If you’re looking for a full-body, high-intensity, leg-destroying workout, then look no further than an air bike. Leaving users gasping for air within minutes, air bikes are one of the most intense and painful exercise machines out there.
Standing above the rest of the competition are the Rogue Echo Bike and Xebex Air Bike. With their high durability, heavy handles, and soul-destroying fans, these two air bikes stand out for me as the best you can get.
But how do they compare with each other? In this article, we’ll pit these two beasts against each other with an in-depth comparison of their features and offerings.
An Overview Of These Two Popular Air Bikes
Rogue Echo Bike
Rogue’s first foray into the air bike market has been a success. Actually, that’s an understatement. With an array of positive reviews, brilliant sales, and a conveyor belt of beaten-down users, the Rogue Echo Bike has been a phenomenon.
Rogue has put a great deal of effort into research and build quality of the Echo and it shows in the final product. The Echo displays epic durability and unrivaled stability thanks to its overbuilt nature and built-in leveling attachments.
Stability helps it deliver a smoother ride and the bulky frame means it has excellent durability. In fact, everything about it is that bit heavier and that bit bulkier.
The Rogue will challenge any user. Its stiffer handlebars and firmer belt drive make even getting this machine going a challenge. Once you do get it going things don’t get any easier. The Rogue will leave your legs in agony, your arms in bits, and your lungs gasping for air.
Xebex Air Bike
Appearing on the market at the same time as the very similar Assault Bike (the build is so similar there’s an ongoing debate suggesting they were built in the same factory), Xebex’s air bike helped kick Schwinn into gear and set off an ongoing battle between leading fitness companies to develop the best air bike.
Not being a household name across the fitness world has made it difficult for Xebex to make the same impression on the air bike market as their competitors Rogue and Assault. Nonetheless, their offering is a high-quality, polished, and robust bike.
Those who have taken the plunge in buying the Xebex haven’t regretted it. Well-priced and with stunning looks the Xebex is a worthy challenger to the Echo’s throne.
Xebex Air Bike vs Rogue Echo: Quick Comparison
|Rogue Echo||Xebex Air Bike|
|Size||30″ W x 59″ L x 53″ H||26″ W x 48″ L x 52″ H|
|Max User Weight||350lbs||350lbs|
|Drive System||Belt drive||Chain drive|
|Where to Buy?||Rogue Fitness||Get RX’d|
Echo Bike vs Xebex Bike: Key Similarities and Differences
With most air bikes there tends not to be too much difference at first glance. Most air bikes tend to deliver the fundamental benefits: a brutal full-body workout, unlimited levels of resistance, and an exhilarating experience.
The Rogue and Xebex don’t buck this trend. Both are well-built and the stiff handlebars offer users increased levels of intensity compared to what they might find on the Assault air bike or the AD Pro.
Look closer though and differences start to appear. Aesthetically the bikes are distinct. The curved handlebars on the Xebex help it stand out in a crowd, while on the Echo pretty much everything is bulkier and heavier to achieve the overbuilt nature Rogue was seeking.
Both frames are made from high-quality steel designed to take whatever power the user can throw at it.
The Xebex frame is heavy and well-built. As a result, there’s very little movement aside from a slight wobble as you start your sprint. Once in the sprint it nicely absorbs whatever power you are putting down, keeping you stable and the ride smooth.
Compared to its predecessors from Schwinn which would topple over at the first sign of a sprint, this is a massive improvement.
It has impressive welds too which provide a solid foundation for the rest of its components. An extra welded piece of steel behind the seat post adds extra rigidity and the thick, rounded tubing across the base of the bike increases durability and stability.
These additions demonstrate the thought and extra work that has gone into this bike. There’s no cutting corners or being stingy with costs. The focus is clearly building a product to last.
Despite its brilliance, the Xebex is no match for the Rogue here. I don’t think the Rogue is the most well-built air bike on the market. I think it’s the most well-built cardio machine out there. It’s an absolute monster.
Rogue has gone for the overbuilt look to maximize stability, robustness, and provide a smooth ride. Boy, did they manage that.
Every part of the Rogue feels robust and resilient. It feels like you could take a sledgehammer to the bike and not even dent the beefy frame. In fact, I’d be worried about the sledgehammer.
It’s nicely balanced too thanks to excellent weight distribution on the frame. This stops the rocking you sometimes experience on other air bikes.
With extra stability comes extra weight though, and the Rogue is a bit of a pain to move around. At 127lbs you won’t want to be changing its location too often. There’s no obvious handle to lift with either just to complicate matters more. This problem is marginally offset by excellent transport wheels.
Overall, the Xebex is well-built, but the Rogue is on a different level.
One aspect that separates these two bikes is the drive system used. The majority of air bikes on the market use a chain drive system and the Xebex is no different.
Anyone who has owned a bicycle in their childhood will remember how irritating chains can be.
If not properly maintained they can be prone to coming off or snapping which can be a pain to resolve. They’re also incredibly loud, often drowning out your music or TV that’s keeping you entertained on that long cardio slog.
It’s these issues with the chain drive that has led to Rogue bucking the trend and going with a belt-driven system.
The introduction of the Echo has led many companies to step up their efforts in the air bike market by lowering their prices, improving their frames, and increasing stability. I reckon the next stage will be for all air bikes to utilize the far superior belt drive. Schwinn has already done this on their AD Pro, with some success.
The belt drive on the Echo is smoother, quieter, so much more durable than the chain drive system found on the Xebex. It requires much less maintenance too. I’ve seen reviews where users have bought the bike for either commercial or personal use and had no maintenance to do on the bike for over a year.
Some people may prefer a chain-driven system too though. You’ll find that even though the ride is smoother, the Rogue takes some serious effort just to get going. This is because a belt drive is a bit stiffer.
Therefore, the workout with this system is relentless. Even once you do get going, the air resistance kicks in so the intensity remains high. Personally, I prefer the continually intense workout that the Rogue can give. The belt drive combined with stiff handlebars is what helps it deliver a killer workout, so it’s ideal for those looking to burn extra calories or wanting that extra challenge.
Some however may prefer the instant satisfaction provided by a chain drive. It’s easier to get moving and work your way up to the high resistance. This means the workout is less intense, but also less frustrating.
If you’ve spent any time on THFF you’ll know that I take serious issue with the consoles found on air bikes. They’re needlessly basic and offer little to significantly enhance your workout.
The console on the Rogue epitomizes this. I have problems with the fact it doesn’t show calories burnt as you go. Instead, it waits till the end of the workout meaning that throughout you are left to guess whether or not you need to work harder to burn your target calories.
There’s also no backlight which is irritating in certain lighting.
The Xebex console is marginally better, but still basic. A handy feature it has over the Echo is the option to use metric measurements (meters, kilometers vs miles). I find the layout of the console easier to read as well giving it the edge over the Rogue.
Both consoles can connect to a heart-rate monitor, though only if it’s a Polar HRM. For anything else, you’ll have to connect to your phone. Again, unnecessarily basic.
In all honesty, neither console is great and I certainly wouldn’t recommend basing your decision on which bike to get on the console provided. Xebex does provide upgraded models of their air bike which feature improved consoles.
As we mentioned earlier, the Xebex mirrors the sleek look of the Assault Bike. One major aesthetic difference is the curved handlebars which I absolutely love.
Not only do they look great, but they have practical benefits too. Taller users sometimes find straight handlebars can come alarmingly close to their knees as they push and pull at the handlebars. By curving the handlebars Xebex has negated this problem which I find an impressive touch.
While it has massive performance benefits, I do feel the bulkiness lets the Rogue down in how pleasing to the eye it is. Having said this, the bike does have an intimidating “I will hurt you” look about it which some people do like.
In terms of footprint the Echo isn’t that much bigger, but if you look closely every aspect from the transport wheels to the frame to the handlebars is heftier. I understand why, but it is somewhat unattractive.
Both bikes come with different attachments that can help improve your riding experience. As expected Rogue has carefully thought out their add-ons, offering surprisingly useful attachments.
The phone holder is a particular favorite of mine. It’s placed perfectly so you can use your phone to track your heart rate or skip songs as you work out.
The wind guard comes in handy too. The position of the Echo Bike’s huge fan means it can throw a lot of air in your face as you cycle. If you live in a hot country or use it in a humid garage then this is probably quite nice. If you use the bike in a cooler location though then you probably don’t want the extra cold in your face.
Xebex offers a wind guard too although the air from the fan is less intrusive than on the Rogue. You can also buy a seat upgrade with your Xebex air bike which provides more comfort if you’re planning to do a lot of long rides on the bike.
Rogue aftermarket attachments
- Wind guard
- Phone holder
- Bottle cage
Xebex aftermarket attachments
- Wind guard
- Seat upgrade
Pros and Cons of the Rogue Echo Bike
- Overbuilt, sturdy, and stable
- Belt-drive system is smooth, durable, and quiet
- High build quality
- Convenient attachments
- Delivers intense, brutal workout
- Console is poor
- Heavy making it difficult to move around
Pros and Cons of the Xebex Air Bike
- Well-built and durable
- Sleek and good-looking design
- Chain drive makes this bike easier to get moving for some
- Stiff handlebars help deliver brutal upper body workout
- Chain drive is not very durable or reliable
- Basic console
Which Is Better For CrossFit: Xebex Air Bike or Rogue Echo Bike?
If you’re into your CrossFit then an air bike is a requisite buy. The organizers of the CrossFit Games have recently announced that the Rogue Echo is to displace the Assault bike at their events.
The tougher belt drive and heavy handlebars on the Rogue help it deliver a more intense workout compared to the Xebex.
This intensity and ruthlessness of the Rogue is a big attraction for CrossFitters. The Xebex’s chain drive is more forgiving allowing the user to both set off and maintain speed with less work than is required on the Rogue.
If CrossFit is your thing then you should go for the intensity that the Rogue can provide.
Rogue Echo Bike vs Xebex Air Bike: Which Should You Get?
At about $80 cheaper the Xebex looks more appealing but I feel with the Rogue you get what you pay for and more.
While the Xebex is high-quality and durable, the Rogue delivers a brutal and unforgiving workout that is unmatched by the Xebex. Its belt drive is better too.
If you are stuck between the two and don’t mind spending the extra cash, go for the Rogue Echo Bike.