Schwinn 130 Upright Bike Review
Cons: No handlebar height adjustment, more basic display than previous version
Manufacturer: Schwinn Fitness
Compare to Similar Products
Schwinn 130 Upright Bike
|Price||$349.00 at Amazon||$899 List||$399 List||$999.99 at Amazon||$349 List|
|Pros||Good exercise quality, Bluetooth connectivity for use with Zwift and Explore the World apps, program workouts, reasonable price||Smart/connected features, works with Peloton and Zwift apps, excellent warranty, 100 levels of magnetic resistance, comes with hand weights||Excellent workout quality, huge resistance range, loads of features,||Quality feel and finish, 32 levels of smooth magnetic resistance, smart/connected features, excellent workout quality||Versatile, bike and desk in one, feature packed, folds for storage|
|Cons||No handlebar height adjustment, more basic display than previous version||More expensive, speed and distance on display seems inaccurate, doesn't work perfectly with Zwift||More expensive, non-padded seat, heavy, large footprint||Requires a Bluetooth connection and device to operate, only works with the EchelonFit app, more expensive||Heavy, sub-par display and controls, may not fit taller users|
|Bottom Line||A reasonably priced upright model with connected features||A high-quality spin bike with connected features at a reasonable price||A high quality, reasonably priced, and fully-featured recumbent from a top brand||A quality exercise bike that rivals the biggest names in the business||This desk bike hybrid is a convenient and versatile option for exercising and/or working at home|
|Rating Categories||Schwinn 130 Upright Bike||Schwinn IC4||Nautilus R614 Recumbent||Echelon EX-3||Exerpeutic Exerwork 2000i Fo...|
|Exercise Quality (30%)|
|User Interface (20%)|
|Setup Portability (10%)|
|Specs||Schwinn 130...||Schwinn IC4||Nautilus R614...||Echelon EX-3||Exerpeutic...|
|Style||Upright||Upright||Recumbent||Upright||Desk Bike, Semi-Recumbent|
|Resistance Settings||16 levels||100 levels||20 levels||32 levels||24 levels|
|Measured Weight||61 lbs||106 lbs||84.4 lbs||105 lbs||67 lbs|
|Measured Dimensions||42" L x 21.25" W x 51.5" H||48.75" L x 21.25" W x 52" H||64" L x 28" W x 49.5" H||54.5" L x 20" W x 55" H||43" L x 25" W x 50.5" H|
|Folded Dimensions||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||30" L x 25" W x 61.5" H|
|Max. Weight Capacity||300 lbs||330 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs||400 lbs|
|Recommended Height Range||not specified, 13 inches of seat height adjustment||not specified||13" range of seat adjustment||4'11" to 6'4"||5'1" to 6'3"|
|Resistance type||Magnetic||Weighted flywheel with adjustable magnetic resistance||Magnetic||Weighted flywheel with adjustable magnetic resistance||Magnetic|
|Resistance Adjustment type||Buttons||Knob||Buttons||Knob||Buttons|
|Preprogrammed Workouts||13, 1 HIIT Interval, Profile, Heart rate Control||No||22, (9 Profile, 8 Heart Rate Control, 2 Custom, 2 Fitness Test, 1 Quick Start)||No||24 courses|
|User Profiles||No||No||Yes, 2||No||No|
|Heart Rate Sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Digital Display||LCD display: 5" W x 3" H||LCD (measure)||DualTrack LCD screen, upper: 5" W x 3" H, lower: 5" W x 1" H||No (the Echelon app and a device are required)||LCD display: 2.25" W x 1.125" H|
|Display Information||Resistance level, course for the program, speed, distance, elapsed time, rpm, calories, and heart rate||distance, time, speed, calories, RPM, heart rate||2 screens, upper screen shows program display: resistance level and course for the program, intensity display, heart rate zone display, user display, achievement, and goal display (countdown), lower screen shows: speed, time, distance, resistance level, RPM, calories, and heart rate||n/a||distance, calories burned, time, speed, odometer, resistance elevels, 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||Bluetooth, works with Zwift and Peloton apps, USB charging port, device shelf, 2 water bottle holders, 3 lb weights, weight cradles, Bluetooth Heart rate armband, dual sided pedals with cleats||Water bottle holder, Devce Shelf, 3 speed fan, Speakers, USB charger, Auxillary cable||Bluetooth, works with Echelon Fit app, 2 bottle cages, rack for handweights (weights not included), transport wheels, dual sided pedals, adjustable device holder,|
|Warranty||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Electronics: 1 year, Labor: 90 days||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 3 years, Labor: 1 year||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Electronics: 1 year, Labor: 90 days||1 year limited parts and labor||3 year limited|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Schwinn 130 Upright exercise bike was recently updated for the 2020 model year. It looks nearly identical to the previous version, although they made several changes to the user interface/display, as well as the number of resistance settings and workout programs. Perhaps the most interesting update is Bluetooth connectivity, making it 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 that has been 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 large resistance range that is suitable for users of all fitness levels. It also comes with 13 workout programs as well as 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 difficulty that should be adequate for nearly all fitness levels. Level 1 is quite easy and feels like spinning with virtually no resistance, while 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 larger and more noticeable. That said, we found that we were able to 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 workout 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 also features Bluetooth to connect with your device for use with 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), and it offers scenic videos from beautiful locations around the world 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 relatively accurate.
We spent many hours testing the 130 Upright and found it to be a relatively comfortable exercise bike. It features a moderately large padded seat, a decent range of seat height adjustment, and a large padded handlebar with angle adjustment. As an upright style bike, the seated position is similar to that of a normal bike, 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 casual 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. The seat sits atop an adjustable seatpost that has 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 its angle can be adjusted 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 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 a total of 9 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 any button is pushed. 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. The resistance is increased or decreased one level at a time by pressing the up and down arrows on the right side of the console. On the left side, there is a Display button for changing info on the screen and a Bluetooth button used when 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. On the right side of the screen are two more data fields, 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 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 to serve as the monitor. Once you have either app on your device, we tested using an iPhone 11 and an iPad Pro, you open the app and connect to the bike. 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 just using your device to watch a show, for example, it blocks the display screen.
The 130 Upright has a number of features for both comfort and to enhance the overall exercise experience. The most exciting feature included 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 a lot of 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 more 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, a large range of seat height adjustment, 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, some assembly was required. It took just under an hour to get our test bike from the box to ready to ride. Printed instructions and all of the 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 somewhat 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. Due to its 61 lb weight and size, however, moving it up or down stairs is a task best suited for two people. With measured dimensions of 42" L x 21.25" W x 51.5" H, it takes up an average amount of space, though its footprint is notably smaller than recumbent models or the larger, higher-end spin bikes.
We think the 130 Upright is a good value. Not only is this bike comfortable, but it provides a quality workout experience along with connected features that you typically find on models that cost at least twice as much. It's not the fanciest bike out there, but we feel it is a great option considering its reasonable price.
The Schwinn 130 Upright is a reasonably priced exercise bike with connected features. This comfortable upright-style bike has 16 levels of quiet magnetic resistance, 13 program workouts, plus the ability to connect to your device and work with popular training apps like Zwift. We found it to provide a good quality workout with a resistance range suitable for all fitness levels, and connected features to take your training to another level if you choose. For the price, we don't think it gets much better than the 130 Upright.
— Jeremy Benson