Schwinn AD2 Airdyne Exercise Bike Review
When looking for pieces of exercise equipment that you can bring into your home, sometimes you don’t feel like dropping a fortune on an unknown quantity. Or perhaps you just don’t have that much to spend on the bike. Regardless of the situation, sometimes you just want a bike that doesn’t cost that much. Fortunately, Schwinn realizes this and has made one of their Airdyne bikes to accommodate those looking for a cheaper bike. The AD2 Airdyne exercise bike looks to keep the quality of the Airdyne air bikes while sacrificing some of the more expensive aspects of the bike. But have they sacrificed too much to make the AD2 worth investing in? That’s what we’re here to find out in our Schwinn AD2 Airdyne Exercise Bike Review. We’re going to look at all the aspects that this bike offers and see if it really is the great budget option that Schwinn promotes it as.
Since the main appeal of the AD2 is its budgetary nature, it only makes sense that we examine that first. The AD2 can be found for around $400, which is very cheap indeed, especially for a brand like Schwinn. However, like we said, with this price comes certain sacrifices. One of the most obvious sacrifices are the shortened warranties that come with the AD2. You get a 5 year warranty on the frame, 1 year on the electronic parts, 1 year on the other parts (90 days on the wear parts), and a 90 day warranty on the labour. These are all pretty bad, even for such a low price. Especially when you compare them to the reasonable warranties that come with the rest of the Airdyne series. The official shipping policy of Schwinn is also not great, as it only ships to the mainland United States within 4 weeks. That means that there is no shipping to international countries, no U.S. territories and no Canada. This seems a bit ridiculous, but if it is the company policy, there isn’t much we can do about it. Of course, orders from elsewhere are not beholden to this policy, but that should be the general timeline you should expect for the shipping process. In terms of the assembly process, it shouldn’t be that bad if you choose to attempt it yourself. The manual is fairly straightforward, although it still might be a longer and frustrating process if you’ve never done something like this before. Remember: YouTube videos are your friend for stuff like this.
While monitors do play an important part in modern air bikes, they also tend to drive up the price of the machine. That’s why you shouldn’t expect too much from the monitor of the AD2. It will show you statistics like your time, distance, calories, RPM and speed, but that is it. You can sort through these statistics by using the scan function, as well as switching between metric and imperial units of measurement. (which are both nice additions). Unlike the AD7 and AD Pro in the same Airdyne series, the AD2 doesn’t have any sort of preset workout programs that will allow for workout variety. There isn’t any sort of interval program that will allow for high intensity interval training (HIIT). You also won’t find any sort of Bluetooth connections with the AD2 monitor either. It really is just one of the most basic monitors that you can get. The fact that the monitor isn’t even at eye level just gives an additional reason to not be a fan of this monitor. We realize that you aren’t going to get the best monitor with one of these budget bikes, but it would still be nice to see some additional elements here.
You want to make sure that these bikes provide a good challenge, since that is presumably why you are buying it in the first place. The resistance on the AD2 is the same type that the rest of the Schwinn Airdyne bikes have: dynamic air resistance powered by the fan at the front of the bike. With the resistance being dynamic, it means that the harder and faster that you pedal, the more resistance you are going to face from the spinning fan. Unfortunately, the size of the fan itself is not actually listed, although you can see that it has 6 fans. Another element that we were unable to get the information about is the Q-Factor of the AD2. For those who do not know what that is, the Q-Factor of the bike is the distance between the pedals. If the distance is too large, then the workout can become uncomfortable. If it is too narrow, the same can occur alongside the chance for injury. However, there are few complaints about the Q-Factor, which makes us think that it isn’t that big of an issue. The drivetrain of the AD2 is the same belt as the rest of the Airdyne bikes, making it somewhat quieter than it otherwise could be with a chain drive. However, it is still an air bike and will make noise due to the fan.
For those with smaller homes, you will probably want to know how much space the AD2 actually takes up. It is the second smallest of the Airdyne line, with only the AD Pro being smaller. It measures out to be 46 inches (117 cm) long, 25 inches (64 cm) wide and 50 inches (127 cm) tall. It also happens to be rather light, weighing only 96 lbs (44 kg). On account of this, it cannot hold as much weight as the other Airdyne bikes, only able to max out at 250 lbs (113kg). There are wheels on the front of the AD2, allowing for some easy transportation around the home. Combined with the smaller dimensions, this can allow you to store the bike away and wheel it out when you want to use it (although it isn’t foldable).
But what are the physical elements that you’ll be interacting with onboard the Schwinn AD2. You‘ll find the same type of handlebars on the AD2 as you will on the rest of the Airdyne line. They are dual action and move with the pedals, rather than independently from them. The handlebars are not adjustable. With the foot rests available on both sides of the fan, this will allow you to get some upper body workouts alongside the lower ones that you’d likely be focusing on. This only extends the amount of use you can have for the AD2, which is a positive. These foot rests also allow you to take some breaks in the middle of particularly long or punishing workouts. The saddle of the AD2 is padded, although that still doesn’t make it particularly comfortable. This is a problem that many of the Airdyne bikes have, and the AD2 is no different. The seat is adjustable vertically, although not horizontally. Because of this you don’t have a wide variety of choices to pick from in order to get yourself as comfortable onboard the AD2 as possible.
The pedals of the AD2 are… fine? They don’t do anything particularly wrong, nor do they do anything special. They have some foot straps in order to keep your feet in place during even the most intense workouts, but that is about all that stands out. We suppose this works well enough, as you wouldn’t really expect that much from a budget bike’s pedals. Unlike some of the other Airdyne bikes, you don’t get the same sort of bonus features that you might find from the more expensive air resistance bikes. There is no water bottle holder for some mid-workout hydration, nor is there a media tray that will hold your phone while you spin round and round. You’ll just find that these physical elements are fairly barebones, which is expected of a bike for this price.
Schwinn AirDyne AD2 Pros:
- Affordable price point
- Unlimited dynamic resistance thanks to the fan
- Compact size makes it nice for smaller living spaces
- Moving handlebars and footrests means that you can exercise your arms
- The belt drivetrain makes it a quieter experience than it would be with chains
Schwinn AirDyne AD2 Cons:
- Absolutely horrific warranties
- No training programs from the monitor
- Data monitor isn’t even at your eye level
- The handlebars move, but aren’t multi-grip nor particularly comfortable
- The seat is extremely uncomfortable and might require quick replacement
- Lacks and bonus features like water bottle holders or media trays
The Airdyne AD2 air bike is an OK choice for anyone who is desperate to get a budget bike. But there are much better options out there. Heck, even if you just go up one in the Airdyne line to the AD6, you’d get a lot more value for only $200 more. It seems like the cheapness of the AD2 comes primarily from the sacrifices of the warranties and the monitor. The base functions of the AD2 work well enough, as you still get plenty of dynamic resistance and challenge from the build of the bike. But if you are looking for a machine with anything more than just the barebone basics of a piece of exercise equipment, you might want to look elsewhere.