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The Xebex Air Plus Performance Bike showed up in front of my garage to the unfortunate surprise of my delivery driver, Phillip.
Get RXd is the company who is the exclusive retailer of Xebex in the United States and they do a good job of branding the boxes and making sure they get to the customer in one-piece. I've had quite a few different things shipped from them and have yet to have a problem.
It always amazes me the engineering that goes into packing a piece of equipment the size of this bike into a box that's easily shippable.
Once opened, it makes it even more apparent the thought that goes into it.
Everything is protected by foam and not a scratch made its way to the bike.
We've reviewed a LOT of bikes here at Garage Gym Reviews.
Seriously, I don't know of many bikes that are currently available that we have yet to get our hands on.
You know, there was a time that the only air bike option available was from Schwinn. They had their classic Airdyne series that had been mostly owned and used by elderly folks to hang clothes. CrossFitters, however, rescued these devil tricycles from their grave and gave them new life.
I really think Schwinn came way too late to the party by taking so long to come out with the AD Pro. Companies like Xebex have since capitalized on the fact that Schwinn took so long to bring a bike worthy of the CrossFit Affiliates and the CrossFit Games.
The Xebex AirPlus Performance Bike is essentially the exact same bike as their previous iteration, the Xebex Air Bike, except with an updated monitor and included magnetic resistance.
When first introduced, we rated the Xebex Air Bike pretty high. The reason was because it brought similar features to the Assault Air Bike (the best air bike at the time) in at a smaller price point.
Since the Assault Bike has been introduced, there have been many companies produce similar bikes or better ones like the Rogue Echo Bike.
To be completely honest, the Xebex Performance Air Bike uses pretty much the same frame as the Assault Air Bike. In fact, considering both are made in Taiwan, I wouldn't be surprised if they were made in the same factory.
What this means, is the Xebex Performance Air Bike is going to perform very similarly to the Assault Air Bike.
The legs on the Performance Air Bike are stable and have adjustable feet to adjust for variances in the floor.
On the front of the bike are oversized wheels that make maneuvering the bike very easy no matter what surface you're trying to move over.
The frame is rather solid as well. Although it's not as stable as say the Rogue Echo Bike due to a lighter overall build, users won't experience much rocking unless they're pushing some pretty heavy wattage during all out sprints. Basically, the same stability as the Assault AirBike.
The fan on the AirPus Performance Bike is not oversized like the Schwinn AD Pro or the Rogue Echo Bike. They've continued the style used on the Assault AirBike by using a bike rim with fan blades attached. It gets the job done, but doesn't provide as much resistance as larger fan blades.
This said, I don't know if you'd really want a lot more resistance.
The cranks of the bike are attached using a piece of metal to the arms. This allows the arms and cranks to be in sync. One thing I've noticed about many of these bikes is that over time, the develop a gap between the time you push the handles and when the cranks begin to move.
Although the bike is fluid now, if there are any issues in the future, I'll be sure to update the review.
The arms on the Xebex Air Plus Performance Bike are actually some of my favorite on this style of bike. The Assault Air Bike uses thin tubing on the arms that can flex a little bit if you start cranking really hard. The Xebex arms stay out-of-the-way of your knees and are more structurally sound to prevent flexing.
Basically, when you start pushing on the handles, the fan should start moving.
Xebex has improved the way the foot pegs and handles are attached to the bike since the last time we reviewed them. This should keep the arms from coming unscrewed like would happen in the past. This was actually one of my biggest pet peeves with their previous model, and I'm glad to see it improved.
Similar to the Assault AirBike, the Xebex Air Plus Performance Bike still utilizes a chain-drive system. Some people prefer the feeling of the chain-drive system, which I can understand as it's easier, but that doesn't mean it's better.
Chain-drives are notorious for requiring much more maintenance than belt-driven systems like what is found on the Schwinn AD Pro and Rogue Echo Bike.
Chain drives can work fine, just understand that they require more maintenance and are more likely to break than belt-driven systems. Chain drives are also louder and although this machine isn't louder than say an Assault AirBike, there is definitely an audible difference between it and the Rogue Echo Bike.
Now to the changes that have been made. First the monitor.
To be completely honest, the monitor that was on the first Xebex Air Bike was pretty bad. It was difficult to navigate, not super accurate, difficult to read, and just overall a bad monitor.
Xebex and Get RXd went back to the drawing board and created a new monitor that is EXCELLENT. Seriously, it's easy to read and navigate, has preset option buttons that are similar to the Assault Air Bike and just works.
It's not flashy or fancy, and although I would like to start to see companies create bikes that have global leaderboards like what Concept 2 has done with their Performance Monitors, I'm still a fan.
Great job Xebex.
Now for the most significant change to the bike, and that is the magnetic resistance.
To be frank, when Get RXd first contacted us regarding a review of their new magnetic resistance bikes, I was a bit skeptical. It's not that I don't like seeing new technology, but sometimes companies will add unnecessary features simply for the marketing and higher price point.
After using the magnetic resistance feature pretty extensively, I can confidently say it has created a significantly better bike.
This is what differs the Xebex Performance Air Bike from all other air bikes. It uses both air resistance from the fan blades as well as variable magnetic resistance.
There are 8 total levels to the magnetic resistance on the bike. Here's how Xebex lists what they're for:
Now that I own a training facility, you can check it out here, I'm not just thinking about how pieces of equipment work for me, but also our clients.
We have quite a few older clients that love the ability to adjust the resistance up and down and also some athletes that have a love/hate relationship with level 8.
It's definitely more difficult with the magnetic resistance, but it's not so much so that it's impossible.
Now, here's one thing that I believe needs to be said regarding the magnetic resistance. The more moving parts that are added to something, the more likely problems could arise. Am I saying the magnetic resistance mechanism won't last long, no, because I have no idea and neither does anyone else on the long-term durability.
But, understand that there may be more maintenance required on this bike than simpler models in the future.
So, do I recommend the Xebex AirPlus Performance Bike. Yes, I do, but only if you want magnetic resistance. If you don't feel the need to make the standard air bike more difficult, then there's not much reason to check out this bike due to the price. However, if you want additional resistance options that actually work, then this bike is great!
Although we recommend the Xebex AirPlus Performance Bike, there are a couple of suggestions we'd make to see it improved.
The biggest improvement that could be done is to remove the chain drive and instead include a belt-driven system. In our experience, they're more reliable.
The next improvement would be to add knurling to the handles instead of the rubber grips. Knurling allows the user to get a better grip and use chalk. If these machines are going to be used often in CrossFit gyms, then I think this would be a welcome feature.
Lastly, it would be nice if rather than using plastic for the magnetic resistance handle and adjustment mechanism that metal was used. It would look better and last longer.
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