Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike review

Affordable, quiet and comfortable indoor recumbent bike

Woman using the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future/Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is a high-quality and low-impact at-home workout choice.


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    Easy to use

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    Low impact and comfortable

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    No membership needed


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    Not a full-body workout

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    Short warranty

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    Grip heart rate is unreliable & calorie count is inaccurate

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Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike specifications

Price: $649
Dimensions: 64 x 27.7 x 49.9 inches
Weight: 86.6 lbs
Power: Mains, 110V-120V Circuit
Resistance levels: 25
Resistance mechanism: Friction
Max. weight: 300 lbs
Extras: USB port, Bluetooth, 3-speed fan
Warranty: 10 year frame, 2 year mechanical, 1 year electrical, & 90 day labor

While I’m very used to riding a stationary spin bike, I could be persuaded to switch to the Schwinn 270 recumbent bike. Designed for those who need a lower-impact workout, the Schwinn 270 is easy to set up and use and has many workout options, including 29 programs, to choose from so your workout will never be stale. 

Schwinn is a reputable brand, and the Schwinn 270 did not disappoint for many reasons including its quietness, the user-friendly design and technology, and its comfort. Among the best exercise bikes, it’s a great option, but as this Schwinn 270 recumbent bike review will reveal, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before buying it.

Recent updates

In early 2024, workout equipment manufacturer BowFlex filed for bankruptcy. The company owns two brands; BowFlex and Schwinn. At the moment, we don't know the bankruptcy's effect, but it may still be worth purchasing Schwinn exercise bikes, as these don't rely on subscriptions or any of the company's digital services. 

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike in a person's home

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike review: Price

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike cost $649 and shipped to my house for free within one week after purchasing. Upon arrival, the bike came in one large box that was very heavy, and required two to three people to assist with lifting it into the house.

The bike does not come already assembled but do not panic, you may purchase an In-Home Assembly for $129. It took the technician less than an hour to assemble the bike and he showed me how to set up the console before leaving. 

If you do not opt for the In-Home Assembly, the bike comes with a full instruction manual to guide you through the assembly process as well as labeled parts so you can easily figure out what goes where. Furthermore, Allen wrenches and a screwdriver are included.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike review: Design

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike has transport rollers and a transport handle to help the bike where you want it. Levelers can be found on each side of the Rear Stabilizer and on the Frame Rail to keep the bike steady while riding. 

The bike has an adjustable seat, with a weight capacity of 300 pounds. The seat itself is comfortable, ventilated, and much wider than the average seat on a spin bike. Additionally, it has a back to it.

On the sides of the seat, there are handlebars for riders to hold onto.To adjust your seat, make sure you are off the bike when you push down on the seat adjustment handle. When it comes to getting your seat in the right position, you’ll want to sit on your bike as if you are ready to ride. 

If your seat is in the correct position, you’ll have a slight bend in the knee when your foot is in the pedal.If your knees are locked out and you cannot reach the pedals, or your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle at the top of each rotation, you’ll want to adjust your seat. 

On each side of the handlebars is a heart rate monitor attached that will record your heart rate when holding the handlebars. On the left side of the bike is a rather large cup holder that can fit your water bottle and even your phone for easy access while riding. 

If you live in an apartment building or have young children you’re fitting your workouts around, the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike is a good fit, as it is smooth and quiet since it is equipped with a weighted flywheel. 

The nice thing about a recumbent bike is that unlike using the Peloton Bike, or say, the NordicTrack S22i, cycling shoes are not needed, you can use your running shoes, or a pair of athletic shoes and still get a good workout. 

Pedal on the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

The main LCD display is 3 x 5 inches, so it's easy to read while exercising, while the second screen measures just 1 x 5 inches. Neither are touchscreen, but I found them easy to use, especially the resistance buttons. However, combined, they show your metrics, including calories burned, distance, resistance level, and heart rate zone. 

The display console also has speakers, a cooling fan, an MP3, and a USB port. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to plug my phone into the “MP3” port and listen to my own music during my ride through the bike's speakers.

It was also nice not to have to plug in a standing fan before each workout. There is also a bench on the console which holds accessories such as your phone — ideal if you are looking to use your phone to watch entertainment during your workout.

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike review: Features

Someone riding the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

The Schwinn 270 doesn't have an interactive display, but you can still connect your phone via Bluetooth and sync your workouts to Strava, MyFitnessPal, or Apple Health (if you have an iPhone). 

Plus, you can download the Explore the World by Bowflex workout app and virtually ride around some scenic routes. Free  routes include Zion National Park, Route 66, and the French Riviera; if you purchase the app, you can unlock even more routes.

One of my favorites was the Tuscany/Swiss Alps; not only does it look amazing, but the bike knows what route you are doing and will program it based on the video. For example, when I was going uphill, the bike would adjust the resistance to make it lifelike. 

The USB port allows riders to charge their phones and tablets while riding; it’s great to have if you are streaming a show on the phone or reading a book. Built-in sealed acoustic chamber speakers also let you play tunes through the bike. 

There are handlebar-based grip heart rate monitors, but you can also connect any compatible Polar chest strap heart rate monitor. But the real game-changer was the Schwinn 270’s three-speed fan, mounted under the screen, especially during intense workouts. 

Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike review: Performance

Console on the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike

(Image credit: Future/Tom's Guide)

The Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike has 29 workout programs, 25 levels of resistance, and 10 resistance quick keys. The quick start program is a great option for beginners who want to get a feel for the bike without entering any information and familiarizing themselves with the bike. 

The Heat Rate Control workout programs let you set a heart rate goal for a workout. Since the program monitors the individual's heart rate in beats per minute (BPM), it will adjust their workout to keep their heart rate in the selected range. 

I thoroughly enjoyed taking the heart rate program classes on the bike. Before starting the class, I set a heart rate goal for my workout; it took me a few classes to figure out what to put for my goal and in the end, I found working in the zone of 70-80% to be the best.

These sessions encourage you to stay within this selected zone and make you work harder to keep your heart rate up. Although I’m sure an external heart rate monitor from Polar would be more accurate, using the grip heart rate monitors sufficed, even if you do need to hold them for 15 seconds to get a reading.

I also enjoyed the quick-start workouts on the bike, which allow me to pedal while scrolling through my phone or catching up on this week’s shows. Even though this form of a workout is less intense than others, I still break a sweat after I am done.

Although I enjoy riding a spin bike as my main form of exercise, the recumbent bike is a nice alternative. My body worked just as hard as on a spin bike, even though I was more comfortable and with less pressure on my joints while reclining back. The only thing I missed was riding out of the seat, like on a spin bike. 

Should you buy the Schwinn 270 Recumbent Bike?

The Schwinn 270 easily surpassed my expectations. Sure, it's the most expensive recumbent bike in the brand's range, but I'd still highly recommend it, even if you do have the assemble the bike yourself to begin with. 

I enjoyed the many workout programs you have to choose from, as this allowed my exercise to be exciting and enjoyable since I had many options rather than sticking to one and it becoming stale. 

A highlight for me is downloading Explore the World by Bowflex because I was able to connect my bike with an app to enjoy scenic routes while getting a workout in. A plus to this app is that it will sync with the Apple Health app to log my workout.

I was a bit disappointed that it didn't come with a chest strap heart rate monitor for more accurate calorie burn, but I still think that the Schwinn 270 Recumbent bike is worth the price, since it is easy to use and delivers a quiet and comfortable ride while providing riders with a low-impact home workout.