I recently bought a second-hand Life Fitness C3 exercise bike but found the resistance at level 1 to be too strong making it very difficult to use and a real strain on the leg muscles.
I initially found this article which mentions increasing the distance gap between the Eddy Brake and the Flywheel thereby reducing the effectiveness of the resistance, but it requires removing the cover and the crank arm with a spanner and crank puller. Then loosening the bolts and increasing the gap with the use of a feeler gauge. I didn’t have the tools and I felt that there must be an easier way to make an adjustment – and thankfully – there is!
The Life Fitness C3 exercise bike was originally bought in 2008.
The part number on the back of the console is ADV-000X-0203.
This procedure may void your warranty so you carry this out at your own risk. I make no guarantee that this will work on your bike.
Firstly, remove the four screws, two on the left and two on the right from the shroud at the base of the handlebars. Lift this up and out of the way. I threaded some cord through one of the screw holes and tied it up around the handlebars to keep it clear.
At the front of the bike, there are a number of screw holes. Using a crosshead screwdriver, remove the screws from the front at the top and the bottom of the casing and this should allow you to gently prize apart from the cover to reveal the metal frame of the bike and the control board at the front.
You should see a control board that looks like this:
In the top left hand corner, there is a potentiometer (or variable resistor) marked V2.
Using a small screwdriver, adjust this very slightly anti-clockwise.
You will see from these before and after pictures that I adjusted it by only a couple of millimeters.
And this did the trick.
This very slight adjustment, decreases the voltage to the brake on the flywheel, thereby reducing the amount of resistance required to pedal the C3 exercise bike at Level 1.
The increase through the levels gradually increases the resistance making it much easier to ride.
I hope this is helpful to someone.