Thursday, 23 May 2024

Exercise Bikes

Schwinn 220 Recumbent Exercise Bike Review

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The Schwinn 220 Recumbent Bike combines a walk through frame design, padded lower back support, and an ergonomic cushioning system, to ensure that your workouts are both effective and enjoyable.

Our review takes a look at this bike in more detail. This includes the display console, workout programs and a summary of the pros and cons from existing customer reviews.

With fore/aft seat adjustment, a 13.2 lb flywheel, 16 levels of resistance, and 16 workout programs, the Schwinn 220 appears to have something for everyone. But is it really the best recumbent exercise bike for you?

Design features

The well padded and contoured seat can slide through a variety of positions to find a setting that best suits your height and cycling preference

When you are looking to buy a new recumbent exercise bike, there are a few basic design features to look for to ensure you enjoy comfortable and effective workouts.

The majority of these are based around the seat design, specifically how well it adjusts to your height and the quality of the padding.

Fortunately the Schwinn 220 Recumbent bike features a sliding rail along which the seat can be adjusted to the position that best suits your height.

To make sure you are comfortable, the seat and back supports have both been ergonomically designed to provide extra cushioning and support where you need it most (e.g. lower back).

There’s also a suitable gap between the flywheel and the seat so that you can walk between the two, making it easy to get on and off the bike even if you have limited mobility.

One final design feature worth mentioning is the transport wheels. As with any piece of home fitness equipment it’s often important to be able to either fold away or transport the machine to store it away between workouts.

The large handle at the top of the seat rail combines with the wheels to make it easy to lift and roll the Schwinn 220 to wherever you need to.

Schwinn 220 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Schwinn 220 – Features Summary

  • New oversized console with 8 workout programs and 16 levels of resistance
  • MP3 music input port, speakers, 2 speed fan and water bottle holder
  • Convenient and comfortable contact heart rate pads
  • Transport wheels so you can easily move your bike into any room of the house
  • Anatomically correct, comfortable seat and oversized pedals with toe straps
  • Perimeter weighted flywheel for a true road feel, and smooth, consistent workouts
  • Resistance System: Quiet magnetic ECB (Eddy Current Brake) resistance
  • Display Readout: Time, interval time, RPM, watts, distance, pulse, speed, calories, resistance level, course profile
  • Reading Rack: Yes
  • Oversized Deluxe Pedals: Yes
  • Power Requirements: 9V 1.5 DC
  • Warranty: Frame: 5 years; mechanical & electrical: 1 year; wear parts: 90 days; labor: 90 days

Workout programs

Despite the Schwinn 220 recumbent bike being considered more of an entry level model compared to the Schwinn 270, you still have a choice of 8 workout programs; 1 manual, 1 custom program, 6 preset programs.

Manual – If you are simply looking to start cycling and manually adjust the resistance as you progress through your workout, this is the ideal program for you.

Custom program – Even though there is a good choice of preset workout programs, it’s not always going to be possible to find an option that fits how you want to train at that particular time.

This is why it’s so useful to have the custom program, where you can adjust the resistance for up to 20 interval periods throughout your workout. Whether you feel like a low resistance cycle or high intensity interval training, this is all possible with the custom workout program.

Preset programs – The 6 preset programs are workouts designed around specific training goals. There are 2 programs to choose from for each of the ‘Course’, ‘Circuit’, and ‘Pursuit’ categories.

‘Course’ is designed as more of a strength training hill climb, ‘circuit’ as light interval training programs, and ‘pursuit’ as lower intensity workouts where the resistance increases much more gradually.

User profile and fitness test

Schwinn 220 Recumbent Exercise Bike

While many exercise bikes now display the amount of calories you have burned during your workout, to make sure this number is as accurate as possible it’s always best to find a machine that allows you to create a user profile.

The Schwinn 220 recumbent bike lets you store information such as age, weight, and gender, which all help to ensure the workout information displayed is calculated correctly.

This user profile will also record your workout results to look back over later, which can be an excellent way of keeping track of your progress.

Another useful way of measuring how much your overall fitness is improving, is by using the built in fitness test. After entering your user profile information and starting to cycle, the bike increases the resistance until your heart rate reaches the ‘Test Zone’ (75% of maximum).

After 3 minutes of cycling at this level your fitness score is calculated using information from the 3 minutes of cycling as well as information from your user profile. This fitness test score is an excellent way to measure your progress over time.

Schwinn 220 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Display console design

Although there are some big differences between the display console design for the Schwinn 220 and bikes such as the Schwinn 270, you still have many of the useful features such as MP3 connectivity and the built-in cooling fan.

In terms of the button functions available, you can still increase the resistance by using the standard up and down arrows, but you don’t have the same ‘quick select’ options to choose preset resistance levels like you do with the 270 model.

The central LCD display screen keeps you up to date with important workout information, including time, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate, while icons above the screen act as a useful reference for the preset program profiles.

One final feature worth mentioning is the media shelf and support positioned at the top of the console. Unlike many recumbent bikes this is conveniently placed well away from the LCD screen to prevent obscuring important workout feedback, and can support a range of tablets, MP3 players, and smartphones.

Ease of assembly

After buying your new recumbent bike, the last thing you want to find is missing parts or a poorly written user manual. Although you may only setup the Schwinn 220 recumbent bike once, it can be important to know how easy the assembly is and how detailed the instructions are.

Where some companies seem to fit as many steps onto a page as possible, the instructions for this particular bike have been broken up into much smaller steps, each with its own exploded diagram of how the parts fit together.

Together with useful notes and part number references, this helps to make assembling the Schwinn 220 quick and straightforward, which is one of the major positive points to come from the customer reviews.

Customer reviews

Even with all of the information covered in this product article, one of the best ways to find out the true positives and negatives of the Schwinn 220 recumbent bike is to read through some reviews from other people who have purchased and used the bike over a longer period of time.

This is where customer reviews on shopping sites such as Amazon are so invaluable. At the time of writing this product article, the vast majority of reviews are rated either 4 or 5 stars (highest rating).

To help decide if this is the best bike for you, we have collated a list of the most common positives and negatives we came across when reading these reviews.


  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Quick assembly
  • Easy to move using the handle and transport wheels
  • Quiet and smooth cycling motion
  • Comfortable, well padded seat
  • Walk through design makes it easy to get into the cycling position


  • Would have preferred if the display screen were backlit
  • Smaller display screen can make it difficult to change settings
  • Fan needs to be more powerful
Schwinn exercise bike buyer's guide

Review Overview

Overall Rating

3.5 / 5

Although there appear to be some obvious issues with the lack of backlight for the display screen on the 2012 model of the Schwinn 220 Recumbent Exercise Bike, the quality of cycling motion and range of workout programs still justifies its higher rated reviews.

Delivering a challenging workout in a relaxed position with increased lower back support, being able to adjust the seat through such a variety of positions makes this an attractive option for both shorter and taller users alike.

Whether you are looking for an exercise bike you can use while recovering from an injury, have limited mobility, or simply want to perform regular low impact cardio workouts from home, the 13.2 lb flywheel ensures the Schwinn 220 provides consistently smooth and effective workouts.

Maximum weight capacity: 300 lbs Product dimensions: 56.7" (L) x 10.8" (W) x 25.8" (H) Product weight: 111 lbs

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