You want to start working out at home and are wondering if an air bike is the right choice? Let’s find out if air bikes are suitable for you and which options are the best.
An air/fan bike is suitable for beginners because the resistance is always perfectly matched to your power output, the movement is easy to perform and it provides a full body workout that can help you improve cardiovascular health, lose weight and tone your muscles.
A more in depth explanation and recommendations for specific models can be found below.
Are Air bikes suitable for beginners?
An air bike (sometimes known as an “assault” bike) is a stationary exercise bike that creates resistance by spinning an air blade. Most models have foot pedals as well as arm levers for a full body workout.
Moving the foot pedals and levers spins the fan blade. The faster you try to spin the fan blade, the higher the resistance becomes. The fan blade will spin up to where the resistance is the same as the effort/power you put into it.
But is it suitable for beginners? Let’s look at a few different factors;
Air resistance goes up exponentially with speed so when you try to go faster, it becomes exponentially harder. This means you have pretty much ‘infinite’ resistance because you’ll run into your limits of how much power you can put out when going fast. And unless you’re superman, you’re not going to overcome air resistance on your air bike.
That might not sound like it’s suitable for beginners but it actually is. Because the maximum resistance is always matched to the maximum power output you can produce, it doesn’t matter how much power you can actually produce.
And beginners are not beginners for a long time. After a few weeks of regular workouts, you’ll be able to produce way more power than in the beginning. So then it’s nice that the maximum resistance of the machine just scales with your capability.
Of course you don’t always work out at maximum effort. But because there is no resistance setting you just start moving slightly slower and it will become easier because the fan blade has less resistance.
For beginners, there shouldn’t be any complicated movement patterns. If it’s difficult to do, it’s more likely you’ll only try once or twice and then put the air bike in the corner to collect dust.
The movement pattern of an air bike is very easy to get. There two main parts to the movement;
- Lower body
- Upper body
The lower body pushes on the foot pedals just like a bicycle. And you don’t even have to know how to ride a real bicycle because you don’t have to worry about stability.
The upper body alternatingly pushes and pulls on the lever arms. That’s also not a difficult part to get right. Combining the two at the same time might feel a little weird in the beginning but after a few minutes, you’ll get the hang of it.
Learning to work out on an air bike is much easier and faster than learning how to properly run on a treadmill.
Of course we all work out for a reason. Sure, you feel good afterwards but most people want to see more results than just that.
Most people work out to;
- Lose weight
- Improve their overall health
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Build some muscle
An air bike can do all of those things if used properly. If you work hard, an air bike gets your heart pumping and burn a lot of calories. Because an air bike uses both the upper and lower body, you use a lot of muscle mass at the same time. This means more blood has to be pumped around which is good for cardiovascular health and burns a lot of calories which helps with weight loss.
If you work out at a very high intensity you can see some muscle growth as well. It’s not like you can get a bodybuilder physique just by working out on an air bike but you’ll see some toning in your arms, legs, chest and back and a flatter belly.
As a complete beginner, you don’t want to spend too much money on something because you’re not yet sure if you’ll stick with it.
There is a difficulty there though. You don’t want to spend too much but at the same time you also want to get something you don’t have to immediately replace when you do keep using it.
Air bikes are available from $200 to about $1500. The $200 ones work but aren’t something you’d expect to last a long time. If you’ve got the money, getting a bike around $700 is a good idea. For that amount of money, you get a high quality bike that will last you a very long time and can grow with your abilities.
At the same time, a bike for around that price is much easier to resell if you would want to get rid of it. Getting an air bike from a well-known brand helps a lot with selling later on.
Best air bikes for beginners
So air bikes are suitable for beginners and advanced exercisers. Which means it’s a really good option to get for your home gym because it can stay with you for a long time. For that reason getting a good one is a good idea. A good air bike doesn’t cost as much as a high quality treadmill or elliptical trainer which is another benefit.
So let’s look at the best air bikes for beginners and more advanced exercisers below.
Assault air bike
The original. This bike was the first (popular) air bike. It’s the reason why sometimes all air bikes are called “assault” bikes. This brand has a few different models. The bottom of the range “classic” model is actually great for a home gym.
The higher end models look a bit nicer and have a slightly higher user weight limit (300 vs. 350 lbs.). However, for a home gym, this isn’t really necessary. You’ll get all the benefits and features you want with the classic model.
Another benefit of this bike is that it is seen as the original. This means it’ll keep a little more value if you’d want to sell it later on.
Titan Fan bike
If you want to use your air bike outside, this is a solid choice. It has two pretty large wheels on the front so it’s very easy to move around, even over a surface that’s not perfectly flat. It’s very similar in looks, features and price to the Assault Classic. The biggest difference is that this one is better suited for use outdoors.
Schwinn produces a whole range of fan bikes from relatively cheap to expensive. None of their models is a bad choice, it just depends on what you need and expect.
The higher you go in the range, the bigger the fan blades get, the stronger the frame (and thus the higher the user weight limit). The information displays get bigger and nicer and the better they look.
If you’re just looking to try out fan bikes and maybe upgrade later, the AD2 is a good choice, if you’re looking for something that can last you for the next 20 years, the AD7 is for you.
For the majority of people, the mid-range AD6 provides a good balance of quality, features and price.