Have you ever played the late 1990's/early 2000's cult classic video game “NFL Blitz”?
I for one grew up playing it – I loved the over-the-top absurdity and the unavoidably exaggerated punishment you knew was coming.
In a sense, the Bells of Steel Blitz Bike is a very fitting name.
You see, an air bike is like vintage Warren Sapp… and us riders are… apparently gluttons for punishment.
We know it's coming – we know Warren Sapp is breathing down our neck just waiting to unleash a furious onslaught of pain and suffering…
…Yet we're here for it – no, scratch that – we're begging for it.
After all, that's what an Air Bike is for. Whatever you put into the bike, you get out of it.
The harder you push, the harder Warren Sapp pushes back.
It hurts so good!
In this review, we'll be breaking down what I think is one of the best air bikes for the money: The Bells of Steel Blitz Bike.
We'll take a look at everything it has to offer and how it stacks up to other popular air bikes on the market.
Let's dig in.
Bells of Steel Blitz Bike 2.0
As the name implies, the Blitz Bike 2.0 is a second version air bike that has incorporated several improvements over its first-gen predecessor.
Most notably is a move away from a chain drive and to a belt drive, which provides several benefits.
In addition to a better drivetrain, this bike offers a compact footprint, heavy-duty construction, and several other premium features included as standard.
Better yet, it's one of the best-priced air bikes in its class, making it one of the most value-packed options out there.
Let's take a look at the specs, and then we'll jump into the review.
|Footprint||51″ H x 24″ W x 53″ L|
|Seat Dimensions||10.25″ L w/ 11 Height Adjustments|
|Pedals||Metal w/ Grip Nodules|
|Stats||RPM, Speed, Intervals, Distance, Calories, Watts, & Heart Rate|
|Extras||Removable Fan Guard, Water Bottle Holder, & Cell Phone Holder|
Overall Build Quality
The Blitz Bike is overall a very well-built air bike. The vast majority of the bike is built with metal components, which translates to a beefy construction. Weighing 118lbs, it's among the heaviest air bikes on the market. At this weight, it's 9lbs lighter than the Rogue Echo Bike, but over 20lbs heavier than the Assualt Bike. Despite being a little lighter than the Echo Bike, it offers the same weight limit of 350lbs.
The bottom support pieces each measure 24″ long, which creates a very stable bike that's capable of handling even the most intense workouts. They also each include four separate threaded rubber caps so that you can adjust based on your floor. For instance, some garages have sloped floors that can lead to uneven equipment. Because of these adjustable feet, however, you can ensure an even and level riding experience with the Blitz Bike.
While much of the bike is constructed with metal components, there are some plastic pieces in select areas. This is very common, and these components are not high-touch pieces in the sense of taking the brunt of the abuse. When I received the Blitz Bike, two of these plastic pieces were damaged: the plastic sleeve that houses the vertical seat post, and the removable fan guard. This damage was clearly caused by the carrier, as the box was fairly beat-up upon delivery. Bells of Steel customer service was on the ball, however, and both pieces were promptly shipped and easily replaced.
Overall, the Blitz Bike is a hoss of an air bike that I'm confident will deliver strong performance. It also comes with a 2-year warranty, which includes parts replacement due to normal wear and tear usage. See below for a more comprehensive look at each of the primary elements of this bike.
Operation & Mechanics
The most notable feature of the Blitz Bike's mechanics is the belt drive. With an air bike, you either have a belt drive or a chain drive. A belt drive has a few advantages, including less maintenance, a longer life expectancy, and a quieter operation. If or when it comes time to replacing a belt drive, it's generally an easier process compared to a chain drive.
Another notable feature of the Blitz Bike is the 25″ diameter fan, which is capable of generating significant resistance under maximum intensity. This bike does come with a removable fan guard (pre-assembled) that dramatically reduces the air blow-back. If you train in a cold environment, the guard could tremendously help to stay warm. On the other hand, in hotter environments, the guard could eliminate much-needed airflow. Because it's easily removable with two screws, this isn't a concern since you can pick and choose if or when you want to block air-return.
I've generally been very impressed with the overall operation of the Blitz Bike. It's smooth and challenging – two key factors of an air bike.
Seat & Pedals
The seat on the Blitz Bike has a fairly standard tapered design with a cavity in the middle to take pressure off some… delicate… areas. The foam is soft, creating a comfortable seat, and the vinyl is especially soft and grippy. In fact, I'm more impressed with this viny's “grippiness” than I am on some weight benches.
The seat is adjustable along two axes. Vertically, you can adjust the seat along 11 different positions spaced 1″ apart via a pop-pin. In the bottom-most position, the top of the seat sits approximately 34″ from the floor. Horizontally, you can adjust the seat along a sliding rail that offers 11″ of movement. This is accomplished via a lever that, when lifted, releases the slide. When you have a position you like, simply close the lever to lock the rail into position. All told, the Blitz Bike has a lot of seat adjustability that virtually anyone can use to find an optimal position.
The pedals on the bike are constructed with metal, and they include a textured surface to help prevent your feet from sliding around. Measuring 4″ x 3″, they provide ample surface area, in my experience. That said, one downside to these pedals, and many other air bike pedals for that matter is how they're mounted. Instead of coming straight out of the bike, they're mounted via an L-bracket of sorts. In some cases, especially when going max intensity, your heel may actually clip that small bracket (see image above). Because of that, it can disrupt the cycle. I wouldn't say this is a frequent occurrence, but it can happen.
In addition to the pedals, the bike also offers fixed knurled footrests that are attached directly to the arm.
The monitor on the Blitz Bike is easy to operate and it presents several key stats on an easy-to-read LCD. As with most air bikes, the Blitz monitor turns on immediately once the fan begins to spin, and it turns off after 30 seconds of being idle. The monitor reads out the following metrics:
- RPM (rotations per minute)
- Time (monitor with either count up to 2 hours max or down from 2 hours)
- Distance (monitor will either count up or count down from a user-selected distance)
- Heart Rate (requires heart rate straps – not included)
The monitor is powered with two AA batteries, which Bells of Steel provides in the package. When using the monitor, you can either hop right on and ride, which is what I normally do, or you can program it. For instance, you can set target distance, calories, time, heart rate, etc… comprehensive instructions are provided.
Overall, it's a solid monitor that displays the most important metrics.
🚀 Fast Fact
The Bells of Steel Blitz Bike is compatible with many third-party heart rate monitors that can be tracked on the LCD.
Portability & Aesthetics
As you might expect with an air bike, the Blitz Bike does offer wheels to make it easier to move around your gym. That said, however, I feel this is an area that could be improved. Because the wheels themselves are quite small and the fan sits relatively low to the ground, there isn't a ton of backside lift that can occur before the fan cage hits the ground.
Bells of Steel also doesn't include a handle on the back-end, which generally makes it a little more difficult to move. The addition of turf tires, which have grown in popularity, and a handle I feel would solve much of these concerns.
Aesthetically, Bells of Steel went with a brighter color scheme than most competing bikes that opt for a standard all-black or black/white scheme. The yellow certainly pops, but it's not for everyone. If you love the color yellow then you'll likely love the look of the Blitz Bike. If you don't, or if yellow would clash with your gym scheme, then you may find this to be a deal killer.
Assembling the Blitz Bike
Assembling the Blitz Bike is overall a straightforward process. Bells of Steel provides all the hardware and tools that you'll need, and the instructions are legible and easy to understand. As you'll see in the photo below, much of the frame arrives pre-assembled, which of course cuts down on assembly time.
From opening the box to taking my first ride, assembly took around 45 minutes. The trickiest part of putting the Blitz Bike together was installing the foot supports. Because the bolts are mounted from the bottom, it was a bit awkward getting underneath when assembling the bike by myself. Once installed, however, the rest of the assembly was quick and easy.
💡 Quick Tip
When assembling, place the bike on something elevated or have a partner elevate one side so that you have better access to the under-mounted support feet.
Bells of Steel Blitz Bike vs. Rogue Echo Bike
The Rogue Echo Bike is considered by many to be the gold standard when it comes to air bikes. It is, in fact, a great bike. But the Blitz Bike from Bells of Steel is a very strong contender for a few reasons.
The first is that it's quite a bit cheaper. At $699.99 shipped, it's nearly $100 less than the Echo Bike ($795), which also includes shipping.
The second is that it includes features as standard that Rogue offers as optional add-ons. These features include the fan guard, the water bottle holder, and the cell phone holder. As of this review, those would add $41 to the Rogue Echo Bike.
The third benefit is the Blitz Bike is more adjustable in terms of vertical and horizontal seat positions. Where Rogue offers 8 vertical positions, the Blitz Bike offers 11, and where Rogue offers 5 horizontal positions, the Blitz Bike has unlimited range along the 11″ rail.
Where I think Rogue outshines the Blitz Bike is primarily with the monitor. I prefer the look and the feel of the Rogue monitor. I also tend to favor the more neutral aesthetic of the Echo Bike, and I like that turf tires and a back handle are optional accessories. Then again, this increases the price a further $70 (as of this review).
In general, both air bikes are excellent choices. They're heavy-duty and effective pieces of conditioning equipment with identical two-year warranties. Ultimately, I think it comes down to budget and possibly aesthetic preference. For less than $700 shipped, the Bells of Steel Blitz Bike is just an excellent value.
Bells of Steel Blitz Bike vs. the Assault Bike
Another very popular air bike is the Assault Bike, but how does it compare to the Blitz Bike?
The biggest difference between these two bikes is that the Blitz Bike uses a belt drive and the Assault Bike uses a chain drive. In addition to likely requiring more maintenance down the road, the Assault Bike is noticeably louder when riding.
Another big difference is that the Blitz Bike is 23lbs heavier than the Assault Bike, which is under 100lbs. While the Assault is certainly easier to move around, it doesn't feel as heavy-duty as the Blitz. Confirming this is a weight capacity that is only 300lbs compared to the 350lbs on the Blitz Bike.
A third difference is that the Assault Bike is currently $50 more expensive and it doesn't ship for free like the Blitz Bike.
At the end of the day, the Assault Bike is a nice Air Bike, but I think the Blitz from BoS is better for most people given its price and features.
Bells of Steel Blitz Bike vs. Fringe Sport Raptor Bike
The Blitz Bike and the Raptor Bike are largely the exact same bike, but with a few differences.
The first is that the Raptor Bike includes turf tires and a back handle as standard, which makes it easier to maneuver around the gym.
Secondly, it offers a three-year warranty vs. the two-year warranty on the Blitz Bike.
The third difference is that it offers a more neutral color scheme relative to the Blitz.
The Raptor Bike is, however, nearly $100 more expensive (also includes free shipping). Are these features worth the extra money? It's possible depending on the buyer – for others, maybe not. The monitors, seat adjustments, belt drive, fan diameter, etc… are the exact same between the two. Both are ultimately great air bike options.
The Blitz Bike is very well-reviewed at bellsofsteel.us. The bike has received well over 100 5-star reviews, but there have been some concerns posed by users. The most common of which include shipping box damage and squeaking. Here are some of the things people have said:
- Belt drives are quieter and require less maintenance than chain drives
- Heavy-duty frame weighs nearly 120lbs
- Seat is highly adjustable and easy to operate
- The LCD is easy to read and contains key metrics
- Includes fan guard, bottle holder, and cell phone holder as standard
- Arrives mostly pre-assembled with clear instructions
- Free shipping to both USA and Canada
- Smaller front wheels limit range of motion when moving the bike
- No back handle
- Yellow accents may not fit your taste or color scheme
In conclusion, I think the Bells of Steel Blitz Bike is a great air bike for the money. It's heavy-duty, it has premium features that come standard, it's smooth, challenging, and it ships for free.
I do recommend and hope to see turf tires in the future along with a rear handle for easier transportation.
At the end of the day, however, you can buy this bike with confidence that it will handle intense workouts for a long time.
Is the Bells of Steel Blitz Bike Worth It?
If you're looking for a quality air bike, the Blitz Bike from Bells of Steel is a solid choice because of its features, price, and free shipping.
Where is Bells of Steel Located?
Bells of Steel is a Canadian-based company headquartered in Calgary and with an office in Ontario. They also have a US showroom and office in Indianapolis, IN and a warehouse in Los Angeles, CA.
If you have any questions about this air bike or air bike in general, please leave a comment below. Likewise, if you own the Bells of Steel Blitz Bike and you want to chime in with your own thoughts, please do so!
As always, I appreciate any feedback.
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