If you already own an exercise bike and looking to upgrade, or if you are a first time buyer, you’ll probably have heard of Schwinn. The company is a big player in this niche of fitness equipment. What follows are reviews and ratings of the Schwinn exercise bikes currently on offer.
The company makes several upright exercise bikes ranging in price from $260 to $1,300. The Schwinn 101 is its entry-level model but don’t let that put you off if you already own a bike and are looking to upgrade. The company’s bikes are more expensive, better built, and come with more features than equivalent models made by Weslo, Reebok, ProForm and others.
The 101 is a good bike for those who want a good workout rather than those who want a lot of fancy built-in features and a flashy display. What you do get are 6 preset programs, computer controlled magnetic resistance, heart rate monitor and fully adjustable seat and handlebars. What you don’t get are heart rate controlled workouts and it does have limited resistance adjustment.
The Schwinn 112 model retails for around $350 and is a superior model to the 101. You get a lot more features and, if you can afford the extra $90, you should opt for this model instead. It comes with 16 levels of resistance, a suite of preset programs that will give a great workout for most. Programs include 6 profile courses with calorie goal, BMI measurement, recovery test, results mode, quick start and 1 manual mode. The LCD console is also better. You get time, interval time, RPM, watts, distance, pulse, speed, calories, resistance and alpha-numeric prompts.
But if you really want the best of this type of bike go for the Schwinn 131 upright. It retails for around $400 and what you get for this are 16 levels of resistance, the BioConnect Feedback system that gives you lots of workout statistics, an integrated fan, elbow cups, magazine rack, and the BioDyne Performance gives you a smoother ride from the 20 lb fly-wheel and computer controlled drive system. The preset workouts include 1 manual, 1 user profile, 2 custom (you can create your own workouts), 3 heart rate, 10 profile, time trial, fitness test, calorie goal, BMI measurement, recovery test, results mode, quick start – a very impressive list for a machine at this price.
If you’re a serious athlete and want the best upright then you should take a close look at the Schwinn Evolution bike. This is the most expensive upright retailing at around $1,300 but you’ll be getting the Smart Release System that gives you all the advantages of a fixed gear with a unique coasting system. The trapezoidal shape makes the bike very stable and the build quality is superb. The warranty is 15 years on the frame, 2 years on parts and 6 months on labor.
Schwinn recumbent exercise bikes are equivalent to their upright models. For example the upright 112 and 131 share the same features as the recumbent 212 and 231. What can be said for the recumbent models is that the seat adjustment is easy and is flexible enough for all body shapes and weight. This is important, as seating in any reclining position can get quite uncomfortable after a short period of time.
Lastly, there’s the Schwinn Airdyne. This is a pretty unique concept – others have tried to imitate but none have really succeeding in producing this piece of kit. What you’re actually getting is a cross between an upright bike and an elliptical trainer. This isn’t going to appeal to everyone. The Airdyne uses a large multi-blade fan to produce resistance instead of the more usual magnetic current. There are two models available; the original that been made since the 1980s and the new EVO model. The EVO doesn’t look all that much different. What the company has done is to make some minor adjustments to the fan making it a much more compact version than the original fan size of 30 inches.
As stated, this bike isn’t going to appeal to everyone. The unusual dual handle bars that move as you cycle are not going to be wanted by many. Also, the fan is quite noisy and there’s no heart rate monitor either, and the LCD display is pretty basic. The readouts are time, distance, calories, calories per hour, RPM, and workload. The big plus point is that the Airdyne doesn’t require a mains connection.
Finding the best Schwinn exercise bike is about choosing what features you want at the price you want to pay. There’s no ‘best’ machine. Not everyone wants the same thing, which is why the company makes a variety of models.