Listener Tara Page wrote me with a question about Podcast #47 with Dennis Keiser:
Hello, I really enjoy your podcast, thank you for the production. I listen to them on my way to teach. It makes me feel motivated and often gives me items to share and use with my participants.
I wanted to follow up to this one podcast in particular. Our club got these bikes in the spring this year. The members are saying the gear tension varies among the bikes. I was pleased to hear Dennis talk of this issue and he suggested a way to remedy it by moving the gear handle up and down five times etc. Upon arriving at the club, I tried it and was disappointed it did not work. The numbers flashed zero and not the number “five “ I believe he suggested. Maybe he is talking about another version of the M3 Computer? Just an FYI. Maybe he could follow up again with additional information.
Dennis Keiser offered this response:
John forwarded me your email so that I could hopefully help you with your concern.
There are three things that effect the consistency or inconsistency between bikes. The first is the calibration, the second is whether you enter a gear from a lower or higher gear, and the third is the variation in magnet strength and all other manufacturing variations that we have to deal with in producing this bike. The first two are in your control and you can do something about, but the last is out of your control, and hopefully held to a minimum by our efforts to make each bike as consistent as possible.
You were right in knowing that you had to move the shifter back and forth five times to calibrate the bike, but it is when and how you do it that is important. The first 10 seconds after a bike is turned on by moving the crank arms is your window to do this calibration. Move the crank arm just enough to turn on the bike computer, then stop the crank. You will see the odometer across the bottom of the display during this first 10 seconds. This is when you move the shifter back and forth to its extreme ends five times and you should see 55:55 in the clock display when you have successfully completed the five movements. This procedure only needs to be done once and only thereafter if a problem is suspected. The reason for this calibration procedure is to let the computer know what the full range of movement of the shifter is, so it knows how to divide up the gears. If you didn't reach the extreme ends of the shifter movement at least once during this calibration, the computer would display the wrong gear number for the level of resistance you were riding at. It is also important that you hear a metal to metal tapping noise when you reach the extreme low resistance end of the range of movement (the shifter toward the rider and all the way down). This mechanical noise is an indication that the cable is adjusted correctly and the magnets are at their true starting position. If you don't hear this noise, then the cable needs to be adjusted so that you do.
The second thing you can do to improve consistency is to always enter your desired gear from a lower gear. There is a certain amount of play in the resistance system and always entering a gear from a lower gear will ensure that this play is taken out and the shifter cable is properly pulling on the magnet. For example, if you want to be in gear 12, enter it from gear 11, even if you were in gear 13 previously; move the shifter from gear 13 to a gear lower than 12 and then come into 12 from the lower gear. This will go a long way in making the bikes resistance more consistent.
Tara, I hope this has helped. If you still have questions please call me, or John or Paul in our Service Department, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions. Please let me know if this improves the consistency.
John is a member on the AFS (Association of Fitness Studios) Advisory Council.
Holding certifications from; Schwinn, Heart Zones, Team ICG and Life Time Fitness, John's held regularly scheduled cycling classes between 1998 and 2015 when he moved to Florida.
When the weather permits, you'll find him riding and leading outdoor groups by himself or with his Tandem partner (wife) Amy.
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