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Schwinn Exercise Bike Reviews

When it comes to exercise bikes, Schwinn have a long history of producing innovative new designs that include everything from competitive road bikes through to home and commercial fitness equipment.

Their Airdyne models were the first stationary bikes produced by the Schwinn Bicycle Company in 1978, before releasing some of their first upright and recumbent bikes in 2003.

Most recently, Schwinn created a series of recumbent and upright bikes with features reminiscent of their top-of-the-line ellipticals, using a similar console design and the same data export to Schwinn Connect™ and myfitnesspal.com profiles.

But how do you know which Schwinn exercise bike is best for your own budget and fitness goals?

The aim of this guide is to provide you with a summary of the most important features of each bike, which also helps with making a quick comparison between models. We’ll also include a link through to the in-depth review if you want to find out more about the workout programs, warranty, assembly process, and more.

Upright bikes

Schwinn’s upright exercise bikes are some of the most affordable in the industry, yet still manage to offer a wide range of challenging workout programs and fitness tests.

For the top-of-the-line 170 and 130 models, the console is virtually identical to the one used on their 470 and 430 elliptical trainers, with a DualTrack™ LCD window system and built-in speaker system.

For the price, you won’t find much better in terms of value for money, which is why each Schwinn upright bike is backed by an impressive collection of customer reviews, available to read on Amazon as well as their official website.

It’s something we’ve mentioned in many of the reviews, but the closest competition is likely to come from Nautilus, who themselves have a range of upright bikes in the same price range with nearly the same features.

To find out how the Nautilus upright bikes compare to the Schwinn models, you can continue reading this guide, or read our reviews of the Nautilus U616 and Nautilus U614.

Schwinn 170

Schwinn 170 Exercise Bike Review

Despite its simple appearance, the Schwinn 170 is packed with features to help you get the most from your workouts, with a range of user settings that make it ideal for family environments.

To cater for different user heights, the seat can adjust both vertically and horizontally, together with an angle adjustment for the handles that helps you find your most efficient cycling posture.

With 7 additional workout programs, twice the number of user profiles, and 5 extra resistance levels, the Schwinn 170 is a considerable upgrade over the earlier 130 model, although both offer the same cooling fan and speaker system combination.

You also have two options for if you’re interested in measuring improvements in your fitness level. You can either take advantage of the built in fitness tests (1 Beginner; 1 Advanced), or sync your data to the Schwinn Connect™ website and monitor changes in the number of calories burned, distance, average heart rate, and much more.

But is the Schwinn 170 really the best upright bike under $500, or is there a model that offers more workout variation, performance tracking, or fitness app integration for a lower price?

  • Workout programs: 29
  • Resistance levels: 25
  • Speaker system: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry
  • User profiles: 4
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: Yes
  • Workout feedbacks: 13

This is one of the questions we answer in our comprehensive review, by taking a closer look at the workout programs, console functions, warranty coverage, heart rate monitoring, and customer feedback.

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Schwinn 130

Schwinn 130 Exercise Bike Review

As the mid-range model in their upright bike collection, the Schwinn 130 provides some significant upgrades over the earlier 125 design.

You enjoy a much wider range of workout programs (22 instead of 8), monitor twice the feedback metrics thanks to the DualTrack™ 2 LCD window system, and twice the warranty coverage on the frame and parts.

The Schwinn 130 is also the most affordable upright bike to offer SchwinnConnect data export, allowing you to sync your workout results to an online profile for monitoring your performance.

Unfortunately you’re unable to monitor your heart rate using a chest strap (only available on the Schwinn 170), but you can still use the touch sensors and monitor the feedback for as long as you maintain the required grip position.

If space is limited and you’re worried about which of Schwinn’s upright bikes has the smallest footprint, your best option would be the Schwinn 125. Although the 130 model is compact, the extended base frame makes it nearly 10″ longer and 1.4″ wider than the 125.

Also, if you were wondering how well the Schwinn 130 adapts to different user heights, you can adjust the seat vertically but not horizontally. Horizontal seat adjustment is exclusive to the Schwinn 170, but you can still adjust the angle of the handles to promote a more natural cycling posture.

But how does the 130 compare to other upright exercise bikes in the same price range, and does it really represent the best option for your personal fitness goals?

  • Workout programs: 22
  • Resistance levels: 20
  • Speaker system: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch only
  • User profiles: 2
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: Yes
  • Workout feedbacks: 13

You can find out more about the workout programs, entertainment options, user profiles, warranty coverage, and more in our full review. Or, if you like the sound of the Schwinn 130 and want to find out its price and availability, you can use the ‘Check Price’ link below.

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Schwinn A10

Schwinn A10 Exercise Bike Review

The Schwinn A10 is actually very similar to the Schwinn A15, both in terms of design features and technology at the console.

In terms of comparisons, you’re probably most interested in differences between workout programs, entertainment functions, warranty coverage, and footprint. But the two bikes are identical on all counts, except for the fact the Schwinn A10 is around 2″ narrower than the A15.

In terms of aesthetic appeal, we do have a personal preference for the A15, but this is really down to your own preferred style.

However, when comparing the Schwinn A10 to some of their top-of-the-line upright bikes, there are some obvious differences.

The next model up in the collection is the Schwinn 125, which offers twice the resistance levels, an additional workout program, and a wider choice of exercise feedback at the console.

But if you’re really looking to take advantage of Schwinn’s advanced features, you have to step up to the 130 or 170 models, which both support the data sync to SchwinnConnect and provide considerably more workout variation.

So if you’re on a strict budget, does the Schwinn A10 ever represent the best value for money at this price point, or are there bikes from NordicTrack or ProForm which offer more features?

  • Workout programs: 7
  • Resistance levels: 8
  • Speaker system: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch only
  • User profiles: 1
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: No
  • Workout feedbacks: 8

With our in-depth review we provide you with answers to these questions by taking a look at the design features, console functions, workout programs, and more, with comparisons to make sure you’re getting the best bike for your goals and budget.

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Indoor cycling (spin) bikes

Schwinn have created what they call their Authentic Cycling™ Series, which includes all of their indoor cycling bikes, with the exception of the Schwinn IC2.

The series includes two main models: the A.C. and I.C., with two variations for each – the A.C. Performance Plus, A.C. Sport, I.C. Pro, and the I.C. Pro20.

Each bike has been designed to match the feel of a road bike as closely as possible, with micro-pin adjustments in the seat post, horizontal and vertical seat alignment, and an innovative handlebar system that supports multiple grip positions.

For the A.C. Authentic Cycling™ series bikes, the traditional friction pad resistance system has been replaced by magnetic resistance, providing a smoother ride, as well as reducing noise and the level of ongoing maintenance.

If you’re interested in monitoring your cycling performance during your workout, the Schwinn A.C. models are also compatible with the MPower Echelon consoles. These provide accurate feedback of your Time, Distance, Power (Watts), RPM (Cadence), and heart rate (chest strap compatible).

The A.C. Performance Plus and A.C. Sport are the only Schwinn exercise bikes to offer the unique Carbon Blue drive system in place of the standard belt or chain drive.

What is Schwinn Carbon Blue?
With any indoor cycling bike there are a few basic components; the frame, the resistance system, and the drive system.

There are two main types of drive system; chain, and belt. Most bikes will rely on a chain drive system, which typically requires more maintenance and produces more noise than a belt. This type of indoor cycle has proven incredibly popular for Sunny Health and Fitness, who have several chain drive indoor exercise bikes with over 1000 reviews on Amazon alone.

What Schwinn have done is take the concept of a belt drive system one step further, with carbon-fiber reinforced construction and curvilinear teeth used to emulate the tension of the chain on a road bike.

This helps to cut down on maintenance and provide n even smoother cycling experience when combined with the magnetic resistance system and high inertia flywheel.

Schwinn AC Performance Plus

Schwinn AC Performance Plus Exercise Bike Review

As the top-of-the-line model in their Authentic Cycling™ series, the Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus is available with either a chain drive, or Carbon Blue Kevlar belt drive system.

The entire bike is specifically designed to support a natural cycling posture for a wide range of user heights, with fore-aft adjustment on the seat, as well as a number of vertical height settings.

The Lightweight Performance handlebars are designed for comfort too, with fore-aft adjustment, height adjustment, and an ergonomic shape that caters for a range of grip positions based on your workout intensity and preferred cycling style.

An Aluminum frame construction, coupled with the Carbon Blue belt and magnetic resistance system results in virtually zero maintenance, and is backed by a 10 year warranty on the frame, 2 years on the drive system, and 1 year on labor.

So how does the A.C. Performance Plus compare to the Schwinn A.C. Sport, and is there much of an advantage to be had by upgrading to the MPower Echelon2 console?

  • Height range: 4’11” to 6’8″
  • Link pedal compatible: Yes
  • Carbon Blue available: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Telemetry
  • Product weight: 112 lbs
  • Weight capacity: 350 lbs
  • Console: MPower Echelon
  • Workout feedbacks: 10*

* Requires MPower Echelon2 Power Upgrade

To find out the answer to these questions and discover more about the design features, console functions, assembly process, and pedal customization, it’s worth taking a look at our full review.

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Recumbent bikes

In addition to their upright and indoor cycling bikes, Schwinn also have an impressive collection of recumbent exercise bikes, priced to suit a range of budgets.

It starts with the entry level Schwinn A25, which is classed as a recumbent bike but doesn’t offer the same walk through frame as later models. As you might expect for an entry level bike, the lower price results in a shorter the warranty coverage, fewer resistance levels, and fewer workout programs to choose from.

But when compared to similarly priced recumbent bikes from other companies, such as the Exerpeutic 900XL and Stamina 4825, the Schwinn A20 still fares well thanks to the sliding seat adjustment, intuitive console design, and MP3 compatibility.

In fact, Schwinn recumbent bikes continue to outperform their competitors in price ranges up to $500, with the widest choice of preset workout programs, comfort cushioning, and Schwinn Connect goal tracking on their top-of-the-line models.

These are just a few of the reasons why Schwinn have some of the highest rated indoor exercise bikes online, with thousands of reviews on Amazon alone.

Schwinn 270

Schwinn 270 Exercise Bike Review

As their top-of-the-line recumbent bike, the Schwinn 270 offers some impressive upgrades over the earlier 230 model, including 7 more workout programs, twice the user profiles (4 total), and contoured seat cushioning for a more comfortable workout.

The 270 is fully fitted with all of the best features Schwinn has to offer, with data export to Schwinn Connect, a DualTrack™ 2 LCD window system, and acoustic chamber sound system all built into the console.

Warranty coverage is also the best you can get on any Schwinn exercise bike, with 10 years on the frame, 2 years on mechanical parts, and 1 year on electrical parts.

We were actually a little surprised Schwinn don’t offer lifetime coverage on the frame, which is something that ProForm and Sole Fitness offer on all their bikes. However, it’s actually double the 5 year frame warranty that NordicTrack provide with their recumbent bikes, although they do occasionally offer free warranty extensions depending on the model.

So how does the Schwinn 270 measure up to other bikes in this price range, and is it really the best indoor recumbent bike under $500?

  • Workout programs: 29
  • Resistance levels: 25
  • MP3 compatible: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry
  • User profiles: 4
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: Yes
  • Workout feedbacks: 13

To find if the Schwinn 270 ranked in our top 10 list of the best recumbent bikes, it’s worth taking a look at our recumbent bike buyer’s guide. Or if you want to find out more about the workout programs, fitness tests, console functions, and how Schwinn Connect works, you can find a link to the full review below.

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Schwinn 230

Schwinn 230 Exercise Bike Review

As an upgraded version of the 250 model, the Schwinn 230 recumbent bike features 6 additional workout programs, 2 types of heart rate control program (beginner and advanced), and 20 resistance levels. It’s also their first recumbent bike to feature the DualTrack™ 2 LCD window system.

Having DualTrack™ means that you can stay updated with a wider range of workout feedbacks while still maintaining a clear display that’s easy to read. A few of the new stats that weren’t available on the 250 model include a user indicator, intensity meter, and heart rate zone indicator.

The high inertia flywheel coupled with eddy current brake resistance ensures you always get a smooth cycling motion, with the large center frame support base levellers, and wider footprint contributing to greater stability at higher resistance levels.

In terms of warranty, the Schwinn 230 offers their longest coverage on the frame (10 years), as well as 2 years on mechanical parts, and 1 year on electrical parts. Labor is limited to 90 days.

It’s a long way from the lifetime warranty offered on the frames of ProForm and Sole Fitness recumbent bikes, but is this an acceptable compromise given the difference in price?

  • Workout programs: 22
  • Resistance levels: 20
  • MP3 compatible: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch only
  • User profiles: 2
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: Yes
  • Workout feedbacks: 13

The only way to know is by going beyond the warranty and comparing everything from workout variation to user profiles, as well as the potential for performance tracking. To help save you time, this is something we’ve taken care of in our full review, which you can find at the link below.

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Schwinn 250

Schwinn 250 Exercise Bike Review

Despite what the names suggest, the Schwinn 250 is actually the earliest model to offer Schwinn Advantage™ workout tracking, with the Schwinn 230 being an upgraded version of this.

Unfortunately this does mean that you don’t enjoy quite the same level of workout variation, with 16 workout programs compared to the 22 that are available with the Schwinn 230.

However, many of the most important features are still there, with both touch and telemetry heart rate monitoring, MP3 compatibility, and 2 user profiles, each of which can be allocated a custom workout program that you create.

The console itself is capable of providing feedback for 9 different workout stats, such as interval time, RPM, time, and distance. You can also view a summary of what to expect from the current workout profile if you use one of the preset programs.

Compared to the earlier Schwinn 220 recumbent bike, you’re actually getting a number of useful upgrades in addition to the performance tracking. That’s because the 220 model offered no heart rate control programs, wasn’t compatible with heart rate chest straps, and only had support for one user profile.

But when you weigh up the price difference against the fact that the Schwinn 230 has twice the warranty coverage, quick select resistance keys, 4 additional resistance levels, and 6 extra heart rate control programs, does the Schwinn 250 really offer the best value for money?

  • Workout programs: 16
  • Resistance levels: 16
  • MP3 compatible: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch and telemetry
  • User profiles: 2
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: Yes
  • Workout feedbacks: 9

In our full review we answer this question by making detailed comparisons between the features offered by the Schwinn 250, and those built into recumbent bikes in the same price range. We also take a closer look at the workout programs, heart rate monitoring, user profiles, and what it means to be compatible with Schwinn Advantage™.

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Schwinn A20

Schwinn A20 Exercise Bike Review

Despite being their entry level model, the Schwinn A20 still offers convenient features such as sliding seat adjustment and heart rate touch sensors built into the handles.

Having such a compact frame size means the A20 has the smallest footprint of all Schwinn recumbent bikes, measuring just 61″ (L) x 19″ (W). The only downside is that due to the narrow footprint and higher base frame, weight capacity has been reduced to 275 lbs for improved stability.

Although heart rate monitoring is available, there are no recovery based tests to highlight improvements in your fitness level. Also, because the A20 doesn’t have a USB port for connecting to Schwinn Connect, you can’t automatically create a historical log of your workout performance.

But this is typical of what we would expect from a recumbent bike in this price range, and having 7 preset workout programs is on a par with similarly priced bikes, such as the Stamina 7100 and Exerpeutic 2000.

So what’s the difference between the Schwinn A20 and the Schwinn 230, and which model has the best spec for supporting your fitness goals?

  • Workout programs: 7
  • Resistance levels: 8
  • MP3 compatible: Yes
  • Heart rate monitoring: Touch only
  • User profiles:
  • Weight capacity: 275 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: No
  • Workout feedbacks: 8

In our full review we take a closer look at the workout programs, console functions, entertainment options, and how the A20 compares to other recumbent bikes in the Schwinn collection.

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Airdyne bikes

Schwinn has one of the broadest and most innovative collections of indoor exercise bikes in the home fitness industry. This includes upright, recumbent, and ‘spin’ style bikes, but also their unique Airdyne collection.

They’re built around a wind resistance system, which offers an infinite number of resistance levels, making them perfect for high intensity cardio workouts and interval training techniques such as Tabata.

How does it work?
The Airdyne collection currently includes three models; the AD2, AD6, and AD Pro. You may also be able to find the AD4 with some retailers, but it’s not a bike that Schwinn currently sell via their website.

Each bike uses a dual-stage drive system and high-strength ABS fan to create infinite resistance levels. Essentially it’s a case of the harder you pedal, the more challenging the workout becomes.

Do I get any preset workout programs?
Because of the nature of the resistance system, there are no preset workout programs available. Preset workouts usually work off a set profile of resistance (and sometimes incline) settings. This is usually magnetic and can be controlled automatically via the console.

Airdyne is designed almost entirely for interval training, and as such you will usually want to set the duration of the work and recovery phases based on your current fitness level.

Can I track my performance online?
The high-resolution LCD screen does an excellent job of providing accurate feedback for your heart rate, calories burned, and workout duration. It also offers a unique RevMeter™ RPM gauge, but doesn’t provide any data sync to Schwinn Connect in the same way their top-of-the-line upright and recumbent bikes do.

What about heart rate monitoring?
Telemetry heart rate monitoring is available with the AD6 and AD Pro, but not the entry level AD2. You’ll need a Polar® compatible 4.5kHz – 5.5kHz chest strap transmitter to take advantage of this feature, and none of the Airdyne bikes feature heart rate touch sensors.

Schwinn AD6 Airdyne

Schwinn AD6 Airdyne Exercise Bike Review

Up until the release of the Airdyne® AD Pro, the AD6 was Schwinn’s top-of-the-line Airdyne exercise bike, with a number of useful upgrades compared to the earlier AD2 model.

Firstly, Schwinn have extended the BioConnect® Feedback to include its unique RevMeter™ RPM gauge, using a much larger LCD screen. But you also have the addition of a ‘pulse’ feedback, which becomes active when you’re wearing a compatible telemetry chest strap.

That’s because the Schwinn AD6 is their most affordable Airdyne cycle to offer heart rate monitoring, which wasn’t a feature on the AD2. What’s even more important is that all of this important workout information is displayed at the same time. On the AD2 you could still see your speed, distance, calories burned, time, and RPM, but could only see one metric at a time.

The warrant coverage too has been significantly upgraded. The Airdyne AD6 offers 15 years on the frame, 3 years for parts, 2 years electrical, and 6 months labor. This is compared to the AD4 which is covered for just 5 years on the frame, 1 year mechanical and electrical parts, and 90 days labor.

So are these features enough to justify the price difference between the two models, or does Schwinn’s latest AD Pro model represent the best value for money?

  • Workout programs: 0
  • Resistance levels: Infinite
  • MP3 connectivity: No
  • Heart rate monitoring: Telemetry only
  • User profiles: 0
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Schwinn Connect: No
  • Workout feedbacks: 7

To help answer these questions we’ve written a full review of the AD6, which includes more information on the design and console features, as well as a few potential workout ideas. If you would like to check the price or find out if the AD6 is in stock right now, please use the ‘check price’ link below.

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