Air Bike vs Spin Bike for Weight Loss. Which one is better?
Exercise bikes are a staple in just about every gym and are ones you can even set up in your own home. Despite both having similar functions for burning calories and body fat, they each have several features that set them apart.
If you’re planning to lose some weight using exercise bikes, here is a run through on indoor cycling and the two popular types of bikes that are used for it: the air bike and spin bike. Take a look at some of the features and basic functionality of each and see which option best fits you before choosing the kind of bike you will need.
An Overview Of Indoor Cycling
Indoor cycling is a type of cardiovascular exercise that, like road cycling, is often done in a group setting. Indoor cycling uses a specific type of stationary bike known as a spin bike, though the terms “spinning” and “spin bikes” are trademarked brand names.
Cycling classes and workouts are extremely challenging, and like with all types of cardiovascular training, cycling can improve heart and lung function as well as body composition. One benefit found in a study1 on women and indoor cycling is that it further improved lipid metabolism in women with obesity, and reduced levels of the inflammatory marker c-reactive protein (CRP).
What Is An Air Bike?
An air bike is an exercise bike with a giant fan bike on the front. Because of these features, these bikes are sometimes referred to as fan bikes.
These bikes are also equipped with handlebars and pedals for exercising. The fan blades turn to provide air resistance while you pedal and move the handlebars.
As a result, the air resistance makes it harder to move the pedals, allowing you to work against growing air resistance. This causes air bikes to be ideal for aerobic workouts.
What distinguishes an air bike is that it works both your upper and lower body simultaneously. All muscles in your legs, arms, and abdomen are worked out while riding a fan bike.
This, combined with a full-body workout, also stimulates your heart and lungs, boosting cardiac health. These bikes are also excellent exercises if you are someone who has knee problems or who wants to avoid straining their knees.
Air Bike: Qualities and Features To Look For
Stable Ride Quality
It would be best if you began with the ride quality. Even if it is propelled by manual effort, there should never be a hitch while cycling. Throughout your full-body workout, it should spin smoothly and provide complete control.
Anything less than this will leave you feeling lacking in your workout, which will interfere with your training program. The best air bike should always offer an entire body exercise based on how hard you pedal. The more you pedal, the more resistance you will face. When you begin to feel weary and do less pedaling, the resistance will decrease.
You’ll always want a decent list of full-body workouts at your disposal that will allow you to maximize how things are done. Nothing is worse than not having a proper on-demand activity.
The advantages of air bikes include:
- Multiple Body Workout Options To Choose From
- Easy to Set Up
- Ideal for Beginners and Experienced Riders
A quality air bike will provide you with a variety of on-demand body workouts to pick from. You’ll be able to choose the best suited to your training requirements to get the most out of your cycling sessions.
A good display monitor is always good, and it will enhance the experience. If you plan on working out regularly, you’ll want to be able to choose between a beautiful monitor that displays useful real-time statistics.
Benefits Of Air Bike
- The air resistance system ensures that the intensity and level of air resistance you can achieve on an air bike are not limited.
- A full-body workout is ensured with moving handlebars. Even better, if you have a leg injury and cannot pedal, place your feet on the pegs and only use the handlebars.
- They can support heavier loads since they are frequently well-built, robust, and sturdy machines. Most air bikes can carry riders weighing up to 350 pounds.
- Non-impact workouts eliminate joint pain and injury risks associated with running exercises.
- It is simple and easy to use. The faster you go, the more difficult it becomes. Easy!
Who Should Consider An Air Bike?
While beginners can hop into an air bike, it is ideal for an experienced rider. These people are passionate about advanced training programs like CrossFit and desire to put in maximum effort during each workout.
If that is important to you, a no-nonsense air bike will win you over. If you wish for something more convenient then you might want the other type of bike which is the spin bike.
However, it only sometimes allows you to go all out without making continual adjustments. The same cannot be said for the air bike, which again, is significantly dependent on the amount of power you put into it.
Is It Worth Buying An Air Bike?
A fan bike is a must-have if you want to do HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercise and lose fat quickly. Simultaneously working for various muscle groups on a cycle successfully burns more calories rapidly. It is ideal for home cardio training with minimal fitness equipment and can be done at any time of day.
What Is A Spin Bike?
Spin bikes are a common type of stationary bike. They incorporate a flywheel system that simulates cycling on various sorts of terrain. They have thin seats, much like a standard bike.
You can choose to exercise sitting or standing on it, depending on its inclination. This enables more effective leg exercise than air or recumbent bikes. Many people prefer indoor cycling to working out in the quiet of their home gym.
Spin Bike: Qualities And Features To Look For
Good Tech Features
To acquire a new spin bike, you must consider technological characteristics. To customize the workout session, these bikes should provide several adjustment options, real-time statistics, and the ability to flip through different functions.
Multiple Resistance Settings
To enjoy the workout regimen, the resistance settings must be varied. If you are just beginning out, you will have a different routine than an experienced cyclist.
Switching between different resistance levels is ideal for a decent workout session and makes it more gratifying in the long run. Among the advantages are:
- Seamless Adjustments Between Resistance Levels
- Complete Customization
- Easy to Stop
If your goal is to power through a meaningful workout, it’s best to start riding a bike with these features. A quality spin bike is going to ensure there is a multitude of workout settings to choose from right away.
Compact and Foldable Design
Because of the fan, air bikes are impossible to fold, while the spin bike is not. You can fold the most powerful spin bikes easily while enjoying the compact design.
This is ideal if you live in the middle of a tiny flat and want to get the most out of each workout without taking up too much space. When it comes to new-age spin bikes, a small and foldable design is a huge bonus.
Benefits Of Spin Bike
- The fixed wheel makes it simple to master the proper pedaling technique.
- Spin cycles are ideal for an actual HIIT workout due to their exact resistance mechanism.
- Even a short spin workout can burn calories as well as stored fat. If you want to lose weight, this is the ideal fat-burning gadget.
- Extremely quiet, so you won’t have to deal with irritated neighbors knocking on your door.
- This low-impact workout is ideal if you are prone to injuries or are recuperating from one.
Who Should Consider A Spin Bike?
A spin bike is ideal for people who are just getting started and want a little exercise bike for their house. These tech-savvy people appreciate experimenting with various features and want to enjoy a solid fitness regimen with customized settings. If you want an easy-going, tiny bike, this is the only one that will suffice.
Is It Worth Buying A Spin Bike?
If you enjoy how bikes work your legs, you will undoubtedly enjoy a spin bike. A spin cycle or stationary exercise bike will provide the same results as a traditional bike while strengthening your core and lower limbs. You can also try out different low-intensity and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions.
What Are The Similarities Between Air Bikes And Spin Bikes?
There are some significant variations between Air Bikes and Spin Bikes. Air Bikes are large and heavy-duty machines, whereas Spin Bikes are sleek and lightweight.
Despite their vast structural noticeable difference, they both fall into the same category of exercise bikes, with the pedal mechanism geared at providing the best training experience possible. Both have a similar mechanism to work: you must pedal your way through to achieve the desired body goal.
The Main Differences: Air Bike vs Spin Bike For Weight Loss
Adjustable vs Variable Resistance
Air bikes utilize variable resistance (which becomes more difficult as you cycle harder), whereas spin bikes use adjustable resistance (manually changed/adjusted via knobs/dials). Both have advantages and disadvantages, but they provide completely different workouts.
To make the workout more difficult on a spin bike, you will need to turn the knob and increase magnetic resistance. However, you won’t need to increase your pace or pedaling speed.
This implies that, while pedaling is more complex, you may maintain a calm, steady tempo to limit the cardio workout and optimize muscle-training attention. Spin bikes are lovely for a cardio workout but allow a more resistance training-like workout.
Unlike air bikes, they are strictly for cardiovascular exercise. The only way to make the workout more difficult is to pedal faster, which puts more strain on your cardiovascular system (heart, lungs, blood vessels, etc.) while also putting more load on your muscles.
Full Body vs Lower Body Workout
Spinning is all about your legs. The emphasis is on your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves, with hills and rugged terrain simulated to make your lower body muscles work as hard as possible.
However, because the bike has a stationary handle, your upper body is only there for support, to take some of the weight off your lower body if you’re tired.
That is not the case with the air bike. Because the grips move while you cycle, there is no solid, stable base to rest on. Even if your hands are only resting on the handles and your legs are performing all the work, you cannot shift your weight away from your legs.
The air bike usually comes with a simple monitor that displays the fundamental workout tracking metrics, such as:
- Distance pedaled
- Calories burned
- Time per 100 meters/500 meters
- Heart rate (if the bike has an integrated heart rate monitor)
It’s straightforward, efficient, and covers everything you need to know for a full-body cycling workout.
Spin bikes are intended to be a little more “next-level tech” than your average bike. They provide access to a more advanced operating system that contains multiple fitness tracking apps because they often incorporate a built-in touchscreen.
Some will even connect to your smartwatch, send workout data to your phone, allow you to compare workout performance with others worldwide, and have many more functions that the basic air bike does not have.
One way to train on an air bike is to pedal faster and work harder. You can alternate between your lower and upper bodies, but it’s mostly a straightforward pedaling exercise from start to finish.
On the other hand, the more advanced spin bike has additional functions and options that allow for a more advanced workout.
Stationary bikes typically burn between 210 and 290 calories in 30 minutes (depending on your weight). Increasing the intensity of your riding workout allows you to burn more calories. This number is a “starting point” to give you an idea of the outcome.
However, remember that the stationary bike is all about your legs, so all your upper body muscles will be underutilized during the training session. Because an air bike engages your entire body, it results in double the muscle engagement and significantly more (40 to 75% more) calories burned.
How To Choose The Best Exercise Bikes For You
Here is a guide on what you will need to consider when choosing the bike that best fits you:
Since bikes are commonly used for high-intensity interval training (HIIT), keeping track of your metrics is essential.
Most include digital or LCD screens where you can see time, distance, power, calories, and RPM (or revolutions per minute). Some machines have built-in workout programs, while others are Bluetooth-enabled and can connect to apps and fitness trackers. If you train using your heart rate, you should ensure the bike you choose is compatible with a heart rate monitor.
The majority of high-end exercise bikes can support up to 350 pounds. More cheap models may only support 200 to 250 pounds, which may be insufficient for certain riders.
Stability is essential when pushing and pulling on a bike. The heavier, the better when it comes to this form of equipment. Steel bikes are stronger and more durable than aluminum bikes, which have a lower weight capacity and may sway back and forth depending on how hard you ride.
Compared to the quietness of most indoor cycling bikes these days, an air bike can be a little louder. The fan will become louder as you bike faster (like any home fan on higher settings). It won’t be loud enough to bother your neighbors, but it can make it impossible to watch TV or listen to music without headphones.
Whether or not a bike seat, often known as the saddle, is comfortable is mostly a matter of personal preference. Most are composed of high-density foams, and some bikes let you change the saddle or use a seat cover if you need more support. To modify the fit and encourage perfect form, look for a bike with a completely adjustable seat—forward, backward, up, and down.
Like most cardio machines, exercise bikes are large and take up a lot of space. And the bigger (and heavier) they are, the more stable they will be, even when working out at maximum effort. Most feature wheels for easy maneuverability, but they don’t fold or stow easily out of sight, so please ensure you have the space.
Which One is the Better Indoor Bike?
Air bikes are large, heavy, and take up a lot of space. They can be for home indoor bikes but of course, obtaining it for personal use does come with complications. Air bikes are bulky and intended for a heavy-duty, strenuous workout that may be unsuitable for home use.
On the other hand, spin bikes are considerably sleeker and lighter for home. They can be used for medium-ranged reduce-weight activities which is why individuals acquire these machines for home use. Spin bikes are the best option for houses, so this is an easy choice.
Which One is Better for Commercial Use?
It is essential in a commercial setting to use machines with a commercial appeal. Air bikes have the most fans in the gym, especially those who do CrossFit workouts.
The majority of athletes and bodybuilders in the fitness sector prefer Air bikes. Air bikes not only help you get in shape, but they also produce better outcomes than spin bikes. Therefore air bikes win here.
As previously said, spin bikes and air bikes are two of the most popular exercise equipment bikes in the fitness world. Both devices can assist you in achieving your weight loss target while also aid you in maintaining a lean and trim physique.
Though they may have similar features, they each have their advantages and disadvantages. One is definitely not better than the other and the choice falls onto you on what your goals are and how you want to use these bikes.
Whichever one you choose, these exercise bikes will definitely help you stay in shape much easier from the comfort of your own home or at the gym.
1 Ratajczak M, Skrypnik D, Krutki P, Karolkiewicz J. Effects of an Indoor Cycling Program on Cardiometabolic Factors in Women with Obesity vs. Normal Body Weight. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 24;17(23):8718. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17238718. PMID: 33255278; PMCID: PMC7727675.