Why the Assault Bike Is the Ultimate HIIT Machine

Why the Assault Bike Is the Ultimate HIIT Machine

If you’ve ever tested your mettle on an Assault Bike, you know full well how it earned its reputation as a tool for gut-busting intensity.

But what is it that causes fan-based air bikes like Assault Fitness’ Assault Bike to ramp up the difficulty compared to traditional stationary bikes? 

This article covers everything you need to know about what makes Assault Bike training so effective, how it differs from regular spin bikes, the additional benefits, and how to add your own to your home gym.

Why Is the Assault Bike So Hard?

The Assault Bike is purpose-built to fatigue the entire body at one time. And with endearing nicknames like “The Devil’s Tricycle” and “The Misery Machine,” it’s safe to say it does the job quite well.

The Assault Bike’s simple and sinister design is the secret to maximizing how quickly it taxes the body during high-intensity efforts.

Your body relies on two different energy systems during different phases of exercise, aerobic energy production and anaerobic energy production. Aerobic energy uses oxygen for fuel and is the primary energy source for long bouts of moderate-intensity exercise.

Anaerobic energy production works a little bit differently. During bouts of high intensity, like sprinting, climbing hills, or moving heavy weight around, your body doesn’t use oxygen for fuel. Instead, it resynthesizes ATP for energy during periods of high output.

Whenever you perform a high-intensity exercise, your body relies on ATP to produce the energy required to fuel your body. At maximum effort for something like sprinting, you begin to deplete the available ATP rather quickly, typically 20-30 seconds for an average person or up to 60 seconds for elite athletes.

But unlike sprinting, when you’re using the Assault Bike, you’re engaging nearly every muscle group in the body at high intensity. Because of this, you burn your available supply of ATP even faster – giving you that classic feeling of “air bike misery” gifted to you by the Assault Bike. 

The second secret to the Assault Bike’s intensity is how its design differs from a standard stationary spin bike. Especially how its resistance increases right along with your effort. 

To help illustrate how it works in more detail, let’s break down how air bikes differ from spin bikes in design.

Air Bike vs Spin Bike – What’s the Difference?

You might notice quite a difference between the Assault Bike and the typical spin bike you’d come across in a cycling studio. The mechanical differences between the two also create drastically different use-cases for which bike is better suited for the training style you are trying to accomplish.

Resistance Type

The main difference between Air Bikes like the Assault Bike and standard spinning bikes is the type of resistance it uses. 

Air bikes use a giant spinning fan that creates wind resistance that increases the harder you pedal. No adjustable dials, just the harder you work, the more challenging the exercise becomes.

Indoor spin bikes use either magnetic or friction-based resistance. You either rotate a dial to manually increase friction or have a magnet automatically adjust your resistance throughout your training session. 

The significant difference is that the spin bike gives you long-term variability, which changes the training styles it is best suited for. We’ll cover that in more detail later on below.

Handlebars and Body Position

While indoor spin bikes focus on simulating the biomechanics of outdoor cycling, air bikes focus on maximizing power output from both the upper and lower body.

Because of this, the air bike’s handlebars are mechanical and included in the exercise. Just like you require energy from your legs to push down through the pedals, the air bike requires energy from your upper body to push and pull the handlebars. 

This difference in operation also changes your position on the bike. On a spin bike, you’re seated higher in an aerodynamic position that mimics outdoor cycling. Because the air bike includes upper body movement, you sit lower to optimize the motion of your arms and back.

Targeted Muscle Groups

Indoor spin bikes target the same muscle groups as cycling. Meaning your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and shins get most of the attention.

The Assault Bike incorporates nearly the entire body. Still want a complete list? Here it is:

Muscles Worked Using Assault Bike:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Quads
  • Calves
  • Hip Flexors
  • Pectorals
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Lats
  • Deltoids
  • Lower Back
  • Back Extensors
  • Obliques
  • Abdominals

As you can see, it’s not an exaggeration to label the Assault Bike as a “full-body experience.” And the recruitment of a massive number of muscle groups gives it its advantages for high-intensity training.

Workout Types

Indoor spin bikes are best suited to match the same style of training you’d encounter outdoors on your bike. From long-distance endurance bouts to lung-taxing hill climbs that descend down to lower resistances. Spin bikes’ versatility in sustaining adjustable resistance makes them an excellent alternative when you can’t get outside to train on your bike. And they’re traditionally used as such.

Air bikes like the Assault Bike are seemingly purpose-built for high-intensity training that maximizes the demands from your body in a short period of time. Due to this, you’re more likely to see exercise programming for the Assault Bike geared more towards HIIT training than the sport-specific cycling training of a spin bike.

Just like a sprint when running, you can reach your maximum energy production in a relatively short period of time. Making the air bike an effective tool use in between other sets of resistance or cardiovascular exercise. It’s also what makes the Assault AirBike incredibly well suited for Tabata training.

But just because the air bike shines with short bursts of high-intensity training doesn’t mean you can’t use it for longer durations of aerobic conditioning. Just like the indoor rowing machine, you can dial back the intensity based on your exercise programming. 


Although there are low-cost offshoots of both air bikes and stationary spin bikes, you usually get a product that’s reflective of the price you paid. For a useful cost comparison, we’ll focus on the top competitors in both categories. 

By and large, you’ll pay less for a top-of-the-line air bike than an indoor spin bike. When you look at the simple mechanical design of an air bike without elaborate electronic systems with immersive displays, the significant cost difference makes a lot of sense. 

Studio-style spin bikes, like what you’d find from Peloton, typically range from $1,500-$3,000. While air bikes from top competitors like Assault Fitness and Rogue range from $700-$1,000.

10 Benefits of The Assault Bike:

  1. Excellent Full-Body Workout
  2. Builds High-Intensity Stamina
  3. Straightforward Use and Design
  4. Can Train Both Aerobic and Anaerobic Energy Systems
  5. Burns an Incredible Amount of Calories
  6. Increases Metabolic Rate for Hours After Exercise
  7. Boosts V02 Max
  8. Low Impact Training
  9. Great Rehabilitation Option
  10. Lower Cost Than Most Fitness Equipment

Where to Buy an Assault Fitness Assault AirBike

Thanks to the power of the internet, you can have an Assault Fitness Assault Bike delivered directly to your doorstep from Amazon.

Since Amazon updates its prices regularly, so be sure to check the most recent price with the link below.

Also, Mobility Athlete is reader-supported. So if you want to add an Assault Bike to your home gym and use our link, we can get a small commission (at no additional cost to you.) It helps keep the lights on here at the site, so thank you for your support!

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