Legs and Lungs, This Bike is No Joke: Concept2 BikeErg Review (2022)
Concept2 may be best known for their SkiErg and rowing machine (RowErg), but don’t snooze on their BikeErg.
Designed to improve cardiovascular capacity and lower-body strength and stamina, this air resistance stationary bike can help you reach your fitness goals. And that stands whether your motive is to lose weight, podium on the main stage, or win a case of FITAID at a local competition.
Got questions? Good, we’ve got answers in our full Concept2 BikeErg review.
Below, an honest look at where the Concept2 BikeErg excels, and where it falls short. Plus, learn how the machine compares to the other machines frequently spotted in functional fitness gyms, such as the Rogue Echo Bike or AssaultBike.
TL;DR: Concept2 BikeErg Review
What we love: Accessible for exercises all across the height and fitness spectrums, the Concept2 BikeErg is a unique machine that primarily targets your legs and lungs. Built to last, this bike is an investment that’ll get you to your functional fitness goals one ride at a time. It’s also extremely quiet in use, and the wheels make it easy to move without scuffing up floors.
What we don’t: If we had to ask for anything, it would be a more comfortable seat! After all, CrossFit athletes are less likely to wear padded bike shorts than road cyclists.
The Chalk Up: The Concept2 BikeErg is a no-brainer for anyone on the market for a new stationary cycling bike or a lower-body-only machine for monostructural work.
Air Biking for Decades
Our team of product testers has been doing CrossFit in various capacities, from recreational to Quarterfinals-level competitive, for a decade. Collectively, we have several decades of CrossFit experience, which means we’ve been riding air bikes since before they first appeared at the CrossFit Games in 2015.
Concept2 BikeErg: Pros and Cons
- Effectively works your lower-body muscles and heart
- Great for lower-intensity work
- Handle height is adjustable
- Multiple handle options
- More comfortable for shorter athletes than other exercise bikes
- Much quieter than the AssaultBike
- Damper allows you to adjust riding experience
- More stable than you might guess
- Can be used for a variety of workout styles
- Bluetooth connectivity for heart rate monitoring
- Weight capacity is 300 pounds, lower than other air bikes on the market
- Bike seat is small and uncomfortable
- Still a little big for athletes under 5’
- Expensive at over $1,000
- Live workout classes cannot be streamed to the monitor
Concept2 BikeErg Specs
|Footprint||48” L x 24” W x 41” H|
|Weight capacity||300 lbs|
|Construction||Aluminum frame and steel feet|
|Finish||Black powder coat frame|
|Drive system||Polygroove belt drive system|
A Different Kind of CrossFit Bike: Using the Concept2 BikeErg
You’re currently on the website of a publication focused exclusively on CrossFit (welcome!). So odds are if you’re reading this, you’ve been in a CrossFit box at least a handful of times. And in that case, you’ve probably ridden an AssaultBike and/or the Rogue Echo Bike, the former official bike of CrossFit and the current official bike of CrossFit, respectively.
The Concept2 BikeErg is a different kind of beast. All three will make you feel like your quads and lungs are on fire. But the BikeErg provides a different kind of workout—and that’s because it’s built quite differently from your typical air bike.
Actually, with non-moving handles and multi-grip options, the Concept2 RowErg rides more like a road bike and a typical indoor bike (a la Peloton) than an air bike. You’re not going to get an upper-body workout on this machine the way you might on other air bikes.
Look at the front of the Concept2 BikeErg and you’ll see the oh-so-familiar fan flywheel and damper on the Concept2 Model D indoor rowers. Yep, the BikeErg is powered by a belt drive, which is encased inside the flywheel structure. People building out home gyms will be thrilled to learn that this kind of belt drive system is much quieter (and more durable) than the chain belt drive system that powers AssaultBikes.
The fan flywheel isn’t the only carry over from the Concept2 RowErg to the Concept2 BikeErg; the monitor is also the exact same PM5 monitor you’ve seen on those other two machines. With its display, the PM5 shows a variety of statistics including calories, watts, distance, RPM, time, and pace.
There are two main drawbacks about this bike.
First, its seat. While the adjustable seat and handlebars ensure that you’ll get the most comfortable handle and seat height for your body type, the seat itself isn’t comfortable at all. Bluntly, the seat is pokey and doesn’t feel great on your posterior—especially if you don’t have experience on a road bike.
Second, is its price. This bike rings up at over $1,000.
That’s much cheaper than the Peloton and NordicTrack, which ring up at $1,495 and $1,900, respectively. But it’s a larger investment than the AssaultBike Classic or Rogue Echo Bike, which ring up at about $750 and $850. As such, it may not be the most accessible option for CrossFit athletes who are cost-conscious.
Footprint And Portability
Good news for home-gym and small-gym owners: The Concept2 BikeErg is quite petite! It’s only 2 feet wide and 4 feet long! That’s about the size of two weight benches side-to-side, or a medium-sized dog laying on the floor.
Truthfully, the smaller footprint of the make is one of the things that makes it such an appealing purchase. It’s about two-thirds the width of AssaultBike Elite and Rogue Echo Bike.
Best, the bike has built-in caster wheels just like the Concept2 RowErg. This makes it easy to cart across the gym.
Construction And Durability
If you’ve ever used the SkiErg or RowErg by Concept2 you know the company creates quality pieces of equipment. So it should come as no surprise that the Concept2 BikeErg is one high-end machine.
With a welded aluminum frame, this bike is built with durability in mind.
Despite being durable, the bike itself weighs just 68 pounds which is very light for a piece of CrossFit machinery. Still, it remains surprisingly stable even when people on the upper end of the max user weight (300 pounds) hop on and pedal.
As for maintenance, you’ll be glad to know this bike is as easy to keep in tip-top shape as its other cardio siblings.
After every use you should wipe the bike free from your sweat. And after every 250 hours of use Concept2 recommends fastening the parts that need to be fastened, and clearing the fan from dust. In total, these tasks take less than 5 minutes. If you run an affiliate you’ll probably have to perform them once a month. But if you’re the only athlete riding the bike in your CrossFit home gym, once a year will be sufficient.
This low maintenance is due largely to the fact that there’s a belt drive, not a chain drive, in this bike. Belt drives are more durable and long-lasting (and, bonus, they boast quiet operation compared to chain drives).
The monitor on the Concept2 BikeErg is the same PM5 Performance Monitor on the time-tested RowErg and SkiErg.
Very intuitive, this monitor tracks a number of metrics including pace, watts, RPM, calories, time, and distance. You can choose to have the monitor reveal all or just some of these stats.
The BikeErg also has Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless capabilities that you can connect to most heart rate monitors. For athletes using zone and heart rate training, this is handy.
The Bluetooth connection option also allows you to connect with the Concept2 BikeErg app (called ErgData). When connected, ErgData displays additional performance statistics and automatically stores all your workout results. This is a great future for data-geeks and goal-chasers, alike.
The battery life on the PM5 monitor is about 200 hours of operational time.
For the most part, people who have purchased the Concept2 BikeErg are happy that they did so.
Out of 133 total reviews on the Rogue Fitness website, the BikeErg earned an average 4.9/5 star rating. Pretty impressive! Similarly, the bike has earned an average of 4.8/5 stars out of 273 total reviews on Amazon.
Most of the people who gave the bike a less-than-stellar rating mostly had the same complaint that we had: The bike seat is small.
A review on Amazon, for instance, lamented that the small seat hurt their man-parts. Still, when the Amazon ratings were broken down by feature, the bike still earned an impressive 4.3 out of 5 stars for comfort, which suggests that sitting on the seat isn’t all that uncomfortable.
Another common complaint was that the bike wasn’t suitable for people under 5 feet tall.
As a person who is 5’3”, I can’t speak to that personally. However, I reached out to a handful of athletes under 5 feet that I’ve trained with and they all said that the Concept2 BikeErg is much more accommodating of short athletes than either the AssaultBike or Rogue Echo Bike.
Warranty, Financing, and Returns
Need tangible proof that the Concept2 BikeErg is built to last? Just read the warranty on this machine—it’s promising.
The frame parts have a five-year warranty. If something gets funky with the seat, handles, flywheel, jack shift, legs, or flywheel cover (to list just a few of the frame parts!) Concept2 will cover costs.
Concept2 will also repair or replace all the other parts on the BikeErg within two years from the date of purchase, assuming its defunctness isn’t a result of user neglect.
Another warranty win: The warranty is fully transferable. Meaning, if you sell the machine before the two or five year warranty window is up, the next owner(s) can take advantage of it. This makes it very easy to sell the machine on secondhand marketplaces if you decide it’s not for you and your garage gym.
As the customer reviews suggest, most people who buy this bike are glad they did. If you fall in the minority, however, you’ll be happy to learn that if you purchase the bike directly from Concept2, you can return it within 30 days of shipment for full money back.
Rogue has a slightly more customer-friendly return policy. You can return it within 30 days of delivery for a full refund.
As for financing? Sadly, Concept2 does not offer any finance plans. So if you want to order right from the Concept2 website you’ll need to be able to front the $1,100.
Concept2 BikeErg vs. AssaultBike
Despite the fact that both the Concept2 BikeErg and AssaultBike are frequently used in functional fitness training, they are pretty darn different. (Read our full AssaultBike review.)
For starters,the AssaultBike uses a chain-drive system, unlike the BikeErg which uses a belt drive. If you’re not a mechanic that probably sounds like mumbo-jumbo, but basically it means that the AssaultBike is tougher, louder, and harder to maintain than the BikeErg.
The BikeErg also has a damper (like the Concept2 RowErg), which allows you to adjust the resistance on the machine. By changing the damper setting on the BikeErg, you can totally change the feel of the ride. Slide the lever to a one and you’ll feel like you’re coasting down a hill, while ramping it up to a 10 and you’ll feel like you’re slogging up a hill.
The resistance on the AssaultBike is determined exclusively by how fast you ride—the faster you go, the more resistance you’ll feel.
Simply watch two athletes ride each of these two bikes and you’ll immediately be able to spot the other difference: The AssaultBike has moving handles, while the BikeErg does not. As a result, many people say that the Concept2 BikeErg is an easier ride compared to other bikes on the market. Further, while you can raise and lower the handles on the BikeErg to maximize comfort while you pedal, the AssaultBike handles are set.
As mentioned above, the BikeErg seat is its worst feature. Pointy in construction, the seat on the BikeErg is less friendly on your fanny than the seat on the AssaultBike.
Currently, there are three models of AssaultBikes on the market (Classic, Pro, and Elite), and while the AssaultBike Elite has a far cushier seat compared to the Classic or Pro, the seats on both the AssaultBike Classic and Pro are more comfortable than that on the Concept2 BikeErg.
Concept2 BikeErg vs. Rogue Echo Bike
In case you missed it: The Rogue Echo Bike is the official bike of CrossFit, and has been since May 2021. (Read our full Rogue Echo Bike review.)
Because the Rogue Echo Bike is the Bike you’re most likely to ride at CrossFit comps (whether local or on the big stage), if you’re serious about the sport of functional fitness, the Rogue Echo Bike is a better buy.
However, the Rogue Echo Bike requires some serious power. That means it’s not as good an option for lower-intensity, steady-state work, cool downs, or warm-ups as either the AssaultBike or the Concept2 BikeErg. If you’re on the market for a machine that can easily be used for lower intensity work like typical indoor cycling bikes, the BikeErg is your best bet.
Like the AssaultBike, the Rogue Echo Bike has moving handles. If you are looking for a machine to use while your upper body recovers from an injury, you want the Concept2 BikeErg.
Concept2 BikeErg vs. Schwinn Airdyne AD7
The Schwinn Airdyne AD7 is the air bike on the market that is most often compared to the Rogue Assault Bike. Equally as robust in shape and size, the Schwinn Airdyne AD7 is an airbike that requires big time power to pedal.
Really, the only difference between the Schwinn Airdyne AD7 and Rogue Echo Bike is that the Schwinn has more handle positions and is compatible with more fitness apps, such as Zwift.
In other words: All the other differences between the Concept2 BikeErg and the Rogue Echo Bike (and there are many!) apply to this comparison, too.
Concept2 BikeErg Review: The Chalk Up
Ultimately, we’d recommend the BikeErg for any gym-owner or athlete looking to outfit their space with a machine that can be used by:
- Athletes with upper-body injuries
- Cyclists in the winter
- CrossFit athletes who want to be fully prepped for local and global competitions
- People doing lower-intensity, steady state cardio and Zone 2 work
Well-built, sturdy, and ultra-adjustable, the Concept2 BikeErg is worth its price tag for the right buyer.
Concept2 BikeErg FAQs
Is the BikeErg a good workout?
Yes, the BikeErg can be used to get in a good workout.
Unlike the other two bike models that make an appearance in most CrossFit boxes, however, the Concept2 BikeErg does not have moving arms. As such, this bike does not work your upper body. So while you will get a good leg and cardiovascular workout on this thing, it can’t be used for an upper-body or full-body workout on its own.
Is the Concept2 BikeErg loud?
Have you ever heard of the Concept2 rower in action? The noises Concept2 BikeErg makes are comparable.
But exactly how loud the BikeErg is depends on how you’re using the bike.
If you’re doing BikeErg sprints and hammering away at the pedals, the BikeErg will sound the way a rower does when you’re sprinting for calories. Said differently, someone in the same room as you will probably have to turn up the volume on the television three to five notches in order to keep listening to the tube.
However, if you’re doing slow-and-steady work on the machine, it’s pretty darn quiet.
If you’re familiar with the AssaultBike you might want to know how the BikeErg compares to that, sound-wise. If the Assault Bike is a 10 out of 10 on the noise level, the BikeErg is a three or four.
What muscles does the BikeErg work?
Your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are the main muscles called on when you ride the BikeErg. But, the machine also works your calves, core, and hips flexors.