The Schwinn Airdyne Pro is one of the most well-known pieces of exercise equipment in the world. As a physical therapist, I’ve used and reviewed multiple exercise bikes, but I’ve concluded that the Schwinn Airdyne bike is popular for good reason.
In this article, I’ll share my thoughts on why the Schwinn Airdyne is considered the gold standard for fitness athletes and physical therapy clinics across the country.
Schwinn Bike: The Gold Standard of Upright Bikes?
First, a word about the brand. The history of Schwinn bicycles goes back more than 125 years when the bike industry was in full force, and Adolf Arnold and Ignacio Schwinn started what is now the Schwinn Bicycle Company.
From the start, Schwinn distinguished itself as a leader in the bicycle industry, naming claim to more bicycle racing championship victories than any other company.
The Schwinn Bicycle Company continued to shape the industry when they introduced the Deluxe Exerciser bike in 1965. Although a stationary bike was a new concept at the time, Schwinn’s exercise bike helped popularize home fitness.
The arms on an early Schwinn exercise bike resembled the stationary handles of a standard bicycle. It wasn’t until 1979 that Schwinn raised the standards again for indoor exercise bikes by introducing their innovative Schwinn Airdyne.
Using air resistance and movable handles for a complete upper and lower body workout, the Schwinn Airdyne bike is now considered a frontrunner among indoor exercise and rehab bikes.
Schwinn Airdyne Review
After several decades of exercise bike innovation, Schwinn offers today’s home exerciser several different options. Their classic, upright exercise bike comes in two styles: the Schwinn 170 and the Schwinn 130. For a full-body workout, select an Airdyne model – the AD2, AD6, AD7, or Airdyne Pro.
I’ve owned multiple Schwinn Airdyne bikes, from a 20-year-old, classic-style Airdyne to the newest Schwinn Airdyne Pro, and I can walk you through how to find the style that is best for you.
Schwinn Upright Bike vs Schwinn Airdyne
The key difference between an upright bike and an Airdyne is in the handles: an Airdyne bike uses air-resistance technology to give you an upper-body workout as you pedal.
One benefit to the Schwinn 170 and 130 upright models is the inertia perimeter-weighted flywheel. This feature provides the cyclist varying levels of whisper-soft magnetic resistance that are easy on the joints and the ears.
You can contrast these types of bikes in more detail below.
How to Decide: Schwinn 170/130 Upright Bike or Schwinn Airdyne
Both the Schwinn upright or the Schwinn Airdyne model of bikes will provide an excellent workout; but finding the best one depends on your goals. If you’re looking for a full-body workout that includes the shoulders and arms, the Airdyne is a great option.
In contrast, if you want more of a standard upright bike for home exercise and rehabilitation after a knee surgery, the 170 or 130 are two of the best upright bikes on the market. The number series within each bike model designates a variety of attractive features,such as app integration, higher resistance, and a charging station.
Another consideration is the overall size and weight of each machine. The Airdyne has a larger footprint at 46” to 53,” depending on the model you choose, while the upright 170/130 measures 41” long and weighs nearly half that of an Airdyne.
You may need to consider the overall size and weight of the rider as well. The AD7/Pro supports up to 350 pounds as the largest and sturdiest Airdyne available. See the table below for each bike model’s maximum user weight.
|Bike model||Maximum user weight|
|Airdyne AD2||250 pounds|
|Upright 170/130||300 pounds|
|Airdyne AD6||300 pounds|
|Airdyne AD7/Pro||350 pounds|
Remember: the best bike is the one that you’ll use! Whether or not you opt for a bike with fancy features or a smaller footprint, you’ll benefit most from the one that you actually use! 🙂
- Goal track capability enables users to set individual exercise goals
- DualTrack LCD screen displays offer increased visibility to 22 workout programs and goal tracking
- High speed, high inertia drive system for easy start-up and smooth, quiet workouts; Input: 120V 60Hz AC
- With enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, users can set, track and monitor progress with popular app-based tracking tools
- Access the Explore the World app and digitally immerse yourself in a world of virtual courses, exotic locales, and stunning trails from around the...
- Fully-loaded console with DualTrack blue backlit LCD screens display 29 workout programs
- Your purchase includes One Schwinn Airdyne AD7 Bike, 100625 model
- Exercise Bike dimensions: 53” L x 26.5” W x 53” H; Product Weight: 113 pounds; Weight capacity: 350 pounds; Power – 2 D batteries, AC adapter...
- Progressive wind resistance for infinite levels of challenge. Efficient single stage belt drive that keeps it running quietly
Best Bike for Hip or Knee Replacement
The Schwinn Airdyne not only provides an unmatched cardiovascular workout, it’s an essential tool for knee and hip rehabilitation, both at home and in the clinic.
As a physical therapist, I’ve seen the difference a good bike and exercise program can make for someone recovering from knee surgery or a joint replacement. I use one at my clinic as a part of my knee rehabilitation program.
Both the Airdyne and the upright bike models will help you progress through recovery after knee surgery or a joint replacement. Personally, I enjoy riding the Airdyne, so it would be my bike of choice if I needed to rehab my knee or hip after surgery. But if you dislike the upper body component or prefer quieter magnetic resistance to air resistance, go for the 170 or 130.
When you’ve just emerged from surgery, you’ll want to be able to ease into your exercise program. Luckily, both the Airdyne bikes and upright 170/130 bikes feature adjustable seats, so you can raise the seat high enough to make half revolutions early on after surgery. As your range of motion improves, simply adjust the seat again to progress into full revolutions.
The Schwinn Airdyne Pro (aka Airdyne AD7)
Some people ask what the difference is between the Schwinn Airdyne Pro vs. the Airdyne AD7. The truth is that the Airdyne Pro and Airdyne AD7 are the exact same exercise bike (minus the words “Pro” printed on the side).
Schwinn markets the Pro model to commercial gyms and clinics but markets the AD7 directly to consumers.
The AD7/Pro is the top of the line bike in the Schwinn lineup and the one I use in my gym at home.
Why I Love My Schwinn Airdyne AD7
Quiet – This bike is a lot quieter than the old-style Airdyne I’ve owned in the past. I can ride it without bothering someone in the other room (unlike my old Airdyne)
Pre-Programmed Workouts – It’s very easy to start a quick workout with two clicks. The high-intensity interval training programs are great for elevating the heart rate initially or between strengthening exercises.
Solid Build – As with all their models, the Schwinn AD7/Pro is built to last. Heck, you don’t even need to buy it new; any well-kept 20-year-old Airdyne will still give you a good workout. But if you want a quieter, sturdier version, go with the AD7.
Comfortable – The wide seat on these bikes is definitely more comfortable than a standard bike seat. However, the seat on the newest Airdyne is especially comfortable and can be adjusted in four directions quickly and easily.
Multiple Handle Positions – I’ve been using the AD7/Pro since 2019 and really enjoy the different handle grip options, unique to this new model. I think people who suffer from various wrist pain or tennis/golfer’s elbow will appreciate the ability to change grips.
Whether you decide on the top-level Airdyne Pro/AD7 or choose the budget-friendly Airdyne AD2, I think you’ll be happy with the build quality and overall workout possible with one of these Schwinn bikes.
I plan to continue using the Airdyne at home and within the clinic because it’s simply an awesome bike. Good luck as you find the perfect bike for your knee replacement, rehab, or general fitness!