How to make an exercise bike out of a bicycle?
Morning exercises, jogging, skiing in winter and summer hiking, cycling are effective means of improving health.
However, the bike largely depends on traffic conditions, the vagaries of the weather. In such cases, an exercise bike will help, the simple design of which I want to offer. It is simple and affordable to manufacture, easy to operate, has a small weight (within 10 kg), there is a place for it in any apartment, since it takes up little space (300X1300 mm). The assembly does not take much time or scarce materials. And what is important. the main part of it is. the bicycle itself, and any available in the house. Turning it into a simulator takes literally two or three minutes and comes down to removing the front wheel and fixing the fork on the stand of the simulator.
The base of the simulator is a frame made of steel corners 36 × 36 mm: two lateral longitudinal ones with a length of 1300 mm and two transverse ones with a length of 230 mm. Two duralumin struts are screwed to the side ones in front with an axle between them, on which the front bicycle fork is attached. At the other end of the base, a support unit with rotating rubber rollers is installed. the rear wheel rests on them. The axles of the rollers enter the bearings installed in the duralumin cheeks of the assembly. Old squeeze rollers from a washing machine were used as rollers.
The exercise bike also has the ability to adjust the load: to change the forces required to spin the rear wheel and rollers. To do this, a tie rod is installed between the latter: by tightening its nuts, we increase the load, unscrewing it. we reduce.
Basic design details:
1, 12. frame, 2. rack, 3. axis of the fork part, 4. bicycle fork, 5. rear wheel, 6. rollers, 7. cheeks, 8. bearing cap, 9. tie rod, 10. nuts, 11. bearing No. 202.
This setting allows you to train regardless of the weather, makes it easier to recuperate after an illness, and helps to keep fit for older people who already find it difficult to use a regular bike.
Based on materials from the “Modelist-Constructor” magazine
And here is another great video on how to make an exercise bike with your own hands.
- Choose a spot in your apartment next to a wall and free space. A roller track will require an area at least 0.5 m longer than a bicycle and about 2.5 m wide. Also cover this area with some kind of soft material or carpet to cushion a possible fall.
- Position the roller roller about 15 cm from the wall so you can lean on it when you need to stabilize yourself. Platform rollers can be made of pipes or round wooden blocks with a diameter of 10-15 cm. Roller bearings with axles are mounted in the ends of the rollers, and the axles are fixed in racks.
- Measure the distance between the two axles on your bike. This is the “wheelbase” of the bicycle. Place your bike against a wall, between the roller set and the wall, ready to be placed on casters.
- Slide the rear, center and front rollers along the track so that the front rollers are directly under the front tire. As you ride, the front wheel of the bike will roll along the top of the front roller. Depending on the roller model you have, you can adjust the correct position of the front, center and rear rollers in relation to the wheelbase.
- Place your bike on a roller track. Put your hand on the wall and start pedaling at a medium pace. It will take a while to get balanced, so don’t be surprised if you fall off your bike multiple times. This is where a soft landing spot comes in handy.
Video on how to make an exercise bike and use bicycle casters.
Make an exercise bike on a stand
Both types of rollers on homemade exercise bikes get very hot during use, so avoid touching the device while in motion or immediately after use.
If your bike has tires with rough treads like mountain bikes, you need to replace them with smoother tires for indoor use.
How to make an exercise bike with your own hands using the holder
If you cycle regularly, but cold weather stops you, convert your regular bike into an exercise bike using a special holder. Such a bike holder costs about 80. By fixing your bike in it, you will make an exercise bike with your own hands, complete for home workouts.
The treadmill uses magnetic resistance that increases at the same time as your pedaling speed. Some holders have two parts, each of which needs to be mounted on the bike, while others have only one part.
- First of all, place the rear of the bike on the holder, it is necessary to clamp the rear wheel in it as tightly as possible. At first there will be some room to maneuver until the front wheel is secured to the stand.
- Tighten the rear wheel on the stand again to ensure strength, but not so tightly that it causes friction or bearing failure in the bike.
- Rotate the bicycle pedals several times to make sure the bike is evenly positioned on the holder. If you notice a drop in the front or rear wheel, adjust it again.
- When you ride your bike at full speed, it can wobble from side to side. This exercise bike provides enough movement but stable enough to support you as you ride.
Making an exercise bike out of a bicycle. advantages and disadvantages
- The main advantage of the simulator is its low cost.
- It can also be used both at home and outdoors, which is very important in winter.
- Such an exercise bike is suitable for training on DVD-programs for difficult real cycling workouts.
- Exercising on a homemade stationary bike will help you lose weight and tighten muscles.
Having carefully figured out how to convert a bicycle into an exercise bike, you can try to make it yourself.
What muscle groups work during exercise
Primarily training on a stationary bike affects the leg muscles. Also, the press and back are involved in pedaling, but which specific muscles will work most intensively depends on the type of simulator: on a horizontal stationary bike, only the muscles of the legs will be involved, and the arms and back are practically not tense. However, it is quite difficult to build legs by increasing muscle mass with the help of training on it.
When using a portable simulator, it all depends on the posture in which the person sits: the load can be distributed very unevenly. On a regular stationary bike, it will also be possible to increase or decrease the load on any muscle group by changing the position of the trunk.
During training, the following can be involved:
- the iliac muscles (hip flexors located in the lower abdomen);
- biceps and quadriceps of the thigh (front and back);
- quadriceps femoral muscles and buttocks;
- calf muscles;
- the anterior tibial muscles (located on the anterior surface of the lower leg, opposite the calves, work when the foot is bent);
- abdominal muscles, especially oblique;
- back muscles;
- muscles of the arms and shoulders (small but constant load).
What materials do we need?
This is what our exercise bike will look like after all the necessary work has been done:
So, we suggest you make a device for training at home with your own hands based on an old or idle bike. Additionally, we need the following materials:
- PVC pipes.
Our do-it-yourself exercise bike project is based on a roller device. We have to make rollers from pipes, alternatively, you can use wooden blocks. The optimum diameter is 10 to 15 centimeters.
This is what a bike stand looks like in our DIY exercise bike project:
In the picture you can see the approximate frame dimensions, however, adapt these dimensions to your bike model.
It is necessary to insert roller bearings equipped with axles into the ends of the rollers. These axles should be fixed in the struts.
Note that the rollers for the bike trainer can be light or heavy. Which videos to put. the choice is yours. If you want to conduct strength training, then give your preference to an exercise bike with heavy rollers, light rollers will allow you to pedal at high speed.
If you do not have roller bearings, then, alternatively, you can make holes of the desired size in the block of wood, and then thread metal axles through these holes, reaching about 1.8-2 centimeters in diameter, and firmly fix the axles in the racks.
Such rollers need special care: they should be regularly lubricated with technical vaseline or grease.
The optimal diameter of a PVC pipe for an exercise bike is 7.5-10 centimeters. Taking into account the size of the pipe, we cut out the plywood inserts. These inserts are needed to fix the bearings and make the PVC tubing more durable.
An important point: limiters must be glued to the pipes, as in the picture. This is for the front wheel of our exercise bike.
Next, we select bearings and an axle that fit our plywood blanks
The frame for the exercise bike must be strong, so it must be made of solid wood or plywood.
In the picture you can see how to make clamps for rotating elements.
Additional elements for the convenience of the exercise bike
The exercise bike also needs a drive belt. It should be sewn from a dense material in accordance with the roller under the front wheel of the bicycle. Such a belt is needed in order to make it easier to maintain balance, in addition, it will increase the load, that is, it will help to achieve one of the goals set at the beginning of the article: “lose weight with an exercise bike”.
For convenience, you can also make footrests. They may look something like the picture.
To increase the load during exercise on a stationary bike, you can make blades on wheels, as in the picture below (such blades will create additional air resistance), or you can make a simple braking device on rotating PVC pipes based on felt.
Advantages and disadvantages of a homemade simulator
The main plus of a do-it-yourself bike-based simulator is, of course, its low cost. However, in addition to this, a homemade exercise bike has a number of disadvantages:
If you have ever been on a stationary bike in the gym before, then you will definitely feel the difference between a self-assembled simulator and one made by specialists. In addition, if you are in good physical shape, then a homemade exercise bike is not suitable for you, since you will have to carry out very long workouts to stay in shape.
But in general, an exercise bike is a useful thing, of course. Finally, we recommend that you watch the tutorial
- You can study at any time convenient for you. since there is no need to go or hurry, and you yourself make up a convenient training schedule.
- Affordability is a tipping point, because the price does not affect the effectiveness of classes. The simulator should be: comfortable, reliable, with a range of loads (usually they have basic parameters, and these are speed, distance covered, heart rate (the best option is a wrist heart rate monitor) and exercise time. All other parameters are useless, simply thrown away money.
- Compact, as it does not take up much space and fits perfectly into home design.
- Brings great health benefits (this has already been said more than once), if you do not neglect the contraindications for exercising on a stationary bike.
- While exercising, you can calmly watch your favorite show or movie, listen to music and this will not affect the effectiveness of your workout.
There are two types of this simulator: magnetic and mechanical.
- Magnetic is designed in such a way that when the load changes, the distance between the permanent magnet and the flywheel changes, while such simulators differ only in that they have different sizes of magnets and a built-in computer. The advantage of such a simulator is that it has a smooth ride, reliability and low noise level.
- Mechanical are divided into: shoe. in which the resistance is regulated by means of brake pads pressed against the flywheel and belts, where the resistance is adjusted due to the tension of the belt and its friction against the flywheel wheel. The advantage of the belt one is low cost and compactness, and the shoe one. perfectly imitates the ride of a mountain bike.
How to make a homemade exercise bike out of a bicycle at home?
If you don’t want to have your old bike repaired, try making a do-it-yourself exercise bike out of it. So you will get almost the same product, but in a new quality. Even a homemade exercise bike from a bicycle has the characteristics necessary for productive activities, and in some situations it surpasses its counterpart.
But before you want to make an exercise bike out of a bicycle, you need to decide what exactly you want to get in the end. Sports equipment is diverse, which means that making a choice in favor of one or another will not be so easy.
Despite the fact that the assortment is huge, if you refused to repair and decided to build an exercise bike with your own hands, you should concentrate on only two of its types.
The simplest one can be called an ordinary machine on a stand. Making it yourself is quite simple, even without having special repair skills. The second type. the sled track. is more difficult, but is wildly popular. It will take a little more time and knowledge to build such a structure, but the result will definitely please.
Trainer on a stand
- Dural posts;
The front wheel can be removed and left in mono. If you decide to remove it, the front part of the future exercise bike will be fixed to the corners, if not. by analogy with the rear part.
Planks are the foundation of the structure on which everything else will be held. The pegs are attached to them, and the bicycle is already attached to the pegs. You must immediately make sure that the product is stable. Instead of the front wheel, we mount duralumin struts, and the work is almost ready.
This is not the only, but the easiest and most economical way to make an exercise bike at home from a bicycle easily and quickly.
The second type attracts much more, but in order to make the sled track itself at home, it will take more effort, money and skills. To do this, you will need special rollers, because it is thanks to them that rotation will occur and similar to what we see on factory exercise bikes. How to make an exercise bike out of a bicycle at home?
The material of rollers can be almost any, the main thing is that it is durable and meets all requirements. Often the preference is given to metal tubes, but sometimes this role is played by such “exotic” devices as wringer rollers removed from a washing machine unsuitable for repair.
They are needed not only for the rear, but also for the front wheel. A drive belt is fixed between the rollers. The big advantage of this simulator is the ability to adjust the load with your own hands. This can be achieved by installing a tie rod in the rear rollers.
So, with a little work, you can get a completely working unit. Of course, it will be inferior on a number of points to branded products, but it is realistic to perform the main tasks on it.
Benefits of homemade exercise bikes
Homemade exercise machines have their positive aspects, although they are inferior in functionality to a bicycle. But you cannot ignore the fact that when using a work bike, you will become the owner of two products at once. In the cold season, it will be possible to study at home, and as soon as the time comes to get out for walks, you can simply disassemble the bike rack with your own hands and go for a drive outside.
A big plus of homemade products is also compact. It is easy to move from one place to another, disassemble and reassemble. Repair of such a structure will cost much less than a purchased one. You can even completely change a few parts and get a completely different type of product.
- Install the brake to create additional load. Its presence affects the rotation of the wheel and your efforts while pedaling.
This way you can increase the efficiency of your workouts and add variety to your activities.
Needless to say, such activities are beneficial for health. Workouts are effective in the fight against excess weight, but in this case, carefully consider the material of the parts on which the bike is installed so that you do not have to repair bent tubes or rollers. They just might not support a lot of weight.
Disadvantages of converted bicycles
Unfortunately, homemade simulators also have disadvantages, and they should not be forgotten. If something turns out to be a significant obstacle for you, it is better to think about buying a finished product or think in more detail about your assembly work.
The main disadvantages are:
- Structural instability
The effect of training, of course, is not the same as from training on a special simulator, because you will not have the opportunity to monitor the load and take into account other parameters. The most you can do is pedal. Based on this, calculate the end result. Of course, there will be benefits from physical activity, but you should not harbor illusions.
Although it is not so difficult to assemble a simulator with your own hands, not everyone can do it. There is nothing wrong with that, but you must soberly assess your abilities, otherwise there is a danger not only not to do what you intended, but also to ruin an ordinary bicycle. Possible injury during assembly in the absence of experience in repair work.
Now that you know the pros and cons of this event, it will be easier to make a decision. If you are not planning to purchase new sports equipment, and you have an old, but working bike, you can try to give it a second life.