flywheel weight is important and what factors to consider when choosing a spin bike flywheel weight.
Spin bike flywheel working principle
The flywheel must have a certain amount of kinetic energy to simulate smooth pedaling and provide a road feel while riding. Kinetic energy is a function of mass and velocity.
Flywheel physics states that if the weight is doubled and the speed remains constant, the flywheel stores twice as much energy.
Heavy flywheel vs light flywheel
Flywheel weight selection is based on the assumption that heavier flywheels are better than lighter ones. The heavier the flywheel, the smoother the process. A heavy flywheel produces more power over time than a lighter flywheel with constant force.
A heavier flywheel provides a more balanced spin and less jerkiness. The heavier the weight of the flywheel, the greater the friction-to-motion ratio during training.
But a heavier flywheel has its problems:
- One of the disadvantages of a heavier flywheel is that it requires more power and force to launch and move.
- A heavier flywheel makes the bike bulkier and harder to carry.
- In addition, the heavier the wheel, the more expensive the bike becomes.
- A typical flywheel weight for home bikes is around 18-20kg, while for commercial bikes it can weigh between 20-22kg.
On the other hand, a lighter flywheel requires less effort. These flywheels are not able to create enough inertia for smooth pedaling.
As a result, the driver’s joints are stressed, which can lead to injury. Lighter flywheels also help shape your hamstrings and glutes as you pedal, allowing you to go faster and work harder.
How much weight
The weight at which the flywheel becomes heavy enough to provide these benefits on spin bikes is around 30 pounds when the bike is riding smoothly and naturally. As the flywheel gets heavier, the motion becomes smoother, but starting becomes more difficult and the flywheel takes longer to slow down or stop.
The heaviest flywheel I’ve seen on a bike weighs 66 pounds, and that’s really something for a very experienced endurance trainer. This makes it harder to start and requires much more stopping power.
Most spin bikes weigh between 30 and 50 pounds, and for most people, this range is fine for a smooth ride and optimal exercise.
One of the downsides to heavier flywheels is that they cost more, which increases the overall cost of the spin bike and also makes the bike heavier, which can be a problem if you’re into cargo bikes yourself.
The big advantage of a heavy flywheel is the natural and smooth movement that creates a better and more efficient riding experience. This prevents joint damage from jumping up and down due to speed changes during light swings, especially when landing against resistance.
Despite the lightweight flywheel, it still provides a smooth and natural ride and is highly rated by most customers. This is a different approach to getting the required acceleration by increasing the flywheel speed compared to traditional spin bikes.
This added speed gives the buyer a cycling feel (momentum or kinetic energy) similar to heavier flywheels with a traditional chain or belt configuration. It has a much larger pedal pulley that allows for higher gear ratios.
It has acceleration to turn the pedals so that they don’t slow down to continue cycling and prevent too much banging. This bike comes at a price: for $2,000, you don’t get much change (the bike has a number of other features, including belt drive, and magnetic traction, and looks good, too).
Most importantly, both methods provide a smooth and natural ride when working or exercising.
This can be based on weight or speed – generally, a heavier flywheel is more economical than a faster flywheel to get the required momentum.
Does flywheel weight matter on spin bike?
Heavier wheels mimic the performance of racing bikes. For this reason, flywheel weight is often important for cyclists who train indoors in the winter. As the revs increase and the rider settles into a rhythm, the heavier flywheel also makes for a smoother, more comfortable ride.
What is the recommended flywheel weight?
Many people think 40 pounds is ideal, but anything over 20 pounds is heavy enough to produce a good swing. Most high-quality bikes on the market have a heavy-duty flywheel system because these bikes are much easier to build.
Is a heavy or light flywheel better?
A heavy flywheel helps speed recovery, allowing the engine to not drag during gear changes. Lightweight flywheels reduce inertia so they respond quickly to acceleration and braking. For this reason, lightweight flywheels are used in sports cars.
So which flywheel should I buy?
Whether you’re interested in a recumbent, stationary, or cycle bike, flywheel weight is an important factor to consider. You can get a great workout with a heavy flywheel and a light exercise bike with a flywheel.
Heavier wheels can be ideal for people who prefer an outdoor bike feel or a studio bike experience.
Lighter flywheels are perfect for riders who are ready to go and want a bike that’s easy on the joints.
Remember that training intensity has less to do with the weight of the flywheel and more to do with the resistance applied.
Always remember that the best exercise equipment is the one that gets you moving every day. Find an indoor bike that fits your budget and home gym and you’ll be in business in no time!
If you need to read about best PROFORM BIKE in 2023, please read our article.