By Elizabeth "Leisa" Redmon
Formally capturing audiences within the age of leotards and step aerobics, the Schwinn Airdyne was the “it” bike for low-impact, high-output cardio exercise. But just as CrossFit has progressed into the sport it is today, so has the the “devil’s bicycle” into what we have now--the Assault Air Bike.
Regardless of time endured on the Assault bike, one thread of truth permeates athletes of all ages, fitness levels and experience--it sucks. But here are two key tips to get the Assault Air Bike to suck just a little less.
ASSAULT BIKE TIPS
No two athletes are created exactly alike, so you shouldn’t force yourself to pedal feverishly on a bike that isn’t adjusted to your particular height and specifications. After all, you wouldn’t attempt double unders with your 6’2” friend’s rope when you’re just shy of 5’3”, would you?
To easily adjust the bike to fit YOU so you can maximize the gnarly time spent on the bike in as efficient a manner as possible, sit on the bike and adjust the height of the seat to allow one leg to fully extend, directly underneath your hip. Your midfoot* should be placed on the pedal of the bike. If you cannot achieve this, adjust the seat accordingly.
*Although you will adjust the bike height utilizing the midfoot, you will ultimately place your forefoot on the pedals and drive through the heels.
CREATE A RHYTHM
Now that your bike fits your height, you want to ensure you’re not wasting energy by cranking your torso in all directions. One of the reasons why the assault bike is a seriously savage piece of equipment is due to the push-pull-push needs of your body. (Push-pull with your arms, while simultaneously pushing into the pedals with your lower body.) Just as in running, the less you move your torso, the more energy output can occur to propel you forward and ultimately to your finish line. So adjust the seat distance with the rear adjustment into a position where you can “comfortably” push and pull the bike handles with minimal torso rotation.
And there ya have it! I know, I know...the Assault Air Bike is always going to be a bike to humble the most Herculean of athletes, but at least now we can ensure the time spent on the bike is the most efficient, and in the end...not wasted.