Schwinn 470 Elliptical Review: Invest on this!

The Schwinn 470 is the best elliptical machine that Schwinn currently has on offer. The company is now focusing on the budget range of elliptical machines, so this $900 machine is their highest-priced elliptical yet. It is also one of their best products as far as elliptical are concerned, and arguably the best one in the sub-1000 dollar price bracket.

While Precor introduced the first true elliptical in the early ’90s, the first indoor exercise machine was invented by Francis Lowndes in 1796. It was called the Gymnasticon and was more like an elliptical than anything else. It became very popular as people became more and more sedentary.

Even today, the same factors are causing people to go for elliptical machines as a form of indoor exercise. Schwinn, being a major player in America for over a century, knows that not everyone can afford to splash on expensive machines.

This extensive market experience is why it offers the best in terms of quality and affordability.

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The first Schwinn 470 rolled off the assembly line in 2013. Since then, the company has been making a lot of improvements in response to technology trends and user feedback. 

The current model has some of the best features you can find in this range, and even beyond. 

General Information and Technical Specifications

  • Product dimensions – 70.1”L x 28.2”W x 63.2”H
  • Item weight – 182lbs (82.5kg)
  • Power requirements – 220-240V, comes with adapter
  • Weight capacity – 300lbs (136kg)
  • Stride length – 20”
  • Resistance – 25 levels magnetic resistance
  • Incline – Power incline with six settings, maximum 100.
  • Console – Dual-Track Displays.
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth, telemetry, USB data transfer, and charging.
  • Portability – Non-folding, transport wheels are available.
  • Handlebars – Both moving and static bars present.
  • Media Center – Tablet holder, USB charger, 3.5mm auxiliary jack, dual closed-chamber speakers.

Extras – 3 Speed fan, bottle holder.

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You will find that while the Schwinn 470 has all the features you would expect, it also has a few surprises.

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  • The Schwinn 470 features the increasingly common front-drive design, which means that the flywheel is in front of the pedals. It makes it more compact, stable, and serves to keep the price down since the technology is less sophisticated.
  • The Schwinn 470 is a cross-trainer in design, which means that there are moving arms with enough resistance to have an upper-body workout at the same time. There are also fixed handlebars if you wish to work out your lower body only or to monitor your heart rate with the built-in pulse sensors.
  • Very stable even when being used by heavy users, courtesy of 3 sets of stabilizer bars, and four integrated frame levelers. They can be adjusted to suit any flooring. Also, the front stabilizers have wheels mounted for easy transportation.
  • Durable, sturdy frame made of high strength steel tubing. It makes it strong enough to support users of up to 300 lbs (136kg) while remaining light.
  • Ten years manufacturer’s warranty on the frame, two years for mechanical parts, one year for electronics, and three months for labor.
  • Smooth operation. The machine features a 20-pound (9.07kg) inertia-enhanced flywheel, which dampens all irregular motion and makes it smooth to run.
  • The whole elliptical is painted black with a few red accents on the stabilizers as well as flywheel hub. A coat of powder paint is used to make it rust, liquid, and dust resistant.
  • Stylish design will fit right into any room you decide to place it, not just the gym.
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The Schwinn 470 makes use of magnetic resistance technology. It works through the use of electromagnets. The closer magnets are, the stronger the force between them. This force is used to increase and decrease resistance in the wheel.

Magnetic resistance is much easier to control, and the Schwinn 470 has 25 levels available. You can adjust the resistance either through the quick buttons on the console, which can take you to levels 1, 5, 10, 18, and 25 or the L/R buttons for gradual adjustment. 

This type of resistance works by the use of a small servo motor and a magnetic resistance pad. Depending on the commands issued, the servo motor moves the magnetic pad accordingly.

For the drive system, Schwinn included a V-belt drive. This system is quiet and ensures effective transfer of force with negligible losses. It also allows for reverse motion so that if you wish to target different muscle groups (like your backside), you can reverse the cycling motion.

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The Schwinn 470 features oversized articulating footplates for maximum comfort and a natural stride. They can adjust slightly depending on the position of the pedals, which lets your feet remain in the most natural relative posture. 

The pedals are made up of three parts: Solid bars welded to the rods, PVC pads, and a layer of rubberized cushioning. You can even use the machine barefoot or with socks.

Schwinn incorporates its Precision Path Foot Motion technology in this elliptical. Other than the articulating footplates, it also includes the Precision Path rails with the goal of simulation a natural, 22″ stride. It is long enough that everyone but the tallest people can use it comfortably.

The rollers have internal ball bearings, which make the whole assembly move smoothly and quietly.

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As a front-drive elliptical, the Schwinn 430 features a less sophisticated deck and roller design. The pedals are connected to solid steel bars that rest on rollers. These move on rails fitted with enclosed ball bearings, and the whole assembly, called the deck, determines the stride length of the machine.

One major advantage of the Schwinn 430 is that it features a 22” stride length, which is one of the largest available in this category. This makes it ideal for all types of people, even very tall ones with lanky legs. It also makes the motion more natural, as the stride length of a walking person is estimated at 30”.

Schwinn uses industrial grade material for the deck, rollers and ball bearings because they are the most sensitive parts on the machine. They need regular cleaning and lubrication with silicone grease.

The pedals are deliberately oversized to allow for a variety of foot sizes and positioning, as well as to increase the safety factor by reducing the chance of falling off. That is a real concern, considering the pedals are at 11.5″ at their lowest and 22.5″ at their highest.

The pedals are padded with rubber for extra grip and to help cushion the feet as you work out.

  • Console

The Schwinn 430 has a unique 2-track display which is two screens that display different metrics. The smaller screen is positioned just below the tablet holder intentionally so that you can still monitor things like pulse rate, speed, time and mileage as you entertain yourself.

There are buttons on the console for the 22 workout programs available. These include a manual mode (also the Quick Start mode), 8 heart rate workouts, nine preset programs, 2 user-defined programs, and 2 fitness tests. It also has a Goal-Tracking feature, where you can see your progress in relation to preset goals. This is usually in terms of percentages achieved.

The console also allows you to set up to two user profiles where you enter your name and age. It will then display your information like heart rate, distance covered, calories burned, cadence (rpm), course profile, percentage of goal achieved, among others.

  • Monitoring

The Schwinn 430 uses two grip EKG pulse monitors your heart rate. These are mounted on the fixed handgrips and can display your pulse as long as your hands are in contact with the monitors.

Unfortunately, one major disadvantage is that this machine is not enabled for telemetry and thus cannot connect with a chest strap or other wireless monitor. This means that you would need to use other means such as fitness apps. 

The good news is, it is enabled with MyFitnessPal so that you can upload your data and share it with family or friends.

Extra Features

The Schwinn 430 comes with a load of extra features for more convenience. It has the Schwinn Media Center, which consists of a tablet holder, 3.5mm jack and a USB cable. These enable you to charge your device and play music through the inbuilt speakers as you work out.

It also has a 3-speed fan that can be adjusted to direct air towards your head chest.

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With all its attractive features, the Schwinn 430 also has a few weak points. This is expected for this price point, where it is hard to get everything right and still maintain a low price.

  • Silent, 20-level eddy current resistance system.
  • Incline system, although manual and a bit limited.
  • The media center with speakers is a wonderful addition.
  • Large, heavy flywheel for smooth operation.
  • High strength tubular steel frame is strong and light at the same time.
  • The front-drive design makes the machine compact and stable.
  • Long stride length at 22”, which is the longest in this category.
  • 22 workout programs are more than sufficient for most home uses.
  • Great customer service.
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  • One of the biggest disadvantages relates to an apparent inherent weakness in the bolts and nuts used to put the machine together. This applies especially to the joints connecting the moving arms to the stabilizer shafts, which just seem to shear off without warning.
  • Lack of telemetric ability for wireless monitoring.
  • The pedals are fixed, they offer no adjustment options.
  • Some customers report noisy operation. However, this is usually due to improper assembly and loose parts.
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Verdict

The Schwinn 430 is a great machine in every aspect, and from what the majority of customers have to say the only major complaint is the failure of the bolts. This is a major concern as it could even lead to injury. Some enterprising users have purchased industrial-grade ones separately and swapped them out. However, for those who had such problems, Schwinn has been very helpful and it seems that the issue has since been dealt with.

Other than that, the Schwinn 430 is worth every penny and more.

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