Budget Driven Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike with Man on it.

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike – Schwinn updated their Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike model to MY16 230 in 2016. For the sake of this review, I will continue to refer to it as the 230. The newer version is very similar to the older model but there are some minor changes to the overall design and console. 

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike comes with automatic resistance control. It’s well-built and heavy-duty, looking close to what you would expect with any commercial-grade recumbent bike.

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Construction

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Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

The core of the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is made of a steel tubing frame with a one-piece chassis. It’s engineered for strength and to last year after year. Additionally, the bike incorporates PVC parts like the covers of the drive system, the base for the cover along with the caps of the base tubes. 

Some of it is just for cosmetic reasons and to add some protection. Once the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is assembled it weighs a lot more than the average recumbent bike that you would use on the street or roads. Fully assembled, the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike weighs just under 82 lbs (37 kg). That is a testament to the stability of the recumbent bike.

There are wheels that are built into the front of the base. When you need to move the recumbent bike, simply reach down and lift the handle at the rear of the base. This will allow you to lift the frame/recumbent bike fairly easily because you are only having to lift half its weight.

The frame has three rubberized stabilizers attached to it. It has two adjustable on the rear base tube, along with one stabilizer in the middle of the mainframe tube. There are two heat-injected PVC caps which the front base rests on.

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is good sized. The dimensions are 64″ (162 cm) long by 27.7″W (70 cm) wide. Unfortunately, the frame is not designed to be able to fold up. So once you put the bike together, that’s the way it’s going to stay. Honestly, not too many recumbent bikes have the ability to fold up. Sure, if you are pressed for space then having certain parts of it fold up might be really convenient. 

Just before you get a recumbent bike or any other piece of exercise equipment make sure you get the measurements of the piece of equipment you are buying. What I do is tape the dimensions on the floor in the area I want to place it. Then I know exactly what to expect and there will be no surprises when it comes to getting it to fit into the room. 

Seat and Handlebars

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Seat and Handles.

The seat that comes with the Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is developed for comfort. It has a contoured design, with a vented seat and backrest that’s roughly 17″ (43 cm) in width, and 11″ (28 cm) long. Both the seat and backrest are made from heavy-duty PVC materials. As I stated before, despite the fact that the seat does not have any cushioning, the seat is contoured for comfort.

If you are someone who prefers a firm seat? Then this seat will be a great match for you. Along with the vented backrest and seat for preventing excessive perspiration.

The seat is adjustable and it’s attached to an inline rail system. This is used for gliding back and forth so that you can secure it closer or farther depending on the length that works for you in relation to the pedals. The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike can work for users from 4’6″ (137 cm) to 6’4″ (193 cm) quite comfortably. If you are taller than 6’4″, you can still use the machine but you may not be able to benefit from the complete leg extension.

This Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike has two sets of handlebars, with one set attached to the seat assembly, and the other one on the console mast. The recumbent handlebars, which are the ones on the seat, include the stainless steel pulse sensors for tracking your heart rate. 

The pulse sensors on the console mast are pretty close to the user. The reason for this is the mast’s inward curvature which provides excellent workout outcomes, without forcing you to adopt an awkward posture. Each set of handlebars has foam grips for comfort.

Resistance and Drive

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Resistance System.

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike comes with a motorized, magnetic resistance system. The bike’s resistance can only be changed from the console, and the machine must be connected to a power source. Like a 120V 60Hz AC Input, 9VDC, 1.5A output AC power adapter comes with the bike. The adapter requires a standard 110-120V U.S. electrical outlet. Just above its front base, is where the adapter jack plugs into the bike

The resistance apparatus is made of a magnetic brake pad and a small servo motor. 

When you select a resistance level from the console, it sends a command to the servo and then adjusts the magnetic pad’s position in relation to the metallic flywheel, by either adding or reducing the drag. The bike presents 20 levels of resistance, making it feasible for all skill levels.

The first resistance setting is for light workouts, such as older users, or people who are undergoing a recovery training regimen. The top 18-20 resistance levels will definitely make you break a sweat!

This machine’s drive system is very quiet and nearly silent. The machine is powered by a heavy-duty v-belt that is designed to last year after year. The flywheel features a balanced structure. Even though it’s not the heaviest, it does provide a steady consistent momentum. The steel-made crank arms are finished with weighted, nylon pedals. There are adjustable straps featured with 5 adjustment positions.

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike features a comfortable Q-Factor for offering natural positioning of your feet on the pedals. This, in turn, eliminates any lateral stress on your knees. You can peddle in reverse but when pedaling in reverse it provides no resistance on the pedals.

Console

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Console.

The console unit is nearly identical in design and features as the older Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike. It does have a slightly different layout. The best part is it can transfer all of your workout data to other applications. You are no longer limited to SchwinnConnect and MyFitnessPal.

This new console model gives you the option of tracking your workout data on a variety of applications like Endomondo, MapMyRun/Ride, GoogleFit, Apple Health, and UA. One downside is the console is not Bluetooth enabled. Any of your workout data will have to be transferred through the USB Port. The unit’s USB port also works as a charging port for your device.

The console unit is able to track distance, speed, pulse, RPM, calories burned and the time they were burned. It is equipped with a  heart rate zone indicator, a goal percentage indicator, and current resistance setting. 

Your goals for time, distance and calories burned. From here, your workout data will get displayed on two monitors. There is the top display that’s a 3 x 5 monitor wide display that will show the workout profiles, like your goals and profile. The 1 x 5 inches monitor displays the other metrics, like the speed, time, distance, etc.

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike comes packed with 22 workout programs. There are  9 profile programs, 2 fitness tests, 8 heart rate programs, 1 quick start, and 2 custom. 

The 9 profile programs are Cross-Training, Ride in the Park, Rolling Hills, Easy Tour, Mount Hood, Pyramids, Uphill Finish, Pikes Peak, and Interval. The QuickStart program gives you the option to workout openly, and change the resistance as you want during pedaling. The 2 custom programs offer the chance to create your own profile and programs, save them and use them as many times you want.

The console unit integrates a sound system, media holder (or reading rack) and cooling fan. The sound system consists of two acoustic chambered speakers. The sound system will work with most MP3 devices, smartphones, tablets, etc. The cooling fan has three basic speeds. It’s not the most powerful fan but will give you some cooling.

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike

The media holder is placed between the two displays. You can have a tablet or phone placed on it to cover the top display. The secondary display provides most of the workout data will still be visible.

The console can only track your pulse via the sensors that are implemented in the handlebars but can also be done VIA the HR chest strap (POLAR) transmitter. This accessory is not included and you will have to purchase it separately. It does not cost that much.

The console unit is super easy to operate and uses keys for increments of 1. You can gradually set the resistance adjustment (in increments of 1), and quick keys for the 1,3,5,7,9,12,14,16,18, and 20 resistance settings. There is a pause function that’s available which is great to have if you alternate bicycle sessions with other types of workouts.

Assembly and Maintenance

This Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike will arrive at your home already partially assembled. The drive and resistance elements will arrive in their places where they are connected to the frame and are encased by the protective shrouds. 

The parts that need assembling are the front handlebars, console mast, console, pedals and the base tubes of the frame, the seat with its backrest and handlebars. This could take a couple of hours but that depends on your skillset when it comes to putting things together. If you are like me you will get someone else to put it together for you. 

If you do decide to put it together on your own the directions are step by step and very straight forward. All of the tools you will use to put it together are included.

PRO’s

  • A rock-solid construction and very similar to commercial-grade recumbent bikes. This bike can handle users up to 300 lbs.
  • Sleek and dignified design 
  • A contoured vented seat that will let your lower back and butt breath. My back gets hot easily so the venting seat and back is a big plus for me. 
  • Made as a hard seat and contoured backrest that provides great lumbar support. The hard seat does not work at all for me but it’s perfect for others. 
  • Grip pulse sensors for keeping track of your heart rate. 
  • 20 levels of resistance open up many opportunities for challenging yourself in your workouts.
  • 22 preset workout programs that include the following: 9 profile, 8 heart rate control, 4 beginners, 4 advanced, 2 custom user-defined, 2 fitness test, 1 Beginner, 1 Advanced, 1 quick start along with additional features.
  • Goal tracking for your workouts.
  • USB port for charging your devices and transferring your workout data to applications like MyFitness Pal, AppleHealth, SchwinnConnect, and other applications.
  • Added features: sound system, 3-speed fan, tablet support, and a water bottle holder.
  • This recumbent bike is nearly noiseless with its smooth and quiet drive.
  • It has weighted pedals with adjustable straps to provide extra stability.
  • Frame: 10 years / Parts: 2 years / Electronics: 1 year / Labor: 90 days warranty.
Chaulk board with "Pros" and "Cons" one on each side.

CON’s

  • The Seat is hard and I know some people like that. For me, with all my back problems. Sitting on any hard surface is the worst thing I could do for my back.
  • POLAR chest strap for pulse reading is not included;
  • “The 3-speed fan is not very powerful” which is a comment I see a lot from buyers of this model. No, the fan will not blow you away (no pun intended). The recumbent bike I am currently using does not have a fan. I sure wished I had that 3-speed fan! 

I used to have the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike. When I get about halfway through my workout Ispeed am sweating and I am heated up. Having that little 3-speed fan was great because it was just enough to take the edge off and cool me down some. I miss that little fan! 

Conclusion

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike (MY16) is a solid recumbent bike. According to the so-called experts they have it classified as a mid-range exercise bike. The design, construction, and overall durability are virtually similar to commercial-grade recumbent bikes. 

It uses an eddy current resistance system that includes different 20 levels. The console serves up 22 different workouts. There is a USB port where you can transfer your workout data to exercise applications like MyFitness Pal, AppleHealth, SchwinnConnect, and other applications. 

The Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike is great for users of all exercise levels. It works well for recovery training, stamina, and weight loss. Plus, strength training for your back to help reduce back pain. 

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Video

You might want to take a look at the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike or the Schwinn A20 Recumbent Bike.

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