Customer Review

181 of 194 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Solid Construction with Quality Control Problems, July 26, 2006
This review is from: Schwinn Airdyne Evo Comp Exercise Bike (Sports)
After seeing this bicycle in Paragon Sports in Manhattan, I knew I had to purchase it. The solid construction and compact design demonstrated a leap forward from the original Schwinn Airdyne. At approximately 95lbs, it was solid enough for a health club/rehabilitation center setting but light enough for a consumer. While I have multiple gym memberships, I thought this would be a good item to have at my parents' house both for their use and when I visit. Unfortunately, the purchase turned out to be mistake due to the incredible hassles created by Schwinn Fitness' poor quality control.

Basically, what Schwinn Fitness (i.e Nautilus) has done is improve the time-tested air-resistance concept. The original Airdyne, which is 20+ years old uses a large 30" diameter fan with flat blades. The Airdyne Evolution Comp uses a much smaller fan that is wider and has contoured blades, which increases resistance. This leads to smoother operation with less vibration. Combining traditional bicycle pedaling with an arm swinging movement, it allows for a great cardio workout - with some limitations.

My one gripe with the fundamental design is that it lacks variable resistance and only one gear ratio. In an object moving through air, the resistance increases exponentially with velocity. So, instead of increasing the level of resistance electronically as you would on a multi-thousand dollar Life Fitness exercise bicycle, you merely need to pedal slightly faster to get a big jump in overall energy expenditure. Hence, all of the resistance comes from air movement affected solely from the velocity and not from friction or magnetism. This leads to a tradeoff between simplicity and flexibility.

While the design and construction are very solid, it appears that Schwinn/Nautilus needs to carefully oversee their Chinese fabrication facilities. Basically, the internal mechanisms have not been fully tightened down. This has led problem with the bottom bracket, which requires special bicycle tools unavailable at the local hardware store. In my case, after about three hours of use, the bike became useless as both rings in bottom bracket unscrewed. This is a major aggravation because to correct the problem, two special bicycle tools are needed: 1) crank puller and 2) Shimano bottom bracket tool. These are only available online or at very well stocked bicycle stores.

After several exchanges with both Schwinn Fitness and the distributor, I learned that there were known problems with the bottom bracket. I was told to use Loctite when reassembling it. Perhaps they should explain why this wasn't done in the first place. As a former engineer and bicycle enthusiast, I was reasonably well equipped to deal with such problems. I can't imagine how someone without a large set of tools or any mechanical ability would correct the problem. Moreover, sending a 100 lb package back to the manufacturer would be a hassle in itself. In the end, I fixed the problem. Given the aggravation tracking down the tools, I can say it simply was a bad decision to purchase.

Solid construction
Innovative design
Low center of gravity

Major quality control problems
Cheap pedals (need purchase aftermarket pedals with toe clips)
Computer lacks data to properly calculate calories such as weight, age, gender, body type
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 28, 2008 8:54:46 PM PDT
Ma says:
For most part this is a very well sturdy excersice bike. I bought one over the internet myself. I had the same problem that this reviewer did. I just recently talked directly to Schwinn and they gave me a new bottom bracket. The new one is different then they the old one. So I suppose that they did improve on there problem. My own recommendation is if you are not mechanically minded, I suggest buying from a local Schwinn dealer.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008 8:56:50 PM PST
P. Lio says:
Mine also did this. And now I am waiting to hear from Schwinn. What a pain in the neck! The main reason I bought this bike was b/c it was supposed to be low/no maintenance! Ugh. Caveat Emptor!

Posted on Feb 5, 2011 1:10:40 PM PST
LP says:
Axial resistance through air is proportional to the dynamic pressure q=.5(rho)v^2. Since the bike is stationary and airflow below M=0.3, the changes to density with increased velocity can be considered negligible thus the force imparted on the blades is proportional to v^2 not exponential. If you are riding a road bike on a flat surface, Ffriction<<Fair_resistance resulting in the following: Fpedal=1/GR(gear ratio)*Rwheel/Rpedal*Fair_resistance. On the Airdyne, it can be shown that the restoring force you must impart on the pedals to maintain the rotational velocity is as follows:

Assuming: 2-D flow Dynamics, negligible impact due to spokes, negligible gear frictional losses constant coefficient of pressure on flat plates.

TAUr=Rr x Fr=Cp*.5*rho*L*omega^2*Rr^3dr
so total torque = Tau=integral(TAUr,Rinner,Router)
Therefore the Force you must impart on the pedal Fp is:

Since Tau in simple terms is F*R, we can replace T with and equivalent R and F such as Rwheel and Fequivalent
Both Forces are proportional to the velocity^2 of the bike.
Therefore, the Airdyne is actually very similar to riding a normal bike.


Posted on Mar 3, 2011 6:59:09 PM PST
He stated at the begining he was comparing this to a several thousand dollar machine.

Posted on Aug 12, 2011 3:08:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 12, 2011 3:11:59 PM PDT
Mac-Dash says:
I agree with para 4 of Scott Pope's review above. I hope to god I don't run into problems with the bottom bracket because how I would get this thing back to manufacturer is beyond me; it is too big, heavy and clumsy to move once you have finished the 5 hour assembly job. But the Chinese or whoever it was that did the pre-assembly did a sloppy job. At first, I could hardly move the pedals. With some real effort they would turn. Then I found the rubber flakes on the floor that others have found. The problem (after a lot of hunting and troubleshooting) was that the rubberized belt that drives the fan was rubbing hard again one of the cross rods on the left side of the protective cage. I have been able to loosen the cage holding screws enough to knock the left side a few millimeters clockwise so the bottom band of the belt no longer rubs. What a difference! I can now actually move the pedals with my hand! But, what shoddy construction and total lack of quality control. I could have been hand checked before packing, but it wasn't. Some day, I'll make Schwinn pay me the labor charges for assembling this thing, trouble shooting it, and then repairing it. Don't buy it unless you are mechanically inclined. Schwinn Airdyne Evo Comp Exercise Bike

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 9:57:27 AM PST
M. Schroeder says:
Note:Schwinn quite correctly advises NOT to use clips on the Airdyne.

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 9:59:22 AM PST
M. Schroeder says:
Note:Schwinn quite correctly advises NOT to use clips on the Airdyne.

Posted on Jan 24, 2013 4:05:44 PM PST
Donna Mills says:
Boo! on Schwinn! :(
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