Assault bike vs. Airdyne – Which is best?

Posted on Posted in Reviews

If you don't know what an assault air bike is or if you are in doubt how to use it most efficiently, then you should first read this article, “What is an air bike and should you buy one?

On the other site if you already know all that and just want to find the one that suits your needs best, then please continue to read on.

Henrik riding a Schwinn Airdyne AD6
Fits-Me AIrbike

Me riding an Schwinn Airdyne AD6

In this article, we will review six different air bikes. They are:

Assault AirBike

Assault AIrBike


Schwinn Airdyne Pro

Assault AirBike

Schwinn Airdyne HD6

Schwinn Airdyne AD2

Schwinn Airdyne AD2

Body Rider Fan Bike

Body Rider Fan Bike

Marcy Fan Exercise Bike

Marcy Fan Exercise Bike

For a fair review, I have split the six air bikes into three segments.

High end

Mid end

Low end

You don't compare a 10K car with a 100K car, and therefore we shouldn't do it with air bikes as well.

Things we will look at

I have been using air bikes for several years, bought for my own box and tested several when visiting other boxes.

Based on my experience, I have selected five areas which I believe is important when considering buying an air bike. They are:


An air bike is one of the absolute best cardio machines to do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on. It’s a full body workout, and it will skyrocket your pulse instantly.

This also means that very often we will go hard on the air bike. Not for long but for some few intensive minutes.

This puts some demands on the air bike.

We want an air bike that can hold to this kind of treatment and not just for a month. Therefore durability is important.

When it comes to stability, I would like to ask you this. When operating a machine or using some sort of equipment that just doesn't feel stable, how much effort do you spend thinking about the bad stability compared to the actual task?

As mentioned we often go hard on an air bikes and, therefore, want something that feels stable enough so we can focus fully on the workout and not when things will start to fall apart.


Comfort is closely connected to stability. If it doesn't feel stable, it doesn't feel comfortable.

However, there are other areas to consider when talking comfort.

Can the machine be adjusted, so it fits our body? Can you sit comfortable on the seat? What about when you start to sweat, will that have an impact on the grip? Or do you easily slip off the peddles?

Again we want to focus on the workout, and if we aren't comfortable, that won't happen.


An air bike is simple, and that's why I love them. You just jump on them and then start to work out. The resistance adjusts towards how hard you work. No reason to spend more time on preparation than the actual workout.

But having said that, there is of course nothing wrong with some good features.

Here we will mostly look at the display features. Measuring the output is great if it’s correct and having the possibility to set the intervals on the air bike instead of an external device is, of course, great when it works smoothly.


It only has to done once, but then if not working smoothly the results can be that you will never get it done or get it done wrongly which again could mean malfunction, which could make it break.


The price will be compared to the other areas. Can we justify the price towards the other areas or is it out of sync.

Excellent, we now know what we are going to look at so let's start with the actual air bike review.

High-end segment

Schwinn Airdyne Pro

Schwinn has been building bicycles since 1895 and exercise bikes since 1966.

Airbikes or Schwinn Airdyne as they call them has also been around for many years so you will expect that this knowledge has passed on from model to model and can be seen in the overall quality.

Currently, three models are relevant to take a closer look at. The Schwinn Airdyne AD2, AD6 and the newest one that we will look at now, the Schwinn Airdyne Pro (AD8)

Best match

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


The Schwinn Airdyne Pro is a high-end product, and you can mainly see and especially feel that in the build quality.

No matter where you look, it will be obvious that this product has been built with durability and stability in mind. This is also reflected in the warranty that the Schwinn Airdyne Pro comes with.

Frame: 10 Years

Parts: 2 Years

Labor: 6 Months

Here are some further points to emphasize its extreme high durability and stability.

The frame is slightly longer than other products on the market, which makes it really stable even when hitting it hard in a standing position.

Pedals are made of metal

Schwinn Airdynes are belt driven instead of the traditional chain. This gives you more stability and smooth feeling when riding it.

An excellent combination of metal and hard plastic. Metal where you really need strength and hard plastic where you can live with less noise - remember the plastic makes less noise than metal.


In this area, the Schwinn Airdyne Pro have improved a lot from their previous model the Schwinn Airdyne AD6.

The saddle can now be adjusted forth and back where you previously only could do it up and down and then, of course, the angle of the saddle. This is a big improvement as you now can get much closer to an optimal position, so you can fully focus on the workout.

It also comes with multiple grips which give you a better option for finding the right grip or simply shifting during your workout.

The grips are covered with heavy-duty rubber and not foam as some of the others. The great things about that are that it doesn’t soak in sweat and chalk. Also, it simply gives a better quality feeling. Some might say it can make the grips slippery and hard, but that’s not been an issue for me.

One of the biggest advantages with Schwinn Airdyne models are that they are belt driven and not chain as most of their competitors. This makes the transmission from pedals to fan very smooth, and you get an instant activation that is especially important when doing interval training.

As the fan is made from hard plastic, it also seems like the Schwinn Airdyne Pro is one of the most quiet air bikes on the market.


When talking about features on an air bike, it’s often narrowed down to what the display offers.

The Schwinn Airdyne Pro LCD display screen comes with metrics for time, distance, calories, RPM, watts, pulse, and speed. It also has the possibility to program workouts based on these metrics as well as predefined and customized interval training workouts.

To be honest, the display is easy to handle and works well. The biggest improvement on the display from the last model is the added workouts.

I am a big believer in less is more, and especially when it comes to air bikes, however, I have to admit that the workouts are handy to have on the display instead of having to set an external clock. Also, the HR monitor is great as you really want to focus on that when doing HIIT


Customer says they use around 1 hour to assemble the air bike. Needed tools are included in the package. The company recommends that it should be two persons, but many say that they could do it themselves.


Yes it’s expensive, and you have to be prepared to pay around 1000 USD

However, if you want the best of the best and want something that runs as smooth as possible, still being capable of staying through whatever you throw at it - then this is what you want. This bike will give you hard workouts year after year without issues.

Assault Bike


For many years Schwinn Airdyne was dominating the high-end market of air bikes. However, since 1994 Assault bike have climbed the latter and with their latest model Assault Airbike they have finally reached that desired high-end level.

Best match

  • 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.


Where the Swine Airdynes combines hard plastic with metal, the Assault Bike is a real iron horse. The air bike is built up by:

  • A frame manufactured from full high-tensile steel
  • Sealed with a layer of industrial powder coating paint
  • 20 sealed cartridge bearings, utilized in every pivot
  • A fan in steel

Therefore when it comes to the frame, there is not much to complain about for stability and durability.

However, the steel can make the air bike a bit noisier, and some people have complained about a wobbly seat pole.

As mentioned all pivot points are bearings instead of bushings. This gives a smoother and stable operation.

The Assault Bike is chain driven, and for some people, this can give a less stable and smooth feeling than with a belt driven. For durability, I’m not in doubt that the chain option will provide many hours of workouts, so it all depends on your preferences.

The Assault bike has a more straight forward design. You can easily see what is what, and how it works. Regarding warranty, they have 5 years on the frame and 2 years on the parts.


The seat can be adjusted up and down as well as forth and back which is a big advantage for optimal comfort.

When it comes to the actual seat, there are always as many opinions as there are customers. Therefore be prepared to look into another 50 USD for a new seat if you really want to optimize the comfort and please notice that this is general for all air bikes.

As most part of the Assault bike is made of steel including the fan, the noise can be a bit higher than on the Schwinn Airdyne Pro.

Beside from the more industrial design, the biggest different between the Assault Bike & Schwinn Airdyne Pro is the drive.

Assault Bike is chain driven. This gives a more rough feeling than with a belt. Also, the transmission can feel a bit slacker and less smooth, and it’s a bit noisier. Please notice that I’m not saying that it’s quality issues but it’s more about the perception of this kind of drive and other people could experience it differently.

There is no bottle holder on the Assault Bike, so if you need a sip of water during your workout, you have to place the bottle next to you.

Handles only have one grip so you can’t change position.


The Assault Bike comes with an LCD screen where the following outputs are available: Watts – RPM -- Calories – Heart Rate -- Distance – Time – Odometer – Interval Training (Tabata and custom)

This makes it very similar to Schwinn Airdyne Pro, and most people seem to be happy with the usability.


It will take you about one hour to put the Assault Bike together. There is an online video you can follow, and the needed tools come with the air bike, so don't expect this to become a problem.

Due to the many pivots, you might need to go over these after some weeks to keep everything running smooth.


Normally you can get the Assault Bike a couple of hundreds of dollars below the Schwinn Airdyne Pro.

The question you should ask yourself is if you can live with a more rough design and a chain-driven air bike if you don't actually prefer that. Not to say that it’s a compromise on quality because it’s not but it’s simply a question of taste. Do you like a strong and elegant Mercedes-Benz or do you prefer a strong and rough Ford Mustang?

Mid-end segment

Scwinn Airdyne AD6

In my CrossFit Box, we have Schwinn Airdyne AD6 and have had them for one and a half year.

We have only had one minor issue with one of them (will explain below) and remember that we have them in a commercial gym with a lot of usages.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD6 is the model previous to Schwinn Airdyne Pro and has been around since 2012

Best match

  • You want high quality that you can go hard on.
  • You can do without a seat that can be adjusted forth and back
  • You don't need workout programs on the air bike


As soon as you start to workout on the Schwinn Airdyne AD6, you will feel that this is an air bike that will last for a long time and hold to most things that you will throw at it. Going hard at it is not an issue at all.

The air bike is built of hard plastic and steel. The fan is also hard plastic. This combination makes sense, as you have steel where you need it and hard plant where less will do. In that way, you minimize noise without compromising on quality.

In our CrossFit box, we had a small issue with one of the crank arms, but the fault was ours as we hadn't gone over the bolts. It just needed to be placed correctly and tightened again.

As with all the new Schwinn Airdynes, the AD6 is belt-driven. In this case with a dual-stage super torque belt drive, which is an upgrade from the AD2. It makes the drive smooth and stable, with a fast response which is desired through a fast HIIT workout.

As always, belt driven air bikes are less noisy as well.

The warranty is: Frame - 15 yrs; Parts - 3 yrs; Electrical - 2 yrs; Labor - 6 months.


For the durability and stability, I have very little to complain about where on the comfort site there are things I would like to see improved (And which they are in the Schwinn Airdyne Pro)

The seat can only be adjusted up and down, and this is a limitation.

To get the best position when using the handles, a forth and back adjustment of the seat is preferred. When you can’t do this, you might be forced to lean forward in an uncomfortable position. No wonder that this had been changed in the new model.

The seat is always a big topic, but a lot seems to think that it’s simply too big.

Due to the belt drive, you have an instant reaction when pushing the pedals, and that is great.

The handles have two minor issues. They only have one grip position so you can't change if you get tired. The grips are covered with foam which soaks sweat and chalks easily - for me, it gives an unpleasant spongy feeling.

The pedals come with foot straps. This is both good and bad. Good, when you hit it hard and don't have to worry about slipping off the pedals. Bad, when you combine the workout with other exercises, and you have to get in and out of the straps.


The console displays RPM, time, speed, distance, watts, calories and heart rate (when a heart rate strap is worn – needs to be bought separately).

Everything is fine and works straight forward. An issue can be that the display is a bit dark but still fully readable.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD6 does not offer any form for a workout program, and an external clock is therefore needed.


As soon as the box have been placed where you want it and everything has been taken out, the rest is easy. It will take you around 1 hour to assemble the Schwinn Airdyne AD6, and the needed tools are in the box.


We are looking into a price that currently is almost half the price of the Schwinn Airdyne Pro. For that, you will have to be without the comfort of a fully adjustable seat, multiple grips and workout programs.

Schwinn Airdyne AD2

Even though that there are a couple of hundred dollars between the Schwinn Airdyne AD6 & AD2, I have still chosen to add both in the mid-end category. One of the main reasons is that it’s limited what exists in this category.

Best match

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


It’s Schwinn Airdyne quality no doubt about that. The construction is the same as we know from the newer models where a combination of hard plastic and steel is used - which works great for durability and stability. It’s a bit lighter than AD6, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue unless you weight more than 250 lbs

It’s belt drive as all of the other Schwinn Airdynes, but it’s a single stage drive belt which you should expect to be less smooth than the two more expensive models. Still, it’s belt driven which means less noise and faster response than a chain.

The warranty is Frame: 5 years, Mechanical & Electrical: 1 year, Wear Parts: 90 days, Labor: 90 days. I do believe that this gives a hint on durability and stability as well. It’s good but not as good as the more expensive models.


Many people complain about the seat which is normal for most air bikes, even the expensive ones, so don't worry too much about that.

The bigger issues are as with the Schwinn Airdyne AD6 that the seat can only be adjusted up and down and therefore become uncomfortable when using the handles. This is because you have to lean forward, especially if you are a smaller person.

The rest is a lot like on the AD6 meaning, only single grip handles. Grips covered with foam which can attract sweat and chalk. The pedals have straps which can be good if you just workout on the air bike but a problem if you combine your workout with other exercises, meaning you have to get on and off.

The single belt is expected to give a less smooth transmission than the more expensive models but still a good feeling.


The display is placed down at the fan but the letters are big, and therefore it works.

You are able to track speed, distance, RPM’s and estimated burned calories. Every measurement is shown for 5 seconds, and it continues to cycle through all of them.

This cycling can be a big limitation for people who want to track a specific measurement like speed or RPM’s to keep a predefined pace.


As it’s lighter than the more expensive models, it also seems like it’s easier to assemble. The tools are provided, and one person seems to easily be able to assemble in one hour or less.


You can save a couple of hundred dollars by purchasing Schwinn Airdyne AD2 instead of AD6. For that, you will have to be without long warranty and thereby possible less durability. It is single belt driven and therefore not as smooth. No bottle holder. A display that can't focus on speed or RPM’s

Low-end segment

Body Rider Fan Bike

We now move down to the low-end market and prices under 200USD. There are several models in the segment, and I have chosen two of the most popular ones.

Best match

  • 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


In the low-end segment, we start to get a feeling about the lack of quality. Not to say poor quality but still a feeling that you have moved down some levels.

The Body Rider Fan Bike weighs around the half of the Schwinn Airdyne AD2, and therefore it can also be expected to move around a bit when putting efforts into the workout. Having said that, the Body Rider Fan Bike does not shake nor wobble.

The warranty is 1 year and 90 days on parts, which again probably reflect the built quality. And some customers do report quality issues after some months.

As it’s missing levelers under the feet, you will have to find a plain surface to get a good stability as well.


The light weight can make it move around a bit if you really hit it hard. Also, the missing levelers can make it a challenge to get it real stable.

Taller people (above 5ft 5ins) seem to have an issue with extending the legs in a comfortable way, so be aware of this if you are tall.

The Body Rider Fan Bike is chain driven, and this can make it feel less smooth and noisier.

The seat can be adjusted up and down.

When it comes to the fan, the truth is that it gives very little resistance, so an additional resistance method has been added.


A display can show distance, speed, time and estimated calories burned.

Unlike most other air bikes it’s possible to adjust the resistance through a knob and a tension strap. Main reason for this is probably that the fan itself doesn't offer much resistance and an additional is therefore needed. For me, this removes half of the idea with an air bike. Also, it courses the peddling a bit more up and down than a smooth 360-degree run.

Beside from the missing levelers (Think I mentioned that a couple of times 🙂 there are also no wheels to pull nor push it around on. Therefore it has to be lifted completely if you don't want to scratch your floor.


Even though many says it’s easy to assemble, you do find some people who complain about it. Compared to the more expensive models you seldom hear such complaints.

Additional tools have to used, so if you or your neighbor doesn't have them you will have to buy them   🙂


We are around 100 USD which is cheap, so the price is really good. But you have to ask yourself how much you are ready to compromise and if it’s worth it at all.

If you are not going to hard on this air bike and don't expect too much then, this might be the right one for you.

Marcy Fan Exercise Bike

Marcy Walter, the founder of Marcy Gymnasium Equipment Company, was a body builder and started his company in 1959. The company has done different air bikes, but this is one of their cheapest models.

The Marcy Fan Exercise Bike is just below 200 USD, so the question is if it’s worth the extra 100 USD compared to the Body Rider Fan Bike.

Best match

  • 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


The Marcy Fan Exercise Bike is a bit heavier than the Body Rider Fan Bike but still light compared to the other models. So we again have to expect some moving around when we do a hard HIIT session.

The frame comes with a 2 years warranty which I would say is far for that price range and also give an ok indication of the quality to be expected.

It’s chain driven, and we already know that it can cause slacking, instability and some noise.

People that have bought the product say it’s stable and doesn't give a wobbling nor shaking feeling, but on the other hand, it can be a bit flimsy when going hard on it.

Compared to the more expensive models you also see more problems with parts breaking after some time.


Everything is pretty standard and what you can expect from an air bike in that price range.

Nothing particularly bad but also nothing especially good.

The pedals come with a strap which might be ok on these air bikes which you are supposed to go easier on. The grips are also covered with foam, and again due to the more low-intensity input, it might be ok.

The seat is a problem as with all other air bikes.


The display allows you to track time, distance, calories burned, speed and scan mode as you train.

The Marcy Fan Exercise Bike also comes with an adjustable resistance knob.

The reason for this is again that the fan doesn't provide as much resistance as the more expensive models. You will get the feeling of a real air bike but frankly speaking, it’s not the real deal and therefore also not as great an HIIT machine as air bikes normally are.

There are small wheels attached to air bike to push and pull it around easily.


Seems easy and the tools are provided, however, a lot of people complains about the tools that come with the Marcy Fan Exercise Bike.


We are paying almost 100 USD more for the Marcy Fan Exercise Bike than the Body Rider Fan Bike. What we get is a bit more stable and durable air bike. Also, the warranty is longer.

That's it. I hope you now have a better understanding of which air bike is relevant for you if any at all. If you are considering the air bikes for a commercial gym or CrossFit Box, please only choose between the high-end & mid-end segment, as the other one won't do the job.


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