Air-Bikes Vs Spin Bikes

Air-Bikes Vs Spin Bikes

With brands such as Peloton and NordicTrack dominating the static bike market, it can be easy to think that spin bikes are the best in class when it comes to indoor cycling. However, that may not be the case, as Air-Bikes are still favoured by many athletes - and with good reason.

This blog will run through the great and not-so-great features of Air-Bikes and spin bikes, to help you decide what you need in your gym.

Or maybe a rower is more your thing? Check out our blog on Air-Rowers Vs Magnetic Rowers.

You can read more about the Air-Bike, and how it, and our other fan-driven cardio machines work, HERE in our blog: 'Air-Bike Vs Air-Rower Vs SkiErg Machine - What Should I Buy?'


Main Features:


Air-Bikes use a large flywheel fan at the front of the bike to generate air resistance as the user peddles. The build up of air resistance makes it harder for the fan to spin, which means it's harder for the user to peddle, and they have to work harder to keep it spinning and reach higher levels of resistance.

They also feature handles that you push and pull whilst you cycle, so you're also doing a full-body workout.

Spin Bikes

Spin bikes use either standard friction brakes (like on an outdoor bike), or for less maintenance, a magnetic brake. This works by the user either turning an adjustable knob or pressing buttons on the monitor to move the magnetic brake closer to the flywheel, which increases resistance and makes it harder to spin.

The static handles and the seat angled in a way that replicates racing on a road bike.


Air-Bikes - Pros

As there is no adjustable resistance or brake on the Air-Bike, all the resistance and how difficult it is to cycle is completely down to how much effort you put in and how hard you peddle. The harder you work, the tougher the bike will be to peddle!

Perfect for those short on time and for HIIT workouts; hop on and cycle at full capacity and don't worry about messing around with adjustable knobs and buttons.

The monitor features accurate live data recording, and also includes preset and custom interval programs that guide you through the workout. You can also create custom target programs where you set a time, distance, or a calories burnt target you have to reach.

The handles add an upper-body element to your workout that you don't get with a spin bike, which means you're training your whole body on an Air-Bike.

There's no need for an external power supply or Wi-Fi connection, just put batteries into the monitor and get going. This can be a massive plus for people in barns, garages and cabins.

Air-Bikes - Cons

Whilst some may like that the difficulty of the workout is down to how hard you cycle, it's not for everyone. It's very 'all-or-nothing'; you can't focus on strength by riding slowly with heavy resistance, or focus on speed by riding fast at low resistance.

The fan can create a 'whooshing' noise, especially at higher speeds. This is something you may need to consider before purchasing, but does show how intense your workout is! 

 The Rival Strength Air-Bike - Seat                    The Rival Strength Air-Bike - Handles                    The Rival Strength Air-Bike - Fan

Spin Bikes - Pros

The spin bike offers a 'realistic' cycling experience. Use the adjustable resistance like gears, with a static handle that means you can use your legs like on a regular bike. 

Great workout presets such as interval, time trial, target speed/distance etc. Some more expensive bikes also offer live spin sessions and data sharing so you can compete with other users.

Spin Bikes - Cons

Static handles means the bike is solely designed for lower-body workouts, while this can be a positive for some, others may see this as a disadvantage. Static handles are great if you exclusively want to train your legs and build cardio, but it also means you're going to have to find another piece of kit to train everything else.

The constant adjustment can be quite frustrating, especially if you're trying to find the perfect resistance level for your workout. And it can be hard to find your true maximum, as you could find yourself changing resistance levels fairly frequently.

The more expensive bikes that allow for data sharing and live spin sessions require it to be plugged into a mains socket, and they also need a Wi-Fi connection, so you've got to choose it's location carefully. You'll also need to pay for a monthly subscription PLUS the bike to enjoy the live sessions and data sharing.


So, which is best?

There's no real definitive answer to whether an Air-Bike or spin bike is best. It all depends on how you want to use it, and what your fitness goals are. 

If you want to push yourself to the limit and get a full-body workout, then the Air-Bike is the one for you. Using the handles whilst you peddle trains practically every muscle in your body, and there's no slacking either, you have to put in the effort to get that fan spinning, the faster you go the harder it gets, and the fitter you'll become.

But if you want a cycling experience that's more like genuine road cycling, then go for a spin bike. The adjustable resistance makes it great for LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) training, for training cardio at a consistent speed, or for building strength at a slower pace with heavier resistance. The data sharing and live spin sessions are a great bonus too - if you can afford them as many companies will charge a monthly subscription for these services.


Made your decision? The Rival Strength Air-Bike is currently £50 OFF! Click HERE to get yourself one and start smashing your goals.