Using self-driven force is nothing new in resistance training. However, the equipment has evolved dramatically from the hydraulic training gear that was so popular in the early 2000s. Now we have cutting-edge technology and innovative equipment like the Rogue Echo Bike.
The Rogue Echo Bike isn’t like the stationary exercise bike collecting dust in your parents’ basement. This beast is designed to be pushed hard and push you back harder in return.
With a belt-driven fan, this bike scales the resistance to your intensity. It goes beyond simple cardio to offer powerful HIIT workouts and conditioning options that are beneficial to athletes from any training modality.
While the Rogue Echo Bike isn’t the only fan bike on the market, the name and quality make it a go-to for the CrossFit community. Here’s everything you need to know in a full Rogue Echo Bike review.
An In-depth Review of the Rogue Echo
The Rogue Echo Bike has a lot of moving bits and pieces that contribute to it being a powerful and effective piece of equipment. As a result, it’s a significant investment. Here are some of the key components worth looking at when evaluating whether you should invest in this machine.
Clear LCD-Display Screen
The Rogue Echo Bike comes with a 6×6 LCD-display screen to make it easier to see what’s happening while you’re sweating it out.
In addition to an easy-to-read size, the screen also has high contrast visibility that puts it lightyears ahead of the pixelated screens of other conditioning equipment, like on older rowing machine or Versaclimber.
It’s worth noting that the screen is battery-powered, taking two AA batteries to operate. On the plus side, batteries are included with your purchase.
Quality of Construction
If you’ve ever watched someone going all out on a fan bike, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how durable this machine should be to withstand the onslaught. The Echo is crafted with high-quality steel and designed for stability during intense movement. The fan is also crafted from high-quality steel, making it strong and steady.
The other prime focal point for the quality of construction is the belt. The belt in this particular air bike is better than the competition in terms of functionality, durability, and quietness. While some of the newer air bikes on the market are following suit with Rogue, the Echo bike got there first.
Finally, the Rogue Echo is finished with the brand’s iconic black powder coat, which hasn’t failed the brand yet. Many Rogue bikes that have been in use for a few years still look fresh and new.
The bike that’s been evaluated for this review has been in use for just over two years and moved numerous times to make space for events. Even so, it has no scratches or chips, though the black powder finish shows dirt and mud quite clearly— where the mud came from remains a mystery.
However, one area has fallen apart significantly. While the foot pedals themselves remain intact, the rubber inlays are in pieces. Fortunately, this degradation doesn’t impact the overall integrity of the bike, but it’s an issue to be aware of.
The Echo Bike stands at 52.75″ at its tallest point (the handles) and is 58.875″ long when the seat is in full extension for taller athletes. At its widest point, the Rogue bike is 29.875″ with a 44.5″ x 23.75″ footprint. While it is slightly larger than similar bikes, the difference is nominal.
It’s worth noting that you will need a bit of space to work with when putting the bike through its paces as the fan kicks up the surrounding air— which is a perk for your gym crew during the warmer months.
The Echo Bike weighs 127lbs with a weight limit of 350lbs. It’s heavy enough that you won’t get any motion transfer during a hard workout, but still light enough to move around with relative ease.
If you’re training in a garage gym with minimal space or adapting to new spacing regulations in a commercial gym setting, the Echo bike is easy to move.
The footings have wheels to make it simple to tilt and roll this bike to an open area. You can also get an aftermarket conversion kit to add larger wheels, making it more turf-friendly— a great feature if you want to wheel this bad boy outside.
As mentioned before, the Rogue Echo uses a belt drive system. This feature sets it apart from many air bikes on the market, as a chain drive system is the norm.
The primary benefit of a belt drive system is the smoothness of the ride— as you go into a high-intensity interval, there’s no rattling and shaking. The belt drive is also comparatively quiet, though you’ll never get complete silence when operating a giant fan with the power of your body.
One of the downsides of the Rogue Echo bike is that the belt drive limits the ability to freewheel or ghost ride. Ghost riding is a trick athletes sometimes use during a calorie-driven WOD to get the calorie count after they stop moving.
In essence, it’s letting the machine keep moving to up the calorie count while you rest. While some complain that it makes the workout harder, others counter that the bike doesn’t let you cheat, and you work for your numbers.
Unlike many chain bikes, belt drive bikes require minimal maintenance. Many chain bike users report having to do chain-related maintenance quite often. Those with belt drive bikes haven’t reported the same issue. The bike featured here has had no additional maintenance since its purchase in 2018.
Evaluating the comfort of the Rogue Echo bike is laughable, as you will arguably be extremely uncomfortable while working on it. However, the bike itself does provide comfort and support as not to distract you with adjustments.
The padded seat is incredibly well-made and comfortable, setting it worlds apart from a standard bike seat. It also has eight vertical adjustments and five horizontal adjustments to help you find the right positioning for your body type.
The handles have comfortable 1.5″ rubber grips that provide comfort and prevent slippage during an intense round on the bike. The footpegs are also a nice addition for when you’re doing an isolated upper body interval. All-in-all, it’s as comfortable as it gets for a high-intensity conditioning machine.
Accessories and Attachments
The Rogue Echo Bike is compatible with a few aftermarket parts, for those so inclined. One of the most popular add-ons is the wind guard, to limit the breeze mentioned earlier in the review.
Many customers feel that this should be included in the price rather than an upsell. However, unless you’re working next to a pile of paperwork or within six feet of someone who cares, it’s not a necessary part.
Rogue also offers attachable water bottle holders and phone holders. While the bottle cage is worth it, working on a fan bike is not like riding a traditional stationary bike where you can scroll on your phone while pedaling, making the latter addition superfluous.
As mentioned before, there’s also an aftermarket tire conversion kit for better movement and outdoor set-ups. The kit also comes with a handle that attaches to the back of the bike to make maneuvering it a little easier. While you can set the Echo bike up on turf as-is, this kit helps protect the finish and maintain the integrity of your equipment.
One major pitfall of the Rogue Echo bike is that it lacks a heart rate monitor. The bike is set up for compatibility with Polar chest strap monitors, but can’t connect with popular fitness trackers or devices.
If tracking your heart rate is an important part of your training, you’ll need to shell out for a compatible device.
You can also replace the standard pedals with Shimano brand heavy-duty pedals, which are better for cycling cross-training. This upgrade is worthwhile for those who participate in road races or triathlons.
Considering the standard pedals started to fall apart over two years, this upgrade could be beneficial for anyone planning to use this regularly.
Is the Rogue Echo the Right Air Bike for You?
Training on the Rogue Echo has numerous benefits that are worth exploring. Like many air bikes, it provides a full-body conditioning workout with emphasis on the legs.
It torches calories and engages both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems to build speed and endurance.
Whether it’s the foundation of your training or a cross-training tool, you can’t go wrong with an air bike.
The Echo bike, in particular, is quiet and sturdy. It’s more durable than most fan bikes on the market and lives up to the Rogue name. The Echo bike is a must-have for households with athletes of varying shapes and sizes or those who want their investment to withstand the abuse of intense workouts.
If you are someone who relies on ghost riding or has limited space, the Rogue Bike may not be the best air bike for you.
The handles are more wide-set than other bikes on the market, which can feel bulky if you’re used to something smaller. The Rogue bike is midrange in price, making it a great value buy but not necessarily budget-friendly.
Alternatives to the Rogue Echo
Assault Air Bike
The Assault Air Bike is commonly pitted against the Echo, especially in the CrossFit world. It’s not uncommon to see either of these options in competitions. The Assault bike is popular enough that many air bikes have earned the misnomer of “assault bike,” the way tissue gets called Kleenex.
This air bike has a chain drive rather than a belt drive. As such, it’s far noisier and requires more maintenance over time. However, the chain drive also takes more effort to get going and will freewheel for longer, making it more comparable to a bicycle. Many cyclists and triathletes enjoy this aspect for their cross-training purposes.
The sizing is also a little smaller on the Assault bike. While the difference between the Assault Air Bike vs. Rogue Echo Bike comes down to a few inches, the more streamlined design of the Assault bike makes it seem less bulky.
The Assault bike comes in two models: Classic and Elite. The Elite is built for more frequent use and is said to be significantly sturdier. Having options is a nice touch in comparison to the single model of a Rogue bike.
Another heavy competitor for the Rogue Echo Bike is the Schwinn Airdyne. This air bike also uses a belt drive system rather than a chain drive. It’s also quite a bit smaller than the Rogue Echo, making it better for tight spaces and small athletes.
Schwinn offers a lot of versatility with their bike, including optional swaps for pedals, handle grips, and the seat. As Schwinn was one of the first belt drive bikes on the market, they’re an innovator in their industry.
One common complaint about the Airdyne is the noise and feeling of instability on the bike. While the belt is quiet, the metal creaks and groans while training, which can be uncomfortable and distracting.
Fortunately, Schwinn offers the longest warranty of up to ten years on the frame (the other bikes have two-year warranties). It’s yet unknown if this issue has been resolved with newer models.
Where Does the Rogue Echo Stand?
If you live for the chain drive, the Rogue Echo likely isn’t for you. However, if you want a sturdy air bike that gives you the best value for your money, the Echo wins hands down. Many athletes are replacing their Schwinns with the more affordable and durable Echo.
In summary, the Rogue Echo Air Bike is a great investment for CrossFitters, cross-training athletes, and those who just want to torch some calories quickly.