Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike Review – Better Than The 270?

The Schwinn 250 recumbent exercise bike is an upgrade of the Schwinn 240, with workout programs for people of all fitness levels.

The console supports a USB connection, with 8 profile programs, fitness tests, and 8 preset workout programs. You can even create user profiles for more accurate workout feedback.

In our review we’ll take a close look at the design features, console functions, customer feedback, and workout programs. This should help you decide if the Schwinn 250 is the best indoor recumbent bike for your home.

Design features

Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Whether you are recovering from an injury, have low mobility or are simply looking for a low impact form of cardio, the design of the Schwinn 250 makes it an attractive option.

While the ergonomically designed seat provides extra wide padding and support for your lower back, the convenient walk through frame makes it easy to get on and off the bike.

As well as being comfortable during your workouts, it’s also important to make sure the machine you buy is stable. To help improve its stability, the Schwinn 250 features levellers built into the rear stabilizer, as well as one underneath the main frame rail.

These can be raised and lowered to compensate any uneven floor surface, with stability being one of the main features people liked in the customer reviews.

One of the more unique features of the design is the addition of an under seat storage section. This is great for storing water bottles, your MP3 player, reading material, or anything else you might need during your workout.

One final design feature worth mentioning is the set of transport wheels attached to the front stabilizer, which make it much easier to move the bike between rooms if needed.

The 16 assembly steps in the user manual are easy to follow, helping reduce the time it takes to get setup

Ease of assembly

Although recumbent bikes will generally require less assembly than machines such as treadmills and ellipticals, it can still be useful to know the quality of assembly instructions and how much setup is required.

Being one of their more recent exercise bikes, the Schwinn 250 includes a manual that combines the assembly instructions and features.

After providing a clear list of parts that should be in the box, the assembly instructions walk you through each of the 16 steps using a combination of exploded drawings and a quick textual explanation.

With the main flywheel housing and base frame arriving pre-assembled, this helps to reduce the time it takes to setup, leaving just the seat, handlebar unit, pedals, and base stabilizers to put together.

This makes it possible to go from having the parts laid out on the floor to enjoying your first workout in less than 40 minutes.

Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike

Schwinn 250 – Features Summary

  • Designed to mimic the feel of road riding with reduced joint and back strain
  • 17 preset programs (including profile and heart rate controlled programs)
  • Telemetry and contact heart rate monitoring
  • Schwinn Advantage workout journal
  • Console includes: speakers and MP3 input; two speed fan; water bottle holder and utility tray; adjustable console angle for multiple users
  • Thickly padded seat with side bolsters and lumbar support
  • Oversized pedals with toe straps
  • Perimeter weighted flywheel
  • Convenient transport wheels
  • Under seat storage
  • Rear stabilizer frame levellers
  • Adjustable handlebars
  • Fore/aft seat adjustment
  • Oversized saddle

Workout programs

Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike

With a few more workout programs than the 240 model and double the number from the Schwinn 220, the Schwinn 250 provides a combination of heart rate controlled, user defined, and preset profiles to keep your workouts varied and effective.

Heart rate control (HRC) – Finding your ideal heart rate will often come down to training at a specific percentage of your maximum heart rate.

Knowing whether you are training at 65% or 85% of your maximum can make determine whether you see improvements in your aerobic fitness and even the rate of weight loss if that is your goal.

Fortunately the Schwinn 250 includes 3 different ranges to workout at; 60-70%, 70-80%, and 80-90%, so you can be sure of staying in your target range.

Preset profiles – Divided into 3 main categories of ‘Course’, Circuit’, and ‘Pursuit’, these programs are designed to suit a variety of different fitness levels.

While the Pursuit options are generally lower resistance and lower intensity, the Circuit programs provide much higher levels of resistance, including ‘hill climb’ and ‘interval’ type profiles.

Distance goal – Setting goals is an important part of any fitness program. This is why the distance goal program has been included, allowing you to set a target distance and pacer speed to work towards.

User defined – Even with the wide range of preset programs, there may be times where there isn’t an option for the type of workout you want to do.

This is why the user defined options are so useful, allowing you to create your own custom workouts. As well as setting the duration, you can also set the resistance for up to 20 stages throughout the workout.

Fitness test

Although not strictly a workout program, the Schwinn 250 also features a fitness test option.

This test will gradually increase the resistance of your cycling until you reach 75% of your maximum heart rate. After 3 minutes the console will calculate your overall fitness score based on heart rate, power output, age, and weight.

The fitness test is an excellent way to measure how much you fitness level improves across your future workouts.

Display console design

The Schwinn 250 display console includes a colourful, easy to read screen

Another significant improvement over the earlier 240 recumbent bike is the design of the display console.

With tablets gaining in popularity over the past few years, Schwinn have recognised the importance of offering a way to use your tablet as you workout.

A convenient shelf moulded into the base of the console allows you to rest a tablet or e-book reader at a position that makes it easy to read or watch while you exercise.

Although the display screen is smaller than on the Schwinn 270, most of the same workout information is displayed.

This includes your time, speed, distance, power, and calories burned. There is also a section dedicated to displaying a grid which represents the course profile for your current workout program.

In terms of the actual buttons, these are all touch sensitive, meaning you simply have to press on the preset program that you want to start that workout. As well as the standard start / stop options, you also have a button to control the built-in fan speed, and one to control Schwinn Advantage.

Schwinn Advantage is a feature provided with the Schwinn 250, which allows you to store and switch between 2 user profiles. Each of these user profiles records workout results and stores them against the currently selected user.

They also allow you to store information such as your age, weight, and gender to help calculate the calories burned and heart rate levels more accurately.

Customer reviews

Even with all of the information provided in this article, it can also be important to read through a variety of customer reviews, with one of the best places to do this being Amazon.

While the vast majority of customer reviews are positive, rating the bike at 4 or 5 stars, there are a few negative reports which are also worth bearing in mind.


  • Solid, stable frame
  • Quiet to use thanks to the magnetic resistance system
  • Easy-to-follow instructions result in a quick assembly
  • Comfortable seat
  • Easy to use display
  • Detailed user manual explains the various display console functions clearly
  • Reliable polar heart rate monitor


  • Built-in fan isn’t very powerful
  • A few reports of poor packaging getting damaged during shipping
  • Limited range of seat adjustment options compared to the Schwinn 270
  • A couple of reviews report a problem with the sensor inside the bike that measures the rotations not functioning correctly

Although there are a few negative reports relating to packaging and technical issues, with 50% of the reviews rated at the full 5 stars and over 200 reviews with an average of 4 stars, this still remains one of Schwinn’s most popular exercise bikes.


  • Frame: 5 years
  • Mechanical and electrical parts: 1 year
  • Wear parts: 3 months
Schwinn exercise bike buyer's guide

Review Overview

Overall Rating

4 / 5

The Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike includes all of the major design features you would hope to see on a bike at this price point.

Combine these with the levellers for increased stability, under seat storage area, and quick select workout programs and it's not hard to see why this bike has such a high number of 5 star reviews.

One of the most attractive features is the ability to customize your workouts to match your endurance level. From beginners to experts, this at-home exercise bike features programmable profiles and courses, so you can gauge your success for individual workouts and monitor your progress across future workouts.

Product dimensions: 63" (L) x 25" (W) x 46" (H) Maximum user weight: 275 pounds