The Schwinn Airdyne AD2 is a newer version of the fan bike that seem to last forever. They certainly seem to last longer than the original owner can keep up with them!
Airdynes are tough bikes – the conditioning workouts you can get on them are amongst the toughest you can get. But they can also provide less strenuous workouts too. It is the way the air resistance works along with the fact you can exercise your arms and legs at the same time.
When you look at a fan bike for home you want something that is reliable, doesn’t cause too much hassle and you can workout on when you want to. It’s also great if others in the family can easily use too, to get their low impact cardio whatever their ability is.
In our review we look at all those factors as well as its features to see if this fan bike is a good choice for you to use in your home – to get killer conditioning workouts or more gentler ones to help to get in shape or rehab (if your doctor allows, of course).
When you ride the bike it feels solid and stable. It doesn’t flex or move from side to side giving you the confidence to workout as hard as you want. When everything is properly tightened up there are no annoying rattles to concern yourself with.
It handles intense interval training and moderate/slow cardio equally well.
It appears from customer reviews to be suitable durable to cope with years of workouts.
The frame comes with a 5 year warranty.
It doesn’t rock when put on a level floor. To level out the bike there are levelers under the stabilizer bars that you turn and lock into the place to prevent any of rocking that might otherwise occur on a floor with some unevenness.
On this bike only the seat height can be adjusted. This is done by loosening the adjustment knob and pulling it out to release the pin and then sliding the pole to put the seat at the height you want and then inserting the pin in the pre-set hole and tightening the knob in place.
There is no horizontal adjustment able to be made to allow for people with shorter arm length to reach the handlebars comfortably through the whole of their motion.
The pole is on a slight angle which does move the seat further away from the handlebars as it increases in height and closer when lowered. Even so, for people of shorter stature (under 5 ft 3 ins) they may find they have to lean forward more than is comfortable or advised to reach the handlebars at full extension away from the seat thereby putting more strain on their back.
The adjustment is quick and easy to do. It takes only a few moments so the bike can be used by multiple users of various heights. Having to adjust the bike if the seat has been moved from when you last worked out is quick so it doesn’t really getting in the way of the workout.
Resistance is provided by the fan wheel at the front of the bike. The faster you pedal the more resistance there is. This is what really gives it the reputation for being a tough piece of equipment for conditioning is the way resistance just keeps on building as you pedal harder.
There is no way to modify or manually adjust the resistance by way of a damper or other manual adjustment as you get on a spin bike or rower. It just increases incrementally as you pedal faster and vice versa.
If you are looking for a bike where you can set the amount of resistance so that you can do workout that are closer to an outdoor bike then a spin bike is the better choice.
The design of the bike and where the console is situated means you don’t get much wind blowing on you as you did with previous Airdyne models. Much of the air now goes forwards away from you. You only get the cooling breeze when you pedal backwards now which is also feels like lower resistance due to the design of the fan.
The bike has a belt drive that provides a smooth and no slip riding experience. The belt is low maintenance and quiet.
The belt has a guard to prevent damage to it and protect your feet, ankles, fingers and clothes from getting caught up in it.
The bike has a fixed drive to the handlebars, fan wheel and pedal so that they all move together all the time. This can take a little getting used to and you do need to be careful when getting off the bike to ensure everything has stopped.
it does mean when you want to just have a lower body workout the handlebars continue to move. You have the choice of removing your hands and balancing on the seat without support from the handlebars or have your arms just rest on the handlebars and move along with them.
The pedals come with straps. They are for sneakers or athletic shoes. You place them on the pedals and then tighten the strap to keep them in place while you pedal.
When you want to just use the handlebars for an upper body work out you put your feet on foot rests at the front of the bike. They are at the bottom of the handlebars so they do move slightly but not enough for your feet to slip off.
Seat. The seat seems to be universally seen as uncomfortable on the sit bones. It is small and hard. It does appear to be worse than most bike seats which is saying something. It can be helped by using a gel seat cover and padded bike shorts. If you haven’t done a lot riding before it is worth persevering to see if you get used to it before looking to replace.
Replacing the bike seat requires getting an adaptor before the cost of the seat or taking the post and seat to a bike shop to see if they can help in sorting it. Schwinn do not have a replacement seat nor do they recommend any alternatives.
Noise. The fan wheel is the noisiest part of the bike. It is made of plastic which provides a quieter ride than the ones with metal blades of the past. It is like the noise you get from an electric fan on medium and high. It’s not loud enough to be annoying although you may need to turn up the TV to hear it. It won’t wake sleeping children or others unless they are light sleepers.
Dust and Dirt. It can kick up some dirt due to the fan but the bike itself doesn’t produce that much dirt. The biggest source of dirt is likely to be the sweat coming off the rider. To protect the bike from damage by sweat it is advised you clean it regularly. To keep the floor from being damaged it is a good idea to place the bike on a rubber exercise mat.
Riding Position. The bike is ridden in an upright position similar to an outdoor bike. If you have a shorter stature (under 5 ft 4 ins) you may need to lean forward slightly to move the handlebars back and forth when they are at the furthest point forward.
Handlebars. There is a foam grip at the top of the handlebars for an easier grip that prevents blisters and your hand slipping off. As mentioned earlier they can’t be stopped from moving to use more like an ordinary bike.
When not in use the bike requires an area of 25 by 46 ins. This is compact for exercise equipment and it can be easily stored in a large closet or otherwise out of the way. It should be able to fit in most homes even places where space is at a premium such as apartments.
When you want to move the bike you lift it at the rear of the bike on to the small transport wheels at the front of the bike. These wheels take most of the 96 lbs weight of the bike making it much easier to move the bike around.
They work best on hard surfaces but should work well on all but the softest carpet where the pile may jam into the wheel. On wood floors you may want to do a test before moving it all the way across as the wheels may scratch or dent it.
The bike is shipped partly assembled so there is the requirement to complete this when you receive it. It isn’t too involved and can be completed within an hour. It is much easier than putting together IKEA furniture.
The company advises you should have 2 people to complete the assembly. This is to do with handling the weight of the bike and not to do with the difficulty of the task. The assembled weight of the bike is 96 lbs.
Handling the weight is the hardest part of the jobs as the instructions are clear and everything lines up as it should.
The tools needed to put the bike together are included. All the parts are easy to identify. the bulk of the bike has been assembled leaving you to add the stabilizer bars, pedals, handlebars, the console, seat post and seat.
Schwinn Airdyne AD2 Console
The console is very basic. The display is large enough to see the one measurement that is displayed at a time but it is dark and can be difficult to see when the light is poor.
The measurements displayed are time, calories, distance, speed, and rpm.
It cycles through these every 5 seconds.
Distance and speed can be displayed in either imperial or metric. Below the display is a button for starting/stopping, resetting and changing the speed and distance units displayed.
The calories burned is only an estimate of how much you’ve burned as you aren’t required to enter your height or weight so should only be used as a guide between sessions on the bike rather than as giving you a guide to how many you’ve actually burned up.
Each workout measurement is shown for 5 seconds before the console scrolls through to the next one. This does make it difficult to use it for achieving a target or interval training. To do interval training you’ll need to use a watch or have a clock that you can see from the bike.
The console requires 2 AA batteries for power that aren’t included. They slide in easily into the back panel to install. The console will display BATT when starting up to let you know the battery needs replacing.
To start the console you can either start to pedal or push the start/reset button. To pause the console you pedal less than 5 RPM for 3 seconds. After 5 minutes in pause mode the workout is stopped and the console goes to sleep. 5 minutes is a reasonable amount of time to take a pit stop as required and not lose your workout data.
You can also stop the workout by pushing the button. The time and distance of the workout are added to the machine total which can be seen when you pause.
No other information is stored from the workout so if you want to keep a record to see how you are progressing you’ll need to do this manually in a journal or spreadsheet.
The dimensions and weight for the bike are:
Height 50 ins
Width 25 ins
Length 46 ins
Bike Weight 96 lbs
Max User Weight 250 lbs
There are no accessories that come with the bike not even a water bottle holder. To keep water handy you are going to need to workout near a table.
Some people do prop their tablet on the console as it does have a lip on it that seems to keep it in place but you may want to use a strap to hold it in place to be doubly sure it doesn’t slip and fall. You can’t see the console then.
There is little instruction on how to use the bike for workouts. It does cover where to place the seat in relation to the pedal. There are no suggestions for workouts. Fortunately there is plenty of help online for beginners in getting the most out of the bike to achieve their fitness goals.
- Easy to assemble
- Transport wheels make it easy to move the bike
- Can be used by beginners and advanced athletes
- You determine the level of toughness of resistance by how hard you pedal
- It is simple to operate
- Quick and easy to adjust for each individual
- Comes with a basic console for tracking performance within a workouts
- Holds you steady while you workout
- Frame comes with a 5 year warranty
- Fan doesn’t blow a gale on you as a pedal even when going for it
- You can only see one workout measurement at a time which makes it difficult to hit targets or do interval training such as tabata without a watch or clock as it cycles through them
- It doesn’t record your workouts so you can see progress or upload them to an account
- Seat is very hard and uncomfortable and can’t be easily replaced with a more comfortable bike seat
- Unable to adjust seat backwards/forwards to optimize the distance from the handlebars
- Handlebars can’t be stopped from moving when you want to do just lower body conditioning
- Height range of users not specified by supplier
Schwinn Airdyne AD2 Consumer Ratings
Reviews for the bike are positive on the whole. They like how easy it is to operate and how steady it is as they ride. They really like how tough the workout can be while being low impact. A number of people state how good it has been in helping them to get in shape and losing weight.
There are a couple of concerns that come through in a number of the reviews. The first being the seat. It is seen as being very uncomfortable and it isn’t straightforward to replace.
The second thing for some people is the lack of horizontal adjustment of the seat to bring it closer to the handlebars resulting in some shorter people having to lean forward more than they should.
However, to reiterate, the majority of people like the bike and get the workouts that are as tough as they want to help in their conditioning in a good low impact way.
Schwinn Airdyne AD2 Price
This is priced for no frills but a well made bike that has the ability to be durable and solid enough to be the basis for many conditioning workouts for years.
When preparing this review it qualified for free shipping at Amazon.
This fan bike can be used by beginners and advanced athletes due to air resistance allowing you to work as hard as you want or your ability. For beginners it can take a little time to determine how hard you can pedal as you can quickly burn yourself out.
There are a couple of issues with the bike. The console is basic and you can only see one measurement at a time and only for 5 seconds before it rotates on to the next measurement – making it difficult for intervals and target setting. The seat is very uncomfortable making it difficult to sit on it for long periods (can be fixed with a get seat cover or padded bike shorts).
With those 2 negatives out of the way, it is a very good bike for the home and all levels of ability (except for the top elite athletes who are probably better looking at the Assault Air Bike).