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Difference between difficulty level with Flywheel weight vs Magnetic resistance

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Difference between difficulty level with Flywheel weight vs Magnetic resistance

Old 01-12-22, 02:22 PM
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walkingCorpse
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Difference between difficulty level with Flywheel weight vs Magnetic resistance

I bought a stationary bike with 10 kg flywheel. I'm disappointed to find that the resistance levels don't suite my muscle strength and cardio fitness level. My adequate level of resistance lies right between resistance knob levels 5 and 6 on this machine. 5 is too light on the thighs and I would need to tax my cardio respiratory system more to achieve my target HR. 6 is too tight for the thighs, and the speed doesn't allow the cardio respiratory system to reach my optimal HR. I'm highly trained and can routinely do 180 HR on a resistance level that is just right for me. On this machine though at level 6 I'm already tearing my thighs at 170 HR and also can't sustain it even beyond 15 mins (I routinely do 1 hour).
While shopping for the bikes, I had come across some heavy flywheel (20 kg) cycles with front placement. I went with the 10kg rearwheel model that I bought thinking that flywheel size perhaps isn't as important because I can always turn up the resistance level. After the disappointment with my cycle I'm thinking may be there is a difference in the same difficulty level achieved via flywheel weight vs magnetic resistance. I think at the same difficulty level may be the former allows a more strenuous cardio workout without overly stressing the thigh muscles out than the latter which tries to cheat the difficulty level with magnetic resistance, that it can't more naturally give via its flywheel weight.
The peak exercise I used to do in the gym was regularly on a rear flywheel machine, as the wheel is covered in this model I couldn't see the wheel direclty but it is certainly taller than the one I have bought. I could also achieve my target exercise throughput level on front flywheel cycle at the gym (which is a heavy flywheel) or on a real cycle on the road.
I'm very disappointed with the cycle I bought, as I really need to reach 180 HR and also there is no chance it seems of doing HIIT on this machine.
Should I dump this machine to some buyer and go with a heavy flywheel cycle?

Last edited by walkingCorpse; 01-12-22 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 01-12-22, 02:57 PM
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wow....my suggestion would be dump the complete set up and get a wheel off trainer, or a higher end smart trainer.....much more suited for a person of higher cycling fitness.
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Old 01-12-22, 04:56 PM
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It sounds like Peloton would be a good choice of bike for what you are looking for.
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Old 01-20-22, 06:36 AM
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Inertia vs Watts

Um, the mass of the flywheel is only there to simulate YOUR mass on the road. Indoor trainers convert your work into heat -- eg. Watts. Higher end machines will have higher watt dissapation capacities, whether by friction, induction, or air resistance. Since most of us can only dream of generating the kinds of power levels you are generating, many trainers are undersized for your needs.
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Old 01-20-22, 06:52 AM
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Yeah, the flywheel doesn’t provide resistance, the brake on the flywheel does that. Which bike is it that doesn’t provide infinitely adjustable resistance? I mean, the resistance knob should provide continuously increasing resistance throughout its range; most are just pressing or squeezing brake pads against a flywheel insofar as I am aware, so I’d counsel to look at pad condition first.

So tell us the model bike and whether it’s new or used and maybe we can help more.
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Old 01-20-22, 11:02 AM
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Get a smart trainer don’t mess with spin bikes. If your goal is to maintain of increase your fitness levels indoor riding.
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Old 01-23-22, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yeah, the flywheel doesn’t provide resistance, the brake on the flywheel does that. Which bike is it that doesn’t provide infinitely adjustable resistance? I mean, the resistance knob should provide continuously increasing resistance throughout its range; most are just pressing or squeezing brake pads against a flywheel insofar as I am aware, so I’d counsel to look at pad condition first.

So tell us the model bike and whether it’s new or used and maybe we can help more.
Resistance is there, that is not the problem. Based on resistance alone one might think as long as the brakes work to apply required resistance, flywheel size is immaterial. For example a 1 kg flywheel vs a 20 kg makes no difference. But what is not much talked about is the relative stresses on the cardiorespiratory vs muscle strength. With a smaller flywheel relying on brake power alone, I'm suspecting it stresses the muscle more than the cardiorespiratory system, not allowing for an optimal workout. My thigh muscles are very strong but even I find my muscles tiring first before reaching optimal levels of cardio.

I don't have permission to post links, the cycle I'm complaining about is the Reach inctiva cycle on amazon.in.
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Old 01-24-22, 06:54 AM
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Thanks for the model. That's a pretty pricey Indian model! https://www.reach2fitness.com/produc...icta-spin-bike. You might try their customer service, but I don't have much hope.

It looks like the mfr. doesn't post a link to the manual, sigh. It looks like it is electronically controlled, through a touchpad. From your description there aren't many levels -- maybe 10? Frankly, the Nordictrack's 24 levels makes the adjustment pretty fine-grained.

It is probably using the same control system as the Nordictrack bikes: an electric motor moves a magnet closer to the flywheel for more resistance. You could remove the covers to check. There will be a linkage that can be adjusted between the motor and the magnet. Here's a vid on the subject:

The other "fix" would be to use the trainer to work on your spin (cadence) while leaving the resistance @ 5 to get your heartrate up to where you want it. It won't be like riding outdoors, but that's what the outdoors is for. Real rides are a continuous succession of varying resistances, unlike the extremely uniform trainer. You could simulate that by switching resistance levels often.


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Old 01-24-22, 07:01 AM
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I’m trying to figure out what could be going on here, because while a heavier flywheel will be more difficult to get spinning initially, once it’s rolling, it keeps spinning longer than a lightweight one, the effect of which is to feel a sense of momentum as you do actually riding a bicycle, particularly when accelerating from a stop, but also when you stop pedaling, the wheel speed doesn’t go immediately to zero.

So two things come to mind for me, your pedaling style (i.e. speed), and perhaps a poorly executed magnetic resistance which doesn’t modulate well.

At what RPM do you usually pedal? Do you vary the resistance through the course of the ride, or do you, say, set it to 5, start pedaling, and leave it at 5?
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Old 01-24-22, 07:07 AM
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mf70 you posted while I was typing, but yes, we’re onto the same things.
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Old 01-24-22, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by walkingCorpse View Post
Resistance is there, that is not the problem. Based on resistance alone one might think as long as the brakes work to apply required resistance, flywheel size is immaterial. For example a 1 kg flywheel vs a 20 kg makes no difference. But what is not much talked about is the relative stresses on the cardiorespiratory vs muscle strength. With a smaller flywheel relying on brake power alone, I'm suspecting it stresses the muscle more than the cardiorespiratory system, not allowing for an optimal workout. My thigh muscles are very strong but even I find my muscles tiring first before reaching optimal levels of cardio.

I don't have permission to post links, the cycle I'm complaining about is the Reach inctiva cycle on amazon.in.
I suspect it's just a very rough, choppy pedalling experience. Like riding through deep mud vs riding on smooth tarmac. Overall resistance/power can be the same, but totally different feel and dynamics. You have 2 choices. A good quality spin-bike with large flywheel or a high end smart bike with a virtual flywheel. The latter is the gold standard, but expensive.
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Old 01-26-22, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
At what RPM do you usually pedal? Do you vary the resistance through the course of the ride, or do you, say, set it to 5, start pedaling, and leave it at 5?
Unfortunately I haven't really noted down the RPM I usually pedal at. I stay at the same resistance through the course of the ride. I'm usually able to find a sweet spot of training resistance that allows for an appropriate split of the training stress between cardiorespiratory and muscle power, in such a way that neither of them becomes unsustainable, while also allowing me to stay above 170 HR for an hour. But in this cycle I couldn't find that balance. I have returned it, and I'm back to shopping for a stationary cycle again.

+1 to unsmooth pedalling mechanism as being the possible culprit, it started making various loud ringing noises on every pedal stroke only after 2-3 days of using it.

Last edited by walkingCorpse; 01-26-22 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 01-26-22, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by walkingCorpse View Post
Unfortunately I haven't really noted down the RPM I usually pedal at. I stay at the same resistance through the course of the ride. I'm usually able to find a sweet spot of training resistance that allows for an appropriate split of the training stress between cardiorespiratory and muscle power, in such a way that neither of them becomes unsustainable, while also allowing me to stay above 170 HR for an hour. But in this cycle I couldn't find that balance. I have returned it, and I'm back to shopping for a stationary cycle again.
What's your budget for a stationary bike? That will largely dictate your choice. What you are asking for above is pretty basic so I presume the one you just returned was a very cheap model (or had a major fault)
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Old 01-26-22, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mf70 View Post
Thanks for the model. That's a pretty pricey Indian model! https://www.reach2fitness.com/produc...icta-spin-bike. You might try their customer service, but I don't have much hope.

It looks like the mfr. doesn't post a link to the manual, sigh. It looks like it is electronically controlled, through a touchpad. From your description there aren't many levels -- maybe 10? Frankly, the Nordictrack's 24 levels makes the adjustment pretty fine-grained.

It is probably using the same control system as the Nordictrack bikes: an electric motor moves a magnet closer to the flywheel for more resistance. You could remove the covers to check. There will be a linkage that can be adjusted between the motor and the magnet. Here's a vid on the subject:

The other "fix" would be to use the trainer to work on your spin (cadence) while leaving the resistance @ 5 to get your heartrate up to where you want it. It won't be like riding outdoors, but that's what the outdoors is for. Real rides are a continuous succession of varying resistances, unlike the extremely uniform trainer. You could simulate that by switching resistance levels often.
It says 8 levels of magnetic resistance on the link. Probably just badly built junk. If limited on budget I would be inclined to get a decent manual spin bike from a well known consumer brand.
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