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View Full Version : Are spin bikes all crummy?



missliz
04-01-2003, 08:40 PM
My gym is first rate in all respects but one- The spin bikes look to me to be in appalling shape. I don't dare try a class on these pitiful things. They're the Schwinn Johnny G Spinner bikes, and seem well designed but the bottom brackets are past shot (by real bike standards) and the seats are out of a sale bin at K Mart, if that good. I'd place the seat design at ca 1973, guaranteed to pry the SI joints apart. The bottom brackets grind, and if theres a chain in there it's in horrific shape.
So is this typical? The spin bikes in the gym at Louisiana State University were Reebok, same awful seats but rode like a bike otherwise. Do spin bikes normally make one long for at least Wal Mart quality equipment?
Nobody on the staff rides so they don't know. I mentioned it to the director and she got really defensive, said they had a service contract and the guy was in all the time. Doing what? Am I nuts? My cross country bike is the same as it ever was, my expectations haven't warped.

missliz

Irulan
04-02-2003, 06:05 AM
They aren't great that's for sure. The saddles do suck. I am waiting for the day that I could just drop my seat tube and my own saddle into the spin bike.

Yours' sound like they need work. If there's any grinding or sticking they need something. At my club they have a full time guy who works on them constantly and they pull the bike out of service if its not smooth. The instructors keep spray cans of special lube in case they act up in class.

hth

Irulan

han-grrl
04-02-2003, 08:36 AM
Spin bikes need a LOT of TLC maintenance. Just think they get moved, their seats adjusted, different pedalling styles, handlebars moved, break pads yanked...all this adds up to a lot of wear and tear. They should be maintained regularly, and there shouldn't be any grinding. The bike seats are generic unfortunately. you can buy the seat attachment and bring in your own seat if you have about 80$ to spare. Also remember, these are NOT your bikes. They don't feel like a regular bike, and for a lot of people they don't even ride that way. The biggest difference is that you can't stop pedalling. Think about all the people you see on city paths just coasting...ie not pedalling. I laughed one day when one of my participants, a 20 year old down hill mtb racer crawled off his bike and said he couldn't remember they last time he pedalled for an hour STRAIGHT. Also the bikes in general are built like tanks to handle the stresses of lots of classes and people. They're definitely not XTR components!!! hahahahaha :D

missliz
04-02-2003, 11:13 PM
Well I didn't expect it to be as good as my bike, but Lifecycles are nice and smooth and take a lot of the same abuse. I talked to the instructor, she has the clothes but not the guts- she's no rider, knows NOTHING about equipment. I think the bearings in all the bottom brackets on these bikes are worn, and the maintenance contractor is not doing his job. My bar crawl bike is in better shape, and I built it myself out of parts from the LBS dumpster.
I think I just needed to feel justified about *****ing to the management. They aren't cyclists and don't know any better, but don't catch on that the woman in a century T shirt who worked in a bike shop does.
I mean these BBs are nasty. They do wear out, and how are you supposed to ride a good class if you fight pits in the cones all the way?

missliz

Terry
05-26-2003, 08:02 PM
I guess I'm lucky... the gym where I work/spin has Peleton spinners (Specialized) and has purchase about 3 varieties of Surfas seats. However, newbies really complain about the seats but, after someone lends them padded shorts or they buy a pair, their complaining usually stops.

People in gyms really bang on spin bikes, tighten the adjustment screws too tight and don't wipe their sweat off bike after using them...

The instructors in my gym usually ask after class if any spin bikes gave them anyone trouble during class, as in clips loose, seats tilted, etc. Occasionally, they will go around with a clip board marking the bikes for the repair guy. I guess I'm pretty lucky as far as attention to equipment where I work/spin.

As a PAYING gym member(s), do complain to upper management, (not just the desk guy/girl) about equipment problems. They have a contract with you, right? You pay for them to keep things up to standard, right? Go over heads if you have to...the management has an obligation to make the place safe and comfortable for clients. I knew a guy who complained for 3 months to management about broken showers in the men's locker room. The gym just ignored him. Little did they know but the guy was a "slum lord" and knew everybody down town and the regulations. He just got his "buddies" to shut the place down.
End of story.
Terry

Terry

missliz
05-27-2003, 07:40 AM
Terry- You're right, and I did complain, and since management doesn't ride they don't know. They claim to have a maintenence contract with somebody, but I know a burnt out BB when I move it, and they all run like rabbits if I try to discuss it. I've been letting the subject cool off, I've been injured, but plan to come back down on it. I work out at the JCC, and theres upper management to go to past the gym director, I just don't want to alienate the man.
I think I needed moral support to make a stink ;) .

missliz

Terry
05-27-2003, 07:21 PM
Missliz--Get more members/class participants to "complain". The instructors can only be involved up to a certain point, because the management will use the instuctor as a scape goat if the instructor gets too vocal/sides with clients.

You can also "take the manager by the hand", walk them over to a spin bike and show them the problem. Then, you can emphasis how an injury can happen (and he/she better pray it isn't you!).
Then, if he/she doesn't listen, I'd go over their head and not worry about alienating anyone. They have an obligation and are held to a higher standard of knowledge and I bet their insurance company doesn't know they aren't maintaining the spin bikes...

You can say all of this sort of stuff in a very nice way, but you need to get your point across. You can also suggest that management check on the guy doing repairs...they may be getting ripped off and might not know it.

Moral support seems low on the priority list in most gyms...poor management always pegs a few members as "complainers" to their bosses, but, being a savvy woman, you can win the hearts and minds of the upper management people. It works every time.
Terry

missliz
05-28-2003, 08:41 AM
Thanks, girlfriend. I'd already planned the take the manager by the hand approach, just hadn't done it 'cause I had an accident and got set back. I've never been able to take a spin clas here- I have that plague of cyclists, unstable SI joints, and the seats are SO bad I can't sit on the bike. It's kind of pathetic.

missliz

Irulan
05-28-2003, 10:10 AM
I had a real eye opener. My hubby and I have full base priveledges for the local large AFB, which includes the gym. It's not close ( 15 miles ) but we were there doing some other stuff, and omiosh.... the facility is to die for. Best thing is the spin bikes are beautiful, they have a big screen with video, and you can ride them whenever you want once you've shown the head guy that you know what you are about.

Irulan