Schwinn 520 EllipticalSchwinn 520 Elliptical

Web Price: $699 | Sale Price: $649

With the company’s patented Airdyne resistance, this machine combines a recumbent bike with a crosstrainer to maximize your results.

Overall Rating From Elliptical Review Guru: 3.0 / 5.0

Capacity:
Resistance:
300 lbs
Infinite
Stride Length:
FootPrint:
14″
62″ L x 28″ W x 40″ H

Overview: The Schwinn 520 elliptical machine is a hybrid machine, combining a crosstrainer with a recumbent bike to offer you two workouts in one. However, with a subpar warranty and short stride, it might not be ideal for all users.

UPDATE: The Schwinn 520 is no longer available for sale. Check out the latest Schwinn elliptical reviews here.

Let’s take a look at some of the best features…

Comfort and Ease of Use

The fact that you can be sitting while using an elliptical is the main draw of the 520, as it allows you to reap the benefits of a cross trainer without having to stand up. You get a comfortable contoured padded seat that is ventilated, oversized foot pedals that can be adjusted to fit and as the Airdyne fan spins it provides a cool breeze during your workout.

Enhanced LCD Display

The Schwinn 520 has an easy to read display that provides workout metrics such as your speed, time, distance, RPM and heart rate, which is measured by the pulse grip in the handlebars. Although quite basic, you can keep track of all of the relevant stats.

Other Features

The 520 also features a quiet, rubber fan belt, a water bottle holder, a media tray and transport wheels.

The Schwinn 520 Elliptical Test Drive

The 520 recumbent elliptical is very easy to assemble…you should be able to do it with a little help, or by yourself in an hour or so. Getting onto the machine is easy, and the seat is pretty comfortable. You provide your own resistance by pedaling slow or fast, and the resistance builds up in the Airdyne fan.

There are three workouts based on goals that you have to set manually: time, calorie and distance. You set your goal on the console and start it up. You can also just work out without a program if you choose.

As with most recumbent bike/elliptical combo machines, the stride is on the shorter side. At 14″ it’s not ideal for very tall users (compare this to the 20″ stride on the popular Schwinn 430), but most reviews we’ve read don’t mention this as being a huge problem. The motion should be fine for most, and if you are a little taller you can probably get used to it, especially since you are in a seated position.

You can use the grips to measure your heart rate, which is one of the metrics that appear on the LCD console.

Overall, the workout is decent. The fan does provide a nice breeze, which is always welcome as your work out. It’s relatively quiet, and although the fan does make some noise, especially at higher resistance levels, it’s not overwhelming.

Onto the negatives…besides the short stride, there are some other things to be aware of. Workout selection is definitely unimpressive. If you figure a comparably priced traditional elliptical from Schwinn will give you at least 10 different programs, the 3 goal programs here are a little underwhelming.

Also, the quality isn’t high-grade by any stretch. It should be fine for casual use but if a whole family is banging away on the 520 day in and day out I can see it breaking down over time. Which brings us to the warranty…

The Schwinn 520 recumbent elliptical continues the company tradition of offering a subpar warranty. You get only 5 years on the frame, which is almost unheard of in the industry today. Most ellipticals in this price range have a lifetime frame warranty. You also get 1 year on mechanical and electronic parts, 90 days on wear parts and 90 days on labor, all well below industry standard.

This has been a sore spot for Schwinn and Nautilus for years, and speaks to their lack of confidence in their products. If the warranty was better we’d be much more likely to recommend the 520 recumbent.

Conclusion

Despite the subpar warranty the 520 reclined elliptical from Schwinn remains very popular and receives decent reviews from users. This is due to its ease of use, competitive price and ability to provide a comfortable workout with minimal impact on the knees and joints.

For casual use, to burn some calories and help get you into shape, it’s not a bad choice. However, we recommend that you opt for the extended warranty if you do decide to buy this one just to cover yourself in case something happens.