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Everything You Need To Know About Schwinn’s 870 Treadmill [A Review]

schwinn 870 treadmill review

The 870 is Schwinn’s highest-end treadmill to date, but with an asking price just over $1000, I would still consider it a budget model.

That said, the 870 has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to the console features.

Performance wise, this treadmill comes with a 20″ x 60″ running surface, a 3.0 CHP motor, a power incline up to 15%, and a 300 lb weight limit.

Console features include 26 workout programs, bluetooth compatibility, and an included chest strap heart rate monitor.

Overall, the 870 might be a good choice if you’re looking for a treadmill loaded with workout programs, but this model does have its flaws- most notably the warranty (but more on that later).

But before you buy, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can- and that’s where this review comes in.

In this article, I’ll discuss everything this treadmill has to offer, as well as the areas where it has room for improvement. After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right treadmill for your home gym.

The Schwinn 870 Treadmill

schwinn 870 treadmill review

Photo courtesy of Schwinn

Even though Schwinn is better known for their road and exercise bikes (and rightly so), the fitness brand does offer other options to choose from.

They have all the usual suspects- stationary bikes of all varieties, ellipticals, and treadmills.

They also have their famous line of Airdyne bikes, which are great for higher intensity, butt kicking workouts.

There are currently only 2 treadmill models to choose from: the 870 and the slightly more affordable 830.

There’s only about a $150 difference between the 2 treadmills, but that extra cash gets you some pretty significant improvements- like a larger running surface, thicker belt, higher incline, and a more advanced console.

Pros

  • 20″ x 60″ running surface
  • 3.0 CHP motor
  • 2.5″ rollers
  • 300 lb weight capacity
  • 26 workout programs
  • Top speed of 12 mph
  • Top incline of 15%
  • 4 user profiles
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor included
  • USB charging port
  • Folding frame

Cons

  • Warranty could be longer
  • Complaints regarding customer service

Running Surface

I always start my treadmill reviews by going over the machine’s running surface. Personally, I think this is the single most important treadmill spec to consider.

And this is because this spec tells you a lot about the treadmill.

By the way, this spec refers to the literal size of the belt- that is, how much room you’ll have to work with during your workouts.

I’m of the opinion that larger is always better, regardless of how tall you are or whether you’ll be walking or running. And that’s because a larger running surface is going to feel more commercial like.

A roomier treadmill gives you more wiggle room (literally).

And if you are a tall runner, you’ll want to pay close attention to the length of the belt- you don’t want to run out of room when running at faster speeds.

This rule isn’t written in stone and there are exceptions, but generally speaking, nicer treadmills come with larger running surfaces.

And what, do tell, counts as a “larger” running surface?

Any treadmill with at least a 20″ x 60″ running surface can consider themselves to have a large belt in my book.

With this background info in mind, consider that the Schwinn 870 comes with a 20″ x 60″ running surface.

This is large enough to accommodate pretty much all folks, regardless of how fast they get that belt cranking during their workouts.

In this price range, you’ll see other treadmills that are offering 22″ x 60″ running surfaces. And, honestly, all other things even, I’d probably go with the extra wide running surface.

But the 870 is definitely large enough for comfortable running.

The 870 also comes with a 300 lb weight capacity, which is pretty average for quality treadmills in this price range.

I like to look to the weight limit as an indicator of build quality, with higher being a good sign of superior frame strength. In this price range, 300 lb is pretty standard, while there are some that can go as high as 350 lb.

Overall, the 870 scores pretty highly in this department- it comes with a spacious running surface and a weight limit high enough to hold most folks safely.

Motor

If the running surface is the most important spec, the motor is a close second.

Home treadmill motors generally come anywhere between 1.5 – 4 HP. And if you ask me, stronger is always better.

Having a stronger motor is beneficial because it’s going to make your workouts smoother and probably a little quieter. That’s because a stronger motor doesn’t have to work as hard as a weaker one to produce the same output.

How strong is strong enough?

If you’re planning on running on a regular basis, I recommend going with at least a 3 HP motor. If you plan on walking for the majority of your workouts, you can get away with weaker.

The Schwinn 870 comes with a 3.0 CHP motor that can reach a top speed of 12 mph and a top incline of 15%.

For this price range, most quality machines come with motors in the 3-3.5 HP range, so the 870 is pretty par for the course.

And the speed and incline options available are also pretty average for this price range.

What’s worth noting however, is that this treadmill comes with 2.5″ rollers.

The rollers are what allow the belt to glide smoothly over the deck as the motor purrs away. Having larger rollers is beneficial, because they make more surface contact with the belt.

This puts less stress on the belt (as well as the rollers and motor) and makes for a more comfortable workout experience.

More affordable treadmills tend to use smaller rollers (many in the 2″ range or even a little smaller), but the 870 uses surprisingly large ones.

The combination of the 3 CHP motor and the large rollers should make for smooth belt action during workouts.

Features

The Schwinn 870 Treadmill comes with the following features:

26 workout programs- this treadmill comes with a boatload of built in workouts to choose from. These include manual, as well as several goal oriented workouts and heart rate guided options.

Chest strap heart rate monitor- not only is this treadmill compatible with telemetry heart rate monitors, but Schwinn does ya one better and includes a chest strap with purchase. You can always use the grip heart rate monitors instead if you want to.

Dual LCD console- the screens aren’t HD or touchscreen or anything particularly fancy, but having the 2 separate screens makes it easy to see all of your selections and fitness metrics at the same time.

4 user profiles- you can save info for up to 4 users, which is pretty nice for homes where multiple family members plan on using the treadmill.

Bluetooth- the 870 is bluetooth friendly, allowing you to sync up with several popular fitness apps for tracking. You can also sync up with apps like Explore the World if you want to get the sensation of walking or running across scenic routes around the world (PS- I don’t think the Schwinn Trainer App which the manual tells you to connect with exists anymore).

Fitness score- after each workout, you’ll get a Schwinn Fitness Score based on your performance (and your heart rate I believe), which can be used as a measure of progress over time.

USB charging port- you can plug your phone or tablet in and charge it up during your workouts.

Cooling fan- there’s a built-in fan to help keep ya comfortable during workouts.

Water bottle holders- there’s convenient places to put your water or other beverages of choice.

Assembly

I think most people will find the assembly process for the 870 to be pretty straightforward. Even though it does have a few more steps than some other treadmills, the process is basically the same.

The deck comes pre-assembled, so you’ll be responsible for attaching the uprights, the console, and several covers/accessories.

Schwinn does a pretty nice job with their manual- the images are large and easy to read, making it easy to see where parts go and which hardware is used for each step.

It’s always a good idea to have a second person around to help, especially when it comes time to attach the console (it’s nice to have someone hold the console while you make cable attachments).

Overall, if you or a family member is at least a bit handy, assembly shouldn’t be an issue.

Warranty

Schwinn backs the 870 Treadmill up with the following residential warranty:

  • 10 year frame
  • 10 year motor
  • 2 year parts/electronics
  • 1 year labor

I think the warranty department is where this treadmill has plenty of room for improvement.

Two years on parts is pretty standard for this price range, as is a year on labor, but 10 years on the frame and motor is a bit short, considering many in this price range are offering lifetime on both.

Overall, this warranty isn’t awful, but it could be a lot better.

Final Thoughts

That about does it for the Schwinn 870. All things considered, this treadmill has some pretty respectable performance specs as well as console features.

The running surface is big enough for comfortable use and the motor is of adequate strength for walking and running.

The console isn’t fancy, but it comes with a lot of workouts to choose from and it is bluetooth compatible.

All things considered, I think the 870 is pretty average for this price range- I don’t see anything that really stands out to me (and the warranty is shorter than many in this price range).

If you’re looking for a ton of workout programs, than maybe I could see going for the 870, but it’s hard to recommend this model knowing that Sole’s F63 (lifetime frame/motor warranty) is $100 cheaper.

 

Will

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