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Problems With the Free Spirit Recumbent Bike

author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
Problems With the Free Spirit Recumbent Bike
Woman on a recumbent exercise bike Photo Credit Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images


FreeSpirit is one of the manufactures of fitness equipment owned by Icon Health & Fitness, including several recumbent exercise bikes. Although Icon Health & Fitness equipment has a reputation for being well-made, if you own a recumbent bike, you'll eventually run into problems. You can fix these problems usually with something as simple as replacing the batteries or doing some troubleshooting.

Reed Switch

The reed switch is a small, coiled piece located under the shields of the bike near the pedals. The reed switch can move out of place, which will interfere with the bike's displays. Exactly how to get to the reed switch can be found in your manual. You will have to remove one of the shields and the pedal in front of it first. Once you have exposed the switch, you can adjust the distance to fix the display problems. When the reed switch is the correct distance from the magnet, the console will display proper feedback.

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Handgrip Pulse Sensors

The handgrip pulse sensors are handy features if they're working, telling you what your heart rate is in beats per minute. This allows you to know if you are exercising in a safe but effective zone based on your age and fitness level. If the sensors aren't working optimally, you won't be able to rely on the readings. Some recumbent bikes by FreeSpirit have metal contacts that register your pulse rate, either below the console or on bars on the sides of the console. Problems can arise if you do not remove the plastic coverings from the sensors, grip them too hard, move your hands while holding the contacts or if the sensors are dirty. You should use a soft cloth to wipe the sensors clean, but avoid chemicals or alcohol.

Console Problems

You may experience problems with your display if you have old batteries. The display may dim or even fail to turn on. Most console problems are fixed by replacing the batteries, according to FreeSpirit user manuals. Your manual will tell you what batteries you need, but you'll likely need four alkaline "D" batteries. You'll need to let the recumbent bike warm up if it has been in cold temperatures before replacing the batteries or the electronic components of the console can become damaged. Take off the battery cover and put the new batteries in as shown on the diagram on the battery cover.

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