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If you're planning on getting in shape, but you suffer from a bad knee or some back issues, an elliptical trainer might be the answer to your problems.
Which is exercising without increasing damage or hurting yourself in the process.
That's because they offer a low-impact workout, and the elliptical motion imitates the natural movement of the legs while reducing pressure on your back, knees, and joints.
But which one should you get?
Well, that's why we're going all-in on this Schwinn 430 elliptical review to check what the hype is all about and whether or not It's worth your attention.
Schwinn 430 Elliptical - quick overview
easy to use
The Schwinn 430 elliptical is not the best elliptical machine out there.
But, at Its price range, it is, without a doubt, a strong contestant to the title.
Because not only will it help you get in shape and lose weight, but It will also tell you how to exercise, and it will even set the resistance for you with Its preset workout programs.
With features, you usually only see on more expensive ellipticals, like incline adjustability, dual screens, and user profiles, the Schwinn 430 elliptical might be the right choice.
Well, for you, especially If you're one of those who need help achieving their fitness goal, or if you need to keep entertained while you exercise.
A shelf holder for your tablet (Netflix anyone?), an aux-input with a pair of speakers for your songs, and even a fan, the Schwinn 430 got you covered.
I just wish It could sync my workout stats to a fitness app.
But I'm guessing the people over at Schwinn's are saving this option for the more expensive 470.
Nevertheless, the 430 elliptical is worth checking out.
Should You Even Use an elliptical?
In addition to being low-impact cardio equipment, using an elliptical machine is a great way to burn fat and calories.
In fact, according to this Harvard study, elliptical trainers are your 4th best gym activity when it comes to burning calories.
The first 3 are:
So why even go for the 4th best option?
Well, simply because the first 3 are high impact/high-intensity workouts.
And that’s where the elliptical machine really shines. It allows you to keep, or get in shape even if your body is not, how to put this gently, not what it used to be.
But even if you’re not suffering from any injury or back/knee pain, you could expect great results just by using an elliptical machine.
Because according to the same Harvard study, an average person weighing 185 lbs can burn around 400 calories in just 30 minutes of normal pace workout.
That's a significantly high number of burned calories for a low-impact activity.
So, as long as you want to lose weight, burn fat, pump your heart rate and boost that cardio level of yours, something like Schwinn 430 elliptical might be the way to go.
Our Schwinn 430 Review
The people over at Schwinn really know what they are doing when it comes to making bikes.
It's only normal, considering they've been making bikes for over 100 years.
That might be the reason why the Schwinn 430 is one of the most popular elliptical machines on the market.
So, at least on paper, It’s off to a good start.
The 430 elliptical is now at Its second life circle. The new version (MY17 - Which we’re reviewing here) differs from the old one in a couple of ways.
First, In looks.
You can notice right away that the new version is sleeker looking than the old 430.
And in my opinion, It Is better looking, but looks is subjective, so let's move on.
Second, Schwinn removed any option to help you sync your workout stats, and you can only find it now on the 470.
And that’s a shame because keeping a log on your progress can be a huge boost to your motivation in the long run.
If tracking your workout stats and progress is something you need, check out my Schwinn 470 elliptical review.
If not, keep on reading.
Dissecting The Schwinn 430 Elliptical
The Schwinn 430 elliptical uses a 13 lbs perimeter weighted front drive flywheel.
Which is a fancy way to say that the front located flywheel has its weight distributed on its edges.
And this has some benefits.
First, because the flywheel is low weight, the total weight of the unit is also kept somewhat low, so you can easily move it around in your home.
Next, because the weight is located at the edges of the wheel, it doesn't compromise the potential inertia it can generate despite being low in weight.
The more inertia built by the wheel, the more force you have to put in pedaling.
Finally, It helps the wheel keep a constant momentum which in turn makes your ride a lot smoother and consistent.
So, so far so good.
The Schwinn 430 elliptical has a 20” stride length.
What does that mean to you? Well, for most users 20” stride is the sweet spot, right there in the middle.
Not too long but not too short either.
Schwinn is just trying to attract as many users as possible to their products, knowing what I just wrote a sentence above.
If a stride is too short for you, It will feel like you’re exercising on a step climber, not on an elliptical.
On the other hand, if the stride is too long, in most cases you’ll finish the workout with some sore muscles, and maybe even some pulled ones.
Not something you want.
To conclude, even though we would be happy to see an adjustable stride length, 20” should be enough for most users.
And besides, an adjustable stride would’ve bumped the price on this thing, so maybe It’s a good thing.
The Schwinn 430 has actually shrunk a bit in the upgrade process from the last version.
The old one was 70” tall, while the new MY17 is only 63” tall.
Is it a good thing?
I don’t know. Unless of course you have a low ceiling and you care about your head.
And in which case, yes, It is a good thing.
All the rest is pretty much the same as the old model, 70.1" L x 28.2" W.
Elliptical trainers aren’t small, to begin with, and on top of that, you need to allocate an extra 10” to 15” free space on all sides for a safe workout environment.
So make sure you take it into consideration.
Resistance Type & Levels
The Schwinn 430 elliptical is not different from other bikes of the brand in the sense that It uses a magnet to apply and adjust the resistance.
Having a magnet instead of a felt pad means less maintenance on your side, and you won’t have to replace it with a new one every couple of years like with pads.
It also means less noise and a quieter exercise session.
But what I really like about it, is that when combined with the 20 resistance levels, you get a high range of increments which will enable you to fine-tune the resistance you’re at.
Meaning, you won’t find yourself wasting good energy and pumping your heart rate because the jump in difficulty is too much for you.
This will allow you to build your cardio and strength at your own pace with ease.
I like this feature because increasing the incline not only gives a boost to the 20 resistance levels but it also helps you target your hamstring and gluteal muscles.
So yes, the incline feature on the Schwinn 430 elliptical is a much-needed feature.
Unfortunately, It’s manual.
And I say that mainly not because I think It will be too hard for you to pull the handle that adjusts the incline.
No, I say that because once you get on the machine and start pedaling, you won’t be able to adjust the incline again unless you stop.
The 470, for example, has a motorized incline engine that will allow you to change the incline during your exercise, which helps keep your heart rate and momentum going.
On the other hand, that’s also one of the reasons It costs more.
Though after a while of using this elliptical machine, you’ll know exactly on which incline level you need to set it up to.
Frame & Sturdiness
First, excuse me for stating the obvious.
This isn’t a gym grade elliptical machine. Nor does it costs like one.
However, the Schwinn 430 elliptical is a well built sturdy elliptical trainer.
Especially when compared to all the cheap junk that is out there.
The 430 elliptical will support a max user weight of 300 lbs, hopefully, you weigh less.
This thing won’t wobble or budge even if you go crazy on It.
And when we have an elliptical machine that is as sturdy and that uses a magnetic resistance system we get one quiet solid machine.
As to the workout programs, the Schwinn 430 comes with 22 programs.
That’s slightly lower than the 29 the 470 was blessed with, and the same as the old version had.
Nevertheless, It’s still more than what most elliptical trainers offer.
The thing about workout programs is that they take away the guessing out of your work.
So you never have to break your head trying to come up with an effective workout routine.
Out of the 22 workout programs, 9 are profile, 8 are heart rate control, 2 will test your fitness level and 1 is a quick start program.
The profile workout programs will allow you to choose from several presets that simulate real outdoor riding experience, like the park, mountains, hills and more.
They also automate the resistance levels and workout intensity for you.
The heart rate programs will allow you to set a heart rate goal for your workout.
Then the Schwinn 430 will automatically adjust the workout by monitoring your heart rate and setting the resistance accordingly to get your heart’s bpm to the goal you’ve set.
Once you reached it, the 430 will help you maintain it for an optimal calorie burn rate.
The fitness test program will check your fitness level, and the quick start, as the name suggests, is a quick start program.
With goal tracking you can choose a goal for your workout on the Schwinn 430 elliptical.
It might be a distance you want to pass, number of calories you want to burn, or the time you want to spend on the bike.
The Schwinn 430 will show you the current value to achieve your goal:
X Distance/Time passed, X Calories burned, and the percent completed on your way to your goal.
I like this feature so much because it might be what gives you the extra boost of motivation you need.
It turns your workout into a "mission" you must accomplish.
And, It's a lot easier to stay focused and motivated when you have your goal right in front of your eyes.
Heart Rate Sensors
Knowing your heart's BPM will help you know if you're working hard enough or not.
In other words, you'll be able to know if your heart rate is at Its fat burning zone, which is often at 65-80% of your maximum heart rate.
Be alert though, that the heart rate reading depends on many variables, (like the sweat in your palms) and may be inaccurate.
So if in any case, you feel dizzy or faint, stop your workout immediately.
I suggest you use a fitness tracker for a more accurate reading since the heart rate reading you'll get on any elliptical machine is more than often, wrong, and the Schwinn 430 elliptical is no different.
The Display/Media Rack
The Schwinn 430 elliptical uses a thing Schwinn calls “dual-track display”.
And It’s something you see on almost all of Schwinn models. So the 430 elliptical is no different.
As you might’ve guessed from Its name, there are two displays on the console.
Why do you need two displays? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Because when you have your smartphone/tablet/magazine on the media rack, it will block the main upper display, and you lose track of all your workout stats.
Enter the second lower display.
With it, you can keep track of your workout stats like speed, time, distance, resistance level, RPM, heart rate, and calories you burned.
But that’s not all, because the Schwinn 430 has 2 user profiles, you and another user can customize which workout values you want the screen to show.
This dual track display sure is a great touch.
Because let’s face it, otherwise you had to lift whatever it is you placed on the media rack every time you want to check how many calories you burned.
Since we’ve just mentioned it, let’s roll with it.
The Schwinn 430 elliptical will let you set 2 user profiles, which is great if you won’t be the only one using this elliptical machine.
In addition to storing your personal info like name, age, sex, weight, etc, the Schwinn 430 will also store your personal workout stats to your profile.
It will definitely come in handy if there’s someone else using this machine since I’m guessing you’d want to get a true reading of your progress.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, you won't have any problem finding the sweet spot on the Schwinn 430 elliptical for your feet.
Plus, they're cushioned, so that’s nice.
Speakers, 3 Speed Fan & Transport Wheels
On the front of the main console, you'll find a pair of speakers.
Now don't expect a stereo system quality, but this is definitely a nice option to have, and they do sound pretty good considering their size.
There's an MP3 Input right next to the USB port so that you can plug your device and enjoy your songs while you exercise.
Make sure you create a killer playlist that will make you want to keep going.
And, just like with the speakers, don't expect much out of an elliptical machine fan.
You can adjust it to point directly at you, though I won't advise that, and it does cast a nice flow of air at the highest setting.
It’s not bad, and definitely comes in handy when you're really killing it on the machine.
And finally, there's a pair of transport wheels on the front of the Schwinn 430 elliptical.
They sure do come in handy considering this thing weighs 163 lbs because they help make moving it around easier.
Final Word On The Schwinn 430 Elliptical
The Schwinn 430 elliptical machine is not perfect.
In my opinion, It’s got two main drawbacks.
The first is that in this day and age, how can you NOT have an option to sync workout stats to a fitness app?
And the second being the manual incline.
However, when I do a straight-up price to value ratio evaluation, the Schwinn 430 elliptical rise up more than just fine.
Even the fact that adjusting the incline is a pain in the ass, It still has an incline option!
Most of the ellipticals at this price range don’t even offer that.
Furthermore, Its 20 levels of resistance combined with the 22 workout programs are more than enough for most home users, most chances for you too.
And they will allow you to get the max out of your trainer.
By enabling you to confidently increase the resistance over time and diversifying your workouts, in the long run, using the presets programs.
By aiming for the long run, there’s a higher chance you keep coming back to your elliptical and actually lose weight, get healthier, get in shape, and enjoy all the good stuff that comes with regular exercise.
Overall, the Schwinn 430 elliptical is more than a good elliptical that will allow you to exercise on your own terms.