There are a lot of different exercise bikes on the market. Which is best is really a matter of personal preference, and what your fitness goals and needs are.
While we love the Schwinn 230, it might not be the right bike for you.
Different needs and wants will drive you to the right stationery bicycle so, we will take a minute to tell you a little about indoor cycling bikes before we get into the review.
Click the item in the table below to skip to your most pressing question, or continue to read the whole article.
- 0.1 Overview
- 0.2 What is a Spin Bike?
- 0.3 What is an Upright Exercise Bike?
- 0.4 Why Did We Choose the Schwinn Stationary Bike?
- 1 The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
- 2 The Bottom Line
What is a Spin Bike?
Spinning bikes are indoor bicycles that have a heavy flywheel that is directly connected to the pedals. This design is similar to a regular bicycle. Because of the inertia of the flywheel, the pedals will continue to spin after you quit, thus the name.
In addition, the construction of the bike resembles a regular bicycle in that you will bend forward over the handlebars. You can adjust the resistance in a manner similar to changing gears on an outdoor bike, as well as make adjustments to seat and handlebar height. You can also stand up to pedal the bike.
There are not a lot of hi-tech features if you want to track your fitness data and goals. But if you are a competitor or a serious bike enthusiast, this is probably the type of exercise bicycle you would prefer.
What is an Upright Exercise Bike?
The upright bike looks similar to the spin bike, though there are differences in the design. Most notably are the type of resistance and the high-tech features that are available on upright bikes.
As with the spin bike, you can stand up to pedal. But in addition, you get the convenient features that let you track and manage your fitness data. Preset and custom programs, heart rate monitors, and more, depending on the model.
Somewhat in the middle, it is cheaper and smaller than the recumbent. So if you like to mimic the outdoor biking experience, but want to see and track your fitness data, this bike is more your style.
What is a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
Very popular for those who choose to exercise indoors, recumbent bikes are for people who are more concerned with comfortable workouts than the actual “bike” experience.
The seat slightly reclines and the pedals are in front of you. Your hands are not required to operate the bike, allowing the capability to use weights as an addition to your aerobic workout. Or you can enjoy your tablet or another device if you choose.
You must remain seated to use this bike, and it does not really mimic the outdoor bike experience.
Bigger, heavier, and more sturdy, this is also a more expensive stationery exercise bike than the other two.
Why Did We Choose the Schwinn Stationary Bike?
As always, we want to choose a quality product in every category of exercise equipment.
When you think of bicycles, you think of Schwinn. Since 1895, they have been making bicycles. But not just bikes, Schwinn began making in-home exercise machines way back in 1965. The Schwinn name is synonymous with quality and value.
The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
The Schwinn 230 has all the features you need at a great price. While not Schwinn’s top of the line, this stationary bike is one of the best values in stationery bikes.
This Schwinn exercise bike has 22 programs including 9 profile, 8 heart rate, 2 custom, 2 fitness, and 1 quick start. Users really like these programs, stating that there is plenty of challenge, or ease to the workout, whichever you need. Users report that the workouts are easy to program.
The DualTrack™ two LCD window system provides 13 different parameters so track your progress, including time, distance, and calories. You can track your fitness via USB data transfer to the Schwinn Connect™ website and with MyFitnessPal. There is a USB charging port for your mobile devices, and an AC power adapter is included. A media tray is included for holding your tablet or another accessory.
You can set goals for time, calorie or distance. The heart rate program allows you to set and stay in a specific cardio zone as the resistance changes so that you stay in that zone.
It has the capability for two user profiles, which is a great feature for recumbent bikes.
There are 20 levels of resistance, with 10 quick keys. A key feature for those who want to do hi-intensity interval training, or just vary your routine. You smoothly go between hard and easy resistance levels. The weighted flywheel is smooth and quiet, making it easy to watch TV while working out.
This model as 2 integrated levelers, a single piece frame, and a support mid-frame, accommodating a 300-pound user. People over 6’2”, and people with “long legs” reported that this may not be the best unit, as knees might hit the console.
Amenities include speakers, a 3-speed fan, and a water bottle holder.
Users love the vented seat (bottom and back), which gives you a cool and comfortable way to exercise. Most report it very comfortable, but a few have complained about the hard plastic. It that is a problem for you, a cushion or folded towel is an easy remedy. There is a lever seat adjustment, making moving the seat very easy, accommodating multiple users.
The Schwinn 230 is easy to assemble, though the box is very large. Included is a multi-use tool which is everything you need to put it together. Transport wheels make moving the bike very easy. Note that the bike does need to be plugged in, so locate it near an electrical outlet.
The warranty covers 10 years on the frame, 2 years on mechanical, 1 year on electrical, and 90 days on labor. Users report great customer service.
What are the Benefits of a Recumbent Bike?
Aside from the obvious benefits of all exercise, recumbent bicycles are a low impact exercise machine. Not everyone needs that, but for those who do, or for those that want more comfort with the same health benefits as riding a bicycle, this is the machine for you.
A recumbent bike allows your spine to be supported in a straight, upright position, which makes it ideal for those with lower back pain. Without the jarring motion of running or walking, this is a great low-impact workout.
Already a great cardio workout, you can make it even better by using your hands to increase your heart rate in a variety of ways. One of our favorite is to add small weights (1-3 pounds), moving your arms as you cycle. This really adds to your workout. You will be huffing, puffing, and sweating in no time.
It is ideal for people with injuries, arthritis, or those with impaired mobility.
What Should You Look for in a Recumbent Exercise Bike?
One recumbent bike may look like the next, but they don’t perform and feel the same. You want a bike that you will use for exercise, not a clothes rack, so there are some things you want to look out for when choosing a recumbent bike.
The recumbent is most often chosen because of its comfort over a spin or upright bike. So to recumbent bike users, comfort is king. Therefore, you need to look for a comfortable seat that is easy to adjust to your size. Some like a hard seat, some more cushioned, most want a vented seat for a cooler feel.
Most people wanting a recumbent bike have fitness in mind. Not a serious biker or competitor, they want to track and achieve certain fitness goals. That means you need to pay attention to the workout programs of the bike, the parameters that are displayed and stored, and depending on how you monitor those goals, you may also want connectivity to mobile devices and fitness apps.
To avoid the clothes hanging route, you will also want flexibility in your routine. For example, does the machine have the capability for high-intensity interval training? Can you connect a mobile device with exercise apps? Listen to music? Can you use a tablet to watch a movie? Is it quiet enough that you can watch TV?
The Bottom Line
The Schwinn 230 is the best stationary bike in its class. Though fewer bells and whistles than the Schwinn 270, it is also lower price, and we believe that the 230 is a better value for the money. With nearly 600 reviews, this bike has 4 stars on Amazon. A lot of people like this bike, and we are sure you will too! Buy it now on Amazon.