Schwinn A40 Elliptical Review 3

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Best Ellipticals Under $500

Schwinn A40 Elliptical Rating

Display Console
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Overall Rating


Pros Schwinn is a respected brand name manufactured by Nautilus, so despite the cost, this elliptical trainer is reasonably well-made, sturdy, and quiet. This basic trainer offers an average stride length of 17” and provides 8 levels of resistance, using an ECB (Eddy Current Brake) system and perimeter weighted flywheel for smooth, easy operation.
Cons You’ll get just the bare basics with the A40, which is fine for some people, but just keep in mind that if you need lots of workout programs, adjustable features, or a flashy console, you may want to look at other models by Schwinn. The warranty offered with this trainer is perhaps the biggest con with just 6 months on parts and electric, 30 days on wear parts and 2 years on the frame.
Summary The primary benefits of this elliptical trainer are its ease of use and budget-friendly price tag. It’s not designed for heavy-duty use, but it is ok for beginners with 8 resistance levels and a compact 17” stride. The warranty is also pretty bad with very limited coverage that is basically useless, but we hope that the reputable brand name durability will limit your need for extensive coverage.

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Schwinn A40 Elliptical Detailed Overview

The Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer is an easy-to-use, basic machine intended for beginners. Touted as a “no-nonsense” trainer by the manufacturer, it’s reasonably well-built and quiet as well as very affordable. Designed with a quiet magnetic ECB (Eddy Current Brake) resistance system and a perimeter weighted flywheel, the A40 is smooth and discreet as it offers users 8 levels of resistance to choose from. However; the weight limit is fairly low at just 275 pounds so the flywheel and frame isn’t necessarily heavy-duty by any means.

Coming into some performance features and other basic design elements of this trainer, the A40 is equipped with an average stride length of 17 inches, with no adjustable options other than choosing your resistance level. While all elliptical trainers come with moving handlebars to be able to work the upper-body, not all include stationary handlebars and this one of those models. The lack of stationary handlebars may not be obvious to some users, but many people enjoy this feature for stability, especially when working the lower body exclusively. And because this model lacks stationary handlebars, the heart rate sensors are on either side of the console, another odd design element of this model. Going down to the pedals, the A40 is built with an articulating footplate, but these pedals lack cushioning or a nice big toe cage/guard to keep your feet securely on the pedal during workouts. This isn’t really a surprising short cut given the price tag, but it’s something to consider.

The display screen dimensions aren’t disclosed, but it’s small; very small. This multi-function LCD screen does have room to give users 8 basic workout readouts and comes loaded with 6 workout programs that include 1 manual and 6 profiles. The console area lacks any audio features or entertainment options, but most people use their smart phones or tablets while working out anyway. Other features of the console include a reading rack, a water bottle holder, and a 2-speed workout fan. For heart rate monitoring, there are two built-in sensors on either side of the console, and no option for wireless monitoring.

The steel-frame trainer is very compact, weighing just under 91 pounds, with a height of just 64”. Combined with transport wheels and the fact that it’s battery-operated, it’s very easy to move around. Schwinn offers a limited warranty that covers 2 years on the frame, 6 months on parts and electric, and 30 days on wear parts.

Our Favorite Features

  • Compact and lightweight, featuring transport wheels for convenience
  • Affordable with a price tag well under $500
  • Battery-operated makes it easy to use the trainer where you want to
  • Smooth, quiet operation with a quiet ECB resistance system

Our Least Favorite Features

  • Flywheel weight is “undisclosed” but with a weight limit well under 300 pounds, we assume it’s light
  • Warranty offerings are poor with limited coverage
  • Difficult to assemble
  • Lacks stationary handlebars which can impact stability and safety
  • No wireless heart rate monitoring option means you may not get as accurate a readout, but there are sensor grips

The Bottom Line

The Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer is intended for beginners or people who might not want to spend the extra hundreds or thousands of dollars right away. As a basic entry-level trainer, the A40 is a great value. Other models under $500 might be cheap or unreliable, but these qualities aren’t true of the A40. You get bare basics with this trainer, but with such an affordable price tag, you must know that walking in. If you like the Schwinn brand but need a few more features like a longer stride and high-tech console, check out some of their popular mid-range models like the front-drive Schwinn 470.

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