The differences between a contact flywheel vs magnetic resistance impact your overall workout experience. For example, magnetic flywheel spin bikes are quiet to operate and require less maintenance but require a bigger initial investment. However, those with contact flywheel systems are cheaper and simulate a road bike more closely but require more maintenance and produce more noise.
What is Magnetic Resistance?
What is a Contact Flywheel?
Contact Flywheel vs Magnetic Resistance
Magnetic or Contact Spin Bike: A Summary
Pros and Cons of Magnetic Resistance
Very quiet operation at any level of resistance
Less maintenance needed with no flywheel contact
More accurate resistance control with computer-controlled machines
Could be better:
Higher initial price due to manufacturing costs
The resistance feel can be hard to get used to for those who regularly use a road bike
Pros and Cons of a Contact Flywheel
According to user reviews, it offers a smoother ride experience that closely simulates the feeling of using a road bike
Lower initial price point as its cheaper to manufacture
The resistance level can be increased to a higher level as the friction pad makes more contact with the flywheel
Could be better:
More prone to maintenance and replacement parts to keep functioning correctly
Much louder operation due to the flywheel contact
Flywheel or Magnetic Resistance: What We Recommend
Magnetic Resistance Bike We Recommend
photo by @maryp1603
Contact Friction Bike We Recommend
Does the Flywheel Weight Matter With Magnetic Resistance?
Whether magnetic or friction-based resistance is used, flywheel weight will impact the overall ride experience. A heavier flywheel is designed to act more like a real road bike, with more momentum meaning it takes more time to slow the wheel down. This also allows a smoother ride experience.
Lighter flywheels are easier to start and stop and usually better for joint health than heavier ones.
Do Magnetic Resistance Bikes Need Electricity?
A magnetic resistance spin bike needs electricity to fully function however it can still be used as a stationary bike without being plugged in. The magnet resistance system needs electricity to change the resistance and operate the LCD screen functions.
Magnetic resistance operates using magnets that create a magnetic field around the flywheel. They are quiet to operate and require less maintenance but can be more expensive initially. Contact flywheels use a friction pad that applies pressure against the flywheel. They offer a workout experience similar to a road bike and cost less but can require more maintenance and produce much more noise due to the flywheel contact. All in all, no matter what type of bike you choose, any of them will bring a lot of benefits to your health.
Which resistance system do you prefer? Can you notice a difference when cycling? Let me know in the comments below!
- Get the Most Out of Stationary Bicycle Workouts // VeryWell: https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-use-a-stationary-bike-3120808
- Indoor Cycling Class Benefits // Health Line: https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-a-spin-class#benefits
My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.
I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.