8 Best Air Bikes | March 2017
- ideal for all fitness levels
- stationary footrests
- seat is not so comfortable
- sturdy steel frame
- 250-pound weight capacity
- not ideal for taller users
- occupies minimal floorspace
- helpful manual included
- relatively quiet in use
- built-in water bottle holder
- seat is extremely thick and sturdy
- four levelers to ensure stability
- provides strong and even resistance
- seat is fully adjustable
- good user reviews
|Model||Assault Air Bike|
How Do I Select the Correct Air Bike For Me?
At a glance, the majority of air bikes look similar; same shape, same colors, same basic framework. But different bikes have different features, and different features can add up to a different overall design.
If you exercise casually and you have an average physique, any run-of-the-mill air bike should do you just fine. Assuming you're an athlete who has fitness goals, on the other hand, you're going to need an air bike that has a durable frame and adjustable ball bearings. That bike should weigh somewhere between 90 and 130 lbs.
If you're someone who enjoys monitoring every workout, you'll want a bike that offers a digital display (much like a treadmill), complete with time, distance, rpm, mph, resistance level, and more. In addition, you'll want the option of following several automated workouts, whether those workouts simulate intense inclines, or they guide you through a baseline flow.
The more your interest veers toward building muscle, the more you'll want an air bike that offers almost unlimited resistance settings. The more your interest veers toward building endurance, the more you'll want an air bike that features a comfortable seat and adjustable handles, along with a high-level fan that will circulate cool air for as long as you go.
How to Accomplish Your Fitness Goals On an Air Bike
If you're buying an air bike, chances are you're trying to build muscle, boost endurance, burn calories, or all three. The good news is an air bike can allow you to accomplish any or all of these goals. The better news is that an air bike can accommodate you based on your personal fitness level, or skill.
If you've chosen an air bike as a means of building calf or thigh muscles, the primary setting you're going be concerned with is the resistance. If you're just starting out, you'll want to keep the resistance level low (resistance can be adjusted by way of an air bike's digital settings, its ball bearings, or its gears). As you start to feel more comfortable, you can begin to tighten the resistance level, ever so slightly. Making a major leap in terms of resistance can - and very likely will - result in you developing a charley horse, or worse.
Let's say your interest is in building endurance. That being the case, you'll want to keep the resistance at a constant level. Your goals should be based on increasing the length of every workout, and perhaps the average distance, as well. You can chart your progress by documenting daily stats inside a notebook. You may be able to use a fitness app to monitor your workout statistics, as well.
One unique way to build both speed and endurance is by engaging in interval training. Interval training is based on splitting your workouts into more concentrated bursts. Instead of doing just one continuous 40-minute bike ride, for example, a person might do three 10-minute rides (with a minor break in between) at a slightly faster pace. Over time, interval training will condition your body to feel more comfortable while pushing a bit harder. Interval training is tremendous for cardiovascular fitness, but you should only do it once every few days.
A Brief History of The Air Bike
Stationary bikes have been in existence since the end of the 1700s. Air bikes, which represent a modern outgrowth of the stationary bike, came into their own during the 1970s, perhaps due to the popularity of resistance-based home gym equipment.
Air bikes generate resistance as a result of either magnets, or some level of air pressure facilitated by the gears or the fan. This pressure creates friction, the opposing force of which compels a rider to pedal harder. The goal, more often than not, becomes one of building strength by maintaining the same rpms despite the resistance pushing back.
What separates the air bike from its stationary contemporaries is the ability to focus on muscle-building (as opposed to just cardio), while also circulating a self-sustaining flow of air throughout any room. In addition, air bikes are generally designed with elliptical handles, which means that users can work their leg muscles in addition to their arms.
Air bikes became particularly marketable during the 1980s, as companies began to specialize in selling compact gym equipment for the home. Any apparatus that offered dual benefits (e.g., a fitness tower or a rowing machine) without taking up a lot of space represented a hot-ticket item. It's important to recognize that elliptical trainers weren't introduced until the 1990s, which meant that for a time air bikes remained one of the only resistance machines that coordinated upper- and lower-body movement.
Today, certain air bikes have been upgraded to include comprehensive digital displays and automated settings. You can still find air bikes in any public gym, and they continue to a viable piece of equipment for the home.