People today are more concerned about their health than ever; a healthy diet and routine exercise have become kind of a trend in social media these days. Most go to a nearby gym to use the various equipment and to get advice from a trainer, some jog in the early morning light, and a few take their bikes for a peaceful ride on scenic routes. But factors like the weather, crowds, or a nationwide lockdown might prevent you from getting some physical activity done.
So you searched online or asked a few of your friends and finally decided to get a stationary bike that you can use at home at any time of the day or night, and your family might also take an interest in staying fit.
If you are here, you already know the difference between best upright bikes and best recumbent bikes and have decided that the latter meets more of your needs. Recumbent bikes offer the best seating position that supports your back and lower spine in case you have a back injury; the seating posture puts less stress on your joints and activates more muscle groups at the same time.
Recumbent Bikes or Stationary bikes
The seats are larger and broader, unlike a typical upright bike where the seats are so small that you have to keep shuffling after a certain amount of time. You will feel more comfortable and natural using this machine; they come with a magnitude of features and quirks that you will find very useful. The pedals are positioned such that ankle injuries are prevented from the get-go. The structure and versatility of the machine allows a person of any age group to quickly tune it to fit their body and measure their fitness level. Unlike in an upright bike your spine and back don’t have to stay in a curved position for an extended amount of time.
In short, recumbent bikes drastically reduce the chances of rookie injuries. They provide the right combination of workouts without harming your delicate joints no matter how intense your workout gets. People with medical conditions, for example, people in rehab or those recovering from a knee or hip surgery can strengthen their lower body without making it worse by using a stationary recumbent bike. The bike can be adjusted to fit any person, no matter the age or size. The features provided on the more expensive recumbent bikes are rather useful to monitor your progress continuously and frequently update your workout routine.
The two most sought after models of recumbent bikes currently on the market are both from the same company, the Schwinn. The company is almost 100 years old and is a leading brand in bike designs. In the fitness world, this company is known for providing high-quality products at affordable prices.
The Schwinn 230 and its older brother, the Schwinn 270, are both great machines for their respective pricing. The company created the Schwinn 270 mostly from the customer feedback from the 230 and previous models, but due to the fact that the 270 is priced almost 200$ higher, people have a hard time deciding between the two.
To help you make an informed decision when choosing between the two, we will go through each of their similarities and differences then show you which one you should go for.
Now let’s get started.
The Schwinn 230
The Schwinn 230 model comes at approximately 500$ depending on shipping charges and discounts during sales. For its price, the company over-delivers with the excellent build quality and tons of features that other bikes at this price point simply lack. This recumbent bike is an excellent entry-level buy for your home gym.
The bike is 12.5″ L x 66.5″ W x 27″ H, which is small enough to fit in almost any part of your house. It has 22 preset workout programs and 20 levels of resistance; you can adjust the seat’s height and position to your liking with the help of a simple to use sliding mechanism. The seat has a ventilated back ,the seating position is quite comfortable with open-frame design, but the seat itself is made from molded plastic and the entire thing is driven by a one-piece crank system.
The flywheel of the machine only weighs in about 13 lbs, which is light compared to others, but it is still good enough to make your heart race. The seating posture will activate your hamstrings as well as your quads. This will give you a more balanced, well-toned lower body, unlike an upright bike which mostly just develops your quads,
The console on this machine comes with a dual-track LCD design, the display interface is pretty basic, with no backlit feature, it is hard to make out the number in a bright environment. In terms of connectivity, there is no Bluetooth available, so you can not connect your fitness apps to it, but you can use the USB port to transfer data. Due to the lack of Bluetooth, if you don’t like the built-in heart rate sensor in the grip, you can not alternate to a wireless chest strap.
There are some nifty features like a built-in fan, dual speakers below the display, a media shelf to hold your tablet, and a water bottle holder, got to stay hydrated, right? There are only two user profiles, so only two people can personalize their workout programs side by side.
The Schwinn 270
The Schwinn 270 is the latest model in the recumbent line up, last updated just this year. A lot of the features in the machine were added after the feedback from the 230; therefore, the retail price is almost 200$ higher. It’s slightly larger than the 230 at 13″ L x 67″ W x 27″ H and is heavier due to the much denser weighted flywheel, meaning you have more intensive workout programs in this model. For further details please check out our review on Schwinn 270 recumbent bike.
The system has 29 workout programs and 25 resistance levels, also four user profiles for multiple members. The seats on the machine are the same as that of the 230, except its padded and more comfortable during long sessions.
The display is a dual-track backlit LCD system that can give you a clear view even in bright conditions. Like the 230, it also comes with a water bottle holder, media shelf, and the dual speaker system, but you don’t have to use the USB port since Bluetooth is provided, and you can connect to any device wirelessly. You can use the wireless chest sensor strap and also My Fitness Pal and other apps to continually update your workout programs and track your overall progress towards your goal.
Comparison between the Schwinn 270 and 230
Since both are from the same company and are of similar build, you will find a lot of similarities.
The Magnetic flywheel
Both models have the same mechanism that adjusts the resistance—a magnetic flywheel which can be easily controlled with a push of a button and is virtually silent. So, you don’t have to worry about your neighbors going haywire over the noise.
The 270 and 230 sports almost the same design with similar controls, It has an open frame that is easy to access and a sleek modern ergonomic look. The seats both operate on an adjustable sliding system, and the seating posture is also the same. The weight limit is 300 lbs and height from 4’1 to 6’4. Both have a low center of gravity, so the structure is stable and secure.
Features like the built-in dual speakers, water bottle holder, foot straps, and the 3-speed fans are standard in both. For tablets, a USB port and a media shelf is provided with simultaneous charging and data transfer. And the built-in heart rate sensor in the grip is accurate for training programs and to check your progress.
There are wheels provided at the front for easy movement of the machine to different parts of your house.
The 270 has 29 workout programs, which includes a quick start mode, four user-defined programs, three fitness tests for beginner, advanced, and recovery options, nine heart rate control programs (four beginners and five advanced), and the 12 custom profile programs. In comparison, the Schwinn 230 recumbent bike has only 22 programs with nine profiles, eight heart rate control programs, two custom programs, two fitness tests, and a quick start option.
The most notable difference is the four user profiles that come with the 270, allowing more users to customize their routine workouts and also the 25 resistance levels compared to the 20 on the 230.
Both have USB ports through which you can upload your data to the Schwinn Connect website. But the 270 comes with Bluetooth, which opens up a ton of new functions like continuous data transfer between the My Fitness Pal and the Schwinn connect app, both of which are available on iOS and android. This allows you to check your progress and other data like distance, heart rate, the intensity of the workout on your phone, and instantly compare it with others or share with your trainer.
The 270 comes with a Virtual Reality function using the RideSocial mobile app available in google play store and apple store. The app gives you access to countless beautiful trails worldwide like Venice Beach, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, and even Tibet. You can make it more immersive with a VR google and by adjusting the ride height in the footage. You can also connect with your friends and ride together. The fantastic scenery might even encourage you to keep riding or your hesitant family members.
These trail footages can be displayed on a regular tablet without a VR setup on the 270 but not the 230. But to be fair, at the price of the 230, you can really expect anything better.
Both have a ventilated back with a good seating position. But the 270 has a padded bottom, which is much more comfortable for extended training hours. And the seat adjusting sliding mechanism of the 270 is made of aluminum, making it much more durable and reliable.
The flywheel weight
The company upgraded the flywheel with a heavier version because, in customer feedback of the earlier model, there were a lot of people who wanted high-intensity levels. So the 270 is fitted with a heavier flywheel, which allowed the company to raise the intensity levels from 20 to 25.
This heavier flywheel also makes the machine much more stable, reducing vibrations during intense workouts.
Even though both feature a dual-track LCD system, the 270 has a blue backlit feature, which dramatically improves visibility in bright places.
Minor design changes
The 270 has an oversized pedal design with three strap positions. And to increase the strength and durability of the crank system, it was upgraded to a 3 piece crank, which will be able to better handle the heavier flywheel.
Both machines are capable and well designed, the 270 has lots of new features that offer more control over your workouts, and there is the function to use a wireless chest strap, which is excellent for those who don’t want to grip the handle all throughout their routine especially during long sessions.
The Schwinn 230 is perfect for those who just started exploring the fitness world to keep themselves in shape. Because of its low-intensity output, the workouts will be more gentle on your body, it will burn fat, but since the resistance is limited, you won’t push yourself further.
The 270 is more comfortable and feature-rich; it’s great for intermediate to experts who want to know every little information about their workouts for further improving their gains, stamina, endurance, and their diets.
Under the 500$, you can’t get a better deal than the Schwinn 230; it offers more than any other model at the small price point.
That being said, if you can afford a little more cash and are seriously going to follow a strict routine, then you should buy the Schwinn 270.