Sportsmith Blog
12Jun/140

How to Install The Schwinn Airdyne Wedge Pin


Installing the Schwinn Airdyne Wedge Pin

The following instructions for installing and removing wedge pins are applicable to Airdyne bike models AD3, AD4 and some Pro/Comp models. Each wedge pin has a flat edge that mates with a corresponding part. All parts that require a wedge pin will have a flat edge in one location. This allows the wedge pin to slide into position. To assemble the eccentric arm and cartridge, slide the eccentric onto the post of the cartridge, install the wedge pin and put the washer and nut on the back side.

Removing the Wedge Pin

To remove the wedge pin, use a wrench to loosen the nut at the top until there is a bit of play behind it. Use a rubber mallet to tap the top until the wedge pin begins to move down through the opening. Once the wedge pin slides easily, take the nut completely off the wedge pin and push the wedge pin out of the assembly. If the wedge pin has been installed on a machine for an extended length of time, it may be somewhat difficult to remove.

Installing Wedge Pins in the Proper Direction

When installing wedge pins during the crank arm assembly on Airdyne bikes it is important to be aware of the direction in which the wedge pins are installed. The crank arms on each side of the assembly should be at exactly a 180 degree angle from one another. It’s essential that the wedge pins on each side of the assembly are installed in opposite directions to ensure the crank arms are positioned correctly. If the wedge pin on the eccentric side has the nut up and the stud down, the wedge pin on the opposite side should be reversed.

Tightening the Assembly

Inside the nut, there is a nylon insert. The nut must be tightened sufficiently for the threads to grasp the nylon insert for it to hold properly. Proper tightening is accomplished by pushing the wedge pin in and starting the nut manually. Use a wrench to ensure it is thoroughly tightened. There should be no play in it at all. As a precaution, check the part after it has been installed for a while to verify that the nuts remain tight. If they are not seated properly, once the machine is in operation, they will begin to move. Even though the wedge pin may be seated correctly, if the nut isn’t tightened properly, there will be play between the moving parts that will cause the system to wear out prematurely.

Additional Resources:

Schwinn Airdyne Parts

7May/140

How To Lubricate A Treadmill Deck Using Liquid Lube in 4 Easy Steps

Video about How to Lubricate a Treadmill using Liquid Lube

  1. To begin, clean the deck and belt by loosening the rear roller bolts 10 turns as seen in the video. It is best to loosen each side five turns and then repeat the process. Now that the belt is loose you can take an old towel and place it under the belt as shown in the video. Move the towel up and down the deck, then using your hands pull the belt around half way to ensure you have completely cleaned the back of the belt. Then remove the towel.
  2. Open your lube packet and use half of the package to make a half circle on the deck, from the front outer portion of the deck toward the center and then back to the outer edge. Use about half the package for this arc. Now repeat the process on the opposite side. Be sure to wipe up any excess oil as it is very slick!
  3. Use your hand to move the belt around some more to begin spreading the lubricant out.Now tighten the rear roller bolts back to the exact amount of turns they were loosened previously.
  4. Power on and start the machine and let it run slowly for a few seconds to make sure the belt is staying aligned in the center of the deck area. If it is not centered correctly, make minor adjustments to correct the issue. Tighten the left bolt to move the belt to the right and tighten the right bolt to move the belt to the left. Now walk on the belt for a minute or so to fully distribute the lubricant.

All liquid and powdered treadmill wax is available here

1Apr/130

Star Trac: StairMill – How to check Battery Drain and Adjust Chain Tension


Having a problem with you Star Trac StairMill battery draining and the unit not powering up? It’s possible that you have too much tension in the chain system.

Below is a summary of the video above, "Star Trac: E-SM - Battery Drain and Chain Tension" by Star Trac.

  • Perform weight test. This will allow you to verify if there is too much tension.
  • Check chain tension. There should be a 25mm-32mm gap between the Idler Pulley and the chain.
    • If the gap is less then 1 inch you will need to Adjust the Idler Pulley Gap.
    • Loosen both right and left side pillow blocks.
    • Make an adjustment on the set screws using an Allen key. The brackets on the right and left side should be the same. Tight pillow blocks back.
  • Measure chain sag.
    • Place a straight edge across the top and bottom bearing.
    • Measuring the amount of sag from the bottom of the straight edge to the top of the chain there should be ¾”(19mm).
  • Adjusting the Chain Tension for the Correct Amount of Sag.
    • Loosen pillow blocks on both the right and left side of the bottom pulleys.
    • Back out set screws. (Equal amount on both sides).
    •  Before checking sag tighten pillow blocks on both sides.
    •  Should have a ¾”(19mm) gap on both right and left sides.
  • Perform weight test again. Double check the sag measurements and make corrections if the steps still do not move.
  • Test the StairMill before putting the shrouds back on the machine.

For Star Trac Replacement Parts click here.

8Feb/130

How to Replace the Magnet-Standoff on a Life Fitness 95Xi CrossTrainer

About This Video

Replacing the Magnet and Standoff Assembly on a LifeFitness 95Xi Crosstrainer

  • This video demonstrates how to replace the magnet and standoff assembly on your 95Xi Crosstrainer by LifeFitness

Tools necessary:

  • Philips Screwdriver
  • T25 Driver
  • T50 Driver
  • 2MM Allen Wrench
  • 5/32” Allen Wrench
  1. Remove the main shrouds as seen in Sportsmith’s main shroud removal video
  2. Remove the outer link cover as seen in the Outer Link Cover removal video
  3. Remove the Left Pedal Lever Assembly as seen in Sportsmith’s pedal lever replacement video
  4. Remove the two bolts holding the crank arm cover in place, and remove the crank arm cover
  5. Remove the screw securing the magnet and standoff assembly to the drive pulley and remove the assembly from the unit
  6. Install the new magnet and standoff assembly in reverse order

This concludes today’s repair demonstration.

26Dec/120

Replacing a Treadmill Running Belt and Deck

Following is a basic guideline of removing and replacing the running belt and deck on a treadmill. Due to different brands and designs of treadmills, the following should only be used as a guideline. If any of the information is not exact to the treadmill being serviced, refer to the service manual or call Sportsmith for further help.

Tools Needed: Phillips Screwdriver, Set of Allen Wrenches, Set of Box End or Open Face Wrenches (Tools needed may vary depending on treadmill. )

  1. Switch the Power off on the unit.
  2. Next, unplug the unit from the wall.
  3. Remove the finger guard retaining screws and carefully remove the finger guards from the deck at each end of the rear roller.
  4. Loosen each rear roller bolt by 10 full turns. Then count the remaining turns necessary to remove the rear roller bolts. Remember to write down the number of turns needed to remove the bolts in each side for future reference.
  5. Carefully remove the rear roller from the unit. Clean any wax or debris buildup from the roller and place it aside.
  6. Raise the shroud and secure it with a bungee cord.
  7. Work the drive belt off the motor pulley by hand turning the flywheel while pushing the belt aside.
  8. Now remove the front roller retaining bolts.
  9. Carefully remove the front roller from the unit. Clean off any wax or debris buildup and set it aside.
  10. Loosen and remove the deck mounting hardware.
  11. Move the deck toward the left side of the frame to free the deck from the right side. The deck will move down once the frame has been cleared.
  12. Remove the deck and belt by raising the right side edge of the deck over the frame rail and sliding it to the right to remove.
  13. When installing a new belt or deck it is important to note that a new belt and deck surface should always be installed together. Failure to adhere to this guideline will severely shorten the life of the newly installed parts. Some decks can be used on both sides. However, be sure that each side is only used once. Be sure to install the belt in the proper direction on the unit.
  14. Install the belt and deck by first putting the belt on the deck, and then installing them from the right side as a unit.
  15. Be sure the deck is lined up with the frame and push the deck to the left side.
  16. Now carefully lower the right side of the deck to insert it into the frame rail and then push the deck to the right as far as possible.
  17. Re-install deck mounting hardware. (Check with mfr. for proper torque during install process.)
  18. Carefully place the front roller on the deck under the belt and push it forward into place, while placing the drive belt on the inside of the drive pulley.
  19. Replace the front roller bolts. (Check with mfr. for proper torque during install process.)
  20. Now spin the roller by hand while pushing the drive belt onto the pulley. Be sure to spin the roller several times to insure complete installation of the drive belt on the pulley.
  21. Install the rear roller into unit. Carefully start each bolt and turn one to two threads to ensure no cross-threading has occurred.
  22. Tighten each rear roller bolt the number of turns you kept earlier for reference.
  23. Now, Plug in and power on the unit.
  24. Carefully remove the bungee cord from the shroud and lower it back into place.
  25. Start the unit at a very slow speed and check for proper belt alignment. Remember to start at the slowest speed possible and be ready to stop the unit quickly if needed.
  26. If the belt is moving to right side of unit tighten the right roller bolt, If the belt is moving to the left side of the unit tighten the left roller bolt until the belt is tracking properly.
  27. Caution: make very small adjustments such as ¼ turns and then watch the belt for several moments before making another adjustment.
  28. Once the belt is tracking properly walk on the unit at a slow speed and check for belt slippage on foot fall. If this is happening tighten each of the rear roller bolts equal turns until the slippage is no longer occurring. Caution: make very small adjustments such as ¼ turns and then watch the belt for several moments before making another adjustment.
  29. Now use the unit at a jogging speed to check for belt travel or slippage.
  30. If slippage still occurs make small equal adjustments (1/4 turns) to both sides of rear roller and re-test.
  31. Install the finger guards once you have enough clearance from the rear roller.
  32. Some manufacturers require wax or lube during the install process, please consult your owner’s or service manual for further information regarding this.

27Nov/120

How to Replace Mando Alternator Brushes found on StarTrac Steppers & Bikes

About This Video

Video Demonstration of How to Replace Mando Alternator Brushes found on StarTrac Steppers & Bikes

  • This procedure demonstrates how to change the brushes of a Mando alternator that is used on StarTrac fitness equipment such as bikes and steppers
    • It is not necessary to remove the alternator from the machine to remove/install the brushes
  • To replace or inspect the brushes you must first remove the brush cover as shown in the video. It is attached with two nuts and a screw. Remove them and then remove the cover as shown in the video
  • Once the cover is removed you will notice the black rubber seal, this should be included with your new brushes. If not it can be re-used
  • You will still have two screws holding the brush assembly in place. Remove them and then you may need to use a screw driver to pry up on the brush assembly as shown in the videoto get it to come loose. The brushes shown in the video are new; This is not what a used pair of brushes will look like. Worn brushes will have a rough surface as well as being shorter than this pair. Generally worn brushes will also leave quite a bit of carbon dust in the alternator which can increase resistance between the brushes and the commutator. Therefore it is always a good idea to use a commutator stone as shown in the video to clean up the surface of the commutator before installing a new set of brushes
    • Note: Using forced air to blow the carbon dust out of an alternator is not good practice. It can release the powder carbon into the air and inhalation of this can be harmful. Use of a vacuum with small attachments is the only safe option
  • First locate the surface of the commutator by noting the surface the brushes rub against when installed. Focusing on one side of the surface at a time, spin the alternator pulley a few times while holding slight pressure against the commutator with the commutator stone. Doing so will clean and prepare a fresh surface for the new brushes to make contact with
  • There are two versions of the Mando alternator brush assembly
    • The version one brush assembly has a 1/4" height from the base where the rubber seal sits to the top of the brush housing as shown in the video
    • The version two assembly measures 13/32" from the rubber seal seat to the top of the brush housing, which is also shown
  • To reinstall the brushes place them as shown in the video and hold them in place while replacing the screws in the brush assembly
  • Now place the cover over the brushes and re-install the screw and two nuts. Once the cover has been replaced the procedure is complete
17Oct/120

How to Tension a Treadmill Running Belt

So how do you adjust the Tension on a Treadmill Running Belt?

It is necessary to properly tension a treadmill belt when it is replaced. After time, a belt can stretch and may begin to slip. When this happens, it is necessary to adjust the tension of the belt to stop it from slipping.

Manufacturers of treadmills generally agree on one of three procedures for tensioning a running belt.

  1. Adjust for no slippage of the treadmill running belt on the front roller (Often referred to as the "Stomp Test")
    1. This procedure works well for a previously installed belt that is now slipping.
    2. Underside of belt should be free of any glazing/wax buildup.
    3. Rollers must also be free of wax buildup.
    4. Be sure belt tracking/centering is correct before proceeding.
    5. The most popular speed for this adjustment is 2mph to 3mph.
    6. Try to slow the belt by applying pressure with your foot against the belt movement while grasping the handrails. If the running belt slow, slips or stops (and the front roller does not) adjust BOTH adjustment bolts 1/4 turn clockwise. Test again and repeat adjustment if necessary.
  2. This procedure requires two belt gauges or calipers
    1. This procedure works well when installing a new belt.
    2. This procedure requires you to stretch the belt. Depending on the manufacturer*, this varies between .4 and .6 percent. A dial on the gauge or caliper will indicate the amount of stretch. *Consult the owner/service manual for proper tension.
    3. If you are working on a previously tensioned belt you will need to release the tension before attaching the gauges or calipers.
  3. Gauges or Calipers unavailable
    1. Release the tension on the belt.
    2. Using a yard stick or tape measure, place two marks on the left and right edges of the belt and deck 36 inches apart (or 50 inches if you prefer).
    3. Adjust the left and right tensioning bolts until both sides measure 36 3/16 inches (or 50 1/4). This is equal to .5% of stretch.
    4. Test for proper tracking and tension, adjust if necessary.
27Aug/120

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
21Aug/120

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].

14Aug/120

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