Spin Bike Vs Fan Bike -Which One Is Right for You?

Spin bikes have a conspicuous flywheel which spins as you ride and fan bikes have a similarly conspicuous rotating fan blade. Have you ever wondered how these differences affect overall performance and what that means for you as a user? Here is a spin bike vs fan bike comparison to answer these questions.

Hi,my name is Kristen. I am a personal trainer. I am a big believer in spin class for weight loss, whether you choose to do it at the gym or stream sessions from your tablet. Spin bikes tend to be quite pricey so many people opt for fan bikes for their home gyms. What is the difference between these two types of bikes?

Here is a spin bike vs fan bike comparison to help you decide which one would be a better choice for you. We compare the Diamondback 510lc spin bike and the Marcy Deluxe AIR1 fan bike.

What Are The Differences Between Spin Bikes And Fan Bikes? 

Spin bike
Fan bike
14 x 23 x 46 inches
45 x 25 x 47.5 inches
Bike Weight
104 lbs.
195 lbs.
Height range
5ft -2 to 6ft- 5
5ft-1 to 6ft -3
Max weight
300 lbs.
300 lbs.
Resistance system

Spin Bikes Vs Fan Bikes – How Do They Compare?


Resistance is based on the wheel in each bike. Spin bikes have a heavy flywheel (usually made of heavy steel) while fan bikes have a fan wheel (made of thick, durable plastic). The spin bike has a magnetic resistance system and the fan bike has an air resistance system.

In magnetic resistance systems there are magnets which are either digitally or manually moved towards or away from the flywheel. Moving them closer to the flywheel increases resistance and moving them further away decreases resistance.

In air systems resistance is provided by the fan wheel as it pushes against the air.  The faster you pedal, the more resistance you get.

This also introduces a difference in adjustment. In a spin bike you can adjust resistance using a knob or digitally as in the Diamondback 510lc, but in a fan bike there is no way to adjust it.

When it comes to resistance, spin bikes are better than fan bikes because you can easily keep track of your resistance levels and make adjustments digitally.

Workout Quality

Here we measure the quality of your workout by the number of muscle groups engaged in the course of an exercise session. The more groups involved, the better the workout.

Spin bikes tend to focus on lower body muscles such as quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. To engage upper body muscles, spin bikes users need to use dumbbells which sometimes come with the bike. If they don’t, you need to purchase a set separately in order to work your upper body.

Fan bikes on the other hand have dual- action exercise arms which you push and pull on as you pedal. This effectively engages both lower as well as upper body muscles like triceps, shoulders, chest and back muscles.

The overall effect is increased aerobic challenge which helps you burn more calories in the same amount of time.

Fan bikes give a better quality workout because both lower and upper body muscles are engaged.

Riding Experience


A key difference between spin bikes and fan bikes is versatility of the latter.Fan bikes allow you to focus on either upper or lower body work at a time. You can concentrate on your lower body only by pedaling but opting not to grip the handlebars. To concentrate on your upper body, you can place your feet on the foot resting pegs next to the wheel and continue pushing and pulling on the handlebars.

Whichever you choose, remember that the handlebars remain in motion as long as the pedals are moving. It is impossible to lock them in one position as you pedal. To stop them both, gently push back on the pedals and handlebars and both come to a halt.


Noise is a major consideration for indoor exercise equipment especially for users living in small houses with other members of a household. Spin bikes are relatively quiet thanks to their magnetic resistance system which doesn’t require any parts to come into contact with each other.

Fan bikes can be quite noisy. The wheel sounds like an electric fan and gets louder as you increase pedaling speed. If you are watching television, you may have to increase the volume and other people in the room will probably be disturbed by the noise.

Fan bikes are better in terms of versatility because you can focus on one group of muscles at a time. If noise is a problem for you then spin bikes are better because they are whisper quiet.

Spin Bikes Vs Fan Bikes -A Comparison Overview

Spin Bikes Overview

Best Spin Bike

Diamondback’s 510lc is a budget spin bike designed for beginners who don’t want to spend too much. With a 32 pound flywheel and magnetic resistance, you are assured of a smooth quiet ride.

Some spin bikes have a knob which is used to adjust resistance levels. With this bike these adjustments are made by pushing a button on the screen.  The LCD display lets you track your speed, time, distance, calories burned, RPMs and heart rate. It also measures watts (energy output). This computer comes with 12 pre-set workout programs so you don’t have to think about your workout routines.

Adjustable handlebars can be moved vertically or horizontally to enable you get a perfect fit. It is worth mentioning that vertical adjustment on this bike is quite simple but horizontal movement is not. It requires you to undo 4 bolts, make the adjustment and fix them back on.

The bars are wide enough to give you sufficient room to vary positions in the course of your workout and are coated to provide sufficient friction even for sweaty hands.

Heart rate monitoring is done automatically using sensors built into the handlebars so you don’t have to wear a separate device for this.

You don’t have to wear cycling shoes to use this bike. With caged pedals, it means you can wear your regular running shoes and only need to adjust the straps to make sure your foot is properly held in place. If you do want to use cycling shoes with this bike, you can remove the pedals and replace them with SPD compatible ones.


  • Quiet
  • Digitally controlled resistance
  • In-built heart rate sensors
  • 12 preset workout programs


  • Must be plugged in to power source
  • Horizontal handlebar adjustment is complicated

 Fan Bikes Overview

Spin Bikes Vs Fan Bikes

Fan bikes, which are also known as air bikes are so called because of their fan-like wheel. Although they are not designed for professional training, they do boast of a strong and sturdy steel frame which assures you there will be no shaking or wobbling even with intense pedaling. The steel frame is powder coated to prevent rusting. There are 2 adjustable levelers to help keep the bike stable on any surface. Transport wheels are used to move the bike from one point to another without having to lift it off the ground.

If you tend to struggle with the feeling of an overheating body when you work out, you will enjoy the cool air blown on your face and lower body as you pedal.

Each bike comes with an LCD monitor which displays basic workout stats so you can keep track of your progress.  It doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor but you can always buy one separately and connect it to the bike.

The seat is comfortable because it is well padded but can only be adjusted vertically. It can be lowered to 29 inches above the ground and be raised to 41 inches above the ground.

Inability to make horizontal adjustments doesn’t make much of a difference for most users but if you are shorter than average you may feel overstretched. If you are very tall, you may feel a bit cramped.


  • Low impact, full body workout
  • Doesn’t need to be plugged in
  • Cooling effect on user and room


  • Quite noisy
  • Inappropriate for very tall users
  • Seat cannot be adjusted horizontally


Spin bikes and fan bikes are two types of indoor bikes which can give you an effective workout from the comfort of your home. The primary difference between them is the wheels used to provide resistance. Both the Diamondback 510lc and Marcy Deluxe Air 1 bike have basic monitors and transport wheels to move them from place to place.

Verdict: So Which Is Better Spin Bikes or Fan Bikes?

Fan bikes prove to be the better type of bike for users looking to lose weight and achieve general body fitness. Their ability to engage both upper and lower body muscles and consequently burn more calories carries the day.


What kind of maintenance does the Diamondback 510lc require?

You need to wipe down the bike with mild soap and water and then dry it with a clean towel. This is especially to remove perspiration which can be extremely corrosive when allowed to accumulate.

I can’t seem to get a comfortable fit on my fan bike. Am I doing something wrong?

The rule of thumb is to have the seat at the same level as your hip. That said, the pre-set holes on the Marcy Deluxe bike are about 1.5inchesapart. Your perfect fit may be in between these so you always feel like you are a bit too high or a bit too low.