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on June 26, 2012
First my general information:
I am a 5'3" female. I've visited a lot of gyms, and used a lot of ellipticals in the last 10 years so I'm familiar with the different types and what works for me. I needed a machine that I could do low-impact exercises with and still get a great workout without feeling like I'm on a stair stepper. I tried this model in the store first before buying it as each machine works your body differently.

Assembly:
The assembly was relatively easy, taking one person about 2 hours from start to finish. All the major parts come pre-assembled, including the wheel, pedals, and console. The majority of the assembly is just screwing those parts together in the right order. The hardest part was attaching the pedals and handlebars where they pivot (a lubed rod is used). Because of the snug fit, the rod had to pushed hard into place. Other than that, assembly was relatively straight-forward thanks to the easy-to-read directions. The illustrations are easy to follow and gets rid of most of the guess work.

Use:
This particular machine has an 18" stride length, which is just right for my height. I was wary of the machine being too large for me and having to stretch to reach the handle bars with each stride. While my arms are fully extended with each motion forward, they are not overstretched. It's at just the right distance away to be comfortable. Any more and I wouldn't be able to use them without leaning into it. But as I get a good speed going, I find myself leaning into the machine as I would if I were running. As I use it, it targets my thighs the most, in both forward and backwards motion. If I stand up perfectly straight in more of a walking position, I can also feel the burn in my glutes. What I like most about it is that you don't get the bouncy up and down feel out of it as you do with the lower quality machines. The glide is as natural as walking or running and the foot plates move with your feet, so it's not going to feel like you're leaving the machine and coming back down for each step.

The Machine Itself:
The motion of the machine is whisper quiet. In fact, I had to turn off all the extra noises around me just to hear the wheel turning. It has six different workout programs or you can just go for the manual workout with 16 resistance levels. It also has two decently sized spaces on the console for a phone or tablet to rest as you're exercising. A plus if you get bored with a stationary workout easily. That said, the led console, as others have stated, is sub par. It really needs to be back-lit. I can read the larger numbers, such as heart rate, distance, and time, with little problem, but the smaller words are anybody's guess. You basically have to memorize what the labels are to get any use out of it. If anything were useless on it, it would be the fan. I can hold my hand 6" from the fan on the high setting and I no longer feel any air moving. The heart rate monitor is a little bothersome as well. In order to get an accurate heart rate, you have to hold the stationary handles for close to a minute. If you take your hands off or adjust, it will start over.

Overall:
Negating the poorly designed electronics, the machine itself works wonderfully and I would recommend it as it really is the best bang for the buck in its price range.
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on December 3, 2011
Pros
-----
Well built, feels very sturdy
Quiet operation
Smooth motion
Easy to select courses, duration, intensity, etc.
Gives amazing workouts
Has a nice e-book reader, which allows me to put my Amazon Kindle Fire on it, surf the internet, watch movies, listen to music, etc.

Cons
----
Took 3 hours to build, requires at least 2 people
The display is not back-lit, so depending on your room lighting it may be difficult to read
The mp3 speakers are laughable (my cell phone speaker and Amazon Kind Fire speaker are twice as loud and clear)
The fan is also laughable (I have it on all the time, but it barely moves any air, and you can hardly tell the difference between low, medium, and high)

Overall
-------
I wasn't expecting much from the display, fan, or speakers, and it's a shame they're all underwhelming. Looking past that though, the elliptical itself is amazing. Best bang for buck elliptical in my opinion. Would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a well-built budget elliptical. Really, the only reason I'm not giving it a perfect score is I hope Schwinn sees my Cons and improves them in later iterations of this product. But personally they do not bug me, and they shouldn't prevent you from making this purchase. I have a nearby computer with kick-butt speakers to get some music going. And the e-reader holder entirely makes up for the weak display. Toss a Kindle Fire in the e-reader holder, and you have a 7" touch-screen with everything you can imagine at your finger tips.
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on July 30, 2013
I read many reviews for this before buying it.

Difficult to put together, they said.
Well that's okay, my husband worked on airplanes in the Air Force. He knows his way around a diagram.

Display is hard to read, they said.
Hey, as long as I can make out all my numbers at the end of my workout if I squint really hard...watching that clock sloooowly count the time is torture, anyway.

Fan isn't very effective, they said.
No problem, I've got an air conditioner in my workout room!

Speakers are weak, they said.
Shoot, I'm probably going to watch tv, anyway.

You can only create one profile, they said.
Okay, my husband can have it.

HOWEVER. When I found out you could take a fitness test on this thing, I was ecstatic. I couldn't wait to take my first test. I followed all the instructions and...nothing. I called my husband in to troubleshoot where I went wrong. He couldn't get it to work, either. I'm guessing the heart rate monitor doesn't work properly, as it has occasionally told me my heart rate was lower at the end of my workout than at the start. I don't think I'm a picky person, but this was kind of the last straw for me. If all you want is something sturdy to provide an aerobic workout, this machine will be fine for you. All of the "cons" listed above are absolutely true, so if any of them are a dealbreaker for you, be warned.
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on June 10, 2013
I *scoured* the Amazon reviews before finally buying this when it went on sale. Have had it for about a month now and I'm overall very pleased.

What I value is getting a good workout and having a durable piece of equipment. I went into the purchase knowing that most users found it to be very functional but with a pitifully bad display monitor. I rely on my body to tell me how hard I've worked, so I didn't care about the display.

I'll comment on 4 things which were surprises to me because they weren't mentioned much in other reviews.

--1- I really like the arched foot pedals. The motion feels more natural and somehow better on the knees.

--2- The machine feels a little too big for me at 5'4". I notice it mostly in the arms, not in the stride or pedal width. But I am disappointed by feeling like I have to reach far ahead. One plus side of this fact is that if you like to work on core/balance by striding while swinging your arms in the air (not using the arms of the machine), you have plenty of room to do so without risking hitting your hands on the front.

--3- I'm impressed by what an efficient workout this thing gives. I'm accustomed to high quality Precor gym machines, and I've been an off-and-on gym rat. But wow, I really work up a sweat quickly on this.

--4- I get more of a glute workout on this than I expected. Usually you need a steep, adjustable incline to get this kind of workout

In summary:

Pros:
-efficient, intense workout if you choose
-love the arched pedals
-works the glutes well (even without an adjustable incline)
-well built, sturdy and solid, as other reviewers have noted

Cons:
-People under 5'5" might feel too short on this, mostly just in the arms
-fan and display might as well not exist, as other reviewers have noted
-delivery was a hassle

I'll update this once I've given it more work.
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on January 28, 2014
I waited for several months to review this item because I wanted to see how it will perform over the long haul. I am very pleased to report it has held up well. It takes up less space than most exercise equipment and doesn't look out of place in the corner of the bedroom. At this price point I have no complaints about fit and finish or usability. It would be nice if the small readout was brighter but I fixed that with a small goosneck led flashlight with a magnetic base! This eliptical gives you a good workout and fits an "average" framed individual (not tall or short) since there are no adjustments for size. Overall I am quite pleased with Schwinn for producing a quality affordable product.
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on July 25, 2013
I used my Proform Treadmill for 7-8 years, but now in middle 40s and tad heavier I need a low impact workout and the elliptical is perfect. I searched the internet throughout for the best value for home elliptical trainer, this one was rated the best value and durability for the home. I bought it, setup took about 3 hrs, take your time, but you can do it, you don't have to be too much of a Ms Fixit to put it together, just take your time and follow each step in the book.

Once together, I input my age, weight, etc.........make sure you put all that in, it will not count calories etc properly without the proper information. I created my own workout, need 20 sec interval at fast pace low resistance then 2 min slow pace more resistance etc or circuit training because I need to get my heart rate up so I can lose some weight. I have only began doing the trainer in 5 min intervals so far because I have not worked out in about 6 mos, but I love it. It is quiet, so quiet, no more loud treadmill, no more worrying about setting speeds on the treadmill this thing has programs for you and you input your name and hop right on and go. The display is weak, like the reviews say, but I bought a $10 clip on book light clipped it on the top and fixed that problem. The fan is silly too, so I just don't use it. Other than that, I love this machine, love the durability of it and the quietness of it, it is so quiet! I hope to use it for many years. Thank you Amazon for delivering right to my door, I didn't have to go and get it in my car or get someone to go pick it up for me. It is about 175lbs so don't want to be lifting on it when Amazon sends it right to the house on the free shipping thingy.
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on May 21, 2013
This is a real smooth, shorter stride (Smooth enough for my 86yr old Mother-in-law was able to do for 3 minutes!). The other reviewers are exactly right:
1. Console display is not backlight, so difficult to read.
2. Fan is useless (looks like a cooling fan from a computer!). It has three speeds, but the only difference between the three speeds is the whining noise it makes. On full speed, you can barely feel the breeze with hand place 2 inches from the fan!
3. The console has a short chord to allow connect an MP3 player (or tablet, etc). This chord barely reaches the bottom of the table holder; will not reach the sides/top of a tablet. (Works with my Xoom, if I turn it upside down.
4. Don't bother with step 3, the speakers aren't worth the bother! Better to use a bluetooth speaker!
5. Use your own tools! My allen wrentch barely fit any of the screws; I didn't feel like walking out to the shed, so I used the included tools and fought with just about every screw! Likely doubled my install time, which was about 1.5 hours.

The real shame is that the console is really about useless. Set your mode, and don't expect to even look at the console.

The Tablet holder is great! It holds my Xoom, which has the leather folio/keyboard installed; will attempt to upload a picture of the console with cable/tablet; as soon as I get one loaded onto the computer. Overall 5stars for the mechanical portion of the unit,1 star for the console, because it can hold my Xoom;
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on February 16, 2012
After doing a lot of research & reading the reviews, we can safely say that the display is it's only downfall. You can hardly read it in any type of lighting. If Schwinn would fix that it would be a 5 star. When received this, they dropped it off at our garage door. So that is where I unpacked it & brought it down to the basement a piece at a time. Once there, it took 2 1/2 hours to assemble the unit. Instructions are simple & straight forward on assembling. Both my wife & I use this for 20 minutes a day 5 days a week. @ days after assembling the unit, the dreaded squeak appeared. The more we used it the worse it got. So after a little investigating I discovered that 1 of the 4 rubber caps that come with the unit to cover the bolts on arms was rubbing causing this annoying squeak. After a minor adjustment to the rubber cap, the squeak disappeared & hasn't been back. So if your unit starts to squeak, I would recommend that you remove those rubber caps to see if it disappears. If it does, then reinstall them 1 at a time.

So other than the display, so far this is a great little machine.
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on June 7, 2013
Item was ordered on 5/11 with a delivery estimate of 5/16 to 5/21. My friend who lives 15 miles from me ordered the same day & time & received hers on 5/16. Mine however was lost in transit. After the shipping window came & went I attempted to go through the seller Woot.com who generated an auto reply to the email but never followed up with an actual human. Woot also did not provide any number for me to call them etc. I then used Amazon's online chat (which was great by the way) where the tech put me in touch with the transport company CEVA. They found my package & promised to deliver it on Monday 5/27 (Memorial Day) however the delivery time came & went with no word. My wife finally reached a human @ CEVA who said we are closed they will bring it tomorrow May 28 between 10am & 2pm. Again the time went by with no word. After many phone calls it was delivered 7:15 PM on the 28th. So only 7 days late & 5 hours out of the promised delivery time. Whew... Long story. I love Amazon! Woot not so much. The same goes for CEVA delivery.

Now the actual item. Very heavy & well built. It took me about 2 hours to assemble by myself. No problems noted on fit. The red paint on the book holder was chipped & a few parts were scuffed or scratched from transport but not dented or damaged otherwise. The book stated for two people to assemble but as noted I was able to do it alone without incident. Parts were very well labeled & assembly was straight forward. Once assembled the movement when using is very smooth & fluid. I love the action. The fan has three speeds 1: Is it on?, 2: I think it's on. 3. Weak but helps somewhat., I have not tried the speakers but my friend tells me they work okay. The controls are a bit confusing but should become clearer as time passes. The display is far too dim. I can barely see it if I squint. I plan on using a different timer to let me know when the workout is complete at which point I will squint to see how many calories burned. A couple of reviewers noted a squeak. After a few days of use the squeak started to occur but has stopped after 3 or 4 minutes each time. Hopefully it will not return. Overall I like the Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer & would purchase again from a different seller.

PRO: Heavy, Well Built, Smooth Motion, Looks like it should last for years.

CON: Dim display, Weak fan, Confusing controls, Occasional Squeaks

Amazon = A+
Amazon Online Chat Support = A+
Woot.Com = D- (Will never order from this seller again)
CEVA transport = D (Hopefully will not have to use them again)
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on December 3, 2013
I've had if for about a month now. I got it because of the outstanding ratings for mechanical reliability. The display got pretty poor reviews, but I don't use too many of the cool features on my tread mill, so I wasn't too concerned.
The display really does suck though. I did two things, I taped a paper label under the display for the fields because the LCD field labels are tiny and added a map light (Mighty Bright-Blu-Xflex 2-Lght) that I stuck on with 3M removable picture hanging tape. For some reason the light works way better if mounted on the bottom of the console shining slightly up.
The elliptical itself works great, and with the fixes above, I am very happy with it.
Some of the allen screws had slightly small hex holes. They are supposed to be 6MM. The next size down in SAE does the trick, but it bothered me that there wasn't better tolerances.
Everything is well designed. I was impressed at the effort they put into making sure it is solid and the joints won't loosen up.
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