With its 29 workout programs, 2 piece crank system, and 4 user profiles, the Schwinn 170 Upright Exercise Bike is a significant improvement over the 130 model.
This article covers all aspects of the bike in more detail, from the general design features to the categories of workout programs, to help you decide if this is the best bike for your own home gym.
One of the reasons Schwinn exercise bikes have proved so popular and receive such high customer reviews is their design. We’ll cover the display console design later but for now let’s take a look at the main frame design.
Starting at the top of the bike we have the handlebars. Ergonomically designed to follow the natural resting angle of your forearms, these handlebars also feature a larger set of forearm rests than the lower priced Schwinn 130 bike.
Their angle can also be adjusted to find the position that you find most comfortable, and that suits your style of cycling.
Moving down the frame, a water bottle holder makes a useful attachment, while the lower profile to the flywheel casing makes it easier to get on and off the bike.
The flywheel itself forms part of a magnetic resistance system, which provides a much smoother cycling motion and is a lot quieter to use than belt driven designs.
The 2-piece crank system that connects the pedals to the flywheel is a big improvement over the 1 piece crank system of the Schwinn 130, providing much more space for your feet between the pedals and the casing.
For many people though, the seat will be one of the most important features. With its large surface area, thick padding and both horizontal and vertical adjustments, you can be sure of a comfortable workout that suits a wide range of user heights and body types.
To help keep the Schwinn 170 stable on uneven ground, a set of levellers has also been built into the rear base stabilizer.
Schwinn 170 Upright Bike – Features Summary
- Dual track two LCD window system allows you to monitor up to 13 different display feedbacks
- Schwinn Connect goal tracking and data export keep you up to date on reaching your fitness goals
- 29 programs, 4 user settings and goal tracking are all there to keep you motivated and challenged
- 25 levels of resistance aligned with a high speed high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel make every workout smooth and quiet
- Charging USB port and data exchange
Workout programs and user profiles
“One of the biggest differences between most exercise bikes is the range of workout programs they can offer.
Whether you enjoy working towards a set target, using a preset training profile, or simply jumping on the bike and cycling at your own pace, the Schwinn 170 has something to offer you.
In a similar way to the 130 upright bike, the profile programs are divided into 3 main categories; Fun Rides, Mountains, and Challenges.
Fun Rides – Lower intensity workouts with more gentle changes in resistance levels, these are ideal for anyone just starting a fitness program or looking for a lighter form of cardio training.
Mountains – Similar to the other categories, the Schwinn 170 ‘Mountains’ category includes 4 programs instead of the 3 provided with the 130 model.
Building up to higher levels of resistance and designed to feel like steeper hill ascents on a road bike, these are well suited to more advanced fitness levels.
Challenges – These programs are available to suite a variety of fitness levels, ranging from a gradual uphill climb to an intense interval training option.
You can also set a target distance, calories burned, or time for a more goal orientated workout.
As well as the 29 preset training profiles, you can also choose to setup a maximum of 4 user profiles.
If the bike will be used by more than one person, these user profiles are invaluable for creating a more customised workout experience.
Each profile will store your personal workout information to be stored and reviewed at a later date. You can also provide basic information such as age and height to help increase the accuracy of measurements for calories burned and heart rate.
There are actually 2 types of fitness test provided with the Schwinn 170, one to test your power output and one to test the recovery of your heart rate after exercise.
The main fitness test will measure improvements in your physical fitness level, comparing your power output to your heart rate.
Once you start cycling the resistance gradually starts to increase until your heart rate is within the target range. After 3 minutes the console will calculate your fitness score, based on heart rate, power output, age, and weight.
The heart rate recovery test (HRR) is slightly different, instead measuring how quickly your heart rate returns to normal after a period of exercise.
After 1 minute of your workout ending, your heart rate is taken away from your heart rate at the start of the minute to produce your fitness score.
This provides a quick and simple way of measuring how much your fitness level improves across future workouts.
Display console design
One of the main differences that sets the recent range of Schwinn exercise bikes apart from other models is the design of their display console.
The Schwinn 170 is no different, with every inch of space on the extra large console used to provide you with more features that will make your workouts more efficient and enjoyable.
Button functions, speakers and a cooling fan
Split into 3 main sections (main display, buttons, speakers / fan), the range of buttons will probably be what you will use most often.
Having the quick select options for the resistance makes it much easier to adjust your training intensity mid-workout, while a quick push of the fan button is great for keeping you cool while you exercise.
To make important workout information easier to read, two display screens have been included instead of just one.
Lower display screen – Used to display your speed, time, distance, resistance level, calories burned, and heart rate.
Main display screen – This screen has been designed for anyone who likes to set goals and enjoy a more visual representation of their training program.
Although many exercise bikes will offer a range of workout programs, there are few that give you the chance to visually track your workout progress as you move through the various stages.
This main display also provides feedback on your training intensity, heart rate range, user profile, as well as your current goal and achievement.
Goals allow you to set a target of distance, time, or calories burned. As you work towards these goals your progress will display on the screen, activating an achievement display once complete.
How it compares to the Schwinn 130
Depending on where you buy the Schwinn 170, the price will usually be between $100 and $200 more than for the Schwinn 130. But what improvements can you expect for the money?
Crank / Pedal system
User weight limit
20 levels, magnetic
Main: 3″ x 5″
Second: 1″ x 5″
1-piece pedal crank
25 levels, magnetic
Main: 3″ x 5″ Blue Backlit
Second: 1″ x 5″ Blue Backlit
Angle adjustability and forearm supports
While we try to provide you with all the information you need to help decide if this is the Schwinn 170 is the best exercise bike for you, customer reviews are always worth a read before you buy.
But with more than 60 highly rated reviews on Amazon alone, it can be difficult to put together a clear picture of the most frequently mentioned pros and cons of this bike.
To help make it easier, we’ve read through each of these reviews and put together some quick lists to provide a quick-look overall impression.
- Quiet to use
- Comfortable and well balanced
- Angled out crank shaft design prevents a problem seen on the 130 model, where users reported banging their feet on the flywheel housing when cycling
- Simple to setup
- Wide range of seat height settings make it suitable for users over 6ft tall
- Great selection of programs
- Must be positioned near a power socket due to using an AC power adapter
- Main display screen hidden when using a tablet
- Handlebars are adjustable for angle but not height
4 / 5
The goal setting and achievements that come with the Schwinn 170 are an excellent way of motivating yourself towards improving your fitness. This is particularly true if you are buying the bike for family use and want an extra incentive for younger members of the family to keep fit.
The built in shelf on the display console is also great for if you want to watch a movie or read an e-book using your tablet while you workout.
Your workout information can also be uploaded via a USB thumb drive to the SchwinnConnect™ website for weekly, monthly, and yearly tracking of progress. (Also compatible with MyFitnessPal)
Additionally, the console’s USB port can be used to charge your smartphone, tablet or other media device while working out so you don’t have to worry about draining your battery.
User weight limit: 300 lb Product dimensions: 55.6" (H) x 21.4" (W) x 41.3" (L)