I have an exercise bike that works by a (I'm assuming solid iron) flywheel and a 'horseshoe' of magnets that are moved in and out to set the difficulty.
I have attached an image of the same design found on Google Images so you can see what I have:
What I want to do is make the bike harder to pedal. For this, I have bought a bunch of neodymium magnets online, after reading that they were the strongest magnets you can easily get.
I bought a bunch of circular ones and smaller flat ones. I've routed an 'arm' out of MDF to screw them onto - so far I've only done the circular ones but I would have gone on to try the flat ones as well. I've illustrated what I'm doing here:
So I'm using the MDF arm as a lever to move the magnets in and out in the same way as the horseshoe would. The idea is to test the concept before I go messing around with the real horseshoe.
And I'm glad I tested it because so far, nothing is working as I would intuitively expect. The magnets have no effect at all on the flywheel!
What's going on?