Since the early 2000s, the market for home gym kit has exploded–pieces of equipment that were once only commercially available have been released to the domestic consumer. This switch in strategy has meant that for the last 10 years or so, if you’ve got the budget and the expertise, you can buy commercial-quality equipment for your home gym at reasonable prices.
One of the most popular items out there is the air bike… and manufacturers have noted this. Thanks to their popularity, many brands have designed and built their own models, leading to a wide variety of options available to the consumer.
But with such an abundance of choice, how do you pick the best air bike for a home gym? What features should you be looking for and how do you decide on the most suitable one for you?
With our in-depth guide, we’ll cut through the fluff and explain exactly what you need to consider when picking the best air bike for a home gym.
Below, you’ll find what to look for when choosing an air bike, an in depth review of the top 5 air bikes on the market, and other helpful considerations at the bottom.
For those who want a quick overview, below is our comparison table:
When deciding on air bikes for your home gym, you first need to consider exactly what you want and need.
As a result, I would urge you to get granular on the details of what you want and need. Some bikes are feature-heavy but at a cost. Others don’t have the versatility but are more affordable.
Here’s a quick guide of what you need to consider…
Understanding these requirements early on makes your choices further down the line significantly easier.
We could waste hours of your time telling you all about bikes that simply aren’t very good, but instead we’ve trimmed it down to include only the air bikes that combine quality and price.
As always, we’ll consider them like-for-like and assess important features such as build quality, versatility, functionality, price and the like.
There’ll be different brands and a variety of best-uses, so we’ll give you a whole-market flavor to help make your decision.
Let’s not waste any time–if you’re in the market for an air bike, you’ll have probably heard about the Rogue Echo. It’s the marketing leading air bike around at the moment and there’s (multiple) good reasons for this.
It’s built like a tank; it’s affordable; it’s belt driven, so provides an excellent workout; it can take serious punishment and provides a smooth ride.
The LCD screen is high contrast, so the screen is easy to see even in the depths of your workout pain cave.
The handles are thick and non-slip.
The seat is adjustable and the bike doesn’t rock from side to side even on full-gas sprints.
It has foot pegs to allow for upper body only workouts.
And at a moderate price point of $775, it has everything you could possibly want in an air bike.
It packs all of the features the general user needs at a build quality you won’t believe.
It’s powder-coated rather than painted (means sweat won’t corrode the metal) and will need little-to-no maintenance.
You can throw any workout intensity at this thing and it will be fine.
At 53” x 59” x 30” it’s a large air bike (with a 350 lb max user weight), so bear that in mind–if you’re small or have limited space, it’s something to consider.
The Verdict: The Rogue Echo is everything you could possibly want in an air bike–durable, tons of features, and affordable. In my opinion, this is by the far the best air bike on the market.
The Assault AirBike is that nice hybrid of quality on a budget.
Whilst it’s not ‘cheap’, the truth is it’s the cheapest of the bikes we’re reviewing here. Anything else we’ve looked at below this price point just isn’t worth the money.
What the Assault Bike represents is a great value, no-frills bike that does exactly what it needs to. It is number 2 in this list not because it’s better than the rest, but it’s as good for significantly less money!
The frame itself is a stripped back version of the other bikes on the market. Some love the simpler, more minimalistic design of the bike and it certainly doesn’t detract from performance and spec. It has the 25 inch flywheel at the front for added resistance, the whole frame is powder coated to prevent corrosion from sweat and water.
The LCD display is simple but effective. Where it doesn’t have quite the level of features you’d find with Schwinn or the app support of Concept2, it’s essentially the same information you’d get with the Rogue Echo and that’s more than enough info for most riders. If your purpose for buying the bike is to get sweaty, it more than does the job!
The level of adjustment you find with the Assault Bike is good–certainly in line with other bikes at higher price points.
There’s also a simple but usable feature you don’t get on the Rogue Echo–a water bottle holder! Whilst this might not be useful on all-out sprints, if you’re on the bike for a long duration, it’s certainly useful!
If budget is a concern, then this is an excellent choice. It’s strong, sturdy, built to last and won’t blow your budget–a great choice that will suit most riders.
The Verdict: If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills air bike at an unbelievable price, the Assault Airbike is fantastic.
Before buying either the Rogue Echo or Assault, make sure to check out our Rogue Echo Vs Rogue Assault Comparison review.
Nudged into number 3 is the Schwinn Airdyne Pro (also known as the Air Dyne 8). This is no reflection on its quality–it’s a fantastic bike, but it loses out to the Assault AirBike on price alone.
I’m struggling to justify the extra 300 bucks for the additional features.
For those of us who have been in the fitness equipment world for a long time, we’ve come to associate the name ‘Schwinn’ with air bikes. They were the original manufacturers of the ‘Air Dyne’ way back in the 1970’s and have refined their processes since.
You can be assured the Airdyne Pro doesn’t disappoint.
The Airdyne Pro is a hybrid of style and substance. It’s well built and can take a beating, and comes with a feature-packed interface that contains a lot of in-built programmes and live user data.
It’s very well made–-steel construction (can support 350 lbs), powder coated, doesn’t rock, belt-driven and widely adjustable to suit a variety of user sizes. It’s quiet in use and the 26-blade fan provides instant resistance for the user.
Whilst it’s at the top end of the price range for air bikes, you can be assured with Schwinn you’re buying decades of expertise in air bike production.
If you want something simple, you could save your money and look elsewhere, but if data is your thing, you won’t get more information than with the Schwinn computer–it provides more workout options and user data than any other bike on the market.
The Verdict: Schwinn has been an industry leader in air bikes for over a decade, and the Airdyne Pro does not disappoint. It’s great quality, highly durable and tracks every cardio data metric in the book you can think of. But it has one caveat–it is expensive. Budget shoppers should look elsewhere.
A good review has to cover all prices, so we have to show you what the top end of the market looks like. In this case, it’s the Assault AirBike Elite.
Coming in nearly $1300, this is what happens when you combine high end design with quality construction and an interactive LCD screen.
The question is, is it worth the money?
There’s no doubting the aesthetic appeal of the Elite.
It’s well-engineered and the colours are subtle and stylish. The LCD is bigger, brighter and contains more features, including the Comp mode and Bluetooth Connectivity.
It’s a big, solid, sturdy and well built bike (can hold weight up to 350 lbs).
But for me, that’s where it ends. I think there are better value bikes on the market and you really don’t have to look very hard to find them.
If I’m going to pay 25-50% more than average for a bike, I want it to be 25-50% better, but this isn’t.
In my opinion what you’re paying for here is over-engineering.
The thicker frame means the bike is heavier, but the other bikes aren’t too light.
The additional features on the screen are OK, but you can find those at cheaper price points. The ride isn’t smoother, quieter or better.
It’s a great bike, but it’s almost double the price of bikes that are every bit as good.
If you’ve got the money and you’re happy to spend it, go ahead, but do so knowing that you’re spending more than you need to
The Verdict: While the Assault Air Bike Elite is a fantastic bike, it is exorbitantly expensive. If you have the money the spend, you will love this one, but you can find similar quality bikes at nearly half the price (Like our #1 and #2 options)
This might feature as our number 5, but that’s not because it’s a bad bike–to even make it to this list shows it’s an elite piece of kit.
With over 93 reviews and a 4.8 rating, it sits at number 5 purely because of its lack of true air bike versatility.
Although Concept2 are most famous for their rowing machines and ski ergs (both of which are hands down the market leaders), they’ve recently turned their attention towards air bikes and the results haven’t been disappointing.
The Concept2 Bike Erg isn’t an air bike in the more traditional sense (there’s no arm movement action on the bike), but it has made this list because of the flywheel technology it uses to create resistance.
The Concept2 flywheel has been perfected over decades of practice with their rowers and ski ergs, so it’s a very smooth action.
Unlike their rowers, the bikes use a poly groove belt for resistance instead of a chain, allowing for a smoother ride.
The damper on the flywheel can DRAMATICALLY change the resistance on the bike, so you have way more control over the workout than on other air bikes.
The display screen is simple but contains all of the user information in terms of speed, heart rate, power output etc.
The Concept2 Bike Erg couples with the ‘Erg Data App’ which serves as a great workout diary and progress monitor for those interested in data. It’ll also link with various heart rate monitors.
The build quality is excellent and the slender design of the bike is a space-saver. It’s also very light at only 31kg (⅔ the weight of most other bikes).
The trade off here though is the lack of variety–if you’re looking for a bike that can double up as an upper-body only machine or an outright conditioning tool, avoid this one. If you want more of a pure bike to ride though, this is your choice.
The Verdict: I love this bike from Concept2. While it lacks the versatility of some of our other air bikes on our list, this one is perfect for cyclists. Of all the options on our list, this one is most like a true outdoor cycling experience.
In a market awash with choice, how do you decide what you need when it comes to an Air Bike? Here’s a few simple but important points that will help you pick the most suitable for you
The bike is very important, but there are other factors that may sway your decision. Take a look at the site – do they do sales regularly? A flash sale can save you hundreds of dollars on your purchase price.
Do they do free shipping? If you’re sending a large parcel a long way the costs can add up pretty quickly, so see if you can benefit from free shipping and save yourself a small fortune in the process!
How easy is assembly? If DIY isn’t your strong suit, you may end up with a problem on your hands. Take a look at what others have said about the assembly of the bike and go from there.
Warranty and after sales support is important. Even the companies with the highest manufacturing standards can sometimes less a duff product slip through the cracks. In case you’re the unlucky one, do they offer a great after sales service? It’s worth checking.
The market is awash with air bikes, but rather than waste your time reviewing bikes that are frankly, awful, I thought we’d go straight to the bikes that we thought were worthy of your hard-earned cash.
There’s no bad bike on this list–it’s a case of helping you decide which of the great bikes you should be going for.
The bikes included in this list are ranked based on a combination of build quality, features, price and overall usability. By combining the individual reviews with the features guide and the pricing information, you’ll be able to make a decision to suit your requirements.
In light of the above, I have to recommend the Rogue Echo Bike. It’s a class leader, it’s competitively priced and built to withstand anything you can throw at it.
Like all things Rogue, it’s a great air bike and you’ll really struggle to get a better quality product at the price. If I were you, I’d be placing an order right now!
If you’re looking for some great air bike workouts, I wrote this post on 3 air bike workouts that will challenge you and get you in great shape.