What do you love so much about cardio? I love feeling relaxed and focused when it’s all over. I work from home and my productivity depends on exercising. This is my unbiased review of the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike.
I spent 20+ hours putting this together and have included every piece of valuable information I could find (not just feature dumps). You’ll find pros and cons, popular features, warranty information, and insight from other customers. The goal is to inform not sell.
|Our rating||[usr 4.5]|
|Pros||Quiet (great for apartments), straightforward assembly, easy multitasking, comfortable, sturdy, accommodates many body types|
|Cons||Weak fan, speakers aren’t very loud, customer service, not dual-action (doesn’t work the arms)|
|Top features||25 resistance levels, 29 built-in workout programs, 4 user settings, built-in speakers, heart rate monitor sensors, padded seat with vented back, dual monitors|
|Warranty||Frame 10 Years — Mechanical 2 Years — Electronics 1 Year — Labor 90 Days|
|Things to know||You may need help with assembly if you’re not handy, Nautilus is the parent company and has questionable support|
Should You Buy This Bike?
The Schwinn 270 is great for weight loss, increased leg strength, and improved mobility. It makes exercising more convenient with intuitive features like the USB charging port, built-in speakers and workout programs, and 25 levels of resistance. Even though the majority of people love this bike, doesn’t mean it’s for everyone.
Reasons to buy: physical therapy, for back support, Need reliable exercise bike for home, to stay active indoors during the cold winter months. Or you want to lose weight, build leg strength, and improve overall mobility.
Reasons not to buy: not meant for heavy usage (e.g. commercial gyms), want to lose weight but aren’t willing to change your diet, workouts aren’t as high-intensity compared to other cardio machines. Or you have really long legs — like 6’5 and up — because you may not be able to fully extend your legs.
Are you new to exercise? Go to the gym and get comfortable with routine exercise before investing in your own equipment. You’ll either love the gym and decide not to buy a machine at all — or — you’ll hate the gym but leave with a better understanding of what machines you like/dislike. #winwin
9 Things To Consider Before Buying
The Schwinn 270 exercise bike comes in several pieces although the main body is totally intact. It weighs 86 lbs (40kg’s) fully assembled and is easy to move once you’re finished with assembly. Simply tilt the bike onto the two front transport wheels and push or pull to your desired location.
If you want a reliable exercise bike for your home or apartment, that makes exercising fun and convenient, you’ll appreciate this bike. The 29 built-in workout programs, 25 levels of resistance, Bluetooth capabilities, and USB charging port will keep you engaged and make your workouts fly by.
But there are some things to consider before opening up your wallet, here they are:
1. Assembly: There’s no need to pay extra for professional assembly (unless you have mobility issues). I would recommend finding one other person to help you assemble it, especially for the initial delivery when you’ll need to move it to the proper location in your house/apartment (shipping weight is 101 lbs, fully-assembled weight is 86 lbs). It shouldn’t take more than 90 mins to get everything put together. All of the necessary tools for assembly are included with the package but they’re cheap quality. Assembly could be made easier with your own set of Allen wrenches/screwdrivers.
2. Heart rate monitors: The heart rate monitors are in the handlebar grips and work with the 8 built-in heart rate workouts, however, some have complained about them not working properly. Others have complained that the instructions are a little ambiguous leading to a lot of confusion.
If accurately monitoring your heart rate is important, you’re better off buying a heart rate monitor separately. You can’t wirelessly connect any heart rate monitor to this bike, it has to be an uncoded heart rate strap from Polar Electro or an uncoded Polar compatible model.
The Polar T31 Non-Coded Transmitter comes highly recommended from Amazon.
3. Comfort: The seat has great lumbar support but it’s made of hard plastic and can be uncomfortable. Also, you can’t actually adjust the back (only sliding adjustments for leg length) which could be a problem if you have had hip surgery in the past.
4. User manual: The user manual that comes with your purchase is incomplete and limited. Here is the complete manual (in English).
5. Try before you buy: What you don’t want to do is buy it, wait a few days, then spend an hour assembling it, only to realize you don’t like it. Then you’re stuck having to disassemble it, repackage it, and somehow get it to the post office. Try it out at the gym or retail store before spending any money.
6. Will it fit?: Measure the dimensions of your space and compare it to the fully-assembled product. These are the dimensions: 64″ L x 27.7″ W x 49.9″ H (162.5 x 70.3 x 126.8 cm).
7. Old model = no Bluetooth: Only the newer models come equipped with Bluetooth. So if that’s an important feature then you’ll probably want to buy new vs. used.
8. Nautilus/Bowflex: Nautilus is the parent company of Schwinn (they also own Bowflex) so if you have any customer service issues reach out to them directly. If you’re buying this bike because you’ve had Schwinn products in the past, it may not be the same company making these products anymore. Another reason to try before you buy. Nautilus customer service hours are 9AM-8PM EST and they can be reached at (800) 605-3369.
9. Schwinn Connect: Your session(s) can be downloaded to a USB and uploaded to SchwinnConnect.com from your computer. You can choose to automatically sync to MyFitnessPal (exercise is labeled as “Stationary bike, general (bicycling, cycling, biking) ).
The Schwinn 270 is fit for virtually any home or commercial gym and can help burn calories, build leg strength, and keep you active.
If your primary objective is weight loss then consider changing your diet for faster and better results. And if you’re not interested in changing your diet you might want to consider an upright (stationary) bike as they tend to offer more challenging workouts.
Multitasking, while you exercise, can make the time fly by which is why having a whisper quiet bike like this one is so great.The resistance is controlled by magnets (vs. friction) so it hardly makes any noise. You can easily read or watch TV, listen to music, or even have a conversation without any competing noise. Plus, you won’t have to worry about bothering anyone else in your house/building.
USB Charging Port
There’s a USB charger on top of the screen next to the headphone jack. You can easily charge your phone while you exercise which helps especially when you have to leave right after your workout and head somewhere that’s not charger friendly. Plus you can listen to music/watch stuff as much as you want without having to worry about your battery turning red (scary stuff).
The dual-action monitor is much better than the previous model, it’s clearer and makes your workout metrics easy to digest. Wanna know the best part? You can cover the main display with a book or an iPad or something and still see your workout metrics on the smaller screen below. Metrics like total time and distance, calories burned, current heart rate and resistance level, and speed/pace. Plus, when the screen is blocked it makes the workout seem faster because you’re not staring at a huge display and watching every second go by.
Pro tip: if you find the display is too bright, pick up some cellophane at the dollar store and glue them over the display. Particularly helpful for early morning rides.
25 Resistance Levels
The more resistance levels you have on a bike, the longer it will last you (because it’s harder to outgrow) and the easier it will be to use. Doing the same workout on the same resistance levels can get boring fast. With 25 resistance levels, you can do HIIT training (great for weight loss) or long distances. The previous model (Schwinn 230) only has 20 resistance levels.
29 Workout Programs
Select a program and start your workout — it’s that simple. It feels good not having to search for a new workout every time you want to exercise. It can help save time and make exercising a lot easier. Plus, you get peace of mind knowing these programs are designed specifically for this bike and you can count on the workouts being challenging since they’re often created by personal trainers.
Staying cool/ventilated is easy with the built-in 3-speed adjustable fan. It sits right under the display and makes longer workouts much easier. Also nice not having to setup a fan every time you want to workout. It’s not the most powerful fan and can sometimes get noisy but it’s definitely better than not having one at all.
Padded Seat with Vented Back
A comfortable seat is important for two reasons: it makes exercising more enjoyable and makes long distance rides easier. One time I rode a recumbent bike with a plastic (vs. padded) seat and my butt was sore for days — it really makes a big difference. It also has ventilation in the back of the seat to maximize airflow.
This is one of the better upgrades from previous models. With previous models, you had to stand up, remove the pin bolt, adjust the seat, re-insert the pin bolt, and hop back on. With this model, you can just adjust the lever while sitting down until you’re comfortable so you can easily adjust your position even after the workout has started. Particularly helpful when the bike is used by several different people who all need to make adjustments.
Huge Water Bottle Holder
One size fits all and very convenient. No more having to awkwardly contort your body just to grab your water bottle from the floor.
If you’re like me and like to challenge yourself then you’ll appreciate the easy goal tracking. Each time you beat a record (longest workout, most calories burned, etc.) you’ll hear a ‘victory’ song. Pretty sweet way to fuel some healthy competition at home!
There’s a steel bar on the back of the bike and a small set of wheels on the front that allow for easy maneuvering around the house. Just lift and push to move the bike around the room or back into storage when it’s not being used or if you have visitors.
4 User Profiles
Why is this awesome? Because instead of manually entering your height, weight, age, etc. every time you workout, you can just select your profile and it will load your preferred settings automatically. Great when you have multiple people in your home using the bike.
Heart Rate Monitor Sensors
Integrated heartburn sensors to ensure you’re in the optimum fat burning zone and maximize your results.
Another noteworthy upgrade from previous models are the acoustic speakers. They’re bigger, they sound better, and you don’t always have to rely on your headphones. Personally, I find headphones annoying unless they’re wireless so I definitely appreciate not having to wear them or even have them handy.
Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike ME-709
- It’s cheaper
- Simpler design
- Few resistance levels (only 8)
- Basic display
If you want something a bit cheaper, that will hurt less if/when it doesn’t get used, the ME-709 is a good fit. It’s a basic bike with no shiny object, there’s no reason it won’t last you a good while.
Nautilus 616 Recumbent Bike
- Nearly all of the same features
- 25 resistance levels, 29 built-in workout programs, heart rate monitors
For a bit cheaper you can get a similar model by Nautilus that comes with nearly all of the same features. One big difference is that all models of the Nautilus 616, new and old, come with Bluetooth — can’t say the same for the Schwinn 270.
Schwinn 170 Upright Bike
- Stand up and pedal
- Do HIIT training (amazing for weight loss)
- 9 workout programs, 25 resistance levels, USB charging port, and Bluetooth
A great alternative if you want higher-intensity workouts and won’t miss the extra back support you get with a recumbent bike. You can stand and pedal (e.g. sprint) which means you can do interval training — one of the best ways to lose weight.
The Schwinn 270 is a solid addition to your home particularly if you’re looking to lose some weight, rehab a sore knee, or stay active indoors during the cold winter months.
The 29 built-in workout programs, 25 resistance levels, and whisper quiet ride make regular exercise as easy as it should be.