The Schwinn range of recumbent bikes offer a premium selection of hime gym exercise cycles for the recumbent user. Their two type models are the Schwinn 270 and the Schwinn 230. So, how do they compare? At first glance, these two bikes look remarkably similar, apart from the price.
Bottom Line: We favor the Schwinn 230 for most people based on the price. But depending on what your needs are, the 270 might be the right one.
In this article we get up close and personal with the Schwinn 270 and the 230 as we put them head to head to allow you to decide which is best for you.
- 1 The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
- 1.1 Benefits
- 1.2 Drawbacks
- 2 Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
- 3 Differences Between Them
- 4 The Verdict
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 270 is an impressive looking recumbent cycle that provides a huge array of workout options suitable for all family members. The high tech computer console offers a staggering 29 workout apps at all levels. These even include a couple of fitness tests and a recovery app. Split screen technology means that you can view 13 workout stats at the same time.
The 270 features very good back support. The ventilated contoured back support allows for breathability as it provides total spine comfort. The seat is generously padded and is completely adjustable to achieve the right positioning.
The 25 level eddy current resistance provides for continuous progressive resistance and smooth operation. The frame of the 270 is very solid and stylish. This is a top of the line model that offers better computer specs than anything else we’ve found.
Dual Track Monitoring System
The all new dual track monitoring system on the 270 allows you to watch your tablet or read your Kindle while also monitoring your training data. You get results for 13 key workout metrics.
29 Exercise Programs
The monitor provides you with ongoing motivation with 29 exercise programs. This includes 4 user settings and goal tracking to measure your progress. You can track and record all of the training information for four different people. Each of these programs have been created by fitness professionals and designed to allow you to get the most benefit from your workout experience.
The calories burned are unique to each of the four users. These are based on your user settings, so that for each of the four users it can track the calories far more accurately. When you reach certain goals, the monitor will congratulate and motivate you. In this sense it is an interactive computerized trainer.
25 Resistance Levels
You will never outgrow this bike. That’s because, as your strength increases, you can choose from 25 levels of Eddy Current resistance. That also makes this bike a great option for all members of the family and every fitness level. Eddy current provides the smoothest and quietest resistance available. It is very easy to adjust the resistance, requiring the simple push of button up or down. Unlike other models on the market, the resistance change is very smooth and non-jerky.
The Schwinn 270 has gone the extra mile to provide you with a superior level of comfort. The padded seat will allow you to train for extended periods without getting a sore butt. A contoured leg area provides you with the ideal ergonomic positioning. The vented set back keeps you cool, preventing moisture build up while also giving a high level of support to the lower back. The sliding set rail system adjusts easily for any user.
The seat is very easy to adjust. If you have multi user households, you can very quickly change it from one position to another.
A top quality three speed fan keeps you cool during intense workouts. There are three levels of fan resistance. An oversized bottle holder will fit virtually any sized water bottle. This machine can also charge your phone or tablet or MP3 player as well as playing them through the built-in speakers so you can enjoy your workout with your favorite sounds.
Integrated Heart Rate Sensors
Integrated heart rate sensors allow you to get a quick check to see if you are in the optimum heart rate zone for the best results possible. These sensors are built into the side handles so that you get a constant readout on the screen.
Acoustic Chamber Speakers
You don’t have to wear annoying headphones on this recumbent bike thanks to the all new sealed acoustic chamber speakers. They will produce a top level of sound quality to keep you entertained while you’re working out. Of course, the bike also provides you with a headphone jack if you want to keep your music to yourself.
With the all new Schwinn Connect technology you can sync your workout results to the Schwinn Connect website. This allows you to drill down on your training performance in minute detail. Schwinn have also partnered with the top rated app My Fitness Pal. This allows you to effortlessly sync your training and nutritional data to your My Fitness Pal account. In no time you’ll be tracking your activity, monitoring personal bests and sharing goals with friends and family.
Two people working together will take around 45 minutes to assemble this recumbent bike. The instruction manual provides you with easy directions, complete with color photographs. Quite a few of the parts come pre-assembled, which also saves you time and effort.
With the Schwinn 270, you get an exceptionally quiet ride. This is true at any level of resistance. If you place a yoga mat or similar item under the bike, the operation becomes even quieter.
Interface Not User Friendly
The interface on the Schwinn 270 takes a little bit of time to get used to. It is not as intuitive as we would like, though you will get used to it after a few uses. However it could have been designed better to allow you to more easily access the menus and options.
Screen Not Adjustable
The brightness of the screen on the 270 is not adjustable. The screen is pretty powerful by default, but does require power plug to give it its brightness.
No Chest Strap Pulse Monitor
The Recumbent 270 from Schwinn does not provide you with a chest strap heart rate monitor, but it does have the built in technology to allow you to add your own device. While it does have built in hand sensor heart rate monitors, these are nowhere near as accurate as a chest monitor.
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike may look exactly the same as the 270 from a distance. Like all recumbent bikes, this model is ideal for people with knee and back issues, which is also true of the 270. It provides a challenging workout in a relaxed position with increased lumbar support. However, this bike is a slightly pared down version of the top of the line 270. Let’s drill down on it benefits and drawbacks.
The Schwinn 230 will arrive at your door with a number of the parts pre-assembled at the factory. All of the pieces lie up correctly, which speeds up the procedure even further. Clear instructions are provided, with the complete assembly of the bike requiring a very short period of time.
The 230 provides you with 22 pre-programmed workout programs, from very easy to super difficult. Each of these has been designed by a top fitness professional to provide the right challenge at the right level. There are also two user defined programs, and the ability to store data for up to two users. All of the programs come with pre-set features and smooth transitions to help you get the most from your workout.
A USB port is provided. This enables you to connect and charge a mobile device. Built on speakers allow you to listen to your favorite music while working out. A fan is provided with three different settings. A media shelf allows you to place your tablet, Kindle or phone on the monitor without obscuring your vision of your training metrics.
There is also a water bottle holder on this recumbent bike.
The contoured seat is fully adjustable with a sliding fore and aft adjustment system. This allows the bike to accommodate a variety of users in a range of positions. This variety allows you to ride in the optimum ergonomic positioning as well as providing superior comfort. The set is well padded and comes with a high contoured lower back support that is ventilated for maximum moisture wicking.
The set positioning on the Schwinn 230 can be adjusted for a range of heights between 4′ 11″ and 6’3″.
The Schwinn 230 features a new oversized console that makes tracking your progress easier than ever. There are 22 workout programs, 9 core profiles and 20 levels of resistance on this machine.
The high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted flywheel that comes with the 230 ensures a very smooth, natural cycling motion. There is reduced mount of joint impact on this machine. In addition, the operation of the unit, even at the highest resistance level, is impressively quiet.
Contact Heart Rate Monitoring
Contact heart rte monitoring is built into the handle bars of the Schwinn 230. This allows you to get constant feedback on your training pulse so that you can stay within the ideal fat burning zone.
Limited Data Input
With the Schwinn 230, you can only input data for two users. That means that if a larger family is interested in using the bike, some of the family members will have no profiles stored on the monitor. This limits their information tracking ability.
Differences Between Them
The Schwinn 270 provides you with 29 workout programs, compared with 22 for the 230. You get an extra 3 pre-programmed profile workouts within this number. There is also a customizable percentage heart rate program on the 270. While these are nice extras to have, we feel that, with 22 programs, the 230 will still provide you with plenty of variety for all members of the family and all user abilities. Therefore, we don’t feel that the extra 7 programs is a deal breaker.
The Schwinn 270 comes with 4 user profiles, which is twice as many as you get on the 230. That allows double the number of people to store and keep track of their training information on the 270. If you expect that more than two people will be regularly using the machine, this could make a big difference. On the other hand, both machines give you the ability to download you data to the Schwinn Connect website, allowing all users to track their information that way.
Both the Schwinn 270 and the 230 provide you with hand held pulse sensors. However, the 270 gives you the ability to add a chest attachable heat rate sensor, though you will have to buy this separately (around $70 value). You are not able to attach a chest strap monitor the the Schwinn 230. The hand held pulse monitors that come standard on both units are not overly accurate.
The seat on the Schwinn 270 has a greater level of padding than that on the 230, which is made of plastic molding. However, the sliding mechanism of both sets is very similar. The back supports of both bikes provide good level of lumbar support and are well ventilated for maximum breathability.
The Schwinn 270 makes use of a 3 piece crank system. In comparison the Schwinn 230 only has a one piece crank. The 3 piece crank is far stronger and more mobile than the one piece. The crank arms are what hold the pedals, and a 3 piece system has two of them , along with a spindle. The crank on the 230 is made of just one piece of metal. The 3 piece crank, while clearly superior system really only comes into play when you are riding at the top levels of resistance.
The pedals on the Schwinn 270 are oversized, providing you with greater surface area than the 230.
The Schwinn 270 is about a hundred dollars more expensive than the 230.
So, which Schwinn recumbent bike represents the better value for money?
While the 270 does pack in extra programs, resistance levels and a more comfortable seat, we feel that the 230 already delivers plenty of options for the majority of users. If you are a beginner or intermediate user you will have plenty to work with in the 22 programs and 20 levels of resistance on the 230. However, if you are expecting more the two people to be using the machine, we suggest stepping up to the 270 with its 4 user profiles. Advanced trainers will also want to opt for thehigher spec 270.