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The pulleys on home gyms or commercial strength equipment are used every time a selectorized weight stack is lifted, yet they are often taken for granted and neglected.

Some gym pulleys are made of plastic and have a bushing in the center where the support bolt passes through, but better pulleys are made of fiber glass reinforced nylon and have bearings in the center. Most of the better gym pulleys last for years and require no preventive maintenance other than inspection.

They sometimes get chipped, cracked or chewed up at the outside edges. These deformities usually are a result of misuse of the equipment and allowing the weight stack to come too far up the guide rods and come into contact with the pulley. Over a period of time, the roller bearings built into the center of the pulley can wear out, causing a rough feel to the weight movement or making the pulley wobble. A wobbly pulley can cause a cable to derail and get damaged.

Sometimes, with wear, the channel in the pulley, where the cable rides, gets rough and can ruin the sheathing on the gym cable. This is most often caused by using the pulley with a partially frayed cable or one that is missing part of its sheath.

Inspect your gym's pulleys for damage or wear. If you find any defects, replace the defective pulley before it damages the associated gym cable.

If you need to find a replacement pulley, knowing the brand and model of the gym that the pulley is on will help you to get the correct replacement, but frequently, by the time the pulleys wear out the gym manufacturer is out of business. If that is the case when you are ready to order a replacement gym pulley, you will need to know three things about the pulley: the diameter, the bore ( basically, what size bolt passes through the hole in the center) and approximately how wide the pulley is at the center.


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