Schwinn Fitness Brand Review — Over 100 years old and still kicking


The Treadmill Sensei had a bit of insomnia last night. You see, Mrs. Sensei left for Phoeniz, Arizona yesterday and after more than 25 years of marriage I have a bit of a problem sleeping in bed without my wife. I know it’s a bit corny but I miss my wife already…don’t worry, though, she gets back on Saturday!

Since I reviewed one of their ellipticals yesterday, and since I’m sleep deprived and don’t really know any better, I thought I’d talk a bit about Schwinn Fitness. Schwinn as a company has been around since the late 1890s and has been producing bicycles ever since. In fact, Schwinn is probably the most recognizable bicycle brand in the world and their reputation has been excellent for much of its existance.

In the late 1990s, Schwinn enters in to the non-bicycle areas of the fitness industry and then is purchased by Nautilus (known originally as Direct Focus) in 2001. Unfortunately for Schwinn and consumers, the quality of those early Nautilus-produced fitness units did not live up to the 100+ year old standards of quality Schwinn was known for. In the eyes of the fitness industry (and lowly service techs like the Treadmill Sensei), Schwinn became known for putting out some pretty low end, poorly manufactured units…even their higher cost units were full of manufacturing and quality control problems. Top this off with the level of customer service at Schwinn/Nautilus being known as some of the worst in the industry and you’ve got a company in need of improvement.

I am glad to report those improvement came in 2006 with refinements in the Schwinn ellipticals in general and the production of the very fine Schwinn 430 and 438 in particular. The Scwhinn treadmill line is anemic and a bit of a disappointment, but the ellipticals are solid and worth checking out if you’re looking for a good workout on a budget. Finally the company seems to be getting back on track. Hopefully they will be able to overcome their continued reputation for terrible customer service and live up to their 100+ year legacy of quality.

Schwinn Ellipticals:

Schwinn Treadmills:

-The Treadmill Sensei