Air Bike vs. Rower – Which is the best for your fitness and workout needs?

Should you bike or should you row? The air bike and rower are two quality cardio workout machines that can really keep your body toned and even elevate your mood levels.

Hi there. As a fitness enthusiast, I am always on the hunt for the best way to get my workouts in. After a long day at work, I usually like unwinding by going for a cardio machine to boost my mood and get better sleep.

That is how I came across the air bike and rower that are both low impact yet full body exercise machines. While it is fun to have choices, they are both relatively expensive and you can get excellent results using either exclusively. So, how do you know which one is the best for you? I have done a detailed analysis for both to help you choose.

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

Model
Air Bike
Rower
Dimensions (mm)
44”L x 24”W x 45”H
54”L x 20”W x 22”H
Weight
60lbs
20.5lbs
Type of resistance
Air
Hydraulic (12 levels)
Maximum user capacity
240lbs
220lbs
In Seam Height (Min-Max)
21.5”-33.5”
Can fit users who are 5”-6”
Availability

Air Bike vs. Rower – How do they differ?

Performance

One of the stark differences between the air bike and rower is the kind of workout you get with both. For the air bike, you can work both your upper and lower body depending on what you are up for. For instance, to get an ‘arms only’ workout you can rest your feet on the pegs that are located at the front of the wheel. To get your legs workout, you can let go of the handles and hit the pedal hard.

On the flipside, you get a full body workout with the rower. You do not get to choose which part of the body you are exercising as its movement entail pushing your body up with the elastic spring rope and reclining. A rower is designed with a chain, belt, cable, strap and a rope which are all connected to the handles and energy damper.

The air bike workout is nothing short of an exerting performance. When you are on it, you have to stay in constant motion the entire time. For the rower, you get to ‘relax’ every so often when you have pulled your body up before returning to the catch position.

Calorie Burn Potential

You should not make a huge fuss about the potential calorie burn with a workout machine. This is because the intensity, speed and time you use your air bike or rower is what exactly. However, it does not hurt to know the kind of calorie burn you can expect.

With the rower, you can lose up to 360 calories after a 30 minute rowing session. In this regard, the air bike easily wins out because you can even burn twice that amount within the same period.

Space and Design

If you are a little tight on your space, the air bike is the best option. The Concept 2 Model D for example, can be easily hanged on the wall and even broken into two pieces for even easier storage. Rowers, on the flipside, are not your go-to if you do not have a great deal of space available. They take up a lot of space especially when in use. They are structurally different in how they work as well as the storage process for both.

Air bikes offer more versatility in terms of their design and the space they take up in your home.

Air Bike vs. Rower – A Comparison Overview

Air Bike- Overview

Sale
Sunny Health & Fitness Zephyr Air Bike, Fan Exercise Bike with Unlimited Resistance and Device Mount - SF-B2715, Black
  • BELT and CHAIN DRIVE: The fan wheel creates resistance using the belt-drive, which keeps the bike quiet/low maintenance. Pedals are connected to the chain drive system giving you the feeling of an outdoor bike.
  • SOLID CONSTRUCTION: The Zephyr Air Bike’s steel cage protects and keeps the resistance wheel intact while the heavy-duty frame construction keeps the bike durable during those vigorous workout sessions.
  • PERFORMANCE MONITOR: The performance monitor tracks time, speed, distance, and calories burned to give you an accurate reading of your progress. Place a mobile device on the device holder and follow along your favorite fitness videos.
  • ADJUSTABLE ARMS: High-density foam hand grips and slip resistant pedals lend to both comfort and performance. Adjustable handlebars maintain resistance helping to tone and sculpt muscles in your arms, back and shoulders.
  • WIDE PADDED SADDLE: Extra padding on the wide padded saddle is designed to support you during long rides. The wide seat is adjustable in height to ensure you fit the pedals comfortably. Max Weight Capacity: 240 lb ; Inseam Length: 21.5" - 23.5"

The Air Bike is a quality buy because of the kind of intense workouts you can get with it. Actually, it is better suited for high intensity interval training (HIIT). If you are looking to lose the weight and get the toned body fast then this should right up your alley.

With an air bike, you can also choose between getting an upper body workout and one for your lower body. If you want an ‘arms only’ workout you can use the handles to tone your biceps and if you are out for a ‘legs only’ workout you can leave the handles and pedal away.

To add, air bikes are so ideal because you get infinite intensity levels with it. The kind of intensity you are riding up simply depends on the strength you are paddling at. While most air bikes do not come with a display console to let you watch your favorite movie you are assured of a pumped workout because the harder you push the more challenging it gets.

Like all other fitness equipment, the air bike is not without fault. First, you mostly get a lower body workout with this bike. Secondly, it requires regular maintenance every so often so that you get a product that will last you quite a while.

Pros

  • Can be effectively used for cardio and interval training
  • Easy to use by all people including the elderly
  • Low-impact workout that will not strain your back or joints
  • You get unlimited levels of resistance

Cons

  • Can get a tad uncomfortable over long periods
  • Does not engage all your body muscles in one workout

View Price on Amazon

Rower- Overview

A rower is a cardio workout machine with a flywheel that generates wind resistance with your every movement. Most modern rowers come with an LCD monitor to help you track how much power you are generating. You can easily see the calories you are burning as well as the speed you are doing. Whether you are looking to get an anaerobic or aerobic exercise you can see how well you are doing or whether to pick up the pace.

One of the upsides with the rower is that you literally have infinite levels of resistance. Unlike other cardio machines, there is no maximum setting so the rower is able to keep up with however hard you want to go. With proper strokes, your rower can help you work your core, maintain stability as well as get your cardio workout in. It is a total body experience as you pull and release the chain/strap or belt. When you are using your rower, be sure you have an upright posture and not a slouched back because you can really wreck your body.

Pros

  • Low impact with minimal risk injury
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Good re-sale value

Cons

  • Pricey

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

This article has reviewed premium quality air bikes and rowers in the market. These include the Concept 2 Model D rower and Assault Fitness air bike. They are both well loved by fitness enthusiasts but when it comes down to it, the rower wins because of the kind of workout you get with it.

FAQ’s

  1. Which is more challenging? The air bike or rower?

While they both have their advantages over the other, the rower is arguably more challenging. It requires a more efficient stroke as well as for you to maintain your focus and form.

  1. Are they durable?

Yes, they both are. You are assured of good value for your money. In fact, the rower has a really high re-sale value because of how well they last.