The 3 Best Air Bike for CrossFit in 2021 [Assault Bike vs Schwinn vs Xebex]


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Finding the best assault bike for CrossFit comes down to several factors.

First and foremost, you need a tool that can get the job done. Other air bikes designed for low-intensity steady state cardio are not going to get the job done.

That said, this piece of equipment varies greatly in price. So you’ll also want to look for maximum value and understand what you’re getting at various price points.

Here’s a breakdown of the best air bikes in CrossFit in 2021. Use this guide to make an informed purchasing decision for your gym!

 Product's nameMore Info
Best Overall
Rogue Echo Bike
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Best Runner Up
Schwinn Airdyne Bike Series
View on Amazon
Best Budget Option
Schwinn Airdyne AD2 bike
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Budget Option
Sunny Health & Fitness Air Bike
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Solid Alternative
Xebex Air Bike
View Latest Price
Cheaper Alternative
Rogue Assault Bike Pro
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Another CrossFit Name
Concept 2 Bike Erg
View Latest Price

What To Look For in an Air Bike

There are several things to look for when buying the best assault bike for CrossFit.

This piece of equipment used to be a commodity for CrossFit gyms, let alone home gyms. Now, it’s a staple piece of gear for all types of fitness facilities and home workout areas. 

  • Design and durability. The majority of CrossFit workouts that utilize the assault bike have you gripping and ripping. In the heat of an EMOM, bike sprint, or “for time” workout, you don’t want to worry about your machine breaking or getting damaged. This equipment isn’t cheap, so you want something that’s going to last.
  • Maintenance. Some airbikes (especially older ones with chain drives) require maintenance every few times you ride them. Deciding how handy you are (or how willing you are to learn) before you buy is a good idea.
  • Overall value. Assault bikes for CrossFit are a steep investment. Everyone’s budget is different, so figuring out your needs and what you’re getting at each price point is key. Saving even $100 on a similar piece of equipment would enable you to get another piece of gear.
  • Monitor. Air bikes not made for CrossFit might not measure calories or meters the same way. This could mess with your workout stimulus and make you regret purchasing a cheap bike. 
  • Added tech. Some assault bikes have cool, newer functionalities, like bluetooth pairing to your heart rate monitor. It’s definitely a bell/whistle for most, but still good to consider when buying.
  • Warranty/maintenance plan. Most pieces of equipment come with a guaranteed warranty or maintenance plan. If you’re buying new, make sure you know what this covers and how much it costs. Is it a one-time payment, lumped into the price, or an ongoing charge?

Benefits of the Assault Bike for Crossfit

Any CrossFit athlete that’s ever used an assault bike will tell you that airbike workouts are no joke.

If you’re looking to develop serious cardio fitness and lower body endurance, you need an assault bike. Other benefits include:

  • Low impact training (great for anyone with injuries that prevent running or rowing)
  • Burns tons of calories
  • Metabolic advantages for fat loss. Studies show high-intensity workouts performed on equipment like the airbike could increase calorie expenditure for up to 14 hours after exercise.
  • More WOD options
  • Great for challenge tools and fitness assessments 

The Assault bike is so difficult because resistance actually increases as you pedal. 

Unlike a rower or other cardio machines, it’s very difficult to create momentum and ride the wave. You earn every calorie.

duffalo bar

Best Overall

#1 – Rogue Echo Bike

There’s a reason Rogue is the largest fitness manufacturer worldwide. They may quality products that work for a variety of fitness disciplines, especially CrossFit.

The Rogue Echo bike was designed specifically for high-intensity exercise. In 2021, it’s the gold standard of assault bikes for CrossFit.

Pros

  • Incredible durability. The Echo bike is Rogue’s reimagined 2.0 airbike. It’s a much improved version of their original product, which very much struggles in this area. (See “The Competition” below.)
  • Killer for CrossFit WODs. Any athlete, new or experienced can tell you working out on the Echo Bike is not for the faint of heart. You’ll really boost your fitness gains with this piece of equipment.
  • 350lb weight limit. This is much higher (100+ pounds) than other bikes we reviewed.
  • Quiet.
  • Cheaper in bulk. Buying 2 or more pieces of equipment (if shopping for your gym) reduces the price per unit.

Cons

  • Very large. It’s as stable as an airbike for CrossFit gets. But this equipment is wider and larger than the others on this list.
  • More difficult to ride than other bikes. You could argue this is a benefit for your fitness. But it’s harder to generate power on the Echo bike and almost impossible to ride the momentum. Get ready to work your butt off.
  • Price. There are more expensive options, but the Echo bike is by no means cheap.
SCHWINN AD7 Airdyne Bike

Best Runner Up

#2- SCHWINN AD7 Airdyne Bike

See latest price

Schwinn makes a quality product with flexible pricing based on your needs. 

The Schwinn Airdyne Pro (the most expensive model) is perfect for CrossFit. It was actually used at the 2015 CrossFit games.

Pros

  • Multiple pricing options (both up and down). The line of Schwinn Airdyne bikes gives you 4 options to choose from. 
  • Comprehensive monitor options. A big display monitor that tests all areas of fitness, with bluetooth capabilities for your fitness tracker.
  • 350lbs weight capacity. It’s smaller than the Echo bike but still graded the same. Impressive.
  • Available on Amazon prime (2-day shipping).
  • Solid warranty. 5 years on the frame, range of 1 to 3 years on parts depending on the product.

Cons

  • Same common user issues. Reviewers say the belt begins rubbing against the wheel after some time and can cause fraying. Users had mixed success when contacting for support. (Many were given refunds.)
  • Bad seat for cheaper options. A comfortable seat is key, especially if you plan to do longer WODs or endurance training. Apparently the cheaper ones come with a bad seat.
Schwinn AD2 Airdyne Bike

Best Budget Option

#3- Schwinn AD2 Airdyne Bike

See latest price

The cheapest option in the Schwinn Airdyne line, the AD2 still gives CrossFitters everything they need to get the job done. 

It’s a solid piece of equipment that costs about half what the Rogue Echo does. And it comes with a good warranty.

Pros

  • Quiet belt
  • Infinite resistance levels
  • Payment plan options. Amazon lets some customers pay it off over 6 months.

Cons

  • Limited warranty
  • Limited display readouts
  • Maximum 250lbs
  • Batteries for monitor not included
  • Some reviewers say it develops a “knocking” sound after several uses

The Competition 

Here are some other assault bikes for CrossFit that you might consider for your home gym or facility. They didn’t top the list, but may be worth considering for other reasons.

Budget Option Sunny Health & Fitness Air Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness Zephyr Air Bike, Fan Exercise Bike with Unlimited Resistance and Device Mount - SF-B2715, Black

Budget Option

Sunny Health & Fitness Zephyr Air Bike, Fan Exercise Bike with Unlimited Resistance and Device Mount...

See latest price

If you’re really just looking for a cheap piece of equipment with good reviews, the Sunny Health & Fitness Airbike might do the trick. 

The Sunny is very quiet, making it ideal for home gyms attached to bedrooms or anyone who works out early in the morning. It also has over 1500 reviews that average 4 stars and not many bad reviews. That’s pretty impressive for the price point.

It’s under $200 and arrives in 2 days from Amazon. Some users may also be qualified for 6 months of payments with no interest if desired.

Why it didn’t make the cut: Basically, you get what you pay (or don’t pay) for. Reviewers biggest complaint is that the bike wears down over time. In the event that you need a new part, you might have difficulty obtaining it. The company that sells the bike apparently only does email customer service and isn’t very quick to reply.

Solid CrossFit Air Bike Alternative: Xebex Air Bike

Xebex Air Bike

Solid Alternative

Xebex Air Bike

Xebex is not a household name in the CrossFit community. But there’s still a lot to like about their line of air bikes.

Like the Echo and Schwinn, it’s got a 350lb weight rating and great durability ratings. It’s also got a slick design that might be favorable to some over the Rogue and Schwinn offerings.

They also offer discounts for gym owners, military, police, and bulk orders.

Why it didn’t make the cut: It’s sort of a tweener bike. You can get most of the features Xebex offers at a lower price point. And for just a few bucks more, you can get the standard Rogue or Schwinn options. Overall, though, it’s a solid assault bike that will meet most of your needs.

A Cheaper Rogue Alternative: Rogue Assault Bike Pro

Rogue Assault Bike Pro

Cheaper Alternative

Rogue Assault Bike Pro

The majority of CrossFitters call the airbike the Assault bike because of this piece of equipment. It’s like the “Kleenex” or “Tupperware” of CrossFit gear in that way.

Rogue discontinued their original model, but the Pro and Elite options are still available. Surprisingly, they’re more expensive than the Echo.

Rogue’s new Assault Bike Elite actually costs a pretty penny—$1299 for a new one.

Why it didn’t make the cut: It utilizes an old chain-drive system, which means constant maintenance on your part. 

If you’ve ever used an assault bike at a CrossFit gym, you probably noticed they sometimes wobble when you’re going for max calories. Not ideal for a WOD. They’ve made improvements on the newer models, but you might as well get the Echo and save cash.

Also, not for nothing, but you can probably get a used version of the original Rogue Assault bike for a quarter on the dollar by searching local community pages for fitness equipment. Many gyms are selling theirs to make way for the Pro and Echo.

Another Household CrossFit NameConcept 2 Bike Erg

Concept 2 Bike Erg

Household CrossFit

Concept 2 Bike Erg

CrossFitters swear by the Concept 2 erg for all their rowing needs. This innovative machine offers the same great design and familiar feel as a rower, just as a bike.

If you like the Ski or Row erg, this might be an awesome piece of gear for your home gym. 

Why it didn’t make the cut: It’s more expensive than most of the items on this list. Plus, it’ll feel less like an Assault bike and more like a hybrid of a bike and a rower—but if that doesn’t bother you, then go for it.

Assault Bike CrossFit WODs

Here are some CrossFit Air bike workouts to try once your new gear arrives. Get ready to enter the pain cave!

1. One Minute Assault Bike Challenge

Set a clock for 60 seconds:

Assault bike, max calories

Can you beat 80 calories in one minute?


Oh, and keep a trash can nearby. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

2. Assault Diane

21-15-9

225lb deadlifts
Handstand push-ups
Assault bike calories

3. Airbike EMOM Workout

Every 5 minutes on the minute for 30 minutes (6 sets)

Row 200m
Run 400m
Max assault bike calories in 30 seconds

Use the remainder of the time to recover.

4. Assault Bike AMRAP WOD

AMRAP 20:
12 Thrusters, 95lbs
24 Assault bike calories
36 double unders

5. Assault Bike Mental Toughness WOD

10 Rounds :
20 Assault bike calories
Double kettlebell front rack hold, 30 seconds (53/35lbs)

Rest 45 seconds in between rounds.

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About Julien

Hey! Thanks for being here. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 5 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!

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