Ready to purchase an elliptical machine for your home gym, but not sure where to start? We share the complete guide below to the Schwinn 430 Elliptical, including who should be using it, who should not use it, and how to make ellipticals work for you.
What is an Elliptical Machine and How Does it Work?
An elliptical machine is a cross between a treadmill, a stair climbing machine, and a skiing machine. You’ll keep both feet on the skis at all times, but instead of straight movements, your feet will glide back and forth, usually while you’re holding on to poles or a handle.
This offers a terrific cardiovascular exercise that has the added benefit of being non-impact, which helps convince longtime lovers of treadmills to make the switch. Also, you’re not just working your legs; you’re working your arms, too, which helps you burn more calories, faster, and get in an arm workout while you’re at it.
On most machines, you’ll be able to adjust the resistance as well as the distance so that you’re not overextending your hips or legs or struggling to reach the handles.
Strengthening & Cardio
When you use an elliptical machine, here are the muscles you can expect to strengthen:
- Gluteus maximus (buttocks)
- Tibialis anterior (shins)
- Quadriceps (the fronts of your thighs)
- Hamstrings (the backs of your thighs)
- Gastrocnemius (calves)
- Pectoralis major (chest muscles)
- Biceps (front arm muscles)
- Triceps (upper arm muscles)
You will also experience all the benefits of a good cardio workout, including:
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Reduced stress
- Weight loss
- Better insulin management
- Decreased depression
- Increased bone density
- Better sleep quality at night
- Decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
- And more!
Pros and Cons to Using an Elliptical
An elliptical can be a great option, but there are some things to consider before incorporating it into your exercise regimen. While it tends to be great for people who want something a little more exciting than a treadmill, it can be too exciting for some.
If you have balance issues, you might find the elliptical to be extremely disorienting. Coordinating your arms and legs at the same time can exacerbate already difficult inner ear conditions. If you think that might be you, go slow. Climb on to the elliptical carefully, and take frequent breaks until you feel confident using it.
If, however, you have joint issues or are concerned with increasing wear and tear on your joints, we can’t recommend the elliptical enough. While you aren’t completely free of impact, you’ve significantly reduced the impact your joints and muscles will be experiencing, making this a much safer form of exercise for many high-risk groups.
What to Look for in an Elliptical
If you’ve tried the elliptical at your local gym and want to bring it home to your spare room or garage, here’s what you should look for:
First, consider the footprint and size of the machine. Elliptical machines aren’t small, but some are much larger than others. Do you have enough space in your home? Size often correlates to weight restrictions, so if you think you might have problems, pay careful attention to how much weight an elliptical is slated to carry.
Can you fold up the machine? Does it have wheels so you can roll it? Will you need help moving it? These are all questions to consider when shopping for an elliptical.
Next, consider how adjustable the machine is. If you’re average height and weight, you might not need a machine that will let you modify it extensively, but if you’re on the shorter or taller side, you will want something to accommodate you.
Will it Grow With You?
Third, evaluate the resistance levels the elliptical offers, as well as the training programs. If you’re just starting out and only plan on using the elliptical for mild exercise purposes, you won’t need something with high levels of resistance or with a variety of training plans.
However, if you need lots of variety or will be training extensively for years, you’ll need something that can grow in intensity as you grow in strength.
Finally, look at the price tag. An inexpensive machine might seem great, but does it have the bells and whistles that will keep you comfortable for years? Some people opt for cheaper machines to try for a few months until they decide to make a larger investment.
Speaking of trying, ellipticals are all designed differently so if possible, try one at your friend’s house or a local gym first!
What Makes the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Unique?
Now, what you’ve been waiting for: let’s take a look at the Schwinn 430 Elliptical! At less than $$, the Schwinn 430 Elliptical is relatively low priced but has a lot of bells and whistles, making it a popular choice for the light to moderate trainer.
This elliptical from Schwinn comes with a 20lb. flywheel and a stride fixed at 20”. Petite people will find this stride is too long, but most will find it perfect (a 20lb. flywheel is industry average). Most people will be sufficiently enticed by the whopping 22 programs, two user settings, and 20 levels of resistance.
This is a front-powered machine, which means it takes up a bit less room than the average, but it also means you’re likely to lean forward when you use it. If upright posture is important to you, you might be happier with a rear powered machine.
Other features that make this machine feel like it should cost more than it does:
- Two LCD windows let you keep an eye on as many as thirteen different data points during your workout
- There’s a charging port (USB connection), so you can charge your device will you workout
- Setup is easy and uncomplicated
- It’s almost identical to the higher-end version from Schwinn, but about $$ less
- Moving hand grips (not a bar) are easier for most people to use
- The rame is less than 6ft. long, without sacrificing stride length
- Comes with Bluetooth connectivity and a heart rate monitor
- Training options include a heart rate control program, which is usually only found on much more expensive models!
Why Go With Schwinn (and What Are Users Saying)?
The company behind Schwinn is over a century old and got its start creating bicycles. Today, it continues to create much-beloved bikes for all members of the family as well as lines of in-home fitness equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, and the like.
The company’s solid reputation and years of operations ensure that the support for your large purchase won’t disappear overnight (you’re not ordering from some shady company in China), but what do customers think of the Schwinn 430 Elliptical? Let’s take a look!
Reviews on the Schwinn are a bit of a mixed bag, but on the whole, people seem to appreciate this trainer–and for lots of good reasons! With over eight hundred reviews online (and 75% of those reviews four-star or higher!), this machine has created lots of buzz.
One of the most common complaints, however, has to do with assembly and oiling the parts. It seems that if the parts aren’t assembled correctly and well lubricated per the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s common to experience a large amount of noise when using the machine. Also, people have reported pedals falling off or breaking and problems with customer service.
These don’t seem to be trends, but if you’ve historically struggled with assemblies or installations, you might want to steer clear of this model! We see some additional potential problems, one of which has to do with the flywheel. Though the machine’s maximum weight limit is 350lbs., the flywheel is fairly light, and the pedal rollers are plastic.
Is Light a Good Thing?
While this makes the machine easier to move, it also makes it more prone to breaking down since its made from less durable parts. If your weight is close to the limit or you plan on using your trainer heavily, this might not be the best option. Plus, you’ve only got a 90-day warranty, which is short compared to other products on the market.
Finally, the incline adjustment is manual, not automatic, which is just a pain.
How it Compares
To give you a better idea of the quality and price-point of the Schwinn 430 Elliptical, we’ve chosen two other popular ellipticals to compare it to.
Exerpeutic 5000 Magnetic Elliptical Trainer
- An 18 inch smooth elliptical stride length provides a comfortable and full range work out, without any strain on the knees or ankles
- 12 Workout Programs in addition to 7 different training modes. LCD Computer displays time, distance, RPM, Watts, Heart Rate Control with 4 individual settings. Smart phone/Tablet holder included
- A strong and durable 3 piece cranking system for high end performance and continuous momentum
- 24 level Magnetic Tension system adjustable via the computer console
- Extended User weight capacity of 270 lbs./DIMENSIONS: 55"L x 25"W x 64"H/PRODUCT WEIGHT: 84 lbs.
At about half the price of the Schwinn 430 Elliptical, the Exerpeutic 5000 is a budget elliptical. This also means it’s smaller; the weight limit is 80lbs. lighter, though that has the added benefit of allowing you to move it much more easily than the Schwinn.
Unfortunately, it also means a smaller stride, but you’ll have a one-year warranty, which is significantly better than the one you’ll get from Schwinn!
Our final verdict is that, overall, we’re fairly impressed with this little machine. It will not, however, be a home gym showstopper. If you’re looking for something that looks and feels like a million bucks, you’re better off with the Schwinn. If you’re looking for a strictly budget buy, this might be a better option.
Sole Fitness E35 Elliptical Machine
- The E35 features fluid natural motion provided by a whisper quiet drive system. Functions in both forward and reverse motion. The combination of a heavy 25 lb. flywheel and a high gear ratio not found on comparable models means an extremely smooth feel with plenty of resistance at the top end for a challenging workout.
- The E35 also has a power incline feature for additional resistance as well as variable positions. The ramp angle is fully adjustable from 0 to 20 different incline levels, allowing users to target and work all major lower body muscle groups, as well as handles for upper body workouts. It also has stationary handlebars with built-in pulse sensors for heart rate monitoring. A heart rate chest strap is included for highly accurate wireless monitoring.
- The unique foot pedals were designed in collaboration with a leading physical therapist and sports enthusiast. Sole engineers designed a 2-degree inward slope to the foot pedals which reduce ankle and knee stress. The four rear wheels ride on heavy duty rails, providing a smoother, more stable feel and reducing side-to-side foot pedal motion.
- The E35 now includes an integrated tablet holder so you can use your smart devices to watch shows or follow workout routines. Also included is a USB port for charging and Bluetooth Audio Speakers so you can listen to music.
- Not everyone walks the same; for this reason we have made the pedals articulating/adjustable to fit the way you walk. The E35, E55 and E95 all include foot pedals that have level adjustment features to them, which helps to reduce the numb toe effects and sore Achilles tendons helping users to focus less on being uncomfortable and more focused on achieving goals.
On the other end of the spectrum is the E35 from Sole Fitness. At just under $$$, it’s more than double the price of the Schwinn. Is it twice as good?
With the E35, you’ll get a longer stride and an all-around larger machine, plus an outstanding two-year warranty. The features aren’t that much different than the Schwinn, which tells you how much you’re getting with the 430–both have chest strap heart rate monitoring, LCD console, water bottle holder, and so forth.
The real difference is the heavier flywheel (29lbs. vs. 20lbs.), the much longer warranty, and the power incline which is much more dynamic and easier to move in the Sole Fitness elliptical. If you know you’ll use your elliptical for years to come, and you have the extra cash lying around, there’s no reason not to try out the E35 from Sole Fitness.
However, if you’d rather spend less than $$, stick to the Schwinn 430.
What We Think
- Goal Track capability enables users to set individual exercise goals by tracking time, distance and calories to compare with previous workouts
- 20 inch stride with Precision Path foot motion technology simulates a natural running motion
- High speed, high inertia drive system offers easy start-up and smooth, quiet workouts
- Large cushioned footplates contribute to comfortable, low-impact workouts
- Ergonomically placed moving and fixed handlebars provide flexibility for hand placement
Purchasing in-home gym equipment is extremely personal. You need to find something that will make you want to exercise, something that fits your budget and space constrictions, something that will last as long as you will, and something that perfectly matches your fitness level and manages to grow with you.
Elliptical machines are great at most of the above, and thanks to the variety of options available, it’s not difficult to find one to meet your needs. After thoroughly analyzing the market and reviewing the options available, here’s who we think the Schwinn 430 Elliptical is perfect for, and who we think should pass on it:
Here’s Who Should Not Buy This Machine
If you’ve already decided to invest in an elliptical because you know you enjoy using it and feel confident that a large trainer will both fit and be easily accessed in your home, the Schwinn 430 is a good option. It has enough extra features to make it fun and to allow it to grow as your fitness level does, but it’s not so expensive that you’ll need to fork over an arm or a leg.
On the other hand, there are some people that we don’t recommend this product for:
- People on a tight budget
- People who want the confidence of an extended warranty
- Heavy trainers, who will be using the machine extensively
The bottom line? If you want all the value of a high-end machine without the price tag, the Schwinn 430 Elliptical is your best bet.