Schwinn AD6 AirDyne Exercise Bike

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Schwinn AD6 AirDyne Exercise BikeReview Facts

Airdyne is a popular series of stationary bike trainers produced by Schwinn. They are now flagship products, and you are probably more likely to ride a Schwinn bike in a gym than to see someone riding a Schwinn road bike on the street. The company has remained in business for over a century by being nimble and adapting to market and industry changes. 

All three bikes in the Airdyne line are denoted by the initials AD, followed by a number. The AD6 occupies a middle slot between the AD2 and AD7. Standout features include wind resistance, which means that the harder you pedal the more intense your workouts get. The AD6 also has Schwinn’s unique Revmeter, a dial-like display you can read on the LCD monitor. It makes interval training more efficient by giving a graphic picture of how hard you are working. 

Not limited to HIIT sessions or advanced users, the AD6 lets anyone of any experience level jump on and start making cardio and strength progress right away. The console is easy to use, without a lot of advanced metrics or options to clutter things up and add complexity. The bike is useful for both advanced users and fitness seekers.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Wind resistance feels natural, and pedaling harder means more cooling air from the fan

Almost unlimited resistance, because it adjusts automatically with your level of exertion

Handle bars move back and forth so you get an upper body workout along with cardio

Wireless heart rate is part of the base package

Schwinn offers a 2-year parts warranty and reputation for good customer service

Traditional frame style mimics the experience of riding a bike on the road

Padded adjustable seat, pedal straps add comfort and stability

Cons

No ability to create user profiles or program your own workouts

The LCD screen is rather small and lacks advanced metrics

No tablet holder--reading rack is sold separately

The Rundown

The Rundown

The AD6 upright Airdyne Exercise Bike is not an advanced smart device, and does not pretend to be. There is no iFit service, and your workout metrics are not saved after you complete a workout. In some ways, the AD6 is a return to what Schwinn does best--a simple, effective fitness tool that everyone in a family can use. The stripped-down design and lack of advanced features make the bike easy to learn, and the wind resistance means you can just sit down and start working out.

Of course, those of us who need more advanced metrics or who are used to a much bigger screen may be disappointed. Still, we think the AD6 upright bike is a great middle-ground between compact folding units and large light commercial models. The folders may have issues with durability, and will also not let every user push themselves the way they need to. And the larger models may be heavy, hard to move, and packed with features and adjustments that a lot of us will never need.

The monitor is taller than it is wide and may be hard to read for some users. It will give you calories, watts, speed, distance, time, and RPM data for the current workout only. Since resistance cannot be set, there are no programs to simulate hill climbing, racing, or similar events. But you can easily create your own HIIT workout on the fly just by pedaling harder during the intense intervals. Heart rate is from the handlebars or an optional chest strap (not included). But unlike more expensive models we have seen, this upright exercise bike is compatible with a Polar or certain other third-party chest straps.

Specs and Features

Specs and Features

Assembly is straightforward with this unit, and the manual does a great job of illustrating each step. Although the bike is fairly light, not approaching commercial unit weight, it is still best to have a friend help you put this exercise bike together. The only tools you will need are included, except for a razor knife which is strongly suggested but not mandatory.

You do not have to build the whole bike from the ground up, which is something we have seen before. The frame is assembled, with the flywheel, fan, and pedal cranks in place. The first step is to attach the stabilizers. They are steel tubing and do not have adjustable leveling feet, so you will have to place the AD6 on level ground. A solid rubber mat will help absorb shock and also prevent wear and tear on both your floor and the bike frame.

One thing to keep in mind is that you need 24 inches of clearance on each side of the bike. This is for mounting, dismounting, and air cooling. You will also need the extra space to ensure you are getting a complete safe pedal revolution each time. The footprint of the AD6, minus the 24 inches, is 49.7 by 25.7 by 50.9 inches (L x W x H). One advantage of using a bike for cardio, instead of something where you have to stand up, is never having to worry about hitting your head on the ceiling even if you are taller than average. Since the seat height is adjustable, most rider heights are accommodated. The user weight capacity is 300 pounds. A higher capacity would have been nice, since a sit-down bike is often the best choice for someone who is obese, has been sedentary a long time, and needs to start getting fit somewhere. The frame is sturdy and durable; Schwinn offers a 10-year warranty on it. The LCD monitor is powered by 2 AA batteries, which are not included.

If you decide to purchase a reading rack or windscreen, they will bolt on without much trouble. The rack will hold a book, magazine, or tablet, though there are no clamps to keep a tablet in place and the height/angle are not adjustable. The windscreen looks like the fenders you sometimes see on road bikes. It fits over the fan to direct air away from your legs without blocking airflow. Some users may prefer to feel the wind on their legs since it simulates road riding--it is a matter of personal preference, and the screen is inexpensive.

Though Schwinn does not bill the AD6 as a compact or portable exercise bike, the low weight and rear casters make it easy if you want to move the bike to a different room. Many of us will be able to move it alone with no help. Though you cannot fold it, the relatively narrow width means you can stow the bike temporarily in a garage or unused room if you need to.

You can also work out just by pushing and pulling the handlebars, without even pedaling, if you want to. Even without a richly featured monitor or streaming workout library, you do get some versatility out of the Schwinn AD6 bike.
Who It Is For

Who It Is For

The Schwinn AD6 Upright Exercise Bike is an affordable, easy to use, an uncomplicated choice for many different users, although dedicated athletes will probably view it as a secondary activity on days when they cannot or do not feel up to doing more strenuous, sport-specific workouts. For example, a boxer would benefit from the heart rate training but only get minimal strength training since the handlebars are not weighted.

Elderly people, or those with chronic joint inflammation who still want to maintain physical wellness, will love this low-impact exercise bike. It requires almost no setup or maintenance; anyone who wants to can turn on the console and start pedaling. The resistance will auto adjust to the user’s level of effort. The entire experience is low impact, and you can get a complete body workout without having to stand up like you would with an elliptical trainer.

The comfort and ease of use also suit this bike for children or young people who are getting their first introduction to fitness. With the bike as a foundation, they can decide whether they want to pursue another main activity like weightlifting or perhaps go out for school sports.

This upright bike is also versatile enough to be your main or sole means of staying fit if you are unable or unwilling to get to a gym regularly. You can use it as a means of self-healing from injury (after clearing yourself with a doctor or physical therapist). One of the most positive reviews we found came from a man who used the AD6 during a long recovery from a shoulder injury. He was able to keep up his heart health and leg strength, while keeping weight down, for as long as it took to get his shoulder gently back up to speed.
Stick With It Factor

Stick With It Factor

There are several reasons we think you will want to keep using the Schwinn AD6 air resistance bike. The smooth, lifelike revolutions and resistance, which you do not have to adjust, will keep up with you and become more challenging when you need it. The handlebars will add to your trunk, back, and arm strength, and you can even use them without using your legs if you want. It is true there are not any programs or user profiles, but that also means there are no data points to keep up with. You are able to set more modest goals, like working out for at least a half-hour five days a week. Riding the bike is not like lifting weights--it is something you can do nearly every day, which will show you results right away as you become more energetic and can power through your day without as much fatigue. The pedals and crank system keep your legs aligned along with a full but safe range of motion, so there is little chance of injury from any improper or flagging form. And when you get tired, you can just pedal slower, let the resistance go down, and feel the cooling air from the fan (unless you opt for the add-on windscreen).

The Final Word

The Final Word

We recommend the Schwinn AD6 Upright Airdyne Exercise Bike for any home gym user who wants something that provides consistent cardio and some strength training, for as much time as you are able to give, and that will not bog you down or present you with endless options and data points to look at. The AD6, more so than its older sibling the AD7, is a partial throwback to a simpler time, when families shared a piece of cardio equipment and everyone was able to benefit. But this exercise bike also comes with oversized, textured pedals, a modern drive and fan system, and one of the best warranties in the industry. Although it will not help every athlete reach the next level of performance, anyone is able to use the Schwinn AD6 and either maintain or increase their level of fitness in a short amount of time. This also stands true for those who have to have a low-impact exercise routine. This upright exercise bike would make the perfect asset to anybody's home gym and will only continue to prove its value workout after workout and year after year!