The Schwinn 430 Elliptical Review — Surprising excellence under $600

One of the problems with the way your Treadmill Sensei does reviews is that I just don’t have the time to search out every single elliptical or treadmill out there. And, unlike some other review sites that like to prescribe equipment to you, I don’t want to write up a mass of reviews on equipment I’ve never seen before. It’s not fair to you, my readers, and it’s not fair to the manufacturers. Unfortunately, that means I miss some equipment and some equipment doesn’t get reviewed fast enough to make it in to my Best Buy Awards.

**UPDATE** This is a review of the old Schwinn 430 elliptical. Click here to read about the latest model.

One such piece is the one I want to talk about today — the Schwinn 430 Elliptical. I’m a bit bummed that I didn’t have a chance to review this unit for the Ichi-Ban Best Buy Awards last year because it may very well have been a top contender. I’d expect it to do very well in this year’s Awards.

As a side note, the 430 elliptical I’m basing my review on was actually brought in by Hikaru to work on this passed week. Hikaru is doing a lot of extra work at the DOJO and has been out looking for additional repair jobs every single day. I don’t like to admit it to him, but he’s a good kid and is on his way to becoming a very fine Sensei in his own right.

The 430 Elliptical is a unit which Nautilus started producing a little over a year ago as their entry in to the budget fitness arena. Interestingly enough, when it comes down to a unit versus unit comparison of the Schwinn 430 and it’s higher priced brother, the Schwinn 418, the 430 comes out on top. This little unit packs a lot of value for a $599 elliptical.

The 430 elliptical is solid, weighing in somewhere at around 150 pounds and with a flywheel in the 14 pound weight (unfortunately, I could find no official specs on the weight of the unit or the flywheel, so these are my estimates based on one of my daily 45 minute workouts). The 430 is exceptionally smooth for a lower cost elliptical and compares well to a lot of units up in the $999 range.

With 16 levels of resistance, 8 programs, very comfortable articulating foodpads (an excellent and rare feature in a lower end elliptical), heart rate monitoring and control, the Schwinn 430 is an excellent choice for someone looking for a high quality elliptical on a low budget.

After having worked out on a unit here at the DOJO a couple of times this week, I will say that you need to keep the rails well-lubricated. I’d suggest lubricating at least once every 30 hours of working out or there abouts. Aside from the lubrication, I also wish Nautilus would have given the Schwinn 430 a more competitive warranty. 90 days for labor just doesn’t cut it. Adding on an extended warranty would be a worthwhile thing for most buyers.

For light workouts the Schwinn 430 is a hard unit to beat…and, for being a great little elliptical, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Schwinn 430 elliptical 4 out of 5 golden buddahs.


At $599 the Schwinn 430 is a slick little elliptical.

Schwinn 430 Elliptical Specifications
Stride: 18″
Max User Weight: 275 lbs
Unit Weight: Approximately 150 lbs.
Programs: 8
Resistance Levels: 16
Display: LCD
Readouts: Speed, Time, Distance, RPM, Watts, Pulse, Calorie, Interval Time, Resistance level Course Profile
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip
Footpads: Articulating
Reverse Direction: Yes
Price: $599