Schwinn Treadmill Review

Brand Rating: 6/10

Schwinn treadmills are built by Nautilus, an international home fitness company with headquarters in Washington State. Nautilus makes fitness equipment for five brands ranging from the rather basic Universal Gym Equipment (mostly strength trainers) to their luxury brand Octane Fitness. Schwinn falls somewhere in the middle. The line includes the Schwinn 830 with 55” track and the Schwinn 870 with 60” track. Satisfied customers describe them as solid, space-saving, and durable.

What We Like

  • Foldable Frames: Like typical home treadmills, the Schwinn 830 and 870 each claim about 7 feet x 3 feet of floor space when in use. In between workouts, Schwinn treadmills can be folded with minimal effort to maximize your living space. Small wheels are attached to help with repositioning as well.
  • Quiet Operation: Belt motors for the 830 and 870 have 2.75 and 3.0 continuous horsepower, respectively. They can supply a good deal of force, yet operate quietly. Heavy treadmill frames and wide/sturdy belt rollers also help minimize noise.
  • Thick Workout Belts: The thicker a workout belt, the more durable and quiet-running it’s likely to be. Schwinn treadmills have thicker belts than most trainers in their price class. Additionally these belts run over 2.5” crowned rollers, which approach light commercial grade. The better the rollers, the less wear on the belt!
  • Standard Belt Sizes: A few inches can mean the difference between comfortable and cramped workouts. The 830 has a 55” long track, which is ample room for most walkers. The Schwinn 870 treadmill has a 60” track to accommodate the longer strides of runners.
  • Power Incline: To literally “ramp up” your workouts each Schwinn treadmill has an automated incline. You can improve muscle toning and increase your calorie burn by raising the 830’s track up to 12 percent or the 870’s track by up to 15 percent.
  • Data Feedback: Both Schwinn consoles can support up to four user profiles and they show more than basic exercise stats on their LED screens. The 870 treadmill in particular provides quite a bit of feedback. Its data fields are Time, Speed, Distance, Laps, Calories, Heart Rate, Incline, Pace, Average Pace, and Best Pace. At the end of each workout, the Schwinn 870 calculates a fitness score. It also shows your fitness scores and other stats from previous workouts for comparison.
  • Data Sharing: New Schwinn treadmills provide different ways to share your treadmill workout data with tracking programs. The 870 has Bluetooth for syncing your data with Schwinn Trainer, MyFitnessPal, and other personal training apps. While the Schwinn 830 has a USB port for data sharing.
  • Wireless Heart Rate Reading: Both models support wireless and grip heart rate monitoring. The Schwinn 870 treadmill includes a wireless chest strap, but not the 830. For heart rate monitoring through contact, each treadmill has a horizontal handlebar.
  • RunSocial Compatibility: Schwinn is partners with RunSocial, a popular mobile fitness app for running with a mix of free and paid features.
  • Built-In Training Programs: Mobile apps like RunSocial are successful because home exercisers like the digital running environments (virtual landscapes) and the customized training suggestions. Still, built-in treadmill programs have the advantages of being 100% free and being accessible even when your household WiFi network is slow or down. Including manual mode and custom user-designed programs, each treadmill has more than 20 programs to choose from. These are broken down into categories such as Heart Health, Weight Control, and Interval.
  • Console Amenities: Each cardio trainer console has a media shelf, a USB charging port, MP3 speakers, two bottle holders, and a three-speed fan.

What We Don’t Like

  • Warranties: Warranties for the Schwinn treadmill brand have improved over the past several years, but they still aren’t competitive. Notably Schwinn frames and motors only have 10-year warranties, whereas just about every competitor provides lifetime frame and motor replacement. Beyond that, the two-year parts warranties and one-year labor warranties are so-so.
  • Thinner Deck: Most good home treadmills have 1” thick decks or running surfaces. Schwinn uses an approximately 3/4“ deck for the 830 treadmill. The Schwinn 830 is primarily a treadmill for walkers even though the advertisements suggest otherwise.
  • Suspension: Suspension for the 830’s track is light compared with what the Schwinn 870 and other home treadmills provide. Especially if you plan to run, choosing a treadmill with greater shock deflection will help make exercise more comfortable and less risky to your joints.

Our Verdict

On sale, the Schwinn 870 treadmill offers good value for walking, jogging and occasional running. It isn’t a best buy for everyday running though, mainly because the motor warranty is unusually short and the suspension isn’t exceptional. Meanwhile the 830 has many of appealing amenities for its price class. But competitors do too and they might win out other areas. The Schwinn treadmill brand has certainly improved in recent year, but hasn’t become an obvious market leader. However we remain optimistic about their future.