Sportsmith Blog

Best Tools for your Indoor Cycle Tool Box

Video about the Recommended Tools for an Indoor Cycle Tool Box

  • This video will show what tools and products you will want to have in your tool box if you are working on indoor cycles
  • The tool kitshown in this video is a kit that you can buy from Sportsmith that has a lot of the tools you will need
    • They include but are not limited to:
      • Cotterless Crank Arm Extractor
      • 8MM Hex Wrench (for crank arm bolt removal on some cycles)
      • Six Inch Adjustable Wrench
      • Phillips and Flat head Screwdriver with Magnetic Tip (which can be quite handy in the field)
      • 14mm & 15mm Pedal Wrench (for installing and removing pedals)
      • Chain Break Tool
      • Chain Whip Tool
      • Bottom Bracket Tool
        • Something you might want to add to the kit is a 5/16”-24 x 2” bolt and several washers that you can use to install the tool on to the bottom bracket with. Then use another tool to loosen the bottom bracket by turning the bottom bracket tool
      • Set of Hex Wrenches
  • Sometimes you may find that you cannot get enough torque or the right size from the set of hex wrenches in the pre-packaged tool kit, so it’s a good idea to have a set of the bits that will work with a 3/8” drive ratchet or for use with your torque wrench when setting torque on things
  • You may also want to include an ISIS style bottom bracket tool in your toolbox, which you can also use the bolt and washers with if needed
  • Some of the other tools you will need to have in your tool box:
    • Lock Ring Tool
    • Torque Wrench
      • We show both a click style and a needle and beam style torque wrench in the video
      • Either one will work, just be sure to consult the manual to get the torque specs for whatever you are setting torque on
    • A rubber mallet is also handy if something is locked up or jammed
    • A good pair of pliers and a set of locking pliers are also helpful at times
    • A chisel is sometimes needed to use with the rubber mallet to turn a rusty nut or bolt or to push out the pressed in bottom bracket bearings
    • You will want a wire brush for roughing up leather brake pads before applying oil or for removing rust from something
  • Some of the products we use and recommendare:
    • Stainless Steel Polish
    • Quick Shot Grease- from Schwinn- synthetic based, multi-service, non-melting waterproof grease
    • Tri-flow Penetrating Lube- loosens rusted parts, frees sticky mechanisms, washes away dirt, corrosion and contaminants
    • Clean Ride- use on cycle chains to prevent buildup of debris
      • Debris forms but flakes off over time instead of building up
    • Thread Locker- probably the most valuable product in the box- use on nuts and bolts or even bottom brackets that repeatedly come loose
    • 3-n-1 Oil- lubricates, stops rust, and protects metal
      • Used on leather brake pads to extend life
  • That pretty much covers what you should carry in your tool box to service indoor cycles

Maintaining your Olympic Bars

Regardless of what you spent on your Olympic bars, they are an investment. And, if you operate a gym, health club or high intensity training facility, you know those bars are definitely a popular piece of equipment, subject to a lot of wear and tear.  Ask yourself, “What do we do to maintain our Olympic Bars?” You’ll probably end up shrugging. Many tend to not really maintain their bars despite their importance and usually manufacturers don’t offer up any care and maintenance tips beyond: Don’t drop or overload the bars.

So, what should fitness facility owners and managers as well as home gym enthusiasts bear in mind when it comes to keeping their Olympic bars at their best?  Cleaning, rust prevention, and storage are top considerations.

Combating Rust

Fact 1: Bars are made of steel and steel rusts when wet.  Fact 2: When people workout, they sweat. So… when sweat gets on the bars, you can end up with rust. Bar manufacturers try to avert this by placing a coating on the bars. Common coatings include black oxide (the least expensive), chrome, zinc, and fabricating bars out of stainless steel, which is the most expensive option. However, regardless of coatings, gyms must still maintain their bars.

Don’t Chalk it Up

If your gym provides chalk, clean off the knurling on your bars on a regular basis. Depending on how much chalk gets used, this task could be performed daily.  (Also remind members who bring their own chalk to clean it off as a courtesy to others.) Think about it… Chalk is used to dry sweaty palms by absorbing moisture, so when chalk remains on the bar, it’s absorbing moisture too. That means any moisture, including humidity in the air. When the chalk absorbs this and holds it on the steel bar, it’s going to be susceptible to rust. So, to keep those bars of yours from rusting, it’s essential to clean off the chalk.  A small stiff nylon bristle brush will do the trick: Simply go over the knurling with the brush to remove caked-in dirt and prevent future rust.

Wipe Out

Regularly wipe down all your bars with 3-in-1 Oil or a light coat of WD-40. How often you do this depends on how often a bar is used. If you work out at home, twice a month should suffice. If you’re responsible for a gym, then once a week would be good. If there is high humidity at your location and bars are used often, you may need to wipe them down on a more frequent basis. WD-40 is a good choice because it displaces water and dries quickly. Just spray some on a rag and wipe down the entire bar with a good even coat. If you use 3-in-1 Oil, wipe a thin coating on the entire bar, have it sit on the bar overnight, and then wipe it down once again. While 3-in-1 Oil does a great job, it will leave the bars feeling a bit greasier than WD-40.

Since today’s bars are crafted to be mostly maintenance-free, there’s usually no need to oil the sleeves as these often have oil-impregnated bushings or bearings. Some high-end bars feature small oil holes in their sleeves so you can drop in a little bit of 3-in 1 Oil allowing it to work into the sleeve. (Note: Never use WD-40 for this particular of application.) Do this after use, then check the bar before using it again to see if excess oil may have leaked out and just wipe it up.

Storage Matters

Bars should never be stored with any weight on them. NEVER! If you or your club members leave weight on a bar, you’re asking for a bent bar -- especially if the bar is on a rack.  While bars are designed to withstand weight, they aren’t designed to permanently hold this weight. You’ve got to strip your bars, and in the case of gyms, encourage members to do this. Also be prepared to do some work over the course of the day, removing any weights that may have been left on and put the plates away. Besides protecting the bars, it keeps gym members happy if they don’t have to keep stripping weights others left behind.

Your unloaded bars may be stored on a rack or bar stand. Horizontal storage is preferred, however, its best not to not store your needle bearing bars in a horizontal bar holder. This can cause damage to the needle bearings when the bar is dropped into the holder. A majority of gyms using needle-bearing bars for Olympic lifts avoid damage by utilizing wall racks for storing this type of bar.

It’s relatively simple to maintain your Olympic bars with just a little bit of time and effort. It’s worth it to protect your investment in this equipment and keep it useful for years to come. If you have any tips on maintaining Olympic bars, feel free to share them with us at [email protected].


How to Assemble a Keiser M3 Indoor Cycle

This video will demonstrate how to properly assemble your Keiser M3 Indoor cycle.


  • First you will need to cut away the outer box, exposing the inner box.
  • Next you will want to cut away the inner box exposing the parts. Be careful not to let the parts fall over and/or get damaged during this process.
  • Once you have the boxes cut away you will be left with one big mass of parts zip-tied and shrink wrapped together. Carefully remove the shrink wrap and cut zip ties and place the parts aside for future use.
  • After the parts have all been unwrapped and separated, carefully place the base frame onto the base frame studs. Make sure that the wheels on the base frame are facing the front of the cycle.
  • Install one washer and an acorn nut onto each of the base frame studs and hand tighten.
  • Using a 5/8” or 16MM crowfoot and torque wrench, torque the acorn nuts to 35 Foot Pounds. Be sure that all four of the acorn nuts have been set to the right torque.
  • Before moving on to this step make sure that the shifter lever is in the downward position.
  • Grab the five socket head cap screws and a 5MM Allen wrench. Now carefully slide the flywheel between the magnets and onto the hub at the same time. Holding the flywheel in place with one hand install the hub cap and align the screw holes. Make sure that the flywheel is flush against the hub and install the screws. Tighten the screws in a star pattern, as demonstrated in the video, until snug.
  • Note: You will need to turn the left pedal counter clockwise to install it, as it has left handed threads. The right pedal is standard threads and will need to be turned clockwise to install it.
  • The next step is to install the pedals. It is very important that you use the thread locker included. Once you’ve applied a couple of drops to the pedal, install the pedals by hand.
  • Torque the pedals with a 5/8” or 16MM crowfoot and torque wrench to 35 Foot Pounds.
  • The next step is to install the computer onto the frame. To complete this step you will just need a Phillips head screwdriver. Remove the screw from the frame as shown in the video and install it while holding the computer in place.
  • Note: take caution that you do not pinch the compute wires.
  • Once the computer is mounted the next step is to install the sweat cover.  To do so you will also need a Phillips screwdriver. Begin by removing the screws from the frame as shown in the video. Now slide the cover into place and re-install the screws.
  • The next step is to install the bottom slide. Using a 6MM Allen wrench remove the four screws from the frame as demonstrated in the video. Now hold the bottom slide in place with one hand and install the four hex head screws with the other hand.  Once they are all finger tight, torque them with the 6MM Allen wrench.
  • Next you will want to install the handlebars. Using just the red threaded portion of the L-handle (lever) and the spacer, attach the handlebars by finger tightening the spacer and threaded piece of L-handle through the slider from the bottom with the handlebars on top of the slider as shown in the video. Then re-assemble the L-handle. Once the L-handle is installed/assembled correctly you should be able to use it to loosen the handlebar and slide it to the best position for you.
  • The final step is to install the flywheel guard. Be sure to install the guard between the two notches in the frame as shown in the video.  Using the associated bolts install the guard to the frame at the bottom of the guard. Now use a 5MM Allen wrench to tighten the bolts into the frame.
  • The final step is to go over all hardware on the bike to make sure it is properly tightened.

Additional Resources:
Keiser Parts
Fitness Equipment Repair Support Forum


How to Lubricate a Treadmill

A treadmill can be a great tool in improving your health and personal fitness. Treadmills do, however, require some basic maintenance. These basic maintenance steps include cleaning and occasionally lubricating the belt and deck. These steps will help to keep your treadmill fully operational. Treadmills typically need to be lubricated every six months. Depending on use it may need to be lubricated more often. Some models will tell you when it is time to lubricate by displaying a message on the console. Be sure to check will your Service Manual for more details.


  • Choose a treadmill lubricant approved by the manufacturer of your treadmill. We recommend using a lubricant specifically made by the manufacturer in order to avoid any damage to the deck or belt of the treadmill. If you’ve purchased a replacement belt or deck be sure to check for what lubricants are suggested for that deck or belt.
  • Make sure you turn off the treadmill and unplug it from the wall socket before performing any maintenance to the machine. This will help avoid electrical shock. Find the running belt and the running deck of the treadmill. The running belt is the moving part that rotates around the base of the treadmill. The deck is the solid surface found underneath the treadmill belt.
  • Using the proper tool loosen the bolts on the rear roller. These two bolts are found at the back of the treadmill on both sides of the belt. These bolts control the tension of the belt. Once you loosen the bolts, the belt will lack and make it easy lift it up. Lifting the belt will give you access to the running deck. The belt and bolts are not to be removed from the treadmill. *Take not of how many turns you loosen each bolt.
  • Clean the treadmill belt and running deck by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Make sure you have removed any dust or dirt that may have accumulated.
  • Apply approximately 2 oz. of lubricant onto the top of the running deck between the belt. Evenly apply the lubricant as you spread it across the deck. Take caution to not get any on the walking surface of the belt.
  • Restore the belt to its original position by tightening the rear roller bolts. Before tightening the bolts refer back to how many turns you loosened the belt in step 3. Plug the treadmill in and turn it back on. To ensure that it is properly lubricated, walk on the treadmill for a few minutes. This will help thoroughly spread the lubricant over the running deck.