Introduction: Add Cadence/Speed/Odometer to Your Spin Bike.
The problem with most spin bikes is that there is no cadence function and you have to calculate cadence by counting your pedal strokes (which I find irritating). The other problem is the bikes that do have this functionality cost about twice as much as a normal one. (I know, the CylceOps is nicer for other reasons also, I would love one).
Now you can have cadence, trip distance, average speed, total distance, etc. on your bike without having to pay the extra $800.
Step 1: Materials:
Cyclecomputer with cadence.- I used a cateye because it was inexpensive. You could use a wireless one and the whole process would be cleaner.
1/2" copper tubing 1.5 - 2" long
Black Electrical Tape
2 Zip ties
Clear silicone caulk
Step 2: Mount Computer to Handlebar
This is pretty straightforward... it is in the instructions to the computer.
Step 3: Mount the Speedometer Sensor
The speedo sensors are designed to wrap around the small tubing of a front fork, not the 1.5" square tubing on the spin bike. so I took the piece of 1/2" copper tubing and snipped a "v" shape at the bottom ( see the call-out)so I could slip it behind the existing screw in the chain guard.
Next I Put some black electrical tape on so that the copper wouldn't stand out... It would have been better to paint it
Next I mounted the speedo sensor to the copper tube like you would on a bike.
Then I slipped the notched tube in behind the allen screw and tightened it to the chain guard.
THE FIRST PHOTO IS SHOT FROM BELOW LOOKING UP. YOU CAN SEE HOW THE NOTCH IN THE TUBING IS TIGHTENED UNDER THE SCREW. THE SECOND PHOTO IS MORE OF A SIDE VIEW
Step 4: Run the Cadence Sensor and Attach
Ok. Now had to get the cadence sensor mounted. I am still not satified with this solution in terms of it being a clean install but it works. ( happy for any constructive ideas ).
Basically i coiled the cable down one of the forks like usual. But as you can see I just used electrical tape to hold it in place. (lame I know ) I was not sure that I wanted to drill into the chainguard and run it inside ( mostly because I did'nt want to cut the cable )
I mounteed the sensor/reed switch first so that I could get it in the right spot so the magnet on the crankarm would work.
I used clear silicone to glue it into position and put some black electrical tape on after it had dried.
Step 5: Attach Magnet to Crankarm
Due to the placement of the sensor, I had to mount the magnet further down the crankarm (nearer the pedal axle) than normal.
This caused the problem of the ziptie inching the magnet toward the bottom bracket and moving the magnet away from the sensor causing it not to pick up the cadence (note the crankarm gets smaller)...
I solved this with... You guessed it...some silicone caulk on the magnet and ziptie and a second zip tie below.
4 years ago
It looks like there's a screw in the last picture. You could get a slightly longer screw and put a ring praseodymium magnet around it
6 years ago
What wheel measurement did u use?
Reply 6 years ago
I can't remember the exact measurement...(10 years ago) But you can take one of those tape measures that are made out of fabric and use that. Make sure you enter the measurement in mm.
8 years ago on Introduction
Really useful article. What wheel measurement did u enter into the computer for the speed sensor?
Reply 6 years ago
Did u get the measurement?
Reply 8 years ago on Introduction
I took a fabric tape measure and measured the circumference of the wheel. Converted it to mm and entered that into the computer. Let me know if it works.
6 years ago
Excellent info, thanx, However, i notice a part mounted to the wheel. Looks like it is for the sensor. How did you mount that? I didnt see that in the instructions. Please forgive me if I overlooked it.
7 years ago on Introduction
It’s really great tips thank you so much I have implemented as you listed.
7 years ago on Introduction
Excellent info here, I am currently doing
some research and found exactly what I was looing for.
12 years ago on Introduction
One trick I did on my exerbike install: I only wanted cadence but my Cateye Mity would not turn on unless the speed sensor was triggered. Rather than bother mounting the speed sensor/magnet/wiring, I stuck some tin foil between the head unit readout and the mounting bracket, arranged so that the cadence sensor got shorted to the speed sensor input on the readout. That way the cadence sensor triggered both the cadence and speed readouts. The speed readout is consequently wrong, your real speed is zero on an exercycle anyway :-), but I don't care.
14 years ago on Step 3
15 years ago on Introduction
Hi, interesting article. now do you know how to turn a red wheel spin bike in to a black wheel spin bike? (Usually in a red wheel spin bike you can stop pedals until the spin wheel is stin moving, in a black wheel spin bike to stop the pedals you must to stop the wheel too)
Reply 15 years ago on Introduction
On my red spin bike you cannot coast without pedaling. But this bike is about 5 years old so maybe the new ones have a freewheel. Anyway, I think you could go to schwinn's website and find out maybe. Usually the black one is the pro version and costs more. It has more seat and stem adjustment holes in it.
16 years ago
So the magnet was inching towards the inside? Not quite sure why the second ziptie is on the inside. The electrical tape usage is fine. Who cares how an exercise bike looks anyway? You might be interested in replaceing the magnet. It looks like there's a screw in the last picture. You could get a slightly longer screw and put a ring deodymium magent around it and then put some glue on to secure it.
Reply 16 years ago
sorry, the magnet was inching down the crankarm... toard the bottom bracket... so I put the second ziptie below it... to hold it up. the deodymium magnet idea is good... I will try it