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Regular spin and upright exercise bikes are popular pieces of equipment at home because they just fit well in that kind of environment and are easy to use by just about anyone. Maybe too easy. If you’re trying to lose weight and find that you can’t spare an hour on an upright bike everyday, why not try the more difficult but more effective air resistance bike? The best fan exercise bike can whip you into shape faster because you create the resistance when you pedal.
Top Fan Exercise Bike Models
Best air bike for home
Schwinn Airdyne Pro
Best air bike for the money
Rogue Echo Bike
Best budget air bike
Body Rider BRF700 Fan Bike
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Fan Exercise Bike Models
- 2 What is an Air Resistance Bike and How Does it Differ from Other Exercise Bikes?
- 3 Best Air Bike for Crossfit Training
- 4 Fan Bike for Weight Loss
- 5 Best Budget Air Bike for Beginners
- 6 Benefits of Air Bike Exercise
- 7 Air Bike FAQs
What is an Air Resistance Bike and How Does it Differ from Other Exercise Bikes?
A stationary exercise bike is classified based on a number of factors such as type of resistance, type of drive, seating position, etc.
An air or fan resistance bike is a stationary bike with a fan wheel where the blades create resistance as they spin through the air. Therefore, the smaller the fan the less maximum resistance there is. The faster you pedal, the more resistance you get, and so you have to put in more effort to continue. With a fan wheel exercise bike, you may find that you can spend less time on it than a regular upright with a flywheel to lose the same amount of weight.
When professional cyclists have to train in the off season, they choose either spin bikes or air bikes to stay in shape. This is because fan bike benefits include being able to do interval training without fidgeting with knobs and pre-programmed settings. Since the resistance adjusts automatically if you pedal faster or slower, you have the ideal training for a real outdoor race like a crossfit. The fan wheel creates a breeze that can be very helpful as you workout.
You can also exercise your arms at the same time because the long handlebars are connected to the pedals. If you want to only pedal, you’ll have to let go of the handlebars. Similarly, you can choose to only exercise your arms by moving the handlebars while resting your feet on something other than the pedals.
Air resistance cycling does have its drawbacks, though. While there’s negligible noise from the blades if you pedal slowly, it is a very noticeable rushing sound when the wheel goes faster. This may make it difficult for you to listen to music or watch TV at normal volume. It may also feel a bit chilly in colder weather, so you may need to get a fan guard to cover the fan on top if the bike doesn’t already come with one. The lack of push button resistance selection means you design your own workout program since there’s rarely the ability to have pre-programmed workouts.
Compared to many upright or spin bikes, an air bike exercise machine can be slightly more expensive. A regular one just for weight loss is very affordable but if you’re training hard then you may even need a commercial one for 700 to 1200 dollars. Our air bike reviews below cover a good range of budgets so you’re sure to find the best one for your needs. Also keep in mind that most good air bikes are also good exercise bikes for a heavy person, as their weight capacity is usually at least 300 Lbs.
Best Air Bike for Crossfit Training
In addition to fitness training, the following air bikes are great for Crossfit training, as there is no limit to the intensity level you can go to. They’re great for HIIT work/rest intervals, which can also mean faster weight loss if you’re looking for something that will give you a real challenge.
Assault AirBike Classic
The Assault Airbike Classic is one of the best-in-class training bikes available and designed for professional athletes and gym enthusiasts. If you want a no-frills air resistance exercise bike that’s solid and will give you a good HIIT workout in a short time, this is it. Although there are more advanced models available, the Classic is the best Assault bike for home use.
It comes with a 25″ diameter steel fan and full high-tensile steel coated frame that ensures durability and also gives you a long period of service without the need for maintenance. To protect the pivots and moving parts, the bike features sealed cartridge bearings.
The bike can accommodate users of various sizes and fitness levels and the seat can be adjusted 6 ways, as it can even be tilted. The maximum weight capacity is 350 Lbs.
The bike’s console sports a crisp LCD screen packed with a plethora of features to accommodate all users. No need to scroll, as the screen is large enough to display everything at once. There are 7 options of on-board pre-programming, which lets you customize your workout session. Here, you have the option to choose from Watt goals, target distance or high-intensity intervals. Better yet, there is an integrated messaging system that keeps you motivated throughout the session.
Designed to upgrade resistance automatically as the trainee pulls, pushes and pedals faster, the Assault Air has the capability to meet the needs of all athletes. This is made possible by the heart monitoring program that monitors your pulse rate through chest strap compatible sensors and raises your target aerobic base. The 25-inch diameter steel blade fan outputs max resistance, while the six-way adjustable seat (fore, aft, up and down, and tilt both ways) allows for an ergonomically comfortable ride.
This is a chain drive air bike so it’s not the quietest of exercise bikes. For an upper body only workout, the bike comes with footrests allowing you to exercise the arms while the legs rest. With a few hours of training every day, this bike gives great results. However, some users complain of uncomfortable seats, which you can remedy by buying a gel seat cover. Except for that minor annoyance, this is the best fan bike to buy.
Rogue Echo Bike
The Rogue Echo Bike settles comfortably in the space between the higher end Schwinn Airdyne Pro and the basic Assault AirBike, so if you’re looking for value, look no further than the Echo.
Also with a 350 LB weight limit, this bike is rock solid for maximum output HIIT bursts. It is slightly bigger than the Assault while still being easily portable on its set of front wheels. There are also rubber leveling feet for added stability if you have an uneven floor. The adjustable seat comes with 8 height and 5 front and back settings and accommodates a wide range of heights.
This is a belt drive air bike with a quiet steel fan blade that produces a smooth and consistent ride that you can track on the high contrast LCD monitor that displays and tracks intervals, targets, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and more. A compatible heart rate transmitter is required to send data but you’ll have to buy one separately.
You can also optionally buy accessories like a water bottle holder, phone/tablet holder, and a fan air guard. You can add a pair of clipless Shimano pedals as well or a different pair of flat pedals, as the metal pedals provided are sturdy but basic.
While assembling is easy, you should first lock and tighten the handles before setting the foot pegs, otherwise you may find some lateral movement in the handlebars. A nice feature of the foot pegs is that they spin in order to let you rest your feet on them if you only want to work your arms on the moving handlebars.
Schwinn Airdyne Pro
The Schwinn Airdyne Pro is a powerful air bike for a home gym as well as for commercial workout gyms. It is for athletes who need effective full body cardio workouts every day. Schwinn released the Airdyne Pro as an improvement of their earlier bike models, the AD6 and AD7, and is the best Airdyne bike available. A great deal of features have been added to make this bike effective, making it is the best air bike for the money.
On the bike’s manual, two people are supposed to assemble this bike, but one person will find it a cinch putting the parts together. Assembly is made easy by the labels on each part. This bike comes with a large perimeter-weighted 26 blade fan that offers unlimited resistance; the harder you pedal, the more resistance you feel. The noise is low because it is a belt-drive bike, which ensures there are no distractions during exercise. However, at the highest speed, the bike will produce some fan noise. It will also get pretty breezy but it comes with an air guard, which you can remove in hot summers if you want.
One great advantage of this bike is that it focuses on a full body workout. You get 9 programmable workout options, including HIIT interval training programs. Schwinn has upgraded the computer on the bike to feature the RevMeter RPM gauge, which manages statistics like distance, speed, watts, calories and pulse rate. There’s also a tachometer to tell you how hard you’re working. All metrics are displayed at the same time.
It comes with a large padded seat for comfort but you can easily change it out for your own preferred seat. The seat is highly adjustable and will suit riders both short and tall. The pedals are high quality but standard bicycle pedals with left and right threads. If you’re not happy with them you can switch them out for clipless pedals. When not working your arms, you can rest them on your lap and exercise only the legs.
The AirDyne Pro doesn’t have an integrated reading rack but you can buy one to fix on the console. It does have a water bottle holder. Other features include leveling pegs and transport wheels.
The most common complaint with the Airdyne Pro is that it is compatible only with non-coded Polar heart rate monitors. However, this model is the best Airdyne bike you can buy.
Fan Bike for Weight Loss
Since interval training is great for fitness and weight loss, almost any fan resistance bike will help you lose weight. However, some users who specifically want to lose weight and not necessarily train for Crossfit, find the ones targeted towards athlete too challenging. In that case, the following air bikes may be better for your needs.
Marcy Air 1 Fan Exercise Bike
If you are looking to get started on your weight loss and keeping fit journey and are looking for a simple to use exercise bike that you can pedal a few hours every day, the Marcy Air 1 Fan Bike is for you. This bike piques the attention of users with its 2 in 1 system which provides resistance and at the same time cools the user.
This bike comes easy to assemble with a clear manual. All fears about the bike’s stability are eliminated as the number of bolts provided are more than enough. The bike offers stability to the point that you can lean on it in any direction and not feel like you are about to topple.
The transport wheels are advantageous as you wouldn’t want to lift a 95 pound bike. One downside to this bike, though, is that it is not really designed for isolated upper or lower body workouts. Even if you don’t use the arms, they still move if you pedal. Though you can sit straight and pedal, you will be uncomfortable, and so is the case when you exercise your arms with the legs at rest. Handles are foam covered and thus easy on your hands.
Mercy Air 1 uses 2 AA batteries in its console. The console offers basic features such as speed, calories, time and distance statistics. However, it lacks a heart monitor. You will enjoy an ergonomically designed seat with high-density foam padding and vinyl covering which comes fully adjustable to accommodate different users. Very tall people might find that the seat doesn’t go high enough. It runs on a belt drive system that a produces low but non-distracting noise.
Schwinn AD2 Airdyne Bike
The Schwinn AD2 Airdyne is a tough bike designed for those who are looking for a home gym bike to use on a daily basis. It comes fitted with all basic training bike features and more, yet it is easy enough for beginners to decipher. This bike can give you strenuous as well as mild workouts thanks to its high power resistance fan which adjusts based on your pedaling, and the fact that you exercise your legs and your arms simultaneously.
You can only adjust the seat’s height of this bike. Though the seat is thickly padded for comfort, those of short stature may find that they are leaning more than is comfortable. Resistance comes from the fan wheel located in the front. Also, as you pedal harder and faster, resistance increases. However, the air moves away from you and does not cool you (unless you pedal backward) unlike many other air resistance bike models.
AD2 sports a belt drive that produces a smooth ride. The drive has a guard that protects it from damage. Its pedals are strapped to ensure sturdiness on the legs. This bike’s fan produces noise no more than an electric fan on medium and high speed; not enough to annoy. It is easier to exercise your whole body as the bike is not designed to ergonomically support legs alone or arms alone workouts. However, there are stationary foot pegs if you want to try only arm workouts.
A large console rests on the bike’s front displaying different measurements. One downside though, is that you may not see clearly in low light conditions. It displays distance, time, speed and rpm. Compared to other bikes, this bike is easy to assemble, sturdy, and lets you customize workout sessions. However, it does not keep a record of past workouts, and its seat can be uncomfortable.
Sunny Health & Fitness Tornado XL Air Bike
While most air bikes don’t come with a lot of digital features, the Sunny Health & Fitness Tornado XL Air Bike does display RPM, Speed, Time, Distance, Calories, Watts, and Wireless Heartrate. It has 4 goal programs to enable you to set a target for time, distance, calories, and heart rate. It does not have pulse sensors onboard but it is Bluetooth compatible with HR chest strap transmitters from your own chest strap.
This chain drive air bike offers progressive resistance, but you can set your own interval training comfort zone by choosing from two in-built levels: high intensity and moderate intensity, and you can design your own work/rest custom interval training program. The large 27.5-inch fan wheel gives you unlimited resistance.
With a maximum support weight of 330 Lbs, the seat is adjustable for height and can also be moved forwards or backward. This accommodates users between 5′ and 6’5″. When you only want to exercise your arms, there’s a pair of foot pegs to comfortably rest your feet. The pedals will move as long the handlebars are moving and vice versa. The handlebars are not adjustable and feature the standard classic grip, while the non-slip grip pedals can be replaced with your preferred ones.
There’s a handle at the rear for lifting and an extra bar in the front for the transport wheels, so moving it is relatively easy. If you set it down on uneven floors, there are levelers to help keep it steady.
Best Budget Air Bike for Beginners
Body Rider Exercise Upright Fan Bike
The Body Rider exercise bike is for those who need to kick-start a workout routine and need a simple and affordable bike for it. It’s high momentum fan wheel, located at the front produces enough resistance, adjustable with your pedaling speed, and cools you in the process. However, for those that want to start pedaling at a lower resistance, there’s a tension knob that you can use. The intensity of your workout might not be as high as with higher priced fan resistance bikes, but beginners will like this.
The new model of the bike comes with an upgraded seat that is not only comfy but also adjustable. However, only the seat’s height can be adjusted at the turn of a knob. This may be problematic as it may not accommodate short users. The bike comes with a 250-pound weight limit with a sturdy steel frame to accommodate enough of a range of body weights.
There is an easy to use console which tracks distance, time, speed and calories burned. The console, however, does not track RPM, which is a disadvantage. Nonetheless, this being a budget bike, there are no complaints. The fan produces an amount of noise enough to distract you from watching TV but not absurdly loud. Running on a belt drive system, this bike offers a smooth ride and can be used every day.
Seeing that the pedals are interconnected with the handles, it is easier and more comfortable to exercise the whole body rather than exercise the upper body and the lower body separately. You will enjoy a horde of advantages, including easy assembly, comfort, and affordability. Contrary to that, you may have to deal with a little noise and lack of special features such as RPM display.
Marcy Fan Exercise Bike with Air Resistance System – NS-1000
The Marcy NS-1000 Fan Exercise Bike is a basic air resistance bike but it offers a customizable air resistance where you can adjust the tension so that you get a good workout at a variety of different intensity levels.
This Marcy bike features a chain drive, so you will need to oil the chain about twice a year. The fan wheel is a bit small
This bike is much smaller in length than the high end ones, so if you want to try a fan resistance bike in a small space then this could be your choice. It is quite sturdy for its size and is helped by quite a low center of gravity. It is made of steel tubing and has levelers at the base to help its stability on uneven floors. It is also lightweight and has front transport wheels to make it easy to move to a corner when not in use. Its supported user weight is 250 Lbs.
The standard seat is slightly wider than on most spin bikes and has a slightly contoured surface. It is only two-way adjustable, i.e. up and down through 7 holes, and most users between 5′ and 6′ will find it perfect for use.
The handlebars are not adjustable and cannot be locked in place but will move along with the pedals. Unfortunately, what’s missing on this bike is the lack of foot pegs to rest your legs if you want to only exercise your arms.
Sunny Health & Fitness Zephyr Air Bike
Another affordable air bike with a unique design is the Sunny Health & Fitness Zephyr Air Bike. It draws the best of belt and chain drive features by combining the two into one machine.
The fan resistance is from a single stage belt drive so that you can have a smooth and quiet workout, whereas the pedals are connected to a chain drive, which makes you feel like you’re riding an outdoor bike. The resistance of the 18″ fan increases as you pedal harder. The handlebars are connected to the pedals and both move if you only exercise your legs or your arms. If you only want to exercise your arms, there are no foot pegs to rest on, however, users say that you can rest them on the top of the belt cover.
The bike frame is made of steel and the fan blades are made of strong but lightweight ABS. The overall construction is solid enough for you to stand and ride if you want.
The seat is pretty standard with adequate padding, but if you want to change it out for a better one, it’s easy to do so. It’s a good air exercise bike for tall users, as the seat height can be adjusted quite a bit. Even the handlebars can be adjusted for height using the two adjustment holes. There’s a tablet holder but no bottle holder.
All the main parts come pre-assembled and you only have to assemble the seat, base and foot bars, the moving arms, pedals, front mast, and the console. It may take a while, but it’s easy to do so.
The LCD console is basic and shows 5 metrics, which are time, speed, distance, total distance, and calories burned. The drawback with the Zephyr is that there are no pulse grips and the console won’t display your pulse even if you have your own heart rate monitor, so you will need a completely independent device to keep an eye on that.
Benefits of Air Bike Exercise
- There’s no need for external cooling in summer, as the fan wheel on an air bike is very powerful and will easily keep you cool as you pedal.
- The handlebars on an air bike are connected to the pedals, so you can give your arms just as good a workout as your legs.
- Air bikes require little to no maintenance.
- There’s no need to fiddle with tension knobs on most air bikes, as the resistance offered is progressive and depends on how hard you pedal. This also means that there’s no lower or upper limit on the intensity of your workout.
- Air bikes are great for recovery and rehabilitation for athletes and post-surgery patients, as they provide a low impact workout.
Air Bike FAQs
A big benefit to using a fan bike for workouts is the ability to exercise both your upper and lower body.
The pedaling works your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps. If you stand and pedal, you can also strengthen your back and glutes.
The moving handlebars of the bicycle can help work your shoulders, biceps, and triceps.
Fan bikes offer you a full-body workout, as almost all of the muscles in your body are engaged. This means your cardiovascular system has to work extra hard to supply blood to all of them.
The fan blades push against the air to create resistance. Air resistance matches the effort you put in while pedaling and pushing and pulling on the handlebars. So if you pedal harder, the resistance gets tougher, and that forces you to keep pedaling at the same intensity or higher.
You have to coordinate your arms with your legs properly to get a smooth and efficient workout. Some people may find that their arms can’t keep up with their legs on an air bike or vice versa, and may have to rest one or the other in the middle of the workout.
Fan bikes are usually more expensive than friction or magnetic resistance exercise bikes because the construction is more durable and lot more material goes into making a fan wheel that’s big enough to create a lot of resistance.
Because they’re made for high intensity interval training, most air bikes are almost completely made of tough steel, unlike other stationary bikes that can get away with lots of plastic components.