Table of Contents
6/6/19 - Now that some time has passed, we still recommend the Xebex Air Bike as it still performs like new. However, there are many other bikes that have come out that are superior and at an even cheaper price. See our picks for the Best Air Bike here.
There are very few machines inside the walls of a CrossFit affiliate.
Typically, the only ones you will find are a rower, possibly a ski-erg, and air bikes.
In the past, there was one option for air bikes; the Schwinn Airdyne. The Airdyne was the bike found most often in the living rooms of the elderly until CrossFit athletes got a hold of it and realized just how devastating a piece of equipment it can be.
There's a reason they call it, "Satan's Tricycle."
Now, the problem with the Schwinn Airdyne is although it produces a great workout, it was never designed for competitive athletes. In fact, it was designed to sit in the living rooms of geriatrics to be used for nothing more than a glorified clothes hanger.
When there is a problem in the marketplace, somebody inevitably introduces themselves to fix it.
To start this review off I want to make it clear that I have no bias towards either company. Get RXd supplied the bike for a review, but as you've seen in my other reviews I pull no punches when it comes to reviewing equipment.
Yes, save for a few different things, the bikes are merely clones and I will show you the differences including which one I believe is superior.
So, without further ado, let's dig in.
The Xebex Air Bike just looks mean.
It's an all black CNS destroying fitness machine that looks like something out of Mad Max. In fact...
The Xebex Air Bike has taken the basic structure of the original Schwinn Airdyne and added beef. Lot's of beef.
Everything from the handles to the seat look much more solid and tough.
The curved handles are one of my favorite parts of the bike.
The curves allow for a direct feel when you push the handles and also keep them from hitting your knees. This is a big improvement over the Airdyne and Assault Bike who feature handles made out of a curved rod verses the thicker, beefier handles on the Xebex Air Bike.
There's just something about the bike that screams heavy metal \m/, and although this is of little importance to the performance of the bike, it sure beats the old white delapidated Schwinn Airdyne I used to have sitting in my garage.
This bike belongs in The Cellar.
The bike can look as pretty as it wants, but for my purposes the most important features are how long is it going to last and how well will it perform.
I'm going to detail various aspects of the bikes construction, but from a simply birds eye view of the whole bike, it is as well constructed as it looks.
Every component and piece of the bike is made up to the standards of abuse that CrossFit Affiliates worldwide will provide to it.
Let's start by looking from the ground up.
The frame on the Get RXd Xebex Air Bike is as solid as they come. In fact, because the frame of the bike is so heavy and well built, it hardly every shakes.
This is a huge plus compared to the old Airdyne's that would begin to topple as soon as you went for a max effort.
The welds on the frame are overall very good and provide a solid foundation for the rest of the compenents.
There's a few features on the frame that make it stand out compared to previous iterations of the fan bike.
One is the extra welded piece of steel behind the seat post. This piece of metal provides extra rigidity and although it's probably not essential, it shows that this bike is made to take a beating.
Attached to the front of the frame are a pair of wheels. However, unlike Airdyne's who have the wheeles attached to the fan, these are attached to the base and are heavy duty. Rolling the bike around is very easy and for someone like me who trains in the garage, mobility is key!
The base pieces and the metal that runs along the base of the bike uses thick, rounded square tubing. Once again, completely unnecessary, but that's one of the things that makes this bike so great.
It's over-engineered! In a world that tries to skimp on product costs as much as possible, it's great to see somebody make a product that will last generations.
Moving up from the frame, let's look at the drivetrain. This is utimately the failure point for most previous bikes, and when this fails it's an absoulte pain to fix.
This is yet another part of the bike that was not skimped on, and for good reason.
There are all kinds of upgrades within the drivetrain. The first that I noticed when taking a look at it was the sealed cartridge for the bottom bracket. This keeps all of the sweat, blood, and tears that you will inevitably shed on this bike form getting inside the bottom bracket.
The chains and cogs appear to be of good quality although I'm unsure of the material they're made of.
The crank arms look like they will never, ever be a problem. They are made out of forged Cro-moly which are a huge upgrade over the old stamped out crank arms. This is yet another feature that is overbuilt and unneccessary but oh-so good.
Attached to the crank arms are real pedals. Who would have thought it would be a good idea to add real bike pedals to a fan bike?!?! It seems silly to say, but the pedals on my old Airdyne were always loose and uneven, so having real pedals that spin smoothly and provide grip is a big benefit.
Enclosing the drive train are two pieces of stamped out sheet metal formed to keep dust and debris out, and to also allow for a clean look for the drive train.
One of my biggest pet peeves of the older Airdyne's was trying to get the swing arms and pedals to move together fluidly.
What would happen was I would pedal, but there would be a delay before the crank arm would make contact with the handles. This was the most frustrating thing and didn't just happen in the beginning, but every rotation.
I began to do some research on how to fix this problem and come to find out, due to a lack of micro adjustment features that should have been included on the bike, it was nearly impossible to get it dialed in.
Well, Get RXd fixed this problem by adding all sort of areas that can be micro adjusted to allow the user to dial in the Xebex Air Bike exactly how they want.
B. E. A. UTIFUL
This micro adjustment can be seen below:
Attahed directly to the drive train are two pieces of metal that allow the arms and pedals to move in sync. These need to be rigid and tough (which they are) due to the amount of force that is exerted on them during the initial pedaling.
In both the Schwinn Airdyne and the Assault Air Bike, the pieces of metal that connects the pedals to the handles are simply screwed into the bottom of the handle allowing only forward and back movement.
What ends up happening over time however, is because so much force is put on this joint, it can sometimes want to torque which puts A LOT of wear and tear on the joint and over time can cause it to loosen quite a bit.
Get RX'd uses something unseen up to the point of the Xebex Air Bike creation called Universal Ball Joints. These are used in all sorts of heavy duty products in other industries, but the advantage is, they can spin, allowing the joint to move with the force that is being placed on it, rather than trying to resist it. This isn't something you'll notice while using the bike, but overtime, it will resist wear and allow for a much longer lasting joint. You can see this here:
I've spoke on the looks of the handles, but they truly are very functional. The design allows the user to have a direct push while staying out of the way of the knee caps. Because they are so rigid, they keep from warping and thus allow for no loss of power. This is a feature that is only on the Xebex Air Bike and can't be seen on the Schwinn Airdyne or the Assault Bike.
Although the handles are a great design, the best part about them is how they are attached.
In both the Schwinn Airdyne and the Assault Air Bike the foot peg is bolted the the handle bars with nothing capped off. Shown Below:
This causes more wear on the joint and will cause the handles to become loose quickly compared to how the Xebex Air Bike's handles are attached.
The Xebex Air Bike uses 2 separate bushings and is capped off to keep the handle bar to the frame.
As shown above, the Assault Bike uses a foot peg as a rest which is similar to the Schwinn Airdyne except it's made of metal, is knurled like a barbell, and looks really sweet.
Th problem is not in it's looks, but in how it's attached.
Get RXd saw this problem and rather than attaching the foot rest to the most important joint on the entire bike, they bolt two diamond plate foot rests directly to the frame.
This not only allows this portion of the bike to last longer, but is a huge upgrade when you use only your arms on the bike, or when doing things like EMOM's and Tabata's where you rest your feet after a max effort set.
You can see how it's bolted here:
The Xebex Air Bike no longer features the diamond plate foot rests. I still believe the bike is superior to the Assault Bike, however this was a great feature and I wish they would have kept it.
The seat post is as you would imagine, engineered beyond what is needed.
One of the adjustability features that the Xebex Air Bike has that truly makes a difference is how the the seat can be moved not only vertically, but also horizontally.
This is great for people with T-Rex arms as well as Ape Arms. The bike can truly be custom fitted to anyone's body type and is how it should be. If you're going to spend money on something, you want to make sure it fits your body type, and with the adjustments that are able to be made on the Xebex Air Bike it truly is a one size fits all.
The seat on the bike is nothing to ride home about (see what I did there.) It is an improvement over the Airdyne, but in the end it's just a seat. I may be spoiled however, because I have 3 different high end bicycles and use Brooks Leather Saddles. Now there's an idea!
The fan on the bike is an oversized monster.
It measures in at 27" and provides endless resistance. The things with these bikes is they just don't get easier.
The harder you pedal, the more resistance the fan pushes back at you. It's the reason they call it Satan's Tricycle. The fan is powered using chains similar to previous air bikes. It would be interesting to see a belt driven air bike some day like more and more bikes have, but the chains provide for a smoth ride.
The cage guarding the fan is similar to previous air bikes as well and although rather large, doesn't get in the way.
Another feautre about the fan is it's lifted higher than the Assault Air Bike and the Schwinn Airdyne. This allows for extra clearance when moving the bike around. A great feature for us that move equipment often.
The monitor on the Get RXd Xebex Air Bike is a huge improvement over the Airdyne.
I was curious how it would count calories as the Schwinn Airdyne and Assault Air Bike count them very differently. After talking with Get RXd, they informed me the calories were counted using the exact same formula as on the Assault Bike.
The screen is bright and easy to see.
You can track everything you need it to do: distance, speed, calories, time, watts, heart rate, etc.
If you hit "program" from the main menu, you can program SET time, distance, calories, or even heart rate.
You can also program custom intervals by viewing the 0/XX screen, adjusting with up and down arrows and pressing enter. Choose between an infinite amount of rounds, work time, and rest time.
The calories also measures in the hundredths and distance in the thousandths. You can change the distance between KM or MI (start + enter from home screen). In KM setting, the distance is just thousandths of a KM which is just Meters. In Mile, the distance is in thousandths of a mile, so 1000 on console = 1 mile.
For calories - the console shows in hundredths.
So you know exactly where you stand. 100 on console = 1 calorie. 1000 on console (read as 1.00) is 10 calories. This way you know your exact progress.
It can also track heart rate which is something I haven't delved into yet, but I may in the future. Typically I just like to go as hard as I can till I feel like stopping and then go again when I'm ready. A heart rate monitor could probably help dial it in better.
After going through every part of the bikes construction, one would imagine the bike performs as well as it's built.
And, you would be right.
The bike sucks just as much as any other when it comes to destroying your CNS. There is no shake, rattle, or roll with the bike and it feels ultra smooth.
Because the tolerances on the bike are so precise you feel connected to the bike while riding. There is hardly any play and every push and pull you feel like the bike felt it's full force.
This is really what it comes down to when you're in the market for an air bike.
Both of these bikes completely blow the Schwinn Airdyne out of the water. No question.
But, how do you decide between Xebex Air Bike and the Assault Bike.
Well, let me help.
First off is price.
Both offer free shipping.
Second, lets look at the features.
This is going to be a bold statement, but, from what I've seen:
Literally, there's hardly any differences between the frame.
The differences between them are from my view, the Xebex uses heavier duty components in the joints, handles, foot rests, and seat adjuster. They also use different monitors, but they track the same and the Xebex Air Bike comes with a water bottle holder (who needs water anyways though right?)
So, if you're buying based solely on price, the clear winner is the Get RXd Xebex Air Bike.
If you're buying on features, I'd have to give it to the Get RXd Xebex Air Bike as well. The components are heavier duty, thicker handles, better foot rests, and most everything else is similar.
The only difference is you haven't seen the Get RXd Xebex Air Bike featured in the CrossFit Games.
Also, they're both made in Taiwan and I would assume the same factory. I don't know this for sure, because when I contacted Assault Bike they would not give me the name of the factory. Hmm...
In the end, you'll be satisfied with either bike, but from my perspective the clear winner is the Get RXd Xebex Air Bike.
These bikes are an absolutely brutal workout.
I've shown you the features of the main contenders and have gone in depth on the Xebex Bike. The one you choose is up to you.
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