How To Fix An Exercise Bike That Won’t Change The Resistance (Everything You Need to Know!)

Most exercise bikes are easy to assemble and adjust to your preferred settings. However, after repeated use, they tend to wear and tear. Some of the issues you can find are leaky parts, loose screws and resistance that just will not adjust.

First and foremost, there are many levels of resistance. Indoor cycling has grown to be popular because it gives a really exciting workout that is just like riding in the outdoors. Before you settle on any of the trainers available, the level of intensity it is able to reach is a huge factor to consider. From indoor cycling bikes to indoor trainers, the difference comes in the resistance levels available.

In order to get the many benefits that riding an exercise bike, the level of resistance you settle for heavily weighs in. For example, in a indoor cycling bike, the front flywheel is designed heavy enough to already require a lot of effort to pedal. It is because of this that a indoor cycling bike is a go-to product if you are looking for an intense workout that will really hit the calories. This simulation is quite like riding up a steep slope. If you are looking for an easier ride like biking through the park, go for lower resistance.

To get these simulations, you need to learn how to adjust the resistance on an exercise bike. The different kinds of resistance are direct-contact, magnetic and fan-based resistance. In magnetic resistance, the bike gives you different simulations depending on the number of electric currents passing through the wheels. In direct-contact resistance, you get different riding feels entirely depending on the energy you produce.

On the flip side, fan-based resistance is regularly found on bikes that do not have a flywheel that is tasked with creating resistance. In fan-based, it uses exactly that- a huge fan. This fan is connected to the pedals using a belt or chain drive. This kind of resistance is easy to follow. If you want more resistance, all you need to do is pedal faster. With constant sessions, you will be able to get the hang of it and flick through the different levels of resistance.

Nowadays, more and more people are asking what to do when your exercise bike won’t change resistance sometimes. This article is an attempt to be a one-stop guide on all you need to know about changing resistance. It answers the question, “How do you repair an exercise bike when the resistance won’t change when you want it to?” This guide analyzes the various reasons why your resistance might be jammed and it provides detailed instructions on how to fix it. To begin with, there are a number of reasons as to why an exercise bike won’t change its resistance.

One reason why your exercise bike might not be able to change resistance is because of slipping. After many intense workouts, the belt on an exercise bike is prone to slipping off. Once this is not in place correctly, you might not be able to adjust to the resistance you want. In fact, a belt that is not tight enough and slips off frequently can have you indoor cycling at no resistance at all.

Here is how to fix this particular issue

Solution 1

Step 1: Unplug the bike from any ports. You do not want to tinker with the bike if it is unsafe or still running on the power line system.

Step 2: Using a wrench or crank arm, remove both pedals. Do this carefully so as to not mess with any fragile parts.

Step 3: Undo the attached screws and remove the side shield. You can do this using flat head tools. Once opened, you will be able to see the flywheel and belt to determine the problem area.

Step 4: Loosen the tension on the belt by adjusting either of the nuts on it. Regardless of the exercise model, they come with an Eddie Idler bracket which is easy to identify. Tighten the belt by closely following these steps. If the resistance issue is not fixed after this, it might be something else or you simply need to replace the belt on your exercise bike. Even for magnetic resistance bikes, normal wear and tear is expected after a lengthy period of time.

In most cases, if the resistance is just off, there is usually something wrong with the belt. With the steps stated above, you can easily open up your bike and pry away to fix whatever is wrong. For newbies and pros alike, connecting a belt that has slipped off is rather easy with a bit of tinkering. If your bike will not change resistance and you are stuck at free-wheeling there is something definitely wrong.

The second reason could be an issue with your display panel is included with the bike. Specifically, the problem might be with your display panel batteries. To fix this, unplug the power cord from the port first. If the leads seem okay with no burns, this might be an indication there is nothing wrong with the batteries. If there is, use a screwdriver to remove the cap from the battery pack. Once open, you can easily replace the batteries.

The third reason why your exercise bike will not change the resistance is that the sensor unit might be jammed. To fix this locate the speed sensor and use a hex wrench to pull it out.

Step two: unfasten the nuts and pull at the cover to expose the flywheel. You can also check if there is

Fourthly, an exercise bike might not change through the different resistance levels because of poor maintenance. If you do not regularly clean and lubricate your gears, they can easily clog up and refuse to change resistance. To fix this, sparingly lubricate all moving parts of your exercise bike every so often.

Sometimes fixing the resistance on your bike just needs grease and a bit of budging. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on using the lube so that you get the best results. Broadly, using any kind of professional lubricant will work well for this problem.

Finally, if you have wobbly resistance, the issue might be with the hub on your bike. To fix this, there are a few steps to follow. First, loosen the resistance system and remove the hub bolt and wheel using a wrench. Upon looking at it closely, you can be able to tell whether it is past its service life. If it is, take it out and replace it with a new hub. Once properly in place, this should get your resistance going.

Additionally, if the pedal resistance just won’t budge, there might be something wrong with the resistance motor. Pedal resistance usually sticks to one setting when there is something that is not working right. If you find yourself stuck on resistance that is like going uphill or downhill, you might have to open up your bike.

If you can change the resistance manually, simply the issue is with the digital console. With simple replacement, you can be able to swiftly change between the different levers of resistance.


High resistance cycling benefits

To avoid issues with the resistance on your exercise bike, there are a few pointers on what to do. First, always keep your bike well-maintained and lubricated. For friction resistance bikes especially, you need to have a proper maintenance routine. This is because they normally need repair because of wear and tear after continuous workouts. By simply cleaning and lubricating the gears every so often, you will be avoiding issues regarding intensity settings. Also, keep the belt as clean as possible so that it does not become hard to adjust because of dirt buildup.

Regardless of which exercise bike you are using in your home, do not be shy to ask a pro cyclist or a professional trainer to help you when you have issues. For example, your exercise bike might one day refuse to change resistance and the solution is easy enough to do on your own. You do not always have to go to the bike shop for small fixes.


While this article has illustrated some of the easy ways to fix resistance on a bike, always consider the warranty. If you splurged quite a bit on your exercise bike and you have a warranty to back it up, you should be careful not to mess with anything while trying to do fixes by yourself. It is advisable to check on the terms and conditions of the warranty. If there is a chance resistance is on it, you should go ahead to the manufacturer to fix whatever issues you have.

Also, check on your manual for any guidelines on what to do when you such problems with your exercise bike. If these options are not available for you, this guide has given an outline of all the reasons why your exercise won’t change resistance and how to fix this.