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Last Updated: May 12, 2023
The Concept2 BikeErg is the latest addition to Concept2’s lineup of sport-based ergometers. The BikeErg is an indoor cycling bike that features the same flywheel and PM5 Monitor as the Concept2 Indoor Rowers and SkiErgs. Concept2 has long been an industry leader in air resistance machines for both rowing and cross-country skiing. The BikeErg brings all the benefits of cycling and air resistance in one machine that you can use in your own home.
But is it an air bike or an indoor cycling bike? Well, it’s both and it’s going to work best for certain users. In this review of the Concept2 BikeErg, we’ll go over everything you need to know, how it performed for us, and who we think it’s best suited for.
Air Bike Award: Best Air Bike Without Arms
The Concept2 BikeErg has been given the award of best air bike without arms on our list of best air bikes. The BikeErg brings is built a bit different than traditional air bikes but that doesn’t mean it lacks in any category. Read on to find out why we love the Concept2 BikeErg.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Concept2 BikeErg
When we create full reviews of equipment, we do this after spending extensive amounts of time on the machine. Our team of reviewers puts every machine that we get into our studio to the test. We use it like you would at home, and then some. We also pull out other models that we have on hand that compare, to help us better analyze and recommend equipment.
We compared the Concept2 BikeErg to air bikes like the AssaultBike Elite and indoor cycling bikes like the Bowflex C6. Since the BikeErg is kind of a hybrid bike, we found ourselves drawing comparisons to spin bikes and air bikes. This way if you’re looking for either type of bike, you’ll gain insight into how the BikeErg performs compared to those to help you determine if it’s right for you.
Our Concept2 BikeERG Review Video
- Unlimited, customizable air resistance
- One of the benefits of air resistance is it is unlimited since the harder you pedal, the more air moves through the flywheel to create responsive resistance. The BikeERG also features a damper that regulates the amount of air allowed into the flywheel. The damper acts as a “gearing system” to adjust the difficulty of each pedal stroke.
- Compact footprint, lightweight bike
- The BikeErg is only 48” long and 24” wide, making it a compact piece of fitness equipment. The bike weighs only 68 pounds but will support up to 300 pounds.
- Quiet operation due to belt drive system
- Unlike chain drives which are quite noisy, the belt drive system on the BikeErg reduces the noise output when pedaling.
- Does not require a plug; console is battery powered
- The bike itself does not require electricity to operate. The PM5 Console requires two D-cell batteries; power to the console is supplemented by rider power when pedalling so the batteries last extremely long in the console.
- Extensive PM5 monitor is the same as on the Concept2 Rower and SkiErg (programmed for pedaling instead of rowing)
- 5 Data Screens:
- All Data screen
- Force Curve screen
- Pacer screen
- Bar chart screen
- Large print screen
- Console displays: distance, speed, pace, calories and watts
- Console is backlit and can be seen in low light conditions
- 5 Data Screens:
- Wireless HR tracking with ANT+ and Bluetooth
- Syncs with both ANT+ and Bluetooth chest straps
- Adjustable device rack included
- Footprint: 48” L x 24” W
- Crank Length: 170mm
- Q Factor: 155 mm
- Polygroove belt drive with self-tensioning system
- Welded aluminum frame with steel feet
- Black powder coat frame; gray anodized posts
- Bike weight: 68 pounds
- Max User weight: 300 pounds
- Bike saddle and pedals can be swapped out
- Smooth air resistance flywheel
- Damper lever on flywheel
- Flywheel clutch cycling system
- Belt drive for quieter operation
- Does not require a plug; console is battery powered
- PM5 Console requires two D-cell batteries
- Console displays: RPMs, pace, calories and watts
- Console is backlit and can be seen in low-light conditions
- Wireless HR tracking with ANT+ and Bluetooth
- Supports machine-to-machine racing
- Syncs with ErgData app
- Adjustable device rack included
- Air resistance is virtually unlimited
- Damper lever acts as a “gearing system”
- Clutch flywheel allows you to stop pedaling while the flywheel is still moving
- PM5 monitor provides instant workout feedback
- 4 Adjustment points for the right bike fit
- Does not require electricity
- Chain free drive is much quieter than comparable systems
- Frame Parts–Five Year Limited Warranty
- All Parts–Two Year Limited Warranty
In-Depth Review of Concept2 BikeErg
If you’re a Concept2 Rower purist, you’ll recognize the PM5 monitor. The PM5 on the BikeErg has been adjusted for cycling to show metrics like your time, distance (in meters), pace, calories, watts, and RPMs. For those who are more familiar with consoles on indoor cycling bikes, this monitor will probably be a little different than what you’re used to.
The PM5 offers a Just Ride mode, as well as onboard workout programs that you can customize depending on your goals. You can set goals based on distance, time, and calories, as well as create custom intervals. You can work to keep up with a pace bike and compete in races. The races take place online through the ErgRace app and you can keep track of your rankings in the Concept2 Logbook.
The PM5 monitor is Bluetooth enabled to connect to apps like Zwift. You can also download the free ErgData app to keep track of your workouts and use the ErgRace app and Logbook. The PM5 does have a USB port so you can upload your workout data on a USB flash drive, too.
Overall, the PM5 is a simple console, but it has a lot more to offer than you’d expect from a monitor on a bike. With all the workout options, you definitely have ways of keeping your workouts structured.
The PM5 console is battery-powered so you don’t need to worry about plugging the Concept2 in. It’s also backlit which makes it handy to use when you don’t have much overhead light.
The buttons on the side and bottom of the display screen are pretty easy to navigate. The “Units” and “Display” buttons change what metrics are shown on the screen when you’re riding. Connecting your device to the console is easy too, with the “Connect” button.
The PM5 monitor is adjustable to tilt up and down. There’s also an included device holder that’s adjustable depending on the size of your phone or tablet.
The device rack is really helpful if you want to connect to Zwift or watch something while you ride.
Unfortunately, the BikeErg doesn’t come with a water bottle holder. This isn’t a huge deal because you can purchase one for $4.50 from Concept2. What a deal, right?! A heart rate monitor will also need to be purchased separately in order to see your heart rate on the screen. Other than the device rack, there isn’t any storage offered.
When it comes to construction, Concept2 has really nailed creating incredibly durable equipment. The BikeErg is what we expect from the brand. Since it doesn’t require an outlet to use, you can place the Concept2 BikeErg pretty much anywhere. The BikeErg does make some noise, however, which I’ll get into below.
The BikeErg is rated to handle up to 300 lbs which is decent. 350 lbs is the highest that we usually see on exercise bikes like the NordicTrack S22i and the AssaultBike Elite. The BikeErg should handle users up to that capacity.
The frame is surprisingly lightweight. That is due to the aluminum frame. The bike itself weighs only 68 lbs. The first time I moved it, I was a little shocked because the BikeErg is not a dainty bike by any means, and other spin bikes and air bikes weigh a lot more.
Because it’s so light, the Concept2 is really easy to move around. It’s probably one of the easiest that I’ve used.
Regarding the sturdiness, the BikeErg is solid and feels (and looks) like the bike version of their beloved rower. The BikeErg doesn’t have any adjustable leveling feet to help plant it to the floor, but we didn’t experience any unsteadiness or rocking when riding.
Another aspect of the frame that I really like, is how adjustable it is. It has four adjustment points, although in order to move the saddle forward and back and to change its angle, you’ll need to use a wrench of your own. This isn’t the most practical when you’re in a rush or need to adjust the seat in the middle of your ride. However, I don’t think most users will need to adjust the seat forward or back because of the large range that the handles move forward and back. Also, the range that you can adjust the seat laterally isn’t very large.
We measured the reach, which is the distance between the stem of the handles to the nose of the saddle when the handles are moved all the way forward and back. It measured 16” – 23”, so you have about a 7” range to work with when just moving the handles horizontally. The leg span is 29.5” – 39”. This is your inseam length and it’s measured from the top of the saddle to the top of the lowest pedal when the seat is all the way up and down.
You can adjust the handles when riding and you can raise the seat simply by pulling it up. Our reviewers are 5’1” to 6’5” and we’re all able to get good bike fits on the Concept2 BikeErg. Being the shortest reviewer, I use the handles positioned all the way back, and the seat a couple of notches above the lowest setting.
So, users slightly shorter and taller than our height range should be able to fit on this bike. The handles adjust plenty low and high, depending on your riding preference, too.
The flywheel on the BikeErg is a fan so technically this is an air bike, although it performs a bit differently than the AssaultBikes and Airdynes that we’re accustomed to at the gym.
The fan works to create tension against the pedals. Inside the fan are blades that move when you’re pedaling. When those blades move, the air is sucked in from the vents on the outside of the flywheel. This creates resistance for the blades to move against. Since the Concept2 is an air bike, it does make noise. It isn’t as loud as AssaultBikes, but it isn’t silent like most indoor cycling bikes, either. The Concept2 BikeErg will excel in garage gyms and some areas of the home. If you’re planning on using it in a shared space with housemates, or in an apartment, you might want to consider a magnetic exercise bike.
Since the BikeErg uses air resistance, it provides an unlimited amount of tension to pedal against. So, the harder you pedal, the more resistance you’ll have to work against. Magnetic spin bikes with adjustable resistance have a max level, so if you’re looking for a bike that offers more tension and power, the BikeErg is for you. Instead of specific resistance levels, the BikeErg has a damper to adjust how much/little air gets sucked into the fan. It’s located on the side of the flywheel with 10 different levels. 1 is like riding on a flat road and allows in the least amount of air, while level 10 lets in the most amount of air and feels like you’re pedaling up a steep hill.
We wish that the damper could be adjusted on the console or handlebars though. It is kind of a pain to have to reach down to the low-positioned flywheel every time you want to adjust it.
A really nice component on the BikeErg is the self-tensioning Polygroove belts that connect the pedals to the fan. Instead of a chain drive system that is found on AssaultBikes, the belts make for a quieter and smoother pedal stroke. They also require little to no maintenance. The belt helps make the stroke feel closer to a spin bike, however, the BikeErg is different.
The big reason why the BikeErg doesn’t feel like the Bowflex C6, Peloton, or NordicTrack Bikes, is because it has a clutch. The clutch works to allow the fan blades to keep spinning inside the fan when you stop pedaling. This is just like on a road bike when you stop pedaling and coast. Traditional indoor cycles are designed to require a brake to stop the flywheel and pedals at the same time. When you slow and stop pedaling on these bikes, the flywheel stops, too. When you stop pedaling on the BikeErg, the fan slows down and eventually stops if you don’t resume pedaling.
The pedals have grips so you can use them with any type of athletic shoe. For long rides and more stability during sprints and standing out of the saddle, we recommend swapping them for clip-ins to use with cycling shoes or purchasing the toe clips attachment that fits over the toes of your shoes.
The q-factor (distance between the pedals) is 155 mm. The q-factor affects the alignment of your hips, knees, and ankles when riding, too narrow or too wide can put a strain on the joints. The BikeErg is within the range that is considered optimal for most riders. The crank length is 170 mm which is considered to be a good length for most users, too.
Air bikes have moving handles that work your upper body as well as your lower body. The BikeErg primarily works your lower body like an indoor cycling bike. I’m sure you can see that these handlebars resemble indoor and road cycling bikes. I’m impressed that they offer different grip options, as well as drop bars.
These handles aren’t the most padded that we’ve used, they feel pretty firm but they have a gritty texture so your hands shouldn’t slip.
Performance & Functionality
So, how did the Concept2 BikeErg perform for us and who do we think it’s best suited for? Well, if you’re familiar with Concept2’s Rower and SkiErg, the BikeErg is comparable to these machines. It’s simple, easy to use, durable, and lightweight.
The BikeErg is also great if you’re looking for a quality piece of cardio equipment that will primarily work your legs. A lot of people describe using the BikeErg as a steady burn for your legs, and we agree. Since the amount of resistance offered is practically unlimited, cyclists who want the most amount of tension should look to this bike. Just know that if you’re an indoor cycling enthusiast, the BikeErg will feel a little bit different and might take some getting used to.
Something to note, the fan blows air on you while pedaling. This is typical for air bikes, but we wish it came with a removable wind guard. If you’re using the BikeErg in a cold room or garage, you’ll feel even colder when you first start pedaling. Alternatively, the breeze that the fan provides is nice when you’re hot and sweaty.
The biggest difference I found between spin bikes and the BikeErg is pedaling out of the saddle. If I try to keep the same cadence and effort from sitting to standing, I’ll get “dead air” in the fan and feel inconsistency with the pedal stroke. In order to stand up comfortably, you’ll need to either increase the damper setting or increase your pace and intensity, or both. Once you get the hang of this, riding the BikeErg is pretty seamless and smooth, yet incredibly challenging.
The BikeErg can be used for short intense intervals, steady-state cardio, and long-distance rides. You can use it to warm up before a lift session, too. The saddle is narrow and lightly padded so it can accommodate riding for longer periods of time. Wider seats often found on traditional air bikes are best for shorter durations. The positioning on the saddle is like riding an indoor cycling bike where you’re tipped a little more forward, rather than sitting up a little straighter on your glutes on air bikes. I will say the saddle isn’t very comfortable but most saddles on spin bikes aren’t. It’s just something you get used to after the first few rides.
Concept2 offers a 5-year frame warranty and a 2-year parts warranty with the purchase of the BikeERG. This warranty is on the lower end than what we see from other brands for exercise bikes.