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The Assault Bike and SkiErg are two popular cardio machines with fan resistance. How do they compare in features and which one is the best?
The Assault Bike is an air bike and the SkiErg is a ski machine. Both can offer you a great cardiovascular workout while engaging a few muscles.
Using the Assault Bike requires less height, works more different muscles all over your body, and this machine is easier to move around. Additionally, an Assault Bike is generally cheaper than a SkiErg set-up.
On the other hand, the SkiErg requires less room to use in terms of length and width and less storage room if you mount it to a wall. Besides that, this machine does not have a user weight limit and focuses on a few upper body muscles.
Personal preference matters a lot in this comparison. Some people absolutely love their SkiErg, others enjoy riding the Assault Bike a lot more.
This article will also go over some of the other features of the Assault Bike and SkiErg, and in what situations the differences between the two matter the most.
Comparison table Assault Bike vs SkiErg
Assault Bikes and SkiErgs are both cardio equipment but besides that, you only have to take one look at the machines to see there are a lot of differences too.
In the table below you can see some of the most important features of these machines compare.
|Feature||Assault Bike Classic||SkiErg|
|Item Weight||110 lbs (49.9 kg)||SkiErg 46 lbs (20.87 kg), |
Floor Stand 35 lbs (15.88 kg)
|User Weight Limit||350 lbs (158.76 kg)||/|
|Equipment Dimensions||50.95″ L x 23.34″ W x 50″ H||10″ L x 20.5″ W x 85″ H|
|Dimensions With Platform||/||50″ L x 23.62″ W x 88″ H|
|Muscles Worked||Lower And Upper Body||Mainly Upper Body|
|Potentially Uncomfortable To||Knees||Shoulders|
|Warranty||5-year frame, |
2-year non-wear parts
|5 years on frame parts, 2 years on |
moving parts and monitor
|Resistance||Non-Adjustable Air Fan||Adjustable Air Fan Cage|
|Resistance Levels||1||10 Damper Levels|
|Can Stand On Its Own||Yes||Only With Platform|
|Heart Rate Monitor||Not Included But Connectable||Not Included But Connectable|
|Bluetooth Connectable||Classic: No, Other Models: Yes||Yes|
|Check Current Price||Check Current Price|
Differences explained more in depth
Seeing the differences between the Assault Bike Classic and Concept2 SkiErg in a table is definitely a helpful start.
That being said, some of the differences deserve a bit more explanation in the sense of for what type of people the differences matter in what ways. This can help you make a better decision between these two treadmills.
Before you can start enjoying the benefits of either the Assault Bike or SkiErg you need to make sure you have the room to use and store the machine. There are definitely some differences when it comes to this.
First of all, the Assault Bike takes in 50.95″ (129.41 cm) L x 23.34″ (59.28 cm) W x 50″ (127 cm) H. To use the Assault bike you need some additional room.
When it comes to exercise bike dimensions you generally want at least 24 inches (70 cm) of free room on each side and something similar behind and in front of you.
How much extra height you need depends on how tall you are. Most rooms are tall enough for an average person on an Assault Bike but if this will be close, it could be worth checking.
The dimensions of the SkiErg machine vary depending on whether you attach the machine to a wall or use the floor stand. Attached to the wall, the SkiErg takes in 10″ (25.4 cm) L x 20.5″ (52.07 cm) W x 85″ (215.9 cm) H.
When mounted on the floor stand, the SkiErg takes in 50″ (127 cm) L x 23.62″ (60 cm) W x 88″ (223.52 cm) H. How much extra room you need to use the SkiErg depends on your personal body proportions and workout style.
A general estimation is that you generally want at least about 66″ (168 cm) in total length and more than 47.24″ (120 cm) in total width when using the SkiErg normally. With more sideways SkiErg arm movements you want about 70.86″ (180 cm) of room or more.
So in short, the Assault Bike needs more room to use in terms of length and width and less in terms of height compared to using a SkiErg with normal movements.
If you implement more sideways arm movements with the SkiErg, this takes up about the same amount of width as an Assault Bike.
A SkiErg on a floor stand and an Assault Bike take up about equal amounts of storage space. In this case, the Assault Bike would be easier to store due to the transport wheels. A SkiErg mounted to a wall requires the least storage space.
Winner: Depends on the dimension and situation
Another difference many people are interested in is what muscles are worked with the Assault Bike vs the SkiErg.
One thing to keep in mind is that these machines are generally for improving cardiovascular health. To see significant muscle gains the Assault Bike and SkiErg are generally not the best choices.
Using an Assault Bike mainly works your glutes, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, shoulders, triceps, biceps, and back. You can choose to focus more on your upper body or lower body or work both about equally.
On the other hand, using a SkiErg mainly works muscles like your upper back and triceps. Additionally, you work your glutes, quadriceps, and calves to some extent if you go through your knees a lot.
So generally, the SkiErg focuses on fewer muscles. This can be a downside if you want to engage as many muscles as possible or an upside if you want to focus on your upper back and triceps.
The Assault Bike allows you to target more different muscles. You can also focus on certain muscles to some extent by not using the other muscles as much.
Winner: Depends on your goals. The Assault Bike is more versatile.
User weight limit
A detail that can be important when comparing fitness equipment is the user weight limit. This helps you avoid using a machine that is not strong enough for your weight.
The Assault Bike has a user weight limit of 350 lbs (158.76 kg). On the other hand, the SkiErg does not have a user weight limit since you are standing on the ground.
Whether this detail is important to you, mostly depends on whether or not you are inside of the Assault Bike user limit range or not.
These user limits are generally not the most strict but you do want to respect them due to things like warranty void, wear and tear, and actual limits to what the frame can hold.
Both the Assault Bike and SkiErg get their resistance from a fan pushing against the air. The harder you cycle or pull, the more resistance you will encounter.
Even so, there is a relevant difference between the two. The fan of the Assault Bike is relatively out in the open. This makes it so the resistance is not really adjustable besides cycling faster.
The SkiErg has a different construction where the air fan is inside of a cage. This cage has a damper that controls how much air goes in the cage and this can be adjusted to 10 different levels.
Concept2 describes their damper setting as “similar to bicycle gearing, it affects how skiing feels but does not directly affect the resistance. A lower damper setting on the SkiErg is comparable to easier gears on a bike” (1).
So while the SkiErg does not have “resistance levels” in the traditional sense, this machine does allow you to change the difficulty when using it.
On the other hand, the Assault Bike can feel too hard for some people, and too easy for others, without a very specific way to adjust this.
These cardio machines both come with a monitor to track things like time, calories burned estimations, distance, etc. In most areas, these monitors offer similar functionality but there is an exception.
The monitor that comes with the Assault Bike Classic does not have the option to connect to tracking apps through Bluetooth. On the the other hand, the SkiErg does have this functionality built-in.
One thing to keep in mind is that other Assault Bike models do come with a monitor with this feature. Additionally, you can buy a separate Bluetooth-compatible monitor for your Assault Bike Classic but this does come at an extra price.
The Assault Bike and SkiErg are not the most complicated machines in the fitness world but you do have to get used to them to some extent.
Using an Assault Bike is the most straightforward. You do have to adjust the seat a bit and keep your back somewhat straight for comfort but in general, this machine is easy to use.
In the case of the SkiErg, the movements come less naturally. You have to get used to the arm movements and timing this with going through your knees. This is far from impossible but is a bit more complex.
Using the Assault Bike and SkiErg is not the hardest thing in the world but the Assault Bike is generally less complex to use.
Winner: Assault Bike
Can stand on its own
Not everyone can or wants to drill holes in their walls to support fitness equipment.
Both the Assault Bike and SkiErg can stand on their own, but in the case of the SkiErg, you do need to invest in an additional floor stand. This requires an extra investment.
Additionally, the Assault Bike has handy transport wheels. This makes it easier to move the machine around compared to a SkiErg on a platform.
In terms of functionality, both machines can take the upper hand depending on your workout goals and personal preference. Any potential price difference could help you make your decision clearer.
At the time of writing, the Assault Bike Classic and SkiErg machine are often sold at similar prices. This difference depends on where you buy your machine and changes over time.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may need to invest an extra amount in the SkiErg floor stand. This can make this option slightly more price than the Assault Bike Classic.
On the other hand, the other Assault Bike models tend to cost more too.
In short, the exact price difference varies a lot from store to store and whether or not you need the SkiErg floor stand. Generally, the Assault Bike Classic is slightly cheaper but often not that much in the bigger picture.
Winner: Assault Bike Classic
Generally, looking at the differences in features offers the most objective comparison between the two products. Even so, sometimes it can be helpful to check out the specific reviews too.
In the case of the Assault Bike vs the SkiErg, the reviews for both are extremely positive overall.
One exception is that in a few cases the Assault Bike construction has some issues. Additionally, a few people don’t like the seat and its adjustability of the Assault Bike.
In some cases, users did not realize the floor stand of the SkiErg needed to be bought separately.
That being said, overall the reviews of the Assault Bike and SkiErg are still really positive.
What model is right for you
Which of these two models is the best for you mostly depends on the amount of room you have, your weight, what muscles you want to work the most, and personal preference.
The SkiErg does not have a user weight limit, requires less room to use in terms of length and width, and focuses on upper body muscles.
On the other hand, the Assault Bike requires less height, works more different muscles, and is easier to move around.
The overall SkiErg set-up tends to be pricier but this can be worth it if this machine suits you personally in the other areas.