What is an Air Resistance Bike, and How is it Different from Other Exercise Bikes?
There are several types of stationary bikes on the market. They differ based on many features, such as how they create resistance, the position you sit while exercising, and so on.
The features that set the Fan or air bikes apart from other style exercise bikes are:
Arms: Nearly all of the best fan bikes have handlebar arms that allow the rider to work the upper body and lower body at the same time.
Fan based resistance: Air bikes use a simple fan that creates resistance as the rider pedals or moves the arms. The faster the rider pedals, the more resistance is created. The rider decides how hard they want to work, by simply pedaling faster.
Air Resistance Bikes Offer These Benefits over standard Exercise bikes:
Air resistance bikes cause significant air circulation in the room to cool you off.
Air resistance bikes usually include an arm component, so you can work arms too.
No break pads to wear out.
Resistance is adjustable on a fluid scale, automatically, No need to adjust to get higher resistance, simply pedal faster.
No need to find hills to climb to add resistance, only pedal faster.
Unlimited intensity, you want more, just pedal more.
Air bikes can also be used for recovery or injured athletes due to the low impact nature of the bikes.
How do You Choose the Best Air Resistance Bike – Things to Watch Out For!
Belt vs. Chain driven air bike
This is how it usually goes: Higher end bikes use belts, and more affordable models use chains.
Chains: They require less maintenance, about as much care as you would give a real bike. They have a rougher start that the belt, are noisier than belt driven bikes.
Belts: Belt driven air bikes are usually much quieter and smoother than their chain driven counterparts. They usually require less maintenance.
Both belt and chain styles can become looser over time, with a lot of use and will likely need adjustment, so expect that.
The best air bikes today come with consoles. Some are very bare bones and display just a few pieces of data, while others are more intricate, allowing upload and download of data.
Programs: Look for Tabata, HIIT, 30/90 type programs you can follow using the bike. These are nice to have to change up your ride every once in a while.
Included Data: The “standard” data that even basic consoles include is Time, speed, RPM, Calories, and distance. The accuracy of this data, however, increases, along with the price of the bike.
Car like RPM display: A few of the higher end fan bikes have an RPM display similar to one you would see in a car dashboard. Fun! This encourages you to compete with yourself, as a visual display is just more compelling than numbers are.
Heart Rate monitor: Not many models have a heart rate monitor included. Several have one available as an add-on option, so be aware of that, if monitoring heart rate is one of your goals.
All of the bikes we reviewed have good sturdy build quality, which is a non negotiable prerequisite for our review list.
Even the least expensive bike we reviewed is solid in this department. Look for a bike that has a high metal to plastic ratio. It’s great if the fan blades are metal as well.
All the air bikes in our list have 4 way adjustable seats. However, the most common gripe for air bikes overall is an uncomfortable or hard or narrow seat.
Even some higher end models have uncomfortable saddles.
A few have large cushiony seats. The thing is, this is an easy fix. You can get a gel cushion seat cover and most models allow you to change the seat out for one you do like.
Don’t let the seat be the deciding factor, as it is easily changed.
Some of the air bikes we reviewed have extras like Book or tablet stands, cup holders and foot rests so you can work arms only for a bit.
If these extras are important to you, we have several on our list that include all three.
Review: Easily the most popular of all the air resistance exercise bike reviews we have done.
The Assault has a reputation for putting the hurt on you-in a good way. With a strong power coated steel frame and Cho-moly crank, the bike is built to last. This fan bike works both upper and lower body.
Review: The Chaimberg RXM Air Bike by Xtreme Monkey is set apart from the rest not only because of the striking colors, but also because it uses all metal fan blades, 2.5mm steel tubing, has chains that do not need lubrication, and has a Console with USB interface which is polar heart rate compatible and displays time speed, distance and more.
USB console can upload and download data, incorporates an LCD display
Reduced plastic use, bike is mainly steel, including fan blades
4 way seat adjustment
350 lb user weight max
Belt driven, not Chain driven
Seat may be too narrow for some
The best features from all air bikes combined into one of the best air bikes.
Rogue Echo Bike
Review: Weighing in at 127 pounds, the Rogue Echo bike is nothing short of rock solid.
It uses a combination of heavy-duty steel and precise engineering to offer a unique workout experience.
The front wheels allow it to be transported quite easily while the steel fan blade ensures a smooth ride with no unwelcome surprises.
The Echo also has a visually-captivating LCD screen that allows you to track distance, calories, heart rate, and much more!
Featuring an adjustable seat with eight height and five front/back settings, the Echo is also extremely customizable. The rubber-tread pedals are also a nice touch and help provide traction and stability for even the most aggressive riders.
Some other features include durable steel tubing, black powdercoat finish, and 1.5” diameter rubber-grip handles.
It is also compatible with many Echo-specific add-ons including a wind guard, phone holder, Polar Hear Rate transmitter, and various Shimano bike accessories.
Easily transported or moved – polyurethane front wheels
Precision steel fan blade
Rubber liner on pedals prone to wear
The Rogue Echo is truly a beast. Durable, wonderfully engineered, sleek – it checks every box on the list when outlining what makes a great workout bike.
The LCD Console really functions well and makes tracking workouts convenient and simple. The rubber handles really maintain their grip while the pedals do a great job of locking the feet in place.
I can’t really find anything that I don’t love about this bike – easily one of the best options on the market today.
The best air bike for you is the one you will ride consistently.
Air bikes are gaining momentum in the functional fitness community. Don’t be the last one in your crew to pick one up!
Drop us a line in the comments and let us know which bike you decided on and why.
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