The Schwinn 520 uses the popular Airdyne fan system to offer smooth progressive resistance. It has a stride length of 14 inches, over sized, flexible footplates, a comfortable seat and is quiet in operation. However, it comes with a distinct lack of technological features. There are only 3 preprogrammed workouts to choose from.
The 520 has a 14-inch stride, which is on the short side for an elliptical trainer (check out the Schwinn 420, if you want something a little longer). This tends to mean that taller individuals will have a more uncomfortable workout experience; however, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Schwinn, as one user who is over 6′ had no problem using the elliptical.
The elliptical does a good job at simulating a natural walking motion, all while eliminating undesirable joint stress.
The Schwinn 520 comes with very few workout programs to choose from. In total, there are just 3 programs, consisting of a Time Goal, Calorie Goal and Distance Goal program. While these programs are well designed, we would’ve liked a bit more variety.
The 520 is different to the majority of other ellipticals on the market due to utilizing Schwinn’s patented Airdyne fan system. Instead of a magnetic or digital resistance system, which can be changed via touchscreen or with a turn of an adjustment knob, the more intensely you work out the higher the resistance becomes and vice versa.
The first thing to say about the computer console is that it requires 2 AA batteries to function. It tracks all the information you would expect, including speed, time, distance, calories, RPM and pulse.
Your pulse is recorded by placing your hands on the contact heart rate grips. However, you should keep in mind that the computer console is quite hard to read due to its small display.
As the Schwinn 520 is a recumbent model it is more comfortable to use than your average elliptical trainer. The seat is well-padded and the back is contoured and ventilated in order to encourage good posture and is designed for hours of comfort. The footplates are oversized and flexible to accommodate multiple foot positions, and more importantly multiple foot sizes.
There is also a cooling fan that works similarly to how the resistance works – work out more intensively and the fan’s breeze is cooler. This means that the 520 is the exception to fans on exercise equipment being ineffective and therefore nothing more than novelties.
The 520 is backed by a 5-year frame, 1-year parts and electronics, and 3-month wear parts warranty.
62 x 28 x 40 inches
Schwinn 520 User Reviews
The reviews for the Schwinn 520 have been good. Users say that the assembly process is fairly straightforward, the elliptical is quiet in operation, and the stride feels smooth.
However, users also say that the computer console could be improved upon. Firstly, because it requires two batteries to function, and secondly because the functions are “overly simple.” One user feels that the machine is made from too much plastic, although it’s worth noting that no users have reported any issues with the machine’s durability, while another one found that one of the arms came loose.
There are a couple of things to complain about. One is the lack of built-in workout programs, although Schwinn’s Airdyne models, due to their infinite resistance, tend to feature no programs at all, so perhaps three being included is a plus. The other is that the console is hard to read.
Anything Else You Should Know?
If you have no need for the bells and whistles that so often come with elliptical trainers, such as a dozen programs and speakers, but are more interested in obtaining a good workout, then the Schwinn 520 is a very good choice. While the console could be improved upon this certainly isn’t enough to put us off.