Air bikes, also known as fan bikes and assault bikes, are among the most popular exercise machines for the home and gym.
They feature an upright sitting position and a low-impact workout for both the legs and the upper body.
The thing that sets them apart from the rest of the stationary bikes is that the resistance depends on your cycling speed. So, the faster you go the more resistance you get.
If you’re interested in buying one, read on as we review some of the finest models and look into what separates the best air bike from the rest.
Best Air Bike Reviews
1. Body Rider BRF700
Sometimes a limited budget is one of the biggest factors when buying a piece of exercising equipment. Body Rider’s BRF700 belongs to the budget class and delivers decent performance. It is a well-made basic model with bare-bones construction and simple design.
This affordable air bike comes with a rather light construction, weighing just below 50lbs. The steel frame is equipped with an H-shaped base. The weight capacity is relatively low at 250lbs. When assembled, the BRF700 stands 47” tall, 42” long, and 20” wide.
The seat is only height-adjustable and features more padding than the previous version of this model. Other than that, you can manually adjust the resistance of the fan with a knob located below the console.
The BRF700 also has a simple and easy-to-use console with a singular “Mode” button. Its small LCD display shows calories burned, speed, track time, and distance.
What's to like about the Body Rider BRF700
This is one of the most affordable options on the market which makes it a very attractive option if you don’t want to splurge. In any event, it is comfortable and very simple to use. Finally, the console displays the essential info in a clear and simple way.
What's not to like about the Body Rider BRF700
On the flipside, the BRF700 weighs less than 50 lbs., which might make it unfit for vigorous training regimes. The prominent use of plastic parts is also a big minus.
2. Marcy Air-1 Fan Bike
The Air-1 Fan Bike by Marcy is a compact and versatile air bike. It features a modern design and a decent level of adjustability. Thanks to the built-in wheels and levelers, it can adapt to almost any setting.
This model rocks a sturdy frame of 14-gauge steel and classic “H”-shaped base. It features a scratch-resistant coating and metallic gray finish. On the other hand, the pedals, wheels, levelers, and pedal mechanism cover are all plastic.
The Air-1 Fan Bike requires some assembly out of the box. It weighs 79 lbs. and measures 48” tall, 45” long, and 25” wide. Thanks to the built-in wheels, it can easily be moved around.
The seat is somewhat uncomfortable for prolonged use and is only adjustable in height. That being said, it can accommodate tall exercisers.
A big console with a simple LCD display is also among the highlights of this model. It tracks time, distance, speed, and calories. The digits are big and easy to read.
What's to like about the Marcy Air-1 Fan Bike
The Air-1 Fan Bike is very easy to assemble and move around. With built-in levelers, you won’t have to worry whether the floor is level. Also, this compact bike can withstand a lot of punishment and has a big, clear display.
What's not to like about the Marcy Air-1 Fan Bike
The seat could be a bit more comfortable (a chronic problem with most air bikes). Also, the chain is a bit on the noisy side and tends to make clicking sounds.
3. Assault AirBike
If you’re into air bikes, you have certainly come across Assault Fitness before. The professional-grade Assault AirBike is one of the most popular models with the CrossFit crowd, so much so that assault bikes and air bikes are used interchangeably.
The AirBike comes with high-quality steel frame and chain drive. The steel handlebars are wrapped in rubber grips. The 25” fan in the front is encased in a steel cage. The entire bike weighs around 90 lbs. and can support up to an impressive 350 lbs.
With the extra cost also comes extra adjustability. The AirBike has a 4-way adjustable seat and built-in levelers. The seat is very comfortable and can be swapped out for another, as is the case with the pedals. Also, it has wheels in the front for easy transport.
The console offers a ton of features. It has a large and clear display with easy readout. Several training programs, like Tabata, target calories, target heart rate, and target energy are also included.
What's to like about the Assault AirBike
The Assault AirBike is an excellent choice for both home and gym use. It is a well-built bike with excellent adjustability and a fantastic console. The high weight capacity and durable construction will allow you to take your training to the maximum.
What's not to like about the Assault AirBike
The biggest downside to the AirBike is its high price. Other than that, it has no major flaws or deal-breakers.
4. Schwinn Airdyne AD7
Along with Assault and Sunny, Schwinn is one of the most prominent brands in air bikes (or all bikes in general in the case of Schwinn). The Schwinn Airdyne AD7 is a rather expensive bike made with serious exercisers in mind.
The single-stage belt-driven AD7 makes far less noise and requires less maintenance than the classic chain-driven bikes. The fan in the front is perimeter weighted to allow for an easier start.
Construction-wise, it has a steel frame with the classic “H” base and plastic levelers. A pair of wheels for increased mobility is also installed in the front. When assembled, the bike weighs well over 100 lbs. and the weight capacity is 350 lbs.
The seat is 4-way adjustable and replaceable. It is nicely padded and comfortable enough for long training sessions. The handlebars offer multiple grip positions.
The console is rather big and features a large LCD display. Several training programs, as well as the standard metrics (heart rate, distance, calories, speed, time, RPM), are included. The package also includes batteries for the console.
What's to like about the Schwinn Airdyne AD7
The AD7 is a well-built bike made for home use as well as the gym. The console offers a range of training programs and a big LCD display. The 4-way adjustable seat and the belt drive are also among the AD7’s strengths.
What's not to like about the Schwinn Airdyne AD7
As good as it is, the AD7 comes with a pretty high price tag.
5. Sunny SF-B2715 Zephyr Air Bike
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B2715 is an affordable and lightweight air bike. Price-wise, it is located just above the budget class and offers excellent value for the money.
The SF-2715 uses a hybrid chain/belt drive which keeps the noise below that of most affordable air bikes. This makes it great for use at home.
In the construction department, the SF-2715 features a combination of steel and plastic. There are no levelers in the front, only in the back. The transport wheels in the front make it easy to relocate. The overall weight of the bike is around 60 lbs. and the weight capacity is 240 lbs.
The seat is adjustable in height only and comfortable enough for most uses. The handlebars wrapped in thick foam grips can be vertically adjusted to suit the rider.
The console is a basic one with no installed training programs. However, it does track heart rate, distance, and progress. It is on a tablet holder which can hold a device of your own if you want to follow a training program or watch something during your workout.
What's to like about the Sunny SF-B2715 Zephyr Air Bike
The SF-2715 is great for people who want a simple and well-built air bike. It is quiet enough and comfortable to use. Both the seat and the handlebars are height adjustable.
What's not to like about the Sunny SF-B2715 Zephyr Air Bike
While it is a sturdy bike, the prominent use of plastic makes it look cheaper than it is.
Buying an air bike can be quite a difficult task, considering the number of options available. The competition is tough and many brands are putting out high-quality bikes. To choose the best air bike, you should take many things into consideration, such as the construction of the bike, its maintenance needs, durability, adjustability, noise level, and what you intend to use it for. The price is another thing to consider.
The more serious training you have in mind, the sturdier the bike should be. A good air bike should also be durable and come with a long warranty. Let’s see what separates the best air bike from the rest.
Air bikes are stationary bikes designed for indoor exercising. The features which set air bikes apart from other exercise bikes are the large fan in the front which provides resistance, upright sitting position, and inclusion of handlebars (similar to elliptical machines). Let’s take a quick look into the major parts of a typical air bike.
All air bikes rely on steel frames for support. They account for the majority of the bike’s weight and often feature plastic components. The warranty on the frame is usually two years or more. Some models even come with lifetime warranty on the frame. Upscale models will also have individually adjustable leveling feet, as well as front wheels for ease of transport. Keep in mind that air bikes usually ship partly assembled, so you will have to finish the assembly and setup yourself. The best air bike must be well-built and easy to use.
There are two main drive systems used in air bikes – chain and belt. The drive system transfers the motion of the pedals to the fan in the front. As is the case in most designs, chain-driven models are simpler and more affordable, while their belt-driven counterparts are more expensive and harder to execute. Part of it has to do with the fact that chain-driven models are noisier and need more maintenance.
The seat (or saddle as it is called among bikers) is positioned so that you sit up straight on the air bike. This allows you to engage your arms and upper body. Depending on the price tag, the saddles can range from narrow, hard and uncomfortable to comfortable and cushioned. The latter type is rare, even on pricy models. Typically, the saddle height is adjustable. The seats on the fancier models offer more adjustments. Some are even replaceable.
The fan is an essential part of an air bike. It is located in the front just below the handlebars and features a metal wire cover to protect the rider. As mentioned, it is either chain- or belt-driven. The faster you pedal, the more resistance the fan will provide.
Movable handlebars are among the key differences between air/fan bikes and the classic stationary bikes. By pushing and pulling them you can also exercise your upper body and arms. The handlebars on fancier models offer several grip positions. Also, some expensive models will allow you to swap them for your road bike’s handlebars.
Designed for full-body workouts, air bikes also have footrests. They allow you to take your feet off the pedals when you only want to exercise your upper body. As with other major parts, the price tag dictates the size and quality of the footrests.
A digital console is a common feature on air bikes. Budget models will feature basic consoles with smaller displays that only show the basic info, such as calories burned, distance traveled, and RPM. On the other hand, fancier models might have installed training programs to keep you motivated.
Air bikes, like all other exercise equipment, need proper maintenance in order to function properly and avoid injury. Prolonged use and intensive training regimes might warrant some extra care. Here are some tips and recommendations on how to maintain your air bike.
Clean your bike with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Make sure to wipe off all dust, sweat, and chalk residue from the seat, frame, and handlebars. Clean the console with a dry cloth. Also, check for visible damage and missing/loose parts.
Check the RPM consistency with a pedal test. Also, check on the bolts and cranks and tighten them if needed. The bearings and front linkage should also be checked. Finally, inspect the pivot nut on the handlebars, and tighten if needed.
Check whether your seat has the proper tension level and whether the pedals have come loose.
Again, check the alignment and stability of the seat. You should also give the stabilizer bolts a check. If you have a chain-driven bike, inspect how well the chain is lubricated. Finally, check the battery levels on the console.
Durability is one of the most important things you should look for in an air bike. After all, it is a sizable investment and a big piece of equipment which should be able to withstand your most rigorous training regime.
The first thing you’d like to look for is how much of the bike is made of plastic. Since the air bike is a heavy-duty exercising machine, plastic is not exactly a desirable material (especially for the moving parts). With that in mind, you should make sure your bike is primarily made of metal and avoid models with lots of plastic parts.
As a rule, the heavier the bike, the more durable it is. You might pay more for the shipping fees, but it will certainly pay off later. Also, you should look up the weight limit of the bike. Commonly, quality air bikes have a weight capacity of over 300 lbs.
Adjustability is another important aspect of training equipment, air bikes included. After all, they all aim to accommodate a wide range of exercisers. Air bikes will at least feature adjustable seats.
The seats come in two variants – 2-way and 4-way adjustable. Models with 2-way seat adjustability can only be height adjusted. On the other hand, 4-way adjustable seats can also be moved back and forward. The first variant is more than OK if you’re buying the bike for home use. If you’re buying the bike for a gym, you should consider the second type.
Some upscale models feature individually adjusted leveling feet. This way your bike can always be leveled, even if the floor isn’t. Some models also feature adjustable handlebars and pedals.
Air bikes can cost you anywhere from $100 to over $1,000. When selecting an air bike, you should also consider its value, i.e. what you get for your money.
Robustness is one of the key components of a bike’s value. A robust heavy-duty bike can withstand even the longest and most demanding training sessions.
Also, you should consider how durable the bike is. The more durable it is, the less money you will have to spend on repairs and maintenance.
Lastly and most importantly, the bike has to perform well. If it is built well and durable but doesn’t perform well (you’ can’t exercise properly on it), it doesn’t offer much value.
Adjustability, mobility, and console quality add to a bike’s value.
Noise is also another thing to consider when buying an air bike. There are two main types of bikes – chain-driven and belt-driven – and they produce different levels of noise.
Chain-driven bikes produce more noise. They are also cheaper and more demanding in the maintenance department. Chain-driven models are a good solution for gyms and houses where noise is not that much of a problem.
On the other hand, belt-driven models are smoother and produce significantly less noise. They are more expensive than their chain-driven counterparts and require less maintenance. Belt-driven models are excellent if you value low noise, low maintenance, and smooth pedaling.
How many calories do you burn on a fan bike?
Calories burned per workout session depends on many factors. First, you have to take the type and the intensity of the workout into account. For example, an intensive 30-minute HIIT workout will burn more calories than a longer workout at a steady pace. Of course, like with other types of exercises, you will have to factor in your weight and age.
A study published in September 2013 by Talisa Emberts and others found that you could burn anywhere between 240 and 360 calories during a 20-minute HIIT training. 16 adult volunteers participated in this study.
How to use a fan bike?
Using an air bike is quite simple. Sit on it, put your feet on the pedals, grab the handles, and start pedaling while pushing and pulling the handlebars. Air bikes have no limit to how much resistance they can give; it depends on how fast you pedal. This makes an air bike suitable for a wide variety of training.
You can use your air bike just as you would the classic stationary bike. Also, you can get creative and go for a HIIT/Tabata program for the maximum calories burned. Aside from that, you can go for a cardio routine, work on your endurance, or simply go for a mild, low-resistance session.
How does a fan exercise bike work?
Air bikes are actually very simple. When you turn the pedals, they move the chain or belt. The belt or chain then transfers the motion of the pedals by way of pulleys to the fan located in the front. The faster you turn the pedals, the faster the fan will rotate. Consequently, as it spins faster, the fan comes into more air resistance which results in higher resistance for the peddler.
You can use the handlebars (they’re attached on the same vertical axis as the fan) to also exercise your arms and upper body. The console (if there’s one) will monitor the RPMs of the fan, as well as other things (heart rate, speed, distance, etc.).
What is an air bike?
An air bike is a low-impact exercise machine mainly made for indoor workouts. It uses fan rotation to provide resistance to the rider. Aside from legs, it is designed to incorporate the upper body as well.
Commonly, air bikes are hefty and come with sturdy construction. Also, they can feature consoles, cup holders, book and phone/tablet stands, and other accessories.
What muscles do fan bikes work?
Air bikes are far more versatile than the classic exercise bikes which can only be used for cycling exercises. They are designed to provide full body workouts. By using the handlebars, you can also exercise your arms and upper body on an air bike.
The time has come to declare the winner of the best air bike of 2018 roundup. The title goes to the Assault AirBike. Professional-grade build quality, ease of use, and exceptional weight capacity (350 lbs.) clinched the title for the air bike. Also, the air bike comes with a 4-way adjustable seat, a large console with pre-installed training programs, and great mobility.
The winner in the budget class is the Sunny SF-B2715. While not suited for advanced use, the SF-2715 will be more than sufficient for quality home workouts. It comes with vertically adjustable seat and handlebars and utilizes a low-noise chain/belt drive system.