Schwinn is one of the top names when it comes to affordable home exercise bikes and both their 130 and their 170 are exceedingly popular upright bikes.
The 170 is a higher-end version of the 130 and comes with several console upgrades, including more resistance levels, more workout programs, and a dual blue backlit LCD screen (to name a few).
But since there aren’t that many differences between the 2 models when it comes to performance, the real question is:
Is the 170 worth the extra $200?
Well, that’s what I’m here to help you answer.
In this head to head comparison, I’ll provide an overview of how each bike stacks up with regards to all their key specs and features.
I’ll also provide my 2 cents whether or not the differences are enough to warranty the extra cash.
After reading, you’ll know everything you need to in order to decide which model is the right option for your home.
|Schwinn 130||Schwinn 170|
|Resistance||13 lb flywheel|
16 resistance levels
|13 lb flywheel
25 resistance levels
|Frame||Assembled weight: 58 lb|
300 lb weight capacity
|Assembled weight: 62 lb
300 lb weight capacity
|Warranty||10 year frame|
2 year parts
1 year electronics
90 day labor
|10 year frame
2 year parts
1 year electronics
90 day labor
|Features||5.5" LCD screen|
Chest strap compatible
|Dual, backlit LCD display
Chest strap compatible
USB port, fan, built-in speaker
Fully adjustable seat
The Schwinn 130 vs The Schwinn 170
I usually like to provide a little intro for each brand we’ll be talking about here, but since we’re comparing 2 bikes from the same brand, it makes my job a little easier.
Especially when that brand is Schwinn, one of the most recognizable brands in the world.
Schwinn’s got the famous name on their side, which is a definite plus (we tend to trust brands we’re more familiar with), plus when you look at their lineup you’ll see that their products are very affordable.
I would consider most Schwinn products to be in the affordable to moderately-priced category (except for their AC Performance series), making them quite accessible for most users.
As we go through the different categories here, you’ll notice a lot of the major differences between these models are found in the console features.
Let’s start our comparison off with a look at each bike’s resistance system. Personally, I’m more concerned with a bike’s performance than its tech features, so I always like to check out the resistance system first.
Regardless of what style of exercise bike you’re looking at (unless it’s an air bike of course), one of the first things I encourage you to consider is the weight of the flywheel.
The flywheel is the part of the bike that spins as you pedal.
The flywheel is visible on spin bikes and it’s hidden in the frame with traditional uprights and recumbents.
Most bikes benefit from a heavier flywheel because the extra weight builds more momentum as it spins, which in turn makes for smoother operation.
Having a heavier flywheel is also beneficial because it tends to provide more overall resistance than a lighter flywheel.
So, when it comes to flywheels, heavier is better.
That said, when we look at the 130 and the 170, we don’t really have to take flywheel weight into account because they both come with the same 13 lb flywheel.
A 13 lb flywheel isn’t bad for a budget bike like either of these, but in the grand scheme of exercise bikes, I’d say this is pretty light.
But even with a light flywheel, most users agree both bikes provide a fairly smooth experience.
When we take a look at the number of resistance levels each bike offers, we do see a difference.
The 130 comes with 16 levels and the 170 comes with 25 resistance levels (both bikes use a magnetic resistance system).
When it comes to resistance levels, having more is a good think because it gives you more control over the intensity of your workouts.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t necessarily mean it can provide more total resistance at the highest level- it just means you can make smaller adjustments to the resistance.
Considering both of these bikes are using the same flywheel, I would guess the total resistance each can provide is about the same.
So, when it comes to the resistance system, the 170 comes with 9 more levels than the 130, which is an advantage.
Ok, so there’s a small difference between the number of resistance levels each bike comes with. Let’s move on a take a look at how the frames match up.
Heavier bikes should be preferred because they make for a more stable base during your workouts.
Light weight bikes can feel a little flimsy or even wobble a little during use.
The best way to get an idea as to how heavy-duty a bike is without being able to take it for a test spin (which is often the case these days) is to look at the assembled weight and the weight capacity.
Seeing bigger numbers in each spec is a good sign the bike will feel heavier-duty during workouts.
The 130 comes with an assembled weight of about 58 lb and a weight capacity of 300 lb.
The 170 comes with an assembled weight of about 62 lb and the same 300 lb weight capacity.
Looking at these numbers side-by-side, it’s easy to see there isn’t much difference when it comes to the frames of these bikes.
The 170 is technically a little heavier, but I don’t think 4 lb is really enough to make any noticeable difference.
Both models come with the same weight capacity. Speaking of which, a 300 lb limit is legit for bikes in this price range.
But with assembled weights in the 60 lb range, it’s fair to say both models are rather light weight (for the sake of comparison, Sole’s B94 weighs 123 lb assembled).
But for bikes in this price range, lightweight is to be expected (especially for the price of the 130).
Oh, I wanted to also mention that the foot print for these 2 bikes are identical too, so floor space shouldn’t be a factor when deciding between them.
Overall, there isn’t much difference between the frames of these 2 models- the 170 is a just a little heavier, but both are fairly light weight.
Moving right along, we come to the warranty department.
I have to say, this is one of my favorite specs to examine- I’m a self-proclaimed warranty stickler (I love a good warranty and I’m not afraid to say it).
Quality of warranty usually coincides with cost, with more expensive bikes coming with longer guarantees- but this isn’t always the case.
You’d be surprised at how short some of the luxury bikes’ warranties are.
Going along this same theory means that cheaper bikes usually come with shorter warranties.
But again, as Schwinn illustrates here, this isn’t always the case either.
Both the 130 and the 170 come with the same warranty:
- 10 year frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year electronics
- 90 day labor
I think this is a great guarantee for either bike, but it’s especially generous for the more affordable 130.
When it comes to the frame, 10 years is much longer than the couple years most other brands are offering at this price point.
As is the parts warranty, considering most other budget bikes come with guarantees measured in months (if any).
Overall, both bikes come with a great warranty, so there’s no difference there (you’ll be hard pressed to find a better guarantee in this price range).
Ok, so far there haven’t been that many differences between these 2 models. Let’s see how they face up to each other though when it comes to the consoles and other features.
One notable difference is in the screens- the 130 comes with 1, 5.5″ display that isn’t backlit and the 170 comes with a dual, backlit display that makes it easier to see all your stats during workouts.
When it comes to workout programs, the 130 is packing 13 (which is impressive for a budget bike), but the 170 comes with a whopping 29, so there’s a pretty big difference there.
Both bikes are bluetooth compatible with fitness apps like Zwift and Explore the World.
Both bikes are compatible with chest strap heart rate monitors (although neither includes one with purchase).
Both bikes come with quick touch resistance buttons, making it easy to instantly set your intensity level.
The 130 comes with 1 user profile, while the 170 comes with 4.
Both bikes come with a water bottle holder, but the 170 has several other features the 130 doesn’t, like a cooling fan, built in speaker, and USB charging port.
The 170 also comes with a fully adjustable seat (height and fore/aft), while the 130 only comes with a height adjustable seat.
Overall, the console on the 170 comes with several significant upgrades over the 130 and the fully adjustable seat is a pretty big upgrade as well.
Ok, let’s talk numbers.
The price for either bike can vary a little depending where you find it. Not to mention sales and promotions that are always coming and going.
So, I figure the fairest way to compare prices is to look at the full retail price for each on Schwinn’s website (at least at the time of writing this anyway).
Doing this, the 130 goes for roughly $349 and the 170 goes for $549.
So there’s a $200 difference between these 2 models, give or take.
(I checked around a little when writing this and I didn’t really see any significant differences in price on other sites).
Again, I would consider both of these models “budget” bikes, but the 130 is obviously more budget friendly than the 170.
Well, that about does it for these 2 Schwinn uprights.
I want to start off by saying I think both bikes are great buys for their respective price ranges.
Both models are coming from a trusted brand and they’re both backed by really generous warranties. Both bikes are also highly rated by users.
The real question then, is whether or not the 170 is worth the extra $200?
Well, when it comes to performance, these 2 bikes are pretty identical. Both come with the same 13 lb flywheel and both use a magnetic resistance system.
The extra resistance levels you get with the 170 is a nice perk, but I wouldn’t pay $200 for it.
The extra console features, on the other hand, are a different story.
The console on the 170 is significantly nicer than the one on the 130- not only does it come with more workouts, but the display is upgraded, you get a fan, a speaker, and a USB charging port.
I also think the inclusion of a fully adjustable seat is a significant upgrade the 170 has going for it over the 130.
Put all this together (with the extra resistance levels) and I would say yes, the 170 is worth the extra cash.
But ultimately, it all depends on what you’re looking for.
If you don’t mind the simple console and don’t plan on taking advantage of the extra features anyway, it could make sense to see the cash and go with the 130.
But as I hope this review illustrates, the 170 does come with several significant upgrades over the 130.
And if you ask me, they justify the higher price tag.