Top critical review
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Recumbent exercycle great for maintaining fitness and controlling weight.
on September 22, 2006
My Schwinn 203 exercycle (same as 201 but with larger display, more resistance levels, and more pre-programmed workouts)was purchased in Jan. 2005 to supplement my road and mtn. bike rides whenever there were time limitations or inclement weather. It has worked well in maintaining my cardio, leg strength, and overall fitness levels.
This exercycle is HEAVY so I'm glad UPS didn't cause any damage. It was relatively simple to assemble by carefully following the instructions. The base is stable and has small wheels in the back cross bars to provide some mobility for storage. Quality is average but that's expected at this price.
Likes: Comfortable reclined sitting position easy on the lower back and perineal regions. Great for maintaining cardio and leg strength. Watch TV, read a book, chat, etc....during workouts. Exercise anytime at home without the chance of cross contaminations from public/health club equipment.
Dislikes: Heart rate monitor gives erroneous readings occasionally and only works with both hands on the sensors. Flimsy wiring. The magnetic resistance unit developed some thumping noises after repeated uses at high cadences. Speed doesn't correspond with power output, e.g., level one (90watts) at 100rpm ~23mph; level six (260watts) at 100rpm ~23mph. Lower power output (watts) should equal slower speeds. Stock platform pedals not smooth and required bearing adjustments.
Overall: Very useful adjunct to regular outdoors training. I find myself using mostly the manual modes because some of the pre-programmed workouts (intervals of level 10+) can be very tough at ~100rpm (450+ watts). NOT a true ergometer but good for simple evaluations of one's cardio and strength fitness levels. Affordable price but questionable long term durability.
Update: Oct. 2006. My Schwinn 203 still going on strong although the slight clunking sound from the resistance unit (at higher rpms) remains. I found that periodic cleaning of pulse sensors with rubbing alcohol restores more accurate readings.