The 10 Best Air Bikes in 2021 | So, You Thought You Were in Shape?

A really great air bike can be the difference between fitness and fatness. We help you select the best air bike in this article
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A good air bike (a.k.a. fan bike, assault bike, or ‘Satan’s Tricycle’) is a fantastic and unique addition to any home or garage gym as it’s one of the only pieces of exercise equipment that truly ensures you get out of it what you put into it. You’ll undoubtedly develop a love – hate relationship with your fan bike, however they’re pretty much unrivalled in their utility. Use it consistently for high intensity interval training (HIIT), sport-specific conditioning, as part of a circuit, or for just general cardio and we guarantee you’ll end up leaner, fitter and stronger.

In this article we look at the 10 best air bikes, both with and without arms, that you can currently pick up online. At the end of the article we’ll also go into detail why you should get yourself a good quality air bike, what to look for in choosing the best air bike for your particular situation, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these pain machines.

Top 3 Air Bikes at a Glance

Best Air Bike Overall

Rogue Echo Bike

This belt-driven air bike brings the uncompromising quality that Rogue is known for. While it’s at the mid-to-high end of the price spectrum, it’s well worth the investment. The Rogue Echo Bike is the best piece of equipment in our home gym: It’s solid as a rock, looks fearsome, and simply a great buy if you love to cause yourself misery in the name of health and fitness.

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Best Air Bike Without Arms

Concept2 BikeErg

The BikeErg is a lightweight, cutting edge ergometer. While the air resistance flywheel responds to your efforts like a typical air bike, it also has a damper that acts as your ‘gearing’. This allows to adjust the resistance and helps to simulate the feel of a road bike. The adjustable handle bars and famous PM5 monitor round out this efficient, low-maintenance machine.

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Best Budget Fan Bike

Marcy NS-1000 Fan Bike

Coming in at around the $150 mark, this fan bike from Marcy is a good compromise if your budget is tight. Obviously, it has lower quality construction and doesn’t feel as smooth as the higher end bikes. But, it’ll still get your legs and arms pumping like any other air bike. It’s belt-driven and has adjustable resistance – a solid option for the frugal fit freak.

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Best Air Bike Overall

Rogue Echo Bike

This belt-driven air bike brings the uncompromising quality that Rogue Fitness has become renowned for. Indeed, they’ve created an absolute beast of a machine: It’s at the mid-to-high end of the price spectrum, but it’s also well worth the investment. The Rogue Echo Air Bike is solid as a rock, looks fearsome, and is simply a great buy if you love causing yourself misery in the name of health and fitness. It’s the best piece of equipment in our home gym.

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Best Air Bike Without Arms

Concept2 BikeErg

The BikeErg is a lightweight, cutting edge ergometer. While the air resistance flywheel responds to your efforts like a typical air bike, it also has a damper that acts as your ‘gearing’. This allows to adjust the resistance and helps to simulate the feel of a road bike. The adjustable handle bars and famous PM5 monitor round out this efficient, low-maintenance machine.

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Best Budget Fan Bike

Marcy NS-1000 Fan Bike

Coming in at around the $150 mark, this fan bike from Marcy is a good compromise if your budget is tight. Obviously, it has lower quality construction and doesn’t feel as smooth as the higher end bikes. In fact, it vibrates quite a bit, so you’ll need an equipment mat or some carpet for it to sit on. But it’ll still get your legs and arms pumping like any other air bike. It’s belt-driven and has adjustable resistance – a solid option for the frugal fit freak.

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Best Air Bikes With Arms

The echo is the best air bike you can get with arms Rogue Echo Bike
  • Dimensions: 29.875″ W x 58.875″ L x 52.75″ H
  • Weight: 127 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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The Xebex air bike is one of the best air bikes currently available Xebex Air Bike
  • Dimensions: 26″ W x 48″ L x 52″ H
  • Weight: 109 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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Marcy's NS-1000 is a great budget fan bike Marcy NS-1000 Fan Bike
  • Dimensions: 26.75″ W x 45″ L x 48.75″ H
  • Weight: 58 lbs.
  • Cost: $

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Best assault bike Assault Airbike
  • Dimensions: 23.3″ W x 50.39″ L x 48.4″ H
  • Weight: 98.1 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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The AD pro is one of the best air resistance exercise bikes you can get Airdyne AD Pro / AD 7
  • Dimensions: 20″ W x 42″ L x 52″ H
  • Weight: 113 lbs
  • Cost: $$$

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Best fan bikes Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike
  • Dimensions: 24″ W x 44″ L x 55″ H
  • Weight: 137 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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The AIR350 from Xterra is a great air bike Xterra Fitness AIR350 Air Bike
  • Dimensions: 28.3″ W x 48″ x 51.1″ H
  • Weight: 77 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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One of the best fan bikes on the market Marcy AIR-1 Deluxe Fan Bike
  • Dimensions: 25″ W x 45″ L x 47.4″ H
  • Weight: 79 lbs
  • Cost: $

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Rogue Echo Bike
The echo is the best air bike you can get with arms
  • Dimensions: 29.875″ W x 58.875″ L x 52.75″ H
  • Weight: 127 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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Xebex Air Bike
The Xebex air bike is one of the best air bikes currently available
  • Dimensions: 26″ W x 48″ L x 52″ H
  • Weight: 109 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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Marcy NS-1000 Fan Bike
Marcy's NS-1000 is a great budget fan bike
  • Dimensions: 26.75″ W x 45″ L x 48.75″ H
  • Weight: 58 lbs.
  • Cost: $

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Assault Airbike
Best assault bike
  • Dimensions: 23.3″ W x 50.39″ L x 48.4″ H
  • Weight: 98.1 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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Airdyne AD Pro / AD 7
The AD pro is one of the best air resistance exercise bikes you can get
  • Dimensions: 20″ W x 42″ L x 52″ H
  • Weight: 113 lbs
  • Cost: $$$

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Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike
Best fan bikes
  • Dimensions: 24″ W x 44″ L x 55″ H
  • Weight: 137 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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Xterra Fitness AIR350 Air Bike
The AIR350 from Xterra is a great air bike
  • Dimensions: 28.3″ W x 48″ x 51.1″ H
  • Weight: 77 lbs
  • Cost: $$

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Marcy AIR-1 Deluxe Fan Bike
One of the best fan bikes on the market
  • Dimensions: 25″ W x 45″ L x 47.4″ H
  • Weight: 79 lbs
  • Cost: $

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#1. Rogue Echo Bike

The Rogue Echo bike is easily the best air bike on the market

Right off the bat I’ll say that of all the air bikes I’ve used in commercial gyms, boxes, boxing gyms, and friends’ home and garage gyms, Rogue’s Echo Bike is easily the best. This was so obvious to me, that I went and bought it for my own garage gym. And while it kicks my butt almost every day, and I sometimes dread getting on it, there’s very little about it that I would change.

Rogue describes the Echo bike (their first foray into air bikes) as “overbuilt for a smoother ride”. This should come as no surprise from a company that’s known for their unrivaled precision and dedication to build quality. The rock solid, step-through steel frame and built-in leveling feet ensure that this bike is ready for your most intense bursts of effort. The extra-wide gel cushioned seat is also very comfortable and makes the pain of HIIT sessions slightly more bearable.However, if you don’t find it as comfortable as I do, you can easily switch it out for one you prefer. This goes for the pedals as well.

Rogue's echo bike is comfortable and customizable

A belt drive connects the 27″ steel fan to a pair of simple, black steel pedals and handles. Display-wise, the Echo is equipped with a high contrast LCD screen that is relatively basic and perhaps this bike’s biggest drawback. While you can track metrics such as distance, heart rate, calories and set HIIT intervals, these are fairly rudimentary in nature and everything you’ve done resets after each session. this is somewhat annoying and means you can’t easily track your progress without using a 3rd party app (or recording your sessions using pen and paper the old fashioned way). Possibly the most advanced element of the console is the ability to set custom HIIT intervals, and that is something that pretty much all air bike consoles can do. The simplicity of the console isn’t my biggest gripe though. In fact I have two major gripes with it:

  1. Averages (speed and cadence) are shown after you’ve finished a session, which is significantly less useful than during.
  2. You have to use polar heart rate monitors. It won’t connect to any other brand. I have a Polar H10 that I use with it, and although it connects very seamlessly, being restricted to a single brand is a pain.

The echo bike console is basic but does the job

Each Echo Bike comes shipped with all the necessary hardware, tools and batteries to get started. The assembly was straightforward and only took about 30 minutes by myself. All that needs to be done is to attach the handles, seat, pedals, and console neck, plus wire up the console itself. If you bought any accessories like the phone or water bottle holder, or air guard these also need to be attached. On a side note, Rogue provides the necessary screwdriver and Allen keys and I’ve actually found that they’re probably now the best screwdriver and Allen tools I own – so that’s nice :D. I did find that I had to really tighten everything to get rid of a few little wobbles, but it was nothing to be concerned about.

All in all, the Rogue Echo Bike is an exceptional piece of equipment that I highly recommend.

The Good

  • Very solid build quality
  • Smooth and quiet operation (for a fan bike)
  • Very reasonably priced for a premium machine
  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Looks fearsome

The Not So Good

  • Console is basic and can only connect to Polar HR monitors
  • No transport handle – lift from the back of the frame and then roll

Check Current Price at Rogue Fitness

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#2. Xebex Air Bike

Image of Xebex air bike

While Xebex is still a relatively lesser-known brand, along with the Assault Airbike, the Xebex Air Bike was one of the first high-quality, modern air resistance exercise bikes on the market. Sure, Schwinn’s airdynes have been around for ages. But even those old school, bronze-steel-framed stalwart bikes were pretty much pieces of junk. Xebex (and Assault Fitness) saw a gap in the market and filled it with their original air bike. I mention this little piece of history because I think it shows that this bike still has a strong claim to being one of the best air bikes you can get. In fact the current iteration of the Xebex Air Bike is more advanced than that original model.

It still carries the same basic shape and functions: A 104 lbs., gloss black steel frame, 24″ fan, rubber-topped pedals, and wide seat that adjusts up and down as well as fore and aft. While it’s a good 20 lbs. lighter than the Echo bike in total, the handles are similarly heavy, which means they require a fair amount of effort to get moving. Those rubber-topped pedals are nice and grippy, but the bases are plastic and thus more prone to breaking than the metal pedals of the Echo and Assault bikes. These can easily be switched out for better pedals though.

Where the Xebex air bike has seen improvements is in the foot pegs and console. The old Xebex had large foot plates. These have been replaced with round pegs, which are smaller, less intrusive, better looking, and bring the bike in line with its major competitors.

Xebex's air bike has some upgrades since its initial release

Similarly, the old and very rudimentary console has been upgraded to something more modern. It now has all of the same features and functions as the Echo bike, including being limited to connecting to polar HR monitors only. One handy feature it has the Echo doesn’t is the option to use metric measurements (meters and kilometers vs miles).

While it’s priced pretty similarly to the Rogue Echo Bike and is built almost as sturdily, one area where it simply can’t compete is in the fact that it is still a chain-driven bike. Anyone who’s cycled a lot knows that chains are prone to coming off the sprocket and in some instances breaking, plus they require a certain amount of maintenance (they need semi-regular oiling). Belts are much stronger (meaning they rarely break) and they require no upkeep. Also, compared to belt-driven bikes, chain-driven bikes are loud, especially when you’re going all out.

Ultimately, if you can’t get your hands on an Echo bike, or you’re looking to save a little cash (at the time of writing it was about $100 less than the Echo), then the Xebex Air Bike is a very worthy option. It’s worth noting that there are 2 upgraded models of the Xebex air bike: The AirPlus Performance and AirPlus Expert 2.0. Both of these bikes have markedly different frames from the base model, plus performance upgrades. Both use “AirPlus” technology, which is just a fancy way of saying they include magnetic resistance mechanism so you can manually adjust the resistance level and combine magnetic and air resistance. They both have upgraded consoles that have much better connectivity. Both these upgrades are probably better suited for light commercial use, and their significant price increases reflect this.

The Good

  • Another fierce looking air bike
  • Upgraded console is on par or better than the Echo bike
  • Easy to move around via well-placed and well-sized transport wheels
  • Generally cheaper than competitors

The Not So Good

  • Chain-drive not as good as belt-drive
  • Plastic pedals aren’t the best

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#3. Marcy NS-1000 Fan Bike

The NS-1000 from Marcy is a solid budget air bike

While this air bike is probably not your typical number 3 on a list that includes competitors from Rogue and Schwinn Fitness, we’ve included Marcy’s NS-1000 here because it’s arguably the best option if you’re looking for a budget air bike. Yep, it comes in at a significantly lower price point compared to the toys above (it’s usually less than $200 at various retailers). While this means it makes more than a few compromises, such as an inferior computer and a very small fan, it’s also not a complete piece of junk.

For example, it has an up/down adjustable seat with nice and comfortable cushioning as well as strapped pedals to keep your feet secure. Marcy’s budget fan bike also features a tension adjuster that increases or decreases the resistance level – something few, if any, other air bikes have (though it is necessary; more on that in a sec). The frame and fan wheel are crafted from steel and plastic respectively, providing enough weight to keep everything relatively steady during more intense bursts.

Now, keep in mind that this is a low cost bike, and it should not be mistaken for a genuine competitor to the bikes above, or even most of the ones below. This bike is not for the CrossFit athlete. It will probably break down long before you get close to pushing your limits. Instead, consider this bike if you’re after a low cost option for gentle steady-state rides. This will be ideal for older adults and people rehabbing an injury.

Marcy's fan bike has a smaller fan and therefore lower resistance

Where you’re likely to see the problems with this bike are in the fan, belt and lightweight frame. When you look at the real fan bikes, you can see wide, robust fans. This is what creates the resistance. The larger the diameter of the fan and blades, the more air they move and the harder they are to turn. In comparison, the Body Rider bike has very small fan with thin blades. Thus, it doesn’t take much to get them moving. This is why it has a tensioner. Without a way to increase the resistance manually, there would be little to speak of. For this reason, the belt is also more prone to wear and tear than would typically be the case because it rubs against the tensioner. Expect to have to change the belt at some point.

Finally, this air bike weighs a meager 58 lbs. It doesn’t have transport wheels because you should be able to just lift and carry it wherever you want. This means that frame isn’t particularly sturdy, and will wobble during use, especially if you pedal hard.

The Good

  • Cheap as chips
  • Adjustable resistance
  • Small footprint and easy to move around

The Not So Good

  • Not high quality construction
  • Prone to wear and tear
  • Wobbles and vibrates during use

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#4. Assault Airbike

The Assault Airbike Classic is up there with the best air bikes available

As mentioned in the Xebex review, Assault Fitness’ Airbike was arguably the first high-quality, modern air resistance exercise bike you could get as an alternative to an airdyne. Compared to the Xebex bike, however, Assault’s Airbike Classic absolutely took off. In fact, it became so popular that it turned into a generic brand name: Air bikes are now alternatively referred to as assault bikes.

It’s probably no coincidence that the Assault Airbike Classic and Xebex Air Bike came onto the market at the same time. There are unconfirmed theories that they’re made in the same Taiwanese factory, just with a few different components. However, while the bikes are similar they do have a number of key differences. And it’s these differences that put the Assault Airbike below the Xebex in our opinion.

First the similarities: The frames are pretty much identical in shape. The Assault bike has a flat base where the Xebex has a slight upward curve, but otherwise their frames are the same. The Airbike also has a black powder-coat over the chromoly frame, which is nicer than the Xebex’s gloss black paint. The similar frames extend to the console necks, which are identical (and, in fact, they are interchangeable). Moreover, the consoles look different but work exactly the same. Like the necks themselves, they’re actually interchangeable. You can plug the Xebex’s computer into the Assault Airbike and it will work just fine, and vice-versa. The functions and connectivity are obviously the same too.

As for the differences, one of the most noticeable ones is the shape and size of the handles. The Airbike Classic’s arms are considerably more slender and streamlined than the Xebex. This gives it a more sleek look, but also makes it a bit lighter and potentially reduces the amount of effort needed to get the fan moving (and therefore the amount of calories you burn). The fan is the same 24″ on both bikes, however it sits in a slightly smaller housing on the Assault bike.

The Assault’s pedals have been upgraded to be all-metal, much like the Rogue Echo’s. While they tend to be slightly less grippy than the Xebex’s rubber-coated pedals, they’re also stronger and should last for as long as you have the bike. One thing that isn’t stronger is the seat configuration. Whereas the Xebex’s seat sits on top of a vertical post, like most other air bikes (and most bikes in general), the Airbike’s seat is clamped to a horizontal bar for some reason. When you’re going all out on an air bike, you tend to move around on the seat a fair bit. This creates twisting forces at the connection point. The clamp on the horizontal bar is much more likely to fail at some point (especially with heavy use) compared to a seat that just sits on top of a vertical post. Just something to be aware of.

The assault air bike has a few design flaws

Finally, while we haven’t come across this on the Assault Airbikes we’ve ridden, there are reports that the bolts that attach the pegs to the frame come loose over time, and need retightening. This is probably more of an annoyance than a serious issue. That said, it doesn’t happen on the Xebex’s that we’ve used.

If you like the look of the Assault Airbike more than its major competitors, then you could certainly do worse. It’s still one of the original and best air bikes on the market. Much like Xebex, Assault Fitness have produced two upgraded versions of their air bike: The Assaultbike Pro and Assaultbike Elite. Both have upgraded frames and consoles, but aren’t hybrid magnetic / air resistance bikes like the Xebex upgrades. They’re probably also better suited for light commercial use.

The Good

  • Very sleek looking bike
  • Overall great build quality
  • Competitively priced

The Not So Good

  • A few design flaws that may be more prone to failure than alternatives
  • Transport wheels are too small – they suck for transporting the bike around

Check Current Price at Rogue Fitness

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#5. Airdyne AD Pro / AD 7

The best airdyne bike on the market

If you’re at all familiar with air bikes from the last 5 – 7 years, then you know about the Airdyne Ad Pro (which is basically the same bike as the AD 7, but more on that in a minute). The AD Pro was obviously Schwinn’s response to the Assault and Xebex air bikes. Until they came along, Schwinn reigned supreme with their Airdyne AD 4 and AD 6 bikes. The problem is that those bikes had / have a lot of issues. They were wobbly, had a lot of give in the handlebars and pedals, and were noisy as shit.

So, Schwinn upped their game and produced the AD Pro / AD 7.

The custom 26 blade fan is connected to the pedals by a single stage belt drive that provides smooth, efficient movement. Moisture-repellent, double coated steel makes up the framework of this durable air bike. Built-in levelers and enhanced structural support help the Airdyne Pro maintain a solid stance through all out bursts. Multi grip handlebars and a seat cushion that’s built to provide the perfect knee placement ensures a comfortable workout. If you prefer for your own seat, the clamp system allows you to easily switch over. Noise is significantly reduced thanks to the high quality fan and belt design.

The console / tachometer provides all the metrics you see in the other good bikes including RPM, watts, distance, heart rate and calories. You can also isolate your upper body and just use the handles thanks to the anti-slip foot pegs. All-in-all, the Pro is a very solid improvement on those lesser Airdynes. It’s really well-built and works very nicely. It’s also usually at least $300 more expensive than the good air bikes above. And that’s why it’s #5 on the list. You won’t be unhappy with this bike, however in our experience it’s not better than the Rogue, Xebex, or Assault bikes, it’s just more expensive.

As for the difference between the AD Pro and the AD 7: The Pro is made for commercial use, in a box gym for example. It has a longer warranty than the AD 7, which is intended for residential use. Also, the Pro’s console can be synced with other Pros in the same gym to ensure consistency of measurement when training and competing. You’ll generally pay an extra $100 for these features.

Overall, it’s a great air bike. It’s just not the best.

The Good

  • Massive improvement on lesser Airdynes
  • Quality construction with a belt-drive
  • Multi-grip handlebars, but we’ve never been a fan of an upright grip when air biking.
  • Nice big, easy-to-use console

The Not So Good

  • More expensive than most alternatives
  • Seat may be uncomfortable for some users

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#6. Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike

The Thrasher from Vulcan is a new and great air bike

This is an air bike you may not have heard of yet, and that’s because it’s fairly new. This is Vulcan’s foray into air bikes, and seems to be the product of a desire to keep pace with Rogue. And like Rogue, they’ve gone with an over-built yet well-priced machine that looks badass. Indeed, the Thrasher is a beefy machine that is marketed as being commercial grade. It’s almost entirely metal, and this is reflected in the weight: At 137 lbs., it’s the heaviest of the options in this list. Indeed, it should withstand whatever abuse you can throw at it.

Honestly there’s not a heap to say about this bike that hasn’t already been said about the ones above. It’s definitely a good option for those looking for an air bike for their home gym.

A few things that are worth noting however are its overall size, fan size, and additional features.

First, the Thrasher is a compact air bike. It has easily the smallest footprint of any of the good air bikes, which makes it an attractive option if you’re looking to save space in your home or garage gym. Perhaps one of the reasons they’ve been able to reduce the overall size, is because they’ve done away with a fore and aft adjustment on the seat. This means you can’t adjust the seat so you sit closer or further away from the handles without also adjusting the height down or up. Ultimately, this probably doesn’t make much of a difference.

Second, the fan is 21″, which is 3 – 4″ smaller than the Assault, Xebex and Airdyne bikes, and 6″ smaller than the Echo. This makes a difference to the resistance level. The Thrasher is slightly easier to turn over than those other bikes, but the difference is pretty negligible.

Finally, the Thrasher has a few little additions that the others don’t. It comes with a heart rate monitor included, meaning you don’t have to bring your own. This connects automatically to the console. It also has caged steel pedals, which keep your feet nice and secure. This is a nice addition, but is not something you’d miss if it wasn’t there. Similarly, the handles are multi-grip but vertical grip when riding an air bike just feels weird and we’ve never seen anyone use them consistently.

While the Vulcan Thrasher air bike is a really solid beast, it’s very competitively priced – coming around the same price as an Echo bike. On balance, it’s a very solid choice that you almost certainly won’t be disappointed with.

The Good

  • Looks beasty
  • Built like a tank while also compact
  • Nice additional features included
  • Very competitively priced

The Not So Good

  • No fore and aft seat adjustment
  • Smaller fan means less resistance

Check Current Price at Vulcan Strength

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#7. Xterra Fitness AIR350 Air Bike

Xterra's fan bike is one of the best you can get

This bike from Xterra Fitness and the next one from Marcy are good options if you’re after a balance of quality and affordability. The AIR350 isn’t exactly a budget option, but it’s certainly not as expensive as the premium options above and in the next section. If you’re aiming to work up a sweat and burn some calories rather than destroy your soul with air bike WODs then this may be the model for you.

This relatively simple fan bike has a smallish 6 blade fan that probably won’t be challenging for high level athletes but should get the average person’s heart pumping. The 77 lbs frame is easy to put together and is heavy enough that it should feel sufficiently sturdy. The 250 lb weight capacity suggests that if you’re on the heavier side, you may experience a bit of wobble.

The console is nothing to write home about, but provides all of the basic metrics. No connectivity unfortunately. It’s belt-driven, which keeps the noise down.

All-in-all, this is a good value bike for the beginner or intermediate exerciser.

The Good

  • Relatively cheap
  • Well-built and reliable for the price
  • Belt-driven
  • In-built phone or tablet holder so you don’t have to rely on the basic console

The Not So Good

  • Not the handsomest bike
  • Very basic console
  • Small fan = light resistance

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#8. Marcy AIR-1 Deluxe Fan Bike

Best fan bike

Much like the Xterra offering above, the Marcy AIR-1 is a deluxe fan bike in name only. Go with this if you’re after a good value bike and you’re not planning on putting yourself or it through your paces.

A scratch resistant, powder coated, 14-gauge steel frame and adjustable levelers should keep this relatively tough and affordable air bike sitting steady as long as you don’t push it too hard. While not as comprehensive as higher end options, the built-in console provides the basic metrics (speed, time, calories, distance).

A two year limited warranty may save you from having to shell out your own money for repairs or maintenance. It has standard features such as an adjustable seat (no fore and aft adjustment though) and transport wheels, which add much expected value to your purchase. A clean and simple high quality design gives the Marcy AIR-1 air bike an attractive finish.

The Good

  • Good value bike for the price
  • Has all the basic features expected
  • Clean and attractive design

The Not So Good

  • Small fan means less resistance
  • Basic console does what’s expected and nothing more

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Best Air Bikes Without Arms

When most people talk about air bikes, they’re talking about the Rogue Echos, Assault Airbikes and Schwinn Airdynes, all of which obviously have arms. Adding an upper body requirement into the mix when doing cardio and conditioning changes the game. While the largest muscles of the body are in the lower half, using the upper body elicits a different and more intense physiological reaction than when using just the lower body. Using an air bike with arms undeniably feels different and not just because more of the body is being used.

However, a look at the best air bikes on the market wouldn’t be complete without reviewing the top options that don’t have arms. Now, some will argue that the purpose of these armless air bikes is different from your traditional options. And if you’re training to be a CrossFit athlete, there may be some truth to that. If that’s you, then get an air bike with arms, obviously. However, make no mistake that conditioning is conditioning, and any exercise that places stress on your cardiovascular and respiratory systems is a conditioning exercise. The following air bikes without arms are exceptional pieces of cardio equipment. You can do a lot worse than these.

Best armless air bike Concept2 BikeErg
  • Dimensions: 24″ W x 48″ L x 44.5″ H
  • Weight: 68 lbs
  • Cost: $$$

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Best air bike without arms Xebex Air Cycle
  • Dimensions: 20.47″ W x 49.21″ L x 47.25″ H
  • Weight: 127 lbs
  • Cost: $$$

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Concept2 BikeErg
Best armless air bike
  • Dimensions: 24″ W x 48″ L x 44.5″ H
  • Weight: 68 lbs
  • Cost: $$$

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Xebex Air Cycle
Best air bike without arms
  • Dimensions: 20.47″ W x 49.21″ L x 47.25″ H
  • Weight: 127 lbs
  • Cost: $$$

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#1. Concept2 BikeErg

The Concept2 bikeerg is not only the best air bike without arms, but one of the best exercise bikes you can get period

There was a lot of fanfare when Concept2 added the BikeErg to their lineup, alongside the indoor rowers and SkiErg. And for good reason. The BikeErg is not only the best air bike with no arms, but arguably the best exercise bike period. Concept2 build sport-based ergometers, which are designed to help athletes train for competition. As such, the BikeErg feels more like a real road bike than most high end spin bikes, and is miles from the old exercise bikes that clutter garages and adorn living rooms around the world.

Built with an elegantly simple aluminum frame, this air bike weighs in at a miniscule 68 lbs. But don’t let the weight fool you; it’s exceptionally high quality. This ridiculously light bike is deceptively stable and there’s almost no wobble or movement no matter how hard you ride. And while the frame and bike itself isn’t likely to be the best looking piece of equipment in your garage gym, its simplicity makes it quick and easy to put together (assembly should only take about 20 minutes) and extremely easy to use and maintain.

Once you have it assembled, the BikeErg is so easy to use. This is thanks to the quick adjust seat, which only adjusts up and down, as well as the quick-adjust handlebars that can be adjusted both up and down as well as for and aft. With the exception of very short people, anyone using this air bike should be able to adjust it to fit them perfectly.

Much like the rowers and SkiErg, the BikeErg’s belt-driven flywheel has a damper that acts as the bike’s gearing, giving it an entirely different and much more realistic feel than traditional air bikes. The lowest damper setting is like pedalling a road bike on flat ground on the highest gear. The highest damper setting is like riding uphill on low gear. This makes it perfect to use as a tool for warm up, training, conditioning, and / or recovery.

Concept2’s stellar reputation is, in part, thanks to the PM5 monitor used on their other ergometers. It’s easily the most useful console you’ll find on almost any piece of cardio equipment. It’s not fancy, but it tracks everything you’d want, records sessions for long-term goal monitoring, and has both bluetooth and Ant+ connectivity.

While the BikeErg has some flaws, such as a seat that doesn’t adjust fore and aft, and the damper being in a hard to reach position, these are vastly overshadowed by all the things it does right. And at a usual price of less than $1000, it’s also great value.

The Good

  • Simple and lightweight, while producing a realistic riding experience
  • Very competitively priced
  • Includes the PM5 monitor, which is arguably the best console there is
  • Easy to assemble and maintain

The Not So Good

  • Seat doesn’t adjust fore and aft and may be too high for very short users
  • Damper is hard to reach when riding

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#2. Xebex Air Cycle

The Xebex air cycle is a great air bike without arms

Ok, this Xebex Air Cycle is an obvious copy of the BikeErg. Obviously. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not a great air bike. It looks and works in much the same way as Concept2’s innovation, and it’s almost as good. In fact, it’s so similar that for the sake of simplicity and brevity, we’re just going to focus on what’s different between the two bikes.

For starters, where the BikeErg uses lightweight aluminum for the frame, the Air Cycle uses mostly steel on their angled frame. As such, it’s almost twice as heavy at 127 lbs. While this makes it much harder to transport, it also makes it solid as a rock. There is unlikely to be any wobble or movement in this thing.

As usually happens when one product is a blatant copy of another, the copy usually includes some nifty features. And so it is here. For example, the console on the Air Cycle is fairly advanced and has Xebex’s smart connect feature. This means it’s able to connect to various apps like ZWIFT and Kinomap. However, this sounds better than it is and in our experience these apps are more hassle than they’re worth and are rarely used in the long run. Also, the Xebex comes with strapped pedals, more akin to those on a real road bike. This is a nice touch.

Priced very similarly to the Concept2 at just under $900 (at the time of writing), the Xebex Air Cycle is a viable albeit very similar alternative to the BikeErg.

The Good

  • Heavy duty frame is very durable and stable
  • Self-tensioning dual belt-drive system is smooth and quiet
  • Has some nifty extra features such as upgraded pedals and console connectivity

The Not So Good

  • Much heavier than the BikeErg
  • Is a direct copy of the BikeErg

Should You Get an Air Resistance Bike?

If you’re looking for a machine that works your entire body and provides infinite levels of intensity, a good quality air bike (a.k.a. fan bike) may be just the thing for you. Unlike traditional stationary exercise bikes, a typical air bike provides a full-body workout. Your arms, shoulders, chest and parts of your back and core are worked through the push and pull of the handles, while your legs are challenged by pedalling. This full body component obviously only applies to air bikes with arms, as opposed to the two above without.

One of the main benefits of an air bike is how easily you can change up your pace, and how effective it is to do so. Most popular exercise bikes (e.g., upright exercise bikes and recumbent bikes) use magnetic resistance flywheels. These flywheels are designed so that once you get them moving, the internal mechanism’s inertia keeps it spinning, thus making it easier to pedal. This is fundamentally different to air bikes. The air resistance functions in the opposite way to inertia; it’s constantly fighting against the spinning of the fan blades. This means that as you pedal harder, the air resistance increases and you work harder. Also, whereas flywheels can spin without the pedals turning (meaning you can rest while the flywheel is spinning and then start pedaling again to take advantage of the inertia – much like ‘coasting’ on a road bike) most air bikes employ a fixed-gear mechanism which means that the fan won’t spin unless the pedals are turning. You never get to coast.

This makes for a high intensity cardiovascular / conditioning challenge like no other and means that a fan bike workout is not for the faint of heart (literally). It’s also what makes the air bike worthy of nicknames like “the misery machine” and “Satan’s tricycle”. Indeed, it’s a totally different beast when compared to a spin bike, which is another popular high-intensity cardio machine.

That said, this unique machine is also a surprisingly versatile piece of equipment. Even if you’re not aiming to do high intensity workouts, it’s extremely effective for warming up and as a recovery tool.

I actually use my Rogue Echo Bike for all of these purposes.

I do a 5 – 10 minute warm up before I lift. I don’t push too hard, but do go at a steady pace. This helps to warm my whole body up and prepare my muscles for whichever lifts I’m doing that day.

On days that I include conditioning in my program, I’ll do HIIT using the in-built intervals or by building my own custom run. This is absolutely punishing.

Finally, if you’re anything like me, then you occasionally experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after training. This generally stems from intense eccentric portions of muscle contraction (where your muscles are simultaneously contracting and lengthening, sometimes referred to as the “down phase” of a rep or movement). When using an air bike, there is no eccentric muscle contraction. This makes it suitable for completing a recovery routine (though it might not feel like recovery). Even better, it also means that an air bike workout won’t cause DOMS.

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Choosing the Right Fan Bike For You

A decent air bike will likely set you back a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. It would therefore be wise to ensure that your investment will pay off. When it comes to design, air bikes are fairly similar across the board. However, some key differences in build quality and features make certain bikes stand above the rest.

Here are the most important features to consider when buying your first air bike:

Good Quality Frame

The last thing you want is a flimsy, lightweight frame that wobbles with each pedal. Look for a bike with a stable, heavy gauge steel build. In the same light, built-in leveling feet and rollers will make moving and positioning your bike much easier.

Comfort and Adjustability

When it comes to your seat and handles, the more comfortable and adjustable they are, the better. The same goes for pedals. Some seats and pedals are interchangeable and allow you to put other, third-party variants on for a more familiar or comfortable training experience.

Belt-Drive Over Chain

The best bikes feature a belt drive as opposed to a chain. While more expensive, belts are smoother, quieter and will last much longer.

Console

The digital display is often where the quality of your air bike will show. It should be able to provide all the metrics you need, as well as workout modes, intervals and customization options. Support for additional tech such as heart rate monitors is a welcome bonus if you need it. Unfortunately, even the premium machines on this list seem to be intent on having rudimentary performance monitoring. Weird.

Warranty

Like any machine with moving parts, something is bound to break or require maintenance eventually. A comprehensive warranty that lasts long enough to cover any otherwise costly issues might just come in handy.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Air Bikes

Because air bikes are not the norm in the world of stationary exercise bikes, you may have some questions you want answered before deciding to take the plunge and get one for yourself. Here are our answers to the most common fan bike queries.

Are air bikes any good?

Yes, they’re awesome. Good air bikes provide a full body workout like no other. Utilizing air resistance means that you can remain perpetually challenged by your exercise bike. you can never get on top of air resistance.

Also, unlike traditional exercise bikes that only require work from the lower body, air bikes elicit a unique response from the body by bringing your arms into the mix. While our largest muscles are the glutes and quads in the lower body, studies have found that upper body workouts elicit a more intense physiological response than lower body only workouts. Indeed, anyone who owns and uses a good air bike knows how difficult a session on it can be, and they generally have a love hate relationship with it.

Why are air bikes so expensive?

Good ari bikes are made to be especially durable to accommodate high intensity workouts. This means more metal and less plastic, and more metal means more expensive.

Additionally, air bikes tend to have relatively complex belt- or chain-drive systems. The cost of manufacturing these is likely to be greater than other types of equipment.

Are air bikes good for weight loss?

Air bikes are great for burning calories, and therefore they’re great for assisting with weight loss.

however, weight loss happens most effectively in the kitchen as opposed to the gym. So, unless your diet supports weight loss, no amount of huffing and puffing on an air bike will produce the results you’re after.

Do assault bikes build muscle?

Assault bikes do provide an external resistance against which your muscles contract, so technically yes: Consistent and long term use of an air bike will probably result in a small amount of muscle hypertrophy. This will probably be negligible compared to established resistance training methods like weight lifting.

Which is better: An air bike or spin bike?

This is an apples to oranges comparison. Air bikes are typically used for cross-training. Spin bikes are intended to resemble actual road bikes, and are typically used for ‘spinning’, which is a phenomenon on its own.

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Well, there you have it: The 10 best air bikes.

The list above should have a great option no matter your experience or fitness goals. If you’re after a piece of equipment that you will end up simultaneously loving and hating, then a good quality air bike is your best bet.

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