Marcy Air 1 Vs Schwinn Airdyne – Which One Is The Right For You?

by: Michael Perry

March 6, 2021

Welcome to our comparison of the Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne.

In this article, we're going to dig deep into choosing the best air bike for your cardio workout. From sturdiness to programs to assembly, we'll dive into detail on each air bike. Hence, you get the most information possible.

For those who are short on time, our winner is the Marcy Air 1. The race was very close, but in the end, thinking about weekly practical use, the Marcy Air 1 is simply more convenient.

The Marcy Air 1

This fan bike sports a stainless steel frame, adjustable seat, dual-action exercise arms, and an LCD console. The air resistance system increases in intensity the faster you pedal. It also blows air past your body as you ride, theoretically keeping you cool.

The Marcy Air 1's LCD screen tracks speed, time, distance, and calories burned. This is very useful for making progress in your workouts. It's also positioned so users can easily see it as they ride.

Pros
  • The steel framework is very durable
  • Exercise arms get you a full-body workout with the option to only work your upper body if you want
  • The LCD screen is easy to read
  • The airflow generated from the fan is decently cooling
Cons
  • It doesn't have as sleek of a look as the Schwinn
  • It's got a slightly smaller range of motion, meaning taller folks might not do well with this bike

The Schwinn Airdyne AD2

Instead of the stainless steel of the Marcy Air 1, the Schwinn Airdyne is made from both steel and plastic. However, it's still durable, and users report long-time use with few issues.

The Schwinn Airdyne also has dual-action exercise arms and an LCD console. The console displays speed, RPM, distance, time, and calories burned. The seat can be adjusted, and the bike claims to come with "infinite" levels of resistance thanks to their patent-pending fan wheel design.

Pros
  • The exercise arms work your upper body as well as lower body
  • It has stationary pedals, so you can work your upper body alone if you want
  • Users report the fan is very quiet, even at high intensities, thanks to the belt drive system
  • It has a padded seat for comfort as you ride
Cons
  • The LCD display is low, between the bike's arms, meaning users must look down to see it
  • Some people report the cooling wind resistance isn't as strong as it could be.

Why Should I Go for an Air Bike?

Excellent question, especially when there are so many options for exercise bikes. Air bikes are a good choice if you want a bike that doesn't need electricity. The resistance comes from how hard you're pedaling and nothing else. You just have to keep batteries inside for the LCD screen, and that's it.

Air bikes are also a highly effective way to build up your stamina. The harder you pedal, the more resistance you encounter. That means your body has to develop its capacity quickly to answer the increased demand.

Spin bikes are also fantastic for interval training. Just set a timer or stopwatch and push your hardest for your unique chosen time. Then when the time is up, pedal more slowly. Repeat for an effective workout at various intensities to get the most bang for your buck.

Not only are your muscles getting stronger more quickly, but your body's oxygen transport systems benefit from a similar experience. When you exercise on a fan bike, your muscles and heart need increased oxygen levels.

Your blood is what delivers that oxygen. So, the more you complete tough workouts on an air bike, the better and more efficient your body gets at transporting oxygen where it needs to go. Boom, improved cardiovascular health.

Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne - The Standoff

Alright, let's dig into the most important features on each fan resistance bike.

Footprint, Build, and Sturdiness

The Schwinn AD2's & Marcy Air 1's Frame

Obviously, one of the biggest things to be concerned with is how sturdy your air resistance bike is. After all, if you're making this investment, you want it to hold up to repeated use.

The Marcy Air 1, as we stated, has a heavy-duty steel frame. The 14-gauge steel tubing is scratch-resistant and powder-coated. If you have children or pets that may not be as careful with your equipment as you'd like, this can be a good choice.

While the Schwinn Airdyne is made from plastic, users report it's no less durable than the Marcy Air 1. Both bikes appear to have a very solid build quality about them.

In terms of footprint, or dimensions, the Marcy Air 1 measures 45" x 25" x 47.5" and weighs in at 79 pounds. The Schwinn Airdyne is similarly sized at 46" x 25" x 50". However, weight is where there's the most difference. The Schwinn weighs in at a whopping 96 pounds.

If you plan on moving your air bike around a great deal, the Schwinn might not be the best choice for you. However, both bikes have transport wheels on the front, so theoretically, you can simply tilt the bike forward and roll it around.

Winner: The Schwinn Airdyne wins this category by a hair. While it's not made of steel, it's still capable of heavy-duty handling use, and it's got a more sleek look than the Marcy Air 1.

Height and User Weight Limit

There is no height limit associated with either fan bike. However, users have reported the Marcy Air 1 works well for shorter people, as they don't have to reach as far to hold the handlebars. Taller users should take this into consideration when comparing the Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne.

However, there is a weight limit, and that's where the two bikes differ. The Marcy Air 1 has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. The Schwinn Airdyne has a weight limit of 250 pounds.

Depending on your current health and weight, the Marcy Air 1 may be a better option for heavier users.

Winner: The Marcy Air 1 wins with its higher weight limit.

The Fan Wheel

The marcy air 1 fan

 The marcy air 1 fan

Fan bikes, obviously, have a resistance fan instead of a band or flywheel. The harder you pedal, the more progressive wind resistance you encounter. The Marcy Air 1 has a blade fan that helps move air around your body as you pedal. The Schwinn Airdyne, on the other hand, has a fan blade shape that moves the air more directly toward you.

Some people report annoyance with the Schwinn on that score, asking for a cover to help keep the air off them. Others wish that both bikes produced stronger breezes to keep them cooler during their workout.

Both air bikes' fan blades are strong and quiet. You should have no trouble getting your heart rate up with these bikes.

Winner: The Schwinn Airdyne breezes into first place in this category. Personally, I'd prefer to have a stronger breeze to keep me cooler than have the air blow around me instead.

Drive System

All air bikes have two options for the drive system: a chain or a belt. Both systems connect the pedals to the wheel to get everything moving. There are pros and cons to each.

A chain drive system gives you the feeling of riding an authentic, outdoor bike. If you value the sound of a non-stationary bike, a chain drive is a good call. However, you have to keep the chain lubricated, which can be a pain.

A belt drive uses a belt instead of a chain to connect the wheels and pedals. The belt has little grooves or teeth that match with gears in the bike to move the wheel as you pedal. A single-stage belt drive is quieter than a chain drive mechanism and doesn't need oiling.

The Marcy Air 1 actually has a belt and chain both. An idler pulley connects to the cog of the crankset using a standard bike chain. The idler pulley is then connected to the bike's fan using a rubber belt. 

The Schwinn Airdyne, on the other hand, uses only a belt drive.

Winner: The Schwinn Airdyne takes another category. Belt-driven bikes are quieter and require less maintenance than ones with a chain.

Resistance

Of course, one of the most essential parts of an air resistance exercise bike is, in fact, the resistance. Without it, you don't get as intense of a workout.

Both bikes rely solely on their fan resistance. That means the intensity of your workout is dictated purely by how fast and hard you pedal. The Schwinn Airdyne likes to boast "unlimited resistance," which is technically true. If you can't break this bike by pedaling too hard, you basically can't max out.

Because neither fan bike has adjustable or set-able resistance, the workout's intensity varies from person to person. What you put in is what you get out.

Winner: This one's a tie. With no resistance levels to speak of, there's basically no difference between the Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne.

Seat

Marcy AIR 1 Adjustable Seat

Marcy Air 1 Adjustable Seat - The More Comfortable Out Of The Two

One of the other most important aspects of an air bike is the seat. After all, you're theoretically going to be spending a lot of time on it.

While both training bikes' seats are adjustable, there's only one direction you can do so: up and down. The Marcy Air 1's adjustable seat has a span of 12 inches. The Schwinn Airdyne offers a similar seat height option. You can't adjust the seat horizontally to be any closer or farther away from the handlebars.

In terms of comfort, users report the Marcy Air 1's more generously padded seat is more comfortable to sit on. The Schwinn Airdyne seat is made of high-density foam, making it less cushioned. However, users also report a simple gel pad improves the comfort significantly.

Winner: The Marcy Air 1's seat takes the cake here. You can't put a price on comfort.

Console

schwinn airdyne ad2 console

The schwinn airdyne ad2 console - Not the best console out there

The LCD display is your go-to source of information during your workout. When comparing the Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne, the display has significant differences.

The Marcy Air 1 has three buttons beneath the display screen, making it easy to navigate. Its six panels show time, distance, RPM, speed, and calories burned, all simultaneously. There are no preset workout programs; however, you can set goal values for time, distance, and calories.

The Schwinn Airdyne's display tracks the same data but displays it one at a time. This unit only has one button to cover all functions, so it can be a bit tricky to navigate.

Both displays are large, so the data is easy to read. However, the Schwinn Airdyne's display is much lower between the handlebars. The Marcy Air 1's is elevated and closer to eye level.

Winner: The Marcy Air 1's three buttons, more convenient location, and ability to see all your data simultaneously (rather than scanning through) means this display is the hands-down winner.

Workout Programs

Get ready for a short section here, folks. Neither air bike has pre-programmed workout sessions.

However! Both bikes still provide workout options. For example, if your cardio workouts consist mainly of steady-state, all you do is pedal at a continuous speed (that both bikes monitor for you). If your preferred workout session is more of the HIIT or interval variety, you'll have to set your own timers, but you can easily do so.

Both bikes track your workout stats during your routine, so you can tell if you're getting a good workout. And, because both bikes have handlebars, they both provide a full-body workout.

Winner: Alas, another tie. Neither bike provides pre-programmed workouts, but both allow you the option to create your workouts yourself.

Heart Rate Monitor

Another category in our Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne lineup that's a little on the short side. Neither bike has a built-in way to monitor your heart rate.

There are no sensors in the handles or anything. If you want to track your heart rate, you're going to need an outside, completely independent device.

Winner: I bet you see where we're going with this one: it's another tie.

Handlebars

Speaking of the handles, let's dig into those a bit. Visually, the handles of the bikes are pretty much exactly the same. Using the handlebars during your workout is a fantastic way to work your upper and lower body simultaneously. That's what makes it a complete exercise.

Both the Marcy Air 1 and the Schwinn Airdyne's handlebars are locked into the pedals. That means, if you want to only move one or the other, you can't.

However, both bikes also come with footrests near the base of the handlebars. You can rest your feet there to keep them out of the way if you only want to work your arms.

Winner: Dare we call another tie? We dare.

Pedals

schwinn airdyne ad2 pedals

One of the most essential parts of a fan bike: the pedals. Fortunately, the pedals are also one of the easiest things to get right.

Both the Marcy and the Schwinn have comfortable foot pedals. These come with a strap so you can secure your feet inside and not worry about them sliding around. The pedals are sturdy, enabling you to pedal harder than you think to get a good workout.

Winner: Are you getting tired of the word "tie" yet?

Assembly and Portability

We're reaching the end of our Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne comparison, folks. Each air bike comes mostly pre-assembled. All you have to do is attach the bases and add the seat, handlebars, and console. Users report it takes less than an hour, and all necessary tools are included.

In terms of portability, both stationary bikes come with transport wheels on the front. You simply lift the fan bike up onto its wheels and roll it where you need it.

The main difference here is going to come back to the weight of each machine. The Marcy Air 1 is approximately 15 pounds lighter than the Schwinn Airdyne. That might make this bike easier to move around than the Schwinn.

Winner: The Marcy's lighter weight means it's easier to move, so it wins this round.

So, Which Air Bike Should you Go For?

To make it easy for you, If you:

  • Value the convenience of a display located closer to eye level that shows all your stats simultaneously.
  • Value the comfort of an extra padded seat.
  • Don't mind not having direct airflow.
  • Need a lighter bike to move it around your home.

Then you should go for the Marcy Air 1.

On the other hand, if you:

  • Value the little-to-no maintenance of the belt drive.
  • Value its sleek appearance.
  • Need a slightly quieter bike.
  • Be keeping the bike in one place.

You should go for the Schwinn Airdyne AD2, instead.

Wrapping Up The Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne

The Marcy Air 1 vs Schwinn Airdyne was a very close call, but in the end, the Marcy Air 1 is the slightly superior exercise bike. Having an easy-to-use display and a comfortable seat means you're more likely to enjoy your workouts, making you more likely to continue them regularly.

If the Marcy had a purely belt system instead of including a chain, it would have gone a long way toward making this a clearer choice. The bottom line is whichever bike you choose, you're making an investment in your health. That's what counts.


Michael Perry

Growing up as the fat kid is what motivated him to take matters to his hands at fifteen, and he has never looked back again since! When he's not pumping iron at the gym, you'll probably find him hooked to his record player listening to rock classics. If only he could carry it with him to the gym. Sigh. On this site, he'll do his best to help you accomplish the same results for yourself. (We're talking about getting in shape, not trying to carry a record player to your local gym)

Michael Perry

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