The two best air bikes on the market are the Rogue Echo and the Assault AirBike, but which is the better of the two?
I’ve done a thorough, like-for-like comparison between the bikes across 5 different categories so you can make a buying decision with the most information. I’ve considered the build quality, cost, features, wider reviews and the overall user experience.
There’s no sponsorship influencing the review, just a statement of the information as I see it.
What qualifies me to talk about this?
I’m a gym owner, personal trainer and weightlifting coach with nearly 20 years experience. I’ve spent thousands on equipment over the years, using and reviewing the very best from manufacturers all over the globe.
If you’re short on time and want to know the scores, the clear winner here is the Rogue Echo. It’s the more expensive of the two bikes, but you get what you pay for. The build quality and user experience are better but beware – if you’re shorter than 5’4 you may want to go for the Assault AirBike.
Here’s the detailed like-for-like comparison between the two bikes. I’ll look at the good and not-so-good points of both, pointing out what I see and what the wider fitness community has mentioned too…
This thing is built like a tank. Everything about the Rogue Echo’s construction is over-specced in the best possible way. It’s a big bike (52.75” high, 58.875″ long and 29.875″ wide), and weighs 127LB which makes it incredibly robust. With weight comes stability, so it remains planted to the floor when even the biggest, strongest guys are pushing it to the max. It has a max user weight of 350LB, which is a testament to the strength of the bike.
Complaints about the build quality of Rogue equipment are very rare and this is no exception. The only recurring complaint seems to be with the LCD screen, but I’m yet to see a much better one on other models.
The Echo is made from high-quality steel, it has a powder coat finish (to prevent corrosion from sweating) and the pedals are metal, rather than plastic. The rubber handles are thicker than most at 1.5”. The welding, the steel, and the collective construction of the Echo is high quality.
The overall build quality of the Assault AirBike is good – the steel is high quality, the pedals and cranks are reinforced and it’s a pretty heavy bit of kit at. It’s a smaller bike than the Echo (50” high, 50.95″ long, and 23.3″ wide) and significantly lighter at 95.6LB. When you see these specs in a like-for-like, it’s easy to see the differences. Max user weight is 300LB.
The complaints from users are a lot more frequent with the Assault AirBike than the Rogue Echo. They usually stem from the cranks and pedals breaking (even though they’re reinforced) and the chain snapping. There are occasional issues with the arms coming loose too.
For what it’s worth, the complaints still aren’t common, they’re just more common than with the Rogue Echo. It’s still a very well-made bike, bettered only by the best in class.
Overall winner: Rogue Echo
The obvious consideration here is the top-line price, but that’s too overly-simplistic. There are additions to the bike that you can buy which transform the user experience, so I believe it’s worth factoring these in.
The out-the-box price for each bike is…
Assault AirBike – $699
Rogue Echo – $795
However, both bikes would benefit from additional spend. The Echo for example is dramatically improved by buying the wind guard, which costs $27. If you want to add a phone holder it’s an extra $6 and the bottle holder is an extra $8. You could do away with the phone holder, but a bottle holder is pretty useful.
On the AirBike, the wind shield will set you back a further $40, so although it’s more expensive than the Echo shield, it’s still less money overall.
Both bikes benefit from free shipping.
Winner: Assault AirBike
The very nature of an Air Bike is that the quality is in the simplicity of the machine.
Typically there isn’t much in the way of programming options, but the LCD screen on both bikes will keep track of the usual data – time, speed, distance, calories, interval timer etc. They’re basic, but they work.
The Rogue Echo has a belt drive rather than a chain, which is better for a couple of reasons – first of all there are lots of moving parts in a chain, which increases the likelihood of it breaking. Secondly, a chain is much louder than a belt when moving.
The customisation options for the Echo include a windshield, phone holder and a bottle holder. You can add a windshield to the Assault, but there’s no additional bottle holder on the classic model.
The Rogue Echo is compatible with Polar heart rate monitors so you can see your data on the screen. The Assault doesn’t allow this feature, which can be a deal-breaker for some.
Winner: Rogue Echo (on account of the belt drive which is better than the chain and the heart rate monitor compatibility.)
I can give you my opinion on the bikes, but what does the wider community say about them? If we zoom out and take a look at what real-world users think, it’ll help us build a picture with a lot more information.
The Rogue Echo is the leader in terms of overall review score, but it’s very tight..
The Echo has a lot more reviews, so that tells us a couple of things – that it’s more popular, and that the scores are more accurate because it’s much harder to maintain a 4.9 average score over 3249 reviews than 280.
That being said, to score an average of 4.8 over 280 shows the Assault AirBike is still a great item of kit
When you dig into user issue reports, the consistent issues with the Echo are about the size – it’s just too big for smaller framed people. There are very few reports about the equipment failing.
Another point to mention with the Echo is the wind in the face of the user – some love it because it helps to keep them cooler. Others hate it – either way, it’s a problem that can be solved easily with the addition of a wind guard.
When it comes to the Assault AirBike the build issues are far more frequent. You don’t have to look too far for the same issues to repeat themselves – pedals, cranks and chains seem to be the problem areas. Loose arms are also an occasional bugbear for some owners.
There are a few complaints about the noise of the AirBike too, because of the chain. I wouldn’t take this too seriously though – no air bike is particularly quiet, especially not when you’re pushing it hard!
The reality is when you produce so many units you’re going to get a few complaints. Both of the bikes receive far fewer complaints than most others on the market, but the obvious winner here is the Rogue Echo because there are almost no complaints about the build quality.
Winner: Rogue Echo
The Rogue Echo is a rock-solid bike that is able to withstand any kind of punishment you’re able to throw at it. It’s a big bike, so bear this in mind if you’re a smaller person – if you’re less than 5’4 you may find it a struggle to get comfortable on it.
If you buy the Rogue Echo, I’d suggest you pick up the windshield as well – if you don’t, the wind from the bike’s flywheel can get in your face when you’re sprinting. Some users love this (I don’t mind it myself) because it helps to cool you down, but others HATE it. It’s an easy fix for $27.
As air bikes go, the Rogue Echo is an absolute pleasure to ride. It’s a tough, all-out conditioning machine. The whole thing drips quality – the construction, the stability and the workouts you’re able to perform on it. There’s a reason why the Rogue Echo is the go-to bike for the CrossFit games. If it’ll stand up to the punishment the fittest guys and gals on the planet can throw at it, you know it’s a quality item.
If you’re buying an Echo for your home gym, you’ll have to factor in the size – it’s the biggest bike of its kind on the market, so make sure you’ve got enough space for it. If you have though, you can relax knowing you’re buying an excellent item. One that is well built, great value for money and will last you a very long time.
At $795 it’s great value and much cheaper than a lot of the rivals.
The appeal of the Assault AirBike is its simplicity. It’s a well-made, affordable air bike. There’s no bells and whistles on this thing, it’s just a good, honest machine that will suit the needs of most users.
It falls short of the Rogue Echo on build quality, but then it’s cheaper, so you can forgive that. It’s still a great item though and buying it certainly isn’t a waste of money – in fact for many users, it’s even the slightly better choice – those who are smaller than 5’4 will prefer the more compact design and geometry of the AssaultBike Classic over the Rogue.
Having a chain drive rather than a belt means the Assault AirBike is pretty loud, but that needn’t be an issue for most – it’s just something to bear in mind if you’re buying one for your apartment. It also requires a little more in the way of maintenance, but that’s just applying oil to the chain once in a while.
Despite being a smaller model than the Echo, it’s still tough and will certainly cope with heavy use. You don’t need to be gentle with the Assault AirBike – it’s very well built and suitable for all.
It’s the cheapest bike of its quality on the market and a perfect choice for those on slightly tighter budgets. You won’t match the quality for $699.
Both of these bikes are excellent machines and neither one is a bad choice. The purpose of the review was to compare the two best in class so you could make an even more informed decision.
I’d steer you towards the Rogue Echo because I believe it is the better built of the two, it’s still a great price and it’ll take anything you can throw at it. It’s the best airbike available in my opinion.
If money is your deciding factor, the Assault AirBike is still a great bit of kit and in my opinion, the second-best on the market currently. It’s also actually the better choice for the smaller rider too.