Schwinn Elliptical | Everything You Need to Know (Before Buying)

Schwinn is considered to be one of the best companies for selling workout equipment. If you have ever thought of buying an elliptical to add to your home gym, then you must have been recommended a Schwinn at least once. But what is the reason behind their reputation and what makes Schwinn ellipticals so good. Let’s find out. 

Schwinn is known for providing the very best and reliable ellipticals in a comparatively affordable price range than most other brands. Their ellipticals come with personalized accessories and assembly instructions that sets them apart from everyone else. In addition to the existing brand reputation, they offer great customer care service as well.

In this article I will try to elaborate on why Schwinn is such a reputed company and why you should give them a try for your next elliptical. The Ellipticals from Schwinn come in a variety of sizes, configurations, and frameworks. So, it can get confusing to determine which would be best for you. For that, at the end of this article I will recommend some elliptical products from Schwinn that I think are the best.

What Is Schwinn & What Is Their Mission?

Based in Vancouver, Washington, Schwinn is pretty much an American icon when it comes to bicycles and home exercising equipment like ellipticals, treadmills, etc. After being founded in 1895, Schwinn has provided impeccable service to the fitness industry for over a century.

Even though their initial mission focused on making bicycles that enhanced the childhood experiences of every kid, they slowly moved on to other fitness-related aspects as well. 

At this point, Schwinn is not only a brand but it has evolved to be a heritage for the American fitness community. Despite some unfortunate events in the financial sector back in 1992, Schwinn is gradually standing back up as a subsidiary brand of a reputed conglomerate.

This time, they aim to grow stronger than ever before by bringing out some of the very best fitness equipment in the market. And ellipticals definitely top the list as their best-selling home exercising equipment with the best performance and reliability. 

How Much Do Schwinn Ellipticals Cost?

On an average, you’ll have to spend somewhere between 400$ – 1200$ to get an elliptical from Schwinn. A little more if you need maintenance costs later on. Usually, the ones with lower resistance levels will cost around 400$ – 800$ while the upgraded ones with higher amount of resistance levels will cost from 800$ to 1200$.

Meanwhile, ellipticals around the world are priced from as low as 200 bucks to 20000 bucks according to their specific features, functions and framework. Generally, the extravagant ones are either limited edition ellipticals from a reputed brand or they include some over-the-top features that drives up their price point.

The commercial-grade ellipticals are also pretty pricey as they are made from industrial-grade material to endure whatever you throw at them.

And here’s where Schwinn ellipticals excel in. One of their primary objectives is to bring out such products in the market that everyone can have access to.

As a result, all of their ellipticals fall under the ergonomic category and you can have a fully functional elliptical without having to spend a fortune.

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Schwinn Elliptical

Investing in an elliptical is no easy decision as you need to do your due research to find something that lasts a long time while providing a functional range of services at the same time.

And that’s why some basic information i.e., knowledge is needed on ellipticals and what goes on to make them work the way they do; in order for you to choose the best one out there. Here are a few of the main features and their short descriptions to help you out a bit.

Variable Design 

Well, not just talking about the color and size varieties here folks. Surely, you’ll find countless ellipticals that come in all sorts of colors and sizes. But what I’m specifically referring to as the “variable design” is the design variations according to flywheel placement. 

The flywheel is the driving force of the elliptical. Thus, depending on the placement of the flywheel, the design of the elliptical changes. There are mainly three categories of ellipticals when they are divided like this. 

It’s important to remember that the flywheel directly or indirectly influences important functions like stride length, resistance levels, etc. It also controls how smooth of a performance it will provide and how much noise the elliptical will make. 

Here’s a brief overview of the three main types of elliptical designs based on flywheel placement:

Front-drive Ellipticals: In a front-drive elliptical, as the name itself suggests, the positioning of the large wheel housing is at the very front of the elliptical. As a result, while exercising, you’ll inadvertently lean a little forward than other ellipticals. 

This is great for users who need a stairclimber-like experience due to their physical and health issues. However, the noise could often be a little extra but nothing that cannot be fixed or suppressed easily. 

Center-drive Ellipticals: Centre-drive ellipticals are comparatively new to the game as they have only been around for a few years. But since they are way more compact and make less noise, they are growing more and more popular in the fitness industry every passing day. 

In a center-drive elliptical, the pedals are positioned where the track would usually be. As a result, despite having a short stride length, it can put up a pretty good performance. Furthermore, they are great for office or home arenas that cannot afford much space behind exercising equipment. 

Rear-drive Ellipticals: These types of ellipticals are pretty much the opposite of front-drive ellipticals. Instead of the front end, the wheel housing is located behind the pedals. The housing also takes up less space than general and contributes to smoother performance.

Many ellipticals adjust the pedals along the track that can enable an inclined plane. If you are looking for a wide stride length and don’t mind spending a little extra, rear-drive ellipticals are the way to go. 

Hybrid Ellipticals: Even though I previously said that there were only three main categories of ellipticals (which they are), I still felt like hybrid ellipticals were worth at least a mention. The reason being that – they are slowly becoming popular due to their “hybrid” design which presents the opportunity of an ergonomically fit all-around elliptical. 

They are designed to carry out multiple functions at once and can easily be used as both a bike and an elliptical. However, the design is yet to be perfected and that’s why the hybrid ones are currently not that durable. Plus, they cost a hefty amount which is also why they are often not counted as the best choice for ergonomic ellipticals. 

Stride Length

Now that you know about the various types of ellipticals depending on the flywheel placement, it’s time to know what stride length is and why it is this important. The stride length practically refers to the measurement between the toe to heel of the front and rear pedals respectively. This measurement determines how fast you’ll naturally be able to move. 

Think of it in this way – if you are buying an elliptical for your in-house exercising purposes where there are no certain limits or regulations, you’d like to run or workout with as much freedom as you get, right?

That’s where the stride length comes into play. A shorter stride length means that you’ll not have as much freedom of movement while a broader stride length means the exact opposite. 

That’s why depending on how slow or fast you’ll workout on the elliptical, choose the stride length wisely. Keep in mind that wider stride length takes up a lot more space than usual. So, if you run or walk slowly without much exhaustion, it’s better for you to get a compact elliptical with a short stride length. 

Resistance Levels

Resistance levels engage the amount of difficulty in rotating or pedalling while you are exercising on the elliptical. By doing so, it encourages you to put in more and more force to overcome the obstacles and helps with the development of your muscle mass in the process.

The more resistance levels that an elliptical has, the easier it is to configure exactly what level of resistance is working the best for you. 

Did you know that resistance systems are actually found in two different types? Yup. Surprisingly, not a lot of people are aware of this, and that costs them later on when they cannot figure out what’s wrong with their elliptical or why it is not working properly. 

Resistance systems in ellipticals can either be an air-based resistance or a magnetic-based resistance. Both have their respective merits.

However, I personally advise that you go for the magnetic resistance elliptical as they are much quieter than the air resistance ones. That way, your neighbours don’t have to wake up to your clunking elliptical sounds in the morning and you can stay relaxed as well. 

Again, a magnetic cardio workout will provide you with constant resistance – something that you cannot get in an air-based resistance system. The resistance strength will continue to be the same while you are working out. And if you feel like it needs to be changed, you can instantly change it up manually via the monitoring interface or in some cases, special resistance knobs. 

However, air fan-based resistance systems are indeed a lot cheaper than magnetic ones. Furthermore, in such ellipticals, you’ll find dynamic resistance instead of a constant one. So, if you like a challenge where you can run as fast to increase or decrease the resistance at your will – you can go for this type of ellipticals immediately. 

As for magnetic resistance ellipticals, they come cheap as well if you can settle for a low count of resistance levels. For example – all the Schwinn ellipticals discussed above included magnetic resistance levels. The 411 was so far the cheapest in around the 400-500$ mark while the 470 came around to 1000 bucks in total. 

The 411 featured only 16 (normal ones in this price range come with only 8) resistance levels while the 470 came with a total of 25. Do you see the difference now? It’s best to decide on a certain resistance level after taking into consideration how fast or how vigorously you want to use your elliptical. The lower resistance levels are usually better for total beginners. 

Storage Space

It’s important to consider the availability of proper spacing as well since that greatly influences the functionality of your elliptical. For example – if you live in a small apartment, it’s obviously not a great idea to invest in a really broad and heavy elliptical, is it?

Normally, an elliptical will take up to 4-7 feet in length and a little more for overall width as the track arena will expand when you are pedaling on the elliptical. Even though it’s standard to keep at least 20 inches of space all around to ensure minimum comfortability, I highly recommend that you position it in a comparatively open space. Freedom of movement is really important while using exercising equipment like an elliptical.

So, keep in mind the overall height, length, and breadth of the space you’ll keep the elliptical in before investing in one. For a smaller space, it’s best to get a compact elliptical like the front-drive or center-drive ellipticals. The Schwinn 411 is a pretty popular option currently for such purposes as it is both compact and budget-friendly. 

Some Top-Of-The-Line Ellipticals From Schwinn 

 Schwinn ellipticals used to be really popular back in the ’80s and ’90s for their all-around average performance in a comparatively affordable price range. Even now, many people still prefer their ellipticals over the modern ones for this same reason.

So, let’s take a look at some of the top-of-the-line ellipticals from Schwinn to have a better understanding of their ever-growing popularity.

Schwinn 411 Compact Elliptical Trainer

First up on the list, I’m keeping the Schwinn 411 Elliptical for its all-rounder performance in a comparatively, if not the most affordable price range. This elliptical is the epitome of money well spent. Even though it’s technically a younger sibling to some of the more popular ellipticals from Schwinn, it’s not really behind on any given aspect. 

The Schwinn 411 is perfect for all those fitness-maniacs who are looking for a reliable elliptical under 500 bucks or less. Seems like a dream in today’s competitive marketing arena, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true that it won’t have some of the ultra-modern features, but it’s got the basic exercising needs right on point. 

If you feel like I’m downplaying the elliptical by saying all these, wait till you hear about the stride length of the Schwinn 411. While it’s unlikely for ellipticals this small in size to have a stride length of 18″ due to configuration issues, the 411 certainly seems to work pretty well. This upgraded stride length makes this elliptical suitable for people as tall as 6 feet. 

In addition to that, you can also find a wireless heart monitor to, well, monitor your exhaustion limit while exercising. There’s also the option for Bluetooth attachment which will allow you to keep a record of all these monitoring and also play some music while you’re at it. Overall, not a bad option at all if you’re looking for an elliptical with a reasonable price. 


  • Number of Programs: 13
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Stride Length: 18″
  • Heart Rate: Contact + Telemetry
  • Display: High Contrast LCD
  • Resistance Levels: 16


Personalized App Preferences: Schwinn Ellipticals, most of than not, come with their personalized app called “Explore the World”. You can get up to three free courses and more after your subscription; that will allow a digitally immersive exercising experience for you. 

Streamlined Console: With Schwinn 411 Elliptical, you will have access to a streamlined console that displays necessary actions like time, speed, distance, etc. Furthermore, it tracks your heart rate and calorie count to provide you with a valuable and concise result at the end of your elliptical session. 

Built-in Racks & Holders: Schwinn listened to all those frustrated users who needed to get off the elliptical to drink water or enjoy some refreshments. That’s why the 411 comes with a built-in water bottle holder and media rack so that your elliptical session isn’t interrupted over and over again. 


  • Both stable and reliable
  • Up to 16 resistance levels
  • Availability of Bluetooth connectivity
  • Long-term warranty
  • Compact Design


  • A low number of programs
  • Doesn’t have dual track LCD

2. Schwinn 470 Elliptical Trainer

Next up, let’s talk about Schwinn 470 and find out why it is, indeed the best one on the list of elliptical trainers for today. It is both utilitarian and efficient at the same time and gives pretty good service when it comes to long-term exercising. Well, considering that it’s Schwinn’s flagship elliptical, it would be wrong to expect any less than the quality and reliable service that it provides. 

There are several reasons why the Schwinn 470 has been awarded the best ergonomically designed elliptical for home exercising purposes multiple times. It’s jam-packed with features and none of them are unnecessary or show-offs; instead works to provide you with the most interactive elliptical experience. It’s got the 20″ stride length which is pretty standard for a big yet lightweight elliptical like this one. 

Standard, as in, it’s the same length that you’d possibly find in a local gym or a health club. However, if you are looking for something more athletic or commercial, this elliptical is probably not the one for you. Even though it’s great for day-to-day exercising, using this elliptical to run an Olympic-grade marathon is probably not the best idea. 

Other than that, the Schwinn 470’s advanced monitor with a liquid crystal-clear display, the accurate heart rate monitor, and different workout programs all combine to give you the ultimate gym-like feel right at your home. People who are looking for a decent elliptical that’s also quite long-lasting, can just as easily go for this one if they don’t mind spending around 1000 bucks. 


  • Number of Programs: 29
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Stride Length: 20″ Precision Path Stride
  • Heart Rate: Contact + Telemetry
  • Display: Dualtrack LCD
  • Resistance Levels: 25


Extended Work Programs: With the Schwinn 470, you have access to 29 different work programs that’s a great incentive for you to get on the elliptical and exercise every day. This work program includes- 12 profiles, 9 heart rate control, 2 fitness check-ups, and 1 quick start guide as well as 4 customized versions. 

Better Resistance Levels: The Schwinn 470 comes with 25 levels of resistance which is a lot higher than its contemporary elliptical siblings like the Schwinn 430 and Schwinn 411. And better resistance levels automatically translate to better muscle training and development. 

Upgraded Attachments: Besides the premium quality display monitor, the 470 also comes with media shelves, USB cable ports, and even adjustable fans to keep you cool. It also includes in-console speakers with an MP3 plug-in setting so that you can enjoy some good & relaxing music while exercising. 

Power Adjustable Incline: This is a feature that sets it apart from the other normal ellipticals in this price range. The inclinations allow you to target and focus on different muscle groups. They are especially great for the development of your calves and hamstring areas. 


  • A solid and quality build-up
  • Comes with a power-adjustable incline
  • Wireless heart rate monitoring
  • 25 magnetic resistance levels
  • Free access to the Schwinn Trainer App


  • Inadequate assembly leads to clunking-ish noise
  • Not too proper for people over 5.9″

3. Schwinn 430 Elliptical Trainer

The Schwinn 430 Elliptical kind of averages out on both the ellipticals mentioned above. Considerably so, as it’s one of the sister models of the 411 and 470. It’s slightly better than the 411 based on features and specifications but it’s also pricier than the 411 which balances out the overall configuration.

And when it comes to framework and overall structure, the 430 highly resembles the Schwinn 470. They are pretty identical in size and weight-wise as well. And both of them are made of durable and sturdy premium quality materials so you don’t have to worry on that front. 

But the 430 does have its downsides as well. It doesn’t come with a power-adjustable incline like that of the 470. However, there’s indeed an inclination system available nonetheless and that’s a feature that most ellipticals in this price range usually don’t provide. 

Other than that, you also won’t have the access to advanced monitoring features like wireless monitoring, Bluetooth connectivity, and access to personalized app accessories. But, the impressive amount of workout programs, stride length, and resistance levels easily make up for all those shortcomings. All in all, if you want a reliable and to-the-point version of a normal cardio-workout elliptical, the 430 might just be the elliptical for you. 


  • Number of Programs: 22
  • Connectivity: No Bluetooth
  • Stride Length: 20″ Precision Path Stride
  • Heart Rate: Contact Method
  • Display: Dualtrack LCD
  • Resistance Levels: 20


Goal Track Capability: If you have trouble coordinating your exercising timing with your fitness goals, this feature is the perfect opportunity for you. With the incorporation of the goal track capability, you can set individual exercising goals for yourself and then work accordingly to achieve them.

Preset Workout Programs: The Schwinn 430 comes with 22 different preset workout programs designed to help you achieve the desired fitness. These programs include a plethora of profile, monitoring, quick test, and fitness tests. 

Quiet Workout Interface: Unlike most other ellipticals in this low of a price range, the Schwinn 430 provides you a comparatively quieter workout interface. And this is possible due to the high inertia drive and high speed that contributes to the faster start-up and smooth operation. 


  • Affordable price range
  • Comparatively quieter workout interface
  • Compact size and weight
  • Comes with pulse sensors
  • Comes with transport wheels for easy movement


  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • No wireless heart rate monitoring


So, what’s your opinion on Schwinn ellipticals now that you have read through the entire article? Schwinn is one of the very first American companies that made a name for themselves in the fitness industry solely for their good bikes, treadmills, and ellipticals. In fact, they paved the way for a whole new generation of ellipticals that rule the market even now, decades after release. 

Thus, if you are thinking of investing in a Schwinn elliptical, it might just be a worthy investment after all. You can get the Schwinn 470 if you have a decent budget since this model is so far, the best out of the bunch. With proper assembly and maintenance, it will provide you with a reliable and to-the-point service for multiple years. 

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