If you’re looking for an elliptical, Schwinn is an excellent brand with which to start. The company has been around for a century. Literally, they started with regular bicycles and have since expanded into a wide range of fitness machines, including air bikes and ellipticals.
In this article, we’re going to dig deep into a Schwinn 430 vs 470 elliptical comparison. The ellipticals are fairly similar; however, there are a few key differences to note that will help you decide which is the perfect piece of fitness equipment for you.
Here’s our overall winner for those of you with short attention spans: the Schwinn 470 elliptical is the superior machine. It has extra features that will help you not only track your progress but stick with your new habit.
A Brief Introduction
The Schwinn 430
This is a fairly solid elliptical for the price. The Schwinn 430 comes with 22 workout programs, Goal Tracking, two LCD displays, and a wide range of resistance levels. It’s got both stationary and moveable handlebars.
You also have the ability to add a 10º incline, but you have to do it manually. Additionally, users report that it has the potential to be extremely noisy, despite assembling the machine correctly.
The Schwinn 470
The Schwinn 470 is the latest model of ellipticals the company carries. It features 29 workout programs, a connected app to track progress, two blue backlit LCD displays, and an even wider range of resistance levels than the 430.
It also has both stationary and moveable handlebars. As a bonus, the 470’s incline is powered rather than manual.
The 430 vs 470 - Let's Go..
Build and Sturdiness
In terms of the Schwinn 430 vs 470’s build and sturdiness, the machines are very similar. Both ellipticals are made of thick, reinforced crossbar tubing for durability and stability during your workouts. Both machines have a center frame support beam connecting the two bottom rails.
You’re highly unlikely to topple either machine, even if you’re exercising vigorously. Both ellipticals handles are covered in padding, so you’re comfortable as you’re working out.
Honestly, the only sticking point in their build is the assembly. Users report that assembling both ellipticals can be complicated. Schwinn does offer professional assembly, but for an extra fee.
Winner: the Schwinn 430 and 470’s builds and sturdiness are identical. There are literally no differences, which means, alas, there are no winners.
The 430: 70.1" L x 28.2" W x 63.2" H; 168.7 lbs
The 470: 70.1" L x 28.2" W x 63.2" H; 164 lbs
That’s right: both machines are literally exactly the same size. The only difference is weight, and even that is minimal, with the Schwinn 430 being four pounds heavier.
Schwinn used a foldable frame for each, so you can make them smaller after your running sessions if you need to. However, the machine’s weight may be prohibitive to moving it around your home every single time you want to use it. You’re better off setting it up where it will live and leaving it alone.
Winner: Same dimensions = no winner. Womp womp.
The flywheel is an elliptical’s drive system. Basically, it’s what makes the machine work. The heavier the flywheel, the more stable it is when the magnetic force is applied, making operation smoother and quieter. (More on the magnetic resistance later.)
Schwinn calls the flywheel on both these ellipticals a “high-speed high inertia perimeter-weighted flywheel.” That’s a mouthful.
Essentially it means the weight of the wheel is located around the perimeter of it. Why does that matter? Without getting too far into Newton’s Laws of Motion, the more weight that’s located around the outside, the more force, you need to exert on the pedals to keep the flywheel moving.
Think of it this way: say you have a handful of quarters in a tied-off sock. If you choke up on the quarters in the sock and swing it around, you don’t have to use much force to do so. If you hold the sock by the very opposite end, away from the quarters, you have to exert more force to swing it. The same principle applies to a perimeter-weighted flywheel.
The Schwinn 470’s inertia perimeter-weighted flywheel is heavier than the 430’s. That’s what gives it more resistance levels, which, again, we’ll talk about later on. Both ellipticals have their flywheel located at the front of the machine.
Winner: The Schwinn 470 takes the cake on this one.
Another short section with no clear winner, folks: the stride length for both the Schwinn 430 and the 470 is 20 inches. Having a 20-inch stride means the pedals move approximately 20 inches total forward and backward.
Both machines’ stride length lends itself well to simulating a natural running motion. You should feel comfortable with each machine.
Winner: Once again, a tie here. I told you the Schwinn 430 vs 470 was going to be a close one.
Types of Resistance
For ellipticals, there are two main types of resistance: magnetic and pad. Pad resistance means there’s, well, a pad (what were you expecting?) attached to the flywheel. Dialing up the resistance puts more pressure on the flywheel via the pad.
Both the Schwinn 430 and the Schwinn 470 use what’s called “eddy current magnetic resistance.” Basically, the flywheel operates between two powerful magnets that are connected by a current. When you change the resistance level, you increase or decrease the flywheel’s interruption of that current.
This is a very effective way to quickly and easily change the levels of resistance. Now, I bet you can guess which one our winner is...
Winner: Both the Schwinn 430 and the 470 use the same type of resistance, so it’s another tie.
Because we’re talking ellipticals, they don’t have a seat. Instead, each machine has a set of foot pedals you stand on to exercise.
Both the Schwinn 430 and the 470 have large, cushioned footplates. The cushion keeps your foot in place as you move, so you don’t slide out of it. Even though this cushion exists, we don’t recommend using these ellipticals barefoot.
Winner: Each machine has the same footplate design. No winner.
Heart Rate Monitor
Ah-ha, an area where the 430 vs 470 has a difference! Both machines measure your heart rate; however, they do so in different ways.
The Schwinn 430 uses grip contact as its heart rate monitor. That means you have to physically hold the handles with the monitoring equipment on them to get a reading.
This is problematic for several reasons. The first is that the handles with the heart rate monitors are the stationary ones. That means if you’re going for a full-body, intense cardio workout using the moving handlebars, you’re SOL in terms of heart rate recording.
It’s also an issue because grip heart rate control is subject to a wide variety of factors that can make it inaccurate. Your sweat and movement can affect readings. So can ambient light. If your primary method of understanding whether or not you got a good workout is your heart rate, this isn’t ideal.
The 470, on the other hand, has both grip and heart telemetry. Heart telemetry is a much more accurate way to track your heart health during exercise. You use telemetry via a type of heart rate monitor like a chest strap.
Because a chest strap sits directly over your heart, you get a much more accurate reading instead of relying on far-away areas like your palms. Only the 470 allows you to pair a chest strap with it via Bluetooth.
Winner: The Schwinn 470 is absolutely superior in terms of heart rate monitoring
User profiles are essential for anyone serious about their fitness goals. After all, the entire point of buying an exercise machine is to use it, right?
Having a user profile means you can track your individual progress. Retain stats like how “far” you’ve gone on the elliptical, how many calories you’ve burned, etc. Having these numbers means keeping a close eye on your fitness.
The profiles also track your age, weight, gender, height, and preferred workout values (if you want to see calories burned or your heart rate on the display, for example).
The Schwinn 430 has two user profiles. That means two separate people can use the machine and have it track their progress. If it’s just you and a single other human in your home, two users are fine.
However, if you have more people than that who’ll be using the machine, you need the Schwinn 470. It doubles the number of user profiles up to four.
Winner: The 470 surpasses the 430 with its extra user capability.
Now we’re getting into the meat of what these ellipticals can do. Workout programs are what take your exercise time from boring plodding away to an engaging experience. They make you want to get on the elliptical in the morning because they shake up your routine.
The Schwinn 430 comes with 22 workout programs. These include 9 profile, 8 heart rate control (4 beginner and 4 advanced), 2 fitness tests, and 1 quick start. The “profile” rides are broken up into categories like “mountain rides,” “fun rides,” and “challenges.”
The Schwinn 470, on the other hand, comes with 7 more workout programs than the 430. It clocks in with a solid 29 workout programs, including 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness test, 1 quick start.
Now, we want to say the more workout programs, the better. However, if you’re using your machine as a casual fitness connoisseur, you can likely get away with the 430.
If you’re dedicated to vastly improving your cardiovascular health, we recommend the 470.
Winner: The Schwinn 470’s 7 more workout programs blow the 430 out of the water.
Like workout programs, being able to track when you’ve met your goals is key to any fitness journey. That’s where tracking your stats comes in.
The Schwinn 430 has what’s called, well, “Goal Track.” This keeps tabs on your current workout’s time, distance, calories, speed, and heart rate. You can also dig into the menu to see your last 7 days’ worth of workouts as well as your BMI (provided your height and weight are accurate).
The Schwinn 470, on the other hand, has far more versatile tracking options. You can use the built-in software like the 430 has, or you can connect to an app.
Use either MyFitnessPal or Schwinn’s built-in Explore the World app. Plus, with Explore the World, you can run virtually on real trails, adding yet another level of interest to your workout.
Winner: The Schwinn 470 has vastly superior tracking abilities.
We already mentioned the Schwinn 470 has Bluetooth, and the 430 doesn’t. That means you can connect apps, as we also already mentioned.
That also means you don’t have to have your phone tethered to the machine via USB. So if you want to use the media rack for your book or iPad, you can leave your phone elsewhere. If you want to use an app with the Schwinn 430, you have to plug it into the USB.
Winner: For sheer Bluetooth convenience alone, the Schwinn 470 wins.
Comparing the Schwinn 430 vs 470 absolutely needs to include a discussion about the console. It’s the main part of the machine with which you interact as you work out.
Both ellipticals have an LCD console consisting of many buttons and two displays. Users report the console is easy to use and navigate. The only difference between the two is that the 470 has a “User” button. Otherwise, the console on each machine appears to be identical.
Winner: Neither; they’re too similar.
Both the Schwinn 430 and the Schwinn 470 come with a window LCD display. The top display shows what workout program you’re currently doing, your intensity, and how far you have to go. The lower display shows your speed, distance, and heart rate. Use these stats to monitor your workout.
The main difference between the two machines is the 470’s LCD display is backlit with blue light. This makes the displays far easier to read in various lighting conditions. If you have poor eyesight or are going to exercise in odd lighting situations, the display being backlit will help a great deal.
Winner: The Schwinn 470’s backlit screen makes it the winner.
The Media Rack
The Schwinn 430 and the Schwinn 470 both have a media rack. Schwinn calls it a "Dualtrack Display." It’s positioned directly below the top LCD screen. While this is convenient for being close to eye level, it also blocks the top screen from view. If you want to monitor your intensity or how long you still have left to work out, you basically can’t use the media rack.
However, you can still see the lower screen with its arguably more important stats like your speed and heart rate. So if only seeing those stats as you exercise matters to you, then Schwinn’s Dualtrack Display should be just fine.
Winner: Both machines have the same Dualtrack Display, so we have another tie.
We mentioned that the Schwinn 430 has a USB port you can use to sync your workout to an app. The Schwinn 470 also has a USB, so even if you connect via Bluetooth, you can charge your device of choice as you exercise.
Both machine’s USBs are located at the very top of the LCD console. This makes it easy to keep your device plugged in and resting in the media rack.
Winner: The USBs and their placement are identical between the exercise machines, so no clear winner here.
When you work out, you’ll work up a sweat. Both the Schwinn 430 and the 470 have a built-in fan at the console base to help cool you down. The fan has three speeds for a little variety.
Users report the fan is decently powered, though when you push the button to turn it on, it begins on high. You have to push it again to lower it to the other speeds if you want.
Winner: Once again, the machines are identical. The 430 vs 470 comparison has a lot of similarities!
On both the 430 and the 470, the speakers are located at the bottom of the console, on either side of the fan. Users report the speakers are rather underpowered, but they get the job done. Both machines also have an MP3 jack, so you can plug in headphones if you prefer.
Winner: It’s a tie, folks. Schwinn evidently felt the console from the 430 was just fine, so they didn’t change much when they came out with the 470.
Another area where there’s no difference between the Schwinn 430 vs 470 is the warranty. Each machine comes with the same warranty:
- Frame: 10 years
- Mechanical parts: 2 years
- Electronics: 1 year
- Labor: 3 months
Schwinn notes that “labor” does not include installing replacement parts in the initial assembly or preventative maintenance. So when you’re putting your machine together or maintaining it, that’s not covered under warranty. You have to pay extra for professional assembly.
Winner: Neither. They’re identical.
Stand Out Features
The Schwinn 470 elliptical has a few more features than the 430. With its 25 resistance levels, Bluetooth connectivity, heart rate chest strap connection, and 29 workout programs, it’s clearly the superior machine.
The Schwinn 430 elliptical is a decent piece of equipment. However, if you’re investing in an elliptical trainer, you may as well go big.
So, The Schwinn Elliptical 430 Vs. The 470 - Who's The ultimate Winner?
The 470 does take the lead in a few categories, like Bluetooth capability, resistance levels and flywheel weight.
But other than that, the 470 and the 430 are pretty much the same.
So, the "ultimate winner" is actually up to you and your needs.
You should choose the Schwinn 430 if:
- You’re on a tight budget
- You don’t care about the extra features
Choose the Schwinn 470 if:
- You’re serious about getting in shape
- You want the extra features
That concludes our comparison of the Schwinn 430 vs 470!