The Schwinn 438 Elliptical Review — Another great buy at under $1000

A while back your Treadmill Sensei review the popular Schwinn 418 Elliptical and gave it a pretty decent review. Today we got in a brand new Schwinn 438 elliptical, the big brother of the Schwinn 418, to set up and deliver out to a customer. Since I hadn’t really ever sat down and ran one of these babies through the paces I thought I’d take the time…heck, we aren’t delivering the unit until Monday so I’ve got a few days to play around with it!

Normally, I like to start off with the good features of a machine but on the Schwinn 438 I’m beginning with the bad. Luckily, there isn’t much bad with this unit now that the pricing has dropped it down under $1000.

The only really down side to purchasing the Schwinn 438 is the crappy warranty Nautilus puts on all of its units these days. The 2 year parts warranty is decent, but for a $999 price I really expect to get more than 6 months labor. And that’s really it for the downside to this things.

I do have a minor quibble with the Schwinn ellipticals only having 8 levels of resistance in a world where most units at this price range have 16 or 20 levels.

The Schwinn 438 is really just a tweaked out version of the 418 elliptical. The two are very similar, with just a few differences. The Schwinn 438 is a heavier unit than the 418 elliptical and has some added electronics features.

UPDATE: This is an older model. Check out the latest Schwinn elliptical reviews here.

First up is something a few of you have asked me about in the past. The Schwinn 438 elliptical is listed as bi-directional…and what the heck is a bi-directional elliptical? No, it doesn’t mean it will have a relationship with a male or female elliptical. What that means is the machine will monitor a reverse pedal workout. Every elliptical machine out there will allow you to work pedal backwards, but only some of them will actually track that workout for you. The Schwinn 438 is one of those ellipticals.

The other improvement over the 418 is wireless heart monitor integration for the Schwinn 438. Unlike the 418, the 438 elliptical will work with a wireless chest strap, freeing up your workout from having to hold on to the static bar with a pulse grip on the 418. Sure, you can still hold on to the static bar if you don’t want a crosstraining workout, but now it’s your choice.

Overall the Schwinn 438 is a good machine now that Nautilus has dropped the pricing on the elliptical down under $1000. You get 21 work outs, up to 4 individual profiles for saving different work outs, an 18″ stride, the bi-directional workout option and a nice 300 pound weight capacity. Facting in the water bottle holder and the Schwinn 438 is worth the money.

For being a decent little upgrade to the Schwinn 418, the Treadmill Sensei gives the Schwinn 438 Elliptical trainer 4 out of 5 Golden Buddahs.

The Schwinn 438 Elliptical gets 4 gold buddahs out of 5 for improving on the 418.

Schwinn 438 Elliptical Trainer Specifications
Stride: 18″
Max Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
Resistance Levels: 8
Heart Rate Monitor: Pulse grip and wireless chest strap compatible
Heart Rate Control: Yes
Programs: 21