Air bikes give people of all skill levels – from casual exercisers to elite athletes – the ability to squeeze in both cardio workouts and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in the comfort of their own home.
Top 5 Best Air Bikes For Home Workouts
Schwinn Airdyne Pro
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Schwinn AD6 Airdyne
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Xebex Air Bike Smart Connect
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Xebex Air Bike
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What Is An Air Bike?
Air bikes, also known as assault bikes are a type of stationary bike that features a fan that is driven by the power and speed of the pedals along with two handles that move back and forth.
They’re pretty simple to use:
1. Sit on the air bike’s seat, grab the handles, and put your feet on the pedals.
2. Start pedaling slowly while moving the handles back and forth. As you pump the handles and pedals harder and faster, the air bike will increase its resistance.
3. As you get more comfortable with the movement, speed up. Instead of moving forward, keep your back straight.
4. For interval training, pedal as fast as possible for 15-30 seconds with rests of half a minute to a minute in between. For an aerobic workout, maintain a steady pace for 20-60 minutes.
How Are Air Bikes Different From Other Exercise Bikes?
There are now a number of different types of exercise bikes on the market. Some of these utilize air resistance to aid training methods while others do not.
This is one of the biggest ways in which air bikes differ from other types of exercise bikes. Air bikes incorporate a built-in fan within their steel frame that creates a level of resistance that depends on how fast you pedal and how quickly you pump your arms. This air resistance directly affects the belt drive, meaning the more you pedal, the more air resistance is generated and the harder you work.
This is the second way in which air bikes differ, they include handles that allow the rider to work their upper body along with their legs while riding. This is perfect for CrossFit athletes that want a workout for their upper and lower body.
History of The Air Bike
Air bikes really began to grow in popularity around the 1980s alongside the home gym boom. This popularity was largely based on their compact design and the huge advantage of being able to work the upper and lower body in one exercise session. The air resistance nature of air bikes also made them particularly suited to interval training just as high-intensity workouts really hit the mainstream.
HIIT workouts still remain popular today and it is no surprise to see the renaissance of air bikes in helping people hit their fitness goals. The revival of air bikes has also been due to the innovation of the product. Many air bikes now include LCD displays, take user weight into consideration when calculating calories, include a water bottle holder, all while delivering a smooth ride.
Benefits of Using an Air Bike
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are five main physical benefits of cycling indoors:
1. Low-Impact Workout – Air bike cycling is incredibly low impact for the intensity level of the cardio workout.
There is minimal impact on the knee, ankle, and hip joints when you use your air bike correctly. That is why physicians recommend air bikes for people recovering from orthopedic injuries.
2. Burn Calories – You have found the right exercise if your fitness goals include losing pounds of fat.
You will burn about 450 calories per a 30-minute workout, which translates to a pound of fat lost every eight sessions.
3. Increased Endurance of the Muscles – Once you get into the air bike routine, your muscles will be able to repeatedly and continually exert force for long periods of time.
The lower body muscles this will benefit include the calves, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps as well as those in the upper body including shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Not many pieces of equipment can work your arms and legs in the same motion.
4. Decreased Stress Levels – With high-intensity interval training workouts, you get the same “high” that runners talk about.
This release of endorphins has been known to enhance your body’s immune response, lower your stress, and create feelings of euphoria.
5. Improved Cardio Health – Continuous cardiovascular activity from riding your air bike at least 30 minutes per session can lower your overall resting heart rate, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, and decrease your risk of coronary artery disease, perfect for a piece of home gym equipment.
What to Look for When Buying an Air Bike
All air bikes may look similar at first glance, but there is a broad range of features.
Below, we will explore the different aspects of air bikes and why you might want to look for bikes that have these specific features.
Why Do You Want an Air Bike?
Any run-of-the-mill air bike will serve you well if you have an average physique and just want to casually exercise.
On the other hand, you are going to want an air bike with adjustable ball bearings and a heavy-duty frame if you are an athlete with clear goals.
You will want a bike that features a large digital console if you are someone who likes to monitor every workout.
This will let you know your speed, time, distance traveled, RPMs, and calories burned. Some displays even feature automated workouts to keep you entertained.
If the cardiovascular aspect of the air bike entices you, then you should place heavy emphasis on a bike with reviews that talk about how comfortable the seat is and adjustable the handles are.
Important Air Bike Features
We touched on a few of the key features found on air / assault bikes, but there are further options you might be interested in:
Since air bikes feature a fan wheel, there is a certain level of noise that is to be expected. For agarage gym, this will not be an issue.
However, if you live in an apartment with thin walls, want to watch television, or listen to music while working out it might become an issue particularly with high-intensity interval training where you’re looking to ramp up calories burned and working overtime. With the amount of resistance created the chain drive has to work even harder which is what generates the noise. On the whole, the best air bikes will generally be quieter in the amount of noise they produce.
Weight refers to the size of the bike and the size of the rider. Heavy-duty bikes for intense training weigh around 100 pounds and feature wheels to make them easier to move around.
If you’re a bigger person looking to shed pounds, make sure you choose a bike that can handle your weight. Most models have a capacity of at least 300 pounds.
In order to get the right stride as you are pedaling, all air bikes feature seats that adjust up and down. But, if you are a bigger or smaller person, this does not help with your arm strokes.
If you fall outside of the range of the average physique, look for a model that offers horizontal seat adjustments as well as high-density foam seats for extra comfort.
Bonus tip: Look for air bikes that include a water bottle holder.
Best Air Bikes Reviewed
Due to the broad range of air bikes available on the market, you might have a tough time choosing the perfect model for your needs.
To help you with this, we are going to review our top five options:
This airdyne bike has been considered a market leader for a long time and for good reason too. The majority of the AD Pro is made of steel and aluminum, which gives it a hefty weight of 113 pounds. And, its 42” long by 20” wide by 52” high footprint requires little space in your home.
Infinite levels of resistance are supported by the fan bike. The fan blade in the wheel helps build tension as the rider builds speed.
This makes the Airdyne Pro ideal for both high-intensity workouts and low-impact riding.
The sturdy design of this Schwinn air bike makes it strong enough for users who weigh up to 350 pounds.
A wide array of riders can find a comfortable stride length with the Airdyne Pro thanks to the adjustable padded seat, though individuals taller than 6’ may feel awkward.
You can make the most of your exercise session with the nine present programs. A range of interval training exercises and routines are supported by these workouts.
You get feedback in pulse, watts, RPM, calories, speed, distance, and time categories. To get heart rate, you will need to purchase a separate heart rate monitor. Schwinn recommends the following heart rate monitor: Polar® compatible 4.5kHz – 5.5kHz chest strap transmitter.
- 9 preset workout programs
- Supports users up to 6’ tall and 350 pounds
- This is the highest price bike on the list. but the quality is there.
- The new version contains more plastic parts then previous versions. Long term durability could become an issue.
All in all this really was the best air bike we reviewed.
The Assault Airbike is built to last with its 12-gauge steel handlebars, heavy-duty steel frame, metal fan blades, and 20 sealed ball bearings.
The overall weight of the bike is 98 pounds, and it has a 51” by 24” by 49” footprint.
There are no manual resistance adjustments on the Assault Airbike.
The 27-inch steel fan moving through the air as you pedal is all the resistance provided, so the level of difficulty of your workout will depend on how hard you pedal.
The assault bike supports riders who weigh up to 350 pounds, and it is easy to adjust the bike for people between the heights of 4’10” and 6’10”.
Both the handlebars and the seat adjust for maximum comfort.
Though it isn’t backlit and doesn’t come with a heart rate strap, the console for the Assault Airbike is one of the best available.
With this Airdyne bike there are eight programs, and you can easily see your heart rate, RPM, speed, watts, distance, calories, time, and interval.
- Easy to adjust for a broad range of body types
- 8 different programmable workouts to pick from
- Quick assembly in under 60 minutes
- Console does not come with a heart rate strap
- Pedals don’t have straps or baskets to keep feet in place and don’t support specialist shoes
The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne bike is the most affordable option on our list (often available for under $500), yet it is powerfully built with a combination of plastic and metal.
The aluminum and steel frame make up the majority of this sizable 112-pound bike.
The AD6 is a step up from its predecessor (the AD2) in that the frictionless steel fan runs quieter and it can hold larger people (up to 300 pounds.)
However, the AD6 is slightly larger than the top air bikes, at 50” by 26” by 51”, but as long as you have space, this just makes it more stable.
The frictionless technology found in the AD6 makes it easier on the joints with it progressive wind resistance. There is no other resistance so the faster you pedal, the more air resistance you will get, perfect for working the upper body and hitting your fitness goals.
The large console on this Airdyne bike is packed full of features, including the RevMeter RPM gauge which gives you a visual of how your interval training is going. And, six workout metrics are easily viewable simultaneously on the console making this one of the best air bike products we reviewed.
- 15-year warranty on the frame, 2 years for electronic parts
- 6 workout metrics viewable at the same time
- Water bottle holder is at a good height
- Effectively tracks calories burned
- Maximum weight capacity of just 300 pounds
- The LCD display is not backlit
Compared to its competitors, the Airbike puts a lot of emphasis on the durability of its moving parts. Key Value Add for this bike is its ability to connect via Bluetooth (BLE) or ANT+ to your mobile device or any device that other device with ANT+ for data collection.
For example, there are sealed ball-bearing cartridges at every joint, a sealed cartridge bottom bracket, and forged Chromoly cranks.
This fan bike has been designed to deliver a smooth ride and the durable nature of this bike means you won’t even notice how hard the belt drive is working.
The bike’s frame is made out of solid steel, and overall, it weighs in at around 104 pounds. This makes it ideal for heavier individuals.
The seat also adjusts vertically and horizontally to accommodate a broad range of body types.
The machine features a heavy-duty 24” fan in a 27” housing that provides all of the resistance. So, you will move more air and achieve greater resistance, when you pedal, pull, and push harder.
The Airbike console measures calories, speed, watts, distance, time, and with the right chest belt (Polar Heart Rate Chest Belts are recommended by Airbike), you can also measure heart rate. And, the large display allows you to view seven different key measurements at the same time.
Lastly, the AirBike features a front stabilizer with two oversized wheels that make it easy to move the bike into storage, even if it is situated on thick carpeting.
- Moving parts with durable construction
- 5-year frame and two-year non-wear parts warranty
- Seat that adjusts both horizontally and vertically
- The fan blades generate consistent wind resistance
- No pre programmed workouts
The Xebex Air Bike is made of a welded steel frame that won’t shake during your high-intensity workouts and consistency delivers a smooth ride.
The bottom bracket of the drivetrain features a sealed cartridge, which will keep grime from gumming up the works.
The first thing that strikes you about this 104-pound behemoth is the attractive design that looks like something out of a dystopian action movie.
It supports users up to 400 pounds in weight and can fit people of any height thanks to the vertically and horizontally adjustable seat.
As with other air bikes, the harder you pedal, the more resistance you will get from the Xebex Air Bike. The 24” fan offers endless resistance, but there are no additional ways to adjust the resistance.
The console is bright, large, and easy to read. There are several programmable custom interval functions, and the Xebex Air Bike tracks your heart rate, watts, calories, speed in miles or kilometers, time, and distance in miles or meters.
- Vertically and horizontally adjustable seat
- Supports users of all heights and up to 400 pounds
- Features two front-mounted wheels for easy relocation
- Ideal for high-intensity interval training and low-impact workouts
- Have to purchase heart rate monitor separately
If you’re looking to build more aerobic capacity or just needing to warm up before your wod, an air bike is a great an option! If you have the budget, for your gym this one piece of equipment will be a great addition, bring lots of pain :), but also bring the results!