Tall, slender, silvery, the Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer is a high-quality mid-range elliptical trainer at a very affordable price point. Surprisingly lightweight – and very sturdy considering its light construction – the Schwinn folds for easier storage and moves on a set of built-in wheels as well.
The machine offers a vigorous workout, a display that includes 12 programs and tracks many different types of data (including heart rate, although this is unfortunately only measured by the less-than-accurate method of handgrip sensors), and fairly easy assembly, but is somewhat marred by a poor user manual and some customer service issues. Still, it is a very good value for its price, and offers a workout that will challenge all levels of exercisers.
Measurements, Weight, And Storage
The Schwinn 420 is a fairly spare machine of silver pipes and struts, measuring 62 inches long, 26 inches wide, and 71 inches high. Since the user stands well off the ground, possibly as much as 14 inches, the device should be installed somewhere where there will be adequate head room, especially for tall users.
Due to its skeletal sparseness, this exercise machine weighs only 154 pounds, which is quite light for this type of equipment. Transport wheels are built in to make storage easier, although given the Schwinn’s size, it is unlikely to be stored far from its place of use. It does fold to make storage even more practical, however.
The construction of the Schwinn 420 Elliptical is quite tough and durable despite its leanness. Assembly is fairly easy, and can be accomplished by one person without any real problems. Tools are included, although as one user, F. Webb, remarked, “Socket wrenches and a screw driver make [construction] a little faster.”
The machine has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, which should accommodate a fair proportion of potential users. The warranty is of moderate quality, with a 5 year guarantee on the frame, 1 year on the parts and electronics, and 90 days on the labor. The labor warranty is quite short, and may cause problems as noted below.
Good Resistance and Silent Operation
Resistance is provided, as usual on modern ellipticals, by magnetic eddy current braking (ECB) on the Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer. There are 16 different levels of resistance, as seems to be standard with Schwinn ellipticals. The default resistance level is 3, with 1 being light enough for invalids or people recovering from surgery.
The machine is very quiet when it operates, as might be expected from magnetic resistance, and when the moving parts are heavily lubricated, “the unit is virtually silent except for a light hum from [the] flywheel when operating,” according to VW Bill. The stride is 18”, which is good for short and medium-height people but might be a challenge for taller users.
Display and Workout Programs
The display for the Schwinn 420 Elliptical is an LCD display that offers such information as speed, time, pulse rate, distance, RPM, watts, calories burned, resistance, interval time, and course profile. The heart rate monitoring is carried out by sensors in the handgrips, meaning that this measurement is relatively inaccurate and, according to some users, will never go above 80 beats per minute. The rest of the information is provided solidly, however.
There are 12 programs included, 6 profile, one custom, and one fitness test. Unfortunately, the display screen has no backlight, and therefore cannot be used in the absence of light. So those who wish to work out at night while others are asleep will either have to make do without the display’s readings, or else make use of a pen light.
Problems with the Schwinn 420 – Poor Documentation
One of the Schwinn 420’s worst flaws is the lack of proper documentation accompanying the item. The user manual is lacking, to say the least, and gives almost no information on how to use the machine or its features, leaving the purchaser to figure this out on their own – if that is possible. Some features might be completely overlooked because they are not mentioned in the poor quality manual. There is also no parts list for the machine, either, meaning that when some part eventually fails, it will be inconvenient to communicate exactly what is needed to the customer service department.
More Problems – Customer Service And Shipping
Labor is only warranted for 90 days, so if breakage occurs after this time, the actual repairs will have to be paid for by you, and arranged with a local repair service. Shipping also has a few problems – specifically, the machine is sometimes delivered via a semi truck, which may not be able to reach many locations and necessitate transfer of the elliptical trainer from the semi to another vehicle. Other users have been extremely impressed with the shipping and found it to be excellent.
Considered as a whole, the Schwinn 420 Elliptical Trainer is an extremely good elliptical trainer, with enough features to keep advanced users happy and enough versatility to provide thorough exercise for both novices and experts. The machine is sturdily made, provides a good workout with a decent monitor display and smooth action, and is stable and comfortable to use.
Most of its problems are in the matter of support – a very poor manual, uninspiring customer service, the absence of a parts list, and shipping by semi. All in all, this machine is a very solid entry in the upper end of the mid-range elliptical trainer market.
Where You Can Get The Best Deal on the Schwinn 420
The best online combination of price and shipping for the Schwinn 420 is to be found on Amazon.