Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
It's A Schwinn Win In My Book
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.
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.
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.
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.