There are a lot of websites dedicated to buying (and even selling) new and used gym equipment, but not a lot of articles around repairing gym equipment. This is a topic that needs to be explored.
What kinds of brands are generally considered more reliable, where parts are more readily available on the secondhand and other repair parts sites?
Here's a quick summary of a few brands that you might find helpful in your search for reliable fitness equipment manufacturers, and a playlist of a few videos you might find helpful in your search for good repair parts sites:
So what advice would you need if a piece of equipment is broken down or needs repair? Well, depending on the type of equipment, it might not actually be that hard to repair!
1. What are my favorite repair parts websites?
These websites offer a great variety of repair parts, are completely searchable by brand, model number, and serial, and list compatibility for each of the parts on their website.
2. If it's cardio equipment and battery powered, try replacing the battery yourself!
Some cardio equipment is not powered by a electrical charging cable, and just has a built-in battery. Is the unit powering on by you stepping on the pedals and operating the machine while not plugged in? Then it's probably battery powered. In a lot of cases you can search a website like fitnessrepairparts.com and look for the parts diagrams to determine where the battery is located, and if you think it will be easy to access and replace the battery.
Life Fitness bikes, recumbents, and ellipticals are extremely easy to access and replace batteries, and I would highly recommend investigating this option first for those models, particularly because the batteries retail for only around $20-$30.
In other cases, batteries for other units and brands may be easily purchaseable at regular battery retailers near you.
3. For free weights, don't repair broken or damaged bumper plates, dumbbells, or barbells. You are asking for trouble.
If you are trying to repair cracked bumper plates, understand that the bumper plate has already gone through so much internal damage that the external repair is just that: external. The internal integrity of the bumper has already been compromised and there may be other things going on below the surface that you don't see and can't repair.
But why waste these bumper plates?
In my opinion, the best thing is not to repair damaged bumper plates, but rather repurpose them for sled drags, plate loaded equipment, or other pieces that don't require dropping or applications with a barbell.
Particularly in commercial settings, when bumper plates get cracked or broken, you always want to buy new or lightly used ones to replace them.
For dumbbells and barbells that break or bust, see if there is a warranty associated with those brands. Don't try to weld dumbbells or repair broken collars or sleeves on barbells, or heads on dumbbells. Dumbbells will likely fall apart again, and any welds you make likely won't be as strong as the original manufacturing welds. You could cause serious injury if the weld or head breaks again.
Same thing with barbell collars and sleeves. As soon as screws come loose, the sleeves crack, etc. the internal integrity is now compromised. There may be other issues with the barbell that are not quite as apparent, meaning the barbell has reached end of life, so seek out manufacturing warranties or replace the barbell entirely.
4. For broken strength equipment, refer to the websites above, and go to fitnessrepairparts.com or manualslib.com for diagrams.
Strength equipment is pretty straightforward to repair. Normally the wear parts that go on these machines are belts, chains, cables, or pulleys. Replace these and you are good to go. The padding, mentioned later in this article, is another primary item that will likely need to be replaced over time.
Since most strength equipment is either bolted or welded together, the number of things that can break on a strength piece is thankfully limited. Normally these pieces are built to last, heavy duty, and don't breakdown as easily as cardio and conditioning equipment. Treat it well, and it will last forever.
Sometimes you will need to go to the original equipment manufacturer for parts, but the repair parts site mentioned in #1 should suffice for most manufacturers.
5. Busted or cracked padding? Try a local upholsterer or re-padding website.
My personal favorite is Full Circle Padding. But there are other padding and repair websites, including local upholsterers in your area who also do fitness equipment. Make some calls, see what you can get done, and if you have multiple pieces that need to be re-padded, see if you can get quantity discounts.
Sometimes it pays to replace the entire pad and not just the cover, but if you can find a good local upholsterer, they can often work with you to replace the pads at an extremely reasonable rate, particularly if you have multiple pieces in need of repair.
That's it! Any other questions? Contact us at https://freedomfitnessequipment.com/pages/contact-us .