Air Bike vs. Indoor Cycling Bike – Which type of workout bike is better

Cycling is a great way to improve your body mentally, physically and in many other ways. Moreover, it is a very convenient way to exercise. In fact, many modern workout bikes allow easy home use with just as much effect as the workout would have when undertaken at the gym.

For this reason, this guide focuses on two very popular indoor bike options: the air bike and the indoor cycling bike. Here, you will find an in-depth review of what each type of bike has to offer, fundamental features, among other elements. Moreover, we will compare both options before choosing the best kind of bike between them. Read on for more

Air Bike vs. Indoor cycling Bike

Air Bike

Image for Air Bike


An air bike is a capable piece of equipment for anyone looking for an efficient and difficult workout. Yes, these bikes are designed specifically to make you really work. Take a look at some of the features and basic functionality of the Air bike.


  • Provides cardio workout similar to that of running
  • Most are built solidly and support upward of 300lbs up to 350lbs bodyweight
  • Allows for full body workout
  • Often recommended for 20-30 minute workout sessions
  • Solid build design with considerably heavier weights

Also known as the fan bike, air bikes are a great piece of equipment for a wider variety of users. Let’s start with the design and function. This bike was specifically designed in the late 70s for aerobics and cross fit training.

It is made with an upright design that has the seat and handlebars set to ensure your arms and legs are engaged. While on an air bike, your back is straight while your legs and arms are pushing or pulling against the drag.

An Air bike is not built with the typical flywheel design: which we will discuss later on. Resistance on this bike is dependent on the fan which using air, and included design elements generates said resistance.  The air wheel, which is the most dominant feature on an air bike, is equipped with fans that are angled to create drag as you cycle on this bike.

These mechanisms create some chatter, and these kinds of bikes end up kind of noisy. However, this is a nonissue as the noise produced is not problematic and will not interrupt workout sessions.

Interestingly, the seat on such bikes is traditionally wider and allows for a more accommodating seat. The positioning of the handlebars ensures your arms remain engaged throughout the workout session.

Indoor Cycling Bike

Image for spin bike

Indoor cycling bikes are the centerpiece of the popular indoor cycling class sessions, hosted by many gyms. However, before you invest in one, it is important that you understand the fundamental principles of the indoor cycling bike: take a look.


  • Indoor cycling tends to lead to a lot of calorie loss
  • Two types of technologies are used to create resistance on indoor cycling bikes:
  • The assembled bike often weighs quite a lot and can be difficult to move
  • Indoor cycling bikes are very quiet bikes
  • Affordable bike with a wide selection of brands to choose from
  • Operated on either a belt drive or chain drive mechanism

If you are sensitive to the sensation you will experience on this kind of bike: which many users are, allow us to ease your curiosity.

Riding indoor cycling bikes is quite similar to riding a mountain bike and many users describe sessions on indoor cycling bikes as a fulfilling cycling workout. On this, the body will bend into an aerodynamic position, allowing you maximum access to the handlebars. This stance isn’t too far off from the regular stance users take on real bicycles.

Anyone looking to burn some calories and cycle their way to fitness can do so indoor cycling. This bike often specifically targets muscle groups including the legs, biceps triceps, back, shoulders and core.

The general design of the indoor cycling bike makes them particularly for cyclists looking to train indoors or even users who desire a cyclist-like workout routine.

These bikes are priced pretty fairly, and range from a few hundred dollars, to even thousands of dollars. More expensive indoor cycling bikes have heavier flywheel: which is a big deal. This part influences how realistically the bike will recreate an outdoor experience. The average flywheel weight is between 30 to 50 pounds. With it, pedaling is smoother and notably

Air Bike vs. Indoor Cycling Bike – Features and Differences


The most fundamental difference between the air bike and indoor cycling bike is a type of resistance build up each system uses. For instance instead of a regular flywheel, the air bike has a fan.

Notably, the resistance to air bikes is progressive. Air bikes are similarly more resistant and far more durable than indoor cycling bikes. Not to mean indoor cycling bikes won’t last you a long time: simply not as long as air bikes. In fact, Air bikes are very sturdily built, and the right air bike, when handled well could last you years.

Overall design

Generally speaking, Air and indoor cycling bikes have many differences especially with regard to exterior design. For instance, the handlebars: a pretty minor component on indoor cycling bikes is very different on air bikes. Ideally, this component on indoor cycling bikes doesn’t influence the workout much.

On air bikes however, the handlebars heavily affect workouts to deliver a full body workout. Another design difference between these bikes affecting performance is the seats. Yes, the seat on an indoor bike or any bike will influence comfort levels.

Type of workout

Cycling is a very diverse form of working out. The muscle groups engaged, the number of calories burned and the nature of workout are thus influenced heavily by the piece of cycling equipment you choose.

To this effect, while both the indoor cycling and Air bikes will engage different muscle groups: each delivers a unique style of workout.

Pros – Air Bike

  • Infinite resistance levels
  • Sturdy build
  • Comfortable seat
  • Full body workout


  • Can get quite heavy
  • Aren’t compact

Pros – Indoor Cycling Bike

  • Variety in resistance
  • Tech equipped to keep tabs on other aspects of the workout
  • Available with 2 different types of resistance
  • Great for HIIT and LIIT interval training


  • Can get very expensive

Conclusion – Air Bike vs. Indoor Cycling Bike

Air bikes and indoor cycling bikes are widely different indoor bikes. Choosing between either option can be difficult especially if you do not know the difference between these two.