It’s safe to say that Schwinn’s 270 is one of the most popular home recumbent bikes around. It’s not that hard to see why either. For roughly $500, you get an easy and comfortable bike to use with a great combination of features.
It doesn’t hurt that it’s sporting the most famous name in biking either.
If you’re looking for a quality recumbent bike, the Schwinn 270 is a pretty safe bet for the price range- but it’s still a smart idea to do your homework.
This review is here to help you along your way by providing a thorough explanation of everything this exercise bike has to offer.
After reading this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what the Schwinn 270 has going for it (and where it could use some improvements).
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
The name Schwinn is synonymous with bicycle. Since the late 1800’s, the Schwinn brand has been making a name for themselves in the cycling world by producing bikes that outperformed the competition.
Even though the brand came to fame mostly through their road bikes, their exercise bikes have made quite a name for themselves on their own right.
This is because Schwinn applied the same principles that made their road bikes such a success to their exercise bikes.
You won’t see a lot of fancy bells and whistles on their exercise bikes. Instead, you’ll find fairly simple models that are designed to perform.
Schwinn currently produces 2 recumbent models- the 270 and the 230.
As expected, the 270 is an upgraded version of the 230, offering more exercise programs, more resistance levels, and a more sophisticated display.
The price difference between the 2 models is pretty small, making the 270 a smarter buy if you ask me (I’d even go as far as saying the 270 is one of the best budget recumbent bikes around).
- Solid, walk-through frame
- Large seat with vented back rest
- 300 lb weight capacity
- 29 workout programs
- 25 levels of magnetic resistance
- 10 resistance quick keys
- Compatible with chest strap heart rate monitors
- Bluetooth compatible with apps
- USB charging port
- Easy assembly
- Affordable price
- Short warranty
- Light flywheel
The great thing about recumbent bikes, is that they’re, um, recumbent. This reclined position really ups the comfort level and is why (I would guess) most people opt for one to begin with.
The reclined position is more comfortable because it puts less stress though the back, hips, knees, and ankles.
The frames on recumbent bikes are designed a lot more horizontally than standard upright bikes that are more vertical.
The Schwinn 270, like all respectable recumbent bikes, comes with a walk-through frame. This basically means you don’t have to step over any bar or structure to sit on the seat.
If you look at the image above, you’ll notice all the open space between the seat and the console. There’s only a single connection and that’s the bar at the bottom of the frame.
Having a walk-through frame makes it a lot easier to get on/off, then say, a spin bike. It also allows you to access the seat from either side.
The 270 is build solid and can handle users who weigh up to 300 lbs. This is a good weight capacity for any home exercise bike, but especially good for one in this price range.
The flywheel is the part of the bike that spins as you pedal the pedals. It’s what creates the resistance and gives the bike its “feel”.
Now, on spin bikes and ellipticals, heavier flywheels are usually preferred because they tend to provide more overall resistance and a smoother ride.
The heavier weight creates more momentum as it spins.
I would say the same is true for recumbent bikes- heavier flywheels are better, but I personally don’t think it’s as important as it is on other bikes and ellipticals.
This is because recumbent bikes are designed to provide a more comfortable exercise experience. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think most people are choosing a recumbent bike because they want a hardcore workout.
And I’m not saying you can’t get a great workout on a recumbent.
I’m just saying I’m not as concerned with the flywheel weight on a recumbent bike as much as I might be on a spin bike (but heavier is still better).
Anyway, the 270 comes with a 13 lb flywheel that works with a magnetic resistance system. For a bike in this price range, this is pretty average.
Many similarly priced bikes come with 13-15 lb flywheels and lighter.
Long-story-short, the 270 has a solid frame and a flywheel heavy enough to provide a decent workout, but folks looking for a more substantial workout might want to consider a bike with a heavier flywheel.
Recumbent bike seats are more comfortable than any other type of exercise bike seat because they are larger and come with larger back rests.
The seat on the Schwinn 270 is no different.
The seat on this bike is large and contoured for extra comfort. The back rest provides a little lumbar support, which may help keep your back in better alignment during your workouts.
You’ll notice the back rest is vented (has little holes in it). I’m not sure this actually makes any difference with ventilation, but technically it could help with airflow and keep you a little cooler.
Either way, I think it gives it a jazzy look.
The seat is height adjustable, meaning it can slide horizontally across the frame to fit folks of different heights. The back rest is not adjustable.
Overall, most users agree the seat on the 270 is pretty comfortable. Nothing particularly fancy here, but highly effective.
The Schwinn 270 comes with the following features included:
29 workout programs- this is a lot of workout variety, especially for a $500 bike. With this many options to choose from, getting bored with your workouts shouldn’t be an excuse.
25 resistance levels- having more levels of resistance gives you more play on your workout intensity. With 25 levels, you’ll be able to fine tune the intensity to create your desired workout.
10 resistance quick keys- use these buttons to instantly adjust the resistance to a preselected value. This is a convenient feature, especially if you are doing interval training.
RideSocial app- connect with the app to ride virtually through scenic routes across the planet. You can also connect with Schwinn’s free trainer app through bluetooth for fitness tracking.
DualTrack LCD console- the console has 1 larger screen and 1 smaller screen, enabling you to view all of your workout metrics at the same time without having to scan to find the one you want to see.
Chest strap heart rate monitor compatible- you can connect your chest strap monitor to the 270 to track your heart rate during your workouts, but one isn’t included.
3-speed fan- the built-in fan will help keep you comfortable on longer rides.
Speakers- you can connect your smart phone or mp3 player up to the console and listen to your workout tracks through the built-in speakers.
USB charging port- the USB charging port allows you to charge your smart devices while you workout, ensuring you don’t drain your battery jamming out to music or watching Netflix.
Putting this bike together isn’t that bad. The frame and flywheel unit all come preassembled (thankfully), so all you have to do is add the stabilizing feet, seat, pedals, and console.
The instructions provided are thorough and easy to follow. Each step is clearly labeled with an image that is large enough to see where each piece goes.
All the parts are clearly labeled too, making it easy to figure out which washer goes with which bolt.
The necessary screwdriver and Allen wrenches are provided, so if you don’t have your own toolbox, you should still be ok.
I would estimate most fairly handy people out there could have this bike up and running within an hour.
I wouldn’t worry about paying for expert assembly unless you know you (or a family member) aren’t physically able to assemble it.
The Schwinn 270 comes with the following warranty:
- 10 year frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year electronics
- 90 day labor
I told you in the intro that this review would discuss everything the 270 has going for it, as well as the stuff it’s lacking.
Well, this bike has a lot going for it, but the warranty isn’t one of them.
I’d like to see a lifetime guarantee on the frame. That might not be the norm in this price range, but a quality bike like the 270 should be able to pull it off.
Two years on parts isn’t awful for an affordable bike, but 90 days on labor is pretty weak.
I think the warranty is the only real flaw the 270 has going against it.
Schwinn is a great brand that has earned a stellar reputation over the years by providing the people with high quality products.
As their most advanced recumbent bike to date, the Schwinn 270 doesn’t disappoint either.
I like the vast workout library and that you get 25 levels of resistance to work with- this is a nice combination when it comes to adding variety and intensity to your routine.
The bluetooth capabilities and USB charging port are other highlights for me because these aren’t guarantees in this price range. Same goes for the chest strap heart rate monitoring.
My biggest complaint is the short warranty- I’d expect a better guarantee from a brand like Schwinn.
But hey, nothing’s perfect.
For the price, I think the Schwinn 270 is a safe bet. It provides a smooth, comfortable ride and is easy to use. Definitely one of the best recumbent bikes in its class.
But if you’re a little put off by the warranty, you should check out the Nautilus R616- it’s basically identical to the 270 in terms of features and price, but comes with a better warranty.