It has been our experience that some NordicTrack skiers will develop a problem with the tension strap that rests on the flywheel to provide resistance even though the track has not been in use. Other tracks that are heavily used can also develop the same problem if they have been exposed to moisture or humidity. Tracks work best if they are in a climate controlled setting with very low humidity.
The problem develops when the flywheel, which is made from cast iron, begins to oxidize. The oxidation process will cause rust particles to eat into the back of the tension strap and embed themselves causing the strap not to work at all or will work with a very high degree of difficulty. The oxidized particles act like rough sandpaper on the tension strap causing an extremely premature wear out of the strap. In theory, if the oxidation is bad enough, it could wear through a strap.
To make sure that this has not happened to your flywheel, it is best to prepare the flywheel for use. Remove the old strap and before installing the new strap follow these next steps. Using a fine grit sandpaper or emory cloth, carefully sand the entire surface of the flywheel that comes into contact with the tension strap. We suggest that you carefully sand every area of the surface in the tension strap channel whether it looks like it needs it or not.
Once you have sanded the entire surface, use a soft clean cloth and wipe the entire area that has been sanded several times turning the cloth to make sure all debris have been removed. Install the new tension strap and use the track. This should eliminate any problem of premature wearing on the new strap.
We have had several customers who have returned straps under warranty with damage from oxidized flywheels. From this point forward, wear due to an oxidized strap is not covered under the warranty of the strap if we have provided instructions on how to clean the flywheel.
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