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  1. #1
    Registered User hockeyplayer45's Avatar
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    AirDyne Questions

    I'm interested in getting an AirDyne bike for HIIT and have been looking around the local used market. Some are clearly older than others, but from my limited knowledge...they all work and really haven't changed too much since first coming out in 1978.

    My main question is: what model is the most ideal for personal home use? I have seen the AD4 model mentioned as the model to go after.

    I would appreciate any input you have with the AirDyne models.
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    In it for the gainz RestoringTally's Avatar
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    I've bought 4 AirDynes of varying vintages. I currently have one at home and one at my office. I use them for Tabatas and general conditioning. My office bike has a book stand and I often ride it while reading. I built a cardboard fan shield for my home bike because I use it in my driveway and it gets cold in the winter.

    The original (AD3) has a mechanical speedometer and had two versions of digital timers. The mechanical sending unit is the common failure point. The newer ones (AD-4) have an all digital display panel with a magnetic sensor. I like the mechanical speedo. Analog displays allow for quickly identifying intensity when going full bore. I also like the digital display that allows me to measure calorie expenditure trends from workout to workout. The two AirDynes I kept are AD-4s with the digital panel.

    I've had both digital displays that were sold with the AD-4. I prefer the first generation with the raised, rectangular buttons. The second generation with the round, recessed buttons sux. The functions are the same, but the recessed buttons of the second generation are more difficult to operate than the first generation buttons. I think the rubber hardens and it takes multiple presses to actuate the button.

    Mechanically, I have not seen any difference between the different AirDyne models. They all had about the same noise level. They all felt the same when doing Tabatas or just pedaling while chilling. The condition of the bikes has been due to the care of the owners, not the age of the units.
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    Registered User RemainDieHard's Avatar
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    I've used all of them except the new AD8 Pro. The AD2 is the noisiest, had unsealed bottom bracket, and smaller tubing in some areas. That's the last choice. On the AD4 the newer the better. The ones with the black cage and the large rectangular sticker on the arms are the newest and are quieter because of different chains. There's actually 4 different digital monitors but the rectangular button and small round button ones are most common. I prefer the small round ones. Out of many machines, twice I have seen the issue RT mentions. One you had to press in button really hard, and on another you had to press it hard and at a sharp and angle to get it to work. The problem is misaligned internals; I was able to take it apart and fix the alignment so the buttons worked perfectly but it was a real pain. The rectangle button ones had their own issue of faded display.

    I have a rare big fan belt drive AD5/Pro/Comp. It's so much smoother and quieter than the chain drive. I would not count out an Evo either if you find a good deal on one. Also the AD6 is nice too and has a smaller footprint.
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    Registered User hockeyplayer45's Avatar
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    Excellent information! Thanks guys.
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    inside the box thinker CliveWarren's Avatar
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    Not much to add but stay away from the small fan models. The traditional large fan is the way to go.
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    I've had the AD6 for about 2 years now and have found it to be a great machine. It really provides me with some good HIIT options. In addition to lifting, I'm also an avid trail runner so I do a lot of LISS workouts via running. When I want to humble myself, though, I go in and do some intervals on my AD6...30 minutes later I crawl out of my gym knowing I still have LOTS of room for physical improvement.

    Seriously, though, I think any of the AirDyne models will be a good purchase. For the most part they are very solid and dependable. Also, unlike a lot of exercise equipment, they hold their resale values pretty well so if you ever decide to move away from it you can get most of your money back out of it.
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    Registered User RemainDieHard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CliveWarren View Post
    Not much to add but stay away from the small fan models. The traditional large fan is the way to go.
    What is your specific complaint about the small fan ones?
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    inside the box thinker CliveWarren's Avatar
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    Apparently the build quality is more consumer than commercial gym. Lots of disappointing reviews on Amazon for instance.
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    Registered User arkaa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CliveWarren View Post
    Apparently the build quality is more consumer than commercial gym. Lots of disappointing reviews on Amazon for instance.
    Yeah, don't go for the AD2 with the smaller fan. I saw one (used, on CL) - it had a lot more plastic, made a lot more noise (I think the belt was loose or frayed) and seemed generally not as robust as the older ones. The man said he had it for about a year and I don't think he took proper care of it. But still, Airdynes are supposed to stand a lot of abuse. I left with the feeling that the AD2 was not on par with the older Airdynes.

    Now my AD3 makes a LOT of noise too, but you don't get the "poor quality" feel from that noise - the noise feels full... substantial... if you get what I'm trying to say. The noise from the AD2 felt high-pitched, shrill and scary, like 'watch out, I'm gonna blow'.
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    Originally Posted by CliveWarren View Post
    Apparently the build quality is more consumer than commercial gym. Lots of disappointing reviews on Amazon for instance.
    Well the AD2 is a consumer grade machine that's why it's only about $300. But if we're going off Amazon reviews, every machine past and present from the AD4 to the AD8 pro they all have the same 4.0 star rating. The AD6 having the highest number of ratings.

    Just because it has a plastic beauty cover means nothing about the frame. Are sport bikes (seemingly) less robust because they have a plastic fairing covering the frame? Lol. They still have the same pivot bolts on the arms that can be snapped. Midway through the Evo models is when they finally got away from the archaic cotter pin crank arms that have a tendency to come loose and they switched to square taper press fit.
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  11. #11
    Registered User hockeyplayer45's Avatar
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    Would you experts be able to identify this model? Is it worth picking up? The owner says it works.

    Looks like it has a seat cover on it...maybe the vinyl seat itself is damaged?






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    In it for the gainz RestoringTally's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by hockeyplayer45 View Post
    Would you experts be able to identify this model? Is it worth picking up? The owner says it works.

    Looks like it has a seat cover on it...maybe the vinyl seat itself is damaged?



    I have that same model, and it is the same color. I believe that is the first generation full digital display. I prefer this display because the buttons work well.

    As for the seat, it may be a slip-on gel-cover that the previous owner put on to make it more comfortable. If the seat is damaged, you can pick up another one at any bike shop. Typically, for an exercise bike where you sit mostly upright, you want a wide seat.

    If the price is right, you should have already left to pick it up.
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    Picked up an airdyne the other day...those things are the sh*t. Ill get some pics around when I feel like it...I picked up some new goodies recently.
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    If I understand correctly, that is an AD4. I believe this color was manufactured after the white/light grey units. My general recommendations for AD4 purchaces.

    - <$100.
    - Console must be fully functional and include battery cover.
    - Seat must not be ripped.
    - No other functional damage, except for minor, correctable maintenance issues.
    - No evidence of super heavy usage or neglect like chains, fan blades, and or cage absolutely packed with fuzz; rough bottom bracket (bad bearings); significant rust (especially around bottom bracket as a result of repeated wetting with sweat droplets); and/or rusty chains.
    - Minimal cosmetic problems.

    I have purchased a few AD4’s. The first had been used heavily, and required more frequent maintenance to keep running. This includes replacing the bottom bracket bearings, in addition to bushings, wedge pins, etc. After ~4.5 years of my use, the bottom bracket axle (shaft) broke. I then retired it. I made certain to purchase less used units after that as I tired of maintenance requirements on that heavily used unit.
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    Originally Posted by fedewab2 View Post
    Console must be fully functional and include battery cover.
    - Seat must not be ripped.
    - No other functional damage, except for minor, correctable maintenance issues.
    - No evidence of super heavy usage or neglect like chains, fan blades, and or cage absolutely packed with fuzz; rough bottom bracket (bad bearings); significant rust (especially around bottom bracket as a result of repeated wetting with sweat droplets); and/or rusty chains.
    - Minimal cosmetic problems.
    Those rules can be applied to all equipment decisions - it's not like we're actively looking for pad tears, functional damage, super heavy usage and cosmetic issues.
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    Originally Posted by Bench905 View Post
    Those rules can be applied to all equipment decisions - it's not like we're actively looking for pad tears, functional damage, super heavy usage and cosmetic issues.
    Yea and some of those I would consider debatable - for less than $100 I wouldn't care about the pad tear or a functioning console.

    I'd have to see what I could get a replacement bottom bracket for to consider that.
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    Originally Posted by Cleveland33 View Post
    Yea and some of those I would consider debatable - for less than $100 I wouldn't care about the pad tear or a functioning console.

    I'd have to see what I could get a replacement bottom bracket for to consider that.

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    AD4 digital panel

    Originally Posted by RestoringTally View Post
    I've bought 4 AirDynes of varying vintages. I currently have one at home and one at my office. I use them for Tabatas and general conditioning. My office bike has a book stand and I often ride it while reading. I built a cardboard fan shield for my home bike because I use it in my driveway and it gets cold in the winter.

    The original (AD3) has a mechanical speedometer and had two versions of digital timers. The mechanical sending unit is the common failure point. The newer ones (AD-4) have an all digital display panel with a magnetic sensor. I like the mechanical speedo. Analog displays allow for quickly identifying intensity when going full bore. I also like the digital display that allows me to measure calorie expenditure trends from workout to workout. The two AirDynes I kept are AD-4s with the digital panel.

    I've had both digital displays that were sold with the AD-4. I prefer the first generation with the raised, rectangular buttons. The second generation with the round, recessed buttons sux. The functions are the same, but the recessed buttons of the second generation are more difficult to operate than the first generation buttons. I think the rubber hardens and it takes multiple presses to actuate the button.

    Mechanically, I have not seen any difference between the different AirDyne models. They all had about the same noise level. They all felt the same when doing Tabatas or just pedaling while chilling. The condition of the bikes has been due to the care of the owners, not the age of the units.
    I am looking for the instructions for the AD4 digital panel. We got an Airdyne AD4 from my wife's mother and there were no instructions. When we first got it the display would rotate between screens. Time/distance and Cal/speed. Was wondering if anyone had a book on this model that would share.
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    In it for the gainz RestoringTally's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kseeman View Post
    I am looking for the instructions for the AD4 digital panel. We got an Airdyne AD4 from my wife's mother and there were no instructions. When we first got it the display would rotate between screens. Time/distance and Cal/speed. Was wondering if anyone had a book on this model that would share.
    I have the manual for the earlier electronic panel, the one that is rectangular case with rectangular buttons. It describes the following to switch out of Auto-Scroll mode to Manual. I assume it is the same for the newer version.

    Press the Time Reset and Down button simultaneously. All displays will momentarily disappear and then manual mode will be enabled.

    Press Time Reset and Up simultaneously to switch to Auto-Scroll mode.

    Press Up and Down simultaneously to display total miles.

    Hope this helps.
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    The guy who sold me my treadmill suddenly called me last week asking if I wanted to buy an Airdyne off him. I asked the model number, and was a little hesistant when he said AD2, as I remember general recommendations to avoid it. He offered to deliver it for $100, so I bit. Thing looks like it's in new condition. For a home use build, this thing feels pretty heavy and stable.

    I've actually never used one of these machines before, so I've just been messing with it for the past week. The resistance isn't as high as I expected. But according to my fitness tracker, my heart rate has hit new peaks this past week. My local gym does have the Octane Airdynes, though I've never used them before. I'm going to try them out next time I visit to experience the difference for myself.
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  21. #21
    OG Duplicitous's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BiGx5MurF View Post
    The guy who sold me my treadmill suddenly called me last week asking if I wanted to buy an Airdyne off him. I asked the model number, and was a little hesistant when he said AD2, as I remember general recommendations to avoid it. He offered to deliver it for $100, so I bit. Thing looks like it's in new condition. For a home use build, this thing feel pretty heavy and stable.

    I've actually never used one of these machines for it, so I've just been messing with it for the past week. The resistance isn't as high as I expected. But according to my fitness tracker, my heart rate has hit new peaks this past week. My local gym does have the Octane Airdynes, thought I've never used them before. I'm going to try them out next time I visit to experience the difference for myself.
    The resistance is probably lesser than other models because airflow is a bit more restricted. Just pedal harder.
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    Registered User BiGx5MurF's Avatar
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    Well I just tried the Octane Airdyne at my local gym. It definitely creates more resistance than my Airdyne AD2. But it somehow feels less stable. I think it's the Octanes' seat flex. The octane unit also has a significantly more complex computer. It's a bit too complex imo. But maybe I'll change my mind if I learn to use it.
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    Originally Posted by BiGx5MurF View Post
    Well I just tried the Octane Airdyne at my local gym. It definitely creates more resistance than my Airdyne AD2. But it somehow feels less stable. I think it's the Octanes' seat flex. The octane unit also has a significantly more complex computer. It's a bit too complex imo. But maybe I'll change my mind if I learn to use it.
    If you remove the cowling on the fan, it will be a lot more resistance.
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