The Schwinn 270 Recumbent is the best recumbent exercise bike among the four we reviewed. It has a solid, sturdy frame, impressive functionality and many nice add-ons. While its MSRP of $549 makes it the most expensive recumbent bike we considered, it also has the most features.
Recumbent exercise bikes provide gentler joint motion and better distribution of body weight than upright bikes. Their reclining seats are oversized and comfortable, often making them preferable for larger users and people with back or balance problems. They are also easier to climb onto and use. Their frames provide walk-through access to their seats, and you don’t need good balance to ride them. As a result, recumbent bikes are often preferred over uprights in physical therapy.
Comparable to the Nautilus U618 in terms of performance, the Schwinn 270 has 29 workout presets and 25 levels of eddy current resistance. Its programs include 12 profile presets, nine heart rate workouts, two fitness tests, a recovery test and a quick start. You can also create four customized programs.
To help you monitor your heart rate as you work out, this bike has heart rate pulse grips on its seat grips. Although it doesn’t come with a chest strap, the machine is telemetry enabled. Its maximum user weight is 300 pounds, a limit common among seven of the 10 bikes we compared.
The Schwinn 270 has a padded, contoured seat. Its back rest provides lumbar support and is vented to keep you cooler during workouts. If you’re looking for a hybrid between upright and recumbent, the XTERRA Fitness FB350 is a good choice; it’s an upright, but the seat has a back rest. However, the Schwinn 270’s seat is visibly plusher, and recumbents are generally better for those with back problems.
This exercise bike’s comfort and convenience features include a large water bottle and accessory holder, pedal straps, a three-speed workout fan and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has sealed acoustic chamber speakers and an aux port. Although its handlebars aren’t adjustable, you can adjust the angle of its console. Unlike the Nautilus U618, the ProForm 8.0 EX and the NordicTrack GX 4.4 Pro, you don’t need an app to store user profiles. You can store up to four on-board.
Recumbent bikes are generally larger than uprights, and the Schwinn 270 is no exception. The machine’s assembled dimensions are 64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches (length, width, height), and it weighs 86.6 pounds – more than double the weight of the XTERRA bike. The Schwinn also has a much larger display that features Schwinn’s DualTrack LCD system, where you can view up to 13 workout metrics. The console is powered via an AC adapter that plugs into any standard wall outlet.
Schwinn guarantees the 270 Recumbent with a 10-year warranty on its frame, two years on mechanical parts and one year on electronics. Labor is also covered, but only for 90 days. Schwinn’s customer care team is available by phone, email and on Facebook. Incidentally, Schwinn, Nautilus and Bowflex are all brands of Nautilus, Inc. We’ve received excellent customer service during our interactions with representatives of all three brands.