Schwinn’s line of recumbent exercise bikes has proven to be among the most popular on the market. This company has made a name for itself in this niche with its 200 series bikes. Today we’ll do a Schwinn 230 recumbent bike review and walk you through what this exercise bike has to offer. As we take a closer look, you’ll find out that there’s much more than meets the eye with this one. Especially if you’re familiar with the rest of the 200 series.
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Review in Brief
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn’s line of recumbent bikes includes several highly popular models, chief among which is the Schwinn 230. Built to deliver flagship features in a reasonably priced package, this recumbent bike is all about performance and comfort. Schwinn has essentially found a way to take everything that has made the 270 one of the best-selling recumbent bikes on the market, and stuff it into a cheaper platform.
All things considered, this recumbent exercise bike is by far one of the best buys on the market at the moment. We can emphasize this claim even more if you’re someone who wants a balanced bike with plenty of features.
In-Depth Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Review
Design of the Schwinn 230
Much like the rest of the Schwinn series of recumbent bikes, the Schwinn 230 brings functional design and attractive looks within the mid-level price range (i.e., it’s usually somewhere between $400 – $700 at various retailers). This is partially why it’s among the best recumbent bikes you can buy right now. We’ve already reviewed its big brother – the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike. Looking at them side by side reveals a number of similarities.
For starters, both bikes utilize what is essentially the same frame. You’re getting the same type of tubing, the same transport wheels in the front and leveling feet in the rear.
The only thing you’re not getting is a handlebar that’s mounted in the back of the frame and is used to move the bike in and out of storage. The Schwinn 230’s seat base is different as well – it is thicker compared to what the Schwinn 270 offers. The seat is mounted on an angled rail that allows for plenty of height adjustment.
The seat itself is made of hard, contoured plastic and is a definite step down from the comfort of the 270’s. Both the backrest and the actual seat are riddled with vent holes. Schwinn has installed lateral handlebars right next to the seat which is where you will find the heart rate control sensors.
A quick glance to the front of the bike reveals a large flywheel housing that hides a decent unit underneath. The durable, high quality pedals provide plenty of grip. The flywheel system isn’t completely silent but it’s more than quiet enough for extended daily use.
Despite being the most affordable recumbent bike in Schwinn’s range, the 230 recumbent bike still features a relatively advanced console with LCD screen. You’re getting the trademark dual display unit that sports a media shelf as well as intuitive controls.
So far, the Schwinn 230 looks almost exactly the same as the Schwinn 270, making one wonder what’s the difference between the two? The main difference is in the software. This recumbent bike offers 20 levels of manually selected resistance, 22 workout programs, goal tracking and the ability to store workout data for up to 9 people.
While absolutely respectable, this complement of features is a slight step down from what the Schwinn 270 offers (you get fewer resistance levels, workout programs, and user profiles). That said, you still get all of the flagship creature comforts such as the built-in speakers, fan, water bottle holder, and media shelf plus usb port. A note on the fan though: It’s not a high speed fan by any stretch of the imagination, and you will hardly notice it once you really start sweating.
Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Build Quality
One of the reasons why Schwinn has managed to become one of the most popular brands in this niche of fitness equipment is their quality control. This company understands that competitively priced machines are the way to go, but only as long as the quality isn’t compromised.
This bike offers supreme manufacturing quality matched with an intuitive, user-friendly interface. Every aspect of this bike is designed to provide the quality and consistency that you really want if you’re planning on using a recumbent bike regularly. The frame is good and sturdy, and the user weight capacity of 300 lbs. is on par with most other commercially available recumbent bikes.
The only real problem this model has is the heart rate sensors that monitor your HR and are used in heart rate control workout programs. Unfortunately, that same issue is present on the 270 as well. The systems Schwinn has installed in both of these bikes are good, but not great. Sometimes you’ll run into lag. The sensors aren’t the most durable either. As long as you’re careful, you shouldn’t have any serious issues with these, however you may be better off just using an external hear rate monitor.
Performance (How Well Does the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Work?)
One of the main reasons why the Schwinn 230 is currently our top pick for the best recumbent bikes for home use is its performance. You’re looking at a bike that brings flagship features within a reasonable price range. Sure, it doesn’t have as many software options or as much variation in resistance range as the 270 or some other models from its segment, but it is still a superb bike, and will more than satisfy the needs of the user.
With 22 preset workout programs and 20 manually selected resistance levels (you adjust the resistance levels via the console), you’ll find the Schwinn 230 is highly versatile, helping you work towards a range of fitness and exercise goals. The bike is fairly comfortable as well, although that’s always a tricky claim to make with plastic, injection-molded seats. Some people will like the contour, some won’t. It’s an individual thing.
230 Recumbent Bike Review in Summary
Overall, the Schwinn 230 recumbent exercise bike is one of the best buys on the market at the moment. It’s the recumbent bike you’d get if the Schwinn 270 is a bit out of your budget range, but you still want most of its features. With that said, the Schwinn 230 has quite a bit of competition. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and finding an exercise bike that best suits your needs.
- Solid build quality starting with the frame
- Plenty of adjustment options
- Comfortable seat that reduces fatigue even during longer runs
- Comes with plenty of presets and resistance level variations
- Features built-in speakers, water bottle holder and a media shelf
The Not So Good
- Heart rate monitor is okay but tends to go haywire from time to time
- The plastic molded seat isn’t as comfy as a padded one