Certified Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer
Katie has been a certified
If you have ever walked past a full cycling class or ridden a SPIN®
You may wonder, “what flywheel weight do I need?”…
Below, we will examine the importance of the flywheel, how they vary, and what to keep in mind to find the best option for yourself.
What Is a Flywheel & What does on a Spin
The flywheel refers to the weighted wheel located at the front or the back of the
Flywheels can vary significantly in size, weight, and weight distribution. They range from some of the lightest weighing a mere 8lbs and the heaviest almost 50lbs. The weight distribution within the flywheel might also differ. Perimeter-weighted flywheels distribute the weight of the flywheel to the outermost part of the wheel, or perimeter. Others that have the weight centrally located within the wheel and are called Centered-Weighted flywheels.
The flywheel also plays a vital role in adding and removing resistance during the ride. If a
Does the Weight of the Flywheel Matter?
The flywheel’s weight is vital because it is a deciding factor in what type of ride the
Heavy vs Light Flywheels Comparison
There are two different philosophies on how momentum is created with a flywheel. One philosophy includes creating a heavier flywheel to drive momentum; the other involves increasing the rate at which the flywheel turns. Below we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having a heavy or light flywheel.
If you enjoy road biking, then a heavier flywheel might be more appealing to you as it offers the closest experience to riding a road
They are often associated with a smoother ride. Momentum is quickly built with a heavier flywheel. The
Due to the flywheel’s weight in conjunction with the rest of the
|Smoother ride||Harder to move within your |
|Mimics the feeling of riding a road ||Frequent maintenance may be required|
|Greater initial effort is needed to start pedaling|
A light flywheel has been associated with a rougher ride than that of a heavier wheel in the past. If a flywheel is too lightweight, then the ride can feel jerky, and the pedal stroke becomes uneven. An uneven pedal stroke can be damaging to joints. If momentum is unable to be maintained, then the rider is continually trying to adjust their speed. For a light flywheel to be effective and build momentum properly, it must spin at a much faster rate than that of the pedal stroke. The fastest spinning flywheel on the market is the Keiser M3i, which spins eleven times faster than the pedal stroke. The Keiser M3i is also at the higher end of the price range than various options that include a heavier flywheel. Another company that is also trying to follow Keiser’s footprints but is more affordable is Sunny Health &
Since a lighter flywheel’s weight can be significantly lighter than its heavier flywheel counterparts, it allows this
|Easier to move within ||More expensive for a quality option|
|Less maintenance||Smoothness of ride may be affected|
|Momentum quickly builds||Harder on joints depending on |
Front vs Rear Flywheel Positioning Comparison
As technology continues to expand, the design of the traditional indoor cycling
A front flywheel is located at the front of an indoor cycling
A rear flywheel is positioned at the back of the
What Is the Right Flywheel Weight for Me?
There is not a straightforward answer to what the right flywheel weight will be for every person. This decision will vary depending on what you want from your
Bike Setup & Pedalling Technique
Bycling.com shares great advice for the right pedaling technique: “Picture-perfect pedaling is more than pushing down on the pedals. It also involves pulling them up and around in an act that cyclists call pedaling circles. Ultimately, the goal is to eliminate any “dead spots” in your pedal stroke—at no point in each pedal stroke should your legs just be coming along for the ride“
Another crucial factor is the bike set-up process and especially how to get on the bike and place your feet in either the clips or toe cages, depending on the type of shoe you plan to use. The knee of the leg in the bottom pedal position should contain a 25-30% bend. This bend will allow you to continue to pedal through the ball of your foot without any pointing at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Are heavy flywheels better?
It depends on the type and brand of bike you are looking at purchasing. If you are looking for a bike that includes a front flywheel, it is most likely to have a heavier flywheel. However, there are a few brands where this would not apply.
Does flywheel weight matter with magnetic resistance?
Yes, flywheel weight continues to matter with magnetic resistance. Depending on the bike model, other factors play a role in how the bike performs, as discussed previously, such as the rate that the flywheel spins for lightweight models.
What is the difference between a Perimeter-Weighted and Center-Weighted Flywheel?
A Perimeter-Weighted flywheel’s weight is along the outside or perimeter of the wheel. This weight distribution assists with momentum. A Center-Weighted Flywheel’s weight is centrally located on the flywheel and provides superior weight distribution, making it easier on joints.
Is a 9kg flywheel good?
It depends on the bike model and how it works. For example, the 8lbs flywheel of the Keiser M3i is more than adequate. In most front-flywheel models, you should go for a heavier flywheel.
There are many different factors to consider when selecting the right flywheel for you. Finding an opportunity to try various