HomeBest of 20247 Best Air Bikes in 2024: Top Picks for Your Home Gym

7 Best Air Bikes in 2024: Top Picks for Your Home Gym

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If you’re looking to take your conditioning up a notch, adding an air bike to your home gym is a great option.

Air bikes are compact, affordable, and highly effective at improving endurance, losing body fat, and building muscle.

We’ve tested dozens of air bikes from some of the biggest names in the industry. We’ve used them on steady-state rides, long-distance rides, and all-out sprints. Here are some of the things we considered when making our list (more below):

  • Performance: How big is the fan? Does it have a belt or chain drive? How stable is the bike?
  • Adjustability: How well can the bike fit different rider heights?
  • Technology: Does the monitor track the right stats? Is it bluetooth compatible?

In this article, I’ll share our top picks for the best air bikes based on real experience. Whether you’re an elite conditioning athlete or just someone looking to stay in shape, this article has you covered.

What’s the Best Air Bike?

We found the Rogue Echo Bike to have the best blend of performance and value. It’s overall build quality is excellent, and we love the larger fan blades for resistance and improved results. The monitor is among the best we’ve tested, and its reputation ranks at the top of the list.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Air Bike: Rogue Echo Bike

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Best Budget Air Bike: Bells of Steel Blitz Bike

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Best Premium Air Bike: Concept 2 BikeErg

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Best Heavy-Duty Air Bike: Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike

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Runner-Up Budget Air Bike: Titan Fitness Fan Bike

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Best Chain Drive Air Bike: Assault AirBike

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Best Air Bike w/ Magnetic Resistance: XEBEX AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0

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Best Air Bike Overall: Rogue Echo Bike 3.0

Best Air Bike
Rogue Echo Bike

The Rogue Echo Bike is one of the most popular and well-reviewed air bikes on the market. It's extremely durable and very effective.

Key Specs

  • Price: $845 w/ Free Shipping
  • Footprint: 58.9″ L x 29.9″ W x 52.8″ H
  • Weight: 127lbs
  • Drivetrain: Belt
  • Pedals: Metal
  • Fan Diameter: 25″
  • Display: LCD
  • Stats: Speed, Watts, RPM, Distance, Time, Calories, Intervals & Heart Rate
  • Extras: Optional Fan Guard, Cell Phone Holder, and Water Bottle Holder
  • Weight Limit: 350lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years


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Summary

The Echo Bike from Rogue Fitness is considered by many to be the premier air bike given its performance, durability, and price. At Garage Gym Lab, we feel the same, and we’ve selected the Echo Bike as our top pick for 2024.

This bike is extremely well made. Most of its construction is steel, which gives it a very rugged feel. It weighs a whopping 127lbs, making it one of the heaviest-duty air bikes on the market. With that also comes a higher weight capacity of 350lbs. Simply put, the Echo Bike is a tank.

Rogue Echo Bike - Riding - Garage Gym Lab

When riding the Echo Bike, there’s no questioning its ability to withstand intense workouts. There’s virtually no lateral movement when going all out because of its weight and support base. Even when trying to tip the bike from side to side, it holds firmly to the ground.

The Echo bike uses a belt as its drivetrain, which has grown in popularity because it’s quieter and requires less maintenance than a chain drive. Belts also tend to be easier to replace if the need ever arises.

Rogue Echo Bike - Fan Blades - Garage Gym Lab

The seat on this bike adjusts vertically via eight hole positions and horizontally via five holes. If there’s one knock on this bike, this would probably be it since a few other bikes offer more adjustability options. Still, this is likely enough to accommodate most users, and it does for me quite well at 5’8″. The seat itself is comfortable for both short/intense rides and long/steady-state rides.

The monitor is, in my opinion, one of the best features of the Echo Bike. Not only does it accurately read the most important stats, but it’s straightforward to use, and the buttons are well laid out. It also includes Bluetooth/ANT+ compatibility for various cycling apps and additional performance stats. These raised buttons also provide great tactile feedback when pressing them in – it just feels premium compared to other bikes.

Rogue Echo Bike - Monitor - Garage Gym Lab

This bike does include wheels, but it doesn’t have a dedicated rear handle. That said, one is available in a package that comes with turf tires. In general, turf tires make it easier to maneuver the bike, and if you’re someone who likes to take their rides outside, these tires can navigate terrain much better. You can also add a wind guard, cell phone holder, and water bottle holder.

While the Echo Bike isn’t the most affordable air bike, its value is outstanding. At under $900 with free shipping, this is a solid price point for what you get with this bike. It offers a strong 2-year warranty and a long history of excellent performance (over 4,000 reviews with an avg 4.9 rating). It also offers the best resale value of any bike on this list.

There’s a reason the Rogue Echo Bike has become the official bike for CrossFit – it’s just that good. Because of its performance, value, and reputation in the market, the Echo Bike is our top pick for most people.

Pros

  • Extremely durable air bike with heavy 127 lb frame
  • One of the best monitors on the market
  • Belt Drive is quiet and requires little maintenance
  • One of the more comfortable air bike seats
  • Options for turf tires, rear handle, and more
  • Excellent value backed by a stellar reputation and thousands of reviews

Cons

  • Optional accessories cost extra

Read Our Full Rogue Echo Bike Review


Best Budget Air Bike: Bells of Steel Blitz Bike

Best Budget Air Bike
Blitz Air Bike 2.0

The Bells of Steel Blitz Air Bike 2.0 is a feature-rich, heavy-duty air bike with excellent value and free shipping.

Key Specs

  • Price: $769.99 w/ Free Shipping
  • Footprint: 53″ L x 23″ W x 51″ H
  • Weight: 118lbs
  • Drivetrain: Belt
  • Pedals: Metal
  • Fan Diameter: 25″
  • Display: LCD
  • Stats: Speed, Watts, RPM, Distance, Time, Calories, Intervals & Heart Rate
  • Extras: Fan Guard, Cell Phone Holder, and Water Bottle Holder
  • Weight Limit: 350lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years


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Summary

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Bells of Steel Blitz Bike 2.0 is the best budget air bike on the market. This bike is an absolute beast, and its performance is very similar to the more expensive Rogue Echo Bike. In some ways, including its accessories, it’s better.

In general, this bike was modeled pretty closely after the Echo Bike. It has a similar footprint, and it offers similar resistance. It’s mostly made of steel, making this a very heavy-duty bike that weighs 118lbs. With an even wider base of support than the Echo, you can rest assured that it will not be rocking to one side or the other. Like the Echo Bike, this bike has a max user weight of 350lbs.

Bells of Steel Blitz Bike - Riding - Garage Gym Lab

One of the best features of the Blitz Bike is that you get a lot of seat adjustment options. With 11 different vertical positions and 11″ of horizontal adjustments, it’s one of the most customizable bikes in terms of seat positioning. The seat itself is also one of the most comfortable that I’ve experienced. The padding is a great density, it has a full cavity for those sensitive areas, and the vinyl is very supple.

Bells of Steel Blitz Bike - Fan Blades - Garage Gym Lab

Like most of the others, the monitor includes the primary stats, programmed intervals, etc… It can also connect to third-party heart rate monitors.

Another great feature of the Blitz Bike is that it includes several accessories that are normally upcharges on other bikes, including the Echo Bike and Assault Bike. With the Blitz, you get the wind guard, a cell phone holder, and a water bottle holder as standard.

Bells of Steel Blitz Bike - Monitor - Garage Gym Lab

However, a downside of the bike is that it doesn’t have a rear handle, and it doesn’t have the option currently for turf tires. As it is, the bike can be maneuvered relatively easily, but it lags behind a few others because of its smaller wheels and lack of a handle.

In case you come across it, the Blitz Bike is the exact same bike as the Fringe Sport Raptor Bike but without the turf tires and handle, and with a shorter 2-year warranty vs. a 3-year warranty. That said, the Raptor Bike is considerably more expensive.

If you’re looking for a budget air bike, I don’t think you’ll find one as nice as the Blitz Bike. For what you get at less than $750 shipped, it’s an extremely good value. I highly recommend this bike.

Pros

  • Tremendous value for price & performance
  • Heavy frame with wide support base creates a rock-solid experience
  • One of the most adjustable bikes on the market
  • Includes premium accessories as standard
  • Belt Drive

Cons

  • Small wheels with no option for turf tires
  • Yellow accents may not be for everyone

Read our Full Bells of Steel Blitz Bike Review


Best Premium Air Bike: Concept 2 BikeErg

Best Premium Air Bike
Concept 2 BikeErg

The Concept 2 BikeErg is a unique air bike with a flywheel & damper, numerous adjustment options, and the best monitor in the game. This is an ideal air bike for long-distance rides.

Key Specs

  • Price: $1,100
  • Footprint: 48″ L x 24″ W
  • Weight: 65lbs
  • Drivetrain: Belt
  • Pedals: Metal
  • Fan Diameter: N/A
  • Display: LCD
  • Stats: Speed, Watts, RPM, Distance, Time, Calories, Intervals & Heart Rate + Memory
  • Extras: Cell Phone/Tablet Holder
  • Weight Limit: 300lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years on Non-Wear Parts / 5-Years on Frame


Check Price at Amazon Check Price at Rogue

Summary

The Concept 2 BikeErg is one of the more unique options in this class of air bikes. It’s built very similarly to the popular Concept 2 Rower and Concept 2 SkiErg in that the bike has a flywheel with a damper to permit or restrict the amount of air resistance. As I’ll explain momentarily, this bike is also better for longer and steady-state rides than the other bikes on the list. On the other hand, it’s also not quite as good for all-out HIIT rides.

One of the critical features of the Concept 2 BikeErg is that it doesn’t have moveable arms like every other bike on this list. Naturally, this will limit the upper body benefits of those bikes. Because of this design distinction, this bike is an ideal bike for long rides since it’s more akin to an upright bike.

Concept C2 Bike - Riding - Garage Gym Lab

That said, its resistance is still very similar to that of traditional air bikes since it uses a flywheel and damper – the bread and butter of Concept 2 products. This damper has 10 settings – the higher the number, the greater the resistance. For example, level 10 will let in a lot more air than level 1.

In this sense, you have much more control over this bike than other bikes on this list. With something like the Echo Bike, you cannot control the amount of air – only your intensity. With the Concept 2 Bike, you can control both the amount of air AND your intensity. It’s similar to changing gears on a bicycle, making this a great option for those looking for longer, sustained rides, and also those looking for max-effort sessions.

Concept C2 Bike - Flywheel - Garage Gym Lab

The Concept 2 Bike offers a lot of adjustability. You can adjust the height of the seat (10″ range), and you can also adjust the height of the handles and the horizontal orientation of the handles. This gives riders more control over how they set up their bikes, which can increase comfort – again, a benefit for longer rides. The one downside of this seat, though, is that it’s firmer than others, which can cause some discomfort for some users. The good news is that this seat is swappable with many other third-party saddles.

The monitor of the Concept 2 Bike is the PM5, which is the same that you would find on the rower and SkiErg. This is considered a gold standard of monitors since it’s easy to use, legible, accurate, and feature-rich. In addition to tracking important stats, running intervals, etc… the PM5 also has a memory component, which is a huge benefit when it comes to monitoring your performance over time. You can also run splits, play games, and even compete against other PM5 bikes.

Concept C2 - Monitor - Garage Gym LabDSC06674

In terms of the drivetrain, the BikeErg uses a self-tensioning belt, which creates the quietest ride of any bike on this list. Lastly, this bike is LIGHT. Weighing only 65lbs, it’s by far the lightest bike on this list, but it still has a weight capacity of 300lbs. This is primarily due to the aluminum frame. It does include wheels for easy portability, but it doesn’t include a rear handle.

All told, the Concept 2 BikeErg is one of the best air bikes you can buy, and it’s certainly one of our favorites. If you’re training for CrossFit or you perform a lot of HIIT workouts, you may prefer other, more traditional air bikes. If you prefer longer rides with the ability to still go all-out, I don’t think you’ll find a better one than the C2.

Pros

  • Concept 2 is a leading manufacturer of conditioning equipment
  • Flywheel and damper provide more control over intensity
  • Excellent bike for longer-distance rides
  • Most adjustable bike on the market with various seat and handle options
  • Industry-leading PM5 monitor has more features than any other monitor
  • Belt Drive
  • Very lightweight and space-friendly

Cons

  • On the expensive side compared to other high-quality air bikes
  • Not as effective as others for HIIT and CrossFit-style training

Best Heavy-Duty Air Bike: Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike

Best Heavy-Duty Air Bike
Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike

The Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike is heavy-duty and ultra-stable. It weighs 137 lbs and offers several high-quality features.

Key Specs

  • Price: $845.99 w/ Free Shipping
  • Footprint: 44″ L x 24″ W x 55″ H
  • Weight: 137 lbs
  • Drivetrain: Belt
  • Pedals: Metal
  • Fan Diameter: 23″
  • Display: LCD
  • Stats: RPM, Speed, Intervals, Distance, Calories, Watts, & Heart Rate
  • Extras: Water Bottle Holder
  • Weight Limit: 350 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years


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Summary

The Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike is a unique option because it blends heavy construction with a compact design. It’s one of the most underrated air bikes I’ve tested and includes several nice features.

Starting off, the Vulcan Thrasher weighs 137 lbs, putting it near the top of the list. It also has a weight capacity of 350 lbs, which is more than most. It’s mostly made of metal and has a thick center support beam that greatly increases stability and rigidity.

Testing the Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike

One of the best features of the Thrasher is that it has a compact design, despite its heavier construction. At 44″ long and 24″ wide, it’s 11″ shorter than the Echo bike and over 5″ narrower. If you’re looking for a compact air bike for a smaller home gym, this is an excellent option.

This bike uses a quiet belt drive system and is one of the smoothest I’ve tested. The fan is smaller than some at 23″, which reduces some of the resistance. However, Vulcan added 12 blades to offset the impact.

Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike

A benefit of having a smaller fan is it’s easier to move around since you get more ground clearance. Considering how much this bike weighs, it’s a fair tradeoff. The Thrasher has two front wheels and an accessible rear handle for easy portability.

The seat on the Thrasher Bike is wider than most other air bikes, which can be more comfortable on longer rides. It’s also extremely adjustable, using a clever notch system to raise the seat from 31″ to 43″ in 75 different positions. The front-to-back adjustment ranges from 0″-8.25″, making this a great bike for all user heights.

Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike Monitor

The Thrasher Bike has a fairly standard monitor that tracks the most important stats. It’s similar to the Blitz Bike above but has a different button layout. It offers interval and target programs along with heart rate connectivity.

One downside to the Thrasher is that it doesn’t have premium options for a wind guard or turf tires. That said, the pedals are better than most and include toe cages to keep your feet locked in. The arms also provide several hand positions, increasing variety and comfort.

Overall, this is a very high-quality bike. If you want a heavy-duty air bike that doesn’t take up a lot of space, I recommend the Vulcan Thrasher. It also comes with a two-year warranty and ships for free.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty 137 lb frame with a 350 lb weight capacity
  • Smaller footprint is ideal for home gyms
  • Quiet and smooth belt drive
  • Premium pedals with toe cages
  • Oversized seat for more comfortable rides
  • Multiple hand positions on arms

Cons

  • Not as much upfront resistance as some
  • Monitor could look nicer

Read our Full Vulcan Thrasher Air Bike Review


Runner-Up Budget Air Bike: Titan Fitness Fan Bike

Runner-Up Budget Air Bike
Titan Fitness Fan Bike

The Titan Fan Bike is a budget-friendly chain-driven air bike with several nice features including turf tires, a rear handle, a cell phone holder, and more.

Key Specs

  • Price: $699.99 w/ Free Shipping
  • Footprint: 50.25″ L x 20.375″ W x 50″ H
  • Weight: 111lbs
  • Drivetrain: Chain
  • Pedals: Metal
  • Fan Diameter: 25″
  • Display: LCD
  • Stats: Speed, Watts, RPM, Distance, Time, Calories, Intervals & Heart Rate
  • Extras: Fan Guard, Cell Phone Holder, and Water Bottle Holder
  • Weight Limit: 330lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year


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Summary

Another solid budget-friendly air bike is the Titan Fitness Fan Bike. This bike is built very closely after the Assault Bike, but with a few features that either aren’t included on the Assault Bike or that come with an upcharge.

As with the Assault AirBike, the Titan Fan Bike uses a chain drive. As mentioned, this can require some additional maintenance, and it can also be louder. I can confirm that it’s quite a bit louder than belt-drive bikes.

Titan Fan Bike - Riding - Garage Gym Lab

The fan on this bike is the same 25″ diameter as most bikes in this class, but the blades are slightly narrower. Because of this, the resistance isn’t as high, especially when first starting the bike. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide a great workout because it does, but if you’re looking for something with greater intensity, I would focus elsewhere. On the other hand, this bike is better than those for longer rides, in my experience.

The seat on the Titan Fan Bike has 11 vertical adjustments and 5 horizontal adjustments, which will accommodate most riders “comfortably.” I say “comfortably” with quotes because I have found this seat to be firmer than others, which can lead to a tired bum after longer durations.

Titan Fan Bike - Fan Blades - Garage Gym Lab

The monitor on the Fan Bike from Titan is the biggest disadvantage relative to the other bikes on this list. It reads the same stats, workouts, etc… but it’s a bit clunkier to use, and the layout isn’t as efficient. For example, setting a target time with the + arrow increases the time by the second instead of the minute.

Where I think this bike shines, especially compared to the Assault Bike, is that it offers turf tires and a handle as standard (not an option with Assault), a fan guard (upcharge with the Assault, and a cell phone/water bottle holder (not an option with Assault). It’s also beefier, weighing 111lbs with a 330lb capacity.

Titan Fan Bike - Monitor - Garage Gym Lab

At the end of the day, the Titan Fan Bike is a great budget option, but it hasn’t been around long enough to dethrone the Assault Bike. After all, the Assault Bike has been around for years and was once the official CrossFit bike. Ultimately, however, this is a strong buy for the budget-minded shopper.

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Mostly metal construction creates heavy-duty 111 lb frame
  • Turf tires and rear handle come standard
  • Includes other accessories as standard
  • Clean aesthetic

Cons

  • Chain drive is louder than a belt drive
  • Monitor isn’t as refined as others

Read our Full Titan Fan Bike Review


Best Chain Drive Air Bike: Assault AirBike Classic

Best Chain-Driven Air Bike
Assault AirBike

The Assault Bike is a very popular and widely reviewed air bike that utilizes a chain drive and is more compact and lighter than others.

Key Specs

  • Price: $699 w/ Free Shipping
  • Footprint: 50.9″ L x 23.3″ W x 48.4″ H
  • Weight: 98lbs
  • Drivetrain: Chain
  • Pedals: Metal
  • Fan Diameter: 25″
  • Display: LCD
  • Stats: Speed, Watts, RPM, Distance, Time, Calories, Intervals & Heart Rate
  • Extras: Optional Fan Guard
  • Weight Limit: 300lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years on Non-Wear Parts / 5-Years on frame


Check Price at Assault Check Price at Amazon

Summary

The Assault AirBike is another great option with a solid reputation. Once the official air bike for CrossFit (dethroned by the Echo Bike), the Assault Bike has been used and abused by world-class athletes. It’s also one of the most space-efficient air bikes with a very reasonable footprint.

The first thing to note about the Assault Bike is that it uses a chain drive instead of a belt drive. Chains are suitable for air bikes, but they come with some downsides. Most notably, they’re louder. If you’re using a chain-drive bike in a home gym, you may want to consider this. Chains also require more maintenance, including lubrication and possibly replacement down the line. However, the Assault Bike has been around for years with an excellent track record, and it also has a great warranty program.

Assault Air Bike - Riding - Garage Gym Lab

This bike, like many others, is constructed mainly with steel, although it does have a lighter frame than the Echo Bike and several others on this list. At 98lbs, it’s easier to move than some others, but it also has a lower weight capacity of 300lbs. The bike does include wheels, but there’s no option for turf tires. It also doesn’t have a rear handle; however, you can use the frame itself as a handle. Even though this bike weighs less than several others, it’s still very robust and stands strong through intense rides.

Assault Bike - Fan Blades - Garage Gym Lab

The seat comfort and adjustability are two of the strongest features of this bike. With 11 vertical adjustments and five horizontal positions, users have more options than several competing bikes. I’ve also found the seat to be among the most comfortable, and I especially like the steeper cavity in the middle of the seat.

The monitor is another standout with the Assault Bike. While it lacks the polish and raised buttons as the Echo Bike, the display is well organized and provides all of the stats you’ll need.

Assault Bike - Monitor - Garage Gym Lab

The Assault Bike costs $749 with free shipping, which puts it in between the Echo Bike and some of the more budget-friendly bikes on this list. As such, it offers a very nice value. I don’t think this bike is as nice as the Echo Bike, but if you’re looking to save a little money and don’t mind the louder chain drive, it’s a great option.

Pros

  • Long history of strong performance (the former official bike of CrossFit)
  • One of the most space-friendly air bikes available
  • Lighter frame is easier to move around
  • Very solid monitor with efficient layout
  • One of the best warranties in the game

Cons

  • Chain drives are louder and require more maintenance
  • Weight limit of 300 lbs is less than some competing bikes
  • Lacks accessories as seen on some other bikes

Best Air Bike w/ Magnetic Resistance: Xebex AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0

Best Air Bike w/ Magnetic Resistance
Xebex AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0

The XEBEX Airplus Expert Bike 3.0 is a premium air bike with a traditional fan AND magnetic resistance to provide even more workout control.

Key Specs

  • Price: $1,189
  • Footprint: 57″ L x 26″ W x 55″ H
  • Weight: 190lbs
  • Drivetrain: Belt
  • Pedals: Metal
  • Fan Diameter: 25″
  • Display: LCD
  • Stats: Speed, Watts, RPM, Distance, Time, Calories, Intervals & Heart Rate
  • Extras: Magnetic Resistance
  • Weight Limit: 500lbs
  • Warranty: 2 Years on Non-Wear Parts / 5-Years on Frame


CHECK PRICE

Summary

The Xebex AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0 is another unique air bike because it offers something very few other bikes in this class offer: magnetic resistance. Like the Concept 2 Bike, this feature gives you tremendous control over intensity. Unlike Concept 2, however, the Xebex AirPlus is a HIIT dream. It’s as if you added steroids to the traditional air bike. If you want to really torture yourself, or at least have the ability to, this bike may be the best choice.

Starting with the magnetic resistance feature, the AirPlus bike offers eight resistance levels. The metal disc travels through a magnetic field that can be widened or narrowed to adjust resistance. The higher the setting, the closer the magnets, and the higher the resistance. When you combine this with the already challenging air resistance, you can really adapt your workout to suit your tolerance for punishment at any given time. The magnetic resistance is also easily adjusted with a simple lever directly under the monitor.

Xebex AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0 - Riding - Garage Gym Lab

Speaking of the monitor, the Xebex expert monitor is a fairly standard offering with the same sorts of stats, programmed workouts, interval selections, etc… as other monitors. It’s laid out similar to the Assault bike, with most buttons sitting to the right, and adjustment/start/stop, etc… at the bottom.

This bike operates via a belt-drive, and it’s HEAVY. Like, heavy heavy. At 190lbs, it’s by far the heaviest bike on this list. As such, it’s very durable and very rigid to withstand intense rides. Seriously, this thing isn’t budging. Thankfully, it does include wheels and a handle, making it easier to move around – make no mistake, though, it’s harder to move than other bikes. It also offers a max user weight of 500lbs, which well exceeds that of other bikes.

Xebex AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0 - Monitor - Garage Gym Lab

Like other bikes, this one has a seat that you can adjust vertically and horizontally. However, a unique feature is that the moveable handles have two grip options: neutral and regular. Depending on your preference and/or intensity levels, you may find one more comfortable/effective.

While this bike is on the more expensive side at ~$1,000, it’s one of the best out there because of its magnetic resistance and extremely heavy-duty frame. The AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0 from Xebexis a solid contender if you’re looking for maximum control and challenge while maintaining the traditional air bike feel.

Pros

  • Magnetic Resistance is a great addition to a fan bike for more control over intensity
  • One of the heaviest-duty air bikes on the market (500 lb weight limit)
  • Dual handle orientations based on preference
  • Wider seat is comfortable for longer rides
  • Belt drive

Cons

  • Expensive compared to some other high-quality air bikes
  • Wheels don’t feel as nice as others

Benefits of Air Bikes

Best Air Bikes - Garage Gym Lab

Air Bikes are excellent conditioning tools for a variety of reasons. A unique quality of this type of bike is that you’re fully controlling the intensity. Air bikes rely on a fan blade to generate resistance, which is based on the effort you put into the bike. In other words, the harder you pedal, the harder and more intense the workout will be. With that, here are a few of the main benefits of air bikes:

Great for Muscle Growth

Air bikes are very effective at hitting the entire lower body musculature. The quads, hamstrings, hips, glutes, and even calves are all beneficiaries of the air bike. For example, the quads are targeted when pedaling down, while the hamstrings are targeted on the way up.

In addition to the lower body, many air bikes include articulating arms that you can use to facilitate upper body muscle growth. Since these arms are attached directly to the fan, you can operate the bike entirely just with the handles (if you want to). Either way, when using the bike as intended with your legs, your upper body gets a great workout too. The biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back all benefit from an air bike.

Excellent for Interval Training

Air Bikes are an ideal tool for High-Intensity Interval Training. As a rider, you have full control over your intensity to the point where you can accelerate and decelerate nearly instantaneously. This is generally a benefit of non-motorized cardio pieces, and the air bike certainly fits that criteria.

Most air bikes will have two pre-programmed intervals: 20/10 and 10/20. In the case of 20/10, you’ll push high intensity for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds for a prescribed amount of time. These bikes will normally also have a custom option to allow for various interval schemes.

Effective for Weight & Fat Loss

Air bikes are calorie torchers. A key factor in losing weight and burning fat is burning more calories than you consume. Not only does an air bike help burn calories, but it does so at a rate that’s faster than other forms of cardio. Combined with interval training, you can more efficiently burn calories and, in turn, facilitate your fat and weight loss goals.

Build Mental Strength

There’s no other way to put it: air bikes are brutal… in a good way. They will test your willpower since the harder you pedal, the harder the bike becomes. When performing HIIT, Tabata, or any other programming, you will likely question why you even got on the bike. It’s hard, but with ‘hard’ comes results, and if results are what you’re after, then the air bike will deliver, both physically and mentally.

» MORE: Killer Air Bike Workouts


Types of Air Bikes

Rogue Echo Bike vs. Assault Bike - Garage Gym Lab

As mentioned, air bikes all have one thing in common: they use a fan blade to generate resistance. That said, there are two types of drivetrains that you’ll commonly see, and there are even some that will include additional resistance measures.

Belt Drive

The most common drivetrain you’ll find now and going forward is a belt drive. This type of drivetrain has grown in popularity because it’s quieter, requires less maintenance, and is easier to replace if or when needed. Belt drive air bikes tend to cost a little more than chain drives, but the slight premium is worth it for many users.

If you’re training in a home gym especially, the belt drive noise reduction could play a role. Keep in mind, however, that air bikes produce noise regardless.

The Rogue Echo Bike is an example of a popular belt-drive air bike.

Chain Drive

Chain Drives are the other most common type of drivetrain. These work much like the chains on a bicycle, and they generally require some additional maintenance over time. This typically consists of lubricating the chain to ensure it’s operating optimally. Chain drives are a little more challenging to replace, and they’re generally louder than a belt drive.

Although they may lag behind a quality belt, chain drives have proven to be an effective drivetrain on air bikes. You can look no further than the highly regarded Assault Bike as a great example of a chain drive bike.

Magnetic Resistance

While not considered a drive train, it’s important to note magnetic resistance as a distinguishing feature on some air bikes. Originally conceived by Keiser, magnetic resistance is a great way to quickly adjust resistance via a series of magnets surrounding a metal disk. Mind you, while not an air bike, the Keiser bikes use a belt drive system.

The Xebex AirPlus Expert Bike 3.0 that made this list is an air bike that combines a belt drive and magnetic resistance. In this sense, you have even more control over the bike.


How to Pick an Air Bike

Best Air Bikes 2 - Garage Gym Lab

Here are a few of the most important factors to consider when buying an air bike:

Drivetrain

As mentioned above, belt drives and chain drives are the two drivetrains you’ll find on air bikes. Our recommendation for most people is a belt drive, but there are high-quality chain drive bikes capable of handling intense training for years.

Durability

Look for air bikes that are predominately built with steel. The vast majority of the frame should be of steel construction, which greatly increases durability, weight capacity, and more. Plastic components are common in select areas, such as the monitor, cup holders, etc… Air bikes with an abundance of plastic should be closely scrutinized, as they are much less likely to hold up over the long term.

Monitor

The monitor is a very important consideration because it reads out critical stats regarding your rides. Monitors should include RPM, speed, watts, distance, time, calories, and intervals. Some bikes will integrate with third-party heart rate monitors to provide heart rate readings. In addition to the stats, monitors should be easy to operate and offer a bright, legible display.

Adjustability

Air Bike seats can adjust vertically and horizontally to accommodate various rider heights. You want to set up your seat height to align with your hip bone when standing. The horizontal adjustment should be where you have a natural and slight bend in the elbow when gripping the handles. Some bikes will offer a broader range of adjustment options than others, so be sure to read the specs. Look for at least 8 height adjustments and 5 horizontal adjustments as a rule of thumb. Like the Concept II BikeErg, some bikes will include handles that adjust horizontally instead of the seat.

Seat Comfort

There’s nothing worse than riding an air bike with a hard, uncomfortable seat. Look for a seat with a tapered design and high-quality, dense foam and supple vinyl. Some bike seats will include a cavity in the middle of the seat to protect sensitive areas.

Footprint

Typically speaking, air bikes are some of the most compact pieces of cardio equipment you can buy. That said, there are differences in footprints, as some may be longer, wider, taller, or a combination of the three. Consider the specs to ensure you’re picking an air bike that fits your intended space.

Portability

Air bikes can be heavy pieces of equipment, often exceeding 100 lbs. Look for bikes that offer wheels at a minimum. Bikes that include rear handles are even easier to maneuver, and bikes that have turf tires are even easier still.

Add-on Features

Some bikes offer special features like water bottle holders, cell phone holders, turf tires, and fan guards. For those that do, some offer them as standard, while others charge a premium. Other bikes don’t include them at all. If these are important to you, pay close attention to what’s included and what’s possible in terms of add-ons.

Weight Limit

Naturally, air bikes have a weight limit. If you’re a heavier rider, this is something you’ll want to pay close attention to. Air bikes constructed with steel and those that have heavier frames generally come with higher weight limits. 350lbs is among the highest you’ll find.

Warranty

Most air bikes will offer warranties of 1-2 years from the date of purchase, although something like the Assault Elite offers a 10-year warranty on frame parts (3 years on other parts). Most users will safely outride their respective warranties, and most companies will sell replacement parts if they ever need replacing.

Price

Of course, price is always a consideration when purchasing equipment. High-quality air bikes will start at $600 and move upwards of $1,000. Our recommendation is to stay within that range – anything less than $600 will likely not perform as well or last as long.


Honorable Mentions

  • Assault Bike ProX – Unlike the other Assault Bikes, the ProX has a belt drive system, which many will prefer. It has a nice monitor with Bluetooth connectivity and a better warranty than the Airbike Classic. However, it didn’t make our main list because I don’t think it’s better than the other belt-drive systems above, especially at the price. Still, it’s a nice bike with a solid reputation.
  • Assault AirBike Elite – The Assault AirBike Elite is the premium version of the popular AirBike Classic. This bike is larger, heavier, includes more features, and has a nicer monitor. It also has a better warranty, which may make it better for commercial gyms and CrossFit boxes. It didn’t make our main list because of its ~$1,300 price tag, but it’s a solid option for those looking for a premium air bike.
  • Fringe Sport Raptor Bike – The Raptor Bike is the same bike as the Bells of Steel Blitz Bike but with a different color scheme and a higher price tag. It does come with turf tires, but that doesn’t justify the $250 price difference.
  • Xebex Air Bike – The Xebex Air Bike is a solid budget contender. This chain-driven bike has a nice price tag and a good overall reputation. However, it doesn’t offer as many features as the Titan Fan Bike, which made the list.
  • Schwinn AD7 – Schwinn is a household name when it comes to air bikes, and the AD7 is one of their best. It’s a comfortable bike with a belt drive system, but it includes more plastic than I’d like to see. At a fairly high price, I don’t see the value relative to others.
  • Marcy Air-1 – Purely an ultra-budget pick, the Marcy Air-1 is a no-frills air bike that lacks many of the features of more premium air bikes. It has a smaller fan and an inferior monitor, but it will get the job done for budget shoppers and recreational users.

FAQs About Air Bikes

  • What is the Difference Between an Air Bike and a Spin Bike?

    An air bike uses a series of fan blades that produce resistance along with your effort level. Whatever you put into an air bike, you receive back in the form of more or less resistance. Air bikes also often have articulating arms that can help build the upper body. On the other hand, Spin Bikes use a knob or similar apparatus to generate resistance through friction brakes or magnetic resistance on a metal disc. It more closely simulates a road bike.

  • Are Air Bikes Worth It?

    An air bike is a great piece of conditioning equipment that takes up little footprint and delivers a tremendous workout. From high-intensity interval training (HITT) to steady-state cardio, air bikes are a great option. An air bike is a solid investment if you train for Crossfit specifically.

  • Which Air Bike is the Best?

    We have found that the Rogue Echo Bike is the best air bike for most people. It’s very well-made, it’s highly effective, and it’s extremely well-reviewed. It’s also the official air bike of CrossFit.

Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.
Adam Hensley
Adam Hensley
Adam is the founder of Garage Gym Lab and has over two decades of fitness/training experience. He serves as the chief content creator and runs our YouTube channel and social media accounts. When he's not testing equipment or sharing his love for home gym life, you'll find him with his wife and two kids in sunny South Carolina.

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