Which air bike is best?
If you’re looking for a way to start burning some serious calories, an air bike may be just the ticket. Unlike many other types of exercise bikes that offer steady resistance, air bikes get harder the faster and more intensely you pedal. This makes them a good choice for raising your heart rate and pushing your body to its very limits.
There are several things to consider when purchasing an air bike, including the features it offers, how well it conforms to your body and how comfortable it is. Your budget and space constraints also play a role in your decision. The Schwinn Fitness AD Pro Airdyne Fan Bike is a top choice because it offers a lot of adjustability for tall and short users alike, and it features an informative display panel to track your metrics or follow along with HIIT programs.
What to know before you buy an air bike
How air bikes produce resistance
Unlike some other styles of exercise bikes that may use magnets or a heavy flywheel to create resistance, air bikes rely solely on air. They’re equipped with fans that may have anywhere from five to 30 large blades. As you pedal, the fan spins, creating wind resistance. The faster and harder you pedal, the greater the resistance becomes. This means they essentially offer infinite resistance levels.
Stability is key for safe operation of any piece of fitness equipment, but especially so on something you’ll be pedaling intensely like an air bike. There are several factors that determine an air bike’s stability, including the size of its footprint and the overall build quality. Those with a wider and longer footprint are more stable, as are those with a sturdier and heavier build.
One of the biggest complaints about air bikes is the noise they create, and the harder and faster you pedal, the louder they get. At high intensities, the noise can be comparable to a vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, as there’s no way for fan blades to spin quickly through the air without creating noise. That said, at medium intensities, which is what most people tend to pedal at for any extended period of time, the noise level shouldn’t be loud enough to disturb anyone not in the same room.
What to look for in a quality air bike
It’s important to be able to adjust exercise equipment to your body for the most ergonomic workout. In the case of an air bike, this means an adjustable seat that can move up and down at the very least, but ideally also forward and backward. If the model has stationary handles, those too should be height-adjustable.
A wide and well-padded seat can go a long way toward keeping you comfortable on your air bike and exercising for longer.
Tracking your performance metrics is key to improving your fitness levels and motivating yourself to excel. Air bikes that offer performance tracking have a small display panel that can show distance, speed, calories burned and RPM. Some models may also connect with a dedicated app for longer-term fitness tracking.
Getting an air bike and pedaling at a consistent speed is great, but you can really ramp up your exercise routines with fitness programs that push you to work out harder. These are generally only found on premium models and include various HIIT sessions.
Most air bikes are a bit like ellipticals in that they have moving handles to work out both your upper and lower body. Models with foot pegs provide you with a stationary place to put your feet when you want to focus just on upper body conditioning.
Multiple grips on an air bike serve two purposes: they allow you to change up your hand positioning either for specific fitness reasons or to offer some variety during your workout to keep you from getting uncomfortable. They may also allow multiple people to use an air bike without having to adjust the seat in between each user.
Every air bike has a maximum user weight capacity that should never be exceeded. On the most basic models, this may be as little as 200 pounds. Some more premium air bikes may accommodate users up to 400 pounds.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your home and plan on moving your air bike out of the way when not actively in use, wheels are a non-negotiable necessity. They allow one person to relatively easily move the bike around as needed without having to worry about damaging floors or lifting the entire machine.
How much you can expect to spend on an air bike
The most affordable air bikes start around $200. Premium and commercial models with all the bells and whistles can cost anywhere from $500-$1,500.
Air bike FAQ
How many calories can I burn on an air bike?
A. There’s no definitive answer for this on any piece of exercise equipment, because the amount of calories your body burns doing a particular activity is personal, and no two people will get the exact same results. It also depends on the intensity level. That said, the majority of people can burn somewhere from 10-30 calories per minute on an air bike. One particular personal trainer holds a record of burning 87 calories in a single minute on an air bike.
Can I adjust the resistance on an air bike?
A. The resistance isn’t manually adjustable on almost any air bikes. Instead, it increases dynamically as you pedal harder and the wind resistance increases.
What’s the best air bike to buy?
Top air bike
What you need to know: This calorie-burning machine features a single-stage belt drive for smooth action and a large display panel to track your fitness metrics.
What you’ll love: It has several HIIT programs to help push you to your limits, and it feels extremely stable even when pedaling at high intensities. Also, it’s equipped with foot pegs for those times you want to focus solely on upper body conditioning.
What you should consider: Some users complain the seat is uncomfortable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top air bike for the money
What you need to know: Despite coming at a reasonable price, this Marcy Upright Fan Bike has many of the same features of premium models, making it an excellent choice for those on a budget.
What you’ll love: It tracks time, speed, distance, calories and RPM to keep you abreast of your fitness metrics. The fan sends air toward your body to keep you cool during workouts too.
What you should consider: It doesn’t allow full range of motion of the arms for people over 6 feet tall.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: It commands a high price tag, but this commercial-quality bike boasts all the bells and whistles serious fitness enthusiasts could ask for.
What you’ll love: You can adjust the seat up and down and forward and backward to achieve the best ergonomics for your body. The highly detailed display panel shows you every metric you want to know about your workout, and it even connects to mobile devices via Bluetooth for transferring that data to an app.
What you should consider: The display isn’t backlit and can be hard to see in dim light.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.