Fitness

Top 4 New Schwinn Exercise Bikes That Makes You Sweat A Lot

Schwinn has a lot of exercise bikes on the market, and it can be challenging to know how to choose the right one. I have reviewed four bikes in this report keeping different users in my mind. Are your ready? it might be over 5-7 minute read. Grab a green tea.

I’ll point out key features and explain what they mean to you. At the end I’ll give my top rated Schwinn Exercise Bike to help you pick the best bike for your needs.

Before that let’s start with an overview of exercise bikes in general.

Are Exercise Bikes Comfortable?

A burning question for most people is how their backside will feel when riding an exercise bike. This is mainly a matter of personal preference, so I’ll just make my observations and let you decide which is best for you.

It’s tempting to look at the seat and assume that the biggest one will feel the best. It’s true that large seats with lots of padding will minimize the pressure on your sit bones. But that’s not the end of the story.

The shape, sometimes referred to as contouring, of the saddle can make a big difference. Curved shapes will line up better with your body and spread the pressure more evenly. Some recumbents rely on contouring and actually eliminate the padding. This allows them to ventilate the seat and increase comfort by keeping you cool. Smaller saddles tend to allow a freer pedaling movement with less contact on the upper thighs.

Within the Schwinn brand, the seats get predictably better as the price goes up. This isn’t the case for all manufacturers. Also, as explained above, better doesn’t necessarily mean bigger.

One of the main factors in comfort is whether you choose a recumbent or upright design. All bikes fall into one of these two categories which I’ll explain below.

What’s the Difference Between a Recumbent and an Upright?

Based on the position they put you in, the seats of recumbents will be a lot larger and will include a backrest. This position is sometimes called “semi-reclining,” which has the benefit of taking some weight off your rear end and spreading it partially over your back as well. The center picture above illustrates a chair-like recumbent seat. The decision to pad or provide ventilation varies between models and manufacturers.

On a recumbent you sit quite low to the ground. Many have a frame design that allows you to walk “through” it and easily sit down. This makes them an excellent choice for people recovering from injury, or with other balance issues.

The position on an upright is about the same as an ordinary bicycle. This gives an advantage of being able to stand up to vary your position, and allows for sprint and harder interval training. In spite of the name, you are actually more bent forward on an upright as compared to a recumbent. The lying back posture of a recumbent keeps your chest more open with less bending at the hips.

An upright bike tends to take up less space than recumbents. Some of them even fold to be easily stored when not in use. The smaller size doesn’t limit who they will fit though. Often they have a larger adjustment range, especially for tall riders.

For the most part, recumbents and uprights work the same muscles. The laid-back position on a recumbent means your hip joint will open and activate those muscles differently than when it’s more flexed. Since you can’t stand and pedal on a recumbent it puts limits on an explosive workout, but this has more bearing on the cardio aspects.

Both bikes will work your heart and lungs. Simply put, the harder and faster you pedal, the more your cardiovascular system will benefit. As I just mentioned, standing to pedal is a great way to spike your workload, which is only an option with uprights. If you prefer to ride long and steady, either bike will give similar benefits to your body.

An upright design does require more back and torso strength to stay stable and balanced while riding. They also put more weight on your arms and shoulders. These muscle groups aren’t what you’re targeting if you’re looking to buy a bike, but it’s important to be aware of if you have issues in your neck or back.

Does one tend to cost more than the other? Well, yes, assuming that you’re looking at similar quality bikes. If you take away the variables of computer functions and weight capacity, a recumbent design will often cost more. That is not the case if you’re looking at a gym quality spin bike. They are more expensive based on the need to hold up under frequent aggressive riding.

When considering cost, I suggest not using that as the primary decision point. The important thing is to buy something that meets your needs and that you enjoy riding. If an upright bike works well for you, it might save you a few bucks. But if a recumbent will be more motivating and get more use, then that’s the bike you need.

If you want to learn more about the two designs here’s a good side-by-side comparison.

Now, Which Schwinn Bike is Best for Me?

Here is a description of four Schwinn exercise bikes. I chose these because they target quite different users, and we want to shed light on which one is best for you.

It’s important as you’re reading these reviews to think carefully about what you want in a bike. A particular feature may be a high point for one person, but the exact reason another rider should choose a different product. I listed them in the order that I like, but definitely check which ones match your user type.

Schwinn Exercise Bike #1:-  Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

I Want This

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike is a sleek and beautiful piece of equipment. Looks aside, it is well designed to give a great workout to many users. It’s a great match whether you’re rehabbing from injury or looking for challenging fitness routines.

The walk through frame design makes it very easy to access. There is only one low bar between the seat and the front of the bike. You can literally walk in front of the seat and sit down; there’s nothing to step over at all.

The seat is designed with two comforts considerations in mind. The bottom is cushioned and contoured while the back is ventilated to help keep you cool. I think this is a good combination since indoor workouts often produce a lot of sweat.

If you want a challenge, there are 29 programs to choose from and 25 resistance levels. You can select from the menu or customize your own. Either way it provides a lot of variety. If you want to track your training, a built-in USB port allows you to download to Schwinn Connect ® or MyFitnessPal sites.

The LCD electronics console is one of the largest I’ve seen and doesn’t make you search for small buttons. Two rows display at one time, providing plenty of data to keep you interested.

Additional electronics include options for viewing your heart rate and speakers to keep you entertained and working out longer.

The price is in the upper range of our review, but it’s hard to find a bike with more features. It’s not a combo trainer with options for an upper body workout, but overall it’s our first pick.

Choose this bike if you like:

  • Super easy access. No climbing over or through anything.
  • A large, multi-faceted electronic console.
  • Tech options for feedback and monitoring your training.

Possible downsides to be aware of:

  • No options for an upper body workout.
  • Tall people with large feet may drag the floor at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The seat may not extend far enough for long legs.
  • Some heart rate features require additional gear.

Schwinn Exercise Bike #2:-  Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus-Indoor Cycle Bike

I Want This

The Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus Performance is a top quality spin bike that is excellent if you fit that niche. I included it here because it really is high class, but beware of what it’s built for.  Here is a page with tips for doing a spin type of workout on your own. It even includes a sample session.

The AC Performance is designed for a relatively serious athlete to keep in shape when they can’t ride outside. The position is aggressive but quite adjustable. Riding this bike will work your glutes and low back more than many indoor trainers. If you want to climb hills better or ride faster in the summer, the AC may help you. If you already have back issues, a recumbent is probably a better match.

Unlike most indoor trainer, the AC has pedals that are compatible with Shimano cleats. For serious riders this lets you pull up on the pedals more, keeping a smoother stroke and working the legs better. If you use a different pedal system it’s quite easy to replace the whole pedal to use your same shoes.

Electronic features are not a strong point. In fact, they don’t come with the bike and must be purchased separately. I would like to see a power readout on this level of bike, can get along without it. Most folks who choose the AC will have their own heart rate monitor, so it’s not too big of a deal that it’s not on a readout.

The narrow saddle allows your legs to move more freely. Some people feel that the large recumbent chairs restrict a full pedal motion. You won’t have that problem here, but you may feel that you’re sacrificing some comfort.

Choose this bike if you like:

  • A real road bike feel.
  • The ability to use Shimano cleats or clipless pedals.
  • Monitoring your own training program and data.

Possible downsides to be aware of:

  • No options for an upper body workout.
  • It’s not built for comfort. The saddle is narrow and the position is more bent over.
  • Very little electronic features.
  • It’s not cheap. Very high quality but be sure you’re the type of rider it’s built for.

Schwinn Exercise Bike #3:-  Schwinn A20 Recumbent Bike

I recommend the Schwinn A20 Recumbent Bike as the best basic bike of the review. What do we mean by “basic?” It does everything it should, without any flair. If you want a modestly priced exercise bike that will work your legs and lungs, this is an excellent choice.

The Schwinn A20 is a recumbent so it features easy access and a wider, padded seat for comfort. Schwinn calls the seat “contoured”, but I thought it seemed pretty flat. The backrest is padded which reduces pressure but also has less ventilation.

The magnetic resistance system is smooth and quiet. It has eight resistance levels so you can tailor your workout difficulty. Six programs give you choices from riding hills, to doing intervals. Other bikes have many more programs than this, but if you don’t want to be overwhelmed I think six is enough to do the job.

The electronic console is large and most will find it easy to read. The data reported on it covers what I’d expect to see without overloading us with information. The built-in heart rate monitor operates through the handgrips.

The A20 is relatively light, so if you need to move it frequently it’s a good choice. The downside of being light is that the weight limit is lower, so if you’re a large person you may want the 270 described above for more stability.

Choose this bike if you like:

  • The low, easy access of a recumbent.
  • A starter bike that won’t break the bank.
  • Electronics that provide all the basics but don’t swamp you with data.

Possible downsides to be aware of:

  • No options for an upper body workout.
  • Not recommended for people over 250-275 pounds.
  • Not the most cushiony seat.
  • Shorter warranty period than the two previous bikes.

Schwinn Exercise Bike #4:-  Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

I Want This

The Schwinn 170 Upright Bike is the upright version of the Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike recumbent reviewed above. Once again, Schwinn did a great job on the aesthetics, so you might even put this bike in your living room without embarrassment.

The price of the Schwinn 170 Upright Bike is about $100 less than the 270 recumbent and is the lowest of the upright bikes on our list. For the lower price you get:

  • The exact same computer monitor as the Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike.
  • Fewer fit options than the AC Performance, but a more upright position that may be more comfortable.
  • The same silent and smooth magnetic resistance as the Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike.

The first question to ask yourself as you compare this bike is if you want a recumbent or upright. Most people find that they much prefer the position of one or the other of these. Although this is the cheapest upright bike I reviewed, I don’t feel like it’s a low-quality product. If you aren’t looking for an aggressive “race” bike or an upper body option, this is probably the best bike. And no, it doesn’t cut corners.

If you’re one of the few people who don’t care about recumbent versus upright, consider this.

The A20 above is a starter bike that I feel good about, but the 170 Upright is designed to expand your fitness program in a lot more ways. The electronics offer far more, and the materials and quality will take much more use and abuse.

Choose this bike if you like:

  • An upright bike with room to grow your fitness routine.
  • A large, multi-faceted electronic console.
  • Tech options for feedback and monitoring your training.

Possible downsides to be aware of:

  • No options for an upper body workout.
  • Fewer fit adjustments than the AC Performance.
  • Some heart rate features require additional gear.

And The Winner Is –

My top recommendation is the Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike , mainly because I feel it will please the highest percentage of people. The recumbent design provides the comfort that many people want when they work out at home. The electronic features are state of the art and should keep people interested.

I think it’s beautiful. Granted, that’s not critical for an exercise bike, but it may prevent you from hiding it in the cellar and not using it.

The best exercise bike is the one that you are motivated to keep using. The Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike should be a good bet for a wide swath of users if you’re looking for a recumbent design. It uses high-quality construction but still isn’t the most expensive exercise bike on the market.

I am very happy with all the models reviewed, and any of them are a good purchase if they match your specific needs.

This chart compares features but doesn’t give a total “score”. Look at which bike has high scores in the areas that you want, and then bring it home and ride it.

  270 Recumbent A.C. Performance A20 Recumbent 170 Upright
Comfort 9 7 8 6
Electronics 10 Sold separately 7 10
Hard Workouts 7 10 6 8
Heavy Duty 8 10 7 8
Price $$$$ $$$$$ $ $$

 

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike has the most consistent high marks and the price tag is reasonable.

I like the Schwinn A.C. Performance Plus for its top end quality and believe it’s worth the money if you want to train hard on an upright.

The Schwinn A20 Recumbent Bike is a value priced recumbent making it an excellent starter bike.

The Schwinn 170 Upright Bike is the same quality level of the Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike but in an upright version. It’s not the “worst” bike in the test, but compared to the AC it’s not as much of a thoroughbred, and the modestly priced Schwinn A20 Recumbent Bike will probably appeal to more people.

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