Ready to perform a laser-targeted attack on your weight loss goals? Here’s a detailed look at the best Air Bikes for home gyms.
- Best Air Bikes for Home Gyms
- How to Choose the Best Air Bike
- Best Air Bikes — FAQs
The almighty air bike.
It’s been known to break the will of many an athlete and scare the shorts off of fat cells worldwide.
The air bike maximizes resistance by forcing the user to pedal blades against the air (hence the name).
The harder you pedal and push the handles, the more resistance you generate.
Instead of being strictly a lower-body workout (like a stationary bike) or a strictly upper-body workout (like battle ropes), the air bike hits everything.
Which is why it can feel so hard.
Almost as hard as trying to figure out which air bike is the best on the market.
In this guide, we will look at the best-built air bikes (otherwise known as “assault bikes”).
We’ll look at the key features of each, and compare them by price, weight capacity, performance, durability, and warranty. By the end, you will have a crystal-clear idea of which are bike (also known as an assault bike or fan bike) is perfect for you.
Let’s jump right in.
Best Air Bikes for Home Gyms
The top dog when it comes to the best air bike for home gyms continues to be the Rogue Echo Bike. Now in its third iteration, the Echo bike is priced competitively, performs like a total beast, and with a belt drive, is quieter compared to chain-drive air bikes.
Below is a full round-up of all the air bikes we’ve tested and reviewed over the years, and later, we will look at each air bike in more detail.
Rogue Echo Bike
⭐ Best overall air bike (again)
The Rogue Echo Bike is hands-down the best air bike for home gyms, thanks to its heavyweight construction, extremely smooth ride, Bluetooth compatibility, and 11-gauge steel construction.
Ohio-based Rogue Fitness is one of the top names in the strength training equipment game, and for good reason. They make bombproof strength training equipment for the best athletes on the planet.
The Rogue Echo Bike perfectly exemplifies Rogue’s legendary commitment to excellence.
Unpacking it for the first time, I was a little surprised by how much larger it was in real life, but the moment you get on the bike and drop that first workout, you understand why.
The Rogue Echo has an extraordinarily heavy-duty design that is built for consistent, relentless punishment.
Outside of its wide and balanced frame, the main reason it kicks all of the butts is because of its drivetrain.
The Echo features a belt drivetrain, which is way better than a chain drivetrain in terms of maintenance and proper tensioning.
Powder-coated with the familiar Rogue black, the Echo has a fully adjustable seat (8 different height positions and 5 length choices), and rubber-tipped feet to keep the bike stable while you go to work on it.
Like other Rogue products, there are a lot of customization options with the Echo, including a water bottle holder, a stand for your smartphone, optional wind guard (I highly recommend this if you tend to run a little cold), and more.
The most recent edition of the Echo, the V3, now includes Bluetooth connectivity to pair a heart rate monitor to the LCD display.
Key features of the Rogue Echo:
- Customizable LCD display that tracks power output, time elapsed, HIIT/tabata settings, and more.
- 127lb weight (350lb user weight capacity)
- Rubber wheels for easy transport
- Easy-to-adjust resistance knob
- Optional Shimano cleats available at checkout
- Retails for $845 (check Rogue for up-to-date pricing and special offers)
Bells of Steel Blitz Air Bike 2.0
⭐ Runner-up for best air bike
Although there are other very worthy contenders in this list, including the Schwinn Airdyne and the original air bike, the Assault Bike, runner-up for the best air bike and our top budget-friendly option goes to newcomer Bells of Steel.
A Canadian-based strength training company, they were founded by competitive powerlifters (disclosure: I worked with one of them at a nightclub waaay back in the day) who like making killer equipment.
The Blitz lives up to this standard.
For starters, like the Rogue Echo, it has a belt drivetrain that is easier to maintain and won’t require constant adjustments over time.
But unlike the Echo, you don’t have to pay extra for features like a water bottle cage or fan guard.
Weight capacity is 350lbs (the frame, when fully assembled, comes in just under 120lbs), and the seat can be fully adjusted up, down, front and back.
Bells of Steel back the Blitz with a two-year warranty, including guided repair and installation.
Another thing I love about BoS is that they have an extensive YouTube channel that documents assembly instructions (the Blitz arrives unassembled).
Key features of the Blitz Air Bike 2.0:
- LCD panels with time elapsed, power output (watts), RPM, speed, and so on. Fully customizable workout lengths and routines.
- The Blitz 2.0 is the best value option for air bikes, retailing for around $700 (check Bells of Steel’s website for current pricing and offers)
- Extra wide seat cushion and fully customizable seat height
- Includes wind guard, water bottle cage
- Commercial-gym sized 25” fan for tons of resistance
Schwinn Airdyne AD7
The Schwinn Airdyne has, in the past, flirted with challenging for the lead for best air bike.
In terms of durability and features, it’s still there, but the price of the bike hasn’t kept pace with similarly designed (and often, better designed) alternatives.
Let’s start off with the basics of the Airdyne AD7.
Fun Fact: The air bike, or at least the version as we know it today, enjoyed its first surge of popularity during the fitness boom of the 1970s thanks to the original Airdyne, made by Schwinn.
It’s a got a belt system that is enclosed (making it exceptionally quiet). Fully adjustable seat. And a nice, thick seat cushion for parking your rear end.
The major advantage of this bike compared to the Echo or Blitz is that Schwinn offers an in-home assembly option (for around $100), making it the ideal option for people who don’t want to deal with the hassle of assembling the bike.
Additionally, the LCD monitor readout is very in-depth, detailing more information at one time than any other air bike in this list (though, having a TON of data streaming at you can be unnecessary and distracting for most).
Schwinn tends to make very durable equipment (although my wife had significant issues with their C6 Spin Bike and ended up sending it back after a bit of a hassle) and you should rely on the in-home installation if you want max peace of mind.
All that said, the price is hard to digest.
The Echo is almost $300 cheaper and the Blitz is $400 less expensive. If you plan on assembling the bike yourself, and don’t need a ton of data on the LCD monitor, the extra cost isn’t worth it.
Key features of the Schwinn Airdyne AD7
- Water bottle holder and smartphone slot integrated
- Belt drive with encased plastic housing for very quiet operation
- Two handle heights (plus neutral grip)
- Has additional option for in-home assembly
- Priced at $1,099
⭐ Best chain-drive assault bike
When most people refer to air bikes, they often use the term “assault bike,” which is actually the name of a company that produces air bikes.
(And one of the companies to help it explode into the mainstream!)
Conceived with the help of CrossFitters in the 2000s who were looking for a sturdier air bike compared to the Airdyne for more aggressive interval training, the AssaultBike quickly gained popularity and exploded across CrossFit gyms, commercial gyms, and now, home and garage gyms1.
There have been a few iterations of this air bike, and their premium model is the AssaultBike Pro.
It’s got more seat adjustment options than any other air bike on the market, making it ideal for those who are extraordinarily tall or extraordinarily short.
Additionally, assembly is very straightforward, with the unit being delivered already mostly assembled (it will still take you about 40 minutes to complete the assembly).
Fun Fact: One study comparing forms of HIIT found that the Assault Bike significantly outperformed stationary biking for peak heart rate and cardiovascular conditioning2.
The LCD monitor has you covered for training metrics, recording power output, RPM, distance, time, and so on. Also included are quick-access buttons for common training protocols, including HIIT and Tabata.
There are two downsides to this particular unit.
First, it’s a chain drive air bike. Maintenance in the form of lubricating the chain and greasing it from time to time will be required.
And second, it’s pricier to what I consider to be better-built bikes in the Echo and even the Blitz at $899.
That said, this thing is built for high-volume, heavy-duty use.
Key features of the AssaultBike Pro:
- Easy to assemble
- High contrast LCD with built-in workouts
- Has a chain-drive
- Industry-leading 7-year warranty on the frame (3 yeasr on non-wear parts)
- Includes access to a free app that has daily challenges and workouts
- Priced at $899 (Rogue Fitness sells it through their website here)
Titan Fitness Fan Bike
⭐ Best budget-friendly assault bike
Titan Fitness makes excellent strength and conditioning equipment at a bargain price. Whether talking about their belt squat machine or glute ham developer machine, Titan Fitness brings durable gear to market at prices that don’t hammer your wallet.
The Titan Fitness Fan bike continues this trend, being a sturdy air bike that is also the least expensive on this list (beating out the Bells of Steel Blitz bike by about $50).
This particular air bike has a couple of things that make it really stick out.
First off are the tank treaded tires at the front of the bike, which makes moving it super easy. (There’s also a handle on the back to tilt and roll the fan bike.)
And second is a simplified LCD monitor that has the bare bones for programs, with quick start functionality.
At the end of the day, I don’t need a gazillion different types of workouts and I don’t want to wade through a 12-step onboarding process to track the intensity and output of my workout.
Some brands of bikes (spin bikes, in particular) have gone way overboard in terms of programming with their LCD displays and I appreciate that Titan Fitness keeps it simple here.
More hard-core users may not love the chain-drive system on the Titan bike, which will require more maintenance over the years and isn’t quite as smooth as the Echo.
Additionally, the Titan Fitness Air Bike is narrower compared to other bikes (it’s 20″ wide versus the 27″ width of an Echo bike). Bigger users who plan on going HAM on the bike will want something with a wider base.
Pros of the Titan Fitness Air Bike:
- Fully adjustable seat (both vertically and fore-aft)
- Simple LCD unit with pre-programmed HIIT workouts
- Tank tread tires for easy portability
- Least expensive (quality) air bike on the market
- Fan guard that is removable
- Not as wide as other air bikes
- Chain-drive system
How to Choose the Best Air Bike
Here are the key things to look for when shopping around for an air bike for your demise, err, workouts:
Belt vs. Chain drive.
Air bikes either come with a hard rubber, belt-driven drive, or a chain drive, like your ten-speed bike.
Belts are smoother, require less maintenance, and won’t fall off like chain drives do. They are also quieter, which can be an important feature for those who exercise at home during quiet times (i.e. the baby is sleeping in the next room).
That said, belt drives *can* be more expensive in some cases, but by no means is this the rule.
Chain drives require more attention over the long term, including frequent lubrication and greasing to keep the train chugging along smoothly.
While chain drive air bikes may be a little cheaper in the short-term, you will pay for it in increased maintenance in the long term.
LCD monitor features.
Tracking your workouts is a huge motivator when working out at home. Seeing the metrics in real time gives you a boost, and having the stats gives you goals and targets to go after.
Air bikes almost universally have an LCD monitor that tracks various training metrics, including time elapsed, wattage, calories burned, distance traveled, and speed.
The better air bikes have an LCD monitor that has advanced workout customization options like tabata, HIIT, target calorie burning, and so on.
Some air bikes have LCD displays that are compatible with heart rate monitors (the Echo, for example, can be hooked up to a Polar heart rate monitor and sync up training information).
Ease of assembly
Air bikes are shipped disassembled to save on shipping costs for consumers.
Some assembly is required for them, whether you are looking at a Rogue bike or other brands. Assembly typically takes around 30-60 minutes depending on the brand.
When putting together my Echo bike, pictured below, it took me around 30 minutes, and I took my sweet time.
Needless to say, because of the vigorous use that air bikes are designed for, it’s crucial that it’s assembled properly so that it can handle all of the punishment you throw at it.
(Fortunately, many strength training equipment brands, and their customers, post tutorials and how-to’s on YouTube for assembly.)
Companies like Schwinn offer at-home assembly for an added fee if you prefer the peace of mind of knowing the bike is put together properly.
Air bikes range in price from around $350 up to $1,100.
Rogue and Bells of Steel—in my opinion and experience—provide the best bang-for-buck for cost and durability.
While there are some significantly cheaper air bikes out there—this Marcy Fitness Fan Bike (that is $350 or so) is one example—they aren’t built as well.
Best Air Bikes — FAQs
Can you build muscle on an air bike?
Yes, you can build upper and lower body muscles on the air bike. The air resistance on air bikes makes it more difficult compared to regular cardio machines, and when paired with shorter, high-intensity efforts, you can build muscle and strength on an air bike.
A study done in 2022 by scientists at the University of Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic showed that eight weeks of HIIT training on an air bike positively affected strength and muscle mass.
The participants saw an increase in back squat strength (8.25%), pulling strength (7.07%), and of course, both aerobic and anaerobic endurance compared to a control group who exercised on a treadmill.
Is an air bike better than a stationary bike?
While both cardio machines have their benefits, the air bike is more effective than the stationary bike for HIIT workouts, targeting more muscle groups, and overall workout intensity.
There are two main advantages to air bikes.
First, they engage the upper body in a way that stationary bikes do not. Building anaerobic and aerobic capacity in the upper body is typically limited to exercises like boxing or battle ropes. But because the air bike is essentially an upper body erg and a stationary bike, you get a truly full-body workout.
A study published in the International Journal of Exercises Science in 2020 found that air bikes generated “additional muscle mass” in the upper body compared to a standard stationary bike.
Second, because your whole body is being stressed and exerted, the same study showed that air bikes generate significantly more cardiovascular stress compared to other cardio machines.
(“Stress” is being used in a positive manner, in this case.)
Air bikes increase heart rate faster because it targets the whole body, making them an excellent choice for high-output cardio like HIIT workouts and Tabata.
Are air bikes noisy?
Air bikes make the same amount of noise as a large fan. Air bikes with a belt drive, such as the Rogue Echo Bike, are marginally quieter than chain drives.
Air bikes generate resistance via the steel fan connected to a belt or chain. When you pedal, the fan spins faster, pushing more air and making more noise. In this sense, it is essentially an industrial fan, blasting air out of the housing.
Air bikes are noisier compared to many cardio machines, including ellipticals and stationary bikes, which use magnetic resistance that is very quiet.
The Bottom Line
The air bike has become a popular and highly effective weapon for athletes and gymgoers in recent years.
When it comes to picking one out for your home gym, here’s a recap of the best options out there:
⭐ The Rogue Echo Air Bike continues to lead the pack. In terms of sheer durability, heavy-duty construction, and relentless testing in the hands of athletes, it wins all day.
⭐ The Bells of Steel Blitz 2.0 Air Bike is my best choice for a budget-friendly air bike that has everything you need to get started on day one.
At the end of the day, whichever air bike you choose comes down to your goals, budget, and appetite for soul-sapping interval training ?.
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