Schwinn’s 270 vs The 290 Recumbent – Everything You Need To Know Before You Decide

The 270 was Schwinn’s highest-end recumbent bike for a long time, but now there’s a new sheriff in town – the 290.

The 290 Recumbent Bike comes with a more contemporary, sleeker looking frame and an updated console that’s compatible with the JRNY app, giving you access to instructor-led workouts, metric tracking, and all that good stuff.

It also comes with an upgraded seat and built-in bluetooth speakers, which is fine, but in terms of performance, there don’t really seem to be any upgrades over the older 270.

Both recumbents come with the same amount of resistance levels and the 290 certainly doesn’t come with a heavier flywheel.

So, the real question is – does it make sense to invest in the newer 290 or is it a better idea to save a little money and go with the older model?

Well, that’s what this article is here to help you answer.

In this review, I’ll provide a side-by-side comparison between the Schwinn 290 and the 270, discussing how all the specs and features relate between these 2 recumbents.

I’ll also offer my opinion regarding which bike I think makes more sense.

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

Let’s begin.

Schwinn 270Schwinn 290
Resistance13 lb flywheel
25 magnetic levels
8.16 lb flywheel
25 magnetic levels
Frame87 lb assembled weight
300 lb weight limit
108 lb assembled weight
330 lb weight limit
Warranty10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year electronics
90 day labor
10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year electronics
90 day labor
FeaturesDualTrack LCD console
29 built-in workout programs
Bluetooth compatible
Cooling fan
USB charging
Standard seat
Updated, brightly-lit console
JRNY compatible (1 year included)
13 built-in workout programs
Bluetooth speakers
USB charging
Upgraded seat

The Schwinn 270 vs The Schwinn 290

     schwinn 290

Above image courtesy of Schwinn Fitness

Schwinn’s a great budget-friendly brand. I’d even go as far as saying I think they have some of the best exercise bikes in the under $1k price range.

Their recumbent bikes and upright bikes aren’t the highest-performing models on the market, but when it comes to affordable, comfortable bikes that can offer a solid workout, they’re hard to beat.

Anyway, when it comes to recumbent bikes, for years Schwinn only had the 270 and the 230 to choose from.

But now that they’ve come out with the 290, we have another model to consider when searching for an affordable recumbent bike.

And now that they have the 290, Schwinn will no longer be offering the 270 directly, but you can still find it through other retailers like Amazon.

Let’s start this comparison off with a rundown on the top performance specs each recumbent comes with.


Resistance bikes basically operate the same way indoor cycles and upright bikes do – by using a weighted flywheel and a magnetic mechanism to create the resistance you pedal against.

Now some indoor cycles still use friction brakes (which don’t involve any magnets), but all recumbent bikes use magnetic systems.

Which is a good thing because magnetic systems are smoother and don’t require you to swap out old brake pads.

When it comes to flywheels, recumbent bikes are known for packing really heavy ones, but recumbent flywheels will still vary greatly between models.

Higher-end home recumbents will often come with flywheels that weigh somewhere in the 20 – 30 lb range; budget recumbents are usually more in the 10 – 15 lb range.

Oh, and having a heavier flywheel is advantageous because the extra weight creates a smoother pedaling motion (more weight means more momentum, which means less lag between pedal strokes).

With all of this in mind, Schwinn’s 270 comes with a flywheel that weighs about 13 lb, which is light in the grand scheme of recumbent bikes, but not bad for this price range.

Well, according to Schwinn, the 290’s flywheel is only 8.16 lb.

I would’ve bet good money that the 290 would simply come with the same 13 lb flywheel they use on the 270… but I would’ve lost that bet.

So, based on these numbers, the older 270 actually comes with a heavier flywheel… and quite a bit heavier.

I’m not sure why Schwinn would use a lighter flywheel on their newer model, it’s surprising, but it looks like they did.

Anyway, both recumbents come with 25 levels of resistance, so no big differences there.

Overall, it terms of performance, I’d have to say the older 270 wins here because I like the idea of having a heavier flywheel.


But there’s more to a recumbent bike than flywheels and resistance levels – especially since most of us are getting a recumbent bike for a more comfortable workout anyway.

When comparing bikes of any variety, I like to take a look at the frames to see how they compare.

More specifically, I’m checking out assembled weights and weight limits because I think these numbers can give us a good idea as to how stable we can expect these bikes to feel during workouts.

And the way I see it, seeing higher numbers in both these categories is always a good thing.

And that’s because a heavier bike should be less likely to move or wobble during use, making for a more stable, secure feel.

And the same kinda goes for weight limits – seeing higher weight limits is just another indicator of superior build quality (although this rule isn’t written in stone or anything).

Anyway, the 270 comes with an assembled weight of roughly 87 lb, which is quite a bit lighter than the 100 lb weight I like to see on any exercise bike.

And the 290 comes with an assembled weight of about 108 lb.

So, based on these numbers, the 290 is a good 20 lb or so heavier than the 270 – which is surprising considering that the flywheel on the 290 is 5 lb lighter than the one found on the 270.

The 290 also comes with a higher weight limit than the 270 – 330 lb vs 300 lb, respectively.

So, based on these specs, it’s safe to say the 290 is heavier-duty than the 270 and is able to safely accommodate larger riders.

Certainly something to consider, especially for larger users.


Schwinn backs the 270 and the 290 with the following home warranty:

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

Yeah, there aren’t any differences between the warranties for these 2 bikes and all things considered, I think Schwinn’s warranty is pretty good given the price range we’re talking about here.

10 years on the frame is legit for a budget bike and 2 years on parts isn’t bad either.

A year on electronics is standard stuff for a bike in this price range too.

90 days on labor is kinda short, it would be nice to see a year on labor, but I don’t really see that as a big issue or anything.

So again, I think Schwinn does a pretty good job with their warranties here; but no, there aren’t any differences between these 2 recumbents in terms of the warranties.


Ok, so far we’ve seen a few differences between the 270 and the 290 in terms of performance, but now we’re going to switch over and take a look at the tech features each bike has to offer.

The most notable difference between these 2 bikes is the general appearance of the frame.

The 290 comes with a sleeker design and a new paint job, giving it a more contemporary appearance (in my humble opinion anyway).

But it also comes with a completely new console too.

The 290 comes with a single, larger LCD console that’s brightly lit, making it easy to view all your workout stats at the same time.

The 270 comes with a split console design, using 1 larger and 1 smaller screen to display all your stats at the same time.

The 290’s console has also been updated to be compatible with the JRNY streaming app, which gives you access to instructor-led workouts, metric tracking, playlists, and all that streaming stuff.

Schwinn actually includes a free year of JRNY with purchase of the 290 (valued at $149), so if that’s something you’d be interested in, it’s definitely worth considering when comparing these 2 recumbents.

The 270 is supposed to be bluetooth compatible with the Explore the World app, but users are always complaining about how challenging it can be to get the bluetooth working.

Well, the 290’s console should work a lot better.

The 290 also comes with built-in bluetooth speakers, allowing you to play music from your phone wirelessly through the console.

When it comes to workouts, the 290 really pushes JRNY membership, but if you don’t want to join, you can still use the 13 built-in workout programs that come with the bike.

Of course, the 270 comes loaded with 29 built-in workout programs, offering quite a bit more options to choose from.

Both bikes offer USB charging ports, allowing you to charge your devices while you work out and both are also compatible with strap heart rate monitors.

Other than the console, the 290 also comes with an upgraded seat – the seat on the 290 is cushioned and is paired with a vented back.

The 270 also comes with a vented back, but the seat itself isn’t particularly cushioned at all.

So, if you’re worried about seat comfort, the 290 might be the better option for ya.

Overall though, the 290 comes with an updated console for easier viewing and is bluetooth compatible with the JRNY app.


Ok, time to talk dineros.

At the time of writing this, Schwinn’s 270 is going for about $650 on Amazon and other retailers and Schwinn’s 290 is selling for $799 directly through Schwinn’s site.

So, there’s about a $150 difference between these 2 recumbents.

Keep in mind, these prices can change at any time, so don’t hate me if these prices aren’t exactly accurate by the time you read this.

Regardless, it’s safe to say both of these models are pretty budget-friendly when it comes to home fitness equipment.

And personally, I would say both models are pretty well-priced too; especially considering the 290 comes with an included year of JRNY (again, valued at $149).

But, $150 isn’t nothing, so witch recumbent bike is the smarter buy?

Final Thoughts

I hate to be vague, but I think the answer to that question depends entirely on whether or not you’re looking to get your stream on.

If you are, then I think the 290 makes a lot more sense because its updated console is a lot more streaming friendly than the 270’s.

And the fact that it comes with a free year of JRNY is pretty sweet – this way you can try streaming out for a year to see how you like it and if you don’t care for it, just don’t renew your subscription.

However, if you don’t care about streaming workouts and simply want a smooth operating recumbent, I think the 270 makes more sense.

The 270 comes with a heavier flywheel and more built-in workouts, so I think it’s a smarter buy for people who aren’t interested in messing with streaming apps.

The 290 does come with a better looking frame and a nicer seat too though, so that’s something to consider.

Overall though, the biggest difference between these 2 recumbents is the updated, JRNY compatible console found on the 290.

Personally, if I had to choose one of these recumbents right now, I’d save a little cash and go with the older 270, but that’s because I wouldn’t be especially interested in following streaming workouts on a recumbent bike.



8 Thoughts to “Schwinn’s 270 vs The 290 Recumbent – Everything You Need To Know Before You Decide”

  1. Helen

    Really appreciate your thorough breakdown/comparison of these two models — super helpful.

    One thing I didn’t see mentioned for either bike is whether there’s a place to rest a device, e.g., an iPad.

    1. Both bikes have a small media shelf built-into the console, giving you a place to put a tablet or phone, but doing so will block your view of the console itself (at least with a tablet).

  2. Mark

    Can you put the updated seat on the 270

    1. That’s a great question and honestly, I’m not sure. I tried checking Schwinn’s replacement parts page and I didn’t see any replacement options for the 290 mentioned at all, so I can’t tell if the 290’s seat will fit the 270 (they do have replacements seats for the 230 and 270). Your best bet would be to contact Schwinn’s customer service directly:

  3. bill

    You didn’t mention anything regarding installation. How difficult is it to put these bikes together?

    1. Assembly is very similar for both models. The main frames come pre-assembled and you’re responsible for attaching the stabilizers, the console, the seat, and pedals, as well as a few covers. The order of assembly is a little different, but both are equally easy to assemble, so I don’t think assembly would play much role in deciding between the 270 and the 290. Hope that helps and thanks for reading!

  4. Mikola Michael G

    What is the crank length on the 270 & 290?

    1. According to Schwinn, the crank arm length is about 7.8″ on the 290. I wasn’t able to find any specific measurements for the 270, but I’m guessing it’s very similar to the 290’s. Hope that helps and thanks for reading.

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