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Traditional stationary bikes vs the Assault
I’m going to come right out and say it; I’m a fan of the Assault AirBike.
I’ve ridden a lot of stationary bikes over the years and more than a few air bikes from a variety of manufacturers. None of them have impressed me like the Assault AirBike.
The problem with most stationary bikes, especially the ones built for home use, is they use a wheel or strap to create resistance and it has to be adjusted manually. It can be difficult to find that perfect amount of resistance while you’re riding.
Air bikes, on the other hand, are my preferred stationary bike style, primarily because the harder you pedal, the more the resistance increases. It doesn’t require you to reach down and twist a knob to gain intensity. So, if you’re serious about your workouts, an air bike is the way to go.
My Introduction to the Assault AirBike
The other air bikes I’ve ridden, even those built for commercial use, were a step up from more traditional stationary bikes but I found the majority of them to be clunky, noisy and inefficient.
Then I found the Assault AirBike and it changed my life.
OK, that statement might be a bit extreme, but I was truly impressed with the Assault bike after my first ride.
My introduction to the Assault AirBike happened when I decided to incorporate CrossFit into my fitness routine. Actually, the Assault bike was the first piece of equipment I used the first time I walked into my CrossFit box.
After years of using treadmills and traditional stationary bikes to do my steady-state cardio and HIIT, my trainer put me on the Assault Bike and told me to do 40 calories as a warm up. Being a bit of a show off, and in spite of her warnings to take it easy, I pushed and pedaled with gusto… and nearly passed out!
Clearly, this was no ordinary ride.
Editor’s Note: He isn’t alone. It’s such a hard workout that Ian Berger of BarBend says, “The Assault Airbike is one of my favorite tools to train the mind.”
While air bikes have been around for nearly half a century, the Assault Air Bike takes your steady-state or HIIT workout to the next level with its ease of use and quality construction.
What’s so Great About the Assault AirBike?
First, the specs:
Structurally, the Assault Air Bike is as heavy duty as they come. The powder coated steel frame is tough and allows zero flex. The bike stands 48.4 inches high, 50.9 inches in length, 23.3 inches wide and weighs in at 98.1 pounds. Thankfully, it has casters built in to the front cross-member should you need to move or store it.
One of the first features you’ll notice when you climb aboard the AirBike is the LCD display console. It has a large, easy to see (even with sweat in your eyes) readout that allows you to simultaneously track your heart rate, speed, RPM, time, calories burned and, if you’re so inclined, watts. I haven’t used them, but the AirBike is also equipped with various on-board programs you can use to vary your workout.
Back in the old days, you’d ride the bike for time or distance. While you can use those parameters on the Assault Bike, my preferred option is racing for calories burned. It results in a much more brutal (in a good way) riding experience.
One of the best things about this bike (other than the killer workout) is the comfort of the saddle and its adjustability. Seriously, the seat is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, features on a stationary bike and not all seats are created equal.
Most of the bikes I’ve ridden had one seat adjustment; up or down. The Assault Bike can be adjusted for saddle height, layback (forward and backward) and horizontal seat angle.
If you’ve ever ridden a bike where the seat was set at a poor angle then you know just how uncomfortable that can be.
You may be thinking, “It’s just a seat. How much difference can it make?” Making sure your seat is properly adjusted isn’t just about comfort. It ensures that you are getting maximum leg extension and the best possible workout. I’m 6’3” with a 36” inseam and there’s plenty height adjustment left for someone even taller.
While riding, one can’t help but notice how solid and smooth the Assault AirBike is. There’s no wobbling, no vibrations and no slack in the pedals or handlebars. All of the energy you expend is transferred directly into the bike whether using your legs, arms or both.
Apparently, that’s due to the rigidity of the thick-gauge steel frame and, according to the Rogue website, at least 1-2 sealed cartridge bearings at every pivot point. That includes the flywheels, the pedals, bottom bracket and linkage arms. There are over 20 bearings in all.
Like I said, solid and smooth.
Even the pedals are heavy duty. They’re constructed with enough surface area and grip so your feet won’t slip off no matter how hard you’re pedaling.
Using the handles
The Assault Air Bike also has a set of knurled foot rests attached to the hub of the wheel for those occasions when your legs are burnt and you want to focus on an upper body/ cardio workout.
That’s right; you can vary your workout on the Assault bike by using just your arms. To improve your pushing strength, focus on pushing the bike’s arms away from you. Or you can work on your rowing motion. The Assault AirBike has super comfortable hand grips that flare out wide so you can keep your hands narrow or move them to the outside for more focus on the deltoids.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I am a fan of the Assault AirBike.
The bottom line is the Assault bike is a bad ass piece of gym equipment. It’s built for commercial use but it would make a great addition to my home gym. In spite of the fact that the Assault bikes I use are shared by dozens of people of varying heights, weights and intensity every day, they are still in terrific shape. Even the pedals and seat show minimal wear. That is a testament to the quality of this machine.
Rogue offers an optional water bottle holder kit and an Assault wind screen which cuts down on the wind blowing in your face and quiets the fan noise. The Assault bike I use has neither of these options and that’s OK. I kind of like the wind blowing in my face and I never thought the bike was particularly loud. A bottle holder might be a nice addition but it’s far from essential. It’s not like I would say, “What? No bottle holder? Forget it.”
The regular price on the Assault AirBike starts at around $1000 (plus $40 apiece for the bottle holder and wind screen options) so it’s no small investment. That being said, this is the most solid, most versatile stationary bike I’ve ever ridden in a commercial setting or otherwise. It’s so versatile, in fact, that if you were to add only one piece of equipment to your home gym, this would be the one.
This is sometimes referred to as the Rogue Assault Bike, but Rogue is just one of the biggest dealers. The bike is made by Assault Fitness. People sometimes are referring to the Rogue Echo Bike.
I am a practicing lawyer and not affiliated in any way with either of the brands mentioned in this review.
I purchased an Assault Bike Pro for $799. It arrived on schedule and was straightforward to assemble. Unfortunately, when I began riding it, it was clear that something was wrong. It was extremely loud and grating, almost like a wood chipper. I have ridden several different brands of wind bikes, and this was DRAMATICALLY louder. Loud enough to cause hearing damage if ridden for an extended period of time. It was clear that it was delivered defective. I immediately called customer support but was told customer support was too busy and not taking calls. I checked the website regarding the return policy and the only instructions given were to contact the company for returns. Since an email address was not specifically provided for returns, I sent several emails to several different email addresses requesting instructions, though I did not receive any reply after 3 days. I called customer service and the info number daily in the interim and was not able to get through to anyone. After 4 days of calling, I was able to get someone on the phone. He explained that in order to return the defective product, I would have to pay shipping as well as a 20% restocking fee if it was not returned in new condition. I explained that it would be returned in new condition and I have no problem paying a reasonable shipping fee. He said he would follow up with instructions.
2 days later, I got instructions for initiating the return. The email explained that they would be charging over $400 for shipping ($200+ each way) in addition to a 20% restocking fee. All told, I would be paying $536 to return the product. That is nearly 70% of the original $799 price tag. I explained that the product would be returned in new condition, as it was barely used, but he claimed that if it was unboxed, the 20% restocking fee would apply, even though it is a defective product. That is not consistent with the return policy announced on their website, which I explained. The representative was unable to respond to that point and simply reiterated what they would be charging.
Altogether, I will be paying the $536 and spending several hours between unboxing, assembling, disassembling, and reboxing (they require returns to be returned in the same box, which is a bit of a puzzle). All for a product that was simply unusable. Honestly, I would’ve been completely fine paying the shipping one way, even though it was a defective product. I appreciate that shipping a heavy product is expensive, but these charges are absurd. Instead of letting me pay $200+ to to ship it back, and just taking the product back in new condition, Assault Fitness chose to take the extra $300. That speaks volumes to how they feel about their customers.
It is clear that Assault Fitness is unloading substandard and defective products and enforcing hidden and draconian fee schedules for returns in order to convince people to keep them. Take the money and run, I suppose. Businesses are free to conduct themselves as they wish, but I think most people would find such practices to be deceptive, at least.
It is frankly not a financially beneficial use of my time to write negative reviews online, though I do find personal value in writing positive ones. It is the holiday season, however, and I will be happy if one person who is focused on improving their exercise routine sees this review and decides not to light their money on fire by buying an Assault Bike.
I have ordered a Rogue Echo bike to replace the Assault Bike Pro, and it is due to arrive soon. I do hope to return to this space to write a positive review, if it is warranted!
Thanks for sharing your experience. Were they trying to get you to exchange it for another instead of pay the extra fees? I saw a video from early this year showing a bad rattling on an Assault bike that might be like yours. The Rogue Echo bike appears to be a lot more popular at this point. For whatever reason Rogue is still selling the Assault bike too. Anyway, please do share your experience on the Echo bike when you try it out!
They didn’t offer an exchange, they wanted me to have technicians come out and look at it and try different things, maybe replace some parts. If they had offered me an immediate replacement, or the customer service experience wasn’t so awful, I might have been more open to another option. But honestly, it’s a piece of equipment that I hope to put a lot of time and miles into, and if the experience is that bad from the outset, I don’t count on it improving. My time also has some value to me and I don’t want to get a piece of equipment and immediately dump hours into having strangers in my home trying to fix it. To me it’s worth eating the shady, inflated fees to not have to deal with them any more.
Hopefully the Rogue Echo will be a different experience! It arrived today and I haven’t assembled it today but I’ll check back in after I do!
Echo Bike has arrived, been assembled, and ridden. There was a $46 difference between the retail price of the Assault Fitness bike and the Rogue Echo Bike but honestly, they’re not even competitive. The Echo Bike blows the Assault Bike Pro out of the water in every way I can imagine. The Echo Bike has much sturdier construction, and is sleeker. I’m sure everyone understands this, it just *feels* well made. The Echo Bike is quieter and doesn’t use a chain that would have to be oiled and maintained like the Assault Bike. Because of the sturdier construction, the Echo Bike is a little heavier, but the weight is distributed better so I actually found it easier to move around on the wheels. The Echo Bike has a more intuitive console and was slightly easier to assemble because of some cheap packaging decisions made by Assault Fitness. Hands down, no contest.
As you can see, the Assault Fitness bike is repackaged and sitting in my garage waiting for the company to tell me when I can send it back (for about the same price as a one-way economy class ticket between the same cities). I’m eating $536 because of Assault Fitness’s hidden fees but I’m so much happier with this purchase now that I’ve ridden the Echo Bike and know how much superior it is. I do hope people don’t make the same mistake I did. Do yourself a favor and go with the Echo Bike.
Good to know it’s such high quality! I wouldn’t have thought there would be such a difference on the side of the Echo bike. Their Echo series is their economy versions of other Rogue products. I wonder what made them brand this as Echo.
Just an idea if you haven’t already sent back the bike….list it for sale on FB for maybe 2/3 the price of it new and list the issue. It is possible a very handy person who know how to fix it would want to buy it from you for less than a new one.