293 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After much research, I bought this one
Well, I've had this machine for about two weeks now and it works great. I am completely satisfied with this purchase. I was a little concerned about shipping, but mine came in perfect condition. Like others, it took me little under 3 hours to put it together. If you can put a screw in and follow directions, you'll be able to put this together...
Published on December 2, 2007 by Mike M.
142 of 146 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All better now
I bought this machine to workout at home because I tend to keep strange hours and the idea of going to the gym is not appealing to me. The package was delivered by ABF Freight in perfect condition (as in no damage, the box itself was extremely filthy) but I opened it and put it together with no issues. I really like the way this machine looks and feels. I had an...
Published on January 28, 2008 by Carrie Hess
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293 of 299 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After much research, I bought this one,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)***Update 12/21/2007***
Well, I've had this machine for about two weeks now and it works great. I am completely satisfied with this purchase. I was a little concerned about shipping, but mine came in perfect condition. Like others, it took me little under 3 hours to put it together. If you can put a screw in and follow directions, you'll be able to put this together. The machine is so smooth and quiet. It's no problem for others in the room to watch TV at the same time. After a week, I started to notice a clicking sound and it turned out I had tightened the screw that connects the handle bar to the foot pedal bar too tight. Loosening it a little fixed the problem.
- I should start by saying I just bought the Schwinn 431 from Amazon, but haven't received it yet so my total usage of it is only the 15 minutes or so I spent trying a demo model at a store. However, I spent a lot of time demoing various brands and some of my research may help you decide what's best for you. My price point was also under $1000. You can definitely find better, but you'll pay for it. First, just some general things I found while demoing ellipticals.
* Machines with the wheel in the front seemed to have a better, more natural feeling movement than those in the rear.
* Stride length of 18" worked best for me (I'm 5'5"). Some low end models had 16" stride, but I found this to be too short. Others had 20" or 21" but these were too big for me.
* I don't think you'd want to buy an elliptical for less than $500. They're just too cheap feeling.
I narrowed my search to three brands, based on the reviews I read on Amazon and also on a website that has lots of reviews of treadmills and ellipticals ("treadmill sensei").
Most chain stores carry the Horizon brand. I looked at two models: Horizon Ex56 (Horizon EX55 seems to be the older model) and Horizon EX66. These two are basically the same, with the EX66 just having a few more bells and whistles (i.e. more programs, etc.). I believe the internal mechanisms to be pretty much the same. These were well sized to fit into my smaller house. $600-$800. Overall, these seemed like a nice machine, and I almost bought the ex56, as I didn't think the extra $200 really gave me much more. The EX66 does look a bit more sleek and has 2 extra support legs that could provide better stability.
I wanted to try the Sole 25, but the store I looked at only had the next model up, the 35. These machines are a bit pricier, actually the 25 was "on sale" for $999 with a MSRP of $1999 (I don't think anyone every pays the MSRP though) and the 35 is more. Both have a 20" stride length, and this was just too big for me. For a taller person, this might be fine. The machine itself is bigger and I would have a harder time fitting it into my house. In general, the motion was very smooth. This seems like a well built machine if you have the space and money. Sole seems to have a pretty good warranty too.
I didn't expect Schwinn to make ellipticals. Actually, they don't. This brand falls under the Nautilus brand, which also makes bowflex, nautilus and stairmaster. I looked at the 430 and 431, (431 seems to be the later model and has more bells and whistles, like more programs, a fan and rubber pads on the foot pedals instead of just hard plastic ones on the 430, a bigger cup holder!). Consumer reports actually recommended the 418. The model numbering is strange, the 418 and 438 go together, and the 430 and 431 are similar. The 431 is smaller in size, about the same as the Horizon EX56. The price for the 430 is $600 and the 431 $800. I ended up going with the 431 (there is a promotion going on for a $100 gift card so that brings the price closer). In general both the 430 and 431 felt the same, except the rubber pads on the pedals did feel nicer with better grip for your shoes. This machine actually feels better than the horizon line due to the 25lb flywheel, vs. only 14lbs for the Horizon. This really makes the stride feel smoother. This machine also felt more solid than Horizon. The only problem with this brand is that it was hard to find a demo machine. Another potential drawback is the warranty, which is 15 year frame, 1 year parts, and 6 months labor.
Your best bet is to actually get on the machine and try them out before you buy! Good Luck!
86 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great elliptical trainer for the price!,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)I just bought one of these from a local "Play It Again Sports" location and I must say I'm impressed with the sturdy manufacturing. (I'd recommend you ask your local store for a price. I saved $100 over Amazon's price!) It has a very smooth ride and feels very sturdy even when I ride it at a quick rate. I'm 215 lbs and I have it set up on Berber carpet and it still feels very sturdy!
The assembly took me about 2 hours and it wasn't very difficult. Schwinn (er, Nautilus) did a good job of packing all of the nuts and washers in a very organized way where there is no doubt what is what. The instructions were very easy to follow and didn't require any tools other than the ones included in the box.
I'm very happy with this unit. It has a wonderful selection of 20 different programs built in and has 16 levels of resistance as well. The heart rate monitor is well placed and seems to work well for me. The lack of a chest strap compatibility feature wasn't a big deal for me since I don't use a chest strap and have never liked them, but be aware of this short-coming if that option matters to you.
Overall, I think this is a good deal and a solid machine. Now I just need to start getting up and using it every morning!
142 of 146 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All better now,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)I bought this machine to workout at home because I tend to keep strange hours and the idea of going to the gym is not appealing to me. The package was delivered by ABF Freight in perfect condition (as in no damage, the box itself was extremely filthy) but I opened it and put it together with no issues. I really like the way this machine looks and feels. I had an elliptical machine about 7 years ago that I had bought from Sears that wasn't near the quality of this machine. After assembly, I turned the machine on and it prompted me to select a program. I selected the program and when the machine went to kick on the motor/resistance, an message appeared on the screen. E-2. What does this mean? There is no troubleshooting section in the manual. After an online search of other Schwinn fitness equipment, I found out that E-2 is a pretty significant problem which involves changing the console and/or motor or who knows what else. I have emailed Schwinn/Nautilus regarding the error but have yet to receive a response. I think that I am mechanically adept enough to put this machine together but I don't know how to feel about the fact that I may have to replace the motor. I don't know if I'm that talented. I wish there was an easy fix and I hope they tell me there is one. I really like this machine and I would just like it to function. I will update with future news.
Update March 21
Sorry, It took so long to get this updated but I hadn't had a chance to devote time to this problem until now. So Schwinn/Nautilus emailed me and told me to check the wiring connection which I did and still did not fix the problem. So I called the customer service number and spoke with a very nice representative who sent out new wires and a new motor and told me a repair person would phone within a few a days. So the repair person called and scheduled the maintenance and he came and put the new parts on but he discovered an additional problem, which was the resistance wheel magnet, even when fully placed against the wheel created zero resistance. So he had to move and adjust the magnet wheel thing and said that he replaced all the parts that they sent but that the magnet thing was probably the problem the whole time because he said he could hear the motor whirring away when he initially checked it out. So, I think I was just unfortunate enough to get a defect in my machine but the Schwinn/Nautilus people were very nice and effective and my machine works great now. :)
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Elliptical Trainer,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)I started looking at the Schwinn product through Consumer Reports, which gave the 418 model their best buy label. After reviewing all the Schwinn Elliptical's, you find they are all made basically the same; some have additional bells and whistles.
I read every review on each of the four models, the 418, 430, 431 and the 438. The reviews were so helpful in making a good decision. We should all appreciate the reviewers who take the time to give lots of details for products. I decided to go with the 431 for several reasons. I originally was interested in the 438 model but after the New Year when I went to purchase the price jumped up to $100.00 more than it had been before Christmas. So, I decided on the 431. It was 799.00 and free super saver shipping from Amazon.
It was delivered ahead of schedule like other reviews said it might be, but the delivery company called and we set up the date and time for delivery. It was a local company. I had them deliver it into the attached garage. My husband opened the box in garage and brought parts into the den as he needed them, much easier that way. They usually will only deliver ground level or a few steps. It actually comes in a small box.
My husband put it together while he was watching a football game, 3 1/2 hours. He said it was easy, everything was clearly marked and they give you the tools you need. We were worried about the height issue that other reviewers commented on. However, we have no problems. My husband is 5'11 and the ceiling in our den is 7'4" and it's perfect. There's room above his head.
This model has the back light which is very nice and multiple programs which are great for me because I like to mix it up. There are also multiple user modes so we can both track our progress. The 431 is more compact than the others and fits perfectly in our den. We used an extra piece of carpet from when new carpet was installed in the den and put it under the machine instead of buying a mat and it works great and matches the carpet.
We have both used the machine for two weeks now and we both really love this machine. It's smooth, quiet, and gives a good work out. My legs were sore after my first use. The programs are fun and easy to use. It gives read outs like the gym model which I like. My husband is a big guy, weights over 200lbs and the machine is very sturdy.
If this machine holds up like most of the reviewers said, we will be a very happy and slimmer couple.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good bye gym membership,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)When shopping for an elliptical, I was a little skeptical with the price point on this machine. Buying through Amazon though, I felt like if it was horrible I could return it and so took the risk.
I'm completely happy with this machine. There is no difference between the quality of workout with this than any gym machine. It's solid, and feels really well built. I can't really stress how well this compares to the $4000 machines at the gym. Well, except for that I find the resistance somewhat higher than the gym machines, but level 1 is still easy enough to use.
I did have a little trouble to begin with - nothing bad enough to drop even one star though. It does take a bit of time to put together but it was fairly simple and the instructions were very easy to follow.
1. Buy some white lithium grease before you assemble it. This is the lubricant recommended by Schwinn. I had a lot of squeaking problems and this fixed everything. I don't think the pre-lubricated parts are adequately lubed. Just fix this while you put it together. Hit all eight pivot points.
2. Do NOT over-tighten any of the screws or bolts. It will cause squeaking. The troubleshooting guide says you can have these up to three rotations from completely tight without compromising performance. I found loosening only half a turn was enough.
That's it! It's a great machine.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent & smooth,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)I am so glad that I finally made a decision about which elliptical to purchase. After pratically ruining my ocular nerves from the hours and hours of internet searching, I bought the Schwinn 431. I normally will shy away from brand new models- however, the heavier flywheel is what really sold me. And what a difference it makes! Like many others, I've tried various other ellipticals, and I actually bought this one sight unseen. At $799 a pop, I think one word my wife used to describe me was, "Crazy!". It arrived within the time-frame quoted, and the box was not damaged. The only damage occured with the shroud covering the flywheel. It's made of plastic and must have cracked sometime between China and my house in CA. (I'll let you know how replacing it was once I'm finished with that.) I had that thing built in just under 3 hours, alone. I added white-grease on all the points that move. My wife and I have yet to put it through hours of work, however, based upon what use it has had, this is one smooth, solid piece of equipment. The frame is thick and feels solid. The only time I felt a bit uneasy was when I tried it backwards. Nothing huge, but something to be noted. Lastly, the stride length of 18" is great for both my wife and I. I'm 5'11", and she's 5'5". Both of us are comfortable and confident we made the right decision. More to come once we use it more.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well built, but several problems...,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)Don't want to bore you with specs, so here is my 2 cents worth after using it a week or two.
Positives: good price, free shipping from Amazon, ABF called ahead and coordinated delivery with me, sturdy build, good assembly instructions, heavy flywheel provides smooth action, only had to get the Dremel out to increase diameter of one of the bolt holes that refused to line up by a mm or two. Me, I consider that a positive on a complex piece.
Not so positives: I thought I did my homework pretty well, but I must not have looked too hard for reviews concerning user height. I'm 5' 11'' or 6' and I find my shoes having up to an inch hanging off the back of the footrests. I have to hold the upright handles by the hard plastic knobby tops. Can't possibly hold the vertical foam part of the handles unless I was waaay shorter. I find myself wanting an extra 3 or 4 inches of foamy handlebar so I don't have to hold the hard plastic tops. Handlebars seem like they need to be a couple inches more away from me too. Makes for a not very good upper body workout. I find I would like the stride to be at least several inches longer as well. Clickity sounding fan is the size of a computer case fan and about as strong. First workout went very well until the 15 minute point then squeaks and grinds galore almost every time since. Most don't start until you are several minutes to 15 minutes into a 20 minute program. Sometimes they stop when you get off and don't start again for a few minutes making for a frustrating hunt. I got the expected handlebar squeak and stopped it by loosening the handlebar bolts several times to the point of feeling a little wobbly. Tightened and loosened others to experiment with a couple other squeaks. I discovered the grinding noise starting on the third or fourth workout came from the rubber wheel assembly being a little too tight. Get out the tools and clean the grit away and regrease...several hours invested in this type of activity after several hours of assembly.
Verdict is go for it if you are no more than 5' 8" or 9" and don't mind taking things partially apart and cleaning and regreasing to hunt down noises. I just had my second noise free workout so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Update a month later: I took EVERY moving part completely apart, wiped off existing lubricant (gritty in a few places), and regreased everything heavily. I didn't tighten the handlebars all the way and have to tighten a turn every couple times because the inside 4 bolts work themselves looser, but NO MORE SQUEAKS! Still a 3 star rating due to it not being built for a 6 footer and all the squeaks and taking things apart several times. If I was several inches shorter it would be 4 stars.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad Experience,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)We bought the Schwinn 431 Elliptical based on the high reviews. I had no problems putting together (approx 2 hours). Perhaps this one was just one of the "lemons", but the elliptical only worked for about a minute or two before a loud clicking coupled with a "motor" sound occurred. Called the support number and was told that the wiring was the problem and that they'd send me a new wire component. They would ship via ground service, and it would take a day or two to process (about 7-8 days total)!
After installing, this did not fix the problem. Called back and was told that the motor must be bad (resistence is managed by a magnet which moves toward and away from the flywheel by a small motor).
"So, you want me to dismantle the elliptical, access the main flywheel compartment, and replace the motor? Perhaps a technician might be more qualified"
"We understand sir" she said. It will just take a day or two to process the request and you'll receive a call from a technician within 7 days after that. The tech will schedule a time to come out, usually within 2 or 3 weeks" (I get the feeling they're trying to discourage service calls)
I asked them to ship me a new motor (7 days) and enter the request for the service technician. I never did receive a call, and the new motor that I installed (add 2 more hours to the total) made the same noise and the elliptical would only work on 2 of the resistance levels.
I'm just guessing, but I believe that the control panel isn't sending the signal for the motor to stop at it's "home position" (their term). I'll never know for sure, because I sent the elliptical back.
Inside the flywheel housing I was able to get a good view of the inferior components. To add insult to injury, the replacement components were even more inferior (non-secured wires from motor, no protective cover on the spring)
I'm fairly understanding - not every unit can be perfect. That's fair. But, inferior replacement parts, ground shipping, and no service call?
Keep your fingers crossed and hope yours isn't one of the defective ones!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finnette52,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)I have just recently purchased the Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer. I did quite a bit of research on the various models before making my decision. I can only say that this Elliptical Trainer is the very best for its' price range. In fact, it is better than many of the higher priced machines that are available. One of the deciding factors is that this model has the 25 lb. flywheel, which makes the operation very smooth and helps to stabilize the machine. It is very well constructed, very smooth, and very quiet. I put it together in an hour and a half. It was money well spent! I would definitely recommend this model for in-home use. Best of all, it's made in the U.S.A.
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars $999 is the Wrong List Price - There is no 20% discount.,
This review is from: Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer (Sports)$999 is not the correct list price--there is no 20% savings. Check out the Schwinn website [...] and you will see a list price of $799.00 (99 cents cheaper). Most places offer it at a similar price.
Price aside, this is a wonderful machine. Near club quality. Easy assembly, good craftsmanship. Smooth and sturdy with a small space requirement for an elliptical. You won't be disappointed.
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Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer by Schwinn
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