Schwinn Fitness Treadmill Review
Schwinn Fitness treadmills are built by Nautilus, an international company with headquarters in Vancouver, WA. Nautilus also builds Bowflex treadmills, which look very similar to Schwinn treadmills but are more robust. While Bowflex machines are mid-priced ($1,499 and up), Schwinn treadmills are for budgets around $1,000. Available factory-direct are two models:
- Schwinn 830 Treadmill with 55” x 20” walking area, $949 full price
- Schwinn 870 Treadmill with 60” x 20” walking/running area, $1,099 full price
New Schwinn treadmills boast some high quality features, and their workout programming is generous for the price. Highlights include wireless heart rate control, power incline, Bluetooth for data export, and amenities such as music speakers and a three-speed fan.
Customers generally describe these fitness machines as durable and sturdy. Both models for 2018 can be folded to optimize your living space.
What We Like:
- Data Feedback: Schwinn treadmill monitors use basic LED technology, but we appreciate how they’re data-rich. With either model you’ll get more than the basic exercise stats, and the 870 Treadmill in particular provides lots of feedback. During a workout it shows Time, Speed, Distance, Laps, Calories, Heart Rate, Incline, Pace, Average Pace and Best Pace. Following a workout, the treadmill computer displays a fitness score. It also shows your fitness scores and other data from the previous workout, week and month; your all-time calorie burn record; and your longest treadmill workout.
- Data Sharing: In different ways, new Schwinn treadmills for 2018 let you export exercise data to a choice of mobile apps. Most advanced is the 870 Treadmill, which has Bluetooth for automatically sending treadmill workout data to Schwinn Trainer, MyFitnessPal or another personal training app. The Schwinn 830 Treadmill lacks Bluetooth for data sharing, but it has a USB port.
- Heart Rate Monitoring and Pulse-Controlled Workouts: Both Schwinn treadmills for 2018 can be used with Polar or Polar-compatible chest straps for wireless heart rate monitoring. Besides displaying a constant readout as you exercise, each treadmill can use your wireless heart rate data to control the belt speed and incline. This helps you exercise within a preset heart rate zone. A chest strap is included with the Schwinn 870 Treadmill; for the 830 it’s bring-your-own. Each treadmill also has contact pulse readers built into its horizontal handlebar.
- Quiet Motors: Belt motors for the Schwinn 830 and 870 have 2.75 and 3.0 continuous horsepower, respectively. These motors can supply a good deal of force, yet they operate quietly. Heavy machine frames and wide, sturdy belt rollers also help minimize sound as you exercise.
- Standard Belt Sizes: Many low-priced treadmills have short and narrow tracks, but Schwinn Fitness creates reasonably-sized workout spaces. The Schwinn 830 Treadmill has a 55” x 20” track, giving ample room to the typical walker. The Schwinn 870 Treadmill has a 60” x 20” track to allow long running strides.
- Power Incline: Improve muscle tone and increase your calorie burn potential! Each Schwinn treadmill has power incline to literally “ramp up” your workout efficiency. You can tilt the 830 track by up to 12 percent, and the 870 track by up to 15 percent.
- Four User Profiles: Family-friendly, both Schwinn treadmills can store up to four user profiles. Benefits of using a profile include: more accurate data feedback; the option to store workout results in a convenient mobile app; and the option to create and save customized treadmill routines.
- Built-In Exercise Programs: Each cardio trainer has more than 20 preset workout programs. These are grouped into categories such as Heart Health, Weight Control and Interval.
- RunSocial Compatibility: Schwinn Fitness partners with RunSocial, making it easy to use RunSocial workouts with the 870 Treadmill. RunSocial is a popular mobile fitness app that lets you virtually exercise outdoors in captivating environments, and also connect with other trainees. RunSocial offers free and paid features for use with Apple and Android devices.
- Console Amenities: Each treadmill console has a media shelf sized for a magazine or tablet computer. Also included are a USB charging port, MP3 speakers, two bottle holders and a three-speed fan.
- Thick Workout Belt: The 870 Treadmill has a two-ply workout belt, whereas most low-priced treadmills have single-layer workout belts. Thicker belts are preferable because they move more quietly and require recalibration less often.
- Foldable Frames: Schwinn treadmills are sized reasonably and can fold vertically to save floor space. Lifting the workout deck into its storage position is made easy with hydraulic automation. Unfolded the 870 Treadmill covers about 6.5 ft x 3 ft. The 830 Treadmills takes about 6 ft x 3 ft.
What We Don’t Like:
- Warranties: Warranties for the Schwinn Fitness treadmill brand have recently improved but still aren’t competitive. Most notably the machine frames and drive motors only have 10-year warranties. For comparison many competitors provide lifetime frame and motor replacement, even on treadmills under $1,000. The two-year parts warranty is reasonable but not outstanding.
- Suspension: Suspension for the Schwinn 830 Treadmill track is weak compared with what the 870 and many other home treadmills provide.
Of the two Schwinn models, the Schwinn 870 Treadmill strikes us as the better value. Compared with the 830, for an extra $150 it adds workout space, a wireless heart rate transmitter, Bluetooth for data export, RunSocial compatibility, additional built-in workout programs and a bit of horsepower. Not bad for $1,099!
New Schwinn treadmills are a sign of progress in home fitness for 2018. Reviewing both the 830 and 870, we see confirmation that Bluetooth and other features once reserved for mid-priced trainers have become more affordable to produce.
Still, at the $1,000 price point every treadmill has shortcomings along with strengths. For perspective see our chart of Top Five Treadmills Under $1,500.