ProForm’s 235 CSX vs Schwinn’s 270 – Which Recumbent Bike Makes More Sense?

ProForm’s 235 CSX and Schwinn’s 270 are both budget-friendly home recumbent bikes with fairly impressive stats (for their price range).

Both bikes come with respectable resistance systems, a generous selection of pre-loaded workout programs, and solid warranties.

In other words, these bikes have a lot in common.

So, if you’re looking for a recumbent bike that won’t break your budget, either bike could be a great fit, but let’s be real – one has got to be better than the other right?

Well, that’s what I’m here to help you figure out.

In this head-to-head comparison, I’ll go over all the key specs and features each bike has to offer so you can see exactly how the 235 CSX and Schwinn 270 measure up to each other.

After reading, you’ll know which recumbent is better suited for your home.

Let’s roll.

ProForm 235 CSXSchwinn 270
Resistance14 lb flywheel
18 magnetic resistance levels
13 lb flywheel
25 magnetic resistance levels
Frame102 lb assembled weight
275 lb weight limit
87 lb assembled weight
300 lb weight limit
Warranty7 year frame
90 day parts
90 day labor
10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year electronics
90 day labor
FeaturesSmall LCD console
18 workout programs
Watt meter
Grip heart rate monitor
DualTrack console
29 workout programs
4 user profiles
Strap heart rate monitor compatible
Quick touch resistance buttons
Cooling fan

The ProForm 235 CSX vs The Schwinn 270

ProForm and Schwinn are both big names in home fitness, so brand recognition probably won’t play much of a factor when choosing between these 2 bikes.

Personally, I know when I’m comparing products, I tend to lean towards the brand names I’m familiar with (especially in the grocery store), but I know this isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Generic brands can still offer quality products and they usually cost less…I think there’s a saying about not judging books from covers or something?

Ha, anyway, that isn’t an issue when it comes to the 235 CSX and the 270.

Both of these recumbent bikes are generally very well reviewed by users and they’re both priced very similarly.

Something worth considering though, is that the 235 CSX isn’t offered by ProForm directly anymore.

You can still find it through other retailers, but it’s getting a little harder to find (Schwinn still offers their 270 directly).

Anyway, let’s start this comparison off with a look at what I consider the most important spec- the resistance system.


I know most of us probably don’t think about resistance first and foremost when we’re looking for a recumbent bike – after all, these cycles are designed more for comfort than anything else.

But I think that’s a mistake.

And I say that because the resistance system determines how smooth the pedal motion is going to be too.

When I say “resistance system”, I’m really talking about the flywheel, because all recumbents in this price range should be using magnetic systems.

And having a heavier flywheel is a good thing for all home exercise bikes (well, most anyway) because the extra weight makes for a smoother pedal motion.

Mostly because the extra weight builds more momentum as it spins, which reduces lag between pedal strokes.

That said, we shouldn’t expect massive flywheels for recumbents in this price range – having unrealistic expectations is a sure fired way of being disappointed.

But flywheel weights will still vary and going with a heavier one is usually a good idea.

Ok, I feel like I was starting to ramble a little there, my apologies.

ProForm’s 235 CSX comes with a 14 lb flywheel and Schwinn’s 270 comes with a 13 lb flywheel.

The 235 CSX’s flywheel is a bit heavier, but there’s very little difference between these 2 bikes when it comes to flywheel weight.

And yes, both of these bikes have light flywheels when compared to the 20 – 30 lb flywheels found on higher-end recumbents, but realistically, this is as good as it gets in this price range.

Keep in mind there are legit reasons why budget bikes cost less in the first place.

ProForm equips their 235 CSX with 18 magnetic resistance levels, which is good for a bike in this price range.

That said, with 25 resistance levels, Schwinn’s 270 comes with even more.

Having more resistance levels doesn’t necessarily mean more overall resistance, but it does mean you have more control over the available resistance.

More levels means you can make smaller adjustments to the intensity of your workouts.

So, overall, when it comes to the resistance systems, the 235 CSX’s flywheel has an extra pound on the 270’s, but the 270 comes with several more resistance levels to work with.


These bikes are pretty evenly matched in terms of their resistance systems, so let’s move on and see how their frames stack up.

A common complaint regarding affordable exercise bikes is that they don’t feel “heavy-duty”, meaning they feel kinda wobbly or shaky during workouts.

This is a common complaint because most budget bikes aren’t heavy-duty, so they aren’t going to fee like the bigger, heavier machines that cost more.

That said, some bikes score higher than others in this department.

It can be hard to tell how heavy-duty a bike is without taking it for a test spin, but looking at a bike’s assembled weight and weight capacity is the next best thing.

And seeing higher numbers in both departments is a good sign the bike will feel more stable.

With this in mind, ProForm’s 235 CSX weighs about 100 lb fully assembled, which is actually really good for a bike in this price range.

Schwinn’s 270 comes in with an assembled weight of about 87 lb, so just a bit lighter.

The 270 comes with a slightly higher weight limit though of 300 lb, where the 235 CSX maxs out at 275 lb.

So, the 235 CSX has about 10 lb, give or take, on Schwinn’s 270, but the 270 is rated to hold larger users safely.

What does this mean?

Well, I’d say it means these 2 bikes are pretty evenly matched in this category.

If all other things were equal, I’d probably go with the heavier 235 CSX for any extra stability the extra weight might add… but there’s more to consider here.


Like the warranties.

ProForm backs their 235 CSX with the following residential warranty:

  • 7 year frame
  • 90 day parts
  • 90 day labor

Seven years on the frame is really good for a bike in this price range (I’ve also seen the frame warranty listed as 5 years, which is also pretty good, but according to this bike’s manual, it’s 7 years).

But 90 days on the parts is really short and definitely worth considering before purchasing the 235 CSX.

This bike is generally very well received by users, but when users do complain about it, it’s often related to the very short parts warranty.

90 days on labor is also very short, but in this price range we shouldn’t really expect any labor guarantee.

And Schwinn offers the following home warranty on their 270:

  • 10 year frame
  • 2 year parts
  • 1 year electronics
  • 90 day labor

Ok, so 10 years on the frame is great and about as long as we can expect from a bike in this price range.

Two years on the parts is also a big improvement over ProForm’s 90 day guarantee mentioned above.

Schwinn offers the same short labor warranty, but again, in this price range that’s to be expected.

Overall, I think the extended parts warranty on the 270 is one of its biggest advantages over the 235 CSX, but more on that in a bit.


Ok, let’s take a look at the extra features each bike has to offer, starting with Schwinn.

The 270 comes with a console that includes 2 small, backlit LCD screens allowing you to see all workout stats at the same time.

It’s also loaded with 29 workout programs, giving you a ton of options to choose from.

The 270 is bluetooth compatible, allowing you to connect to other fitness apps, as well as connect a strap heart rate monitor for more accurate heart rate measurements during workouts.

Another nice feature is that the 270 allows you to store info for up to 4 profiles – which is convenient for homes with multiple users.

Other features include built-in speakers, quick touch resistance buttons, and a cooling fan.

ProForm’s 235 CSX comes with a simpler console that utilizes a single, small backlit LCD screen, but surprisingly it does come with a watt meter that measures watt output.

It comes with 18 built-in workouts to choose from, also giving you a lot of workout options.

This bike comes with grip heart rate monitors, but it isn’t compatible with strap monitors and it isn’t bluetooth compatible with fitness apps.

The 235 CSX does come with built-in speakers, but it’s lacking a fan and quick touch resistance buttons.

Overall, the 270’s console is quite a bit more sophisticated than the 235 CSX’s.


Before we wrap this comparison up, we should probably talk about price.

Prices can change throughout the year, so I hesitate to quote specific prices here, but I’ll do it anyway (just don’t be surprised if they’re a little off).

At the time of writing this, these bikes cost the following:

Schwinn 270: $649

ProForm 235 CSX: $329

So, the 270 has a good $300 or so on the 235 CSX, although I’ve seen the 270 on sale through Amazon for around $500 before.

The question is whether or not the 270 is worth the extra cash?

Keep reading.

Final Thoughts

Ok, that about does it for these 2 recumbent bikes.

The 235 CSX and 270 are both popular, affordable recumbent bikes and they both have a lot to offer.

When it comes to the resistance systems, these bikes are very close in terms of flywheel weight, but the 270 comes with significantly more resistance levels.

The CSX weighs about 10 lb more than the 270, but the 270 comes with a slightly higher weight limit.

Schwinn’s warranty on the 270 is much better than ProForm’s though, and the 270’s console comes with several upgrades over the CSX’s.

But there is quite a big difference in price here.

Even though I’d consider both recumbents to be budget bikes, the 235 CSX is much more affordable than the 270.

If you’re on a tighter budget, it could make financial sense to go with the ProForm, but I think the 270 is the better buy.

I think the extended warranty, the upgraded console, the additional resistance levels, and extra workouts are worth the extra $300.

Plus, it’s getting harder to find the 235 CSX.

In other words, when it comes to the 235 CSX vs the 270 – the 270 is the winner.


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