Nordictrack Vs Schwinn – which one is better?

NordicTrack and Schwinn are two reputable manufacturers of fitness equipment. Both produce top quality products of different types and in varying price ranges. Here is a NordicTrack vs Schwinn comparison to help you decide which one suits you.

Hi, my name is Erin. I am an athletics trainer. I often recommend indoor cycling for regular workouts when outdoor exercises are inconvenient or impossible. I get lots of questions as to why I would recommend one brand over another. The answer is usually a combination of features and overall riding experience.

NordicTrack and Schwinn are both top quality bikes but with many differentiating features. Here is a NordickTrack VR25 vs Schwinn 270 comparison to help you decide which one fits best into your fitness routine.

What Are The Differences Between Nordictrack And Schwinn?

 
NordicTrack
Schwinn
Footprint
68 x 21.75 x 60 inches
13 x 67 x 27 inches
Flywheel weight
25 lbs. (SMR)
17 lbs. (perimeter weighted)
Resistance levels
26
25
Weight capacity
350 lbs. (159 kg)
300 lbs. ( 136 kg)
Onboard workouts
35
29
Price

Nordictrack Vs Schwinn –  How Do They Compare?

Connectivity and Subscription

The Nordictrack bike is both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to link the bike’s computer to other devices. Many users like to download their workout data to other devices for further tracking and analysis. With a good W-fi connection you can stream live workouts or download just about anything you like from the internet.

The VR25 comes with a 1 year free subscription to NordicTrack iFit. This is a software which lets you stream liveworkout sessions facilitated by professional elite trainers. There are new sessions every day which form an ever-growing library of sessions which you can choose from if live work is not your cup of tea. Live Digital Resistance lets the instructor adjust your resistance levels for you as per the requirements of the routine.

Schwinn’s bike has no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. It does have a USB drive used to store data to be uploaded to the Schwinn Connect website. It is compatible with MyFitnessPal, an application which integrates data from various sources.

The NordicTrack is the better bike because it gives you both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The 1 year free subscription to IFit is a notable advantage.

Console

The Nordictrack has a 7 inch, smart, high definition touchscreen which is what is used to display all workout data such as time, distance, RPMs, calories and heart rate.

Quite different from the Nordictrack, the Schwinn 270 has a Dual Track LCD screen. With this you get more than 10 different display feedbacks. On top of that, you can place an iPad on the tablet holder. Even if it covers the top part of the dual screen, you can still see your resistance and other data displayed on the lower screen.

The Schwinn 270 is better because it has a dual display system which lets you monitor your workout stats from the lower screen even when you have an iPad on the tablet holder.

Riding Experience

Flywheel weight has for a long time been the source of debate among fitness enthusiasts. It is generally accepted that the heavier a flywheel is, the smoother the ride. The NordicTrack has a 25 pound flywheel while the Schwinn has a 17 pound flywheel.

Although the difference may not be obvious for some, pro-cyclists who spend a lot of time on both outdoor and indoor bikes say the NordicTrack does give you a smoother pedaling experience thanks to its weight.

Onboard workouts are useful because they do all the thinking for you. You don’t have to put any thought into exactly how long you should be riding, where your resistance settings should be and so on. This is why the NordicTrack prides itself for giving users 35 workouts to choose from. In the Schwinn bike there are 29 onboard workouts.

Fans are another feature to think about. In the NordicTrack bike, you have an AutoBreeze smart fan. It is called smart because you don’t need to adjust it. It adjusts itself automatically depending on your pedaling speed. The Schwinn has a 3 -speed fan which you adjust between high, medium and low.

The NordicTrack gives a better riding experience with a smoother ride, more onboard workouts and a smart fan.

Nordictrack Vs Schwinn – A Comparison Overview

Nordictrack Overview

This is NordicTrack’s premier recumbent bike. With a strong steel frame, it promises stability no matter how hard you pedal and comfortably supports users weighing up to 350 pounds. The seat is one of its most outstanding features. Although recumbent bikes typically have more comfortable seats than upright bikes, this is a wider, well cushioned seat with extra lumbar support. To adjust the seat, you have a gliding system which lets you slide the seat back or forward.

There are 26 resistance levels which are controlled digitally. These are more than enough for beginner and intermediate riders but could be insufficient for experienced riders.

A close look at the pedals and you notice that they are wider than those in the average bike. This not only serves to accommodate users with big feet but also lets you shift your foot’s position to relieve pressure underfoot and reduce fatigue. Adjustable pedal straps keep your foot firmly in place without compromising comfort

The handlebars have inbuilt monitors which are used to keep track of your heart rate as you ride and the readings are displayed on the screen.

The downside to this bike is that its flywheel is quite light for a bike designed for commercial use. Commercial bikes do better with heavier wheels for smoother rides and more challenge.

Pros

  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity with Live Digital Resistance
  • Roomy seat with lumbar support
  • Oversized pedals with adjustable straps
  • Heart rate monitor on handlebars

Cons

  • Light flywheel

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Schwinn Overview

This is the more advanced of two of Schwinn’s recumbent bikes. It is designed for home use but that is not to say that strength is compromised. It is made using a single steel frame which gives it more stability than you need even for intense workouts and supports users weighing up to 300 pounds.

Its 17 pound flywheel is considered much lighter than average but is a high speed, high inertia perimeter weighted wheel so you still get a relatively smooth and steady ride.

You don’t have to have a separate device to monitor heart rate. There are monitors built into the handlebars so you only need to grip on them to have your heart rate displayed on the screen.

Indoor bikes generally allow you to create a profile to keep track of your workout progress. This bike lets you create up to 4 user profiles. If there are several members of a household using the bike, they can all have their own individual profiles. Once you enter your age, weight and height, the first time, you only have to switch to your user profile every time you start riding.

If you are shorter or taller than average it is best to try this bike before buying it. Tall users who are 6 feet and taller say they feel cramped or can’t fit at all. Shorter riders (under 5 ft. 2) have trouble reaching the bars and staying steady on the bike.

Pros

  • Digitally controlled resistance
  • 4 user profiles
  • Heart rate monitor on handlebars
  • Comfortable – cushioned seat bottom

Cons

  • Light flywheel – not for high level workout
  • Not for tall people
  • Heart rate sensors can be inaccurate

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Conclusion

Recumbent bikes have become increasingly popular because they are so much more comfortable than spin bikes and upright bikes. These are also the bike of choice for people who are recovering from some kind of injury which calls for minimized pressure on joints. Both will more than ably get you to your fitness goals whether you are looking to lose weight, achieve cardio health or general body fitness.

Verdict: So Which Is Better Nordictrack Or Schwinn?

The NordicTrack VR25 bike emerges as the better of the two mainly because of its connectivity. With this you open yourself up to a world of options which make indoor cycling a lot more fun, immersive and interactive.

FAQs

Can I use the NordicTrack VR25 without an iFit subscription?

You can use the bike without a subscription. There are 35 onboard workouts to choose from.

What is the benefit of a perimeter weighted flywheel as in the Schwinn 270 bike?

Perimeter weighed flywheels have more weight along their perimeter than in the middle. This exerts more force which keeps the pedals (and your feet) moving.