For the past year, gyms in many areas of the country have been closed. Even the ones permitted to open have had to do so under certain restrictions.
That has meant people all over have had to come up with innovative ways to get in a sweat and stay fit.
For many people worried about health concerns and who are self-isolating at home, stationary bikes have been a godsend. They are a great exercise tool to fit all different fitness levels.
Recent developments in the stationary bike industry have made them more interactive and customizable than ever. Now, modern stationary bikes let you craft exercise plans with your friends and old gym mates. You can share them with colleagues and family to stoke friendly competition and track your progress over time.
Modern stationary bikes aren’t like those in generations past. They typically come with more technology and moving parts than you’d expect.
Higher-end stationary bikes have touch screens on them that integrate with your phone, your watch, and other gadgets. There are settings that adjust preferences based on users and your fitness goals.
Better bikes are great for exercise, but they cost more too. To protect your investment, you need to know how to store and maintain them properly.
Done right, your bike will last for years and even fetch a good price on the secondary market when you decide to upgrade or start something new.
Here are some valuable tips you can use to protect your investment and get the most out of your stationary bike.
1. Think About the Long-Term
High-quality stationary bikes can run you thousands of dollars. It would be a shame to make that go to waste by storing it in less than ideal conditions.
Where you put your bike is just as important as what you do with it when it comes to keeping it in great shape. You want your bike to reap benefits for you, so you need to do what it takes to keep it in great condition for longer.
When thinking about where to store your stationary bike, you need to weigh how often you’re going to use it versus where it will best fit your life.
For example, if you’re living alone, then placing your bike in the living room where you can ride it and watch tv at the same time makes sense. You can hop on and break a sweat instead of just sitting on the couch and eating calories.
However, if you’ve got little ones around and you’re worried about it getting run into or damaged, then it should go in your bedroom or the office.
2. Consider the Indoor Location
Where you put your bike will have a big impact on how much you use it despite all of your good intentions when you first buy it. Put it somewhere you will see it often to motivate yourself to hop on for a ride regularly.
Ideally, your bike will be in a high-traffic area of your home to push everyone to use it more. If it’s out in the garage, it makes it harder to muster up the motivation to get out there and exercise.
3. Store It Off-Site
If you are moving or it’s summertime and you’d rather spend your time cycling outdoors, then you should think about a storage solution that will keep your bike safe and in good condition.
Consider a temperature-controlled self-storage unit as an affordable way to keep your bike out of the house so you can take advantage of the space it would take up otherwise.
4. Think About Climate for Stationary Bike Storage
Where you live and what type of weather you experience will have a big impact on where you can store a stationary bike.
If you live somewhere with steady temps that don’t get too cold, then your bike can go in the garage or in an unfinished basement without too much concern over its long-term health.
Keeping it in the frigid cold could affect its performance and it’s probably something you want to avoid.
Maintaining Your Stationary Bike
Where you put your bike will play a role in how long you can use and how much you’ll likely end up riding, but regular maintenance is key to getting the most out of your bike.
Here are some maintenance tips to ensure it stays in top form.
5. Keep the Bike Oiled
Just like normal bikes, you need to make sure your stationary bike’s components are well-oiled and able to keep up with your exercise routine.
Every time you ride the bike, it’s getting a bit more wear and tear. Keep the bike oiled to facilitate easy movement between pedals, belts, and other components.
6. Follow Manufacturer Instructions
Modern stationary bikes, especially the ones with electronic screens and other inputs often have specific maintenance tasks that need to be performed to keep it in peak condition.
You may need to check every so often for things like software updates, or the manufacturer could recommend professional servicing once a year or in some other increment.
Before you buy a stationary bike, do the work to understand the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance protocol and whether it fits your needs.
7. Wipe the Frame Down
When you’re using your stationary bike frequently, you could build up a lot of sweat that leaks into the frame and handrails that could cause damage. When too much sweat and other grime builds up, it could affect performance and detract from your experience.
Even if it’s to prevent something like a musty smell in your home gym, giving your bike a quick wipe down after each use is a good practice. This will prevent sweat and oils from leaking into the frame, cable connections, and other openings.
8. Check On the Shocks
Shocks are on your bike to ease the amount of wear and tear the frame has to withstand. Without good shocks, your frame is going to take much more of a beating over the years. Of course, how intense your rides or exercise sessions are will also matter.
Keeping your shocks in top form is a good way to get more years out of your bike and keep it working better.
Shocks are designed to cushion the pressure of your weight and the movements on the bike, and they need to be replaced at some point when they aren’t doing the job. For the best results, buy shocks from the manufacturer or a high-end third-party company to make sure you get your money’s worth.
9. Clean the Friction Belt
The friction belt is what controls how hard or easy your bike is to ride. When you want an intense workout, you ratchet up the pressure by tightening the friction belt. Pedaling becomes harder and you get inside your target heart rate faster.
Your friction belt should be smooth to guarantee peak performance. Debris buildup or small cracks can cause big problems and even render your bike useless.
Keep the friction belt clean by checking on it every once in a while.
10. Check Electrical Connections
It can be incredibly frustrating when your bike runs into an error. Many bike owners will encounter a screen error of some sort with their bike.
Getting to the bottom of it can be a lengthy process, but often technical problems are simply due to disconnected electrical cords. Perhaps you vacuumed over some cords or a child yanked one free, sending you into a troubleshooting frenzy.
Check first to see if it’s a basic fix by unplugging connections and reconnecting them.
11. Break Out the Vacuum
If you have a handheld vacuum, it’s worth your while to run it up and down the frame of your stationary bike every so often. You’ll be surprised at how much dust and grime you can suck out of a frame. It will make your bike lighter and will keep it performing for longer.