Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike Review – SI Showcase

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Key Features:

  • $599
  • Total-body exercise bike with movable arm handlebars
  • Infinite resistance provided by quiet, frictionless, high-strength ABS plastic fan
  • Thick-padded comfortable seat
  • Console with clear readouts of workout metric
  • Compatible with heart rate telemetry

The Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Exercise Bike uses a quiet, frictionless fan to provide an infinite amount of resistance with no discrete levels. This allows for maximum adjustability and ultimately can support an extremely difficult workout. Unlike most standard stationary bikes, the AD6 has movable handlebars, enabling users to enjoy a full-body workout.

In this article, we have put together a comprehensive review of the Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Bike, covering everything from the basic product specifications to the pros and cons of the Airdyne AD6, buying considerations and user reviews.

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Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Specs

  • Dimensions: 49.7 inches long x 25.7 inches wide x 50.9 inches high
  • Maximum User Weight Capacity: 300 pounds
  • Resistance Type: Air/wind resistance providing infinite resistance levels
  • Power Requirements: 2 AA batteries, not included
  • Display Type: LCD non-color screen
  • Console: LCD screen that displays workout metrics such as time, calories, distance, watts and heart rate
  • Programming: Countdown programs for time, distance, calories burned and interval clocks
  • Assembled Product Weight: 112 pounds
  • Footprint: 49.7 inches long x 25.7 inches wide
  • Extra Features: Heart rate telemetry, transport wheels, quiet belt drive mechanism, integrated water bottle holder, thick padded seat
  • Warranty: 10-year frame warranty, two-year mechanical warranty, one-year electrical warranty and six-month labor warranty

Who the Schwinn Airdyne AD6 Bike Is Best For

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The Schwinn AD6 Exercise Bike is ideal for anyone looking to get a total-body, low-impact cardio workout with maximum adjustability in terms of the degree of resistance provided by the bike.

Many people turn to cycling as a form of aerobic exercise because it is joint friendly and low impact. However, because regular cycling only involves the lower body muscles, the Schwinn AD6 bike can be a great cardio machine for people who want to have a full-body workout, or the ability to work just your lower body or just your upper body.

You do not have to use the arm handlebars while pedaling, and you can simply sit on the seat and pump your arms back and forth if you do not want to exercise your legs. There are even little pegs to rest your feet on if you only want to work your upper body.

This flexibility can be beneficial for people who have an injury and need to modify their fitness routine during rehab.

Although you can certainly do steady-state aerobic workouts on a wind-resistance bike, they are particularly effective for high-intensity interval training and shorter sprints because the faster you pedal, the higher the resistance.

This type of bike is particularly popular as CrossFit equipment because it lends itself so well to HIIT workouts.

Additionally, this is a great exercise bike for people interested in heart rate training. Because the bike is equipped with heart rate monitoring telemetry, you can see your pulse the entire time that you work out, enabling you to adjust your effort level as needed to stay within certain target heart rate zones.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD6 is appropriate for beginners and advanced athletes alike because you are in complete control of the amount of resistance provided based on how vigorously you pedal the bike.

For this reason, the Schwinn AD6 Exercise Bike can also be a great investment for families who have users of different fitness levels. Rather than needing to buy several pieces of fitness equipment for your home gym that cater to different ability levels, the single bike can accommodate any fitness level.

One nice thing about the Schwinn Airdyne bike is that it only requires two AA batteries to use the console. The bike does not need to be plugged in, as is the case with any bike that uses magnetic resistance and most traditional upright stationary bikes or recumbent bikes.

This makes it a great option for someone who doesn’t have ready access to an outlet, doesn’t want to increase their electricity bill or frequently experiences power outages when they might want to be working out.

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Who the Schwinn AD6 Exercise Bike is Not Best For

In many ways, the Schwinn AD6 Exercise Bike can be considered an “old school” exercise bike in that it lacks an integrated tablet with streamable workouts and interactive training seen with the latest smart bikes, so if you are motivated by group fitness classes or following instructor-led workouts, the Schwinn AD6 Exercise Bike won’t be the best exercise bike for you.

Although you can certainly subscribe to the Peloton Digital app, iFit app, BODI app or other fitness app with live or on demand cycling workout, it will be difficult to replicate the same work out on your Airdyne because there are no discrete levels of resistance and you will also be working your arms, so the workout is inherently different.

Additionally, indoor cycling bike workouts, such as those for the Peloton bike, sometimes involve climbing up out of the saddle and standing on the pedals. This is not advisable on an Airdyne.

Therefore, the Schwinn AD6 Exercise Bike is not a good fit if you’re looking to do this type of popular indoor cycling bike workout.

The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Bike has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, so it is not appropriate for people with a larger body size.

It’s also designed to accommodate riders between five feet and six feet tall, although some amount of latitude on either end exists, depending on your particular proportions.

For example, petite riders who are shorter than five feet tall but have long legs might still be able to ride the bike when the seat is at the lowest level. Users who are taller than six feet but have relatively short legs for their height may also still be comfortable on the bike when the seat post is at the highest setting.

One downside of the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne is that the bike seat does not have fore/aft adjustment, which means that you can’t move the seat horizontally back and forth towards the handlebars. This can be problematic for petite users who have a short reach, and can feel a little too upright and cramped for tall users.

Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Pros

  • Excellent warranty
  • Supports heart rate monitoring
  • Console readouts include useful workout stats
  • Quiet, frictionless, high-strength fan provides unlimited resistance
  • Can provide total-body workout or can just move arms or legs separately
  • Low maintenance

Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Cons

  • LCD screen can be hard to read in dark or dimly-lit rooms
  • Lack of robust workout programs and no ability to stream workouts
  • No fore/aft bike seat adjustment

Using the Schwinn AD6 Exercise Bike

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Fan bikes, also called air bikes, like the Airdyne AD6 are so named because the resistance is created by rotating blades (that look like a fan) attached to the bike’s flywheel. When you pedal, this complex of the flywheel and attached fan blades spins. The faster you pedal, the more resistance you will face because the blades are creating more drag.

This can feel quite different than most standard exercise bikes and indoor cycling bikes, which usually use a magnetic resistance system. With magnetic resistance, two magnets that abut the flywheel of the bike are incrementally positioned closer to or further away from the flywheel, modifying the amount of resistance provided. This resistance is selected by the user through different digital levels.

For example, on level one, the magnets would be far away from the flywheel, providing little resistance to moving the wheel. When the exerciser chooses a higher resistance level, the magnets move a certain distance closer towards the flywheel, providing more resistance.

Although magnetic resistance systems can be effective, the primary drawback is that there are discrete levels to choose from, and a maximum ceiling that might still be too easy for stronger riders.

Imagine the case of a regular stationary bike with eight levels of resistance. A beginner might struggle to pedal against the resistance of even level one. As that individual gets stronger, the jump in difficulty between levels can make it hard to dial into the exact amount of resistance desired, meaning that level two might be a little too easy but level three is too difficult. This can be frustrating and can slow fitness progress. Furthermore, athletic, fit individuals may not be appropriately challenged by even the highest level of resistance.

In contrast, when using a bike with air resistance or wind resistance generated by a fan, there is an infinite amount of potential resistance. The faster and harder you pedal, the more resistance you will feel.

Additionally, the levels of resistance are continuous in that you don’t have to select “level two“ or “level three“ and then have a specific jump in difficulty between these levels. Rather, you can moderate the amount of resistance in the most minute way by adjusting your speed.

Another benefit of the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Bike compared to regular stationary bikes, spin bikes or recumbent exercise bikes is that there are pivoting handlebars so that you can simultaneously work your upper body in addition to your legs.

Cycling is a great low-impact exercise, but it really only targets the muscles of the lower body such as the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. Adding the movable handlebars on the AD6 Airdyne fan bike converts what is normally just a lower-body exercise into a total-body workout. This can increase the metabolic cost of the workout, increasing your heart rate and calorie burn while also strengthening the core, shoulders, arms, chest and upper-back muscles.

Because your arms move in a reciprocal pattern as you pedal, you will engage your core muscles and challenge your balance and stability much more effectively than on normal stationary bikes.

Although the Schwinn Airdyne bike doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor, it does support telemetry heart rate monitoring with your own chest strap heart rate monitor.

To take advantage of the heart rate monitoring, you need to use a compatible chest strap heart rate monitor, which can be any that contains a Polar-compatible 4.5kHz-5.5kHz chest strap transmitter.

Your heart rate during exercise will be displayed on the console, which can help you gauge the intensity of your workout and help you better achieve specific fitness goals.

Program Options

There are not many preloaded workout programs on this bike. This is because you are controlling everything about the speed and resistance on the bike yourself as you pedal, so the bike cannot control anything.

With that said, there are a few simple programs but they are basically just different ways to count down how much longer you should be riding the bike to meet your specific fitness goals.

There are three structures for interval workouts: 20 seconds on with 10 seconds rest (a traditional Tabata structure), 30 seconds on with 90 seconds rest and then a custom interval program that lets you designate the “on“ and “off“ intervals.

There is also a time target program where you simply enter the number of minutes you intend to work out.

The calories burned workout program functions similarly; you enter the target number of calories you would like to burn and the bike keeps track of your remaining energy expenditure as you start burning calories.

There is a distance workout program that is another countdown style workout. Before you start, you enter how many miles you would like to ride, and then you watch the miles tick down as you work out.

Lastly, there is just an open ride, steady-state workout program where you just go as long and hard as you would like.

Console Display Readings

Compared to some higher-end smart bikes, the console on the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike is somewhat low tech in that it’s not a fancy, built-in tablet that supports streaming workouts or other media.

Rather, it is just a black and white, high-contrast LCD display. However, while basic, the LCD console does display useful workout metrics including your cadence (rpm, or how many pedal strokes or revolutions you are completing per minute), total workout time, speed, distance, watts, calories burned and your pulse if you are using a compatible heart rate monitor.

Watts is a measure of your cycling power, and it is a key metric that is often missing from inexpensive exercise bikes. Particularly because the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike does not have discrete levels, it can be difficult to compare one workout to the next from day to day because you can’t simply select the same level and then try to maintain a certain cadence or speed. However, by having your power displayed in watts, you can match or progressively increase your workload over time by ensuring you are producing more watts.

On a fan bike, the faster and harder you pedal, the more resistance the bike will provide and the higher the power you will generate. Therefore, as you get fitter and stronger doing workouts on your bike, you should see an increase in the watts.

There is also a RevMeter RPM gauge, which can help motivate you to pick up your speed during high-intensity interval training (HIIT workouts).

What is great about the console is that you can view all of the workout metrics on the screen at the same time. The budget Airdyne AD2 bike only displays one workout stat at a time, so you have to watch the screen as it rotates through each metric to find the ones you are most interested in as they reappear in the cycle.

Even though the LCD display is designed to be a high contrast, some users note that it is hard to read in the dark.


The Airdyne AD6 has a quiet, perimeter-weighted frictionless fan that provides a very smooth ride and infinite levels of resistance controlled entirely by your pedaling speed and effort. There is a single stage belt drive mechanism that provides efficient power transfer and is very low maintenance.

The self-balancing pedals have integrated foot straps so that you can take advantage of engaging all of your muscles during the pedal stroke, not just on the down stroke. This provides better motion control and also makes for a smoother pedal stroke.

The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise bike has other little convenience features such as a built-in reading rack, an integrated water bottle holder and a windscreen.

As mentioned, there is also a special RevMeter rpm gauge at the top of the console that tells you exactly how fast you are peddling your legs, which can be a great motivator during sprints and hard intervals.


Assembly of the AD6 is fairly straightforward. All you have to do out-of-the-box is attach the floor stabilizers, the handlebars, the seat and console. Reviewers say that it can easily be done by one person, although working with a partner makes it easier to attach the stabilizers and the bike itself is pretty heavy, so it might not be liftable out of the box by yourself.

There are convenient transport wheels to move the bike around once it is assembled.

Most buyers can fully assemble this exercise bike in under an hour and remark that the directions are clear and easy to follow.

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Customer Reviews

The Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike has mostly positive customer reviews. On the Schwinn website, the AD6 fan bike has 102 reviews with an overall rating of 4.3 stars and 87 percent of customers saying they would recommend the product.

The AD6 Airdyne bike has an overall rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon with over 3,300 reviews.

Most reviewers appreciate the ability to work out the upper- and lower-body simultaneously, or rest one while just focusing on the other. For example, one Amazon user review says, “The best feature for me is the ability to exercise arms and/or legs, in contrast to older exercise bikes which only worked out the lower body. I actually exercise my lower body on the treadmill, and then use just the handlebars of this unit for upper body. There is a good place to rest your feet if you just want to work your arms.”

Others note how sturdy and quiet it is, with one Amazon customer writing: “It is so SOLID, a very good feel. Even if you never use the height adjusters, this thing will never vibrate or rattle and is completely noiseless except for moving air in the fan.”

When there are quality control issues, Schwinn customer Service tends to be quite responsive and quick to replace missing or broken parts. Although some customer reviews of the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Bike have indeed mentioned missing or broken parts right out of the box or within just a few uses, it does seem that the customer service team readily rectifies the problem. However, if you are buying a brand new stationary bike, it can be quite frustrating to encounter issues right off the bat, and then have to wait for replacement pieces to arrive.

Other customer reviews have mentioned clicking noises that develop either right off the bat or within several months of use. In most cases, the technical team has been able to send replacement parts or guide the buyer to a workable solution, but again this is something to be mindful of, as several customer reviews have complained about the bike clicking or wobbling.

With that said, most of these quality control issues seem to be from third-party sites, such as Amazon or Best Buy, so it might be that purchasing from the manufacturer directly can circumvent some of these issues.

Warranty and Return Policy

Schwinn is a reputable brand of exercise equipment that is owned by the same company as Bowflex fitness equipment. In general, buying Schwinn or Bowflex exercise equipment is a good investment because the products are known to be well designed and of high-quality construction.

Furthermore, the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Upright Exercise Bike has a fantastic warranty, particularly for the price point and when considering the warranties for other popular exercise bikes.

The standard warranty that comes with the bike at the point of purchase includes a 10-year frame warranty, two-year mechanical warranty, one-year electrical warranty and a six-month labor warranty. When you buy the bike directly from Schwinn, you can also opt for a five-year Schwinn Protection Plan for $99, which extends the included parts and labor coverage to five years.

When you purchase the bike from a third-party retailer such as Amazon or Best Buy, you might be able to get additional purchase protection or extended warranty coverage, but it will depend on the retailer.

Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike FAQs

What’s the difference between the Airdyne Pro and AD6?

The Airdyne Pro is a premium model of the Airdyne bike that has mostly been replaced by the Schwinn Airdyne AD7 model. Both the Schwinn Airdyne AD7 model and AD6 are both exercise bikes designed for home gym use, but the Schwinn Airdyne AD7 and Airdyne Pro are premium models.

Owing to the higher price tag, these bikes have additional features over the AD6. For example, the Airdyne Pro has a larger console with a tachometer (a needle that shows how fast you are going), 9 built-in workout programs, longer arm handlebars and a more solid and sturdy feel.

For more information, check out our overview of Schwinn’s exercise bike line. 

What year did the Schwinn Airdyne AD6 come out?

The first Schwinn Airdyne bike debuted in 1978. The Airdyne AD6 was released in 2017.

Can you adjust the tension on a Schwinn Airdyne AD6?

The amount of resistance on any fan bike, such as the Schwinn Airdyne AD6, is dependent on how fast and hard you pedal. You cannot adjust the tension with any sort of knob or button.

How accurate is the Airdyne AD6 calorie counter?

The Airdyne AD6 bike determines the calories you burn based on the weight you enter and the watts you produce. The calorie counter will be more accurate if you use a compatible heart rate monitor, as this will help the calorie algorithm determine your intensity level.

Is the Schwinn Airdyne AD6 good for seniors?

The Schwinn Airdyne AD6 is good for fit seniors who have good balance and who want to do a total-body low-impact workout. However, it can be more challenging to coordinate your arms and legs and the seat is less stable than a recumbent exercise bike that also has back support. Therefore, the Airdyne AD6 might not be good for seniors with poor balance or in poor conditioning.

Is the Schwinn airdyne AD6 a good workout?

Depending on how fast and hard you pedal, you can get a great total-body workout on the Schwinn Airdyne AD6. The ability to move your upper body and lower body simultaneously allows you to work more muscles, burn more calories and increase your heart rate more significantly than with a regular exercise bike.

Final Thoughts

Depending on where you buy the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne bike, you can often find deals that land your total purchase price under $700, though the current price on the manufacturer’s website is $800. Even at full price, this exercise bike is a great value for home exercise, given the quality of construction, the fact that you get a total-body workout and the infinite levels of resistance afforded by the wind resistance system. Plus, if you buy a compatible chest strap heart rate monitor, you can really elevate the effectiveness of your workout program to help you meet your fitness goals.

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Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.