Schwinn 130 Upright Bike Review
Cons: Moderately large footprint, heavier weight
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The name Schwinn is synonymous with bikes of all kinds, including a modest line of affordable home exercise models. The 130 Upright is the least expensive option in their Upright bikes range. Still, we quickly found this quality exercise bike to provide a very high level of exercise quality along with loads of features to enhance the user experience. We feel this is one of the best exercise bikes you'll find in this price range, and we've given it our Editor's Choice Award.
The Schwinn 130 is one of our top-rated models for its excellent exercise quality and near gym-quality workout potential. It has a vast resistance range, programmed workouts, and an athletic upright style. This bike has a massive bandwidth and is suitable for users of all fitness levels, whether you're just trying to burn a few calories or do some serious high-intensity training.
The upright style of the Schwinn 130 is intended to replicate the feeling and body position of riding a regular bike. This is a more active position that requires the rider to support their upper body and allows you to pedal seated or out of the seat, standing on the pedals. The 130 Upright has 20 levels of smooth and quiet magnetic resistance. Those levels range from virtually no resistance and very easy at level 1 up to a very difficult level 20 where even serious cyclists feel the burn. The beauty of such a considerable resistance range is that people of all fitness levels can get on it and get the workout they are looking for. Whether you're just starting on an exercise program or you're already super fit, this bike has you covered, and it's unlikely that you'll outgrow it as your fitness level changes over time.
In addition to the huge resistance range, the Schwinn 130 has a more advanced computer that has two user-profiles and comes with 22 workout programs. It has nine Profile workouts that simulate real-world rides with automatic resistance changes. It has eight Heart Rate Control workouts that work in conjunction with the Contact Heart Rate sensors to keep you within a target heart rate range. It also has two Custom programs that the user can program for themselves, as well as two Fitness Tests, one beginner and one advanced. The last program is called Quick Start, which is the manual mode where the user controls the resistance level during the workout. You can also choose a distance, time, or calorie goal for each workout. The DualTrack display is excellent, and the two screens show heaps of information, including elapsed time, distance, calories, pulse, RPM, resistance level, intensity, heart rate zone, and course profile. The data fields on the lower screen are customizable, so you can see the information you want to maximize your workout.
During testing, we rode the Schwinn 130 on rides of varying lengths from 45 minutes up to 1.5 hours and played around with all of the programmed workouts and modes. These sessions ranged in intensity from casually spinning while reading a magazine to dripping sweat and gritting teeth while doing an interval workout. On every test ride, we were impressed with the smooth resistance and the impressive range of workout intensity this bike offers.
The 130 Upright impressed us with its comfort within the context of an upright style bike. Upright bikes have a sportier style that requires a more active user than recumbent bikes with their more laid back seating position. That said, it has a quality seat and a variety of useful adjustments to dial in the fit and comfort to your liking.
The seat is the first thing that comes to most people's minds when referring to the comfort of an exercise bike, and the 130 Upright has a nice, contoured, padded seat. Unlike recumbent models that have seats that resemble chairs, this seat is more like what you'd find on a beach cruiser. It's big and wide enough while not being so wide that it impedes any part of the pedal stroke. The contoured shape is quite comfortable, and the dense foam padding feels just right. This seat remained comfortable on rides of up to 1.5 hours in length during testing. The seat has traditional metal rails that clamp to the seat post. There is a limited range of fore/aft adjustability, about an inch total on those rails. The seat height is highly adjustable with 13 inches of vertical adjustment and recommended height range of 4'10" to 6'5". The large handlebar also has a tilt adjustment to find your ideal arm position, and it pivots up or down from its attachment point. The console also features an adjustable 3-speed fan to help keep you cool, and there is a water bottle holder attached to the frame below the console to help you stay hydrated while you work out.
The 130 Upright has an excellent user-friendly interface that features a DualTrack LCD screen and intuitive controls. A lot is going with this machine, but the two displays are large and easy to read, have customizable data fields, and display your workout progress in a way that is easy to understand. There are quite a few buttons on the lower half of the console, but they make it easy to change resistance levels, choose a pre-programmed workout, and choose between the many data fields on the display.
The 130 Upright powers up as soon as the pedals start turning, or any of the buttons on the console are pushed. You can choose between user profiles by pressing the up or down arrows in the center. Starting a manual workout is as easy as pressing the Quick Start button. Changing the resistance level is done by pressing the resistance up/down buttons on either side of the lower LCD screen, or press one of the quick-jump numbered buttons to jump to that level. Starting a program workout involves pressing the Programs button, and scrolling through the different options to find the one you like. Use the Pause/End button to pause or end a workout. Workout results get stored to the current user profile when the workout is finished.
The DualTrack LCD display is actually two separate display screens. The upper screen is 5" wide x 3" tall, and it shows the program, user, goal, heart rate zone, intensity, and achievement displays. The large grid in the center of the upper screen shows the course profile for program workouts with time and resistance levels represented in columns. These columns also show your manual workout progress. On the left of the screen is the Intensity display, a column that shows the relative intensity of your workout at that moment based on your effort and the resistance level. The Heart Rate Zone display is on the right of the screen, and when you are using the Contact Heart Rate sensors, it shows what workout zone you are in (anaerobic, aerobic, or fat burn). The Goal display at the bottom of the screen shows the selected goal, countdown value to achieve that goal, and the percent completed.
The lower display is a smaller 5" wide x 1" tall screen that shows current workout information and can be customized for each user profile. It displays three values at a time that include speed, time, distance, resistance level, RPM, heart rate, and calories. The user can scroll through the workout stats by pressing the right arrow at the center of the console. The upper screen may be blocked from view if you use the device shelf while the lower screen will remain in view.
The 130 Upright has loads of features that helped to make this our most highly regarded competitor. The console that includes the display and controls was already described in greater detail above but is head and shoulders above most of the competition in this review. It has two user profiles, 20 resistance levels, and 22 programmed workouts to choose from. Not only that, but it has two display screens so you can follow your workout progress and customize the data displayed to your preferences. It also has heart rate sensors to monitor your heart rate or do Heart Rate Control workout programs.
Beyond the user-friendliness and functionality of the display and controls, the console also has an integrated tablet/device shelf for hands-free viewing or to hold some reading material. At the top of the console, there is also a USB plug so you can charge your devices and an auxiliary input to connect your phone or music device to the built-in speakers. The built-in speakers are situated at the bottom of the console and have reasonable sound quality. Between the speakers is a small 3-speed adjustable fan to help keep your cool while riding. The sizeable padded handlebar is also adjustable and can be tilted up or down from its connection point below the console. About halfway down the main mast at the front of the machine is a large bottle cage to keep refreshments within arms reach. The front stabilizer of the bike has integrated wheels to facilitate transport, while the back has integrated levelers. The seat has a huge range of height adjustability and a small amount of fore-aft adjustment on the seat rails. The pedals also have adjustable straps for comfort and safety.
Ease of Setup/Portability
The Schwinn 130 was one of the more complicated models to assemble that we tested, and even then, it was still relatively straightforward, albeit a bit time-consuming.
The Schwinn 130 is shipped in a large box, and it is well packed for protection. Ours arrived in excellent condition with no damage from shipping. Upon opening the box, we discovered that lots of assembly was required, although the main body of the bike that houses the moving parts was already put together. All of the parts, hardware, and tools needed to assemble the bike are in the box, along with very detailed instructions. The only tool not included that we found to be quite helpful is a razor knife to cut open the blister pack of tools and hardware. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, plus they include exploded diagram illustrations for visual reference. Again, it isn't particularly challenging to assemble, but there are quite a few steps, and it is important to pay close attention and take your time. It took a full hour to get the bike from the box to be ready to ride.
The 130 Upright proved to be relatively easy to move around. Standing at the front of the bike, simply grab the handlebar and tip it towards you and onto the integrated transport wheels in the front stabilizer. Once on the wheels, it is quite easy to roll this bike around on most floor surfaces. Carrying the bike is a different story due to its 61.5 lb weight and awkward shape, and we would highly recommend recruiting another person to help move it up or down any stairs. We measured the 130 and found that it was 42" long x 21.25" wide x 56.75" high. It isn't small by any means, but it takes up much less space in your living room than a recumbent model, for example.
We feel that the 130 Upright is an excellent value. Sure, you can get an exercise bike for less, but we think you'd be hard-pressed to find one with the wealth of features and nearly gym-quality exercise this bike provides. Additionally, this bike is highly versatile and can work for all fitness levels and needs, from therapeutic use up to high-intensity training workouts.
The Schwinn 130 is a quality upright exercise bike that would make an excellent addition to anyone's home workout space. This bike's upright style closely replicates riding a real bike with a large range of quality magnetic resistance that can be as easy or intense as you like. It is feature-packed with a quality console with intuitive controls, and two displays, 22 program workouts, heart rate sensors, a device shelf, the list goes on and on. Whether you're just starting your fitness journey or you're already there, the 130 Upright should be on your shortlist.
Other Version and Accessories
Schwinn has two models in their Upright Bikes line, including the 130 we tested. The 170 is slightly more expensive and has the same basic design, but it comes with several upgrades, including 25 levels of resistance, 29 workout programs, telemetry heart rate monitoring, a backlit display, up to 4 user profiles, fore-aft seat adjustment, and 3-piece cranks.
Schwinn also makes two models of Recumbent bikes. The 230 is the recumbent version of the 130 Upright we tested with the same features in a different style of exercise bike. The 270 is the higher-end version that is the recumbent model of the 170 Upright described above.In addition to the Upright and Recumbent models, Schwinn makes several models of Indoor Cycling bikes which they market towards the "serious cyclist." There are three models, starting with the affordable but relatively basic IC2, up to the more expensive but feature-packed IC4. The IC4 comes fully tricked out and is even designed to work with popular training apps like Peloton, Explore the World, and Zwift.
— Jeremy Benson