A Machine with Consistently High Customer Reviews
I’ve been a Schwinn elliptical trainer fan for years. They have consistently built some of the best budget ellipticals in the market. The Schwinn 470 and Schwinn 430 are perfect examples. For an elliptical costing only $600 you get a stable machine with a reasonable smooth elliptical stride that is reasonably durable. With both of these models the customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Recently Schwinn ventured into the low end of the budget crosstrainer market with the Schwinn A40 elliptical. The one feature that makes it stand out over the competition is the 17.5″ elliptical stride. Most low-end ellipticals come with a 16″ or less stride lengths. You end up with a very choppy motion that tends to me more oval than elliptical. However, even with the 17.5″ stride length taller users may find it too short.
Although the Schwinn A40 may be one of the best values at the bargain price at under $600, it has some limitations that as a potential customer you should be aware of.
Light Unit Weight – The shipping weight is listed as 106 lbs., so you can imagine the unit weight is somewhere around 95 lbs. That is very light for a machine that has to stabilize both an upper and lower body motion. In fact, if you watch the video demonstration you can actually see the Schwinn A40 rocking as it is being used. They rate the user limit at 275 lbs. The person in the video is not anywhere near that heavy, and is exercising moderately. Be aware that the light weight will impact the stability.
8 Levels of Resistance – Most ellipticals will have a minimum of 16 levels of resistance. With 8 you’ll notice a substantial change in the resistance from one level to the next.
Front Drive Design – I’m concerned about the overall design of the Schwinn A40. Typically with a front drive design elliptical trainer you have wheels running over rails. In the case of the A40 you have a single wheel running on a single rail. With the Sole front drive ellipticals you have dual wheels running on dual rails to guarantee stability. The design of the Schwinn A40 is similar to the more expensive Schwinn 420 and 430, and they have managed to maintain a solid feel for the long-term. However, I have been on cheap front drive machines with the same design as the Schwinn A40, and after regular use both the footpedals and the upper body handles tend to loosen up. I’m projecting into the future, and I could be wrong.
Warranty – Usually at this price you get 90-days parts and labor coverage. The Schwinn A40 comes with 6 months parts and 30 day wear parts warranty. They do not mention anything about labor. Not sure what the wear parts refers to, since any part of the elliptical can wear. If you plan to purchase the Schwinn A40, I would consider an extended warranty with labor coverage.
Other issues are the LCD display. It is hard to read, and in fact it was one of the major complaints by customers. Also the fan hardly kicks out any breeze.
My recommendation is if you can afford it go with the Schwinn 430. It has a proven track record as one of the most stable and durable elliptical trainers for under $800. If you can’t afford the Schwinn 430 the A40 is a decent alternative with limitations. The 17.5″ elliptical stride is a plus, but the stability and potential durability are drawbacks. Regardless, the majority of customers gave the Schwinn A40 positive reviews, suggesting this is one of the best values under $600.