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Schwinn Airdyne AD4 Upright Exercise Bike Review

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The Schwinn Airdyne AD4 Upright Exercise Bike is a classic – an exercise bike that is virtually unchanged for the past 20 years! It is not because Schwinn is not keeping up with time, but because this machine is simply perfect and well accepted by so many people.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD4 is an old school workout machine. If you’re looking for something that is simple, refined and serve its purpose without the usual frills, this is the one for you.

Some users have been using the Airdyne under harsh conditions for more than 12 years, and it has been perfectly reliable throughout the years. This has proven the high quality on the make of this machine, and the superb design that has enabled it to last for some many years without any major problems.

This Schwinn Airdyne AD4 Upright Exercise Bike review will share with you some insights on what has made this machine to withstand the test of time.

Resistance Level

The Airdyne AD4 is unique such that it has a very large air-resistance flywheel instead of a smaller and heavier one used by other exercise bikes. Most of the bikes use mechanical friction or an electric magnetic resistance flywheel that needs power and electrical energy to operate it. The Airdyne AD4, unlike the rest, uses a unique air resistance system with dual-stage chain and belt driven. This air system offers you as much resistance as you possibly can handle.

There is no dedicated button to select the resistance level of this machine. The faster and harder you pedal, the stronger the wind resistance is and therefore the harder it gets to pedal. If you start to slow down, the resistance will get lower and pedalling starts to be easier.

This air system simply lets you find your resistance level naturally, and there will be no more dedicate action on your part to select the resistance level. The machine literally provides infinite resistance. Awesome indeed!

Display Console

The Schwinn Airdyne AD4 bike uses a LCD screen to display Time, Distance, Calories, Calories per Hour, Pedal RPM, Workload, and Heart Rate (only via a Chest Strap Transmitter). This information helps the rider to keep track on the status of the workout and how far it is from the goal.

The console is powered by 2 AA-sized batteries. The display uses LCD, which makes reading relatively easy even when the line of sight is tilted. The console design is simple and clean, with a few control buttons and the display font is large enough to be read off easily.

To start the computer in “Quick Start” mode, unlike most other exercise bikes, you need to press the “Start/Stop” button on the console. During the workout, the computer will display all the relevant information. At the end of your workout, by pressing the “Start/Stop” button, the display will present you with a summary of your workout, e.g. time taken, distance covered, etc. It is extremely simple and easy to operate.

Comfort Level

A common complaint from many users is the uncomfortable seat. One user feedback that only after 2 weeks, he decided to replace the original seat with a normal bike seat. The original front edges of the big seat have cut into back of his thighs, causing much discomfort.Buy Schwinn Airdyne bike

Again, I have to stress that whether the seat is comfortable or not is very personal. Every rider comes with different sizes and contours of the hip area, and has different expectation on the comfort level of the seat. Therefore do not change the seat immediately. Try it out for a while and see if it really fits you.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD4 Upright Exercise Bike uses an air-resistance system, and therefore the flywheel kicks up wind in your direction during the ride. This will cool you during the workout. Many reviewers are really happy with this “natural” wind. On the other hand, the exact same system also generates noise level that is significant enough for you to turn up the volume of your TV by at least 3 times if you want to continue enjoying your favourite program while riding the AD4 bike.

This bike provides the rider with a very smooth ride, thanks to the huge flywheel used.

Heart Rate Monitor

The AD4 Upright Exercise Bike does not provide a heart rate monitor. However, it is telemetry enabled, meaning that it can support for example a Chest Strap Transmitter to monitor the heart rate.

The heart rate will be shown on the display if the console receives a signal from the Chest Strap Transmitter.

Many users actually used an external heart rate monitor instead of using the telemetry function to show the display on the console. This is more stable and save the hassle of connecting the Chest Strap Transmitter to the console.

Preset Programs

There are no electronically preset workout programs in the Schwinn Airdyne AD4 bike.

However, you can have two kinds of workouts using this exercise bike.

Upper and Lower Body Workout

This is a complete body workout. Simply grasp the handle bars with palms down. Push and pull the arm levers as you pedal. You can exercise all the muscle groups in your arms by varying your hand position on the handle bars.

Upper Body Only Workout

Grasp the handle bars firmly with palms down and place your feet on the foot pegs near the flywheel axle. Lean forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and shoulders down, while continuing to push and pull the arm levers.


The Airdyne AD4 measures 57.5 (L) x 25 (W) x 50 (H) inches. It weighs 96 pounds.

Maximum user weight is 300 pounds.

Additional Features

The Airdyne AD4 is a dual action exercise bike. It means that you can work out on your arms while pedalling at the same time, as the handles are linked directly to the pedals. The upper body workout involves most of the arm as well as the chest and shoulders area.

There are built-in transport wheels on the bottom of the legs make it easy to move the machine.

The Airdyne AD4 Bike can be levelled to compensate for uneven surfaces. To level the bike, you can simply raise or lower the four levelling bolts located just on the underside of the legs by screwing them in or out as needed.

A locking device has also been provided to prevent the drive mechanism from rotating accidentally. To lock the Airdyne AD4, rotate the knob on the fan cage clockwise until the stop engages the flywheel. This is a very good safety feature provided by schwinn.


There is no additional accessory provided with the AD4 bike.


Schwinn provides great customer service to their clients, though they’re not open on weekends.

The Airdyne AD4 is very robust and generally can last many years. The machines are used in a rehabilitation centre for ten years, and patients used them multiple times each day, five days per week. No problem seen so far, with very minimum maintenance required.

It has small footprints and takes only little space. The dual action function exercises both lower and upper body simultaneously, with options to do it separately as well. The Airdyne AD4 is ideal for both fitness and rehabilitative usage.

This machine carries one of the longest warranties including 30 years on the frame, three years on the parts and electronics and one year on wear and tear items.

The Schwinn Airdyne AD4 is built with tremendous durability. It uses air resistance rather than a friction belt or magnetic motor; significantly fewer repairs and failures since there is no friction mechanism to fail.


The main con is that the assembly instructions are not that clear, and the diagrams do not illustrate explicitly which components should go where. This has caused much frustration, leading many users to engage an external expert to assemble the bike for them with an extra cost.

One reviewer informed that Schwinn is in the process of improving the assembly manual. You can actually download the latest version from Schwinn’s official website.

The Airdyner AD4 is just too noisy for some. This makes it difficult to watch TV or work out with others in the same room. The strong wind generated from the flywheel is strong enough to send papers flying. So make sure all important documents are safely put in place before you start your workout on this machine.

Consumer Ratings

Out of over 170 reviews from Amazon site, over 75% gave a resounding 5 star rating and about 15% a 4 star rating.


Amazon has the best price since it provides free shipping and no tax.