Spin Bike Flywheel Weight: Light or Heavy Flywheel?

When buying an exercise bike to workout at home, you must look at all its specification and choose the one that best meets your needs. The exercise bike flywheel weight is the most important of all the specifications. As a beginner, you may find it challenging to select the best flywheel weight for your spin bike.

If a spin bike comes with a heavy flywheel, the manufacturer will say to buy this and explain why having a heavy flywheel is better for you. The same is true for exercise bike equipped with light flywheels; these bike will advertise how light they are as well as why light flywheels are the best option available.

But does the flywheel weight of an exercise bike really matter? What does a flywheel weight do? What is a good flywheel weight? 

Yes, flywheel weight does matter if you’re seeking for an effective exercise. But which is preferable: light or heavy flywheels?

The answer to this age-old question will require a little more discussion. 

In this post, we’ll take a deep dive into this controversy and examine all sides of the argument. After reading this, you should have all the information you need to make a decision about which camp you belong in.

A flywheel is the heart of an exercise bike. It is the large round disc-shaped mechanical device at the front of an exercise bike that stores rotational energy and maintains smooth functioning. 

There is a chain or belt drive that connects a flywheel to the pedals, so they move together. As you pedal, the flywheel of spin bikes rotates.

The flywheel is easily visible on spin bikes because it is the large disk in the front or back.

If your bike is equipped with magnetic resistance, magnets would be located on either side of the rotating flywheel. The resistance increases as the magnets approach the flywheel. Moving the magnets away from the metal flywheel reduces resistance.

Magnetic resistance bikes are fantastic since they don’t require felt pads or friction to generate resistance like older systems.

Regardless of whether the bike uses electromagnetic or mechanical resistance, the flywheel is required to generate resistance.

Flywheels are still present in upright and recumbent bikes with arms although they are not visible. Most home ellipticals use weighted flywheels, similar to exercise bikes.

Marketers love to boast about their bike’s “perimeter weighted flywheel,” however the term is worthless, as practically every flywheel on the market today is perimeter weighted, meaning that the majority of the weight is off the disk.

Does Exercise Bike Flywheel Weight Matter?

Consider the time when you first learnt to ride a bicycle as a child. A bicycle rarely starts quickly; it requires a lot of pedaling energy to get it up to full speed. And once the bike is rolling, the momentum provided by pedaling keeps it moving.

Indoor workout bikes are fairly similar to outside bikes. You’ll use more energy on the first pedaling stroke to get the flywheel moving; but, once the flywheel is moving, it’s all about maintaining the pace – this is referred to as momentum.

A flywheel must create a significant amount of momentum in order to provide a smooth riding experience. Momentum aids in the elimination of pauses or gaps between pedal strokes, which can make your ride unstable and uncomfortable.

There are two scenarios in which a cycling bike can generate motion.

The first one is the spin bike flywheel weight. The weight of the flywheel has an impact on its performance and movement. To develop and maintain momentum, a heavier flywheel (20 LB+) is used. We know from basic physics that the heavier and faster an item is, the more difficult it is to stop it.

The second factor is the speed of the flywheel. The faster or more rotations a flywheel can make in a single pedal stroke, the easier it is to build and maintain momentum.

Faster flywheels, on the other hand, are designed to be lighter, allowing them to create more speed and resulting in a smoother, more momentous sensation.

Two methods for creating flywheel momentum-

  • Weight of the Flywheel – A heavier flywheel can create more consistent momentum.                                                                                                                                                      
  • Flywheel Speed – A quicker flywheel produces more consistent momentum.

To answer the question, ‘Does Flywheel Weight on an Exercise Bike Matter?’ In a nutshell, yes, it is significant. However, deciding whether a heavy or light flywheel is better is more complicated than answering yes or no.

Heavy Vs. Light Exercise Bike Flywheel Weight

When seeking for an exercise bike flywheel that creates sufficient momentum for a comfortable ride, either a heavy, smooth flywheel or a light, rapid flywheel are good option. Depending on how the bike is constructed, both can be good characteristics to have in a great bike.

This side-by-side flywheel weight comparison chart might help you decide if a heavy or light flywheel is a better fit for you.

Heavy Vs. Light Exercise Bike Flywheel Weight Comparison Chart

Heavy Flywheel Exercise Bike

Light Flywheel Exercise Bike

(20 lbs. and higher) – heavy enough to provide a constant and smooth motion

(10 lbs. or less) - light enough to spin quicker and provide consistent motion

Starting and stopping the pedals requires greater effort

Starting and stopping the pedals requires less energy

A little more strain on the joints (heavier impact)

A little less strain on the joints (lighter impact)

Exercise Bikes with A Heavy Flywheel Weight

An exercise bike with a heavier flywheel, similar to an outside bike, will replicate a difficult-to-start experience. With a heavier flywheel, you’ll notice that it retains its momentum throughout your ride, which helps to keep the pedals going smoothly.

Indoor riders who like a heavier flywheel appreciate the sensation of riding an outside bicycle.

There are a lot of people who think 40 lbs is the ideal weight. Anything more than 20 lbs will be heavy enough to give you a good amount of momentum, though.

Because heavy flywheel systems are far easier to produce than light flywheel systems, the majority of high-quality exercise bikes on the market with a smooth ride will use a heavy flywheel system.

If you’re looking for a bike with a large flywheel, there are a plethora of excellent options available, and I strongly advise you to do your homework before making a decision. 

Keep in mind that these bikes are more difficult to accelerate and decelerate. Pushing or pulling harder to start or stop the pedals might be more painful on the joints.

If you choose a bike with a hefty flywheel, be careful on your joints by slowing down to a stop or utilizing the emergency stop brake to bring the bike to a quick stop if necessary.

You can find heavier flywheels in cycle bikes, such as our best-selling Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike,  DMASUN Indoor Cycling Bike or the best affordable price popular Murtisol Indoor Cycling Bike.

Exercise Bikes With a Light Flywheel Weight

A lighter flywheel may be ideal for you if you’re seeking for a bike that’s easier to start and stop and is designed for high-speed cycling. Lighter flywheels may be preferable for indoor riders who want to get right into the action.

There is less pressure on the joints when you pedal with a light flywheel than there is when you pedal with a heavy flywheel. So, if you suffer from joint stiffness or discomfort, a lighter flywheel can be a smart option for you.

There are some bikes that use a light flywheel to save money, so it’s important to know that. A lot of times, these bikes are geared the same as bikes with heavy flywheels. This means that the bike doesn’t allow the flywheel to move fast enough, which can make the ride feel unnatural, jerky, or even dangerous.

Some bikes, on the other hand, are purposefully designed with a light flywheel. The flywheel on these bikes is intended for speed, and the bike permits the flywheel to make a large number of revolutions every pedal stroke.

These high-quality bicycles provide a tremendous amount of momentum as well as a very smooth ride. A high-quality ride with a light flywheel design is more expensive to produce. These bikes typically cost more than $2000, which is why the majority of popular bikes on the market use a heavy flywheel to provide smooth movement.

Is a Heavy Flywheel Bike Better For Exercise?

Nope! As you can see from the examples above, both heavy and light flywheels may give the smooth, thrilling ride you desire. Before acquiring a bike, it’s critical to do some research and analyze it.

I recommend a weight of 30 LB+, 40 LB for your home gym if you’re aiming for a heavy flywheel. If you’re searching for a light flywheel, do some research and see what you can afford.

Remember that some lightweight flywheels are only designed that way to reduce product costs and will negatively impact your riding experience. 

Will a Light Or Heavy Flywheel Burn More Calories?

While heavier flywheels require more energy to get moving, the amount of calories you burn while riding your bike is unrelated to the weight of the flywheel itself. 

In general, maintaining a set pace against resistance requires the most effort. he more resistance you apply to your flywheel, the more calories you’ll burn just keeping it moving.

There isn’t always the same amount of resistance that people face. It is possible to find bikes that have contact resistance, such as felt or leather brake pads, in addition to bikes that have magnetic resistance.

The resistance level on your bike will have a significant impact on your workout and is an important feature to consider before selecting an indoor exercise bike.

Final Words: Spin Bike Flywheel Weight

The spin bike flywheel weight is a vital consideration whether you’re looking for an exercise bike. An exercise bike with a heavy flywheel or a light flywheel can provide an excellent workout.

Individuals who prefer the sense of an outdoor bicycle or a studio cycling experience may benefit from heavier flywheels.

Lighter flywheels are ideal for riders who are eager to go out and about and who want a bike that is easy on their joints.

Just remember workout intensity is less about flywheel weight and more about applied resistance.

Always keep in mind that the ideal exercise equipment is that which gets you moving on a daily basis. So, go ahead and choose an indoor cycle bike that matches your budget and your home gym area, and you’ll be up and running in no time!

Exercise Bike Flywheel Weight (FAQs)

What is a good heavy exercise bike flywheel weight?

Many people think 40 pounds to be optimum for heavy exercise bike flywheel weight, but anything heavier than 20 pounds is likely to generate a lot of momentum. Because these bikes are significantly easier to construct, most high-quality cycle cycles on the market with a smooth ride will use a heavy flywheel mechanism.

Is 13 kg spin bike flywheel weight enough?

It depends on the type of bike and what your exercise goals are. I think 13 kg spin bikes flywheel weight will be lighter to move and won’t put too much strain on your leg muscles.

I would recommend a weight of around 15 kg minimum – this will give you great workout whilst offering that smoother ride!

Is 18 kg spin bike flywheel weight enough?

The answer is “Yes”. Obviously, the same rules do not apply to a bodybuilder. To tone and improve muscle definition you need a certain amount of progressive overload.

This will make your body ‘tear down’ your muscle fibres helping them to regenerate stronger which will ultimately lead to greater muscle tone. 

What is perimeter weighted flywheel?

When the inner weight of an exercise bicycle is predominantly loaded along the outer, or perimeter, of the disk, this is referred to as a perimeter weighted flywheel.

The other flywheel has a consistent size and weight. It’s basically a rotating flat disk.

How heavy is the peloton bike flywheel?

The weight of the Peloton bike’s flywheel is somewhere around 38 pounds. These indoor stationary bikes are excellent. It has features such as an HD touch screen, a Webcam for interactive training, full-body workout programs, a compact carbon steel frame, and endless exercise sessions that set it apart from the competition. The Peloton app for iOS allows users to browse their preferred class options while also keeping track of their workout plan and history.

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