The Assault AirBike Elite is the upgraded version of the highly popular Assault AirBike. You know, the fan bike used worldwide by the military, professional athletes, and in Crossfit competitions. Yeah, well as if the classic version wasn’t tough enough, Assault Fitness decided to up the ante with the Elite model.
Improvements were made to the handlebars, display console, and seat to name a few. Not to mention this bike is heavier and more durable than the AirBike Classic.
This all sounds great, but do these improvements justify the higher asking price? Do these improvements make the Assault AirBike Elite the most excellent home exercise bike on the planet? I’m hoping to answer these questions for you and more with this thorough review.
Product: Assault AirBike Elite, Grey
Warranty: 5-year frame, 3-year parts, 1-year labor
My rating: 10/10
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What Is An Air Bike?
Air bikes, also known as fan bikes, make up their category in the home exercise bike world. They get their name from the fact that they use air to produce the resistance you are working against. Well, more specifically, it’s the fans attached to the flywheel pushing against the wind that creates the resistance.
They’ve been around for about 40 years- Schwinn created the first airdyne (their version of the air bike) bike in the late ’70s. They seemed to disappear for a while, but have made a comeback in the last decade or so.
This is likely due to the rising popularity of Crossfit and HIIT style workouts.
These high-intensity workout styles have started using air bikes because these types of bikes can offer infinite resistance. That’s right, the harder you pedal, the more resistance you get. This allows you to crank up the intensity, making them perfect for interval training.
Air bikes also offer a full body workout with the inclusion of handlebars for your arms. This is one advantage air bikes have over most other exercise bikes.
It also makes you burn a lot more calories than a traditional upright exercise bike. More calories burned means more fat burned, which leads to weight loss- one of the primary exercise goals for a lot of people.
I guess it makes sense that they are making a comeback, they have a lot to offer. But, that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone. If you aren’t interested in intense workouts or don’t like interval training, you should probably consider another type of bike.
If you are looking for an exercise bike to mimic the feel of riding on a road bike, this isn’t the right bike for you either (you should be looking at spin bikes).
The Assault AirBike Elite
As the name implies, this is an air bike. It’s also produced by Assault Fitness, a division of the LifeCORE Fitness company that is based out of California and primarily produces bikes and rowers.
Assault Fitness only makes three products: the 2 AirBike models and an innovative treadmill that might surprise you.
Assault Fitness’s goal is to make fitness equipment that is designed to last. Products that are built tough to withstand taking punishment from elite athletes for years. Their AirBike Elite is the perfect representation of that mission statement.
It’s been mentioned that the resistance is provided by spinning fans. This system is excellent because it allows for infinite resistance. As you get stronger and can pedal harder, you will meet more resistance from the AirBike. It’s impossible to outgrow this bike because the resistance will grow with you.
Ball bearings have been placed at pretty much every moving joint to improve durability and to make operation smoother.
Some people like the swishing sound and fresh air in their face when working out on a fan bike. I’m a fan of the fan…sorry, I couldn’t resist.
But in case you don’t like all that fresh air coming at you, Assault Fitness included a windshield to block some of this air from crashing into you during your workout. It’s removable if you do like to feel the air.
The AirBike Elite’s frame is made out of solid steel. The seat post is solid aluminum. The cranks are solid steel as well. There’s also a coat on the frame to resist corrosion from all the sweating you will be doing on it. Long-story-short: this bike is built like a tank.
Speaking of which, this bike weighs a whopping 138 lb fully assembled! The AirBike Elite is big and heavy- and it was built like this on purpose. The extra weight gives it more durability and allows you to feel more stable on it during use.
Fan bikes, much like spin bikes, are notorious for having uncomfortable seats. They are small, hard, and just outright painful to sit on for extended rides. The seat on the AirBike Elite is nothing fancy. Users don’t seem to mind from a comfort point of view.
The critical thing to know about the seat is that it is fully adjustable. You can adjust the height and horizontal position (fore/aft) of the seat easily by pulling a pin.
Having a fully adjustable seat is essential to ensure proper fitting during your workout, and not all fan bikes offer this feature. For example, the AD7 is the only airdyne bike that provides a fully adjustable seat.
You’ll also notice how thick and solid the seat post is on the AirBike Elite (solid aluminum). You shouldn’t have to worry about any wobbling or unwanted movement during your workouts.
Although this bike receives very few complaints, the ones it does get are usually regarding the console. Most users are surprised by how simple it is. There is nothing fancy here, but most people that are using this bike aren’t looking for a bunch of unnecessary bells and whistles. They are looking for a world-class workout.
The console is compatible with both ANT+ and Bluetooth heart rate monitors. This ensures that no matter what kind of heart rate monitor you are using, odds are it will work with the AirBike Elite.
It does have built-in workout programs for intervals, heart rate, and goal oriented results. Just keep in mind that the workout programs don’t control the resistance during the workouts, they tell you what to do (like a sprint for 20 sec, etc.). The resistance is directly controlled by how hard you pedal.
Most users agree putting the Assualt AirBike Elite together is relatively straightforward. Most people can do so in 1-2 hrs depending on how handy you are and if you have assistance or not. It’s possible for one person to assemble by themselves, keep in mind that this bike is heavy, so it is a little cumbersome to move until you attach the stabilizers with the transport wheels.
All of the necessary tools are included, except for Philip’s head screwdriver. Make sure you keep all of the provided tools so you can perform the recommended maintenance (making sure everything stays tight).
Users are also happy that everything fits together with the way it is supposed to. This is a testament to how well built and well designed the AirBike Elite is.
This bike has a weight capacity of 350 lb. This is a high weight capacity for a home exercise bike, and it competes with a lot of the commercial machines. High-quality bikes should have max weight limits in the 300 – 350 lb range, so well done Assault.
Plus keep in mind the kind of intense exercise you are doing on this type of bike. It has to be built like a tank to withstand a 350 lb athlete cranking on it during those HIIT workouts.
Heavy-duty, solid steel frame
Fully adjustable seat that ensures the proper fit regardless of your size
Multi-grip handlebars allow you to switch up your grip during your workouts
Removable windshield included
The console is ANT+ and Bluetooth heart rate monitor compatible
350 lb weight capacity- perfect for larger users
Built-in transport wheels to make moving the bike easier
Console lacking hi-tech features
Final Thoughts on the Assualt AirBike Elite
We’ve taken a pretty comprehensive look at the Assault AirBike Elite. We’ve also compared it to the original AirBike to see how much of a difference there is and whether or not those differences justify the extra cash.
The Assualt AirBike Elite is a beast of an exercise bike. It’s built tough with the extra heavy frame and reinforced ball bearings at every moving joint.
It also has a fully adjustable seat, multi-grip handlebars, an impressive weight capacity, and a solid warranty backing it up. This is a Crossfit athlete’s dream fitness bike, capable of providing the most intense workouts you can fathom.
Is it the best exercise bike in the world? Yeah, probably. It’s the best fan bike on the market. Overall, it’s one hell of a bike.
I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have anything that you’d like to share or any opinions on any of the content on my site, please do speak up. I look forward to your comments, questions and the sharing of ideas.
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