With the advent of Crossfit, there is increased interest in these wind-powered workout bikes.
Crossfit is one of the most hardcore workouts systems that rely on using a huge volume of high-intensity reps to transform the body and increase endurance.
This means your workout equipment needs to be more robust than normal to withstand the intensity.
There is a new need for highly-durable cardio options at a budget price. And a fun subculture of bloggers who test this equipment to the limit.
The Schwinn Ad6 is one of those that consistently gets good reviews in these test. Sure, it may not be the favorite option, but, for the money, it has garnered quite a following.
The Ad6 is just what you are looking for when it comes to burning calories. The air resistance provides a more difficult workout than most other stationary bikes. The fact that it uses air instead of a magnet also means that you have fewer parts that you can break and the bike will withstand longer workout sessions without overheating.
The Air resistance is also a more natural resistance level where it increases the faster you go. This means that you aren’t at risk of overstressing your joints with a needless tough resistance level like you can end up doing on other units.
Comfort is important on these machines, especially since so many of us are hoping to use it to lose weight. This tool has a large padded seat and allows for an upright posture so even those who suffer from back pain can use it.
You also have the advantage of being able to watch TV or use the optional reading rack upgrade that can hold your book or Ipad while you workout.
The critical thing about this bike is that it is both an upper body and a lower body workout. This means that you are burning more calories and getting a complete endurance training, more so than if you were just riding a regular stationary bicycle.
The LCD screen is a major selling feature for many people. It displays your RPMs, Wattage, and Speed, so you can be motivated to keep your effort high.
The AD6 also integrates with Polar compatible chest straps which gives you a hands-free readout of your effort. Heart rate monitoring is one of the oldest and most effective ways to keep track of your effort, and this machine takes your workout to the next level by making it easy to read, even during the most intense effort.
The downside with the AD6 is that it does not have the robust build quality of some of the stronger machines. This is not a gym-quality machine, and if you are an intermediate level athlete or better, you will likely notice this drawback.
Customers have complained about issues with the quality of the assembly where parts were broken or misaligned, and the consumer had to disassemble the parts and rebuild the bike. In some cases, they had to submit a warranty request.
The upside is that you do get a 15-year warranty on the frame and three years on the parts which are better than many companies which only offer one year on the parts.
Now, even though you are getting new parts under warranty, the labor is extra, and, as you can see, for many folks, it can be hard getting the correct parts, especially if there are more internal repairs that need to be repaired.
As you can see from this video, some of these parts are very hard to remove. And sometimes you have several moments of going back and forth in trying to get the correct parts, and sometimes the repair parts cause more problems than what you had before you start.
(also note the lost arm. Bearings failing at this point is one of my most significant concerns with this bicycle as it would create an annoying “clunk.”)
The advanced athlete will likely find the Ad6 to be lacking in performance. But for the beginner and intermediate athlete, they are a good choice for most households.
To demonstrate what I mean, here is a youtube of a skinny Crossfitter (don’t punch me!) going all out on the AD6 for 5 minutes. It holds up pretty well, but you still see a tiny bit of flex in the base of the handlebars, and even with the handlebars fully raised, he has to lean forward to get a good grip on them, which is not ideal from an ergonomic standpoint.
So it could work as a daily machine for the crossfitter to use at home, but probably wouldn’t be ideal for a gym or a household of crossfitters.
Finding a reliable stationary bike for cross training is challenging when you are on a budget. Schwinn does a good job delivering a lot of value for the budget-conscious household, but those households who are serious about getting in shape need to seriously consider if they should increase their budget.