Schwinn is one of the most recognizable fitness brands in the world and their 270 just so happens to be one of the most popular home recumbent bikes around.
And it makes sense, it’s not hard to see why so many people are purchasing it.
The 270 is affordable, it comes with plenty of great features, and it has the benefit of sporting that famous brand name on its side.
But is Schwinn’s 270 really worth investing in? Are there better options in that price range?
Well, these are the questions I hope to help you answer with this article.
In this review, I’ll go over everything the 270 has to offer – specs, features, warranties, price, and everything else in between.
After reading, you’ll know once and for all whether or not the Schwinn 270 is the right recumbent bike for your home.
Off we go!
The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Schwinn is an institution when it comes to both road bikes and home exercise bikes.
They’ve earned their stellar reputation with over 100 years of history and experience under their belt.
As a brand, they deserve respect, if nothing else for the sheer fact that they’ve been able to survive so long in an industry that changes so rapidly.
That alone has got to say something about the quality of their products.
I’d also like to mention that we have Schwinn to thank for the giving us the first line of air bikes (fan bikes) – their original Airdyne is the reason so many of us love/hate our air bikes today.
Anyway, back to the 270.
The 270 is the higher-end of 2 recumbent models in Schwinn’s current lineup (with the other being the slightly more affordable 230).
The 270 is one of the highest-rated and most popular recumbents in its price range.
- 25 magnetic resistance levels
- 29 built-in workout programs
- 300 lb weight capacity
- DualTrack console
- Bluetooth compatible
- Chest strap compatible
- Quick touch resistance buttons
- Cooling fan
- Good warranty
- Light flywheel
- Chest strap heart rate monitor not included
I think it’s a good idea to start this review off with a look at the 270’s resistance system.
I know most folks aren’t looking for a recumbent specifically for their resistance capabilities, but I still think it’s the most important spec you can examine.
I say that because the resistance system is paramount for providing not only the resistance you’ll work against for every workout, but also for dictating how smooth (or not smooth) the pedal motion is.
We hear a lot of talk about flywheel weights when discussing spin bikes, but it turns out they’re just as important when it comes to recumbent bikes.
Long-story-short: having a heavy flywheel is a good thing because the extra weight builds more momentum and makes for a smoother feel while pedaling.
The 270 comes with a 13 lb flywheel.
This is quite light when compared to the 30 lb flywheels found on higher-end recumbents and pretty much every spin bike on the market.
But it’s actually pretty average for a recumbent bike in this price range.
Yes, it would be nice if the 270 had a heavier flywheel, but if it did, it would probably cost more (there are reasons why budget bikes are budget in the first place).
Schwinn pairs this 13 lb flywheel with a magnetic resistance system that most users agree feels smooth during operation.
And with 25 resistance levels at your disposal, you’ve got a lot of control over the intensity of your workouts.
Keep in mind that having more resistance levels doesn’t necessarily increase the total amount of resistance the bike can offer, it just lets you make smaller changes between each adjustment.
Overall, the 270 is pretty standard in terms of flywheel weight, but it does offer more resistance levels than most in this price range.
Moving on, let’s see how the bike itself weighs up… literally.
When assessing an exercise bike, I like to look up its assembled weight to get an idea as to how heavy-duty it is.
And seeing a higher assembled weight is a good thing, even though it might be harder to move around, because it will feel more stable and secure during use.
Lighter bikes will be more likely to wobble or shake during workouts.
With this in mind, the 270 comes with an assembled weight of about 87 lb.
This is heavier than the cheaper, really lightweight recumbents that weigh like 50 lb, but it’s still pretty lightweight.
For the sake of comparison, Nautilus’ slightly more expensive R618 weighs a good 20 lb more (and their slightly less expensive R616 weighs about 5 lb more).
Even though the frame is fairly lightweight, the 270 still comes with a weight capacity of 300 lb, which is pretty solid for an affordable recumbent bike.
Fully assembled, the 270 takes up a floor space of 64″ x 27″, which is pretty standard for a recumbent.
Overall, I wouldn’t consider the 270 to be a “heavy-duty” bike, but it’s certainly heavier than a lot of the other cheaper recumbents out there.
Users are generally very happy with the way it feels though and few complain about it feeling insecure.
Schwinn backs their 270 with the following residential warranty:
- 10 year frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year electronics
- 90 day labor
Ok, not bad.
All things considered, I think this is a pretty fair guarantee for a bike in this price range. It’s certainly more generous than the warranties offered by most other brands.
10 years on the frame is pretty solid- not as good as the 15 years offered on Nautilus’ R618, but that bike is a little more expensive.
2 years on parts also isn’t bad considering the price range.
90 days on labor is pretty short though.
True, not all bikes in this price range even offer a labor warranty, but this is Schwinn we’re talking about, so it would be nice to see 1 year on labor.
Overall, I think the warranty on the 270 is pretty good.
The Schwinn 270 comes with the following features included:
DualTrack console- the console is divided into 2 small LCD screens that allow you to see your workout profile and all data at the same time. The screens aren’t fancy or anything, but they are blue backlit, making them easy to read in all lighting situations.
29 workout programs- a definite perk of this bike is that it comes with a ton of workouts to choose from. These include all the standard profiles you can think of, as well as heart rate and custom options too.
Bluetooth- the 270 is bluetooth compatible with fitness apps like Explore The World and MyFitnessPal, allowing you to track your workout data and explore virtual scenic routes around the world.
Heart rate monitoring- this bike comes with built-in grip monitors on the side handles, but it’s also compatible with chest strap heart rate monitors allowing you to get a more accurate reading (although one isn’t included).
4 user profiles- you can save up to 4 different user profiles, allowing multiple family members to save their data for quicker starts.
Quick touch buttons- these buttons allow you to instantly set the resistance without having to keep pushing the resistance arrows (a convenient feature).
Built-in speakers- you can plug your mp3 player (do people still use these?) into the audio jack and listen to your music through the built-in speakers.
Cooling fan- the built-in fan will help keep ya cooler during those more strenuous workouts.
Water bottle holder- hey, you gotta stay hydrated. And the convenient location next to the side handles makes it easy to grab a drink while exercising.
Ok, let’s talk numbers.
As I say in all my reviews, I don’t like quoting exact prices because knowing my luck, as soon as I post it the price will change and my readers will judge me for not having accurate info and all that.
That said, here ya go.
The retail price for the Schwinn 270 is $649, which makes it an affordable home recumbent bike.
I should mention though, that I’ve seen the 270 on sale on Amazon for $599, which is obviously an even better price.
Either way, I would consider the 270 to a budget recumbent compared to the higher-end bikes that cost $1000-$1500.
Ok, so that’s really all I have to say about the Schwinn 270 itself.
Overall, I think it’s a nice recumbent for the price.
The flywheel is fairly light, but to be fair, all recumbents in this price range come with basically the same size flywheel, so that’s going to be an issue with all comps too.
I like that it comes with so many resistance levels and so many built-in workout programs and I think Schwinn backs it with a fair warranty.
But is it the best recumbent bike in its price range?
Well, let’s see.
The most evenly matched comp would be the Nautilus R616, which is priced pretty identically to the 270.
You can see my full comparison here, but basically the R616 is a little heavier, and comes with a better warranty (3 year parts, 1 year labor).
If you have a little more room in your budget, I think Nautilus’ R618 is an even better option because it’s significantly heavier-duty and comes with an even better warranty (and also comes with a chest strap).
Other than the Nautilus bikes just mentioned, the 270 would be at the top of the food chain.
And all 3 of these bikes are really similar when it comes to the consoles and additional features, although the R618 also comes with an adjustable angle backrest.
Which makes sense considering Nautilus, Inc. owns the Schwinn brand too.
But I’m getting off topic.
To answer my original question- no, I don’t think the 270 is the best recumbent in its class, but it’s close. It’s definitely still one of the best recumbent bikes in its price range.