This model, the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike, is far more versatile than lower-priced models. It’s suitable for both seriously athletic cyclists looking to get or stay in shape despite bad weather outside and people just wanting to increase their activity levels for health reasons.
It provides options for both comfort and recording the goals you’ve reached.
It’s suitable for people who wish to calmly burn calories while watching TV and for exercises who wish to cycle through short but intense High Intensity Interval Training workouts.
It consists of a single frame of steel tubing, with two integrated levelers. The seat is placed on an aluminum slider.
That means changing the seat’s position is easy and simple with a single lever. You can pre-set the seat for four different users. You can name all four users, and each one can track their own performances.
If you will be the only cyclist, you don’t need that.
But it’s great for partners, spouses, friends and others living with others in one household.
With less expensive models, you have to manually set the seat farther from or closer to the pedals. You may even have to pick up one side of the bike to complete the adjustment, so it’s cumbersome. At best, it’s inconvenient.
Each user profile needs your name, age, height, weight, gender and preferred workout values.
Who Can Use This Bike?
According to the manufacturer, the heaviest weight it’s built for is 300 pounds. However, it does hold heavier users. It may not work well if you’re 400+ pounds.
The manufacturer doesn’t give a height recommendation, and it seems to vary according to leg length. According to my user research, some people at 6′ 2″ find they just barely fit into it. While others feel comfortable despite being 6′ 4″.
On the low end, it will hold users down to 4′ 10″.
However, at the two extremes it may depend on inseam length and what makes you comfortable, including how far you want to extend your leg. Remember, though, that with a bicycle your leg should not be completely extended.
Convenience and Structure
Because it has just a single frame and has a large, mid-frame support, it’s solid and stable.
It does not fold up.
It does have transport wheels in the front so you can roll it to a new location. It has a transport bar in the rear you can pick that section up with.
You can pay extra for a mat to place it on. It’s a good idea to use some kind of such protection if you’re going to place it on a hardwood or bare laminate floor.
If your floor is uneven, you can make leveling adjustments.
Is It Quiet?
Schwinn tells us the resistance levels come from an eddy current. That means the turning flywheel goes past a magnet. That creates an electromagnetic field that attracts the moving flywheel. Therefore, the field pulls at the flywheel.
High-speed trains, roller coasters and power tools use the same force.
The point is, there is no friction. And electromagnetic fields don’t make noise.
Therefore, you can watch TV or listen to music at your usual volume. If you live in an apartment, your neighbors will not hear you.
Caution: if you use a pacemaker or other electronic medical devices, consult your doctor or its manufacturer. This bike’s magnetic field could interfere with its operation.
Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike Resistance Levels
This bike comes with 25 levels of resistance, from easy as walking to Hercules. (Those are my terms, not what Schwinn calls them.) Let’s just say the higher levels will work your quadriceps, your thigh muscles, plenty hard.
If you are overweight, disabled or elderly and user the bike to burn calories and slowly increase your endurance for your heart health, you’ll find one of the low levels comfortable for you.
That also applies to people preparing for or recovering from knee or hip replacement surgery.
You adjust the resistance levels just by pressing the Up and Down buttons on the console display.
If you unplug it, the resistance level remains the same as the last one you set the bike to. When you plug it back in and turn it on, it resets to the lowest level of resistance.
Monitors Your Heart Rate
It has two hand grips which monitor your heart rate when you hold on to them. They’re ergonomically placed to be convenient during a workout session. You grip the stainless steel parts of the handle bars.
However, technical reviews show, this reading is not dependably accurate.
Therefore, you can also use telemetry to transmit your heart rate from a separate chest strap (come included with the bike).
It works with Polar Electro or Polar compatible chest straps, but NOT uncoded Polar or other models. The chest strap must operate in the 4.5kHz – 5.5kHz range.
The Computer LCD Screens
The display console had two separate windows (“dual track”). They are backlit blue. Their brightness cannot be adjusted. Together, they display 13 different pieces of information.
The upper screen is a fairly large, broad rectangle. It shows:
1. What workout program you’re on. That includes the separate intervals and the resistance level.
2. The intensity you’re at, based on the resistance level.
3. The Heart Rate Zone
This is different than the exact-number pulse rate. Based on reviews of the information contained in your user profile and the precise pulse rate, it separates your effort into three zones according to intensity:
* Fat Burn
You select the goal of total time cycled, total distance or total calories burned. It also displays how much more you have to go to reach your goal and what percentage of it you’ve achieved so far.
Displays when you’ve achieved a workout goal, or a milestone from a previous workout.
Below that is a smaller, more narrow rectangle. That one displays:
This may be the time elapsed for your current workout, your average workout time or a total for the machine
Shows how fast you’re going in either miles per hour or kilometers per hour.
How many miles or kilometers you’ve ridden so far in your workout.
4. Level of Resistance
5. Pedal Revolutions per Minute (RPM)
6. Heart Rate Per Minute
When it receives that data.
7. Calories Burned
It displays 3 types of information at the same time, in fixed groups. Depending on what information you find most relevant, you may have to switch back and forth. You cannot view your speed, heart rate and elapsed time in the same display.
You need to power this unit with a cord that plugs into a standard household electrical outlet. (110V-120V circuit) An AC power adapter comes included with the bike.
The console bookshelf holds a Kindle if you wish to read while exercising. It also holds an iPad or Kindle Fire so you can watch a movie.
However, those items will block the bike’s LCD display of information. You can hold electronic devices – or book, newspaper or magazine – in your hands.
After you’re done, it turns itself off automatically, going into sleep mode. It keeps the last user profile as the default.
The power cord runs from a jack in the front of your machine and is just barely long enough to extend to the rear. Therefore, you may need an extension cord to place the bicycle where you want it, depending on the location of your electrical outlets. You also ought to consider putting in a surge protector to protect the electronics.
The Schwinn 270 Allows You to Export Your Workout Data to Track Your Goals
It includes a USB charger.
You can use the USB connection to transfer data reviews to the Schwinn Connect website. Also, it’s compatible with the MyFitnessPal app.
Safety and Comfort
The pedals are large and have straps to hold your feet in place so they don’t slide off.
The pedals have three cranks. Cranks are the levers that connect the pedals. With three of them, these pedals are solid and durable.
The seat is well-padded to keep you comfortable during long riding sessions.
This bike comes with a 3-speed fan and a side-mounted holder for a bottle of water or other favorite beverage.
The back seat is vented to allow air in to cool you off.
If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts, you can plug in ear phones or simply broadcast through two chamber speakers.
If you like, you can watch TV through your session, without turning up the volume. It’s that quiet.
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike has a perimeter weighted flywheel. The main weight of the flywheel run along the outside, near the edge.
That type of flywheel generates a lot of inertia while it’s spinning around. Inertia is the tendency of something in motion to keep going in the same direction.
This makes the bike more stable because it helps prevent up-down motion. It keeps the effort pushing the bike forward. But, since it has no wheels, it doesn’t move.
This inertia encourages you to pedal in a circle, not up and down.
When you pedal up down, up down, up down – that’s harder on your hips, knees and ankles.
Therefore, perimeter weighted flywheels give you a smoother ride and are easier on your joints.
This is especially important for older riders and those with ligament, tendon and joint problems.
Stationary exercise bicycles are a lot easier on your legs and joints than running or even walking, but having a jerky, up/down, up/down pedaling motion is still an extra stress you don’t need.
And perimeter weighted flywheels help prevent that.
It Comes With 29 Preprogrammed Workouts to Choose From
The Profile workouts come in three groups:
I. Fun Rides
a. Rolling Hills
b. Ride in the Park
c. Easy Tour
d. Stream Crossing
a. Pike’s Peak
b. Mount Hood
d. Summit Pass
a. Uphill Finish
b. Cross Training
9 Heart Rate Control (This consists of 4 for beginners, 4 advanced and 1 custom.)
For these, you set a heart rate goal for your workout.
(Note: consult with your doctor or physical trainer about what heart rate is appropriate for you to aim for to reach your fitness goals.)
(If you feel pain or tightness in your chest, faintness or shortness of breath, scale back immediately.)
Also, the manufacturer warns, the heart rate the machine displays is relatively accurate, but still just approximate.
4 defined by you, the user
2 are fitness tests (1 for beginners, 1 for advanced cyclists)
These measure your improvement over time, based on your heart rate, so the bike must be able to receive your heart beats per minutes
1 recovery test
This measures how fast you recover from a workout. The faster your heart slows down after a workout, the better shape you’re in.
1 quick start
The workout program begins automatically as soon as you begin pedaling.
When it’s assembled, it’s 64″ X 27.7″ X 49.9″.
That’s 64 inches long, 27.7 inches wide and 49.9 inches high.
It’s 86.6 pounds.
* Easily accomodates and tracks up to 4 separate users, changing position for each person’s individual settings
* Comfortable and appropriate for both athletes and casual cyclists who recreation while they pedal
* Many preprogrammed workouts, including the ability to design your own custom plans
* 25 resistance levels
* It’s quiet
* Reads heart rate telemetry from chest strap monitors
* works with Schwinn’s website and MyFitnessPal
* Perimeter-weighted flywheel gives a smoother ride and his easier on your knees and hip joins
* Designed so adjusting the seat’s position is easy
* The machine’s own heart rate monitors are only approximate
* Doesn’t come with an accurate chest strap heart monitor (but that also means people who wouldn’t use that feature don’t have to pay for what they wouldn’t use)
* May be difficult for people over 6 feet tall
* Seat not adjustable side to side
* The backlit LCD screens may be too bright for some and are not adjustable
Consumer Ratings and Reviews for the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Generally high. A few users report discomfort, but that’s an individual thing that can vary with size and preferences.
Roughly, it’s under $500. It is more expensive than the first two recumbent bikes I reviewed. However, it contains more features, especially electronic ones.
10 years for the frame
2 years for mechanical parts
1 year for electronics
90 days for labor
If you’ll be the only user and you just wish to cycle while watching TV, you may not want to pay for this bike’s many features.
However, its accommodating of 4 separate users is good for households of couples or friends and other family members all trying to stay in shape.
It’s good for people who wish to base their workouts on reaching target heart rate zones for burning fat or to achieve aerobic fitness goals.
And the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is good for people who enjoy tracking all their fitness statistics and goals.