The Schwinn Airdyne Exercise Bike: Wind And Nothing More

The Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike is probably one of the few pieces of gym equipment – commercial or home – that hasn't had a drastic innovation in over 30 years! The reasons are simple: the logic behind the mechanics is sound, the construction is like an army tank, and the effectiveness of building resistance using wind makes it theoretically infinite – in one word, brilliant.

Like the Rock Of Gibraltar

The Airdyne maintains stability no matter how hard you push it, and with very little electronic gadgetry, it will last you a lifetime – or several. The large flywheel provides the necessary resistance, and although it can be very noisy, it's reliable, and the grills make it safe. It's either driven by chain or belt and chain, with the chain being controlled by a spring-loaded tensioner. And braking is achieved by air resistance, making for zero wear and tear, and saving several hundreds of dollars in replacements over the years. So now you know why they haven't bothered to change the design in so many years – why fix it if it isn't broken?

Made To Fit Just So

The Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike is also geared to tone your arms and give you a full cardio. The handles are coupled to the pedals, and are designed for several types of grip – underhand, overhand, or skier style. Between your arms and legs you can exercise either in combination or in isolation – very useful when you want to rest one pair of your extremities during a longish workout without stopping or splaying your limbs to avoid being hit by rotating pedals. The seat is really big, and according to the manufacturer, 'anatomically correct'. That means whether you're big or small, man or woman, the seat should be 'just right' for you.

The Idea Behind The Phenomenon

The natural design of the Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike is to use the viscosity of air as the medium of resistance. It's a brilliantly simple feedback mechanism that lets you pedal as hard as you can, fighting the very resistance you're causing by the pedaling. What this means is that the harder you pedal, the harder it is to pedal. In theory, it will bring you to an equilibrium that you can only break by increasing your strength – how's that for an ideal exercise machine? It's quite likely that if the flywheel was positioned horizontally instead of vertically, and the blades were angled just right, you could pedal yourself up into the air, much like a helicopter. Still, you'd need a full-moon night and a friendly alien in the front carrier basket with a blanket over his head to really make an impact, but it would be worth a try.

Other Sundry Items

The LCD display is pretty much standard on all their bikes, treadmills and ellipticals, with a few minor variations to what it tracks. It also has the usual heart rate monitor and the programmable and preset workouts that you can use for a planned fitness schedule. There's also a very quiet fan on the console to cool you off and let you exercise longer, but why they would spend the time making a quiet fan when the main flywheel creates such a racket is anyone's guess.

The Final Delivery

The warranty for home use is quite good – 30 years for the frame, 3 years for electronics and parts, and a year for labor and natural wear and tear items. Commercial warranties are obviously not as generous but that's understandable. However, in actuality, machines have been seen running for decades without any loss of integrity, power or effectiveness. With that kind of reputation, the Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike is definitely a wise investment, even at $625 retail, shipped to your doorstep absolutely free.