The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is a mid priced recumbent exercise bike that comes with a number of good features for an effective and comfortable workout.
It comes with 29 workout programs, an adjustable seat to fit bike for a range of different size people, oversized pedals, a USB port and speakers for your electronics and you can also upload workouts to a fitness account.
On first look there is much to recommend the bike – it looks good and it is at a good price too.
But there is more than features and looking the part needed for a recumbent exercise bike for your home whatever the price.
The bike does need to be reliable and actually provide a good low impact workout as well as the bells and whistles working as you’d expect.
In this review I discuss just how well the bike meets these requirements and more for achieving your personal fitness goals.
In a hurry? >>>>
The bike provides a good solid platform for workouts. The one piece steel frame is rock steady with no moving from side to side or wobbling.
This means you can just get on with your exercising without distraction unless you want that then you can watch or listen to the media of your choice.
The bike has 3 levelers – 2 under the rear stabilizer bars and one under the middle of the frame that are used to balance out the bike if the floor is a little uneven.
It is well made bike with people getting good regular use out of it for years with minimal problems.
The bike warranty is 10 years for frame, 2 years for mechanical parts, 1 year for electrical and 90 days for labor.
When asked the company doesn’t like to give an answer as to the user height minimum and maximum which is a little annoying. It seems from customer feedback that it works well for people between 4ft 11 ins and 6 ft 3 ins.
If you are outside these ranges it is a very good idea to try out the bike before buying unless you are prepared to return if it doesn’t work for you.
The seat height is between 19 and 22.5 ins from the floor – the further back the seat is adjusted it moves up away from the floor.
Adjusting the seat position is easy to do but should be done when you aren’t sitting in the seat. At the side underneath the seat is a lever you push down and this releases the seat. You can then move the seat to the right position for you – this should be where your leg is slightly bent when the pedal is fully forward. To lock into position you pull up on the seat adjustment lever.
The speed of adjustment makes the bike ideal to be used by a number of people. You can mark positions with a permanent marker on the seat slider to make it even quicker (it only takes seconds anyway). There is no playing around with adjustment knobs and pre-set holes, the adjustment lever makes it so easy there are no excuses to getting started!
The bike has 25 levels of magnetic resistance. This provides a quiet and smooth resistance.
The resistance is controlled by using the up/down and the 10 quick-jump buttons on the console.
The controls move the magnets closer to the flywheel to increase the resistance and further away to reduce it. They never touch the flywheel so there is no wear and tear which means there is little or no maintenance requirement.
The resistance changes in small increments and isn’t choppy or sudden. It goes from very little resistance to almost impossible at the top levels allowing people of all abilities and requirements to get the workout they want – from gentle to very challenging.
You can pedal backwards but there is no resistance that only works when you are pedaling forward.
The 13 lbs perimeter weighted flywheel helps to pull the pedals through at all levels of resistance to provide a smoother pedaling motion.
It’s not as smooth as you’d get with a heavier flywheel at the top levels of resistance.
Most people with knee injuries and rehabbing find that the motion is fluid and low impact enough so they can strengthen the knee at the levels of resistance for their recovery. (Under doctors advice of course).
The bike has 3 piece crank (2 crank arms for the pedals and spindle) which provides a solid pedaling experience. The pedals are oversized and fit most shoes sizes including size 13 and beyond.
They are textured and there is strap that you can tighten to hold your feet in place as you pedal. The straps used are those plastic ones with holes that you clip on to a knob on the pedal – which can be awkward until they soften up. A little care does need to be taken to avoid ripping the strap too.
You can still get a good grip on the pedals without the strap.
If you want to use different pedals or extenders the thread size is 9/16 ins.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Comfort
Seat. Many people find the large padded seat and plastic vented back rest just right for their exercising. However not everyone likes it – which is usual for exercise bike seats – but in this case they are in the minority.
Some find they slide forward on it which means you may need to be adjusting your position every few minutes and others find that it is too hard in particular the back support. These people do find cushions and folded up towels help a lot.
The seat isn’t designed to be replaced and it isn’t something that people who use the bike tend to do.
The seat position can be changed backwards and forwards but the angle of the backrest is fixed – it is slightly angled for comfort.
Handlebars There are 2 sets of handlebars one at the front of the bike and another by the seat. Both sets are covered for a safe comfortable grip when your hands are sweaty.
The ones at the front can help with getting on the bike as well as provide a different exercising position for when you want a break from the recumbent position. You do need to lean forward to reach them so you probably won’t do this for too long.
The set next to the seat have the hand pulse sensors and are either side of the seat at about seat height which puts them at a reasonable height for use for stability and measuring your heart rate..
Dirt and Dust. The bike isn’t going to increase your cleaning duties too much – it won’t be generating dust. The biggest problem is likely to be sweat which can over time damage the bike and your floor. The bike needs to be wiped down on a regular basis and if you are concerned about your floor a rubber exercise mat is a good idea to keep it protected.
Noise. As a default setting it does make a beep sound every 2 minutes to let you know you’ve completed a 2 minute interval which can be turned off. All you workout information is stored when it turns off. Otherwise the bike is almost silent. The biggest noise is likely to be the heavy breathing from the exertion of using the bike.
The bike needs an area of 27 by 64 ins when not in use.
There are 2 small transport wheels that you lift the bike onto by using the handle on the rear stabilizer. These hold most of the weight so you can wheel the bike to where you want it.
They work best on hard surfaces as they can get stuck on soft surfaces such as carpet – so you may end up dragging rather than wheeling in somecases.
On wood floors you may want to test to see if the wheels scratch or dent the floor before you move it across the floor properly..
The bike does require some assembly. The frame and drive are already together when it arrives. You are required to add the seat assembly, handlebars, seat, backrest stabilizer bars, pedals, console post and console.
It should take between 1 and 2 hours. It can be done by one person but a 2nd person will help to get everything lined up and hold the pieces in place while being bolted and screwed together.
The tools needed to complete the assembly are included with the bike. It does recommend a pair of scissors and a utility knife to help in getting the bike out of the packaging.
Setting up the user profiles on the console isn’t too difficult but you do need to download a copy of the user manual from Schwinn’s site as the hard copy doesn’t really cover this properly
The bike’s console has 29 different workout programs which can add variety to your workouts. A change in a workout can help you if you get bored or maybe don’t feel you are making the progress you want. It also means you don’t have to come up with them yourself.
The 29 programs are:
1 X Quick Start Program – you access this by pushing the quick start button and selecting the user profile (so that workout results and measures are correctly assigned) and then you can just start pedaling and adjust resistance as you go. The upper display is split into tow minute intervals for graphical representation.
12 X Profile Programs – these are set programs in 3 categories Fun, Mountains and Challenges. These have a range of difficulty with varying levels of resistance. You can choose goals of time, distance or calories
9 X Heart Rate Zone Programs – This is split between beginner and advanced with 4 heart rate zones in each – 50-60%, 60–70%, 70–80%, 80–90 and one that you can set for yourself
2 X Fitness Test – Split between beginner and advanced. This program increases steadily until it reaches the heart rate zone of 75% and stays there for 3 minutes. It then measures your heart rate and power output and gives you a fitness score – this is a way you can compare you fitness level over time.
1 X Recovery Test – This is a test to show how quickly your heart rate returns to a resting states after exerting yourself. You need to be gripping the heart pulse sensors or wearing a heart rate strap to do this test and get a recovery score after exercising.
The 4 user profiles allow you to track and monitor the progress of 4 people and also set up your own workout programs. You enter age, weight and height which is used to estimate calories burned and set your heart rate zones.
Included in the console at the top is the USB port – for charging electrical items and downloading workouts – and a media port for plugging electrical items into the speakers.
Next is the large upper display that displays a graphical representation of the workout – which is like a bar chart with the length of bars representing the intensity of each section and the flashing bar indicating the section of the workout you are up to. On the left hand side it gives you an indication of the intensity on a scale 1 -10, the right hand side shows the heart rate zone you’re exercising in based on your user profile.
The lower part of this display shows the goal you’ve set yourself and how you are progressing towards it. Next to this is an indicator of the user profile being used. There is also an indicator that comes on when you achieve a workout goal or milestone is achieved. There is also a celebratory noise to congratulate. It helps to give a little boost.
Below this is the media shelf where you can put your electronic devices. Any devices you put here will cover up the upper display.
Next down is the lower display and this is divided into 3 channels. You can select these channels to scan through the measures every 6 seconds or set the measures you want to see in each of the channels.
In the first channel is speed (mph or km/h) and time. The middle channel displays distance (miles or km), resistance level and RPM). The third channel shows heart rate and calories burned.
At either side of the display is up/down buttons for adjusting the resistance levels.
Below this at either side of the console are 10 quick jump resistance buttons (5 on either side) that allow you to go directly to a particular resistance level 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 19, 21 and 25.
In between these button in the center are:
Quick start button for selecting the quick start program – where you can just get on with your own program (not a pre-set one)
Pause/end – this pauses or ends a workout program
Program – for selecting workouts
Goal – to display workout totals and achievements
In the center of this area are directional arrows and an OK button used for setting up user profile, workout programs.
Setting up the programs and user profile is not that straightforward with you having to select the correct arrow button to move around. When you have the user manual that you download from the Schwinn Fitness site it is much easier but you may need to refer to it when oyu want to make changes.
Below this is the button for controling the fan speed.
At the bottom of the display are left and right speakers and in between is the fan.
To be able to monitor your heart rate you need to grip the heart rate sensors in the handles or the console also works with an un-coded polar chest strap which needs to bought separately. This provides a better and more consistent reading of your heart rate than the hand pulse sensors. It is quite common for hand sensors to unreliable no matter the grip you have.
If you want to train and workout using your heart rate then a heart rate strap is the best approach although it does cost extra. When using this it is advised not to place a personal electrical device on the left hand side of the shelf as it can interfere with the signal.
The console automatically powers off if the bike is inactive for approximately 5 minutes.
The console is powered by plugging it into the house supply using the included power cord sand adaptor. It is about 6 ft long. It plugs in at the front of the bike.
With resistance controlled through the console it does mean if you don’t have power you can’t really use the bike.
It doesn’t require any batteries.
To upload your workouts to your Schwinn Connect account and your myfitnesspal.com account you need to upload them to a USB stick. You plug the stick in the USB port at the top of the console and when uploaded need to then plug it into your computer to upload the data to the account. It is all straightforward including initial set up of your account – just a pity the bike isn’t WiFi enabled.
There isn’t a guest user profile unless you assign one of the 4 user profiles yourself to this and leave it at default settings. All workouts and use of the machine are assigned to one of the profiles – the last profile set is the default the next time the machine is used.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are:
Height 50 ins
Width 27 ins
Length 64 ins
Bike Weight 86.6 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
The bike does come with a number of useful accessories.
At the left hand side of the seat and level with backrest is a water bottle holder attached to the handlebar. It is large enough to store all but the very biggest water bottle. It is close at hand but can be a little hard to get to as it is positioned slightly behind you.
There is a shelf on the console that you can use to place a kindle, tablet, MP3 player or your phone so you can read, watch movies or listen to music as you exercise. When you have one of these on the shelf it does cover up the larger upper display but you can still track your numbers on the smaller lower display.
You can plug them into the console using the supplied media cable to use the speakers. The track selection and volume is controlled by the tablet/mp3 etc. They don’t get that loud and for some this isn’t enough but many find they can comfortably hear it – you just can’t blare out the music.
There is also a USB port that can be used to charge your electronics – it is slow and it won’t charge the units while they are being used but it will stop them from being drained.
The bike comes with a fan that has 3 speeds. It is controlled using a button on the control. It provides a gentle breeze even at the high speed which is again down to personal preference as to whether this is adequate or not as some think it is just right and others want it to blow more air on their face. You can turn it off if you’d rather exercise without it.
The height of the console does mean you can’t watch your TV straight on, so you need to angle it if you want to do that.
- You can set goals and plays a short celebration when you achieve
- 25 Levels of resistance that are measured on console
- Comes with 29 workout programs for variety and customize to the type and level of exercise you want
- You can upload your workouts to a Schwinn fitness account and myfitnesspal.com to analyze and track progress
- Bike is easy to assemble
- Transport wheels make it easier to move the bike around
- Seat position can be quickly changed forward/backwards to accommodate a range of heights
- The bike can be used by people of various abilities and fitness
- You set up to 4 individual profiles for tracking and measuring performance
- The LCD is backlit which makes it easy to read in poor light conditions
- It is compatible with an uncoded polar heart rate strap
- Frame comes with a 10 year warranty
- Provides the basis for good smooth low impact cardio exercise that gentle on the joints and back
- Bike is solid, stable and durable
- Even though the fan has 3 settings some people find that it isn’t strong enough
- The manual provided has limited instructions on how to use the bike, you need to go online to find the full user manual
- The included pulse sensors aren’t fully reliable and you need a heart rate strap to get a more reliable reading especially ehen using the heart rate programs
- If there is a power outage you can’t use the bike as you can’t control the resistance without using the console
- You do have to download your workout results on to a USB stick to upload to the fitness accounts (it dsoesn’t have bluetooth or WiFi)
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Consumer Ratings
I read over 100 customer reviews online to see what customers really think about the bike. For the most part they find this bike lives up to their expectations – with the vast majority giving it the thumbs up.
As with anything there are some reviews where people that aren’t happy with this bike. They’ve had problems with the bike from the start and also with the level of customer service with most being from 2014. They seem to have improved quality control and their service since then (there are some late instances but less of them now it seems).
Having said that, the majority of customers get a bike without problems and enjoy working out on a regular basis to improve their health and fitness – they find it a very stable, quiet and smooth. Those that do have some issues have found Schwinn (Nautilus) responsive and have helped them get them sorted quickly and to their satisfaction.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Price
The bike construction is similar to the Schwinn 230
The Schwinn 270 comes with a few extras -it has more pre-set programs, more resistance levels, twice as many user profiles, a padded seat and is compatible with polar heart rate straps. This gives you more options to get the level and type of exercising you want and a more reliable way to monitor your heart rate plus a more comfortable seat. (See side by side comparison here.)
It does provide good value at this price with a good solid base with a good featured console with some nice accessories to make for a more comfortable and enjoyable exercising experience.
At Amazon it qualified free shipping when I checked.
This is a well featured recumbent exercise bike especially for the price. Importantly, it also provides a low impact workout that is easy on the joints and most people find is comfortable, supports the back and effective in helping them achieve their personal fitness goals.
This bike can be used by people of all fitness levels from beginners to advanced. The resistance hardness goes from very easy (almost none) to almost impossible which is great for those wanting a very challenging workout.
You can adjust the bike to fit you properly and use the pre-set workouts or set your own workout to how you want it. For me my only concern is the included heart rate monitor in handlebars doesn’t give an accurate reading and if you want to use this you really need to buy a compatible heart rate strap.
I am impressed with this recumbent exercise bike especially for the price. It provides a good economical way to improve your health and fitness from home.
I love that it comes with workout programs already embedded in. I had a spin bike once but I was not working out correctly with it therefore making no progress (both on the weight and fitness). I decided to join a spin class at a local gym so that i could see how to use the bike effectively.
This is a recumbent exercise bike I would consider purchasing.
When cycling I cannot reach my iPad on the stand provided, and none of those iPad 2 stands I find on Amazon look like they would attach to my 270. Help.
I have held it in my hand to have it closer but this is really hard on my slightly arthritic hands.
good review, I agree with all comments. I’ve been using the Schwinn 270 for 5 months now. I do wish it had a lower shelf for a book, but oh well, can’t have everything. I agree the instruction manual enclosed is less than useless. Thanks for the hint about downloading the manual.
Thanks its great to hear this and you’re getting good use out of the bike.
Is there a way to turn off or turn down, the beeping sound? my dog “freaks out” every time I touch a button!
You can turn off the beeping sound. Page 36 of the online manual found on Schwinn Fitness describes how to do this.
I would warn anyone considering this bike that it’s electrical system is very iffy. I have had a ton of trouble with the electrical plug-in. I’ll ride for a period of time and all of a sudden, the power goes off. This interrupts the entire work-out and you have to jiggle the connection and start all over or at least from where you think you were when the bike lost power. EXTREMELY ANNOYING for a piece of equipment that is not cheap!
That’s not good. What have Schwinn said about the issue?
The residence level seems to always go up even though I have on lowest setting after 2 min it starts getting harder and harder to paddle???? What’s going on?
If you’ve tried resetting the bike by unplugging from electric outlet for 3 minutes and then plugging back in, and checking the cable connections etc as per troubleshooting guide in guide then I’d say your best bet is to check with Schwinn and have them troubleshoot with you. Sorry I can’t be more help.
The single prong plugin morphs to a 3 or 4 pin keyed connector at the base of the pedals. Remove all the plastic clamshell covers and it becomes immediate apparent. The only two places you could have an issue
Thanks for helping out.
It’s tension even at the lowest setting feels like it’s actually towards the highest setting and multiple people with strong legs agree that’s its way too tight. How do I adjust the tension or see if something is wrong?
THe resistance should go from easy and not be that hard. It could be due to the connectors of the cable not being attached properly or crimped which would mean taking apart the front stem and console to check. But before you do that you might want to check with Schwinn first. I hope you got this sorted.
The reported calorie burn rate seems WAY too low. I am a 215 lb guy going at level 11 to 12 for 1 hour, heart rate ramping up to around 160 bpm or 90% of max after 15 minutes and staying above that level till the end. There is no way I am burning just 700 calories in such a gut-busting session. Other recumbent bikes I have used at gyms would have indicated at least 900 calories for a workout of similar intensity. Either Schwinn was lazy in calibrating this, or else the magnets on my bike are spaced too close to the flywheel so that my bike is harder than a “reference” cycle at level 11.
Thanks for the feedback on the bike calories reading. Many makes of indoor bike don’t take into account the resistance level in their calories calculation.