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on March 3, 2011
Our new Schwinn Airdine Evo was delivered the other day, and I got around to putting it together last night. I'm experienced, and doing it carefully and thoughtfully, it still took me several hours.

If you've read the other reviews, you'll notice a few 2008-ish complaints about the bottom bracket breaking. I noticed on my brand-new bike that the bottom housing had been taken apart at some point (the sticker was cut along the seam) so I've got my fingers crossed that Schwinn/Nautilus has addressed the issue and replaced the faulty internal hardware at the factory. We'll see soon enough.

The Home Assembly instructions are TERRIBLE. If you're inexperienced with tools, assembling this bike is going to be a bit of a challenge. I do recommend you have this professionally assembled if you're uncomfortable.

That wasn't an option for me, so, in the interest of good cardio karma, I decided to keep notes as I assembled mine. I wrote these instructions imagining I was phone tech support and I was helping a total novice. You may want to print this, and keep it with your receipts and paperwork.

DETAILED ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS FOR SCHWINN/NAUTILUS AIRDYNE EVO COMP.

Tools required-
14mm, 15mm, 17mm Metric Wrenches
1/2" and 7/8" Standard Wrench
Medium sized Phillips screw driver
A small set of Metric Hex/Allen Wrenches (If you don't own any, a set is often nominally more expensive than just a couple)
A rubber mallet, (or a hammer with something like an oven mitt or thick sock over the head)
**Don't even THINK about using "adjustable" wrenches or pliers!! They are sloppy, frustrating, and can cause damage. You just spent $700 for this bike! Go spend $25 more for proper tools!**

Step 1 - Spin the flat, black tabbed wingnuts onto feet, tabs down. Insert feet into front and rear bottom floor stabilizer tubes

Step 2 - Attach Rear Stabilizer tube to the frame with the two black, round head 6mm Hex/Allen bolts, and black lock washer (a lock washer looks like it's been cut and twisted)

Step 3 - Attach Front Stabilizer tube to frame with the long black bolts (17mm) and the black nuts (14mm)

Step 4 - Install computer to top of computer post. Put the batteries in it first. Don't forget the little black rubber cushions that go over the metal nubs. Run computer data cable down through the post. Attach computer to the top of the metal post with TWO (not all four), of the shiny metal Philips screws with no washers. (There are 4 screws and washers in the bag, for use only on the original Airdyne bike, which uses the same computer, but has a different post) The screws are self-tapping, which means they drill themselves into the slots in the plastic when you put pressure on them, which might feel a little weird. Tighten the screws all the way down, but not harder than snug, or you can damage the soft plastic. The strength in your wrists should be enough.

Step 5 - Install computer post onto frame with four small black, round head 5mm Hex/Allen bolts. Careful not to overtighten, as you don't want to damage the threads in the holes on the frame. The data cable for the computer plugs into a socket on the right side of the fan cage. It might be a good time to use a twist tie or a piece of tape to secure the extra length of loose data cable.

Step 6 - Install the handle bars. Leave the plastic wrap on them for now. The axle bolt is already installed through the handle bars at the footrests, all you have to do is screw it into the frame. Be careful- use your fingers at first to make sure it's tightening smoothly, with no crossed threads. Tighten securely with a 7/8" wrench.

Step 7 - Connect the bottom of the handle bars to the pedals. You'll need a few parts for this. From the outside in, it goes:

6mm stainless Hex Bolt | stainless flat washer | grey handlebar end | stainless spacer (looks like a very thick washer) | chrome pedal connecting rod | stainless spacer | stainless flat washer, | 1/2" stainless nut.
Put the ribbed black rubber sleeves over the footrests. You may need to use a rubber mallet or hammer.

Step 8 - Handlebar Grips. You can probably figure out how these go on, but be patient, they do not go on easy. Each grip took me about 20 minutes to wiggle down the handlebar. You might wish to try a hairdryer to gently warm and expand the grips. Once the grips are on all the way, gently tap the plastic plugs into the end of the handlebar with the rubber mallet.

Step 9 - Pedals. BE AWARE THAT THE PEDALS ARE NOT IDENTICAL! The left pedal is intentionally threaded backwards, and is the one with the ridgey texture on the axle inside by the threads. Take care to not cross the threads when screwing in the pedals. Use your fingers as much as you can before you tighten them down with the 15mm wrench. They should go in smoothly, evenly, and perpendicular all the way.

{The basic factory pedals are okay... but I won't talk you out of going to a bike shop and buying better pedals with a foot strap on them.}

Step 10 - Install seat, tighten with 17mm wrench.

Step 11 - Install water bottle holder with small hex/allen screws

Step 12 - Adjust feet and tighten lock washers so bike sits sturdy and level.

Step 13 - If desired, Install locking pin and spring into top of fan. I chose not to do this. I don't leave the bike outside, and I don't anticipate windy conditions in my basement that start the bike operating on it's own.

When you're all done, you should have 2 small hex screws, 2 small phillips screws, and 4 small washers left over. I believe all of these parts are for use on the original Airdyne bike.

I hope these instructions were helpful to you. I know it would have shaved a couple hours of my assembly time. It's a shame if there are people who bought this quality bike, and are not using it because they couldn't assemble it properly. If this was helpful, please mark it as such, so it stays near the top of the page and more people see it.

Good luck, and don't forget to fill out and send in your registration card- take advantage of the 30 year warranty!
- Chris Godfrey March 2011
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on July 18, 2014
I've had this Schwinn Airdyne Evo Comp Exercise bikes for a little over 5 years and I must say that it is truly one of my most highly prized possessions. The machine is of the highest quality of construction and it has helped me to maintain my overall cardiovascular health at a level that would probably be impossible without it.
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on January 24, 2012
I just got this Airdyne, late January of 2012, and I can tell you that as of right now these things can still have all the problems described in the bad reviews here. Nothing has been fixed. Even if you don't mind the horrible assembly instructions (you eventually figure it out), there are things wrong with it that the consumer simply cannot fix himself/herself. I put this thing together, sat on it, and tried to turn the pedals. I'm an above-average-sized guy, and I can barely move them. It's like trying to pedal a regular bike while also squeezing on the brakes. There is something creating enormous friction somewhere in the fan bearing, or the chain or belt. Here's what the user manual says about this:

"The drive chain and belt tension on your Airdyne bike have been factory adjusted. They should not require any immediate attention. If they need further adjustment at any point in time, contact your authorized Schwinn dealer."

In the assembly instructions there's a quick line saying that if the tension is properly set, you should be able to pedal it at about speed level 3, and then stop pedaling, and the bike should coast for about three revolutions. This one doesn't coast at all. You strain to pedal, and if you stop, it instantly stops with a metal-on-plastic grinding sound. (And those assembly instructions, like the user manual, give you no way to adjust the tension on your own.)

Great, Schwinn. (Or Nautilus, I should say.) I can't adjust the belt tension myself (if that's even the problem; it's easy to imagine screwing around taking this thing half apart, figuring out how to adjust the tension, only to find out that wasn't the issue to begin with), so I either have to find some kind of professional who'll make a house call, or else find a way to lug this stupid thing to a Schwinn dealer. It weighs a hundred pounds and won't fit in anything but an SUV or a pickup.

I had a different Airdyne Evolution Comp years ago. I had a truck then. I bought the bike already assembled at a Schwinn dealer after sitting on it and making sure everything felt right. I should have borrowed a friend's truck and done that this time, and I advise anyone to do the same. DO NOT buy this thing through Amazon. What a joke.
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on February 23, 2012
First the assembly. Yeah it could have been set up to be simpler but here are some tips to make it easier:
1)Unwrap and layout all your parts. Put like items together and separate by size.
2) Google up the online instruction and read them thru first.
3] Get the needed tools.
Doing it this way and looking at the numbered diagram provided and I had it together in about 2 hours.

I've used this for about a week and over 100 miles. I am a lifelong bicycle guy and runner, having completed several 100 mile rides and over a dozen marathons. I am 53 years old and training for another 100.

Pros:

Well built and smooth operation.

Not overly noisy

One of the few pieces of equipment to allow a aerobic workout using only upper body

Seat will accomodate tall people [I am 5' 8" and use setting 3 out of 14]

My heart rate strap connected wirelessly worked right out of the box

The arm workout and subsequent trunk exercise has seemed to ease back stiffness

Great value at $599 compared to Lifecycle. I will probably by another for vacation home.

Cons:

Seat too tall for my 5' 2" wife at lowest setting. I had to drill another 3/8" hole in the seat post and now it's good.

Since the gear is fixed and the wind resistance makes pedaling harder at faster pedal rpm, you can't spin easy at 80 -100 rpm. Great for overall fitness but not as good for road specific bike training.
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on February 5, 2008
I warm up before weight training on an ancient, well-used Airdyne at the municipal rec center, and I really like its movement. I was also impressed at how well it has stood up to institutional use over the course of many years. So, when my trainer suggested I do High Intensity Interval Training first thing in the morning, I started researching a machine to buy for home use. It was either going to be an Airdyne or an elliptical trainer, and cheap elliptical trainers are unacceptable to me. The Airdyne cost a third of what I would spend on a decent elliptical trainer, and it's much smaller and easier to move around. I chose the Evo Comp over the original design because I wanted the quieter fan.

The Evo Comp is much smoother and quieter than the old Airdyne at the rec center, and I like that it doesn't blow air on me. If I need a breeze, I'll plug in a fan. Whatever quality control issues that existed for the 2006 reviewers seem to have been fixed, as my Airdyne performs perfectly.

Really, the only negative comment I have for it is the assembly instructions, which are still terrible. I'm mechanically inclined, so assembly was easy for me to figure out, but I could easily see a less mechanically competent person having trouble. I encountered at least one error in the written instructions, but the worst part is the images, which are so crude and low resolution as to be pretty much worthless.
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on June 2, 2013
Many reviews of this bike. Suggest potential buyers review the discussions - particularly ones that deal with setup because they have hints and tips that make assembly easier or identify adjustments that prevent problems with use.

Wish I had purchased the wireless adapter that allows the chest strap to talk to the console - it seems to be unavailable now. Made a ledge so that a fan or reading material can be used while exercising.

Delivery of box was made in the rain. Holes and tears here and there but the major and minor parts were unharmed. Setup took about 2 hours of deliberate effort.

Would recommend this brand and exercise equipment.
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on August 11, 2011
After reading everything I could find about this machine I finally went to a local fitness store to buy one. They wanted $800 for it! They wouldn't match the Amazon price so I got it here. I have to say it wasn't what I expected. This machine is BETTER than I thought it would be. Compared to running or a gym elliptical for the same amount of time (30 mins), I get a far better workout. It's solid and well built. Yes, putting it together was a pain but it only took about 45 mins. If you are thinking about getting the evo comp, do it. I wish I would have a few months ago instead of trying to read every review i could find. It's a gym quality piece of equipment and is a great workout. I'm a 33 year old male and am in pretty good shape. I'm 6'3" and it fits me fine. I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has.
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on May 7, 2010
My DP Air Gometer finally bit the dust after 20 years of service. I was looking for another dual action exercise bike and began reading the reviews about the Schwinn bikes. Wanting a quieter bike I decided on the Evolution Comp. Man am I happy with this purchase! Only had it one day but here's my review.

For all you DP users, the Comp is about 40% quieter than the DP and "built like a tank" as one reviewer put it. The arms are a little closer to you on the Comp so it kind of forces a better back posture than the DP. (I used to slouch my back a little as I got tired on the DP - can't do that on the Comp.) The gel seat on the Comp is SOOOOOO much more comfortable than that seat on the DP. The resistance is about 10% less on the Comp than the DP for the same amount of energy applied (could be because my DP was old), but believe me you will get the workout you're looking for. The computers are different which is another adjustment (didn't have WATTS and METS on the DP). The Comp can receive and display heart rate monitor transmissions from my Polar heart rate monitor.

Assembly was not a problem for me. Metric allen wrenches are necessary. I did follow the advise from other reviewers to identify the parts on the parts list with their corresponding reference numbers on the assembly diagrams BEFORE ASSEMBLING. I also found the same mistake that another reviewer reported that there are four levelers rather than two as shown on the parts list. Also I ended up with two more machine screws with affixed washers that were not on the parts list and not needed.

Hope this helps for all you DPers out there. Would I by this bike again? ABSOLUTELY!
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on June 14, 2011
I was told Airdyne exersize bikes are the way to go for general areobic fitness and endurance without the impact of running. After using mine, I agree but I feel the assembly quality is lack luster. I've had belt issues from day one, but the manufacturer has been easy to work with to resolve my problems. I have a Polar heart rate monitor, and the bike has a heart rate receiver, but it doesn't seem to be accurate. After a workout the bike computer claims my average heart rate is almost 20bpm higher than my wrist receiver.

If you are looking for a fancy machine that can provide various workout patterns, this is not the one. It is a barebones piece of exercise equipment. If you are self-motivated and able to stick to an exercise program, it provides a great workout.

Would I purchase an Airdyne again? Yes, but I would probably choose the original based on the belt issues I've had and the low quality worksmanship of my unit.
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on October 13, 2012
We think this is a fantastic Bike and we love it! Nice, smooth & quiet. Everything & more than we expected. Received it from Amazon in great shape! We got it really fast! What awesome service.
I just finished assembling new our bike using Chris Godfrey's instructions. Wow what an awesome help!!! It took me less than two hours & I took my time. His instructions were extremely helpful, I didn't even need those that came with the bike. I only have one suggestion to add: To get the handle grips on, I sprinkled a small dusting of baby power inside the foam handle grips using a small funnel & they slide on in 2 seconds (make sure the rounded end is on the outside for a nice fit, the ends are sightly different. Dusted off the little excess powder & good to go! This should save others the 20 minutes it took Chris. Thanks Chris for your nicely documented assembly instructions. Schwinn/Nautilus should include your instructions instead of theirs! The more clearer Schwinn.com online pictorial assembly instructions that I printed off were helpful along with the above instructions.
I didn't have any of the issues some others had with the assembly or product concerns.
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