The AD6 Airdyne exercise bike is Schwinn’s mid-range fan bike. In their lineup of fan bikes, it comes right smack dab in the middle between the AD2 and the AD7. Fan bikes are awesome and I love the Schwinn brand, so it should be a no-brainer that the AD6 would be the perfect combination, right? Well, not necessarily. Just because a name brand is known for quality work, it doesn’t automatically mean everything they touch is gold.
Especially in situation like this, where the same brand is offering three different fan bikes. Is there actually enough difference between the models to make it worth paying more? Or could you do just fine with the cheaper version and save yourself a little cash?
I think it’s important to take a close look at what the AD6 Airdyne has to offer and then see whether or not it warrants the asking price. That’s exactly what this review is aiming to do. After reading this, I hope you have a better idea of whether or not this exercise bike is right for you.
Before we get into the meat of the review, a quick word on airdyne.
A Quick Word On Airdyne
Schwinn is so popular that a lot of folks think that “airdyne” is actually a type of exercise bike. For example, I’ve seen people asking “who makes the best airdyne bike?”. Well, Schwinn does of course! And that’s because Schwinn is the only brand that makes airdyne bikes.
Technically speaking, “airdyne” is only the name Schwinn decided to give their brand of fan bikes. It’s kind of like asking “who makes the best kleenex?”. Kleenex is just a brand of tissues (and other stuff)- like airdyne is just what Schwinn calls their fan bikes.
Ok, I hope that makes sense.
The important takeaway here is that airdyne bikes are fan bikes. Fan bikes, also known as air bikes, get their name from the fact that their resistance is created by rotating blades attached to the bike’s flywheel. As you pedal, the flywheel (with attached fan blades) spins.
The faster you pedal, the harder it becomes because those blades are pushing harder through the air (creating drag). This resistance system gives you unlimited potential resistance- the harder you push, the more resistance you feel.
This is why fan bikes are so awesome for high intensity workouts, especially HIIT workouts. You can really burn some calories doing all out intervals with these bikes. This is probably why they have become so popular with Crossfit athletes and are often used in their competitions.
Don’t worry though. You don’t have to do HIIT workouts with fan bikes. Remember, YOU control the intensity based on how hard YOU pedal. If you want a more casual workout that’s possible too.
Now that we are all on the same page regarding airdyne, lets move on to the main attraction…
The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike
I mentioned in the intro that the AD6 is Schwinn’s mid-range airdyne bike. It’s mid-range both in terms of price and features. I tried to break up my review based on the most important things I think you should consider when purchasing a fan bike. If there is something I left out or you have any questions, just hit me up with a comment at the bottom.
- Unlimited wind resistance, perfect for high intensity workouts
- Enlarged console that allows you see all metrics simultaneously
- Telemetry heart rate monitoring compatible
- Easy assembly
- 300 lb weight capacity
- Great warranty
- Built-in water bottle holder makes it easy to stay hydrated during your workouts
- Seat isn’t fully adjustable (no fore/aft adjustments)
- Some complaints about unwanted “clunking” noises during use
The resistance on the AD6 is created by the fans rotating against air- the harder you pedal the more resistance you feel. As with all air bikes, the resistance level is unlimited. As I mentioned earlier, this is why a lot of people gravitate towards this type of bike. It can offer one heck of a workout.
The other reason is that you can also get an upper body workout with the moving handlebars. The way the handlebars and pedals are set up on this bike, their movement is in sync. That is, your arms and legs move together during use. This is normal for air bikes, but if you’ve never used one before it might take a little getting used to.
But if you want to work just your arms or just your legs you can. There are little foot pegs on each side that you can rest your feet on if you want to just give your upper body a workout.
Overall, most users agree the resistance system works fine. You may feel a little wind during your workout, but Schwinn designed the bike so most of the air is projected forward and not directly into your face.
Seats on exercise bikes are notoriously uncomfortable. Just the way it goes I guess. The seat on the AD6 is larger and has a little more padding when compared to the seat on the AD2. These changes are definitely a step in the right direction, but most users would agree that the seat is still one of this bike’s biggest downfalls.
We can forgive Schwinn for giving us an uncomfortable seat, because all bike seats are uncomfortable. And if you want to, you can just swap out the factory seat for any bicycle seat of your choice. This is something you can’t easily do on the AD2, by the way.
But not giving us the ability to adjust the horizontal position (fore and aft) of the seat is a big strike in my book. Especially in this price range. The AD2 doesn’t allow you to adjust the seat in this position either. Instead, Schwinn saved this convenience for their highest-end airdyne, the AD7.
You can obviously adjust the height of the seat on this bike, but that’s it. Not being able to adjust the fore and aft drastically limits your ability to customize your position on the AD6. And this is something users complain about- many feel the AD6 is designed as a “one size fits all” bike.
And if you fall outside this “one size”, you may have a less comfortable experience. The shorter and taller users might have issues.
Schwinn made some upgrades to the display screen on the AD6. The AD2 has a very small screen that is pretty limited. Here, Schwinn has increased the size significantly, making it easier to view all of the standard workout metrics you’d expect.
Another big improvement over the AD2 is that you can easily see all of your stats at the same time on this console. The cheaper model can only display one metric at a time in a constant scan mode. Here, time, speed, distance, watts, calories, and pulse are all visible on the screen at all times.
The AD6 also has a jazzy little RPM meter at the top that gives you a visual representation of how fast you are pedaling. It’s a nice little touch, might help motivate you during your interval workouts.
Another improvement on the AD6 over the AD2 is the inclusion of telemetry heart rate monitoring. One isn’t included unfortunately (that would have been nice), but this bike is compatible with chest strap monitors.
FYI, the console is powered by 2 AA batteries and they are not included. No power cords means no outlets necessary for operation.
Putting the AD6 together is fairly straightforward. You are basically just attaching the stabilizers, attaching the handlebars, seat, and console. Shouldn’t take you very long- most users have it fully assembled within an hour.
It may come in handy to have a second set of hands during assembly though, while attaching the stabilizers. The bike itself is fairly heavy.
All necessary tools are included (Allen wrench, small screwdriver).
If you are familiar with any of my reviews, you know I always talk about weight capacity when it comes to exercise equipment. When it comes to weight limits, bigger is always better. It means a machine is well built and more durable.
The Schwinn AD6 has a max weight capacity of 300 lb. This is a solid weight limit and is what we should expect in this mid-range price category.
This is strong enough to handle most users. It’s also 50 lb more than the smaller AD2, who tops out with a 250 lb weight capacity. Larger users should consider the AD7 with it’s 350 lb limit.
Warranty is another important feature to consider when buying any type of fitness equipment. This is like insurance on your investment. Higher quality products should have better warranties, but this isn’t always the case.
Schwinn, however, is pretty generous with their warranties. The AD6 comes with the following:
- 10 year frame warranty
- 2 year mechanical warranty
- 1 year electrical
- 6 months labor
The 10 year frame warranty is pretty awesome. That’s actually 2x that offered on the acclaimed Assault Fitness Airbike, arguably the gold standard in home air bikes. Kudos Schwinn, kudos.
Looking closely at everything the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne bike has to offer is important when trying to decide whether it’s the right bike for you or not. Amongst the most important things to consider are weight capacity, warranty, and features.
After examining the AD6, it’s evident that this bike does have a lot to offer. Being an air bike, it can provide unlimited resistance – great for people who enjoy HIIT style workouts or any other type of interval training.
It also has a decent console that is compatible with telemetry heart rate monitors. This is a nice feature to have because it gives you the ability to keep a close eye on your intensity level during your workouts. The AD6 is easy to assemble, so that shouldn’t be an issue for anyone even remotely handy.
This bike also comes with a respectable weight capacity and a great warranty.
That said, the AD6 isn’t flawless. It’s biggest flaw is the seat that isn’t fully adjustable. It would have been easy enough for Schwinn to include the fully adjustable seat on this model, but I guess saving that for the AD7 makes good marketing sense. Gives them more reason to justify the extra $300…
When looking over user reviews, you will also see several complaints about the AD6 making “clunking” or “metallic knocking” noises after a few months of use. These issues seem to be caused for unknown reasons and aren’t always fixable.
The warranty is generous, so if this happens to you, odds are it will be covered by the warranty.
Given these issues, this bike is still very well rated overall by users.
In conclusion, I think the Schwinn AD6 is a pretty solid fan bike. It is a definite improvement over their more affordable AD2 and given the significant enhancements, I think the extra $200 is warranted. As long as you get one that operates correctly, I think you’ll be happy.