Best Air Bikes To Buy in 2022 – SI Showcase

Best Air Bike

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High-tech indoor cycling bikes tend to get all the buzz, but there’s a reason air bikes (also known as fan bikes) have been around since the 1970s: They work. As industrial and (frankly) intimidating as they may look—recognizable by an oversized fan in lieu of a traditional front wheel—air bikes provide a killer total-body workout that can scorch calories and improve your overall fitness. If you’re looking for a new way to approach at-home cardio workouts, check out our picks for the best air bikes, along with a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best one for you, how to use them and what benefits you can get from them. 

Our Picks for the Best Air Bike

Rogue’s air bike is a favorite among CrossFitters and one of the most stable machines on the market. Made from reinforced steel with a weight capacity of 350 pounds, you’d be hard-pressed to rock this bike during even your most intense intervals. Steel fan blades, a steel step plate, metal pedals, knurled heavy-duty footpegs (for when you want to use the arms without the pedals) and handles welded directly to the bike’s arms add to the Echo’s reputation for durability and longevity. But despite its bulky frame, the belt-driven system is hardly louder than the whoosh of a high-powered fan.

Pros

  • Adjustable seat has eight different height settings and five front-to-back settings
  • Battery-powered LCD console features a clear, high-contrast display
  • Very low maintenance

Cons

  • Frame is bigger than most on the market, which may be challenging for shorter users
  • Requires a heart rate transmitter (not included) to send data for heart rate tracking
  • Wind guard, phone holder and bottle cage all sold separately

Key features

  • One-inch polyurethane wheels at the front for easy maneuvering
  • Includes rubber leveling feet under each base tube to adapt to your flooring
  • Two-year warranty

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 59 inches L x 30 inches W x 53 inches H 
Weight: 127 pounds


Purchase Rogue Echo Bike


The Titan Fitness Air Bike comes in at under $700 (which isn’t that cheap), but it does offer similar features to more expensive bikes from Rogue and Schwinn at a lower price. It’s constructed from sturdy steel, comes with a built-in (and removable) fan guard, water bottle holder and phone holder, and has a high-contrast LCD console with a range of pre-programmed interval training workouts. So where is Titan cutting costs? This bike isn’t built to handle as much weight as machines from those big-name brands (330 pounds compared to 350), and you’re in for a noisier ride thanks to the chain drive system.

Pros

  • More affordable than some competitors
  • Comes with add-ons other companies charge for
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Chain drive requires regular maintenance (like greasing or lubing)
  • Monitor is difficult to read and not user-friendly
  • Noisier than bikes with belt drive systems

Key features

  • Fully enclosed metal chain drive
  • Comes with 10-inch turf tires and a built-in back handle for easy maneuverability over any terrain
  • One-year warranty

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 50 inches L x 20 inches W x 50 inches H 
Weight: 111 pounds


Purchase Titan Fitness Air Bike


Schwinn was the first company to bring an air bike to market—all the way back in 1978—and the Airdyne AD7 is still a solid competitor in the space. The AD7 comes equipped with a drive belt system that not only allows for greater power transfer and smoother transitions, but creates a much quieter riding experience; all you should hear is the sound of the 27-inch fan’s steel blades cutting the wind. Built from corrosion-resistant powder coated steel, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to use the frame’s 10-year warranty (one of the longest on this list).

Pros

  • Built-in air diverter to block you from the fan-generated air
  • Comes with nine preloaded training programs
  • Multi-position hand grips let you vary where you put your hands, wrists and arms for comfort

Cons

  • Seat can be uncomfortable
  • Low-tech LCD monitor can be hard to read in low light

Key features

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 53 inches L x 26.5 inches W x 53 inches H 
Weight: 113 pounds


Purchase Schwinn Airdyne AD7


Most air bikes are equipped with a 27-inch fan, while the Zephyr Air Bike’s is only 18 inches. The smaller the fan, the less resistance you can generate—which makes this a great entry-level machine for people who may be intimidated by just how challenging using an air bike can feel at first. The price is also a major selling point for those who might not be ready to fully invest in top-of-the-line equipment. The Zephyr has a wide, padded seat for comfort as you ride and non-slip pedals with adjustable straps to keep your feet secure as you ramp up the intensity.

Pros

  • Seat is adjustable vertically to accommodate leg inseams of 21.5-inches to 33.5-inches
  • Vertically adjustable handlebars to accommodate different heights
  • Built-in cupholder and phone holder

Cons

  • 240-pound weight capacity
  • Digital performance monitor is very basic
  • Not as sturdy as heavier machines

Key features

  • Constructed with both a chain and belt drive system
  • Built-in transport wheels for easy maneuverability
  • Three-year frame warranty

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 44 inches L x 24 inches W x 45 inches H
Weight: 65 pounds


Purchase Sunny Health & Fitness Zephyr Air Bike


Another budget- and beginner-friendly machine, the XTERRA AIR350 was built to accommodate heights from four-feet, seven-inches to six-feet, two-inches—giving a large range of riders an at-home, total-body workout option. The 20-inch flywheel won’t generate quite as much resistance as pricier models, but padded handlebars, an ergonomically molded seat and pedals with adjustable straps ensure beginners and athletes accustomed to higher intensities can ride comfortably. Plus, knurled foot pegs (those with traction) allow you to use the arms without pedaling for a targeted upper body workout. And for those newer riders, the user-friendly LCD monitor comes with four preset training programs.

Pros

  • Budget- and beginner-friendly
  • Seat can be adjusted up, down, forward and backward

Cons

  • 250-pound weight capacity
  • No backlight on the console, which can make reading difficult in low-light conditions

Key features

  • Belt-drive system
  • Built-in transportation wheels for easy maneuverability
  • One-year frame and parts warranty

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 48 inches L x 28.3 inches W x 51.1 inches H
Weight: 77 pounds 


Purchase XTERRA AIR350 Air Bike


This is the beefiest bike on this list, and with that sturdiness and durability (it’s made from commercial-grade, corrosion-resistant steel) comes high-end features that just slightly soften the hardcore experience the word “Assault” calls to mind. Compared to the company’s Classic and Pro models (longtime staples in CrossFit gyms), the Elite has a wider, more comfortable seat with multiple adjustment settings. It also has a built-in wind screen and can handle 50 pounds more weight capacity. Like the Pro, it’s Bluetooth-enabled, which allows users to connect to heart rate monitors and the Assault Fitness and Fiit apps for interactive programming.

Pros

  • Can pedal forward or backward for workout variation
  • Angled handles for comfort
  • Commercial-use construction

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Large, bulky frame
  • Chain-drive system is noisy

Key features

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • 350-pound weight capacity
  • 10-year frame warranty

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 55 inches L x 26 inches W x 55 inches H
Weight: 139 pounds


Purchase AssaultBike Elite


Concept2’s BikeErg is a little different from every other machine on this list. For one, the handlebars don’t move in sync with your legs, so it targets only your lower body. And even though your effort still powers the airflow, this bike’s flywheel includes a damper that allows you to further control how much airflow comes through at any given time—opening the damper to let more air in will create more resistance, while closing the damper lets less air in and lightens the resistance. There are 10 different settings, which allows you to specifically challenge your hamstrings, quads, calves and glutes.

Pros

  • Connects via Bluetooth to apps including Concept2’s ErgData and Zwift
  • Handlebars move up and down and forward and back, with three different riding options
  • Monitor is significantly more advanced than others on the list—it has Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity and collects and stores data (calories burned, pace, watts and rotations per minute)

Cons

  • 300-pound weight capacity
  • Aluminum frame is not as sturdy as heavier machines
  • Standard road seat may feel uncomfortable

Key features

  • Belt drive system
  • Swap out your own saddle, handlebars and pedals for a more personalized experience
  • Five-year frame warranty

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 48 inches L x 24 inches W x 40.5 inches H
Weight: 68 pounds


Purchase Concept2 BikeErg


Want to take advantage of your Prime membership to get an air bike delivered within the week? The Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike has nearly 1,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. One CrossFit coach called it “perfect for home use,” while another purchaser said they were “extremely pleased so far” and “highly recommended” the machine to other buyers. Designed more for entry-level riders, this no-frills machine is made from premium steel, with a chain drive system that’s protected from dirt and sweat by a guard to make maintenance a little easier.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly and ships for free with Prime
  • Seat can be adjusted vertically to accommodate leg inseams from 21- to 33-inches
  • Comes with adjustable levelers for stabilization on any surface

Cons

  • 300-pound weight capacity
  • No backlight on the console, which can make reading difficult in low-light conditions
  • Chain-drive system is noisy

Key features

  • Adjustable foot straps for safety and stability
  • Built-in transport wheels for easy mobility
  • Two-year warranty

Dimensions and weight

Dimensions: 45 inches L x 25 inches W x 47.5 inches H
Weight: 79 pounds 


Purchase Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike


Why buy an air bike?

An air bike is a manual variation on popular indoor cycling bikes. But instead of using a knob or dial to increase the resistance via friction or electromagnetic resistance, resistance is generated using a giant fan—hence the name “air bike.” The faster you go, the more resistance you’ll have to pedal against. Air bikes also have moving arm bars (like an elliptical), which engages your upper body and stabilizing core muscles and provides a more efficient, total-body workout.

How to use an air bike

Riding an air bike is even easier than riding a bike outside–it’s stationary, so you don’t have to worry about tipping over! Sit on the seat, place your feet on the pedals and grab the handles. Don’t hunch over; you should be sitting more upright than in an aerodynamic position, like you would on a beach cruiser versus a spin bike. Pedal slowly at first, moving the handles with your arms in time with your legs. The amount of resistance will increase based on how fast you push the pedals and handles. 

What to look for in an air bike

Drivetrain

Air bikes use a belt drive or a chain drive. Belt drives are lower maintenance, more durable and quieter. Chain drives (like what you’d find on an outdoor bike) require more maintenance and generate more noise. You’re likely to find chain drives in less expensive models.

Weight capacity

Most high-end air bikes can handle up to 350 pounds. More affordable options may only support between 200 and 250 pounds, which may be prohibitive for certain riders.

Stability

Since you’re pushing and pulling on an air bike, stability is key. When it comes to this type of equipment, the heavier the better. Bikes made from steel will be sturdier and more durable; materials like aluminum tend to support a lesser weight capacity and may rock back and forth, depending on how hard you’re riding.

Noise

Considering how quiet most indoor cycling bikes are these days, an air bike can be a bit noisier. The faster you pedal, the louder the fan will be (just like any home fan on higher settings). It won’t be loud enough to disrupt your neighbors, but it may prohibit you from watching TV or listening to music without headphones.

Seat comfort

Whether a bike seat—also known as the saddle—is comfortable or not generally comes down to personal preference. Most are made from high-density foams, and some bikes allow you to switch out the saddle or use a seat cover if you need more support. Look for a bike with a fully adjustable seat—forward, backward, up and down—to really customize the fit and encourage proper form.

Size

Like most cardio machines, air bikes are bulky and take up a fair amount of space. And the bigger (and heavier) they are, the more stable they’ll be even when working out at your highest intensities. Most include wheels for easy maneuverability, but they don’t fold and aren’t easily stored out of sight, so make sure you have the space.

Monitor

Since air bikes are generally used for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), tracking your metrics is important. Most have basic digital or LCD screens, and you should be able to view time, distance, power, calories and RPM (or revolutions per minute). Some machines have built-in training programs, while others are Bluetooth compatible to sync with apps and fitness trackers. If you train based on your heart rate, make sure to check whether a bike is compatible with a heart rate monitor.

Warranty

Ideally, you want a long-lasting warranty that will cover any defects or problems over time. Most air bikes offer at least a year-long warranty on the frame, with significantly less time covered for labor and parts. FYI: Most warranties don’t cover regular wear and tear.

Cost

Like any larger piece of home gym equipment, an air bike is an investment. Pricier models tend to be sturdier, more durable and offer more features than more affordable models. It’s important to figure out which machine meets your requirements and fits within your budget. 

Air Bike FAQs

Are air bikes good for beginners?

Air bikes are great for beginners because the resistance is only as powerful as what you’re capable of generating. The challenge is learning to maintain that power and then increase it. And the movement is simple: You pedal like you would on a bike while alternating pushing and pulling the handles with your arms. Plus, most air bikes don’t require you to buy spin shoes, so you can use the trainers you already have.

Do air bikes build muscle and burn belly fat?

Air bikes are aerobic machines, meaning they’ll improve your cardiovascular fitness. Because you’re using your upper and lower body, you’re recruiting a ton of muscles—which burns more calories than just a lower body workout. The more intense your effort, the more calories you’ll burn, too.

It’s not possible to target localized areas of fat, so using an air bike doesn’t directly lead to reduced belly fat, but burning more calories can lead to weight loss. And since you’re pushing against air resistance to pedal and move the arms of the device, you can build muscle—but you likely won’t notice the same visible effects as you would when strength training with heavier weights. 

Is an air bike better than a spin bike?

This is like comparing a treadmill to an elliptical: Both are great cardio machines with slightly different benefits. Air bikes were designed for total-body, HIIT workouts, while spin bikes really target your legs and are best used for steady-state workouts or workouts that combine all kinds of intervals—from longer, easy efforts to hills and quick bursts of speed.

Are air bikes worth it?

With an air bike, you’re going to get a great cardio workout that targets muscles all over your body and spikes your calorie burn, which can contribute to weight loss. These machines generally aren’t as expensive as treadmills, indoor cycling bikes and ellipticals, which can make them more accessible. But because you determine how intense any given ride will be, you have to be willing to put in the work.

Final Thoughts

Air bikes can be a valuable piece of home gym equipment depending on your goals. If you’re looking for a more studio-esque indoor cycling experience, an air bike might be too no-frills for you. If you’re focused on full-body, HIIT workouts, you’ll get more of a challenge from an air bike than a traditional indoor cycling bike. They’re also a great option for beginners because you control the amount of resistance you’ll be pedaling against.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time. 

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