Schwinn 130 Upright Bike Review
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|Pros||Good exercise quality, Bluetooth connectivity for use with Zwift and Explore the World apps, program workouts, reasonable price||Reasonable price, connected features, free AI Gym App, works with popular training apps, easy assembly||Affordable, smooth belt-driven weighted flywheel, infinitely adjustable resistance, stable and sturdy||Affordable, folds for storage, simple no-frills design||Comfortable recumbent position, affordable, lightweight for a recumbent|
|Cons||No handlebar height adjustment, more basic display than previous version||Needs a phone or tablet to serve as a display, limited seat height adjustment||Basic display, no program workouts, no connectivity||Limited resistance range, basic display||Basic: limited features, large footprint, limited resistance range|
|Bottom Line||An upright exercise bike with connected features at a reasonable price||An affordable FTMS Bluetooth-enabled upright exercise bike that comes with its own free app and works with popular training apps||A simple, effective, and affordable spin bike that lacks connected features||An affordable and convenient folding model that is ideal for light workouts||A simple, comfortable, and affordable option with a limited range of workout intensity|
|Rating Categories||Schwinn 130 Upright...||Renpho AI Smart Exe...||Yosuda Indoor Cycli...||Exerpeutic Folding...||Marcy Recumbent ME-709|
|Exercise Quality (30%)|
|User Interface (20%)|
|Specs||Schwinn 130 Upright...||Renpho AI Smart Exe...||Yosuda Indoor Cycli...||Exerpeutic Folding...||Marcy Recumbent ME-709|
|Resistance Settings||16 levels||80 levels||Infinite||8 levels||8 levels|
|Measured Weight||61 lbs||79.9 lbs||68.8 lbs||41 lbs||54.2 lbs|
|Measured Dimensions||42" L x 21.25" W x 51.5" H||40" L x 20" W x 49" H||40.5" L x 21.5" W x 45" H||33" L x 22" W x 46.5" H||58"- 46" L x 24.75" W x 38.5" H|
|Folded Dimensions||n/a||n/a||n/a||20.5" L x 22" W x 55" H||n/a|
|Max. Weight Capacity||300 lbs||265 lbs||270 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs|
|Recommended Height Range||not specified, 13 inches of seat height adjustment||4'11" to 6'5"||25" to 35" inseam height adjustment||5'3" to 6'1"||27" to 37" inseam length (12 inches of measured height adjustment)|
|Resistance type||Magnetic||Magnetic with Smart Motor Damping||Weighted flywheel and adjustable resistance pad||Magnetic||Magnetic|
|Resistance Adjustment type||Buttons||Knob, automatic or manual||Knob||Knob||Knob|
|Preprogrammed Workouts||13, 1 HIIT Interval, Profile, Heart rate Control||Through Renpho AI Gym App (iOS and Android)||No||No||No|
|Heart Rate Sensor||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Digital Display||LCD display: 5" W x 3" H||No (Device required)||LCD||LCD display: 3.3" W x 1.5" H||LCD display: 3" W x 1.5" H|
|Display Information||Resistance level, course for the program, speed, distance, elapsed time, rpm, calories, and heart rate||n/a||time, speed, distance, calories, odometer||distance, calories burned, time, speed, odometer, scan, and heart rate monitor||time, speed, distance, calories, odometer, and scan|
|Other Features||Bluetooth, works with Zwift and Explore the World, bottle cage, pedals with adjustable straps, heart rate sensors, adjustable handlebars, transport wheels, device shelf||Transport wheels, Bluetooth, works with popular training apps, device holder, adjustable handlebar height, USB charging port||Bottle cage, device shelf, cage pedals, flywheel brake, transport wheels||pedals with safety straps, cell phone holder, transport wheels, folding for storage||Recumbent handlebar, transport wheels, adjustable seat, digital display, pedals with safety straps|
|Warranty||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Electronics: 1 year, Labor: 90 days||1 year||1 year parts replacement||Frame: 1 year, All other parts: 90 days||Frame: 2 years|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Schwinn 130 Upright exercise bike was updated for the 2020 model year. It looks nearly identical to the previous version, although they made several changes to the user interface/display and the number of resistance settings and workout programs. The most exciting update is Bluetooth connectivity, which is compatible with third-party apps like Zwift and Explore the World (subscriptions required). While it is still a relatively basic machine, we found the reasonably priced 130 Upright to offer a quality exercise experience enhanced by its new connected features.
The 130 Upright is a solid performing exercise bike that delivers a relatively high-quality exercise experience. Its upright style feels quite similar to riding a regular bike, and we found it to be sturdy enough to handle hard, out-of-the-saddle efforts. It can't quite match the smoothness of the higher-end spin bikes, but it has a significant resistance range that is suitable for users of all fitness levels. It also comes with 13 workout programs and the ability to connect with your device and ride with interactive and virtual training apps like Zwift and Explore the World. Sure, it's relatively basic, but we think it still provides a workout experience that will satisfy most users.
When Schwinn updated the 130 Upright, they reduced the number of magnetic resistance levels from 20 down to 16. Despite having fewer levels to choose from, there is still a huge range of resistance that should satisfy most users. Level 1 is relatively easy and feels like spinning with virtually no resistance. In contrast, level 16 is so challenging that it will have even the fittest riders gritting their teeth while doing high-intensity intervals. The only real drawback to having fewer resistance settings, as far as we could tell, is that the jump between them is slightly more significant and more noticeable. That said, we found that we could work out as hard or easy as we wanted and didn't feel limited by this change.
You have several options when you start a ride on the 130 Upright. The most straightforward is a manual workout where you dictate the resistance level by manually adjusting it during your ride. It also comes with 12 additional program workouts. Ten of these are challenge programs with courses like "rolling hills," "pyramids, and "uphill finish" that change the resistance level for you and simulate real-world riding situations. It also has an option for a HIIT interval workout that switches between periods of easy spinning and high-intensity pedaling. Lastly, there is a heart rate control program where you can use the handlebar heart rate sensors or a connected telemetry sensor to work out at or near a predetermined heart rate. The challenge programs give you the option to choose a time goal in 1-minute increments, while the interval program has 12-minute time goal increments. Unfortunately, there is no way to set time, distance, or calorie goals in a manual workout, but it's easy enough to keep track of on your own by looking at the screen.
In addition to the workout options listed above, the 130 Upright features Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your device so you can use Zwift and Explore the World apps. Both of these apps offer free trials, but you'll need to pay for a monthly subscription to enjoy the full virtual and interactive training experiences they offer. A Zwift subscription costs $14.99 a month and gives you access to different Zwift "worlds," courses, routes, group rides, races, challenges, fitness tests, and training plans. A monthly subscription to Explore the World is $9.99 ($59.99 for an annual subscription). It offers scenic videos from beautiful locations worldwide to follow along with while you ride that automatically adjust to your speed. While testing with Zwift, we found our power output, measured in watts, and speed readings to seem reasonably accurate.
We spent many hours testing the 130 Upright and found it a relatively comfortable exercise bike. It features a moderately large padded seat, a decent seat height adjustment range, and a large padded handlebar with angle adjustment. As an upright-style bike, the seated position is similar to a standard bicycle, although it has a somewhat more relaxed, non-aggressive body position. While it doesn't feature the same level of adjustability as the high-end spin bike competition, it gets the job done, and comfortably at that.
The 130 Upright comes with a relatively large and moderately padded seat. This seat looks a lot like a seat you'd find on a cruiser bike, and it has an agreeable shape that should work well for most users. It strikes a good balance by being big and wide enough to support riders who prefer a more relaxed seated position without being so wide that it impedes the pedal stroke when you're really getting after it. The seat's metal rails allow for approximately one inch of fore/aft adjustment. It sits atop an adjustable seat post with 13 inches of vertical adjustment. Schwinn doesn't specify a recommended height range, though we feel it should work for people between 5'0" and 6'2", and possibly a few inches on either side of that range depending on inseam length and preferences. The large padded handlebar allows for a huge variety of hand positions, plus you can adjust its angle to optimize it for your preferences. Unfortunately, there is no height adjustment for the handlebar like you might find on some spin bikes. The pedals also feature adjustable straps to keep your feet in position and prevent them from slipping off while riding.
The 2020 updates to the 130 Upright included a new, smaller, and more streamlined console. They have done away with the dual-track display of the previous version, and the new console features a single screen and a simplified button layout. The screen displays all of your pertinent workout information at a glance, and the controls are intuitive and user-friendly. When used with third-party training apps like Zwift and Explore the World, your device serves as the monitor and can rest on the console's device shelf while you ride.
The new console on the 130 Upright has nine buttons that control all of its functions. The bike needs to be plugged in to power it, but once it is, the console powers up automatically when the pedals move or with the press of any button. Starting and stopping a workout is done with the Start and Pause/Stop buttons. The machine defaults to a manual workout, or you can choose an interval or program workout. Resistance is increased or decreased one level at a time by pressing the up and down arrows on the right side of the console. There is a Display button for changing info on the screen on the left side and a Bluetooth button for syncing to a device.
The screen is 5 inches wide and 3 inches tall. Across the bottom, it shows distance, elapsed time, and estimated calories burned. There are two more data fields on the right side of the screen, one that shows current speed or RPM and another that displays your heart rate when using the contact sensors or a linked heart rate monitor. The majority of the screen is taken up by a graphical display of your current resistance setting, workout progress, or program workout. Each resistance level, 1-16, is represented by one bar in the column on the graph, and each column represents one minute of elapsed time.
If using either the Zwift or Explore the World apps, you will need to use your own device to connect to the 130 Upright via Bluetooth and serve as the monitor. Once you have either app on your device, you open the app and connect to the bike. We tested using an iPhone 11 and an iPad Pro. You can use the device shelf on the console to hold your smartphone, tablet, or laptop while you ride. We found the device shelf to work well when using Zwift, although if you are using your device to watch a show, for example, it blocks the display screen.
The 130 Upright has several features added for comfort and to enhance the overall exercise experience. The most exciting feature in the 2020 model year update is its connectivity. You can now connect to apps like Zwift and Explore the World (subscriptions required) on your device through Bluetooth for a virtual, interactive cycling experience. With 13 programs and manually controlled workouts, the 130 Upright's connectivity gives the user many options.
In exchange for its connectivity, the new 130 Upright has lost a few of the features found on its predecessor, most notably the dual-track display, integrated speakers, and the fan. The new display is smaller and streamlined, with a simple and intuitive button layout and a single 5 x 3-inch screen. It still comes with integrated transport wheels, levelers in the rear stabilizer, a device shelf, bottle cage, adjustable pedal straps, an extensive seat height adjustment range, and handlebar angle adjustment. It has contact heart rate sensors integrated into the handlebar, plus it can now work with telemetry heart rate sensors through its Bluetooth connection.
Ease of Setup/Portability
The 130 Upright is about average in terms of its setup and portability. Like all of the exercise bikes we tested, it required some assembly. It took just under an hour to get our test bike from the box to ready to ride. Printed instructions and all tools and hardware needed to complete the process are included. Our lead tester was able to complete the assembly process by himself, although a few of the steps were somewhat awkward, and a second set of hands would be helpful at times. Most notably, connecting the wires between the front/handlebar mast and the lower/main body of the bike is a task for two people. Beyond that, the remaining steps are all relatively straightforward, albeit a little time-consuming.
Once assembled, the 130 Upright is relatively easy to move around on flat ground by tipping it forward and rolling it on the transport wheels integrated into the front stabilizer. However, due to its 61 lb weight and size, moving it up or down the stairs is a task best suited for two people. It takes up an average amount of space with measured dimensions of 42" L x 21.25" W x 51.5" H, though its footprint is notably smaller than the larger, higher-end spin bikes.
Should You Buy the Schwinn 130 Upright Bike?
The 130 Upright is a solid value, and we like the connected features not always found in a bike at this price point. However, we feel it is best suited for more casual fitness enthusiasts, as there are highly-ranked exercise bikes that are more ideal for looking to get on a more serious cycling routine. For the price, the Schwinn 130 does have a lot to offer, and it is a good option for those operating on a budget.
What Other Exercise Bikes Should You Consider?
If the connected bike experience appeals to you, the Schwinn IC4 is a fair amount more expensive, but it is a much fancier spin bike that works with the JRNY app and other third-party apps. If connectivity and app compatibility isn't on your list of needs, then the Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike is a good choice. It is a quality spin bike at a very reasonable price.
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