Air Bike, Airdyne & Assault Bike do you need one of those?

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To be honest, I’m not a big fan of fitness machines. Actually, I strongly believe that you don’t need any machines or weights to get fit and strong, nor do you need a gym membership. Our bodies are fantastic machines of their own, and most fitness machines only pay off for the people who sell them.

With that said, there do exist some machines and equipment that can be very beneficial when frequently used in your workout routine. The air bike is one of them.


What Is an Air Bike

An air bike is a stationary bike that also has handles for cranking. The resistance is applied by a turning a fan instead of a wheel. The faster you go, the higher the resistance the fan provides. For that reason, the air bike also goes under the name fan bike.

What's New with the Air Bike?

Nothing! Actually, the air bike has been around since the 70s, but due to the introduction of more tech-fancy machines with a ton of features, air bikes disappeared from gyms. However, with the introduction of CrossFit and other demanding sports like MMA and kickboxing, the air bike has again become a popular fitness machine.

Is an Air Bike the Same as an Airdyne or Assault Bike?

Yes! Airdyne and Assault bikes are the names of some popular models, but they are air bikes.

What’s So Great about an Air Bike?

There are several things, so let's take a closer look at some of them.

  • Full Body Workout

As I mentioned above, I’m not a big fan of fitness machines, and the main reason for that is that they often isolate a single body part to be worked out. That’s not how our bodies are meant to function. When we move, our muscles works together. Some muscles will take big loads, and some will stabilize.

The difference between an air bike and a traditional exercise bike is that on the air bike, our arms will have to work as well, and even more important, our core will have to stabilize the movements between our upper bodies and lower bodies. A traditional exercise bike would mostly focus on the lower body.

Assault AirBike
  • Automatic resistance

I know that technology is cool, but it should serve a purpose, right? Many of the cardio machines on the market today come with a thick manual explaining all the functionalities they have, which, of course, doesn't have to be a bad thing. Keeping track of your workout and being able to plan it is great.

The issue I have with technology is when you have to spend more time on the preparation than on the actual work. Again, machines should serve you and not the other way around.

Resistance is one of these areas that I always have an issue with when it comes to cardio machines. How high should the resistance be set to get the best outcome? With an air bike, you don't have to worry about that. The harder you work, the harder the resistance—very easy.

  • The Ultimate HIIT Machine

Honestly speaking, I do not know any better way to do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) than with an air bike. It does exactly what you are looking for in HIIT.

Not all kind of exercises is suitable for HIIT. What we are looking for is something that can skyrocket or pulse as fast as possible, and for that, we need full body movements. Sorry, bicep curls won't do you much good here.

I have yet to see any other cardio machine that can skyrocket your pulse as fast as an air bike can—it simply kills you in no time. Doing Tabata on an air bike is really efficient.

Rich Froning on Air Bike
  • Longer Cardio

You don't need to limit yourself to HIIT with an air bike. Keeping a slower pace will give you a well-rounded cardio workout for as long as you want. Even just for warm up and cool down, it’s great.

  • Look Who Is Using Them

I don't know about you, but when I’m buying new stuff that is outside my area of expertise, I like to take a look at real life situation, meaning who is using it and why. As mentioned in the beginning, the air bike was made popular again with the introduction of CrossFit. However, the air bike is also very popular in fighting sports like MMA, kickboxing, and boxing.

So what does it tell us?

All of these sports are very demanding. The athletes are strong, and at the same time, their conditions are excellent. I know that if these athletes choose to use such a machine, it’s great.

Rich Froning on Air Bike

What Are the Downsides of an Air Bike?

First of all, you shouldn't limit yourself to only working out on an air bike, so make sure to combine it with other types of workouts as well.

Frankly speaking, there is very little bad to say about an air bike. The only small issue could be the noise it makes due to its fan. Where other exercise bikes have magnetic or frictional resistance, the air bike uses its fan, and we all know that a fan makes noise. On the other hand, the fan also gives a good air flow, which can be nice during a demanding workout.

Should You Buy One?

As I said in the beginning, you don't need one to become fit; you can do that without any machines or equipment, but an air bike will for sure help you.

People Who Shouldn't buy one yet!

  • Those Who Already Have a Ton of Fitness Machines They Don't Use

If your garage is filled with fitness machines that you never use, the chances are that an air bike will just become one more on the list. Even if the air bike is probably hundred times better than the other machines you have, it seems like what you are missing is motivation and a proper plan—for you, it would be better to have a look here.

  • Those Who Know They Can Get Out Running or Swimming 2-3 Times a WeeK for the Whole Year

Swimming and running are great. These are whole-body exercises, and you can do them as HIIT or longer aerobic sessions. So if you are this type of person, you can save the money.

People Who Should Consider Buying an Air Bike

Well, that’s the rest of you! Let's take some examples.

  • Beginners to HIIT

When a beginner starts out with HIIT, the biggest issues are not the high heart rate as many think. Unless your doctor has told you not to get a high pulse, the biggest problem is often the demanding exercises that a HIIT workout requires.

If you are untrained, your muscles and joints are not ready to do a lot of running or do hundreds of burpees every week. With an air bike, however, you can get a very efficient, low–impact HIIT session.

  • People with Little Time

More and more studies show that short HIIT sessions are just as beneficial as if not better than long cardio sessions. With a stationary air bike, all you need to do is to jump on the bike, spend 5–8 minutes on the warm-up, and then hit it hard for 5–10 minutes. So in less than 20 minutes, you are done and can continue with whatever you have to do.

  • Fit People Who Want to Take it to The Next Level

For people that have reached a plateau in their fitness, the air bike can really provide the needed kick. Our bodies are experts at adapting. If we ask them to do something they’re not used to, they will start to adapt towards the demand. Said another way, if we run 5 km 2–3 times a week with more or less the same pace, our bodies will develop the needed capacity for that and not more. To develop further, we need a new stimulus that our bodies will have to react to.

An air bike can literally give you that kick. The harder you work, the more resistance it will give you; therefore, the body will continue to have to develop its capacity. Hard HIIT two times a week on air bike will for sure improve your condition.

  • People Who Want Something Simple and Efficient

Not everybody enjoys to workout, and some people just want to get it done as fast as possible. I fully understand these people. I had a period of ten years where I hated everything related to fitness and sports, but I was finally asked by my doctor to start to change that attitude or face some serious health issues.

With an air bike, you can get an extremely efficient workout done in less than 20 minutes. Do that three times a week, and you have taken a major step towards a more healthy lifestyle.

Air Bike

Which Air Bike Should I Buy?

Air bikes normally go in the price range of $100–1000 US. The good thing is that as they have very little technology built in, the higher prices normally also mean better quality and not just a lot of features you don't need.

As an air bike is ideal for HIIT, it also means that we want a good enough quality where we can go hard without destroying it after some months; therefore, the really cheap ones could become a problem.

Below I have listed the ones that I would consider, with Airdyne and Assault bike being the most famous ones.


Schwinn Airdyne Pro

  • You want the best of the best.
  • You want your air bike to be as quite a possible
  • You want smooth and instant transmission of the pedals
  • You like a more soft and smooth design
Assault AirBike

Assault AirBike          

  • You want the best of the best
  • You prefer a more rough design
  • You like to go hard on your workout and need a machine that can handle it.

Schwinn Airdyne AD6

  • You want high quality that can take some serious beating
  • You can do without a seat than can be adjusted forth and back
  • You don't need workout programs on the air bike
Schwinn Airdyne AD2

Schwinn Airdyne AD2

  • You want a good solid quality, that can take some beating
  • You can accept some flimsy feeling
  • You can do without a seat than can be adjusted forth and back
  • You don't need workout programs on the air bike
Marcy Fan Exercise Bike

Marcy Fan Exercise Bike

  • Your primary reason to buy an air bike is to get a full body workout
  • You will mostly do long and steady aerobic sessions but sometimes you will do hard and short HIIT sessions
  • You don't expect the air bike to last longer than a year to two
Body Rider Fan Bike

Body Rider Fan Bike

  • Your primary reason to buy an air bike is to get a full body workout
  • You will do more long and steady aerobic sessions than hard and short HIIT sessions
  • You are not higher than 5ft 5ins
  • You don't expect the air bike to last longer than a year to two

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