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Nordictrack VX550 vs Assault airbike

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Nov 21, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack VX550 vs Assault airbike

This is a comparison between the Nordictrack VX550 and the Assault airbike including pros, cons and alternatives. Follow the links for more details.

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Overview and review of the Assault airbike

The Assault Airbike comes in at $699 - $999. In this article you will learn more about the product itself, its Pros and cons and alternatives you might want to consider. This article has originally been published in the overview "Which conditioning equipment to buy from Rogue".

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Overview of the Assault airbike

The Assault Airbike has been given an overhaul to live up to the highest standards of athletes. The company in charge is LifeCORE fitness in California, even though this bike is not built in the US. The assault bike comes with the following specifications: 
  • Color Black 
  • Weight 99LB
  • Length 50.9”
  • Width 23.3”
  • Height 48.4”
Airbikes work with the resistance of the air and give you a challenging full body workout. The faster you pedal the higher the resistance becomes. These are a great alternative for your home gym to treadmills and ellipticals as they take up less space and provide a better workout if it is burned calories you are after.

Pros of the Assault Airbike

Pros of the Assault Airbike are
  • Sturdy design 
  • Band propelled 
  • Long years of experience 
The assault air bike is heavy and has a sturdy steel frame. This prevents swaying during the ride compared to other models form the past. The weight of your Airbike is a good indicator whether it has been built thoroughly or whether the vendor took some shortcuts.
Compared to older models the Assault air bike has the advantage of being band propelled. Older models were chain propelled which lead to more noise. This is becoming more and more of an industry standard and is therefore not as much of a differentiator than it used to be.
With Assault you are buying into a range of products of a healthy company which has been around for years. This company is very likely here to stay and won’t go anywhere. 

Cons of the Assault Airbike

Cons of the air assault bike are 
  • Specificity 
  • Not the newest design 
The first one goes for all Airbikes. While they provide a great workout to get you in sweat it is not specific to most sports. Treadmills and normal bikes score better in this regard. If you are outfitting a gym for an elite athlete you will also need to get treadmills. 
The Assault bike design is solid, but not the newest one of the market. My hunch is that Assault is good at looking at the market and then outsourcing the production cost effectively to China, but I might be wrong. The Assault bike was a copy of the Schwinn and the Assault air runner is a copy of the TrueForm runner. 

Alternatives to the Assault Airbike

These are alternatives to the Assault air bike 
If you like the design of the Assault bike and the company you can also take it a step up by opting for the elite. The elite comes with an even heavier frame and newer computer to match the highest of standards. 
Concept 2 provides a solid range of cardiovascular machines with their rowers, skiergs, and bikes. If you just want a regular bike for spinning classes or to save some space their bike is an alternative. 
The Rogue echo bike is Rogue's take on the Airbike market. Manufactured in Columbus Ohio this machine is the no-nonsense approach to Airbikes and currently the best value for money option on the market. 

Summary for the Assault Airbike

An assault air bike is a solid machine which you can add to your arsenal. If the design is to your liking and fits your overall gym go for this one. If you don’t care about these things you might want an interesting alternative in the Rogue Echo bike.

Overview and review of the Nordictrack VX 550 599 (UK)

This article discusses the pros, cons, and alternatives for the Nordictrack VX550.This review was originally posted in “Which Nordictrack bike to get”. Follow the links for more details.

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The VX 550 is one of the lower budget bikes in the NordicTrack line up and is currently only available via the UK website. Its main features are a 9kg flywheel, 5-inch backlit display, and a maximum capacity of 125kg. This is the bike for you if you want a bigger flywheel for relatively little and you do not care about Ifit or other digital features to keep you engaged. The full list of features reads: 
  • This item is NOT compatible with iFit.
  • 5" Backlit Display
  • Smart BlueTooth (BLE) Chestbelt Compatible
  • Dual 2-Inch Speakers
  • Upright Frame
  • 9kg Flywheel
  • 20 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Onetouch™ Controls
  • EKG Handgrips
  • 125kg Max User Weight
  • Oversized Cushion Seat
  • Vertical and Horizontal Seat Adjustment
  • Extra-wide Ergonomic Pedals with Adjustable Straps
  • No AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan Included
  • Front-mounted Transport Wheels
  • Tablet Holder Included
  • 20 Workouts Apps
  • Assembled Dimensions - 150L x 61W x 167H cm
  • Product Weight 44kg
  • Boxed Weight 56kg
  • Boxed Dimensions - 106L x 32W x 66H cm
  • Warranty - 2 Years parts and labor; 5-year frame guarantee upon warranty registration within 28 days of purchase.
This is currently the cheapest 9kg flywheel you can get from Nordictrack. If you are an above-average cyclist who wants a bike that lasts to get a medium cycle in when it rains, the VX 550 can be a good option for you. 

Pros of the VX 550

The pros of Nordictrack VX550 are:
  • Price
  • 9kg flywheel
The VX550 has a great price point for a Nordictrack Cardio machine. In addition you will get a fairly big flywheel for what you are paying. The GX 4.7R is in the same price range but only has a 7kg flywheel. The combination of price and bigger flywheel makes this the durable low budget option in exchange for not being up to the times in the entertainment and engagement department. 

Cons of the VX550

The cons of the VX 550 are:
  • No Ifit
  • No Touch screen 
The VX550 is not compatible with the Ifit subscription from NordicTrack. This means that the number of days for the VX550 in the NordicTrack portfolio are very numbered. NordicTrack is pushing hard on catching up to Peloton in the entertainment and engagement segment to regain market share and establish recurring revenue. The VX550 does not fit anywhere in this strategy. If you are a commercial buyer who wants buy-in bulk, stay way clear from this one for your gym. Home users will have to make a conscious decision whether it is worth to get a 9kg instead of a 7kg flywheel while trading off Ifit. If you think you need the engagement features, go for the GX 4.7R instead of the VX550.

Alternatives to the VX550

Possible alternatives to the VX550 are:
The Nordictrack GX 4.7 is the better option if you are convinced that you need some instructors and entertainment to keep engaged with your workouts. You will get a smaller flywheel, but in return the GX 4.7 is Ifit compatible and therefore give you a big library of engaging content. 
The Nordictrack C700 treadmill is a low budget alternative for anyone who prefers jogging or walking over cycling. The C700 is the cheapest treadmill in the Nordictrack line up that you can currently get. While it is a good option for joggers and walkers, it might be a bit too small for serious runners who put their treadmills through a lot of abuse. 
The SE3i elliptical is the low budget elliptical option from Nordictrack. An elliptical can be a good compromise for the entire family or in a small gym to keep multiple happy, rather than just cyclists. The downside of an elliptical is that it needs more space and higher ceilings. 
The concept 2 model D rower is the bread and butter machine in the rowing world. If you prefer rowing over cycling you can not go wrong with this model. You can also hang the rower on the wall to save space when you are not using it. The model D will be slightly more expensive than VX550
My personal favorite is the Rogue echo bike for home gym use. It is slightly more expensive than the VX550 but is built more stable. In return you sacrifice any type of entertainment as it does not come with a screen. The Rogue echo bike is designed for serious athletes and might be a little intimidating for anyone who just wants to stay active and mobile, without pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion. 

Summary for the Nordictrack VX550

The VX550 is a good option if you want a big flywheel at a low price from Nordictrack. In exchange for this, you will get a product which the Nordictrack management will care very little about so expect that it will be harder to get support and parts for it. 

Topics: Treadmill