If you are thinking about buying a new elliptical trainer but don’t want to spend thousands on Precor equipment, the Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine is certainly worth considering.
But how do you know if this is the best elliptical for your own personal fitness goals?
In this review we’ll guide you through all 7 workout programs, benefits of the LCD screen, and even what to expect from the assembly. We’ve also summarised the pros and cons from customers who are already using the Schwinn A40.
The rear glide rails provide a stable platform over which the rollers can move, creating a smoother and lower impact motion compared to conventional ellipticals.
Being a front drive elliptical, it’s also important that articulating footplates have been included over the fixed position option. This slight movement will help to keep your feet following a more natural running motion, as well as reducing any strain on your lower back.
The high front and side lip sections also help to prevent your feet from slipping off the machine mid-stride.
If you have looked at the Schwinn 430 and 470 ellipticals, you’ll notice that the handle design is one of the major differences between the machines.
The larger set of handles for the Schwinn A40 has been designed to be shorter than the 430 or 470, with fewer angles to use as grip positions.
Stride length and stability
Similar to how treadmills are suited to user heights based on the running area size, most ellipticals will be best suited to a particular range of user heights based on the stride length.
With a stride length of 17.5″ compared to the 20″ stride of the 430 and 470, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Schwinn A40 is an elliptical that is best suited to people under 6ft tall.
To help improve the stability of the machine there are also 4 levellers fitted to the base of the frame. The height of these can be easily adjusted to compensate for any unevenness in the floor.
One final design feature worth mentioning is the transport wheels built into the front stabilizer bar. Using the rear stabilizer bar as a handle, this makes it much easier to move the machine once setup.
Schwinn A40 Elliptical Machine – Features Summary
- Easy to read large LCD window tracks your speed, time, distance, calories and more
- 7 workout programs to keep you challenged
- 8 levels of magnetic resistance
- Grip heart rate monitor
Ease of assembly
As with any elliptical machine, you have to expect that there is going to be a bit more to the setup than for other fitness equipment, such as exercise bikes.
What really makes a difference is how comprehensive the instructions are in the user manual and how easy they are to follow.
Fortunately Schwinn have an excellent reputation for their assembly instructions, with the A40 being no exception.
Each step combines clear part references with exploded drawings and a focus on the order each bolt and washer fits together.
This means you can be enjoying your first workout less than 60 minutes from unpacking the box.
This is backed up by a number of customer reviews from people who bought the Schwinn A40 and were impressed with how easy it was to setup.
Display console design
Despite a similar shape and size, the display console for the 2013 Schwinn A40 offers some significant differences and improvements over the 2011 model.
The larger 5″ x 3″ LCD screen provides more space to display important workout information, making it easier to keep track of your progress throughout your workout.
This allows you to monitor your heart rate, workout time, speed, distance, calories, or even see how far you are through the current workout program.
The console for the 2013 model also makes it much easier to select the workout program you want, with touch control buttons helping to navigate through the different options.
Although you don’t get the same wide range of preset workout programs or user profiles as the Schwinn 470, the A40 still provides enough variation to help you train towards a variety of fitness goals.
The programs have been split into 3 main categories; Fun Rides, Mountains, and Challenges.
- Fun Rides – 2 lower intensity programs designed for beginner to intermediate levels of fitness. Gradual changes in resistance make Fun Rides ideal for fat burning workouts.
- Mountains – Less variation in resistance than the Fun Rides, the Mountains programs gradually build up to a peak resistance level at the middle of your training session.
The best option if you are looking to improve your endurance and overall aerobic fitness.
- Challenges – With one program designed to imitate a continuous uphill climb and the other based on interval training, Challenges are ideal of improving both your endurance and muscle tone.
Although there are fewer programs per category compared to the higher priced Schwinn ellipticals, these are still some of the same options you would find on the 430 and 470.
While reading articles, user manuals, and watching videos are all useful ways to find out more about a piece of fitness equipment before you buy, customer reviews are still extremely valuable.
An upgrade of the 2011 Schwinn A40, although there aren’t yet as many reviews for the 2013 model, they do have a higher average rating. To help decide if this is the best elliptical for your own home gym, we’ve summarised the most frequently mentioned positives and negatives from the reviews.
- Very quick and simple assembly
- Smooth and quiet to use
- Low priced for the build quality
- Compact, space saving design
- Effective range of workout programs
- Stride length felt a bit short for users taller than 5’8″
- A couple of reviewers found that the speakers weren’t very loud
What’s included in the warranty?
- Frame: 2 years.
- Electrical parts: 6 months.
- Wear parts: 30 days.