Schwinn A40 Elliptical Review: It is Worthy!


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Schwinn has been producing the Schwinn A40 elliptical machine since 2011. It is the least expensive model the company makes, and it has enjoyed a very successful run. Schwinn has significantly improved the A40 has since then, and the current model is a very decent machine for its price. 

The first fitness machine developed by Schwinn was the Deluxe Exerciser. Later in 1978, the Aidyne was introduced based on the principle of air resistance. It became very popular and helped cement the Schwinn name in the fitness industry.

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Today, Schwinn concentrates on the budget range of elliptical machines. Being their least priced model, the A40 receives special attention. It might be the reason why it outclasses the other models in the same category.

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The cheapest products on the market will often have the fewest features, and can also be of the lowest quality. It takes an intelligent eye to distinguish between the impostors and the genuinely good ones.

With machines, the issue is even more sensitive. That is why an in-depth look is needed to help form the right opinion.

Features and Specifications

Because it sits at the lower end of the price spectrum, there isn’t much to expect. However, Schwinn managed to maintain excellent quality as well as to include some nice features.

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General Features and Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions – 59†by 23†by 64â€
  • Weight – 104.9lbs (47kg)
  • Color – Black 
  • Maximum Weight Capacity – 275 lbs (124kg)
  • Resistance – Eddy current resistance with eight levels.
  • Incline – Not available.
  • Workout programs – 7
  • Warranty – 10 on the frame, one on parts, one on electronics, and three months for labor.
  • The machine uses 9VDC of power, so it comes with a 120V power adapter. D batteries can also be used to power the console.

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The Schwinn A40 is held together by a steel frame. It is made out of high-strength steel tubing, which gives it strength and durability while remaining light. 

It is designed to be a cross-trainer, so it features a set of moving handlebars that are connected with the flywheel. It gives them some resistance so that they can be used to work out the upper body as well.

The build of this elliptical is designed for users of up to 275lbs (124kg). If you are beyond that, or taller than 6â€, then you might consider getting a different elliptical machine.

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The Schwinn A40 is designed as a front-drive elliptical, which means that the flywheel is located in front of the pedals. This design is less complicated than either rear or center drives.

To connect the pedals and the flywheel, Schwinn uses a V-belt mechanism with industrial-quality components. The belt system has many advantages over chain or shaft drives. For one, it allows almost 100% transfer of power from one part to the part.

The other advantage of a belt drive is that it is mainly non-slipping when properly fixed. The result is that it operates silently and wears very slowly, assuring you of many years of service before requiring replacement.

The Schwinn A40 also comes with the unique Precision Path Foot Motion Technology, which works together with the pedals to provide you with as natural a motion as possible. 

The footplates are articulating in design, which is one of the features of the Precision Path technology. They can adjust slightly depending on the position of the pedals to help improve your stance and absorb any impact forces produced. They are also made of high-quality plastic covered with rubber for grip and cushioning.

The pedals are in turn made of solid ABS steel for strength. They are welded to the connecting rods, which in turn connect with flywheel, handlebars. The pedals then slide over the deck on rollers.

Speaking of which, the rollers on this machine are super silent. They have internal ball bearings for smooth motion, for which they need proper lubrication from time to time.

This whole assembly provides a stride length of 17.5″ maximum. It is a bit on the lower side, but the majority of people can use it comfortably. However, extra tall people will find it too constrained. In a category where some ellipticals have stride lengths of 14″, the Schwinn A40 wins a lot of points here.

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The Schwinn A40 features a heavy flywheel enhanced for inertia by having more weight around the circumference, which makes it smooth in motion while remaining easy to start and stop. 

For the resistance, a magnetic eddy current system is employed. That is a nice touch because such a system would be in a costlier model. This system allows for up to 8 levels of resistance. 

This system works by varying the length of the magnetic field created between the flywheel and a servo motor with its magnetic pads. It is the preferred resistance system because it involves no contact and is thus silent, reliable, and lasts long.

The resistance levels can be adjusted quickly and easily through the use of buttons on the console. It can operate from the little 9V of power provided, but that means that it only works when and where power is available.

Unfortunately, this machine does not feature and incline function.

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The Schwinn A40 has grip pulse sensors located on the fixed handlebars. Since they only get your pulse when your hands are in contact with them, constant monitoring is difficult.

Another problem is the grip sensors aren’t accurate most of the time.

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Since the Schwinn A40 is an entry-level machine, it lacks connectivity features such as Bluetooth and USB data transfer. While this is acceptable given the pricing, health-conscious users will find it a big blow to their efforts. You would not be able to share your fitness data on platforms such as MyFitnessPal unless you used other devices to track your fitness.

Additionally, it lacks telemetry capabilities. Telemetry refers to the ability of a machine to interpret analog signals remotely. In this case, it means that the machine would be unable to sync with a chest strap or other wearable pulse monitor.

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    • Console

    A 5.8″ display screen is available on the console to display data about your workout. The screen itself is basic, is not backlit, and is intended only to show numbers and some figures.

    Regardless of this, you can still view data like your speed, time spent, heart rate, calories burned, resistance level, mileage, among others. It also shows which preset program, if any, is being run at the time and has decent goal-tracking capabilities.

    Seven workout programs come pre-programmed in this machine. These include two fun rides like Ride in the Park and Rolling Hills. One is a manual Quick Start program that allows you to work out at your own pace.

    • Entertainment and Extras

    Amazingly, the Schwinn A40 has a set of speakers housed in the console for your entertainment purposes. It is a very neat feature because not everyone likes to wear earphones while working out.

    The speakers are of the closed chamber variety and have decent sound quality. The speaker input is in the form of a 3.5mm port that is placed in the middle of the console.

    A media tray is available that you can use to hold your phone/tablet as you workout. It is quite useful and holds firm even during intense workouts.

    Another handy feature is the cup/bottle holder for keeping your drinks in while you exercise.

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Products in the budget range always face the same problem: How to maintain quality without increasing costs. That, in turn, leads to a few trims here and there, which in turn gives the end product a few hits and misses.

  • Very affordable pricing.
  • The perimeter-weighted flywheel delivers a smooth experience.
  • Magnetic resistance breaks are silent in operation, reliable and lead to very little wear.
  • Precision Path technology with articulating footplates is good for your feet because it allows a more natural stance.
  • Pulse sensors are available on the fixed handgrips for exercise monitoring.
  • Workout data is displayed on a decent console.
  • Stable design with front-mounted flywheel and stability bars.
  • Lightweight and equipped with transport wheels for portability.
  • Dual speaker system and connecting 3.5mm jack for listening to music.
  • Media tray to hold your devices while you work out.

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  • No incline is available to help you take your workouts to the next level.
  • Few workout programs installed.
  • Flaws start to appear after a few years of use, and the warranty only covers a maximum of two years for the frame.

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Verdict

Budget ellipticals are usually not made to be fancy. To reduce production costs (and thus the prices) of the products, manufacturers have to strip a lot of features. At the same time, it is important to maintain the quality and integrity of basic parts and functions.

What remains is a functional machine, but with no bells or whistles. Most products in this price range are like that, but Schwinn has successfully managed to go over the top and add a few nice features.

For the price of this machine, you would not expect to get speakers and the media tray. The kicker is that the overall build quality of the machine is not compromised, and you will be able to use it for many years to come. For this reason, the Schwinn A40 comes highly recommended.

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