Schwinn Elliptical Machine Reviews

Schwinn is a well-known fitness brand with a long history. The company was founded in the 1890s during the Golden Age of Bicycles and soon became a leader in outdoor biking. Schwinn added home exercise bikes to its lineup in 1965, and today the brand has home treadmills and elliptical trainers too.

All current Schwinn ellipticals are in the under-$1000 price class. Getting an overview is easy, as only two standard models (or standing ellipticals) are featured: the Schwinn 430 and 470. These are in the Active Series. Also for sale is the Schwinn 520, which is a seated elliptical. It looks like a recumbent exercise bike. Of the three, the Schwinn 470 is the most robust and has the best reputation among owners.

Brand Highlights

  • Sturdy Frames: Schwinn ellipticals in this review all have heavy frames for their price class. In contrast many ellipticals under $1000 are lightweight, which makes them wobble or scoot across the floor during use. Schwinn trainers can safely hold up to 300 pounds.
  • 20-Inch Strides: The Active Series units each have 20” strides, which is standard for home ellipticals. It’s a comfortable length for most exercisers. However, the Schwinn 520 has just a 14” stride. The longer your legs, the choppier the short pedaling path will feel.
  • Range of Resistance: Each machine provides digitally-controlled resistance. The best range is on the Schwinn 470. Its selection of 25 resistance levels is an ideal match for most novices through intermediate-level trainees.
  • Power Incline: The standing ellipticals both have maximum 10 percent inclines. Incline helps make front drive ellipticals ergonomic, and it improves the efficiency of each minute spent exercising. You’ll get better returns in terms of calorie burn and muscle sculpting.
  • Workout Programs: Standard Schwinn ellipticals can store more than 20 workout programs each, including manual mode and user-designed workouts. Multiple programs on each machine can be controlled by heart rate data. The seated elliptical, however, has only three preset workout programs.
  • Multiple User Profiles: With a user profile, you can save customized workout routines and track your long-term fitness progress. While Schwinn’s recumbent elliptical only saves one user profile, the 430 and 470 can save up to four each.
  • Wireless Telemetry: Schwinn Active Series elliptical trainers are compatible with chest straps for accurate wireless heart rate monitoring. Chest straps are sold separately.
  • Easy to Move: Caster wheels are attached to each fitness machine, making it easy to move when more floor space is needed.

Brand Lowlights

  • Squeaks: Judging from customer reviews of the Schwinn 430 elliptical, this model has a tendency to squeak as you stride.
  • High Surface: At the highest point of an elliptical stride, Schwinn Active Series ellipticals will position your body 21” from the ground. People with poor balance might feel more secure on a different style of elliptical machine (a center drive, rear drive or seated elliptical).
  • Warranties: Schwinn elliptical warranties provide relatively little customer protection. The machine frames are covered for 10 years, whereas lifetime warranties are the norm. More important though are the labor warranties, which expire after 90 days. For the same price you can easily find ellipticals with a year or two of labor coverage. Finally, when you make elliptical comparisons you might find that the parts and electronics warranties aren’t competitive.

Bottom Line

Schwinn ellipticals are “starter ellipticals.” They might be useful for a few seasons or longer, but they aren’t meant for the long haul. We say this because the 430 and 520 models aren’t so strong on resistance, so with regular exercise you might soon be looking for an upgrade. Besides that, their parts warranties are for just one year. And while the Schwinn 470 can deliver a tougher challenge if desired, it isn’t under warranty for much longer.

You might like the Schwinn 470 after trying it in person… so if you’d rather not shop online, then looking at local retailers for a discount price on the 470 could be worthwhile. Shopping online though with other home fitness brands, you’ll likely find a machine with better consumer protections — and similar or better features — for about the same price.

All Schwinn Ellipticals

ImageModelRatingEstimated Price
Schwinn 470 Elliptical4-StarsSee Best Price
Schwinn 520 Elliptical4-StarsSee Best Price
Schwinn A40 Elliptical3-StarsSee Best Price
Schwinn 430 Elliptical3-StarsSee Best Price


  • Marcus A Lanasa April 13, 2019 at 10:16 pm from BEL AIR
    Not happy with the grinding noise in the roller and the miles and cholesterol display doesn't work right.. Just bought very on happy 650 dollars is a lot of money for me to put out for this
    • Elliptical Reviews Pros April 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm
      Hi Marcus, we are sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with your machine. Have you tried contacting Shwinn directly to speak to a representative? Sometimes, the machine just may need to be troubleshot to reset.

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