A spin bike isn’t the most complicated or dangerous piece of equipment you can use but there are still things to be done to ensure there are no injuries when in use or when being stored especially when there are young children in the house.
With most spin bikes you don’t have to worry about electric shocks as they don’t need to be plugged into wall socket for power. (There are exceptions). The consoles that the bikes have are usually powered by AA batteries or similar.
Before Using The Bike
As with any fitness equipment you should ensure it is properly maintained. This involves keeping it cleaned and checking the nuts and bolts to see if they have become loose and if any have tightening them up. This shouldn’t take too long but it needs to be done.
To avoid injury the bike should be adjusted so that it fits you properly to avoid putting strain on your knee and other joints as you pedal. The seat and handlebars of most spin bikes can be moved to fit your height and body type by using the adjustment poles and once in place they need to be tightened fully to avoid them moving around as you pedal.
You also should ensure you are ready to go to by dynamic stretching and warming up properly to prevent injury. You can find a quick overview here: http://www.spinning.com/community/a-refresher-on-warming-up/ if you don’t have your own routine in place.
There is also plenty of videos to follow along to such as:
If you’ve used a spin bike at gym you are likely to be aware of the actions you need to take to ensure you are using the bike properly and safely. The Spinner site recommends that you don’t do anything on the bike that you wouldn’t do on an outdoor bike to prevent falling off or your feet slipping off the pedals. A good guide to what you need to be aware of when using is here: http://www.spinning.com/file/download/tinymce_file_browser/99/Keep_it_Safe.pdf
You don’t want to be trying to pedal too fast, use one foot or cycle backwards or be moving around too much in the saddle or jumping out of the saddle too quickly.
Getting Off The Bike
This can be one of the most dangerous parts of using the bike while you getting used to them. Most spin bikes have a fixed gear – where the pedals continue to spin even after you’ve stopped pedaling as they are “fixed” to the flywheel by a chain or belt drive. The weight of the flywheel, which gives the natural bike feel to the motion, continues to pull the pedals through the motion and they will slowly come to a stop after you stop pedaling.
If you take your feet out of the pedals while they are moving your legs can get hit by the pedal causing bruising and worse. If you stop the pedals quickly with your feet you can put pressure on to your joints which may cause injury. It is advised that you use the emergency brake using the resistance knob or use slight backwards pressure with your feet to slow the pedals to a stop.
When you are using the bike you want to have at least 1 – 2 feet clear space on all sides of the bike so you can get off the bike the bike easily and quickly if you need to. It also provide enough room for others to get around the bike if they need to avoiding the flywheel and the pedals.
Storage and Moving
The bikes are heavy so when moving to storage you do need to be careful even though they do have transport wheels that help with in moving it around. The wheels take most of the weight but you do need to take some care to ensure you keep the bike balanced to avoid it tipping suddenly which may end up with you over balancing.
Apart from the climbing the bike and falling off the 2 parts of the bike that are the most dangerous are the pedals and flywheel as they both move so they could cause fingers or skin to get trapped or bruise or scrape. It is good to be able to store them out of the way when not in use and also to let children know not to come close when being used.
To prevent them from turning you can turn the resistance pad up to stop the wheel and pedals from turning or use a strap around the pedal and the frame to prevent the pedals turning thereby stopping the flywheel too.
Spin bikes or indoor cycles are relatively safe pieces of cardio equipment for home use but some common sense does need to be applied. They need to be regularly maintained and checked, adjusted correctly to fit the person using the bike properly, sufficient space allowed and when not in use to be stored out of the way or immobilized to prevent children hurting themselves. Take the necessary precautions as they say is being better safe than sorry and this will just add to the enjoyment and challenge in the long term to keep you on track to achieve your fitness goals.