Schwinn AD6 AirDyne Exercise Bike
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.
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
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
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
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
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.