You may have to think quite a bit when you are going to spend around half a thousand bucks on an exercise unit. You will want to make sure that you are not going to end up having junk. Not for this amount of money. The best way is to check out a well-known brand first. And Schwinn is definitely a famous brand in the exercise bike market.
In this Schwinn 250 recumbent bike review, we are going to give you all you need to know about the product features and benefits so that you can use it for your judgment if it is the right one for you. Let’s explore this particular product and see it for yourself.
- 1 Description
- 2 Schwinn 250 Crank and Pedals
- 3 Recumbent bike drive system
- 4 Schwinn 250 Tension Resistance System
- 5 The Display Type and Readouts
- 6 The LCD Display
- 7 Schwinn 250 Preset Programs
- 8 Profile Programs
- 9 Heart Rate Control Programs
- 10 Custom User Profile Programs
- 11 Fitness Test Programs
- 12 Quick Start Program
- 13 Resistance Level Quick Buttons
- 14 Schwinn 250 Sleep Mode
- 15 Measurement Unit Selection
- 16 Heart Rate Monitoring System
- 17 Maximum Weight and Height of the User
- 18 Noise Level
- 19 Seat and Seat Back
- 20 Accessories
- 21 Electricity
- 22 Warranty
- 23 Dimensions of the Unit:
- 24 Assembly
- 25 Pros
- 26 Cons
- 27 Price:
- 28 Reviews and Rating:
- 29 Summary:
This model of recumbent bike is one of the popular products from Schwinn, who is very strong in the road bike business. Schwinn is an American brand that has a reputation in its product quality and durability. Nautilus, who also has another brand called Bowflex, owns Schwinn. It is known that all of their products have been in the market with success for years.
The Schwinn 250 recumbent bike has several features, which can be compared with its brother model, the Schwinn 270. Each has its own strong points and weak points. As for the 250, the product comes with a rigid structure. The frame is well made with metal and durable material. The unit works in a very silent mode and runs smoothly due to its technology in the crank system. The perimeter-weighted flywheel gives consistent stroke while you are using the bike the same way you are experiencing the real road bike ride. The 16 resistance levels allow you to workout with different intensity to make it interesting and fun.
The 17 preset programs may not be considered a lot when you look at its price range. But the programs are enough to give you a good workout without having to go through all routine boredom. The Schwinn Advantage is a nice addition to the product and makes you feel special when you are using it.
The heart rate monitor is another key feature in the unit. You can either use the contact heart rate monitor sensor on the handlebars or the telemetry heart rate monitor from polar if you already have or want to own one. The good news is that, unlike the 270, the unit’s heart rate monitor works fine in most cases.
The seat and backrest are well padded and have a contoured design to fit comfortably to your body. The vinyl cover is well made and the foam inside is firm and supportive. The size of the seat is wide enough to cater to those that are larger. The seat can be adjusted to match your height and the adjustment knob does its job. Unlike in the car seat, you have to be outside of the unit in order to adjust the seat. It may be a pain if there are many people using the same machine in the house and the adjustment has to be made every time. But that is the fact that you will have to go through.
The vivid console display is large and can be easily seen. The functions on the console are easy to understand and can be handled easily. The buttons and all other functions on the console are explained clearly in the latter sections on this review.
The unit also gets good reviews from the consumers. Most of its customers are quite happy with the product and will recommend it to friends. There are some complaints though. The major ones are mainly on defect parts, which may have happened from the delivery or the quality control. But the numbers of the complaint are rather small.
Schwinn 250 Crank and Pedals
The product has a one-piece crank with the stand pedal and toe straps. The pedal is made to be over-sized to make for good and smooth pedaling. The straps let you securely fix your feet to the pedals. You will get good pedaling and do not have to worry about slippage during the use of this feature.
Recumbent bike drive system
The product comes with a heavy-duty flywheel, which provides durable and reliable pedaling. Its perimeter-weighted flywheel lets the spinning weight put on the perimeter of the flywheel instead of all-over it. As a result, you will get smooth and consistent strokes with the unit instead of getting up and down strokes. You will get less tension on your lower body parts including hips, knees, and muscles. In the end, you will find that the ride with this Schwinn 250 is more enjoyable because it is smoother and safer. In addition, the technology allows you to get the efficient workout while it keeps the noise at a minimal level.
Schwinn 250 Tension Resistance System
The product uses the Eddy current tension system as the resistance system. If you haven’t heard about this before, let me explain a little bit on this. This system is the same one that is widely used in the modern high-speed train. The Eddy current brake system is an amazing technology, which is the combination of magnetic force with the electrical coils. The magnetic yoke used in the system provides vertical magnetic tension in the unit while the electric coils give the electrical input. In the end, it provides you with the most accurate tension, which can be easily controlled. Because the system lets you have magnetic resistance without having any parts contact, it is more durable since there is no part to wear down. Also, the system puts out no noise and no odor. You will not smell anything burnt like in other models.
The product comes with 16 resistance levels, which are more than enough to choose from. It may have less tension levels than 25 levels on the Schwinn 270. But this bike is designed to give you suitable resistance while having comfort on the seat, which mimics real road bike riding.
The Display Type and Readouts
The console provides an easy-to-read display and easy-to-use buttons. The key buttons include FAN button, Schwinn Advantage button, Quick Start button, Stop button, Start/Enter button, and up and down button.
The fan button is used to control the 3-speed fan on the console. The fan may not be so strong, but it does its job moderately. The Schwinn Advantage button allows you to control two programmed users. The Quick Start button lets you begin the workout immediately. The stop button is used to pause an active exercise, end a paused workout, or go back to the previous screen. The Start/Enter button is used to start the program, confirm the input and information, and resume a paused workout. You can use this button to begin as a guest user or profile program by pushing and holding it for 3 seconds.
As usual, the increase and decrease button is used to increase the value like age, time, distance, calories, or tension level. You can use them to run through all the options.
The LCD Display
There are seven parts on the LCD display. Each part represents different values of your workout including:
The top part is the program display, which is used to show the name of the program you have selected. Also, it shows the grid display that gives the course profile in the system. There will be the piles of columns in the profiles. Each column shows one workout interval. The higher the column, the higher the resistance is going to be. The flashing column is the current interval you are using.
The second chamber is the Time/Interval display. It shows the time count of your workout for 6 seconds and then changes to the current interval segment for another 6 seconds. If you input the workout time, the time will count down until it reaches zero. But if there is no time set, it will count from zero until the end of the workout. The maximum time is 99.59 minutes.
The next chamber is for Speed/RPM. Again the bike will show the speed in miles per hour or Km per hour for 6 seconds and then change to RPM (revolutions per minute) for another 6 seconds.
The distance display gives the distance count in either Miles or KM in your workout.
Watt/Level display shows the power in Watts that you are making at the current resistance level (1 horsepower is 746 watts). The watts will be shown for 6 seconds and then change to the resistance level, which is going to be one of the 16 levels.
Calories display will show you the estimated calories that you have burned from your workout.
Heart Rate (pulse) is shown in the next segment. It is shown in BPM or beats per minute.
The backlit LCD display allows you to monitor up to 17 preset programs, including profiles and heart rate controlled programs. The system also connects to your contact heart rate sensors on the handlebars or the telemetry monitor.
Schwinn 250 Preset Programs
The product comes with 17 programs, including profile programs and heart rate controlled programs. Also, there are two user profiles that you can set through the Schwinn Advantage button. The total 17 preset programs include:
- 8 profile programs as shown below
- 2 user profiles
- 2 Fitness tests
- 3 HRC (Heart Rate Control Workout)
- 1 Distance Goal Program
- 1 Quick Start
The preset programs are made to adjust the resistance automatically according to the elapse time and the predefined pattern. There are 9 profile programs, including 1 manual program, 3 course programs, 3 circuit programs, and 2 pursuit programs. The design lets you have more variety on your workout and you will not get bored with your exercise routine. Below are the patterns of each program for you to see what you can choose if you really own this product.
Heart Rate Control Programs
The product allows you to monitor heart rate or pulse by using the heart rate sensors on the handlebars. The unit then will use the pulse to automatically adjust the pattern. There are two HRC’s to choose from – beginner and advanced. Alternatively, the telemetry heart rate monitor can also be used to send the signals of your pulse to the console for reading and adjusting the resistance levels.
Custom User Profile Programs
As one of the more advanced exercise machines, this Schwinn 250 lets you keep the memory of the user profiles, including the workout pattern so that you can restore it when you use it next time without going to the same routine every time you want to redo it. It is convenient and time-saving. For this unit, you can have two user profiles that you can store.
Fitness Test Programs
You can use these programs to identify your fitness level. The technique is to use your heart rate while you are exercising and see how it goes when the intensity increases. There are also two fitness test programs – beginner and advanced. At the end of the test, you will know your fitness score and the product will let you know your fitness level – good or bad.
Quick Start Program
The quick start button on the console allows you to manually select the pattern of the program when you start without going through all other means. All you have to do is push the quick start button and then select the user profile if you have one. If not, select one of the users that has no data. Then select the resistance level you want by increasing or decreasing the resistance. The time will count from zero until you stop exercising. During the workout, you can use the pause button or double push it to stop.
Resistance Level Quick Buttons
Unlike the Schwinn 270, there are no quick buttons to immediately select the resistance level you want. You will have to go through the regular steps of selecting the tension.
Schwinn 250 Sleep Mode
If you do not use it within five minutes, the unit will shutdown automatically. You don’t have to turn it off or do anything to it. After you are done with it, it is recommended that you unplug the product in order to prolong the life of both console and adapter. When you want to turn it back on, just plug it in and press any button on the console. Then you can go through the steps you want.
Measurement Unit Selection
You can either use Miles or Kilometers with the unit. In order to select the right parameter, you will have to do it when you start the machine for the first time. During the first plug-in, you set up the date and time. Press OK and then it will lead you to selecting the unit. You will have to choose between “miles” (Imperial English) or “km” (Metric). After that, you can push OK. The unit will go to the power-up or idle mode.
Heart Rate Monitoring System
(CHR and Telemetry Heart Rate Monitoring)
There are two ways you can get the heart rate from the unit. The first one is to use the sensors on the handlebars, which allow you to track your pulse and heart rate. The sensors then send the signals to the console, which will show the data for your reading. By taking hold of the grips on the sensors, you will be able to read your pulse. It will be shown in BPM.
The second method is to use a remote heart rate monitor or telemetry heart rate monitor. It is a heart rate chest strap transmitter. The monitor sends signals to the console so that you can read it. Schwinn recommends that you have to use the heart rate chest strap that is un-coded from Polar Electro or an un-coded Polar compatible model. Do not buy the coded one because it will not work.
Maximum Weight and Height of the User
The maximum weight of the user that the machine can handle is 300 pounds. There is no maximum height for the users since the seat can be greatly adjusted to cater different sizes of people.
Another good thing about this bike is that it is very stable and sturdy. You don’t have to worry that your weight will make it wobble or shake. It doesn’t.
The product has very good noise attributes. It runs very quietly. Some even said that the noise of its fan is louder than the pedaling noise. In this case, you can work out while watching TV or listening to music with almost no disturbance from the unit.
Seat and Seat Back
The unit has a padded seat with a contoured seat bottom. It also comes with side bolsters and lumbar support. The width of the seat is approximately 20 inches and the depth is 15 inches.
The machine comes with a few accessories for your convenience, including:
- A media rack for holding your iPad, Magazine, or book.
- The speakers, which can be connected to iPod or mp3 players.
- A 3-level fan. You cannot expect much from it since a few people said it is weak.
- Built-in bottle holder. This is for holding drinking water when you are working out. You might need one.
- Transportation wheels for moving the unit around.
- There is a utility tray under the seat.
You will need to plug the unit in the wall outlet using 110V-120V of electricity. The AC power adapter is included in the box when you purchase the unit. The power cord length is approximately 60 inches.
The product comes with the following warranty:
5 years on frame, 1 year on mechanical and electrical, and 90 days on labor and wear parts.
Dimensions of the Unit:
When the product is fully assembled, its dimensions are 63″ x 25″ x 46″. The total weight of the product is 101 pounds.
When it is in use, you will need to spare another 20 inches clearance space on each side of the unit in order to make sure that it functions properly. This is to make sure that your body parts or machine parts will hit other surrounding objects.
The Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike comes un-assembled. You will need to assemble the parts together. The tools are provided with the package. It is recommended that there are two people helping each other to put them together because some of the parts are heavy. It will take approximate one to two hours to finish it. The good news is that the assembly is not that difficult if you strictly follow the instructions in the manual.
There are 16 levels of resistance and 17 preset programs in the unit for you to play with.
The telemetry heart rate monitor system allows you to detect your pulse without holding the sensors.
The padded seat is comfortable and the backrest allows you to be in a good position.
The machine runs smoothly and quietly.
The product is sturdy. The metal frame can make it last for years.
The seat is adjustable. It may not be very easy, but it is OK.
There are several accessories that come with the bike. Some may not be great, but they are good additions to the unit.
The design is modern and attractive.
You can place your iPad or Kindle on the rack and read while you are working out.
It can be adjusted to the uneven floor by the knobs on the rear stabilizer frame levelers.
The console is adjustable allowing you to get the angle you want.
The display on the console is clear and easy to read. The backlit feature is good to see even with a darker room.
The unit is easy to move around by the transportation wheels on the front stabilizers.
There is some sound when you change the resistance level. This is not a major issue, but still, there should not be one.
Fan works weakly.
The product is sold in the price range of $559-$599 depending on the promotion. The most reliable source of price comes from Amazon. You can click one of the links below to check the current price of the product.
Reviews and Rating:
Out of the reviews from 231 people who bought and use the product, there are more than 83% of the people who give the unit four to five stars, which means they are satisfied with the purchase. There are a few complaints on the defective parts, but that may come from the delivery or the quality control. But the percentage is low and it seems that the product works well in the eyes of the majority of the users.
There are a few products from Schwinn at this price level. This Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike is somewhat similar to Schwinn 270. However, there are a few things that are different between the two. While the 270 model seems to be more advanced with several additional features, including more profile programs and preset programs, the Schwinn 250 seems to have a better build with far better review scores.
It can be concluded that this product is a more reliable bike with the basic features that you can enjoy. It is an absolutely strong machine with an easy-to-read console. The resistance levels are good and can be selected as you wish no matter the weaker ones or stronger ones. The heart rate monitor works fine. Most of all, the unit runs smoothly and quietly with the additional accessories that come with the pack.
The assembly is not difficult, but it will take one or two hours. I think that this is an interesting choice of yours, considering that your budget is in this range.