Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Review: Is it worth it?

Schwinn’s 270 recumbent bike model is one of the high-end exercise bikes from Schwinn’s recumbent bike ranges. Some customers have lauded it to be Schwinn’s recumbent bike model. The 270 is also up to date with modern recumbent bikes and comes complete with Bluetooth connectivity and apps such as Schwinn Trainer app and Ride-Social. It has the highest number of pre-set workout programs, 25 workout programs compared to the other recumbent bike models from Schwinn such as the A20 and 230. It also has an impressive 29 resistance levels, higher than the A20 and 230. 

With that many resistance levels and automated workout programs, the bike caters to a wide audience with a variety of fitness levels. Whether you’re a beginner who hasn’t touched an exercise bike or a fitness freak looking for a challenge, Schwinn 270 is inclusive of everyone.

The 270 bike model from Schwinn retails at just over $500 online, depending on where you purchase it from.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

1 used from $472.88
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Last update was in: December 12, 2019 4:19 am
$549.00 $799.00
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Review 1
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Technical Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: Height- 52.2 inches (133.3 cm), Width- 26.6 inches (67.5 cm), Length- 62.5 inches (158.6 cm), Total footprint of bike is 1662.6 inches2 (10705.5 cm2)
  • Recommended Assembly Dimensions: 24 inches of clearance space for each dimension. Allow for a minimum area of 74.6’’ x 110.5’’ (189.5cm x 280.5 cm).
  • Product Weight: 86.6 lbs (39.3 kg)
  • Design: Walk-through, tilted recumbent bike design.
  • Maximum User Weight Capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Console Features: Contains DualTrack blue backlit LCD display. There are 29 different pre-set workout programs to choose from. There is also Quick Start or Manual Mode. The console displays information about: Time, Speed, Distance, RPM, Heart Rate, Level
  • Also features Heart Rate Control (HRC) Workout Programs which lets you set a heart rate goal for any workout. Heart rate is monitored by the Heart Rate sensors and workout is modified to help meet the target heart rate.
  • Resistance Levels: 25
  • Seat: Comfortable, padded seat with an equally comfortable, ventilated backrest. Handlebars are located low near the seat, they are not high enough to interfere with people getting on the machine.
  • Heart Rate Sensor: Contact and Telemetry enabled heart rate sensors, with a wireless heart rate strap
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth connectivity enabled, Connect to apps such as RideShare or Schwinn Trainer app
  • Accessory Features: Contains three-speed built-in fan, Holder for electronics such as tablet or phone, Sound System, Water Bottle Holder, USB Charging Port
  • Power Requirement: Operational Voltage- 220-240 VAC, 50 Hz. Operating Current- 0.4A
  • Standards: Abides by the EN ISO 20957 International Standards of Stationary Training Equipment, Class H.
  • Assembly: It would require about two people to fully assemble the product. A couple of allen keys- 4 and 6mm are provided to assemble the machine. The front section of the machine has transport wheels for easy relocation of the machine and handle at the back for lifting the bike.
  • Warranty Information: Frame- 10 years, Mechanical Parts- 2 years, Electronics- 1 year, Labor- 90 days. Labor does not include replacing installation parts for the original product or preventative maintenance.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike in More Detail
Frame, Design and Layout

The overall design and layout is similar to Schwinn’s other recumbent bike models such as the A20 and 230, where the design resembles a rowing machine with tilted backrest. The adjustable seat is mounted on a long aluminium profile rail. With different seat adjustment settings, it caters to a variety of people with different heights and bodies.

The frame is strong and sturdy, thanks to its steel construction. This gives a high user weight capacity of around 300 lbs. 

The bike is supported by two sturdy bases at the front and back. At the back support, there are adjustable stabilizers to give stability in uneven flooring. The back support also has handles to enable easy transport, while the front base has small transport wheels. 

The design is a step-through or walk-through design that is easy for anyone to get on and off. Unlike in the A20 model, there are no handlebar grips that get in the way. The handlebars in the 270 are located lower down, next to the seat and they are not high enough to get in the way of anyone mounting the exercise bike. 

Seat Features and Design

Schwinn recumbent bikes are generally quite ergonomic, and the 270 model is no different. It offers a comfortable, padded seat and backrest that are also ventilated to keep you cool and dry during intense workouts.

The seat is adjustable to accommodate people of varying heights. It can be adjusted by pulling the lever to push the seat forward or backward away from the pedals. Based on customer testimonials, the 270 bike model has worked well for people as short as 4’’3 (137 cm) or as tall as 6’’3 (193 cm). People who are taller can still use the bike of course, but they may not be able to extend their legs fully. 

However, the adjustability rail does not have markers or indicators to show what height you have adjusted to. 

The backrest, however, is not adjustable. So, users with back problems or injuries will have to take care when using the 270 model.

The handlebars are ergonomically designed with integrated contact heart rate sensors, so you can monitor your heart rate during workouts. The handlebars are located level with the seat, so that they don’t stick out or interfere with anyone getting on or off the bike. 

Function

The bike operates by applying magnetic resistance. Magnetic resistance is relatively easy and smoother to change than mechanical resistance. It has magnets that are pulled closer or away from the flywheel as you change the resistance level. Closer the magnets are to the flywheel, the higher the resistance.

Because the bike operates using magnetic resistance, there is the potential for it to interfere with any medical devices on the user such as pacemakers or even other non-medical devices. So, users need to keep this in mind when using the bike.

Console

The bike operates by applying magnetic resistance. Magnetic resistance is relatively easy and smoother to change than mechanical resistance. It has magnets that are pulled closer or away from the flywheel as you change the resistance level. Closer the magnets are to the flywheel, the higher the resistance.

Because the bike operates using magnetic resistance, there is the potential for it to interfere with any medical devices on the user such as pacemakers or even other non-medical devices. So, users need to keep this in mind when using the bike.

LCD Display
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Review 2

The console has two blue backlit LCD displays, which improve readability in low light conditions. The displays are designed to show 13 different workout parameters. The top display shows information regarding the workout itself:

  • Program Display This shows the course profile of the workout. The profile is divided into small segments and the display indicates the resistance level at each segment. Higher the resistance level, the higher the bar shown on the display.
  • Heart Rate Zone Display This shows which zone your current heart rate falls under. You can use this information to see if it falls under aerobic, anaerobic or fat burning zone.
  • User Display
  • Goal Display This shows the type of goal currently selected, whether it is in terms of distance, speed or calories. It also shows what percentage of the set goal is currently completed and the remaining value needed to reach the goal.
  • Achievement Display Shows when a workout milestone has been reached.

The bottom display shows specific information about the user profile such as speed, distance, RPM, etc.

  • Speed- Shows speed in miles per hour (mph) or kilometres per hour (km / h).
  • Distance- Shows the distance count in miles or km.
  • Time- Shows the total duration of the workout, the average time for the user profile and how long the machine has been in use.
  • Level- This shows the resistance level in current use
  • RPM- This shows the revolutions per minute of the pedalling
  • Pulse/Heart Rate: This shows the user’s heart rate in beats per minute, detected by the contact heart rate sensors detected on the handlebar grips.
  • Calories: Shows how many calories have been burned so far in the exercise.
Heart Rate Monitor

The heart rate is measured through the Contact Heart Rate sensors on the handlebar grips. The grips should be held firmly for a few seconds for an initial heart rate reading, and then a few seconds longer for a confirmation of the initial reading. Users have to ensure that their hands are clean when gripping the sensors, as any dirt, sweat, gels or lotions can interfere with the reading.

When using the contact heart rate sensor, it is important to keep in mind that during intense workouts, heavy muscle contractions can generate small electrical signals in the body that could interfere with the heart rate reading. Other sources of interference include abrupt slippage of the hands and other electronic devices in close proximity. 

The 270 model can also do telemetry-enabled heart rate readings. It can read telemetric heart rate signals from Heart Rate Chest Strap transmitter. The chest strap must be an uncoded POLAR electro or the uncoded POLAR compatible one. Personal electronic devices placed in close proximity can cause interference with the telemetry HR receiver.

The console will also show information about your Heart Rate Zone, which is the heart rate you need to maintain for a certain duration to maximise fat burning.

Workout Programs

Quick Start/Manual Mode: Along with many pre-set workout programs, the 270 model also comes with Quick Start or Manual Mode where the user can manually change the resistance levels. Users have to set up a profile for themselves, and then simply start pedaling. The resistance level can be changed easily using the Increase/Decrease arrows on the console. You can manually set up a variety of different exercise types. You could try low-intensity cardio, high-intensity interval training or even resistance training by upping the resistance level.

Pre-Set Workout Programs: There are 12 pre-set workout programs with a readily made course profile, showing you how the resistance changes automatically with the progression of the workout. The numerous workout programs cater to people of varying fitness levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. 

The pre-set programs are categorized into:

FUN RIDES-

  • Rolling Hills
  • Ride in the Park
  • Easy Tour
  • Stream Crossing

MOUNTAINS- 

  • Pike’s Peak
  • Pyramids
  • Mount Hood
  • Summit Pass

CHALLENGES-

  • Uphill Finish
  • Cross-Training
  • Stairs
  • Interval

The Fun Rides workouts mimic day-to-day activities such as walking and jogging, where the resistance levels are consistently low. The Mountains workouts are better for those looking to do some strength training or interval training, where the resistance levels have high peaks. Challenges workouts offer gradually increasing resistance levels.

Overall there are 29 different workout programs:

  • 12 pre-determined programs that come with the bike
  • Quick Start/ Manual Mode
  • 4 user-defined workouts
  • 9 Heart Rate Control Programs (4 easy, 5 advanced)
  • Three fitness tests (beginner, advanced, recovery)

Heart Rate Control Programs: These programs allow users to set a goal for their heart rate. The heart rate sensors monitor the heart rate throughout the workout and indicate the Heart Rate Zone. The Heart Rate Zone shows the heart rate you need to achieve at a certain point in the workout for goals such as fat burning.

Fitness Tests: The Fitness Test Programs are a measure of improvements in your fitness levels. They compare the machine’s power output in Watts to your heart rate during the workout. Higher the power output for a certain heart rate, higher the fitness level of the user.

Other Accessory Features

The Schwinn 270 recumbent bike comes with extra features to improve your comfort and convenience. For example, it comes with a sound system where you can plug your MP3 player or phone to listen to music while your exercise. 

It also has a water bottle holder and a built-in fan to keep you cool during workouts. 

To summarize the salient features of the 270 model, here is a list of pros and cons.

PROS:
  • The bike comes with 25 resistance levels and 29 workout programs, so it is ideal for a wide range of users with varying fitness levels, from complete beginners to advanced.
  • The heart rate monitoring and displays give useful information about the heart rate needed to achieve certain fitness goals such as fat burning.
  • The seat adjustability feature ensures that the 270 caters for a range of user heights
  • High user weight capacity at 300 lbs
  • Simple, walk-through design
  • Ergonomic design with cushioned, ventilated seat and backrest.
  • Has a handle at the back and transport wheels at the front for easy moving and storage
  • Has telemetric heart rate monitoring capability
  • Has Bluetooth connectivity so that user data can be integrated with apps such as RideSocial.

CONS:
  • The backrest is not adjustable
  • Seat Adjustability rail has no markers to indicate the height
  • Due to using magnetic resistance, risk of interfering with medical devices such as pacemakers
  • Contact Heart Rate monitors can be inaccurate due to small things like sweat, dirt, muscle contraction, or nearby electronic devices.

 

Verdict: To conclude, the 270 model is Schwinn’s most advanced recumbent bike model that can be used by seniors as well. It caters to a wide range of users of different builds and activity levels, thanks to its 25 resistance levels and 29 workout programs to choose from. The overall design is quite ergonomic, with a simple walk-through design and comfortable cushioned seating. It is great for a household with multiple users who have different fitness levels and builds. 

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