Exercise your way to better health in comfort and secure surroundings with the Schwinn Recumbent Bike model 231. The Schwinn Recumbent Bike is easy to assemble, so very quiet and has plenty of programs to satisfy that need for variety in your routine.

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Schwinn is a world recognized brand in exercise equipment and you only have to look at the most recent innovations in home gym equipment to fully appreciate purchasing your own piece. Modern fitness equipment looks good in any room; no longer are exercise bikes and steppers, climbers and treadmills banished to the basement or garage. The Schwinn Recumbent Bike is a great way to get exercise and a fitness workout in the comfort and convenience of your own home.

The Schwinn Recumbent Bike has plenty of features and works so very well with its quiet operation and plenty of preprogramed routines as well as being able to set your own fitness program to your liking. Let’s talk about the why of buying your own home fitness equipment, I hate the cold and exercising in the winter is terrible in Minnesota so a piece of home fitness equipment is a must for me. I want to be in shape but the basement is not the coziest place to work out and I have no garage so I asked for the Schwinn Recumbent Bike for reviewing to add to my living room.

I received the Schwinn Recumbent Bike model 231 in a large box through ABF Freight and dragged it inside for assembly. The bike weighs about 106 pounds and comes in about a dozen large pieces with a couple of cardboard shrink wrapped pieces laden with nuts, bolts and parts. Checking on the Schwinn website it currently would cost about $130 for shipping so purchasing one of these fine pieces of equipment would be easier at a local store like Sears or other sporting goods or fitness equipment stores. The Schwinn recumbent bike comes with all the tools you need to put the bike together so no need for the toolbox, the little allen wrenches and other tools are included with all those nuts and bolts.

Assembly took me about an hour but might take you longer, another reason to go the route of Sears or another sporting goods store and have them assemble it. It will cost a bit more for them to deliver and assemble it but it will get put together and you will not have to worry about it. Assembly for me went very well and was not all that hard but I was born with a chrome plated wrench in my hand. There are a few parts that went together a bit on the difficult side as you have to thread wires through parts but it does not take a rocket scientist to assemble the bike, only someone with a tiny bit of mechanical talent.

Once assembled the bike is a nice piece of furniture as well as an exercise bike, I’m not kidding. I set the bike up in the corner of my living room and there it shall stay, I am going to buy it from Schwinn, that’s how much I like it. The seat adjusts forward and back from the pedals and main section by unscrewing a knob and pulling it out then moving the seat forward or down and back or uphill. The seat moves forward and back on a slant that moves it up and down the slanted bar to bring you further from or closer to the pedals.

The seat is comfortable and foam rubber coated so sweat does not stain or ruin it, it is cushioned and pliable enough as well as comfortable enough to sit and watch TV without exercising. The handles on the console are to help you get in as well as being able to pull yourself forward and back to get additional arm exercise in as well as the leg workout. The Recumbent Bike has a step through design that allows for easy mounting and dismounting and weighs enough to make it steady but not too much that moving it on the two wheels is easy.

While sitting on the floor the bike is roughly two feet wide and five feet long so you will need about this much room for placing the bike in a room or area. It does not need much more than this and a corner or odd area of a room a little more than this size would be the perfect place for the recumbent bike. The pedals are less than the two feet width so placing the bike near a wall and having them hit the wall is not going to happen. The handle bars on the sides of the bike and the two cross bars of the base stick out the most on the sides.

The bike has two sets of handles, one on the console and one under the seat that sticks out for you to hold onto while biking as well as giving your heart rate. The sensors for the heart rate are in the handles but the rest of the side handle bars are foam rubber coated. The handle bar on the console bar in front of you is sturdy and allows for pulling while you’re pedaling for an even better workout.

Once assembled the bike has a power cord to plug in and you turn the bike on by pedaling and the bike will shut off on its own. The various workout methods vary according to your tastes but can be as simple as pressing the reset when you get on the bike and then hitting Reset and Quick Start. You then adjust the levels of difficulty by pressing the up and down arrows for more effort in pedaling or less while the console shows the difficulty and time on the computer controlled device. The computer on the main console adjusts as well by tilting forward and back depending on your position of the seat so if your closer or further away the console adjusts for the best viewing angle.

During any workout you can always adjust the level of difficulty as well as showing your speed, how many calories you have burned and distance. You can also have a result at the end of a workout for the total distance, total calories burned and time of your work at the various levels of difficulty. You can use these results to help chart your workout routine and show your progress toward a goal you set for yourself like a certain distance in a time frame or a total calories burned over a certain time period.

The computer has several exercise routines as well as the quick start with one manual program and ten profile programs ranging from a Ride in the Park to a Cross Training level. Each program has a different focus and level of difficulty and you can use which ever profile program you enjoy the most. You can also set up two of your own programs and save them to the computer for a personal workout. The computer also has 3 programs that are heart rate controlled with the workout set according to your heart rate.

The recumbent bike has a time trial test to gauge how fast you cover a certain distance using a pacer that you preset and then follow for the test to give you one way to measure your fitness. Another way is to use the Fitness Test that asks questions that you input to the computer and then bike according to your heart rate with a score at the end of the test. Each time you take the test you should be doing the test at the same difficulty but your score should be increasing if your fitness is increasing to help encourage you to better fitness.

With the Recumbent Bikes fitness tests, programs and the Quick Start you can easily set up your own routine and get in shape smoothly and evenly without the problems of going out in the weather. Some other features that may be a plus are the water bottle holder under the seat and the magazine holder in front of the computer but the fan is a bit much. It does give you a little air in the face for your workout but by far the best feature of the Schwinn Recumbent Bike is how quiet it is.

You can easily watch television, a movie or music with the bike going full tilt and quietly enjoy your fitness workout. The bike is very quiet with its magnetic 22 pound steel flywheel that spins very freely and quietly with very smooth bearings. When the flywheel spins without the resistance of the magnetism it will turn very easily and the eddy current magnetism is what gives your resistance during the workout instead of some friction against the flywheen that would make noise. Upping the resistance or the power of the magnet will increase the resistance of your workout on the pedals but without any additional noise. You can jump on the bike and without the power on it turns very freely but increase the resistance by small increments with a total of 16 and you get a full range of workout for your legs.

Adding a simple push up and sit up routine will make for a full and well rounded exercise routine that you can perform in your living room. Push ups may not be the most enjoyable but add a set of stairs and you have a varying level of difficulty by just moving up or down some steps. The heart rate workout on the bike will give you a nice routine for keeping in shape and you can vary this with strength building using a routine like the Pyramids or Rolling Hills.

The really nice workout programs and wide variety of routines make for a great workout regimen and give you a good variety so you don’t get bored with the same old exercises. The recumbent bike and how quiet it is offers a great way to get the exercise you need in the comfort of your own home whenever you want. You won’t be bothering anyone by using the bike during a good movie or even the Super Bowl as it is really very quiet. You can hardly hear it when you are standing next to or even on it. The Schwinn Recumbent Bike model 231 is so quiet it is easily quieter than the aquarium burbling away on the other side of the living room while I’m pedaling my way up the hills.

The Schwinn Recumbent Bike is really a fantastic piece of exercise equipment and well worth the cost. You can currently purchase one for $550 at many sporting goods and fitness stores including Sears, truly worth the cost in good health.