The AssaultBike and Rogue Echo are two of the best air bikes in the gym. Here’s a detailed look at the main differences between these two commercial-grade air bikes.
Air bikes are one of the best (and most savage!) pieces of training equipment at the gym.
A truly full-body workout, air bikes (also known as assault bikes) use large, spoked wheels to generate air resistance by the user.
And because it’s both an upper and lower body conditioning exercise, you can generate significantly higher heart rate and cardio output compared to other forms of conditioning1.
Two of the best air bikes out there right now are the Rogue Echo Bike and the AssaultBike.
In this article, these two air bikes will go head-to-head.
We’ll provide a brief overview of both, and then look at the key differences between the two so that you know can decide which is best for you.
Let’s get in the saddle!
The Rogue Echo Air Bike – Overview
The Rogue Echo Bike is a remarkable piece of machinery, even more so because it’s the first piece of conditioning equipment made by Rogue Fitness, a company better known for making racks, bars and bumpers.
The Echo is simply the best air bike on the market and has been for some time now.
Used by countless CrossFit and commercial gyms across the globe (as well as heaps of garage gyms), the Echo is durable, is heavy-duty, and has tons of adjustability features, from the LCD monitor to the extra-wide seat.
The AssaultBike – Overview
The reason that air bikes are frequently called “assault bikes” is because it was Assault Fitness that really popularized these machines in the 2000s.
Working with CrossFit athletes, Assault Fitness built upon the original air bike, the Schwinn Airdyne, building a more robust machine that could withstand the pounding of CrossFit athletes doing all-out intervals.
The result was the AssaultBike.
The standard AssaultBike has now morphed into three different models, ranging from the Classic to the Elite.
The AssaultBike, in all its forms, is well-built, has a long and distinguished history (it was the air bike of choice at the CrossFit Games before the Echo stormed into the room), and the customization choices gives users lots of flexibility in features.
In my opinion, it’s also the top chain-drive air bike out there.
This is where we begin when discussing the main differences between the Rogue Echo and the AssaultBike.
Echo Bike vs AssaultBike – Key Differences
Key Difference #1: Chain drive vs belt drive
The Rogue Echo Bike uses a hard rubber belt drive to connect the pedal case with the fan. Belt drives are quiet and require next to zero maintenance over the course of their lifetimes.
The AssaultBike uses a chain drive, which is noticeably louder in comparison. Chain drives also require more upkeep and maintenance and can be more prone to slipping off during heavy use.
Belt drives are a little harder to start during those first few pedal strokes, but that also means they will stop faster, preventing “ghost” reps and calories that are typical of chain-drive air bikes.
🏆 Advantage: Rogue Echo
Key Difference #2: Price
While Rogue generally has a rep for having a higher price tag on their equipment (somewhat unfairly, in my opinion, but that’s a tale for another time), this is not the case with the Echo bike.
The Rogue Echo Bike retails for $845. Which is significantly cheaper than the Airdyne and is also less expensive than 2 of 3 of the AssaultBikes.
There are some added on costs that can pile up with the Echo, however, as the wind guard, water bottle cage, and smartphone holder are sold separately.
The AssaultBike has three different models which all vary in price.
The Classic retails for $749, the Pro model $899, and the Elite model costs $1,299 (gulp).
Main differences include upgraded LCD consoles, added windscreen and more seat adjustment options as you go up in price. The Pro and Elite models are also significantly sturdier compared to the Classic.
🏆 Advantage: Rogue Echo
Key Difference #3: LCD monitor programs
The Rogue Echo Bike has a high contrast LCD display that has a wide range of workout options.
You’ve got all the standard HIIT modes (:20 work, :10 rest, etc), custom intervals, as well as workouts targeting caloric burn, distance, time, and so on.
Heart rate monitoring is possible, but you need to separately purchase one and sync it to the LCD monitor.
The AssaultBike LCD monitor features depends on the model you choose. In the case of the Classic, you’ve got all the same program features as the Echo.
This includes intervals (either :10/:20 or :20/:10), custom intervals, and so on. The LCD display is a bit basic on the Classic, but the Elite has an upgraded LCD monitor that includes Bluetooth and ANT+ compatibility.
AssaultBike offers a free community app with their bike which includes daily workouts, challenges, and ways to compete with others online on the bike.
🏆 Advantage: AssaultBike
Key Difference #4: Seat Adjustability
Being able to park your behind on your air bike is crucial, especially given the fact that you are using your entire body to push and pedal. Stability is crucial, and this is why air bikes have wider cushion seats compared to spin bikes.
Additionally, being able to adjust the seat height and depth to your body means that you can exert with as much power as possible on those high intensity intervals.
The Rogue Echo has 8 different options for height of the seat, and it can be moved horizontally with 5 different settings.
AssaultBikes have more options for seat placement, with the Classic offering 11 height options and 5 horizontal settings.
Things ramp up as you go up to the Pro and Elite models. The Pro cab be adjusted 6 ways horizontally and the Elite can be adjusted in a nearly unlimited number of ways.
If seat adjustability is a crucial factor—in a commercial gym with a multitude of different users, for example—the AssaultBikes have the edge.
🏆 Advantage: AssaultBike
Key Difference #5: Stability
The Rogue Echo bike is built like a tank. There’s no real getting around that. The base of the echo is just under 24” wide, and it has a bottom-heavy weight of 127bs.
In other words, it’s not going to wobble and move around when you are hammering away on it, watching your life (and those calories) evaporate before your eyes.
The AssaultBike Classic is over 20lbs lighter than the Echo, and this difference can be really felt. All-out efforts on the Classic lead to some significant wobbling.
To get the same sense of stability as the Echo, you’d need to upgrade to the Elite, which has a wider footprint and a heavier overall weight (160lbs). And also has a price tag that is $400 more than the Echo 😞.
🏆 Advantage: Rogue Echo
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, both bikes are awesome.
They are precision built, and benefit from the relentless use and feedback of CrossFit athletes, who are among the most high-volume athletes you will find in the gym.
Ultimately, the Rogue Echo Bike continues lead the pack when it comes down to the Echo vs. AssaultBike.
The Echo is built sturdier, doesn’t wobble under aggressive use, requires less maintenance, and it’s priced reasonably.
The Rogue Echo can be purchased at Rogue’s official website. Click here for current deals on shipping and special offers.
The range of AssaultBikes can be purchased–ironically also at the Rogue website–by clicking here.
More Air Bike Guides and Resources
⭐ The Best Air Bikes for Home Gyms (Unleash Beast Mode). Ready to perform a laser-targeted attack on your weight loss goals? Here’s a detailed look at the best Air Bikes for home gym
⭐ 7 Reasons the Rogue Echo is the Best Air Bike on the Planet [Full Review]. The Rogue Echo is one of the most popular—if not the most popular—air bike on the planet. Here’s why this well-built air bike is probably the best for you.
8 Things I Love (and Don’t Love) About the Schwinn Airdyne AD7 (Full Review). The AD7 follows in a long line of air bikes made by the originator of the machine, Schwinn. Here’s a detailed look at the latest iteration of the Airdyne.