Best Exercise Bike With Moving Arms 2021 Review

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This review article features 6 highly-rated and popular upright & recumbent exercise bikes that have moving arms.

I chose what I believe are the top 3 models in each category after evaluating over 15 models during my retail store product-testing and online research mission.

 

Benefits of an exercise bike with moving arms

These dual action exercise bikes can provide an upper body workout while you’re riding, which will help you burn more calories than you would if you were only pedaling without any arm movements.

And getting your arm muscles involved while you’re pedaling will boost your workout intensity and thus increase a whole bunch of health benefits your exercise time will provide you.

Below are the 6 exercise bikes I’ll be reviewing, and I separated the uprights from the recumbent bikes since they’re designed differently.

And there’s also the fact that the recumbent bikes as a group provide a lower intensity total body workout compared to these three stationary bikes that have air resistance built into them.

 

Top 3: Best Upright Exercise Bike with Moving Arms

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

Top3: Best Recumbent Exercise Bike with Moving Arms

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 

 

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Science resources included

As is my custom here on heydayDo, I will provide links to all of the relevant sports science & medical resources, clinical studies, and nutritional data used in this article.

 

 

Quick peek at our dual action exercise bikes

What do owners have to say about the bikes they bought? Well, the Assault Airbike (2,100+ reviews) and Schwinn’s AD7 (1,400+ reviews) both have excellent owners’ ratings across the internet, and the Teeter’s marks are not far behind.

You can click on the bike’s pic or their name to check current price or read buyer reviews on ol’ Amazon.

Upright Exercise Bikes with Moving Arms

Assault AirBike Classic

4.8⭐    2,100+ online reviews

“Very good quality build & sturdy. The assembly was very easy. The work out on this thing is EXCELLENT – works legs, arms, back & core.” – AR

 

Schwinn Airdyne AD7 Bike

4.7    1,400+ reviews

“Very heavy duty stationary bike which also gives you an upper body workout. Excellent way to get an aerobic workout! Assembly was easy.” – SJR

 

Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike AIR-1

4.4    1,400+ reviews

“I like this bike. It is definitely a beginner level machine, but it is plenty for me at this stage of life (66 years old). It was easy to assemble and is light enough to move around easily. ” – MAS

 

Best Recumbent Bikes with Moving Arms

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent

4.6⭐ 2,000+ reviews

“My husband and I had knee replacements and this recumbent cross trainer works very well to strengthen our legs & upper body muscles. The machine is very well built and well worth the cost.” -GP

 

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

4.2300+ reviews

“I purchased this recumbent exercise bike in February of 2008 – and it’s still going strong today in January 2017. It is a good workout for someone who is not an athlete nor is interested in getting an expensive gym membership.”

Stamina Recumbent Bike + Arm Exerciser

4.4600+ reviews

“Purchased for my elderly father to exercise at home. Arm and leg motion. Excellent choice. Not a lot of electronics and programming to deal with. Easy on. Easy off. ” -BJ52

 

Do I need a treadmill mat?

An exercise equipment mat can protect your floor from your home cardio machine, and the force of your body weight pressing the feet of your treadmill or bike down into your flooring.

A good mat also keeps carpet fibers or floor dust from getting up into your equipment’s moving parts and causing potentially expensive problems.

I wrote a buyer’s guide & article on the better equipment mats available for both carpet & hardwood floors here.


 

Exercise Bikes with Moving Arms Review

Okie dokie, let’s get into the individual bike reviews in detail now. As I mentioned earlier, clicking on their name or their pic opens their AMZ product page in a separate tab.

The first three are the upright arm bikes and then we’ll look at the three recumbent exercise bikes. Thanks to the air resistance they all have, the upright bikes provide you with a higher workout intensity, all else being equal.

 

Top Pick  

Assault AirBike Classic

ASSAULTFITNESS Assault AirBike Classic, Black
  • Twenty Sealed Ball Bearings throughout the frame and pivot points to provide a smooth and durable feel
  • Unlimited Resistance for upper and lower body extremities based on Air Resistance; Get a complete Cross-Fit Workout
  • Computer features motivational programs providing many programs (Tabata, Intervals, Watts, Heart Rate) to accomplish your fitness goals.Aluminum seat...
  • Maximum user weight: 350 pounds . Twenty Five inch diameter steel fan delivers maximum resistance, with six way adjustable seat fore and aft, up and...
  • Set a calorie, distance, or time target goal with the advanced computer display ; Integrated messaging to help inspire you keeps the workout fresh

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is one of my two favorite bikes among the 6 featured in this review (the other being the Schwinn AD7 reviewed just after this).

It is built to commercial-grade standards and also has the best warranty, and has been specifically designed to easily handle any high-intensity training program you want to do.

 

Similar to air resistance rowing machines, you supply the resistance through your effort.

The big 25” fan pulls in as much air as your legs & arms can give it.

The more air, the more resistance you’ll encounter, the more intense your workout becomes.

Simple. Powerful. Effective.

 

Built for heavy duty workout use

There’s a good reason (a few good reasons) the Assault AirBike is the go-to exercise bike in CrossFit© boxes and high-intensity athlete gyms throughout the country.

It can handle heavy usage without breaking down, and it provides a grade-A cardiovascular workout.

 

In case you didn’t know, be aware that bikes with air resistance aren’t silent by any means. You’re drawing air through the giant fan in front of you.

What I like:

Excellent owner satisfaction rating – 95% 4 & 5-star ratings, with 4.8 stars from more than 2,000 reviews across the internet.

High user weight limit – of 350 lb.

Lots of heavy gauge steel – a very sturdy, stable, & durable bike. Assault uses sealed bearings instead of bushings to increase the structural integrity of this bike.

Can easily connect with your heart monitor – doesn’t come with one but they recommend this Polar chest strap. The AirBike easily pairs with your monitor and displays your heart rate on its console screen.

Easy to see, easy to use console – another simple & effective design choice without unneeded complexity.

Nice workout presets – the bike has 8 programs to choose from based on calories, time, distance,& heart rate. Styles include Tabata, Intervals, Watts, & HR. You can set your own target goals within these parameters too.

Best warranty – 5 years frame, 2 years parts.

 

Important note: Rogue Fitness prices the Assault AirBike well below what it sells for on Amazon on occasion, so you may want to check its price over there.

See reviews & current price on Rogue Fitness

 

Top pick

Schwinn AD7 Airdyne Bike

Sale
Schwinn Fitness AD7 Airdyne Bike
  • Progressive wind resistance for infinite levels of challenge
  • Efficient single-stage belt drive that keeps it running quietly
  • Perimeter weighted fan for easy start up and a smooth ride
  • Comfortable, adjustable seat
  • Optimized fan for high resistance and reduced noise

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

An excellent air bike model from Schwinn with a very nice warranty, the AD7 Airdyne is an easy top choice of mine.

It inevitably draws comparisons to the Assault AirBike I just reviewed, and in my subjective world the AD7 Airdyne holds its own.

This bike is capable of any intensity of workout you want, since it is your leg & arm effort that supplies the resistance you encounter.

Your work draws the air into the AD7’s humungous fan and the more you draw in, the more intense your workout becomes.

The Schwinn AD7 actually weighs more than the Assault AirBike even though it uses more plastic, like in its fan (the Assault AirBike fan is steel).

 

The AD7’s a quieter bike

I found the Schwinn AD7 to be a little quieter than the AirBike. This is likely due to a couple of things:

  • a chain drive on the Assault vs. the belt drive on the Schwinn;
  • the aforementioned “more metal” on the AirBike makes it a bit noisier than the AD7’s use of aluminum & plastic in addition to steel framing.

 

The AD7’s a little smoother ride

The belt drive on the Schwinn makes it a smoother ride as well, and a little easier to stop and go.

 

The AD7’s more expensive but just by a little now

As recently as a few months ago, I saw this Schwinn AD7 costing a hair under a thousand bucks on Amazon, but they have really dropped the price of late.

I see it today for a penny under 800 bucks, while the Assault AirBike costs $750 on ol’ Amazon as well as over on Rogue Fitness (the very popular CrossFit® / powerlifting equipment store).

Both offer free shipping, and both have 5 year warranties on their frames.

The Assault AirBike has a longer warranty for parts (2 years vs. 1), while the AD7 also provides 90 days of free labor.

What I like:

High owner satisfaction – 91% 4&5-star ratings; 4.6 stars across the internet with nearly 1,500 owner reviews.

Belt drive – makes this quieter & smoother than its air bike competitors.

Great warranty – 5 years frame, 1 year parts, 90 days labor.

Heart monitoring capable – the console will read & display your heart rate, but you need to buy your own uncoded Polar chest strap.

High weight capacity – 350 lb.

Multiple preset programs  – intervals or target-based.

Multi-position handlebars – to target different arm & shoulder muscles.

 

Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike AIR-1

Marcy Exercise Upright Fan Bike for Cardio Training and Workout AIR-1...
  • PREMIUM STEEL FRAMEWORK–This multifunctional equipment features a premium steel frame that combines design and performance. Constructed from...
  • DUAL-ACTION EXERCISE ARMS –Designed to give you an efficient and effective workout, this exercise fan bike features a pair of dual-action exercise...
  • UNIQUE RESISTANCE SYSTEM– This bike comes with an innovative resistance system that utilizes a fan instead of a weighted flywheel that increases...
  • HIGH-TECH LCD MONITOR – The Marcy AIR-1 exercise fan bike has a LCD computer screen that acts as an odometer. The state-of-the-art sharp panel LCD...
  • ADJUSTABLE SEAT POSITIONING – This stationary bike features an adjustable seat that can accommodate users of different body types. The adjustable...

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here’s my very wallet-friendly selection for the upright exercise bikes with moving arms section, and it’s currently priced between $300-400 cheaper than the Assault Airbike and the Schwinn AD7 we just looked at.

This Marcy air bike is certainly a lower-quality junior sibling to the two heavy-duty models I just reviewed, but it’s not a total piece of junk.

With its nice air resistance it is quite capable of providing a very good light-to-moderate upper body workout for someone who isn’t looking to use it for a hardcore HIIT routine.

Keeping one’s long-term performance expectations reasonable – since it’s so inexpensive for an air bike – I think it could work out well for a wide range of people looking for a bike that offers a nice arm workout too.

(Just not the super fit folks, who’d likely wear it down & out in a hurry.)

Marcy’s AIR-1 seems best for seniors, easy riders, and perhaps those who really want an air bike but just can’t afford to buy one of the high-quality models.

 

Things to consider with the Marcy air bike

Do note however…that though it looks like a smaller version of those tough & durable commercial-grade air bikes I just reviewed, this Stamina AIR-1 is not in the same league.

It’s warranty isn’t as good and it isn’t as well-made or as durable.

It’s shorter warranty tells me this bike is better-suited for casual exercisers, or someone who isn’t real fit or strong.

 

What I like:

Good owner satisfaction ratings across the internet – 83%, 4.4 stars with 1,400+ online owner reviews.

2-year warranty – not as great as the other air bike warranties we saw, but good for a low-priced exercise bike. (Many similarly priced models elsewhere only offer 90 days for parts).

Lasts awhile? I tracked down a few owners who’ve gotten a few (3-6) years’ worth of trouble-free use out of their Stamina Air-1; that’s encouraging for sure.

 

icon-orange-bike

 

Recumbent Exercise Bikes with Moving Arms

Top Pick

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical (LT1)
  • ZERO-IMPACT EXERCISE: Ideal for all fitness levels. The naturally-reclined seated position eliminates stress on the joints and back and reduces body...
  • WHISPER-QUIET, FLUID STRIDE: The natural striding motion follows a smooth, linear path to protect your knees and joints. A simple turn of the dial...
  • TOTAL BODY WORKOUT: Dual power motion works your upper and lower body simultaneously, engaging all major muscle groups to build strength and burn more...
  • SMART DESIGN: Track progress with the easy-to-read, battery-powered digital console; device stand and water bottle holder; convenient transport...
  • COMMERCIAL-GRADE ENGINEERING: Friction-free linkage system means long-lasting use; Low-profile 54" x 38" footprint.

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Note: I’m just summarizing my evaluation of this Teeter bike here, since I reviewed it in detail in my article Best Recumbent Bikes for Seniors. Check that out if you want more info on it.

* This is a very well-designed dual action exercise bike that is both a recumbent bike & an elliptical machine in one, and its upper body exerciser is a decent one.

* It’s ideal for anyone who wants a light to moderate no-impact full-body workout, but it won’t cut it if you’ve got muscle and like to bring the intensity when you cardio up.

* The Teeter FreeStep recumbent bike costs more than the Schwinn AD7 and the Assault AirBike, but has a much shorter warranty.

 

Here’s a short promo video below from Teeter that illustrates the various ways their FreeStep can engage your upper body while riding it.

 

 

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike

Stamina Elite Total Body Recumbent Bike, Metallic grey
  • Eight levels of smooth, adjustable magnetic resistance with easy-to-reach tension dial
  • Multi-function electronic display with scan function tracks speed, calories, heart rate, distance, and workout time
  • Includes both upper hand pedals and lower foot pedals for a full body workout
  • Comfortable, padded, adjustable seat with angled back rest for added comfort
  • Sturdy, steel frame with built-in wheels for easy transport; Max weight capacity: 250lb

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This popular recumbent bike with arm workout combo might be the oldest dual action recumbent exercise bike still around.

Like the Teeter FreeStep, the Stamina Elite has a nice & open step-through bike design, and so it’s “very easy on, very easy off”, which is great for older people or others dealing with osteoporosis, arthritis, or problems with their balance.

 

Made for light exercisers only

In my opinion there’s very little resistance provided in the arm handles on this bike; they don’t offer much of a quality upper body workout at all.

Obviously this bike is not in the same quality league as the Assault & Schwinn exercise bikes we looked at earlier, so it is not a good choice for a fit individual looking for a high level of intensity in their cardio workout.

The Stamina Elite will work very well for someone who’s looking for light to moderate cardio, and just wants a recumbent exercise bike with moving arms to burn more calories than a traditional stationary bike would.

 

It’s not a low-priced recumbent bike

Even though it’s not made for anyone who’s got some muscle strength, it’s not a cheap bike, and in fact it’s currently in the same price range as an all-star exercise bike like the Assault AirBike and Schwinn AD7.

Just my guess: Stamina has to be marketing this towards seniors & those not really into getting into shape.

The 5 year warranty for the frame kind of justifies the price, but I think Stamina’s always a little short with their parts warranties throughout their product lines.

No exception to that here with the Stamina Elite recumbent bike; its parts get just a year’s worth of coverage. That’s certainly better than their usual 90-day offering but again, this bike is currently around $800, and that seems high to me too.

What I like:

Decent owner reviews – 81% happy campers, 300+ verified owner reviews online.

Nice warranty – 5 years on frame, 1 year on parts.

Magnetic resistance – gives it a quiet ride and has 8 adjustment levels.

Has heart rate monitor – contact handles on either side of your seat, though I don’t trust the stats much (more on that later).

Sturdy steel frame, decent flywheel – and a comfortable, adjustable seat make exercising on this recumbent bike smooth.

Assembly is easy – allow at least an hour or so.

Shipping free on Amazon.

 

 

Stamina Recumbent Bike + Arm Exerciser

Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike with Upper Body Exerciser | Adjustable...
  • Easy to get on and off; scanning, multi-function monitor
  • 8 levels of quiet, magnetic resistance for the lower body; tension Dial resistance for the upper body
  • Multiple grip positions for upper body: padded handles and ergonomic handles; padded, stationary side handles for more stability during lower body...
  • Textured pedals to reduce slippage; padded, upholstered seat and backrest; easy-adjust lever for the upper body handles; height adjustment knob for...
  • Height adjustment knob for upper body handles; built-in wheels for Transport; foldable frame for easy storage

Last update on 2021-11-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is my “tight budget” pick for the recumbent bike category, and it’s pretty bare bones in design. But it does what its expected to do, which is provide an easy way to get a light cardio workout in.

It offers several levels of resistance for both your arms & legs, and if you’re new to exercising or not in great shape it can provide you a light upper and lower body workout.

 

Although it’s the cheapest exercise bike with moving arms among the six models featured in this article, this Stamina model is not without a few decent qualities, and I list them down below in its What I Like section.

But up front my personal opinion is that this bike cannot provide an upper body workout anywhere near the quality you’ll get from the Schwinn AD7, Assault AirBike, Marcy’s inexpensive air resistance bike, or even the Teeter recumbent bike we looked at.

 

Not for dedicated fitness buffs

This recumbent bike is made for light exercise only, and it will not handle a consistent workout load with any intensity for very long.

If its price is cheap, it’s built cheaply too.

 

Made for beginners, seniors, & the out-of-shape

For those that aren’t the most physically fit, this Stamina Recumbent Bike with moving arms can provide a good no-impact cardio workout. If you crank up the arm resistance some, you can probably get an OK arm workout.

Like the Teeter FreeStep it too has a nice open step-through design, making it a well-suited exercise bike for seniors and those with balance issues.

 

A couple of things to be aware of 

Note that its maximum user weight capacity is 250 lb.

The other thing I want to point out is that it has a short 90 day warranty on parts which isn’t surprising, considering how cheap it is.

However, by simply taking the time to register the bike with Stamina after you buy it, they will extend your warranty out to 180 days for free.

 

What I like:

Very good owner satisfaction – 86% (4&5-star reviews).

Dual resistance – this recumbent bike lets you make separate resistance adjustments for both legs AND arms too.

Multiple resistance settings too – 8 of them.

Quiet – magnetic resistance keeps noise to a minimum.

Has wheels & folds up nicely – It’s a compact & portable piece of cardio exercise equipment.

Easy to adjust seat & arm exerciser heights

 

Note:

Cheap cardio machines — exercise bikes included — are notorious for having very inaccurate workout monitors. The Stamina Recumbent Bike with Arm Exerciser is no exception either.

If your heart rate and workout stats are important to you, may I suggest looking into getting a decent fitness monitor (like the FitBit, Lintelek, or CooSpo, etc.) that you can use for any activity you’re doing.

 

A Question and Answer icon in green for exercise bikes with moving arms FAQ

FAQ

 

Which is Better – Upright or Recumbent Bike?

At the end of the day, whether a recumbent exercise bike or an upright exercise bike is a better choice for your home gym depends wholly on your own preferences.

Both types of bikes offer specific advantages (and downsides) that might appeal to your workout goals, and so I’ll quickly run down the specific advantages of each.

Benefits of Upright Bikes:

An upright bike workout is generally considered a more demanding exercise experience compared to what you get on recumbent bikes. As you are sitting fully upright, more muscles are engaged as you balance your upper body.

As a result, you also burn more calories than on a recumbent (all else being equal). It is closer to the experience of riding a bike.

 

Benefits of Recumbent Bikes:

The main benefits a recumbent bike offers you have to do with their more relaxed positioning, and greater stability overall.

Recumbent bikes are much easier on your back. Your legs are stretched out in front of you somewhat — versus being directly below you like they are riding an upright exercise bike.

They also have a backrest so all in all, you’re sitting in a more comfortable and reclined position.

The added stability results in a more “relaxed” ride overall, allowing you to read or watch something. A recumbent bike is definitely a good choice for beginners, seniors, those rehabbing an injury, or anyone who wants an easy-going experience.

 

What is an exercise bike with moving arms called?

A common name for a stationary bike with an arm exerciser feature is a dual action exercise bike. Another name for bikes with moving arms is simply arm bike, and these terms apply whether it’s an upright or a recumbent bike.

Oftentimes this type of exercise bike is just given a branded name, like the Airbike from Assault, the AD7 Airdyne from Schwinn, or the FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer made by Teeter.

 

Does an exercise bike tone your arms?

Dual action exercise bikes (AKA arm bikes) provide enough resistance in their moving handlebars to tone your arm muscles, and on many models you can adjust that resistance to your liking. A better quality exercise bike that has uses a fan to create air resistance can provide a nice (and challenging) arm toning experience, while also giving you a good upper and lower body workout too.

 

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If you need more user capacity than is offered with the models I cover here, you can take a peek at my article Best Heavy Duty Exercise Bikes Up To 500 lb. Capacity.

I hope this exercise bike with moving arms review is useful to you, and I wish you well on your fitness journey.

 

– greg

July 2021

 


About heydayDo

heydayDo author Greg Simon
Hi I’m Greg Simon. Fitness training & nutrition researching since 1982. Organic food & wine grower. Surfer. Congenital heart disease survivor (so far). Read more…
heydayDo is my “fitness after 50” website that’s about embracing the physically active lifestyle as we get older.
 
I write about the fitness and health research I’ve found concerning the quality of life benefits that exercise and good nutrition provide.
 
When I get curious about something, I’ll dig into whatever sports science & medical facts there are on the topic to learn what’s real & what’s only hype. I also post my experiences product-testing & evaluating home gym equipment & fitness supplements.
 
 It’s an information-sharing, personal opinion blog of mine.
 
So if you’re looking for medical or nutritional advice, please consult with your doctor or health professional for that, since heydayDo does not provide medical advice.