A woman on an air bikeShare on Pinterest

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Perhaps because of the pandemic, more people are investing in at-home workout equipment. It’s hard to top the functionality, reduced commute time, and ease of working out in your own home if you have the space.

Air bikes are a popular equipment choice for many, especially in the CrossFit community. An air bike is essentially a cross between a traditional exercise bike and an elliptical. With an air bike, you can simultaneously work out the top and lower half of your body and get your heart rate up.

Read more to see if this bike is for you.

If you’re looking for a full-body workout, air bikes make a great option. Air bikes also work well if you’re looking to do a quick HIIT workout that spikes your heart rate. With an air bike, it’s possible to work up a sweat and burn fat efficiently in just 10 to 20 minutes.

This type of bike doesn’t have any preprogrammed options. Instead, you create resistance by pedaling. The faster you pedal, the faster the wheel blades rotate and the more resistance you generate. These bikes are generally less expensive than other types of stationary bikes.

An air bike may be a good choice if you live in a small space, as most are compact and foldable. “Other pieces of workout equipment might be more ‘effective,’ but they require way more pieces of equipment — barbells need plates, dumbbells only have one weight. But with the bike you can do multiple workouts,” says certified personal trainer Kidd Campbell.

Air bikes are also a great workout option for those undergoing physical therapy or rehabilitation since they’re low impact and the rider can go at their own pace.

All that said, If you’re looking to keep just your legs moving and have online programming done for you, Campbell recommends sticking to a standard stationary bike instead of an air bike.

Compared to other pieces of fitness equipment, there aren’t many air bike models on the market. This is good if you tend to have decision fatigue, but it also means that there isn’t that much variety in price points.

Cheaper bikes tend to be made of cheap plastics, which makes them less sturdy and more prone to breaking down after continued use.

“You should get a bike that’s high quality and has fewer moving parts. If you have a chain, you’ll have to do more maintenance than if you have a belt, for example,” says Campbell. “Don’t skimp on price. I wouldn’t buy a $400 bike if there’s a $700 higher quality option available, because the more expensive one is going to last you a lot longer and have fewer maintenance costs.”

Campbell recommends looking for a bike that’s sturdy, belt driven, durable, and easy to maintain. “If you want the screen to track anything, it should show meters and calories so you have something to measure,” he says.

We took the following into consideration when selecting our picks:

  • anecdotal advice from real personal trainers
  • user reviews
  • shape, grip, and overall quality
  • brand reputation
  • a variety of cost to choose from

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $700
  • $$ = $701–$999
  • $$$ = over $1,000

Best overall

The Assault AirBike Elite

  • Price: $$$

Assault Fitness focuses on two things: air bikes and treadmills. The Assault AirBike Elite uses spinning fans to create unlimited resistance, meaning that you can’t outgrow the bike. Compared to the chain drive on other AssaultBikes, this Elite model’s belt drive is quieter and requires less maintenance.

This solid steel air bike weighs 138 pounds, so it’s quite big and heavy. The company says it was built this way so that users feel more stable while using it, and to create a smooth and natural ride. This bike offers a removable windshield for those who want to block the fan’s air during their workout.

Best for rehabilitation

Schwinn Airdyne AD7

  • Price: $$

Schwinn products are known to be durable and come with long warranties. The company is also well known for great customer service.

This may be a great bike if you have an injury since you can create high levels of strain in short periods of time with no knee pain. You can also use it to leisurely ride at a low resistance level. This bike also comes with nine options of at-home workout programming, including interval workouts, heart rate zone monitoring, distance targets, time, and calories.

Reviewers say they like this bike because they can go at their own pace depending on their energy levels. Reviewers have also said it’s a great machine for older adults.

Best for total body training

XTERRA Fitness AIR650 Airbike Pro

  • Price: $$

This upright exercise bike is built for nearly everyone with its moving arm bars. Although the bike isn’t foldable, it’s pretty compact, allowing it to fit in small spaces.

It also comes with an LCD performance monitor display that tracks your rpm, speed, time, distance, calories, watts, interval prompt, and heart rate. Many reviewers agree that it is a solid, durable, and quality piece of equipment.

Best for beginners

Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike

  • Price: $

While many budget bikes are made of cheap plastics, this Marcy bike is constructed from 14-gauge steel tubing. The LCD screen tracks speed, distance, time, and calories. Reviewers claim that this no-frills model is a decent bike for the price, but that it could use a few improvements.

Best for those looking for a challenge

Octane Fitness Airdyne ADX Fan Bike

  • Price: $$$

This bike is versatile enough for high intensity interval training (HIIT), warming up, and cooling down. It’s easy to assemble, has a commercial grade reinforced crank and single-stage belt drive. A 27-inch fan means that the bike can keep up with your hard work in terms of air resistance.

The console is designed for easy use, tracking performance in heart rate, rpm, distance, watts, and calories. Because the bike is commercial grade, it is sturdy and durable enough to last you a long time.

Most robust

Rogue Echo Bike

  • Price: $$

This bike is a known favorite in the CrossFit community because of its belt drive, which results in quick stops and low maintenance. The monitor is designed for easy use, the seat is adjustable, and the fan blades are made of pieces of formed aluminum unlike the plastic found on some other bikes.

This bike is larger than others on the market, but due to its size, it’s considered stronger and sturdier.

Best budget bike

Body Rider BRF700

  • Price: $

This built-in belt drive bike is for someone looking to dip their toes into the air bike space without putting too much money down.

This bike is lower in cost and adjustable. However, if you like to ride daily, with intensity, or for long periods of time, this may not be the bike for you. It’s not as sturdy or high quality as some of its competitors.

There are many options for everyone in search of an air bike. Choosing the best air bike for you really depends on your budget and space, though it may be worth spending the extra money for a higher quality bike that will last.

Iman Balagam is a writer based in Houston, Texas. When she’s not laughing at her own jokes or buying overpriced chia pudding, she can be found reading fiction novels, catching a cycling class, doomscrolling through TikTok, or waiting for her delayed Spirit flight to board. You can see more of her work on her website.