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10 Exercise Bike with Moving Arms (Reviewed Nov, 2020)

Stationary bikes are one of the best pieces of equipment for a low impact workout. You can use them to burn a lot of calories and strengthen your leg muscles at the same time. However, there are a lot of people who want to do a cardio workout while also engaging their entire body. For this reason, many manufacturers produce exercise bikes with movable handlebars.  These machines have both the pedals and handlebars connected to the drive system. This lets you exert force with the upper body as well as the lower body, resulting in a total body exercise and burning more calories than before.

Buying gym equipment is very costly. There is a vast amount of equipment out there for sale. Different exercise machines have different benefits. Finding the right exercise machine to get a full-body workout can be tricky. This is why in this article, we have reviewed 10 of the finest exercise machines consisting of moving arms. Various factors such as price, quality, features, and many more have been taken into account to conjure up this list. You will also find some buying advice as you scroll through the article.

All of the products that we have included are best-in-class exercise machines. However, after carefully researching and gathering all the relevant information one of these machines really stands out from the rest in all aspects. Thus, we have decided to entitle the Assault AirBike Classic as our ‘Overall Best Choice’.

Sale
Assault AirBike Classic

High-performance air bike for all levels | Overall Best Choice

The Assault AirBike Classic is simply the finest indoor exercise machine with which you can get a whole body workout and not just a leg workout. You can really burn a lot of calories and cut down on fat very efficiently. Assault is the go-to brand for many athletes. This, like any other air bike, utilizes air resistance from a spinning fan to make the exercise harder. What really sets it apart is the supreme build quality. The powder-coated steel frame and reinforced Cro-Moly crank and pedals can support a 300 pound being exercising on top. Twenty sealed bearings at all the pivot points ensure a smooth experience.

The seat is highly versatile with both horizontal and vertical adjustments. Very rarely, some may find it to be small, but you can buy another seat and replace it if needed. Another component that makes this bike a winner is the display console. The LCD monitor shows heart rate, time, distance, calories, speed, RPM, and watts. Moreover, it has 8 built-in workout programs for you to choose from. There’s almost nothing really wrong with this machine. The price is a bit high, but the long-lasting benefits you get in return make it truly worth it.

  • Type: Fan/air bike
  • Dimensions: 50.95” L × 23.34” W × 50” H
  • Product Weight: 95.64 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded saddle
  • Resistance Type: Infinite levels of air resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, time, distance, calories, speed, RPM, watts, training programs
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: Chain drive system
  • Frame: Powder-coated steel frame
  • Crank: 3-piece Cro-Moly crank
  • Pedals: Reinforced pedals

 

A quick view of our list of some of the finest exercise bikes that have moving arms:

Exercise BikeWeight Capacity (lbs.)Our Ratings
Schwinn Airdyne AD225086
Marcy AIR-1 Exercise Fan Bike30088
Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer30091
Assault AirBike Classic30094
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike SF-RB470835085
Stamina Elite25082
Schwinn Airdyne AD Pro35087
Ncient Elliptical Machine26580
Bowflex M3 Max30090
Ativafit25081

10 best exercise bikes with moving arms you can buy today

Exercise BikePreviewTypeDimensionsWeightMax CapacitySeat TypeResistance TypeDisplay DataScore
Schwinn Airdyne AD2Schwinn AD2 Airdyne BikeFan/air bike46” L × 25” W × 50” H96 lbs250 lbsAdjustable padded saddleAir resistanceSpeed, RPM, distance, time, calories86
Marcy AIR-1 Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike for Cardio Training and Workout AIR-1Fan/air bike45” L × 25” W × 47.5” H80.5 lbs300 lbsAdjustable padded saddleAir resistanceSpeed, RPM, time, distance, calories88
Teeter FreeStep LT1Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical (LT1)Recumbent elliptical cross trainer54” L × 38” W × 52.5” H110 lbs300 lbsAdjustable padded seat with back supportMagnetic resistanceTime. distance, speed, calories91
Assault AirBike ClassicAssault AirBike Classic, BlackFan/air bike50.95” L × 23.34” W × 50” H95.64 lbs300 lbsAdjustable padded saddleAir resistanceHeart rate, time, distance, calories, speed, RPM, watts, training programs94
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike, 350lb High Weight Capacity, Cross Training, Arm Exercisers, Monitor, Pulse Rate Monitoring | SF-RB4708Dual action recumbent bike60” L × 25.5” W × 52” H95.77 lbs350 lbsAdjustable padded seat with back supportMagnetic resistanceHeart rate, time, distance, speed, calories85
Stamina EliteStamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike, Metallic greyDual action recumbent bike52” L × 24” W × 49” H121 lbs250 lbsAdjustable padded seat with back supportMagnetic resistanceHeart rate, speed, distance, time, calories82
Schwinn Airdyne AD ProSchwinn 111446-001 Airdyne Pro Exercise Bike, SilverFan/air bike42” L × 20” W × 52” H113 lbs350 lbsAdjustable padded saddleAir resistanceHeart rate, time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, watts87
Ncientncient Elliptical Machine Eliptical Trainer Exercise Machine for Home Use Magnetic Smooth Quiet Driven with LCD Monitor and Pulse Rate GripsElliptical machine40.9” L × 18.9” W × 63” H78.9 lbs265 lbsNo seatMagnetic resistanceHeart rate, time, speed, distance, calories80
Bowflex M3 MaxBowflex M3 Max Trainer, BlackElliptical/stepper machine46.1” L × 25” W × 62.9” H143 lbs300 lbsNo seatMagnetic resistanceHeart rate, calories, RPM, intervals90
AtivafitAtivafit Fan Bike Exercise Upright AirBike Indoor Cycling Fitness Bike Stationary Bicycle with Air Resistance System GreyFan/air bike54” L × 20.8” W × 39” H66.6 lbs250 lbsAdjustable padded saddleAir resistanceTime, distance, calories81

1. Schwinn AD2: Good quality, affordable fan bike

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Schwinn Airdyne AD2

  • Type: Fan/air bike
  • Dimensions: 46” L × 25” W × 50” H
  • Product Weight: 96 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded saddle
  • Resistance: Infinite levels of air resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Speed, RPM, distance, time, calories
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: Single-stage belt drive
  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Crank: 3-piece
  • Pedals: Self-leveling with adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • High-Calorie Burn: The movable handlebars mean that you can work your upper and lower body at the same time. By working your entire body you can burn way more calories.
  • Infinite Levels of Resistance: The level of resistance changes in a continuous manner and depends on how hard you are pedaling. The faster you pedal, the faster the fan spins, and the higher the air resistance.
  • Cooling Effect: Airflow is created around the bike when the fan rotates. This air helps to keep you cool during an intense session.
  • Transport Wheels: There are two small wheels at the front of the bike. Just tilt the bike from the back and you can easily move it around with the wheels.
  • Foot Pegs: There is one footpeg on each side of the fan. You can choose to rest your feet on them and work only in your upper body.
  • Easy Assembly: This air bike comes mostly assembled and the rest of it can be put together in less than an hour.
  • Low Price: The bike comes at a lower and more affordable price than some of its other competitors.

Some Weaknesses
  • The seat is not very comfortable for long use.
  • The display is positioned far below eye level.
  • There have been many complaints about a loud knocking sound that sometimes starts occurring.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD2 is a dual-action exercise bike that is great for both low and high-intensity workouts. The movable handlebars, as well as the foot pedals with adjustable straps, mean that you will be able to engage both upper and lower body muscles simultaneously. The resistance is dependent on the rotation speed of the fan wheel. There will be greater air resistance the harder you pedal as the fan will be spinning faster. So, the air bike is good for all fitness levels and provides a high rate of calorie burn at high intensities. Moreover, the airflow from the fan will have a cooling effect.

The height of the padded saddle-like seat can be changed but there is no fore and aft adjustment. A simple LCD monitor is included that displays information such as speed, RPM, distance, time, and calories. The Airdyne AD2 is available at a bargain price making it affordable to all. However, this results in a lack of some features such as no pulse sensor, no bottle holder, etc.

Schwinn Airdyne AD2

Schwinn Airdyne AD2

2. Marcy AIR-1: High standard air bike

Sale
Marcy AIR-1 Exercise Fan Bike

  • Type: Fan/air bike
  • Dimensions: 45” L × 25” W × 47.5” H
  • Product Weight: 80.5 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded saddle
  • Resistance: Infinite levels of air resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Speed, RPM, time, distance, calories
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: Belt drive
  • Frame: Scratch-resistant steel frame with powder-coated finish
  • Crank: 3-piece
  • Pedals: Self-leveling with adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • High-Calorie Burn: Both upper and lower body muscles can be worked at the same time using the movable handlebars and foot pedals. More calories can be burned this way since a lot of muscle groups are engaged.
  • Infinite Levels of Resistance: Instead of a weighted flywheel, this bike uses a fan that utilizes air resistance to increase difficulty. Resistance gradually increases as you pedal faster.
  • Air Flow for Cooling: The fan induces airflow towards the rider as it spins. This has a cooling effect on you during a sweaty workout.
  • Transport Wheels: If you need to, then you can move the bike around your home quite easily by lifting the bike from the back and using the small wheels at the front.
  • Foot Pegs: When you want to work only your upper body, simply rest your feet on the pegs on either side of the fan and let your arms do all the work.
  • Easy Assembly: The bike has a relatively simple assembly. Just follow the instruction manual for clear and easy to follow steps.
  • Adjustable Levelers: These levelers situated at the bottom of the bike can be used to straighten the bike on uneven surfaces.

Some Weaknesses
  • The range of motion of handlebars is low.
  • The seat is not too comfortable.

The Marcy AIR-1 Exercise Fan Bike is a great option for a total body cardio workout. You can work both lower and upper body muscles using the swinging handlebars. The foot pedals have adjustable straps for the perfect fit. The fan replaces a flywheel and provides resistance in the form of air resistance that only increases by pedaling faster. This makes the bike suitable for almost any difficulty level and you get cooling airflow from the fan as a bonus.

You can track speed, RPM, distance, speed, and time using a simple LCD console on the front. Unfortunately, there are no heart rate sensors. The seat is pretty average and can be adjusted only vertically. However, the construction of the frame is solid with scratch resistance and a powder-coated finish. The biggest downside is that the range of motion of the handlebars is not so great.

Marcy AIR-1 Exercise Fan Bike

Marcy AIR-1 Exercise Fan Bike

3. Teeter FreeStep LT1: Elliptical/recumbent bike hybrid for zero-impact exercise

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Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer

  • Type: Recumbent elliptical cross trainer
  • Dimensions: 54” L × 38” W × 52.5” H
  • Product Weight: 110 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded seat with back support
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD screen with smart device stand
  • Display Data: Time. distance, speed, calories
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: Poly-V belt drive
  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Pedals: Large pedals with a tray-like design

Features & Considerations
  • No Impact Exercise: The positioning of the user is designed so that there is very low stress on the knees and ankles making it perfect for people with existing joint issues.
  • Comfortable Seat: The padded seat has a backrest and can be reclined to 3 different positions. The height of the seat is also adjustable and is ideal for preventing back pain.
  • Versatile Muscle Targeting: You can choose to target only the legs or only the upper body by using the side handlebars or the front bar respectively. The main handlebars can be repositioned to target different upper body muscles.
  • Device and Bottle Holder: The digital console on the front comes with a stand where you can place a phone or a tablet. There is also a convenient bottle holder below the seat.
  • Transport Wheels: Although this is quite a heavy machine, it can be moved with less effort using the small wheels on the front.
  • Silent Mechanism: The enclosed flywheel and belt drive ensure that there is almost no noise and lets you watch TV and not annoy others.
  • Heavy-Duty Mat Available: There is the option to get an extra mat to put under the machine. This will protect the floor and also cause less noise.

Some Weaknesses
  • The maximum resistance is not too high, so strength building is not possible.
  • For many people, this might be a bad value for money due to the high price.

The Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer is a specially designed recumbent machine that is an excellent choice for extremely low impact workouts. The large foot pedals have a more up-and-down motion instead of a circular one. The movable handlebars let you exercise the upper body as well. The comfortable seat with back support, 3 recline positions, and height adjustment keeps your body weight off your joints and prevents low back pain. This makes this machine perfect for obese people or those with other chronic conditions. The adjustable handles allow for different hand positions to switch between targeting triceps, biceps, chest, and back.

The digital console not only shows time, distance, speed, and calories, but it also has a smart device stand to enable video streaming or listening to music while working out. A bottle holder and heavy-duty mat are also included. Almost no noise will be produced thanks to the design of the drive system. It is important to note that with this machine you cannot get a high-intensity workout and it is also a bit expensive.

Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer

Teeter FreeStep LT1 Recumbent Cross Trainer

4. Assault AirBike Classic: High-performance air bike for all levels | Overall Best Choice

Sale
Assault AirBike Classic

  • Type: Fan/air bike
  • Dimensions: 50.95” L × 23.34” W × 50” H
  • Product Weight: 95.64 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded saddle
  • Resistance Type: Infinite levels of air resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, time, distance, calories, speed, RPM, watts, training programs
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: Chain drive system
  • Frame: Powder-coated steel frame
  • Crank: 3-piece Cro-Moly crank
  • Pedals: Reinforced pedals

Features & Considerations
  • High-Intensity Workout: This air bike is built so you can push yourself to the limit. Working both the upper and lower body at high speeds burns calories and shreds body fat.
  • Infinite Levels of Resistance: The large fan rotates along with pedals. The faster it spins the more air resistance builds up and the harder you will have to work.
  • Twenty Sealed Ball Bearings: A smooth and durable feel is achieved thanks to a sealed ball bearing throughout the frame and at every pivot point.
  • Fully Adjustable Seat: The seat can be adjusted vertically, horizontally, and can also be tilted to achieve the perfect position for different people.
  • Built-in Programs: The display shows all the data you will need to track your workouts and the 8 built-in programs allow for variability and continued progression.
  • Sturdy Construction: The steel frame is very well built. It is durable enough to take a lot of punishment.
  • Cooling Effect: The fan spinning creates a lot of airflow that can help cool you down during workouts.
  • Transport Wheels: The two small wheels on the front makes this air bike conveniently portable as well.
  • Foot Pegs: Use the footpegs on the sides of the fan to keep your feet when you want to go for an upper-body the only session.

Some Weaknesses
  • The seat is a bit small and uncomfortable for long workouts.
  • It uses a chain drive system that causes more noise than a belt.

The Assault AirBike Classic is the perfect machine for burning calories fast and getting rid of excess fat. You can get a full-body workout at infinite levels of resistance thanks to the movable handlebars and the large fan. This bike can also be used by beginners by pedaling slower and causing less resistance. Throughout the frame, there are 20 sealed ball bearings to make it as smooth and durable as possible. The frame itself has good weight capacity and can handle intense workouts. You will also remain cool due to the airflow from the fan, but if you want to limit the airflow there is also a detachable windshield for that.

Even though the seat is quite small, it is highly versatile. Both vertical and fore/aft adjustability allows the user to find the position that is just right for them. The LCD screen console lets you track all your stats including heart rate, calories, distance, etc. Not only that, but it also has 8 built-in programs that offer you to choose your training style and also switch up your routine from time to time. One of the only disadvantages of the Assault Airbike is that it uses a chain drive system that causes some extra noise.

Assault AirBike Classic

Assault AirBike Classic

5. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4708: Recumbent exercise bike w/ moving handlebars

Sale
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike SF-RB4708

  • Type: Dual-action recumbent bike
  • Dimensions: 60” L × 25.5” W × 52” H
  • Product Weight: 95.77 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded seat with back support
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD monitor with device holder
  • Display Data: Heart rate, time, distance, speed, calories
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: Belt drive system
  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Pedals: Self-levelling with adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • Zero Impact Exercise: This machine ensures that your entire body weight is not exerted on your knees and ankles. Hence, this is a great choice for people with pre-existing joint problems.
  • Comfortable and Adjustable Seat: The large cushioned seat with back support is a great solution for those who experience back pain on normal stationary bikes. It can also be moved forward and backward.
  • High Load Capacity: The frame is made of steel and is strong enough to support weights of up to 350 pounds.
  • Transport Wheels: For ease of portability, there are two wheels at the front of the base. Just prop the machine up from the back and roll it away.
  • Device Holder: The display console also features a holder to keep your phone or tablet so that you can listen to music or watch videos while exercising.
  • Silent Mechanism: The enclosed mechanics and belt drive system ensures a noise-free workout.

Some Weaknesses
  • The instruction manual is not that great making it difficult to assemble.
  • No handles or armrests on the sides of the seat.

The Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike SF-RB4708 by Sunny Health & Fitness is a recumbent exercise bike that includes movable handlebars that let you work your upper body as well. Unfortunately, there are no handles to hold onto on the sides of the seat when you want to work your legs only. Speaking of, the large cushioned seat is in a reclined position with horizontal adjustability. It also has great back support making the use of this machine joint-friendly and free of back pain. With a 350 lbs load carrying capacity, this machine is not only suitable for beginners and joint pain patients but also for those who are morbidly obese and want to start getting fit.

The LCD monitor displays speed, distance, time, calories, and even heart rate thanks to the pulse sensors on the handlebars. It also features a device holder for convenience. The flywheel and drive system are pretty much silent so that others around you are not disturbed while you work out. The SF-RB4708 is also lightweight compared to its size, giving it a good weight-to-load-capacity ratio. It is also quite a low-cost recumbent machine. However, it is difficult to assemble since the manual is poorly designed.

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike SF-RB4708

Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike SF-RB4708

6. Stamina Elite: Comfortable recumbent bike w/ hand pedals

Sale
Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

  • Type: Dual-action  recumbent bike
  • Dimensions: 52” L × 24” W × 49” H
  • Product Weight: 121 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded seat with back support
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, speed, distance, time, calories
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: Belt drive
  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Pedals: Textured pedals with adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • No Impact Exercise: This machine is a great choice for people with joint problems. Due to the reclined positioning of the rider, there is little weight that is exerted on the knees and ankles.
  • Comfortable and Adjustable Seat: For people with back problems who cannot use a regular exercise bike, this machine features a large comfortable seat with back support. The seat is also fully adjustable.
  • Compact Design: Even though this is a recumbent bike, it has a pretty low profile and conveniently takes up less space.
  • Transport Wheels: You can easily store it in a different place after a workout. This is because the front wheels provided on which you can roll the machine.
  • Silent Mechanism: To prevent any sounds while working out, the drive system uses a belt drive and the moving parts are covered in a case.

Some Weaknesses
  • The machine is quite heavy compared to its capacity.
  • Handlebars might be in the way of knees for tall people.

The Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike is a good option for beginners, seniors, and those with skeletal health problems. The reclined position of the seat ensures minimal stress on your joints and the back support of the seat prevents any sort of back pain. The seat is also comfortably padded and can be adjusted vertically as well as horizontally. Rotating hand pedals let you work your upper body as well for a better workout. You can grab onto the handles on either side of the seat if you want to exercise your legs only.

The Stamina Elite has a very compact design, taking up less space than other recumbent bikes. However, this also leads to tall people having their knees hit the hand pedals. Pulse sensors are included on the handlebars. The simple LCD computer display gives you the heart rate, speed, distance, time, and calories burned, which is great for tracking your progress. The machine makes very little noise thanks to the enclosed flywheel and the belt-driven system. On the downside, this recumbent bike has relatively low capacity and is quite expensive.

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

7. Schwinn Airdyne AD Pro: Air bike w/ built-in workout programs

Sale
Schwinn Airdyne AD Pro

  • Type: Fan/air bike
  • Dimensions: 42” L × 20” W × 52” H
  • Product Weight: 113 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 350 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded saddle
  • Resistance Type: Infinite levels of air resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, watts
  • Power: 2 D batteries or external power
  • Drive System: Single-stage belt drive
  • Frame: Double-coated steel frame
  • Crank: 3-piece
  • Pedals: Standard pedals

Features & Considerations
  • High-Intensity Workout: With this air bike, you can pedal at very high speeds and really test out your limits. By using the movable handlebars and working your upper body as well, you will burn calories very fast.
  • Infinite Levels of Resistance: Instead of a flywheel, there is a 26” fan that generates more air resistance as you pedal faster. This makes it possible for virtually unlimited levels of resistance.
  • Fully Adjustable Seat: The fore/aft position as well as the height of the seat can be adjusted. It is also comparatively larger and well padded making it more comfortable.
  • Multi-grip Handlebars: The handlebars have multiple grips that allow you to target different upper body muscles with each one.
  • High Load Capacity: The double-coated steel frame is very sturdy and reliable. It can support up to 350 pounds and can withstand vigorous movements by the user.
  • Built-in Programs: The LCD console displays all the stats you will need to track your workout. It also has 9 built-in programs, so that it never gets boring. It also means you won’t have to build your own routine.
  • Air Flow for Cooling: The airflow induced by the rotation of the fan will help you to stay cool on long and hard workouts.
  • Transport Wheels: This bike can be easily moved around if needed using the two small front wheels.
  • Foot Pegs: If you want, you can choose to work only the upper body by resting your feet on the three-sided foot pegs on either side of the fan.

Some Weaknesses
  • Price is higher than other similar bikes.
  • The bike is quite heavy and difficult to move.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD Pro is a top-tier dual action air bike. The large fan is connected to the pedals via a belt drive for a smooth experience. The harder you pedal, the faster the fan will spin and the more air resistance will be created. Combine this with the swinging handlebars and you get an intense, fat-burning, full-body workout. The multi-grip handlebars also let you focus on different muscles of the upper body. The padded seat is quite comfortable and has full adjustability horizontally and vertically.

The sturdy steel frame is built with a 350 lbs load-bearing capacity. It also stays strong during high pace workouts. The 3-sided footpegs allow you to isolate the upper body. A display console shows heart rate, time, distance, speed, RPM, calories, and watts. Moreover, there are 9 built-in programs for convenience and variability. The only drawbacks are that it is heavier and pricier than its competitors.

Schwinn Airdyne AD Pro

Schwinn Airdyne AD Pro

8. Ncient: Compact & affordable elliptical machine

Ncient Elliptical Machine

  • Type: Elliptical machine
  • Dimensions: 40.9” L × 18.9” W × 63” H
  • Product Weight: 78.9 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 265 lbs
  • Seat Type: No seat
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, time, speed, distance, calories
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: V-belt drive
  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Pedals: 13” non-slip pedals

Features & Considerations
  • Compact Design: This elliptical has very manageable dimensions, making it very convenient for storage and home gyms.
  • Affordable: The low cost of this machine means that anyone can afford it. This makes it a great option for beginners and people who might be unsure about continuing their workouts long-term.
  • Quiet Operation: The 12 lbs flywheel is fully enclosed and is connected to the pedals using a belt-drive. This ensures noise-free operation of the machine.
  • Transport Wheels: Despite being sort of lightweight already, there are a couple of front-mounted wheels to make it easily portable.
  • LCD Monitor and Pulse Sensors: The console at the front gives you various data readings and even heartbeats per minute thanks to the pulse sensors.

Some Weaknesses
  • Not suitable for high-intensity workouts.
  • The overall quality is lower than a lot of other machines.

The Ncient Elliptical Machine is a highly affordable elliptical which is great for a low impact workout. The large non-slip pedals and movable arms allow you to put in a decent total body workout to burn calories and stay fit. The body of this elliptical has relatively small dimensions. This compact design takes up little room and makes for easy storage. Small front-mounted wheels add further convenience of portability. The belt-driven system and flywheel are all enclosed for smooth and quiet running.

There are pulse sensors attached to the front handles. These sensors feed data to the display console. This console also shows other relevant data such as time, speed, distance, and calories. This machine is not built for high-level workouts and the frame is not strong enough to support weights over 265 lbs. However, if you are not too overweight, need a machine for low impact exercise, and are short on funds, then the Ncient Elliptical is actually an excellent choice.

Ncient Elliptical Machine

Ncient Elliptical Machine

9. Bowflex M3 Max: Low-impact of an elliptical w/ the calorie-burning of a stepper

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

  • Type: Elliptical/stepper machine
  • Dimensions: 46.1” L × 25” W × 62.9” H
  • Product Weight: 143 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
  • Seat Type: No seat
  • Resistance Type: 8 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Heart rate, calories, RPM, intervals
  • Power: AC adapter
  • Drive System: N/A
  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Pedals: Large tray-like pedals

Features & Considerations
  • High-Calorie Burn: You get the low impact of an elliptical combined with the calorie-burning power of a stair stepper. The movable handlebars let you engage the entire body for even higher calorie output.
  • Compact Design: It takes up little floor space compared to treadmills or other ellipticals thanks to the compact dimensions. This makes it convenient for a home gym.
  • Wireless Chest Strap: Putting on the chest strap will let you wirelessly monitor your pulse on the console screen.
  • User Profiles: Up to two user profiles can be set up in the console. So you and your partner/roommate can both track your own fitness separately.
  • Transport Wheels: Portability is not an issue as there are two small front wheels on which you can roll the machine. You have to tilt the machine towards you from the front to do this.
  • Accessory Holders: There is both a water bottle holder and a reading rack on which you can put a book for reading, or you could keep a tablet or phone as well.

Some Weaknesses
  • It is quite expensive and the warranty is only for a year.
  • Weighs a lot compared to its size.

The Bowflex M3 Max Trainer is a hybrid indoor exercise machine that combines an elliptical and a stair stepper. So you can burn a lot of calories while keeping it low impact. The handlebars bring your upper body into the fray for a great total body workout. There are 8 levels of magnetic resistance and the weight capacity is 300 lbs, so almost anyone can use it to get in shape. In contrast to treadmills and other ellipticals, this machine has a compact design and takes up less floor space.

One of the best features is probably the well-placed LCD computer. It has 2 built-in programs and 2 user profiles to track data for 2 people. It also displays heart rate, calories, and, RPM. The heart is measured by a wireless chest strap, so you don’t need to keep your hands in a single place. Note that this computer does not run on batteries and requires to be near a socket. The M3 Max Trainer also features a bottle/cup holder and a tray on which you can keep a book, phone, or tablet. It does, however, cost a lot. But if you’re willing to use it for a long time then it is worth it.

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

Bowflex M3 Max Trainer

10. Ativafit: Good quality air bike w/ a low price

Ativafit Air Resistance Exercise Fan Bike

  • Type: Fan/air bike
  • Dimensions: 54” L × 20.8” W × 39” H
  • Product Weight: 66.6 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 250 lbs
  • Seat Type: Adjustable padded saddle
  • Resistance Type: Infinite levels of air resistance
  • Console: LCD computer screen
  • Display Data: Time, distance, calories
  • Power: 2 AA batteries
  • Drive System: N/A
  • Frame: Steel frame
  • Crank: 1-piece
  • Pedals: Non-slip pedals with adjustable straps

Features & Considerations
  • High-Intensity Workout: You can work your entire body and cycle at very high speeds to get an incredible and intense calorie-burning workout.
  • Infinite Levels of Resistance: The amount of air resistance depends on how fast the fan spins which in turn is dependent on how fast you pedal. Virtually anyone can use it at any level.
  • Low Cost: This air bike employs subtle cost-cutting methods. This makes it very much affordable for those who are not willing to spend that much.
  • Device Holder: The console also features a device tray above the LCD monitor. You can keep your phone, tablet, or even a book for reading.
  • Transport Wheels: It is easily portable thanks to the two front-mounted wheels. The lightweight construction helps with this even more.
  • Cooling Effect: The air blowing from the fan is a bonus since it will assist in keeping you cool throughout the workout.
  • Simple Assembly: The assembly is pretty easy because of the simple instructions and the fact that it is delivered mostly assembled.

Some Weaknesses
  • No foot pegs to keep your feet, so the upper body cannot be isolated.
  • Displays less data than other exercise machines.

The Ativafit Air Resistance Exercise Fan Bike is arguably the best cheap option if you want an air bike. You can really dish it out on this bike and get a full-body workout. The resistance level increases the faster you pedal. This means that the rate of calorie burning will exponentially increase the faster you pedal. The infinite levels of resistance mean that it is suitable for anyone from a beginner to an advanced athlete. Additionally, the airflow from the fan will have a cooling effect.

When you purchase this machine, it comes mostly assembled in the package. The rest of the setup can be done in less than an hour and is quite simple. The seat is pretty average and only has height adjustment capability. The simple LCD computer displays only the time, distance, and calories during a session. There are also no footpegs, meaning you cannot work out the upper body separately. However, all these are just ways to keep the price as low as possible. This is still a good quality air bike which will serve you well on your fitness journey.

Ativafit Air Resistance Exercise Fan Bike

Ativafit Air Resistance Exercise Fan Bike


Buying Guide: Exercise Bike with Moving Arms

Any exercise bike/machine that has moving handles is amazing for getting in a full-body cardio workout. But before you go out and purchase one, you should carefully consider the following factors as this will be a long-term investment on your part.

1. Different Categories

There are mainly three types of exercise bikes, namely Upright exercise bikes, recumbent exercise bikes, and Spin bikes. Fan or air bikes are a subcategory of upright bikes. Instead of a traditional weighted flywheel, they make use of a rotating fan for resistance in the form of air resistance. Most air bikes are dual-action by default, meaning they have movable handlebars. Other than that, the other types of exercise bikes are also sometimes available with moving arms to work the upper body. Although, spin bikes rarely come with moving handles. You could also get an elliptical machine since they always have movable arms. Additionally, many hybrid machines combine the design, features, and benefits of two different machines, such as a recumbent elliptical trainer. To summarize, there are mainly five types of indoor exercise machines that have inbuilt moving arms:-

  • Dual-action upright bikes

Upright bike with moving arms

Image: Upright bike with moving arms

  • Dual-action recumbent bikes

Recumbent bike with moving arms

Image: Recumbent bike with moving arms

  • Air bikes (also called fan bikes)

Air bike

Image: Air bike

  • Elliptical machines

Elliptical machine

Image: Elliptical machine

  • Hybrid exercise machines with moving arms

Stair stepper,elliptical hybrid machine

Image: Stair stepper/elliptical hybrid machine

2. Personal Goals and Preference

One of the most important questions to ask yourself when shopping for an exercise machine is “which one do I enjoy the most?”. More than half of all people who start exercising end up quitting after a short time. Getting in shape is hard work because it takes time and dedication. That’s why you need to be able to enjoy working out. So make sure to pick the type of machine that you would be fond of using. If you don’t like any of them, then choose the one you hate the least.

Not all of these machines provide the same form of workout. Each has certain features that make them more or less suitable for a particular objective. In general, we can classify average gym goers according to their aim into three broad types:

      1. Those who want to lose weight
      2. Those who want to build muscle and gain strength
      3. Those who just want to stay active and healthy with no particular goal in mind.

Losing weight requires you to burn as many calories as possible while ensuring you also have a healthy diet. Upright and air bikes are built to withstand strenuous activity and to let you really exhaust yourself. Doing high-intensity interval training or HIIT is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and shred body fat.

For building strength, it is possible to use any type of machine, as long as it can provide good enough resistance. According to some experts, the resistance should be set at a level that makes you cycle at less than 60 rpm. Except for air bikes, any other machine with high enough resistance levels can help build up your lower body muscles. However, it is not optimal to try and make the upper body gains with these types of machines. These are predominantly for leg workouts and something like a rowing machine will be much more fitting.

The third category of people can pretty much get away with any category of exercise machines. For them, it is truly a matter of which one they prefer to use. But the other topics, discussed next, should be considered as well.

3. Size & Weight Capacity

Most indoor exercise machines have a sturdy steel frame and can handle far more than the average person’s weight. For people who are morbidly obese, it is still a good idea to check the maximum weight capacity just in case. The overall dimensions may be a deciding factor for those who want to buy such a machine for home use. If you want to be able to store the machine in a place separate from your workout room, then it should have the right size or shape for that to be possible. Ideally, such machines should take up as little floor space as possible. Some bikes are even foldable for easy storage.

4. Health Conditions

All exercise bikes and ellipticals have a certain advantage over treadmills. They are all low impact machines. This means that they are easier on the joints and it is very unlikely that you will develop any pain in the future from using these machines. Nonetheless, there will always be some people with further anatomical issues. They might have back or shoulder pain from being hunched over on a stationary bike. Also, overweight people may find it difficult to bear the entire body weight on their knees and ankles for long periods of time. The recumbent bike provides a solution to all these problems. They feature large comfortable seats with back support. The seat itself is reclined and the pedals are in front of the body. This means that there is very little stress exerted on the legs. It is advisable to consult with a physician beforehand if you do experience any sort of physical discomfort.

A regular saddle and a recumbent bike seatA regular saddle and a recumbent bike seat

Image: A regular saddle and a recumbent bike seat

5. Progression and Variability

To keep seeing results, you need to incorporate change into your routine and also gradually increase the difficulty. Otherwise, your body will get used to doing the same exercises over and over again. Stationary bikes and ellipticals usually employ magnetic resistance that can be adjusted with a dial. As you turn the dial, a magnet gets closer to the flywheel and it becomes difficult to turn. Air bikes have a much different system. Instead of a flywheel, a large fan is linked to the pedals. The only way to increase resistance is to pedal faster so that the fan rotates faster and generates more air resistance.

A traditional flywheel and an air bike fanA traditional flywheel and an air bike fan

Image: A traditional flywheel and an air bike fan

Image Source: jllfitness.co.uk and azcd.harveynorman.com.au

Another way to continue progression is to change how you actually perform the exercises. Beginners will probably cycle continuously at a steady pace, while advanced level users will include intervals into their training. Time is also a good indicator of progress. You know your stamina has improved if you can continue pedaling for longer.

6. Durability and Ease of Use

This is where exercise machines with moving arms have a slight disadvantage compared to ones that do not have moving arms. There is a higher likelihood of something going wrong or breaking due to the extra moving parts. Even then, breakdowns are very rare and they only need occasional maintenance to last for decades. Air bikes have it the worst because of the high-speed rotation of the fan.

When it comes to ease of use, there is no learning curve associated with normal stationary bikes. Just hop on and start pedaling away. However, for elliptical machines and dual action bikes, some coordination is required. It might take a couple of sessions to get used to the motion and execute it perfectly throughout the entire workout.

7. Convenience Features

Nowadays, indoor exercise machines are jam-packed with lots of features. These features are meant to make working out more convenient and enjoyable. The most important of these is the adjustability of the seat and handlebars. While all machines have height adjustments for seats, only some have horizontal adjustability. Recumbent bikes, however, sometimes only have fore and aft adjustments. It is also useful to have adjustable handlebars because not everyone has the same body size.

The next thing you should look for is a display console. These will allow you to track your workout by showing the time, distance, calories burned, etc. Some machines have pulse sensors embedded in a chest strap or the handlebars to monitor heart rate. A few high-tech consoles have additional features such as user profiles, Bluetooth, or even stereo speakers.

Bike console

Image: Bike console

Image Source: cdn.sweatband.com

Other features to look for include comfortable padding on the seat, a bottle or cup holder, a device holder or tray where you can keep your phone or tablet, and so on. Most of these exercise machines also have small wheels on the front for better mobility. Be sure to check for them if you’re going to be moving it around a lot. Air bikes sometimes include a detachable windshield that lets you limit the flow of air towards you if needed.

8. Safety

Some common safety features of stationary bikes or ellipticals include the following:

      1. Non-slip pedals with adjustable straps to prevent accidental slipping in the middle of high-speed cycling.
      2. Enclosed mechanics to prevent anything from getting caught inside the moving parts.

There is not much else to discuss here since most of these machines are already very safe to use. As a precaution, make sure that there is nothing within a half meter radius around the machine and definitely keep children out of reach.

9. Price

Price is often the major deterrent that keeps people from buying exercise machines. However, it is a worthwhile investment. This is because you will always have the option to work out even in bad weather and becoming physically fit most definitely improves one’s life. The range of prices available is quite vast, from $200 to over $2000. Steeper costs mean that there are a greater number of features. But it also means that the quality is better as well. We recommend buying from renowned brands and not skimping too much. After all, there is no point in buying a machine only to have it break within a couple of months.

F. A. Q.s

Q1. Which is better, stationary bikes or elliptical machines?

Ans.: Both are great exercise equipment for a low impact cardio workout. In terms of overall fitness, there is not much of a difference. It’s just that an elliptical stimulate more muscles throughout the entire body. This is due to the moving handlebars that engage your arms, back, and chest. This leads to slightly more calories being burned at the same time. The stationary bike lets you focus on building strength and stamina in the lower body. However, this is for normal stationary bikes. When you compare an elliptical with a bike that has moving handlebars, even the small differences are eliminated. The following video gives a good comparison between the two types of machines.

Q2. How should I set up a stationary bike?

Ans: The position of the seat and the handlebars are very important and vary from person to person. If not set up properly, pain can develop in the knees or back. The seat should be at hip height. The height of the handlebars can be adjusted according to comfort, but generally, they should never be lower than the seat. When the pedal is at the bottom-most position, your leg should have only a slight bend and be almost fully outstretched. For a detailed tutorial of how to set up a bike, check out the following video.

Conclusion

If you have read through the entire article carefully, you should now have a clear idea about how to make a final decision. We have put in a lot of time and effort to create this list of exercise machines. Therefore, we can safely say that you won’t face any issues with reliability and usefulness. So go ahead, and pick one! And whichever one you choose, remember to be consistent and stick to your workout routine. Getting in shape isn’t easy, but the rewards pay off well. We wish you good luck on your fitness journey and thank you for reading our article.

Related Exercise Bikes


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Last update on 2020-11-30 at 08:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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