Introduction: Exercise Bike Upgrade - Pedals, Grips, and a Fender (AirDyne, DX900, XR-7, EX-1000. Etc.)

About: “There's always something.” - Violet Baudelaire:

This is part of a compilation of MIY and DIY that came out of my “dusting off” the exercise bikes and looking at them from a renewed commitment standpoint. I had already done most of the modifications to the Airdyne over the last 20 or so years. However, in documenting the saddle replacement, I decided to address all of the modifications. I started out to make this a single Instructable, but broke it up into more manageable segments.

This Instrustable was written for the Schwinn AirDyne AD4 but the section on pedals applies to most exercise bikes.

Step 1: ​Pedals

The type of pedals on an exercise bike will depend on how you want to ride. Without shoes, you need pedals with a flat surface. I left the stock rubber “brick” pedals on the Airdyne. The Panasonic EX-1000 (100 better than a DX900?) got a pair of Schwinn Wide Ride pedals. The Panasonic originally had steel frame pedals that were standard on street bikes in the 50's and 60's. There are all manner of pedals, clips, cages, and shoes out there,

The AirDyne AD4 and the Panasonic EX-1000 pedals are both the standard size of 1/2 inch x 20 tpi, usually just listed as 1/2 inch.

Step 2: ​Replacing Pedals

To replace bike pedals, you will likely need a pedal wrench. Standard box, combo, or adjustable wrenches are usually too thick to fit between the crank and the pedal.

This instruction will work for either side because left pedal thread is reversed from the right pedal. You may need to apply a little penetrating oil to ease removal. Put something under the pedals to catch any drips. If you use a spray, shield around where you are spraying to keep it from going everywhere,

Since exercise bikes freewheel in either direction, so remove and replace pedals on one side at a time. I have ended up sitting on the saddle with one foot on the pedal not being removed and the other on the wrench. You can generate a lot more power with your leg than your arm. Be careful that you are positioned so that you don’t bark an ankle or shin or fall over if the pedal breaks loose suddenly.

Don’t use a locking compound. Pedals are designed to not unscrew in operation.

To remove old pedals:

1, Rotate the pedal until the crank faces forward and is horizontal to the floor.

2, Place the wrench on the pedal flats, facing backward, between the crank and the pedal.

3. Use your foot to press down on the wrench.

4. Continue rotating the wrench and remove the pedal.

To install new pedals:

1. Lightly grease the threads to make them easier to install or remove (if needed).

2, Hand thread the pedal into the crank and then use the wrench to snug the pedal,

3. Rotate the pedal until the crank faces backward and is horizontal to the floor.

4, Place the wrench on the pedal flats, facing forward, between the crank and the pedal.

5. Use your foot to press down on the wrench.

Repeat for the other side and you are ready to go.

Step 3: ​Grips

I replaced the grips at one point with OEM foam grips. The originals, like many foam products, began to exhibit signs of the black death with lots of tiny black particles falling off. The replacement foam was very rough and uncomfortable on the hands.

I bought a CPAP SnuggleHose Cover in gray to match the AirDyne (8 colors to choose from). It is a six foot long soft polyester fleece tube. It was cut it in half, turned inside out, knotted at one end, turned right side out, and slid over the grips. They are much more comfortable. If they start looking ratty, the ugly part can be cut off and the cover redone. However, they have worn very well and three feet on each side is probably a lifetime supply for me.

Step 4: Wind Screen Fender

It does keep the wind generated by the fan from blowing on you. But then you set up a household fan to blow on you. Not every modification is a winner.