Reviews

The Best Air Bikes, As Told By a Someone Who’s Suffered On Them All

July 13, 2022 by
best air bikes
Air bikes tested for this guide. Credit: Garage Gym Reviews
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

I know, I know: Choosing the best air bike is like picking the gym’s best rep shaver or the best country music workout playlist—there simply isn’t one, at least not if you like your leg muscles fresh. The air bike has been vilified and meme-ified. However, despite its unseemly reputation, there is no denying that air bikes provide an unparalleled full-body cardio workout. 

Now with that being said, it’s time for CrossFit confessionals: I actually like a gritty, intense workout on the air bike. And, yes, I can hear the sound of the collective eyes rolling, but it’s true. So, call me crazy, but at least I (and a few others roped into it) took one for the team and tested out a bunch of them to bring you reviews on the best air bikes you can get your sweaty hands on. 

The Bikes We Love to Hate: Air Bikes

Our testers, made up of CrossFit coaches and athletes, have logged many miles and burned a ton of calories on various wind resistance-powered stationary bikes over the last decade, not only for the purpose of this review, but in our day-to-day workouts as well. While we love to hate them just as much as you do, we also know that they are here to stay, and that’s why we’re going to break down six of the best on the market.

The Best Air Bikes in 2022

Editor’s Choice: Rogue Fitness Echo Bike

Rogue Echo Bike
Rogue Echo Bike Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: The heavy-duty frame, top-notch build quality low-maintenance belt drive make it our favorite air bike. 

Pros: 

  • Comfortable seat
  • Very low maintenance
  • Powder coat resists rust

Cons:

  • Large and heavy 
  • Fairly hard to move around (wheels are small)
  • Very basic LCD display

I have the Rogue Echo Bike in my home gym. Depending on when you ask me, this was either one of my best or one of my stupidest decisions of all time. 

This air bike is a bit of an oxymoron in that it is a comfortable tank. Constructed from steel, the wide and sturdy base ensures an overall smooth ride. You will not have to worry about the side-to-side wobbling of some other air bikes when you climb into the saddle of the Echo. Speaking of saddles, the one on the Echo is the Porsche of air bike seats. 

The cushioned, welded handles, large metal pedals, and high-quality foot pegs are as solid as they come. This attention to detail ensures that your hands and feet will not slide off even when the sweat is flowing. Additionally, the Echo uses a belt drive to power its steel fan. 

Although it means that you won’t get any roll-over calories like with chain drive bikes (ugh), it also means that you will typically have a lot less maintenance. The display screen is not that high-tech, but it is easy to operate and read and Bluetooth-enabled. 

Read our full Rogue Echo Bike review.

Runner Up: AssaultBike Classic 

AssaultBike Classic
AssaultBike Classic Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: The AssaultBike Classic is synonymous with CrossFit. It is a simple and solid piece of equipment that can produce sweat and swears in equal measure.

Pros: 

  • Easily portable
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Durable and long lasting

Cons:

  • Seat is uncomfortable
  • The fan flywheel is loud
  • Basic LCD screen

For longtime CrossFit enthusiasts, the AssaultBike Classic is as iconic as Dave Castro’s cornrows. And, just like that hairstyle choice, it is easy to understand why we love to hate it. 

The Assault Bike Classic is ubiquitous in CrossFit boxes and the home gyms of those who love to mix in a sleddog cardio movement in their workouts. A simple, no-frills piece of equipment, the AssaultBike can improve endurance, power, and aerobic capacity, and it can provide a full-body workout. Although the chain drive may require a little more TLC than air bikes with a belt drive, these bikes still don’t require much upkeep. 

On the other hand, your undercarriage may need a remedy because the seats on the AssaultBike aren’t for the faint of heart. The solid, primarily-steel construction holds up well in commercial settings and this bike is certainly in it for years of home workouts. However, if you’re planning on using this in a home setting, you should know that it is L-O-U-D. 

Although the Assault Airbike Classic is the one we recommend for most CrossFit participants, we do want to point out that the Elite and Pro models are Bluetooth-enabled and can connect to heart rate monitors and fitness streaming apps. 

Read our full AssaultBike review.

Best Budget Air Bike: Titan Fan Bike

titan fan bike
Titan Fan Bike. Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: The Titan Fan Bike takes elements from the AssaultBike and the Rogue Echo Bike and combines them into a budget-friendly offering. 

Pros: 

  • Affordable price point
  • Robust tires provide easy transport
  • Several accessories included

Cons:

  • Small console
  • Narrow fan blades provide less resistance 
  • Noisy

In many ways, the Titan Fan Bike is the lovechild of the Rogue Echo Bike and the AssaultBike. Titan has combined many of the features of those bikes and then added in a slew of standard accessories. 

When you’re shopping on a budget, the best bike for your buck is the Titan Fan Bike. Although the bike is a bit more compact than others on the market, the steel frame provides a hefty base. To prove its sturdiness, the Titan Fan Bike has a 330-pound weight capacity. 

Cooper Mitchell, Garage Gym Reviews founder and air bike tester extraordinaire, was a fan of the robust turf transport wheels. They made it easy to wheel the bike around his garage gym or even take it outside. For masters athletes such as myself, I recommend keeping a pair of readers handy because the LCD console on the Titan Fan Bike is for young eyes only. 

Best Luxury Air Bike: AssaultBike Elite

AssaultBike Elite
AssaultBike Elite Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: We may work out in facilities without heat or air conditioning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a little bougie about our equipment. And, when money ain’t no thang, you’ll want to settle in on the AssaultBike Elite. 

Pros: 

  • Comfy seat
  • Wind screen included 
  • 10 year-frame warranty

Cons:

  • Very expensive 
  • Not easy to move
  • Upgraded features don’t make a hugely noticeable difference

If, to borrow from Kendrick Lamar, your money trees are your perfect place for shade, you will definitely want to hop on the luxurious AssaultBike Elite. 

Our tester, Amanda Capritto, a CrossFit-L1 Trainer, was a fan of the wide, cushy adjustable seat and the wind screen that comes standard with the Elite. The Assault Air Bike Elite also has more ergonomic, angled handles. 

Additionally, you can connect to the Assault Fitness app for interactive programming, and the performance monitor is Bluetooth-enabled. This is great if you want to mix up your bike WODs. As you may expect, any bike that wins a best luxury superlative comes with a robust price tag. However, it also has generous warranties (10 years for the frame). 

The Elite can support 350 pounds of biker, but please note that it also weighs in at 140 pounds, which makes it a little difficult to move around, even with the front-mounted caster wheels. 

Quietest Air Bike: Schwinn Airdyne Pro (AD7)

Schwinn AD7 Air Bike
Schwinn AD7 Air Bike
Credit: Schwinn/Amazon

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: The noise level of an air bike often seems like a constant reminder of how hard they are. The Schwinn Airdyne Pro provides a much quieter ride than its competitors. 

Pros: 

  • Very quiet
  • Slip-resistant pedals
  • Ability to use customized seats

Cons:

  • Cost more than $1,000
  • Small console that’s not backlit
  • Can be difficult to move

Considering that Schwinn has been in the bike business for over a century, it’s safe to say that they know a little bit about what goes into a quality air bike. With the Schwinn Airdyne Pro, they used their air resistance expertise to develop an air bike that is so quiet that it is, dare we say, serene.

Ok, serene may be a stretch, but the quiet belt drive of this Airdyne bike will definitely allow you to hear your angry air bike playlist loud and clear. In addition to its lower noise level, the durable Airdyne shines from its wide, slip-resistant pedals to its comfortable multi-position handles. 

The ample padding on the seat ensures that you won’t bruise your peach, but the Airdyne Pro also has a rail and clamp system that allows you to switch to a customized seat if you choose. One of the coolest features of this air bike is that it increases resistance to match your power output—so, there’s no gaming this bike.

Best Air Bike That Feels Like a Road Bike: Concept2 BikeErg

Concept2 BikeErg
Concept2 BikeErg
Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

Why CrossFit athletes will love this: While the Concept2 BikeErg is a fan bike, in many ways, it is very different from most other CrossFit-centric pedal pushers. This bike focuses primarily on your legs and lungs, with the stationary handlebars giving your upper body a bit of a break.

Pros: 

  • Damper allows you to adjust intensity
  • More like riding a road bike
  • Less noisy than other air bikes

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Lower weight capacity
  • Seat is very uncomfortable

Remember the fun and freedom of riding your bike with your friends when you were a kid?

Well, the Concept2 BikeErg is nothing like that, but the stationary handles and the ability to stand for long periods of time does make it much more like a road bike than other fan bikes. Additionally, the damper can be used to make the ride more or less intense, similar to how you can use the gears on your road bike. 

This also makes it my choice for doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and Tabata workouts. Since it is designed more like a standard exercise bike, you don’t get the upper body workout that air bikes with moving handles provide. However, the BikeErg more than makes up for it with an intense lower body and lung burn. 

Also, it utilizes a belt drive instead of chain drive, which means that it generally requires less maintenance. With the quieter sound, you can actually hear the music pumping in your headphones over the fan. Personally, the BikeErg is my favorite bike (although I do loathe the skinny seat). 

Read our full Concept2 BikErg review.

Other Air Bikes to Consider

Rogue Echo bike next to AssaultBike and Schwinn Airdyne
Rogue Echo bike next to AssaultBike and Schwinn Airdyne Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

AssaultBike Pro 

The AssaultBike Pro is less than $200 more than the AssaultBike Classic, and it has some beefed up features such as less clunky drivetrain, more seat adjustments, and a sturdier overall feel. Additionally, it comes standard with built-in programming and Bluetooth connectivity. 

FringeSport Raptor Air Bike 

When it comes to included features, the solid FringeSport Raptor Air Bike is in a class by itself. The Raptor comes equipped with a phone holder, water bottle holder, wind guard, turf tires, and back handle. Conveniences galore. 

Schwinn AD6 

The AD6 was Schwinn’s top-tier model before the AD7 was produced. The AD6 is less expensive than the Pro and overall a solid bike. However, it should be noted that many of the bike’s parts are made with plastic and they aren’t extremely durable.  

XEBEX Air Bike

The XEBEX Air Bike is a quality, budget-friendly air bike. It is beefy and provides a lot of stability. Additionally, the unique, curved handles keep them from banging into your knees.   

Bells of Steel Blitz Air Bike

If you’re looking for a smaller but still solid air bike, definitely check out the Bells of Steel Blitz Air Bike. It has a lot of extras for such an affordable price, and it is much more compact than other air bikes. 

Zephyr Air Bike 

This is an ultra-budget-friendly air bike from Sunny Health & Fitness. Although our team of product testers hasn’t tried this bike yet, we can say from our vast experience with other Sunny products that this probably won’t withstand the frequency and intensity CrossFit athletes will put it through. 

How We Picked the Best Air Bikes

Monitor on Rogue Echo Bike
Monitor on Rogue Echo Bike Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

As writers for a site devoted to CrossFit, we get to test cool stuff like a whole slew of shoes or a bunch of barbells. And, other times we have to test air bikes. Even the best jobs have some downsides. 

All kidding aside, the other testers and I not only put these bikes through rigorous testing for the purpose of this article, many of us, either own one of these bikes for our home gyms or use them more frequently than we would like in our respective CrossFit boxes. 

We made sure that we made detailed notes about specifications such as: overall quality, durability, construction, seat comfort, seat adjustability, maintenance, footprint, noise level, and price. 

Additionally, we made sure to record our impressions on items such as: if the bikes wobbled when we went full-send; if the handles banged into the knees of taller athletes; if a foot slipped off easily. These may not seem like big deals until you’re halfway through a grueling fan bike AMRAP and you feel that your bike may buck you off. 

Further, we tested the bikes in a wide variety of workouts. We wanted to ensure that not only could they withstand a long, paced piece, but that they would also be able to handle the wear and tear of intense sprints and WODs that required athletes to get on and off the bike frequently.

And, because we’re writing to a group of our CrossFitting peers, we also noted exactly how badly they hurt (spoiler alert: they all hurt a lot).

Why an Air Bike Belongs in Your Home Gym

Riding the Rogue Echo Bike
Riding the Rogue Echo Bike Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

I am the proud, sometimes dumbfounded, owner of a Rogue Echo Bike. I bought it secondhand after my gym was closed down during the COVID-19 quarantine. And, while it has definitely made me dry heave (I’m looking at you Rogue 50-Calorie Challenge), it is truly one of my favorite pieces of home gym equipment. 

It is used frequently, and other than one of buttons being rubbed down a little, it looks and feels brand new. If you want just a quick, albeit tough, lunchtime cardio sesh, it’s easy to warm up and get your sweat on quickly. I also like to incorporate into my workouts that have multiple components. 

Any air bike is going to offer you these same benefits and they are long-lasting pieces of equipment that don’t usually require a lot of maintenance. Further, the air bikes with moving handles provide an effective full-body workout, which is great for the days that you’re short on time. 

How to Choose the Best Air Bike for You

best air bikes
Air bikes tested for this guide. Credit: Garage Gym Reviews

If you’re thinking of providing a loving home to an air bike (and, for the record, I think you should), consider the following factors before saddling up:

Price

Even budget-friendly air bikes aren’t particularly cheap, and unless you got that avocado toast kind of money, you will need to make sure your bike fits into your budget. Fortunately, when it comes to air bikes, our top picks aren’t the most expensive. Considering that many of these bikes last for years in CrossFit gyms, it’s safe to say that they are a very good long-term investment for your home gym. 

Durability

CrossFit athletes aren’t exactly easy on their equipment. And, that is why it is always important to look for durable equipment. This is especially true for high-dollar items that will often be put through the ringer. Fortunately, all of the bikes on our list are in for the long-haul.   

Maintenance 

Air bikes don’t generally need a lot of TLC to keep spinning, but you will have to do some general upkeep from time to time. This is particularly true of chain-drive fan bikes. That will require oil from time to time. You will also need to change the batteries on the monitor and occasionally tighten a screw or two if you feel your bike getting a little loose. 

In addition to price, durability, and maintenance, you will want to make sure that your bike is made from quality materials and is well assembled. Furthermore, most air bikes have a fairly large footprint and are pretty hefty. Therefore, you’ll need enough space to house it and a floor that can support the weight of the bike plus the weight of the rider(s).

FAQs About Air Bikes 

Is an air bike a good workout?

Air bikes provide a full-body workout by utilizing moving handles in tandem with the pedals. They are good for both short, intense sprints and for longer, paced rides. Use an air bike to improve your endurance, power, and cardiovascular stamina. 

Is an air bike better than a spin bike?

Although both have “bike” in their name, they are actually two fairly different pieces of equipment. An air bike creates resistance by the effort you put into pushing not only pedals, but pulling the grip handles, as well. The harder and faster you go, the more the fan goes. 

Spin bikes are designed more like road bikes and have stationary handlebars. The resistance levels are produced from either standard friction or magnetic brakes and are controlled by a knob or lever. 

Are air bikes worth it?

Although air bikes may be on the expensive side for a single piece of equipment, when you consider that they can provide a full body workout, are priced comparably (or even lower) than cardio machines such as treadmills, ellipticals and rowers, have low maintenance, and last for years, you’ll see that they are worth it. Air bikes workouts are low-impact, but they can also provide a good value for high-intensity sprints and interval training.

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.