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Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike Review

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The Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike is a relatively new product from Schwinn, who is one of the well known manufacturers of high quality exercise bikes. The Schwinn 250 is widely believed to replace the highly popular Schwinn 240 Recumbent Exercise Bike, which many said will be discontinued soon.
The product dimensions and designs are the same for both models, except that the Schwinn 250 has more preset programs and the display console has been improved.


The Schwinn 250 Recumbent bike is very easy to assemble. With two people working on it, most reviewers managed to get it done within two hours with the help of a very clear instruction manual that comes together with the bike.

Enjoy the rest of the Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike Review that I have prepared for you. Much research has been done on this particular exercise bike.

There is a very nice video that gives you a good overview about the Schwinn 250 machine. Click on the image below to watch the video.

The Schwinn 250 comes with an impressive 16 resistance levels. The resistance system was implemented using magnetic ECB (Eddy Current Brake), and it therefore produces an extremely quiet and smooth ride. The ECB system is frictionless requiring little or no maintenance.

The switching between resistances can be adjusted conveniently by a button on the console. Very easily done, and it does not cause any disruptions to your ride.

For typical users, levels below 10 are considered to be light, and any level above that starts to get harder. This provides a wide level of resistance to satisfy every demanding user.

Schwinn 250 Display Console

The display console uses a backlit, multi-colour LCD display. It provides information on the exercise time, interval time, RPM, power, distance, pulse, speed, calories, resistance level, as well as course profile. It has a grid display, and comes with touch control buttons to help you navigate through the exercise programs.

If you are looking for the On/Off switch for the Schwinn 250’s display console, you will not find any because there isn’t one. The console will auto start when plugged into a power source, any button is pushed, or when the bike is pedalled. It will automatically shut off if there is no action for a continuous 5 minutes.

The actual display area is relatively small on the console, which shares with two columns of control buttons, an outlet for the fan (yes, there is a fan on the console!), two small speakers at the side, MP3 inputs, water bottle holder, and a media tray to hold your book/magazine that you read while exercising. Pretty impressive!

Some reviewers complaint that the display is annoying, as certain sections do double duty, flashing between one metric and the other every 6 seconds. RPM with speed, time with interval, and power with resistance level. To me, that is still acceptable. The worst case is that you have to wait for 6 seconds before you can read off the information that you need.

There are a few who feedback that the media tray is too high up, and if you are not tall enough, the position of the book may not be comfortable for your eyes.

Another point to take note is that the maximum workout time the display can show is 99:59 minutes. Beyond that, it will roll back to 00:00 and counts from there again. In case you are wondering why the display shows only 20 minutes when you have been riding for two hours, you know the reason.

Last but not least, the console allows you to tilt it by a small angle so that you can align it to your line of sight as much as possible.

Comfort Level

A reviewer mentioned that he was 6’11″ tall and weighed 300 lbs, and managed to fit very comfortably onto the Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike. This said a lot about the comfort level this machine brings to users.

Besides being extremely comfortable due to the large and well padded seat with back support, this machine is also very quiet and gentle during the ride. If you are watching TV programs, you do not need to increase the volume of your TV. If you are chatting with your sweetheart while exercising, continue to do so without a need to raise your voice to get your message across.

The ergonomic paddle is designed with dual density materials for both efficiency and comfort. It is big enough and comes with a strap to make sure your foot is comfortably strapped onto the entire paddle during the workout. This will prevent your foot from slipping off during rapid cycling.

The walk through design of the Schwinn 250 allows any user to get in or out of the bike easily even with limited physical abilities.

To ensure the bike is on a solid and level platform, there are levellers found on each side of the Rear Stabilizer and on the Frame Rail. On the Rear Stabilizer, simply turn the knob to adjust the stabilizer foot to make sure the bike is steady and levelled before you start your rides.

Great comfort level during workouts is important to help you exercise longer without feeling tired easily. This will indirectly help you to achieve your goals faster, be it for weight lose, cardio trainings or simply for regular exercises.

Schwinn 250 Heart Rate Monitor

The Schwinn 250 Recumbent Bike comes with a heart rate monitor. The Contact Heart Rate (CHR) sensors send your heart rate signals to the console. The CHR sensors are the stainless steel parts of the handlebars, located at the side of the display console. To monitor your heart rate, simply put your hands around the sensors. Once the console detects a stable pulse signal from the sensor, your pulse rate will be shown on the display.

If you feel that holding on to the handlebars throughout the workout is annoying, do not worry. The Schwinn 250 comes with a system that can support a chest strap to monitor the heart rate so that you can literally be “hands free” and will not need to hold onto the grips anymore.

Having said that, this machine only supports chest strap that must be a non-coded heart rate strap from Polar Electro or any non-coded POLAR® compatible model, such as the Polar Chest Strap Transmitter. It is very important to note that Coded POLAR® heart rate straps such as POLAR® OwnCode® chest straps will NOT work with this machine.

Schwinn 250 Preset Programs

The Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike comes with 11 preset programs, 8 profile courses, quick start, distance goal, fitness test and 4 heart rate programs, which normally come only with very high end models.

There is something I want to mention about this machine that many people love. That is the Schwinn Advantage™ workout tracking function.  Together with the ability of the console to store and use 2 user profiles, this function provides a very easy way to set fitness goals and measure your progress right on the console itself. This adds a little motivation to your exercise routine.

All the preset programs and profile courses will automatically adjust the resistance levels of the machine while you are working out.

Distance Goal Program

This program lets you set the total distance and pacer speed for your workout.

Heart Rate Control (HRC) Program

This program lets you set a heart rate goal for your workout. You can set the percentage of maximum heart rate: 60–70%, 70–80%, or 80–90%. For this program to work correctly, the console must be able to read the heart rate information from the CHR sensors or HRM.

Fitness Test Program

This program measures the improvements of your physical fitness level. The test compares your power output (in Watts) to your heart rate. As your fitness level improves, your power output will increase at a given heart rate.

Schwinn 250 Dimension

The Schwinn 250 measures 63″ L x 25″ W x 46″ H (160 x 64 x 117 cm) and weighs 117 lbs (53 kg). This is slightly heavier than most of the exercise bikes in its class.

The maximum user weight is 300 lbs (136 kg) according to the user manual.

Additional Features

Besides the many features of the display console and numerous preset and heart control programs, the Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike also provides smaller features to improve overall user experience and comfort level.

The 20 lbs perimeter weighted flywheel provides the rider a true road feel and smooth, consistent workouts.

The AUX input allows you to connect your audio devices like MP3 player to the side speakers at the console. This avoids having dangling wires which restrict movements when you are listening directly off from the MP3 with an earpiece.

There is also a storage basket located directly under the seat for books, magazines, or even tools for the occasional adjustment on the bike if needed.  The water bottle holder is located at the console. These features provide lots of conveniences for the rider as the items can be easily reached anytime during the workout without any interruptions.

As this machine is heavy, moving from one room to the other may not be easy. With the built-in transportation wheels, it helps a lot in this kind of movement if there is any.

Many reviewers were surprised to find a fan built into the console. Although it doesn’t provide much wind due to the small opening, it is still better than nothing if the indoor air is stuffy without much regulation.

Schwinn 250 Accessories

There is no accessory that comes together with the exercise bike.

You need to take note that the Polar® telemetry-enabled heart rate system was advertised as a `system’. The telemetry chest transmitter is NOT included and does not come together with the Schwinn 250 bike.

According to one reviewer, the Polar Non-Coded Chest Transmitter cost an extra $30+ or so.

You can check out the best price for the Polar Non-Coded Chest Transmitter here.

Schwinn 250 Pros

The Schwinn 250 Recumbent Exercise Bike comes with a very solid construction, with a 5 year warranty on the frame. Knowing the top quality of the bolts and parts used, there probably won’t be many quality claims.

Almost every reviewer mentioned in one way or another that the Schwinn 250 is a very quiet, smooth and stable machine. It is very easy to setup and adjusted to suit individual physical preferences.

The support on the telemetry heart rate monitoring system is rather unique, and there are not many exercise bikes in the market that can support this.

With a varieties of preset programs, and together with the heart rate control program, this machine is ideal to be used by people who focus not only on cardio training, but also on weight loss. It provides the user with much more accurate information and features to meet their workout objectives.

Schwinn 250 Cons

The “mp3 ready” feature is kind of misleading, like some other users pointed out, it’s just a speaker with an input jack, without any preamp or booster, and certainly no volume adjust function. It has nothing to do specifically with “mp3″. It’s just an AUX input that allows you to connect any audio devices to it.

As for the fan, the manufacturer may consider to improve on it in the next version. Many reviewers feedback that not only it moves very little air even on high speed, it is noisy and sometimes annoying to the rider.

Considering the fact that both the fan and speakers are powered by only a 9 volt input, it is understandable on the poor performance.

There are not too many major cons that we can find in the Schwinn 250 Exercise Bike.

Schwinn 250 Consumer Ratings

Many buyers make their buying decisions based on the main functions of the exercise bike, and based on that, the Schwinn 250 stands out distinctively among its peers. Out of over 50 reviews at Amazon, more than half gave this machine a perfect rating, and the majority of the rest a rating of 4.

Schwinn 250 Price

The price on Amazon is still the cheapest as there is no tax and it comes with free shipping within the US.