The Schwinn 420 isn't the total package when it comes to ellipticals. Its performance is sometimes shaky, reviewers say, its display is hard to read and it doesn't incline. Considering its low sticker price, however, customers are pleased with its quality.
Pleasantly surprised. Schwinn doesn't advertise the flywheel weight of its 420 model, but users say the machine is smooth and quiet, especially for the price. One Walmart.com owner reports, "it does tend to shake a bit from left to right if you're tired and not using proper form." The 420 uses an eddy current brake system that allows for 16 resistance levels adjusted from the control console. The system uses magnets to create resistance and is usually found on high-end models.
The Schwinn 420 doesn't incline, but reviewers say this is forgivable on such an affordable machine. Its 18-inch stride length may be a bit short for taller users and isn't adjustable.
Focus on performance. Assembly takes about two hours, and consumers have few complaints. Several say that directions are clear, although one found the included wrench inadequate.
The 420's control console contains an MP3 input plug, workout fan and heads-up LCD. The display isn't backlit, but shows key information such as speed, calories burned, time, watts level and distance, plus a progress chart. One user reports, "the heads-up-display (HUD) leaves something to be desired but it does its job." Others complain that the display is hard to read without a good light but say performance is offset by the machine's great price.
Of the eight programs available, seven are preset and one is custom. The Schwinn 420 doesn't include a heart-rate interactive program. The stationary handles do read heart rate, but one poster at Epinions.com says the elliptical took up to 90 seconds to accurately do so.
A lightweight champion. The Schwinn 420 weighs in at 164 pounds but limits user weight to 300 pounds, and that might be excessive, says Fred Waters at Fitness-Equipment-Source.com. Regardless, the majority of consumer reviews attests to the 420's solid build quality.
Short warranty, great service. The 420's warranty is disappointing -- five years on the frame and only 90 days for parts and labor -- but consumers are satisfied with the service they receive. One says at Walmart.com, "after about a week, one of the bearings went out, but (my husband) just called the Schwinn company, and they gladly sent him out new parts." Other user reports concur that Schwinn is quick to respond.
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Review Credibility: Very Good Waters shares his opinion of many elliptical trainers after testing each machine and speaking with their manufacturers. Although his review of the 420 isn't comparative, it is complete and he names it his Best Budget Elliptical Buy.
Review: Schwinn 420 Elliptical Review, Fred Waters, September 2012
Review Credibility: Good After about 60 consumer reviews at Amazon.com, the Schwinn 420 scores an average 3.7 stars out of 5. Posts vary in length and product experience.
Review: Customer Reviews: Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer (2012 Model), Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Good About 75 Walmart.com posters give the 420 an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Ninety-two percent of reviewers say they would recommend the product to a friend.
Review: Schwinn 420 Elliptical Machine, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Good The Schwinn consumer review page contains about 25 comments on the 420 model, and feedback varies in length and experience with the product. Users are required to post their fitness experience, such as "avid athlete." It appears that Schwinn doesn't hide poor reviews on their products, with the 420 scoring 3.5 stars out of 5.
Review: Schwinn 420 Elliptical, Contributors to SchwinnFitness.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Good Epinions.com posts just one user review of the 420. He goes into lengthy detail but doesn't state how long he has owned the machine. He gives the elliptical 4 out of 5 stars, citing a few "pet peeves" as reason for the one-star demerit.
Review: Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of June 2010
Review Credibility: Poor There are just a couple of user reviews for the Schwinn 420 at Sears.com, and both provide only a few quick points without explanation. They split on their scores, however, giving it an average 2.5 stars out of 5.
Review: Schwinn 420 Elliptical, Contributors to Sears.com, As of November 2012