It wasn’t so long ago that Schwinn was dominating the air bike market. Their wobbly, unreliable range of air bikes were infuriating users long before air bikes gained any sort of popularity.
Nowadays, thanks to the emergence of CrossFit and companies such as Assault Fitness and Rogue entering the market, Schwinn have had to up their game.
Enter, the Schwinn Airdyne Pro. With its quiet and reliable belt drive, excellent build quality, and slick looks, the AD Pro is a worthy challenger to our new favorite air bike, the Rogue Echo Bike
So how do these two premium models compare, and which is the better addition to your home gym? Our in-depth comparison is here to take you through the key similarities and differences between the Schwinn Airdyne Pro and Rogue Echo air bikes.
An Overview Of These Popular Air Bikes
A quick glance and there are plenty of similarities between these two air bikes. They both feature all the air bike fundamentals, meaning they both supply the full range of benefits afforded by air bikes.
At a minimum, we’d expect first-rate air bikes to deliver excellent build quality, a quiet and reliable belt drive, and a monitor with a reasonable amount of metrics and workout stats. Both bikes deliver on this front too.
Look closer though and the similarities start to fade. The sleek Schwinn is dwarfed by the meaty Rogue Echo when it comes to size. The ride, the frame, and the fan all feature key differences which make riding these bikes different experiences.
It’s a lightweight vs heavyweight clash, with both these competitors capable of delivering that knockout punch.
Let’s take a look at them.
Rogue Echo Air Bike
Whatever fitness concept it is, Rogue tends to take it and deliver the best version on the market. Exceptional build quality, great value, and well-researched products are what we’ve come to expect from Rogue.
With their entry into the air bike market though, they’ve far exceeded anyone’s expectations. They’ve toppled even some of the most established names in the game such as Assault and Xebex.
Built like a tank and delivering a workout to match, the durability, smoothness, and brutality of the Rogue Echo Bike will have plenty ditching their treadmills and jumping on the saddle of this beast.
Schwinn Airdyne Pro
Developed in retaliation to competition from Assault and Xebex, the Airdyne Pro is a high-quality air bike. Featuring a reliable and quiet belt drive, multi-grip handles, and excellent build quality, Schwinn certainly stepped up their game with this model.
It looks the part with a slender yet sturdy frame and will certainly surprise users who underestimate it, delivering a hard-hitting, exhausting workout.
The AD Pro is a pricey bike, and you can get other models from Schwinn (such as the AD7) with fewer features at a slightly lower price point.
|Rogue Echo Bike||Schwinn Airdyne Pro|
|Footprint||29.875″ W x 58.875″ L||20″ W x 42″ L|
|Max User Weight||350lbs||350lbs|
|Drive System||Belt drive||Belt drive|
|Where to Buy?||Rogue Fitness||Rogue Fitness|
Echo Bike vs Airdyne Pro: Key Similarities and Differences
You probably gathered from the above information that while the cosmetics of these two bikes are different, the underlying machines are very much alike.
In fact, I don’t think it’s out of order to suggest that Rogue based the Echo Bike’s design on the AD Pro, such are the similarities. Let’s have a look in detail.
Beefy, hefty, meaty, substantial. You pick the descriptor; they’re all suitable for describing the frame of the Echo Bike. Rogue has used robust, heavy-duty components throughout the frame, making it a durable and stable bike.
The full steel construction helps deliver the overbuilt frame, adding extra stability and smoothness to the ride. You can max out on the Echo and not even feel a wobble. The bike will absorb the power you put in with ease, no matter what your size.
The Schwinn impresses in this department too. The frame is moisture repellent in case you leak bucketloads of sweat onto it or use it during a rainstorm, and by using bits of plastic they’ve saved some weight too, making it easier to move around.
With built-in levelers, enhanced structural support, and a double-coated steel frame you will struggle to rock the Airdyne, belying its small size. It looks like you could give it a nudge and it would topple over but some clever design from Schwinn, particularly with the levelers, means it stands up pretty well to hard sprints.
The fans on these machines differ, having a big impact on performance. As with most aspects of the frame, the Rogue fan dwarfs the Schwinn fan. At 27″ it is only 1″ bigger in diameter, however, the width of the blades means it looks fatter and beefier.
The size of the blades helps the Rogue deliver unrivaled levels of air resistance. The Schwinn by contrast has 26 smaller blades. So, whilst they are thinner, the sheer number allows it to produce similar levels of intensity as the Rogue.
One thing to note is that users over 6ft tend to struggle on the Schwinn. It’s difficult for taller users to find a comfortable stride pattern which, when you consider the price, is a big disappointment. The Rogue with its widely adjustable seat seems appropriate for all sizes.
Ultimately, the Schwinn cannot match the Rogue frame for durability and stability.
The AD Pro isn’t a bad frame by any means, but where Schwinn has used plastic or aluminum, Rogue has used steel. Where Schwinn has used steel, Rogue has used more steel. The result is a heavier but sturdier, smoother, and more durable bike.
This is one similarity that’s a big plus for both bikes. The belt-driven system is considerably better than the chain-drive system found on most air bikes
Belt drives are smoother, more robust, and quieter than chain drives, and I think we will see most other air bikes lean towards the belt drive in the near future.
Over the course of a year, you’ll find you have to do very little or no maintenance on the drive which is unheard of for an air bike.
If you own a chain-driven bike you’ll be well aware of how much of a pain the maintenance on the system can be. They’re also prone to coming off when put under stress, which isn’t ideal if you’re engaged in a flat-out sprint.
I find the ride provided by a belt drive differs too.
It’s a bit stiffer making it slightly harder to get going, and slightly harder to maintain. This is a very minor effect though and doesn’t (I find) make much difference to the quality of the ride.
Belt drives are also a step in the right direction towards making air bikes quieter. Air bikes by their nature are loud. The air rushing over the fan blades makes a good deal of noise as you pedal. Throw in a creaking, humming chain drive and you might as well shell out for some ear muffs while you’re at it.
Jokes aside, the belt drives on the Rogue and AD Pro are significantly quieter, so you can listen to your music or watch TV as you ride.
While both get high marks, the Rogue is slightly quieter. There’s an odd whining sound to the Schwinn which is either from the belt drive or the fan, no one seems to have worked out which yet.
The Schwinn console is one of the few air bike consoles I actually enjoy. It is loaded with metrics and information to help you track your workout in a variety of ways.
I’m a big fan of stats when it comes to workouts and am always frustrated by how basic air bike consoles can be, so the AD Pro console is refreshing to see. That being said, it’s still not perfect.
It can be a bit overcomplicated. To access all the metrics you have to keep switching screens which isn’t easy if you’re pedaling furiously. The metrics also seem to be positioned in various places on what is quite a long console which can be frustrating too.
The simplicity of the Rogue monitor might actually be preferable for some people. Again, it has frustrations such as not showing calories burnt till the end of the workout, but at least everything is visible on one screen. It’s much more like the Assault Bike in this regard.
Neither console is backlit which makes seeing them in certain conditions impossible, although both bikes have plus points offering customizable workouts and heart rate monitor connectivity.
While the Airdyne’s console could certainly use some work, we give points for effort here at HFF. It edges out the basic Echo console.
It’s a classic case of heavy-duty, bulky, intimidating looks versus sleek, lightweight, fancy designs.
The Rogue is overbuilt everywhere. From the frame to the fan to the handlebars, everything is slightly fatter and heavier than on the Schwinn.
This does have performance benefits. The smoothness of the ride is unrivaled and even Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t knocking this bike over on a flat-out sprint. Whether it looks better is up for debate.
I’ve seen plenty of reviewers who think the bulky, formidable look is better, but for me, the sleek design of the AD Pro wins it.
The multi-grip handlebars on the AD Pro ensure that whether you’re tall or short, you can find a comfortable grip. The Rogue offers just one grip but compensates for this with more adjustment options on the seat.
One thing I have noticed is the handlebars on the Rogue tend to come over the pedals as you row. This makes it hard to stand up when sprinting without whacking your stomach.
The design of the Schwinn makes it more suitable for standing up on the pedals.
Both bikes have huge fans at the front, positioned perfectly to blow a torrent of air directly into your face as you pedal. This is an unfortunate consequence of most air bike designs and thankfully both Schwinn and Rogue offer wind guards at an added cost.
For the Rogue, you can also buy a water bottle cage and phone holder which comes in handy if you are using an HRM that isn’t polar or just want to change your music.
The Schwinn on the other hand comes equipped with these items already.
Pros and Cons of the Rogue Echo Bike
- Heavy-duty construction keeps bike stable and durable
- Belt drive requires little maintenance and reduces noise
- Features are comparable to more expensive air bikes
- Adjustable seat and interchangeable pedals
- Basic console with limited workouts
- Heavy and large footprint
Pros and Cons of the Schwinn Airdyne Pro
- Decent console with 9 workout programs
- Looks the part with sleek, modern design
- Excellent belt drive with less noise and maintenance
- Multi-grip handlebars
- Struggle to find stride pattern if you are over 6ft
- Ridiculous cost
- Plastic parts could reduce durability
Which is better for CrossFit: Airdyne Pro or Echo Bike?
CrossFit Games organizers have recently announced the Rogue Echo will replace the Assault as their bike of choice for the Games, pretty much answering this question for me.
With its stiffer handlebars and sturdier build, the Echo is capable of delivering a more intense workout than the Schwinn, a big draw for many CrossFitters. It’s also more competitively priced than the expensive AD Pro and more durable, so it will probably last you longer if you use it a lot.
The stiffness and durability of each bike’s belt drive make both suitable for CrossFit, but the durability and added intensity found on the Rogue make it a better match in my opinion.
Rogue Echo Bike vs Schwinn Airdyne Pro: Which Should You Get?
Both are amongst the best air bikes offering high-quality, intense workouts. Unfortunately, the Schwinn comes at a premium price despite not offering that much more.
The extra stability and ride smoothness the Rogue provides are better than what the Schwinn offers. It can match most of the features the Schwinn provides, and I think it delivers a tougher workout too.
If you’re looking for the best “bang for your buck”, the Rogue Echo Bike is the way to go.