Air bikes are popular in the world of Crossfit, but would you want to bring one into your home? In this article, we’re taking a look at the best air bikes out there and everything you will need to know about them.
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By the end of this article, you’ll have an understanding of air bikes and we have 5 product recommendations, our number 1 choice being the Schwinn Airdyne Pro Exercise Air Bike. So if you’re thinking about getting on your bike, you can decide if this is the right exercise workout for you.
Best Air Bikes: The Top Picks
We look at the generic details of exercise air bikes below but if you want a look at other fitness bikes we have a guide for types of exercise bikes. Check out our top five picks for the best air bikes.
First off the bike rack, we have an air bike from the famous cycling company Schwinn who has been making quality bikes for over 100 years. This bike uses a belt drive for smooth operation and quiet pedaling. It offers progressive wind resistance technology, which engages and enables suitable resistance for every level of user from the fitness wannabe to the elite. It uses a customized 26 blade fan that Schwinn says burns more calories than any other competitor bike even while pedaling at the same RPM. This is based on the wattage output at the same level of effort.
One thing I love about this one is the tachometer on the screen. There’s nothing better than seeing that needle make its way over to the red. That’s motivation for you to keep going and pedal even harder.
- Dimensions: 55” x 26” x 53”
- Weight: 113 pounds
- Limited lifetime frame warranty; 30-day parts warranty
- Great beginner-friendly bike as well as elite
- Solid and durable
- Superior company reputation
- Comfortable to ride
- Limited parts warranty
- Heavier than some other bikes
Our next pick has 20 sealed ball bearings to provide a smooth, all-natural feel while pedaling. You get unlimited resistance for upper and lower body workouts based on maximum air resistance. The computer comes with training programs that allow you to set calorie counters, distance, or times to get the most out of your workouts.
- Dimensions: 49” x 22” x 51”
- Weight: 99.2 pounds
- Requires two AA batteries
- Five-year frame warranty; two-year parts warranty
- Commercial quality
- Easy to program workouts
- Grows with you
- Limited accessories
- Pedals don’t have foot-holds
The Sunny Health air bike comes with adjustable handrails with slip-resistant grips. These help you to hold on and work your upper body while working on your cardio as well. The seat is wide and well padded unlike many air and other exercise bikes which I have tried. Uncomfortable seats are a big issue, well to me anyway, but there shouldn’t be a problem with this one.
It comes with a monitor that tracks your time, speed, calories burned, and more. You can also put a mobile device on the placeholder to follow fitness videos or listen to music.
This bike comes with both a chain and belt-driven system to maximize performance while minimizing noise and vibration.
- Dimensions: 44” x 45” x 24”
- Weight: 60 pounds
- Two AAA batteries required
- An easy to operate monitor
- Little to no fan breeze
- Some reviewers had issues with incorrect parts
Our next bike is for the folks who are looking to get serious about their exercise regime. This air resistance bike offers virtually unlimited resistance. There are three higher intensity interval training programs that are built-in. The bike has Bluetooth with the free cloud fitness app and a backlit LCD screen that provides RPMs, calories, speed, and other features.
The design of this bike allows you to exercise sitting or standing up.
It’s a great relief for me to get out of the saddle. The handlebars use a dipped foam that permits you to take different positions while cycling.
One thing that stands out about this bike is its appearance. If you’re looking for something you can buy and show off to your friends, this is the bike. It looks great, and it offers a wide assortment of benefits and features.
- Dimensions: 54.5” x 26” x 48.4”
- Weight: 99.5 pounds
- 300-pound weight capacity
- Looks great
- Durable and well designed
- Bluetooth compatible
- Comfortable seat
- Straps on the pedals
- Noisier than others
- Small screen; barely visible
Our last bike is this affordable one that features knob controlled resistance levels. This is perfect if your fitness journey has just begun. Or it ended at college. However, for others, this bike has a plateau that is attainable and therefore limiting with their peddling heights. The bike comes with an adjustable seat with a comfortable cushion and an H frame design which is meant to improve stability to prevent tipping.
You also get a digital display on this bike that tracks your time, speeds, traveling distance, and calories. You get all the basic features you need at a good price.
- Dimensions: 41.75” x 22” x 46.5”
- Weight: 47.3 pounds
- 250-pound weight capacity
- One year frame warranty; 90-day parts warranty
- Great price
- Simple and durable design
- Built to prevent tipping
- Lacking flashy features
- Limited warranty
What is an Air Bike?
An air bike is like a normal stationary fitness bike. The primary difference is the fan on the air bike that is powered by your pedaling that creates air resistance. The harder you go… the harder you have to go.
These air bikes also known as fan bikes, don’t tend to have computers or programmed training systems. You need to set the resistance and do everything yourself according to your level of conditioning.
Air bikes are popular because they allow people to mimic riding a bicycle without leaving the house. You can get the perfect cardio workout using an air bike from the comfort of your home workout area.
Another big difference between an air bike and a stationary bike is that a lot of air bikes add another training element to the equation. Many air bikes have push and pull handles that incorporate an upper body workout into the training. This feature of the air resistance machine will enable a full body workout. Many will love this feature, others will aspire to using the handles. But for those who don’t want the handles, the air bikes will be a lot cheaper.
It’s a low-intensity, low-impact exercise that anyone of any level of ability can perform. You’ll have no problem hopping on one and burning plenty of calories without upsetting any previous injuries or joint issues.
How to Use an Air Bike
If you’ve never used an air bike you’ve probably seen pictures of them or have an idea what they look like. But you might be wondering, how the heck do they work. They provide a low-impact, lower, and upper body workout and they do a great job at burning calories.
If you use both your arms and legs on an air bike, you can burn as much as 90 calories per minute.
You’ll have to push yourself to achieve it.
To use an air bike, you’ll sit down on the seat and insert your feet into the footholds on the pedals. At this point, you want to test it out and see if you need to adjust the resistance to meet your needs. You can test out the arm handles as well.
If you are not interested in using both at the same time, you could treat the handlebars as regular handles and brace yourself for added support.
Once you have everything at the ideal resistance level, continue pedaling and watch the calorie counter go up.
Air Bike vs. Indoor Rower
Ah yes, the rowing machine. For cardiovascular purposes, they both meet their needs. They are great lower intensity workouts that you can perform at your own pace. Some people have issues with air bikes because they say they are uncomfortable for long periods and tough on the back.
I would argue and say that the rower machine is the worse on your lower back because of the repeated bending and pulling motion.
Either way, if you’ve ever used a rowing machine, you’ll adjust to an air bike with ease, and find it more comfortable.
Features to Look For in Air Bikes
There are quite a few things you want to look for in your air bike, here are some of the best features to find:
Of course, a drive system is a mandatory feature but there are two different kinds. One is a chain, and the other is a belt. Belt drives help to reduce the noise coming from the bike. If noise is not a concern, then you could go for a chain-drive because they are generally less expensive. Chain drives need regular greasing.
High-end air bikes come with large displays and plenty of buttons and controls for you to play around with. Having a screen is not a requirement but can be a good motivator. The main thing is to make sure the bike has speed controls and calorie counters.
The air bike should come with enough controls to allow you to customize your exercise experience. It should have different settings to change the workout. The height should be adjustable to accommodate you and anyone else who wants to try the air bike machine out.
Durability is a factor not to be overlooked. The air bike manufacturer or designer you buy from should have a good reputation. Ideally, they’ll be known for making long-lasting, sturdily built sports equipment.
Check the weight of the bike because that usually determines the strength of the materials that it’s made from. Think steel as opposed to plastic.
Are you a skilled craftsman? If not, you might want to try and get a bike that comes partially or fully assembled. Most air bikes will provide the tools you need to complete the job. I find that the instructions are almost always confusing and the assembly never goes as planned.
If all else fails, you can pay for professional assembly, but that’s another added cost that you don’t want.
There are a plethora of different accessories you can get, but sometimes less is more. Having features like a cup holder, seat cushions, and even bike mats are useful. Depending on where you’re keeping the bike, I highly recommend looking into bike mats. If the bike doesn’t sit completely flat on the ground, it will get incredibly annoying after a while.
Last but certainly not least, you need a good warranty. Some exercise bike companies offer lifetime warranties that protect you against anything serious. Other manufacturers may not be so generous. And you may have to scour their terms on their website. You’ll get a frame warranty that generally lasts two years.
They also offer a parts warranty that is as little as 90 days or as long as five years. Either way, you almost always have to pay return shipping, which is expensive for something so large and heavy.
Manufacturers can also always claim that you “misused” the bike and that led to the damage.
My word of advice is to be careful with the bike, so hopefully, you don’t have to worry about the warranty. (easier said than done, right?)
Our Verdict on the Best Air Bike
By now you should know more about air bikes than you ever thought you would want to know. You should understand what they are, how to use one, and why anyone would choose these over other exercise bike designs.
Air resistance bikes are very useful for both low and high-intensity workouts. Compared to a rowing machine, I reckon they’re more comfortable and easier on the back and joints.
If you’re thinking about picking up an air bike, I recommend choosing the Schwinn Airdyne Pro. It has all the essential elements you could want in an air bike.
It has progressive resistance which means it’s suitable for people of all fitness levels. It has a tachometer that motivates the heck out of me and it’s more durable and comfortable than most of the other bikes we have reviewed.
Plus, you can’t go wrong with a company like Schwinn who specializes in making bikes. Now, get pedaling!