Air Bike Vs Spin Bike: Pros, Cons + Comparison

The main difference between air bikes and spin bikes is the type of the resistance. Air bikes use air fan to create resistance while spin bikes normally use a heavy flywheel and magnets to create resistance. On top of that, air bikes provide full body exercise while spin bikes only provide lower body exercise.

If you are looking for a stationary bike, particularly for domestic use, you need to make sure that you choose the correct model, one that is suitable for your exact needs. Since both spin bikes and air bikes help you in boosting your cardiac health, mood, and increasing lean muscle mass, they are highly popular among consumers as effective practical tools.

However, you should know that none of them is absolutely perfect. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of both air bikes and spin bikes, so that you can choose one that suits your practical needs.

Indoor Bike vs Air Bike Comparison Table

ComparisonAir BikeSpin Bike
WorkoutFull body ✅Lower body ❌
Full Body HIITYes ✅No ❌
NoiseLoud ❌Quiet ✅
ResistanceAir ❌Magnetic ✅
IntensitySelf-adjusting ❌Manually adjustable ✅
ComfortLess comfortable ❌More comfortable ✅
Price and TechnologyAffordable & Basic ✅More expensive & Advanced ❌
CaloriesMore ✅Less ❌
SpaceBulkier ❌More Compact ✅
WeightLighter ✅Heavier ❌

What’s an Air Bike?

exercise bike air resistance system

An air bike is a bicycle specifically intended for indoor use. They are also known as assault bikes or fan bikes. These bikes come with two notable features.

Movable Handlebars: The movable feature of the handlebars is perfect for you to train your shoulders, arms, and upper back.

Air Resistance: Air bikes are equipped with giant fans which get activated when you pedal and accordingly move the handlebars. The purpose of these fans is to create air resistance. When you pedal hard on your air bike, it significantly increases the air resistance that you push against. As a result, the mechanism helps you in toning your body at a faster pace.

What’s a Spin Bike?

best spin bike speed cadence sensors

Just like air bikes, spin bikes are also exercise bikes intended for indoor use. However, they come with a twist. You must have seen them on television across commercials, movies, and shows where a group of highly fit moms pedal hard on them, sitting in an upright position, with a charming coach training them from behind.

The first thing that you notice in the case of a spin bike is that it is categorically built for speed. You can feel this speed when you jump on them as a spin bike gives you the feeling of riding a racing bike outdoors.

The primary reason why a spin bike feels like a real bike is because of its flywheel design. But this name, ‘flywheel’ gives rise to unnecessary confusion as it sounds almost similar to a fan! However, this is not the case.

The concept that goes into the flywheel mechanism is the creation of resistance through a combination of magnetic belts and friction. As a result of this combination of components, you will experience significantly more resistance and therefore, you will have to push harder against it.

Fan Bike Vs Spin Bike: Advantages & Disadvantages

Air bikes reached their pinnacle of popularity in the ‘80s as a highly-effective aerobic workout tool. In fact, it was the Crossfit Movement that gave the air bikes their true visibility. This is because air bikes or assault bikes helped you immensely in training your entire body in an aggressive manner.

Since the fan bikes do not come equipped with any engine, you have to do all the hard work, in terms of creating air resistance and pushing hard against the resistance.

On the other hand, spin bikes are comparatively new on the block. You have become acquainted with them from the spin classes.
But because of a substantial number of people who started falling in love with the spin bikes, the manufacturers made them available for domestic use as well.

In fact, you can create a similar vibe of a spin class in your home, if you select a spin bike with pre-recorded training programs. While you watch the classes on the screen, you can push hard to burn more body fat.

Advantages of Air Bikes

  • The solid structure of air bikes allows heavy weight on them. People who weigh up to 350 or 450 lbs can train on them without any risk.
  • Since the air resistance is created by you on your air bike, you can work out effectively against your own strength, complimenting your fitness level. There is no need for overexertion.
  • Since air bikes do not have any engine, you can place them at any corner in your home, without having to worry about the outlet.
  • Air bikes allow you to train your upper body as well, and for that, you do not need any additional equipment.
  • Since air bikes allow you to conduct a full-body workout, you can increase your heart rate and burn more calories on them with very little effort. A workout session of 30 minutes on an air bike is more than enough to burn around 500 calories if you pedal hard.

Drawbacks of Air Bikes

  • Air bikes are heavy, sturdy, and come with huge fans. As a result, they take up a lot of space.
  • The top-quality models of air bikes are quite expensive.
  • The most annoying drawback of an air resistance exercise bike is the loud noise caused by the air fan.

Advantages of Spin Bikes

  • When it comes to high-intensity interval training, spin bikes are the best.
  • A session of 30 minutes on a spin bike can really burn the fat deposits in your body. After your body uses the stored glucose and carbs that are available to it, it naturally starts using the fat reserves of your body.
  • Spin bikes are noise-free.
  • Most spin bikes come with wide screens where you can watch your training programs. As a result, you can focus on your workout better and keep your motivation high.
  • Indoor cycling bike that with magnetic resistance system are much quieter than air bikes.

Drawbacks of Spin Bikes

  • Top models of Spin bikes are highly expensive.
  • Spin bikes like Nordictrack S22i come with many features that involve gadgets and technology. Therefore, you have to place them near plug points and you need to have a strong Wi-Fi connection.
  • Spin bikes need to be adjusted according to your body shape and size. This means you need to adjust the height of the seat, handlebars, and pedals if you do not want to experience body aches.

Conclusion: Assault Bike Vs Spin Bike: What You Should Get

Even after going through the pros and cons of both the bikes, if you are confused about which one to go for, let your practical needs guide you.

You can Choose an Air Bike if:

  • Your focus is on aerobic training with improved heart health and quick loss of calories.
  • You want a workout bike for your entire body without investing in any other equipment.
  • Space is not a problem for you with these heavy and large machines.
  • You do not want any additional technology-based equipment in your home and you are comfortable setting up your own workout station.

You can Choose a Spin Bike if:

  • Your focus is on interval training as this type of training not only improves your heart health and helps you lose weight but also, it improves your metabolism and decreases your body’s fat deposits.
  • Your preference is not a workout for your entire body but you want to tone your legs and be in shape.
  • Space is an issue in your home.
  • You want to keep your motivation high by watching training videos and programs while working out.

Robbie Ferri
Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri from “Riding with Robbie” has been cycling for almost ten years. In that time, he has broken World Records, Bikepacked all over the World, and also raced ultra distance at a top-level. Robbie picked up a bike and started cycling when he was about 25 years old and said it was the best thing he ever did. The experiences and the fun he’s had have given him a huge passion for helping inspire others to ride further, farther, and get fitter.