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Can The Octane Fitness AirdyneX Fan Bike Live Up To The Hype? – An Honest Review

octane fitness airedyneX fan bike

The AirdyneX fan bike by Octane Fitness is the lesser known cousin of the famous Schwinn Airdyne Pro. Although it isn’t nearly as recognized as the latter, the AirdyneX is actually an upgraded version of the Pro. The fact that it has another company’s name attached to it probably does more harm than good. That said, if you are looking for a great fan bike to add to your gym, it definitely warrants taking a look at.

When I first came across this bike, I didn’t recognize it as a true airdyne bike (despite the name) until I started comparing the specs and noticed it has a lot in common with the Airdyne Pro- a little too much in common to be pure coincidence.

Once I discovered it was part of the airdyne family, I knew I had to look into it. I’m a fan of pretty much everything Schwinn does, especially the airdyne bikes. But why does this one have a different brand name? And why does it cost so much more than the original Airdyne Pro?

I plan to answer these questions as well as provide a thorough review of the AirdyneX for you here. Let’s start from the beginning with a quick history lesson.

Who The Heck Is Octane Fitness?

Ok, so you are probably well aware that Schwinn has been producing fan bikes for about 40 years now. They actually created the first fan bike. “Airdyne” is the name Schwinn gave their fan bikes- all of their fan bikes go by that name, but with different numbers to discern the different models.

For example, their least expensive airdyne bike is the AD2. They also have the AD6, which is their mid-range bike.

The Schwinn Airdyne Pro (which is actually the same bike as the AD7) is their highest-end airdyne bike. Most durable, best warranty, etc.

I think you get the point- all airdyne bikes come from Schwinn. Then how did Octane Fitness get their name in front of an “airdyne” bike? Well, long-story-short: Nautilus bought Octane Fitness in 2015.

Nautilus owns the Schwinn brand, as well Bowflex and Universal (and the Nautilus brand of course). Owning all of these different brands puts Nautilus into every corner of the home fitness world.

Anyway, back to Octane.

Octane Fitness was founded in 2001 with the goal of perfecting the elliptical. They concentrated on making ellipticals as low-impact as possible and have contributed a lot of good stuff to the market. They also introduced the world to the recumbent elliptical- a neat way to get a full body workout from a seated position.

Well, when Nautilus acquired Octane, they decided to combine their talents and produce a more heavy-duty version of the Airdyne Pro.

And this brings us to the AirdyneX- the result of their combined efforts. Can this super bike cut the mustard? Let’s find out.

The Octane Fitness AirdyneX Fan Bike

Unless you’ve really been doing your homework, you probably haven’t heard of this bike before. You probably haven’t heard of Octane Fitness either before today- that’s ok. Knowing that Octane is partners with Schwinn should ease your mind a little. After all, Schwinn is usually considered the gold standard in the biking world.

Pros

  • Unlimited air resistance makes it perfect for HIIT or Crossfit style workouts
  • Commercial grade steel frame and crank system
  • Fully adjustable seat ensures a comfortable fit
  • Large, easy to read console with included RPM meter
  • 9 preprogrammed workouts
  • Compatible with telemetry heart rate monitors
  • Easy assembly
  • Impressive 350 lb weight capacity, perfect for larger users
  • Excellent warranty
  • Built-in transport wheels
  • Built-in water bottle holder
  • Built-in stationary foot pegs for arm only workouts

Cons

  • Price
  • Heart rate monitor not included

Resistance

Like all the other airdyne bikes, the AirdyneX is a fan bike. This means all of the resistance is produced by the fans spinning against the air. There is no magnetic adjustable resistance here- the air resistance is directly controlled by you. That is, the harder you pedal, the more resistance you feel.

This is why fan bikes are so great for HIIT and Crossfit style workouts- the resistance is unlimited.

These bikes are really designed for interval training because the high resistance levels will drain you. Not to say that you can’t ride an airdyne bike more casually, you can of course. I’m just saying these bikes are designed to kick your butt.

The AirdyneX has a 27″ fan with 26 individual blades. All of these blades cutting through the air will create a smooth resistance. They will also create a lot of fresh air. I like the feel of the air during the workout, but if you don’t, you can get a wind diverter (sold separately).

The frame of this bike is constructed out of double-coated steel. This gives the bike a durable feel and will help keep the frame free from any corrosion from all the sweating you’ll be doing on it.

One difference between the AirdyneX and Airdyne Pro are the cranks- Octane Fitness has reinforced the crank system and upgraded it to commercial grade. This bike should be able to withstand heavy use from multiple users without breaking down.

Seat

The seat on this bike is identical to the one on the Pro version, as far as I can tell. The seat itself is fairly standard, not particularly comfortable (but this is to be expected, bike seats universally suck). The important thing to takeaway here is that the seat is fully adjustable- that means vertically and horizontally (fore/aft adjustments).

Having the horizontal adjustments ensures you can get a perfect fit during your workouts. Surprisingly, the AD7 is the first airdyne bike that comes with a fully adjustable seat.

In case you were wondering, the seat adjustment knobs are contoured on the AirdyneX and are standard on the Pro. I’m sure that will make all the difference in the world for you.

If you really dislike the seat, you can pop it off and replace it with another of your choice.

Console

The console on the AirdyneX is the same console found on the Pro and AD7. Nothing particularly fancy here, but definitely effective. The console is large enough so you can see all of your metrics at once during your workout- no waiting for your desired outcome to scan across the screen like on the AD2.

The coolest part of the console is the RPM meter at the top. This works well as an incentive to push harder during your workouts. It can also show you how many calories you are burning per minute, another great incentive to go for it during your intervals.

This fan bike comes with 9 workout programs- 3 interval programs, 5 goal oriented programs, and a manual setting. Again, identical to the Pro.

The AirdyneX is also compatible with Polar chest strap heart rate monitors. For the asking price, it would be nice if they included one- but they don’t.

PS- the console takes 2 D batteries, no plug in for an AC adaptor necessary.

Assembly

Most users agree putting the AirdyneX together is pretty straightforward. The manual is well written and the illustrations are large enough to actually make sense of the directions. It should take an hour or so to take it out of the box and have it fully assembled and ready to roll.

All necessary tools (Allen wrench, Philip’s head screwdriver, small wrench) are included.

Weight Capacity

The AirdyneX has a 350 lb max weight capacity. This is the same limit the Pro and AD7 have. This is an impressive weight limit for an exercise bike.

I’ve actually never come across a fan bike that has a higher weight capacity than 350 lb. Even the Assault AirBike Elite, which is built like a tank, maxes out at 350 lb.

This fan bike works great for larger users. It’s designed to withstand high intensity workouts from large athletes. This bike is well built.

Warranty

The warranty on this bike is a little different than that offered on the Airdyne Pro. This fan bike comes with the following warranty from Octane:

  • 10 year frame
  • 3 year parts
  • 6 month labor

The only difference is that you get an extra year on the parts warranty here, the Pro only comes with a 2 year parts warranty.

This is a great warranty for a fan bike and I challenge you to find better. The aforementioned AirBike Elite (probably Schwinn’s biggest competition) only comes with a 5 year frame warranty.

AirdyneX vs Airdyne Pro

If you’ve been keeping score you noticed I didn’t mention many differences between the AirdyneX and Pro. Well, that’s because there really aren’t many differences.

The AirdyneX is labeled as a commercial grade fan bike. I find this interesting because I thought the only difference between the Pro and AD7 was the Pro’s designation as a “commercial grade” bike. Regardless, the below chart illustrates the only differences I can find between the X and Pro.

 Octane AirdyneXSchwinn Airdyne Pro
Warranty10 year frame; 3 year parts; 6 month labor10 year frame; 2 year parts; 6 month labor
Crank systemCommercial gradeStandard
Stabilizer feetCommercial gradeStandard
Price$999$1299

The color is also different, the AirdyneX comes with a yellow stripe around the fan blades…looks pretty cool I guess.

Seriously though, these are the only differences I can find between the 2 models. If I’m missing something I apologize. The weight capacities, machine weights, and dimensions are all identical. The consoles and handlebars (multi-grip) are the same. The seats are also the same, besides the nice “contoured” seat adjustment knob.

And speaking of weight, it is a little surprising that the AirdyneX doesn’t weight a little more, considering the crank system and stabilizing feet are reinforced.

Final Thoughts

After looking at the Octane Fitness AirdyneX, it’s evident to me that this is a really nice fan bike. There really is no denying it. It’s a solidly built machine that has more than it takes to deliver one killer workout at home. It comes with a fully adjustable seat, multi-grip handlebars, and a console that will help keep you engaged during your workouts.

It really is a commercial exercise bike that has a great warranty to back it up.

But…

There is very little difference between the AirdyneX and the Schwinn Airdyne Pro. I would go as far to say that most people couldn’t tell the difference between the 2 bikes.

Technically speaking, the AirdyneX has a sturdier crank system, which might come in handy for commercial use. But for exercising at home, I don’t see how it justifies the extra cost. The extra year on the parts warranty is a nice touch, but again, is it worth an extra $300?

I would say no.

And since the Schwinn Pro is really the same bike as the AD7, you could save yourself $400 and get the Schwinn AD7, arguably the best fan bike on the market.

 

Will

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