Air Bike vs. Elliptical- Which is the best workout machine for you?

Indoor equipment like air bikes and elliptical trainers are both effective routines that work out your whole body and burn the extra fat and calories. Compared to other cardio machines, exercise bikes also don’t stress your joints while still giving you an incredible aerobic exercise.

Beyond their looks, it is not easy to choose between air bikes and elliptical trainers because you have probably heard they are both cardio beasts. Also, if you are new to all these machines it is hard to know which one brings out the most than the other. For example, you might wonder whether the elliptical is more effective in losing weight compared to the air bikes. Or which machine is good for muscle toning?

I was there once. I have been in the fitness industry for over 10 years now and I have gotten to learn quite a few things about these machines. I have also tried them out myself to write this review and help you know which is best.

What are the key differences between the Air Bike and Elliptical?

Air Bike
Joint Impact
Low intensity
Weight Supported
Infinite levels of wind resistance
20 levels of magnetic resistance
Move with your pedaling action for an upper body workout
Stationary/Movable for total body workout
Calories and Fat Burning potential
High with strength training as well (up to 1000kcal an hour for an intense workout)
High weight loss impact (up to 700kcal an hour)

Air Bike vs. Elliptical – How do they differ?

Ride Experience

While both these machines guarantee you a cardio workout, they target different muscles groups. Air bikes target your lower body while an elliptical works on the upper body. The Air bikes effectively works on your thighs, quads, hamstrings, calves and the butt. Elliptical on the other hand works on the back muscles, arms, glutes, arms, core, and the chest. Generally, if you are up for muscle toning around your thighs and butt, they can both comfortably do that.

The elliptical is the best pick for your upper body workout while an air bike is more effective in toning your lower body muscles like quads and hamstrings.

Fat Burning Potential

When it comes to the final results with using either of these machines it depends on how comfortable you are as well as your effort. The one that is more up your alley is bound to have you burning more calories. That being said though, studies show elliptical trainers generally burn more fat compared to air bikes. This is because the elliptical targets a higher number of muscles meaning you use more energy. This in turn means you can really burn the calories if you go for a highly intense workout. Do keep in mind though that the air bike is nothing short of impressive. A pumped workout can have you losing up to 20 calories a minute.

For stable fat loss, the elliptical is better as you can burn more than 700 calories in an hour on it.

Joint Impact

Air bikes and elliptical trainers are both low-impact exercise compared to other indoor equipment. For example, the elliptical has been designed to be ‘joint friendly’ offering zero impact since your feet are always on the footpads. Air bikes also have a moderate joint effect. The only downer with air bikes is that while they low impact, the knees move from bent position a number of times on every workout hitting the joints to a certain extent.

You get the same kind of low-joint impact with both the air bike and elliptical. They are easy on your body.

Air Bike vs. Elliptical – A Comparison Overview

Air Bike- Overview

Bowflex C6

Air bikes are one of the bestselling exercise machine built for almost everyone. They have adjustability settings to make them fit children and adults. The air resistance has also been built to match anybody’s leg power as you get infinite levels of resistance depending on your effort.

With this bike, you get a full body workout especially with the moving arm bars. You can also choose from the preset programs that train your whole body. Air bikes have three interval programs- 20/10 interval, 10/20 interval and a custom interval. Depending on the one you settle for, you can check your progress on the display.

To add, the Air bike uses a fan air resistance system that measures about 25’’ in diameter supporting a smooth motion matching anybody’s effort level with very little chance of it breaking down. With the high quality pedals and the solid metal frame you are also assured of a machine that can run for hundreds of thousands of workout session.  They also come with polar wireless chest straps that monitor the heart rate for better performance. Their only downer is that they have a rather large footprint.


  • Built with solid material supporting up to 350 pounds
  • Provide the cardio benefits of running and get the heart rate up
  • Simple to use
  • Full body workout, partially on the upper body.


  • Cannot fold and may require a dedicated space
  • Large and heavy due to the heavy-duty solid build
  • Quality options are quite expensive

Elliptical Bikes- Overview

Air Bike vs. Elliptical

Elliptical machines are one of the best low impact high intensity machines. Latest models come with cutting edge technology like the ultra-ergonomic seat and an installable tracking data app. These machines mimic a certain motion and muscles that is almost similar to cross country skiing.

With the elliptical, you also get an incredible cardio workout. The incline design especially determines the muscle group that will be engaged the most. For instance, the higher the incline and stride length, the result targets are your hamstrings and glutes. On the flipside, the lower the incline the focus is driven to the calves and quads. The long upright handles also engage the upper body muscle like the shoulders arms and back while the upright pole offers the key stability challenging the leg muscle. Latest models also come with pre-installed program workouts that will have you hooked on your workout session every time.

The only drawback with these machines is that they can be quite costly.


  • Low impact, cardio workout bike
  • Gives you an upper body work out
  • Reverse stride available


  • Costly

Conclusion: So, which is better- Air Bike or Elliptical?

Both bikes have distinct advantages and are great fitness machines. However, when it comes down to it, the Elliptical trainer is the better buy because of the variability you get and adjustability settings. Also, for gradual effective performance and body health the best pick is the elliptical.


Do you burn more calories on Air Bikes or Elliptical Trainers?

According to studies carried out by Health Status, someone weighing 200 pounds will burn 477 calories exercising on an air bike for 45 minutes. Working out on an elliptical will burn 774 calories on the same time frame.

Which is better for losing weight faster Elliptical orAir Bike?

Given the high calorie burn potential, you can lose weight faster on the elliptical. Nonetheless, they both have immeasurable health benefits.

Does the Elliptical help you lose belly fat?

As long as you stick to your workout routine and watch your diet, the Elliptical is bound to have a great impact on your body posture as well focusing on the core muscle.