We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

Editor’s Note: The Schwinn 420 elliptical is no longer in production. We suggest viewing the Schwinn 430 elliptical as the best alternative, or view our Schwinn Elliptical Reviews for more options.

The Schwinn 420 elliptical first hit the market in the early 2010s. It’s since been discontinued and replaced with the Schwinn 430 elliptical, which we suggest as an alternative. The Schwinn 420 elliptical boasts a decent number of resistance levels (16) and a strong performance history. 

As we’ll discuss in this Schwinn 420 elliptical review, this machine is discontinued, but Schwinn currently has three ellipticals: their most advanced model, the 470 elliptical; the 420’s replacement, the 430; and a budget-friendly, bare-bones model, the Schwinn 411 elliptical. 

In its heyday, the 420 served to balance ease of use, resistance levels, and durability. Today, the Schwinn 430 does that with more resistance levels, incline options, and a better display. Those extra incline levels let you target different muscle groups, which you can’t do on the Schwinn 420. However, if you happen to find a new or used 420 on the market, it has the potential to be a great elliptical for the right user. 

Hitting Our (Elliptical) Stride

Our team at GGR has everyone from certified personal trainers and CrossFit coaches to nutrition coaches and competitive weightlifters. We’re a group that takes fitness, though not ourselves, seriously. We make honest recommendations based on our experience, testing and research.

Our testers have put hours in on treadmills, exercise bikes, weight machines, elliptical machines, and more. We use our collective experience to make honest (accurate) assessments of the exercise equipment in our reviews. While we haven’t tested the Schwinn 420 elliptical in person, we’ve used and tested similar products and other products made by Schwinn. That gives us a foundation on which to build our assessment of this discontinued machine. 

Looking for an Alternative to the Schwinn 420?

schwinn 420 elliptical

The Schwinn 420 isn’t on the Schwinn Fitness website anymore, despite the fact that it appeared on many best elliptical lists for its first few years on the market. This popular model was replaced by the Schwinn 430, which is a viable alternative that falls into a similar price range. But the Schwinn 430 is more than a replacement—it’s an improvement upon what was already a solid machine.

The Schwinn 430 features 20 resistance levels to the 420’s 16 and a 20-inch stride length to the 420’s sometimes short 18-inch. It’s loaded with 22 preset workouts and six manual incline positions. In comparison, the Schwinn 420 didn’t have any incline positions.

Additionally, the Schwinn 430 has a built-in charging port, MP3 input, media shelf and an adjustable three-speed fan. When you buy it from Schwinn, it includes a 10-year frame warranty with a two-year warranty on parts, one year on electronics and 90 days on labor. 

Today, the Schwinn 420 sells for much less than its original asking price, making it a budget-friendly option. The Schwinn 430 falls in the mid-range price. It’s a little high for smaller budgets, but it’s far less than some of the more high-tech models.

Best Alternative to Schwinn 420

Schwinn 430 Elliptical

GGR Score: 4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Front-drive elliptical
  • 20” stride 
  • 20 levels of resistance 
  • 6 levels of incline
  • 22 built-in programs 
  • Dual LCD screens

Pros & Cons


  • 20 levels of magnetic ressistance
  • Cheaper entry price compared to other similar ellipticals
  • Longer stride length compared to other ellipticals in this price range
  • Manually adjustable incline levels


  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Big footprint

Bottom Line

If you're looking for an economical option for an elliptical, this could be a good choice. While it does not have all the bells and whistles of the higher-tech ellipticals, you’ll still get a good workout in.

A Quick Look at the Schwinn 420

The Schwinn 420 is an affordable elliptical that includes 16 quiet magnetic levels of resistance with an eddy current system. The 18-inch stride length can be a bit short for taller users, but that means it also fits shorter users quite well. Articulating footplates, which are fairly standard on ellipticals, keep this model comfortable for longer elliptical workouts.

It has two sets of handlebars (stationary and mobile), with the stationary set having integrated heart rate grips. You have to hold onto those grips for almost a full minute before you get a reading, but it can help you keep track of your workout intensity level. This model also features eight built-in workouts, including a custom workout option and a fitness test.


  • 16 resistance levels
  • Stride length appropriate for shorter users
  • Quiet operation


  • Short stride length for tall users
  • Small console display
  • Slow response of heart grips

Schwinn 420 Elliptical Specs

Footprint62” L x 26” W x 71” H
Weight164 lbs
Weight capacity300 lbs
Stride length18”
Type of resistanceMagnetic 
Resistance levels16
DisplayLCD display
Pre-programmed workouts8 (7 workout programs, 1 feedback program)
ExtrasFitness test, media holder, cup holder, transport wheels, water bottle holder, built-in cooling fan
Warranty 5-year frame, 1-year parts and electronics, 3 months on high-wear parts (Original manufacturer’s warranty)

Key Features of the Schwinn 420 Elliptical 

When the Schwinn 420 Elliptical was released in the early 2010s, it filled the middle ground between budget ellipticals and bulky, higher-end (and pricier) models. Now, a decade later, it’s moved into the budget category. For a budget model, it has a decent number of resistance levels and offers incredibly quiet magnetic resistance. With eight preset workout programs, it’s not overflowing with options, but there are enough to add variety to a daily workout routine. 

Footprint, Portability, and Durability

The 420’s footprint is on the smaller side, though we wouldn’t call it compact. But at 62 inches long by 26 inches wide by 71 inches high, it won’t eat up all of your workout space. Transport wheels give you options if you need to move it around your space.

The durability of the 420 tends to outperform the original manufacturer’s warranty, which is why you may find a few used models still floating around on the market. The original warranty included five years on the frame, one year on parts and electronics, and three months on high-wear parts. Durability extends to the magnetic resistance levels, which users on Amazon.com report are “whisper quiet.”


The Schwinn 420 offers what the company called ”BioFit Comfort” with ergonomic features. The 420 has an 18-inch stride length, which average- to shorter-than-average users tend to find comfortable. A five-foot-three-inch Amazon.com user said, “This particular machine has an 18″ stride length, which is just right for my height. I was wary of the machine being too large for me and having to stretch to reach the handlebars with each stride. While my arms are fully extended with each motion forward, they are not overstretched. It’s at just the right distance away to be comfortable. Any more and I wouldn’t be able to use them without leaning into it.”

Users over about 6-feet tall may find that stride length somewhat restrictive. The newer Schwinn 430 elliptical has a 20-inch stride length that better fits average to taller users.

Other ergonomic issues to consider are the positioning of the movable and stationary handlebars. The movable ergonomic handles pose no issue and fit users of various heights fairly well. However, the stationary handlebars have heart rate grips, which can pose a problem. To get an accurate heart rate, you have to hold the stationary handlebars for almost a full minute, which can easily disrupt a cardio workout. 

Technology Benefits and Conveniences

The Schwinn 420 doesn’t have a large built-in touchscreen, Wi-Fi, or even Bluetooth connectivity. But it’s not completely devoid of tech benefits. It does have built-in speakers that you can connect to using an MP3 input port.

The eight built-in workout programs include a custom program option, building versatility into your options when using it as a cross trainer. It offers course profiles for up to six users. Plus, there are the 16 resistance levels, built-in heart rate monitoring, a water bottle holder, and a built-in cooling fan. There’s also a small media shelf if you want to watch or listen to your own device while you work out.

Final Verdict of Our Schwinn 420 Elliptical Review

The Schwinn 420 elliptical trainer made several “best of” lists when it first hit the market. It’s the kind of fitness equipment that might not be top-of-the-line today, but can still offer an excellent workout, especially if you’re on a budget. However, if you want today’s equivalent model, check out the Schwinn 430. And, if you happen to find a used Schwinn 420 elliptical in good condition, it might be worth the price for its:

  • Quiet operation
  • Access to a few, but solid, built-in programs
  • 18-inch stride length for shorter users

Schwinn 420 Rating

Schwinn 420 Elliptical

In this Schwinn 420 elliptical review, we take a look at an older but solid elliptical with a modern cousin worth adding to your home gym.

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 899

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:

Schwinn 420 Elliptical

Footprint & Portability – 4
Delivery & Setup – 3
Durability – 4
Adjustability & Ergonomics – 3.5
Workout Experience – 3.5
Tech Capabilities – 2
Conveniences – 3.5
Customer Reviews – 3.8
Value – 4
Warranty, Financing, Returns – 3.5
Schwinn 430

Schwinn 420 Elliptical FAQs

What is the weight limit on a Schwinn elliptical?

The Schwinn 420 elliptical has a maximum user weight limit of 300 pounds.

Where does the Schwinn 430 elliptical plug in?

The Schwinn 430 elliptical can plug into any standard 110V–120V electrical wall outlet.

Do Schwinn ellipticals have incline?

The Schwinn 470 has five digital incline levels and the Schwinn 430 has six manual incline levels. However, the Schwinn 411 and the Schwinn 420 do not have any incline features.

How heavy is the Schwinn 470 elliptical?

The Schwinn 470 elliptical weighs 164 pounds. 

Further reading

Weight Plates: Crazy Ways to Use Them That Don’t Involve a Barbell Cover Image
Weight Plates: Crazy Ways to Use Them That Don’t Involve a Barbell

Editor’s Note: The Schwinn 420 elliptical is no longer in production. We suggest viewing the Schwinn 430 elliptical as the best alternative, or view our Schwinn Elliptical Reviews for more options.The Schwinn 420 elliptical first hit the market in the early 2010s. It’s since been discontinued and replaced with the Schwinn 430 elliptical,  » Read more about: Schwinn 420 Elliptical Review (2024): A Solid But Outdated Elliptical  » Read more

How to Get Sweat Smell Out of Clothes: 8 Easy Steps Cover Image
How to Get Sweat Smell Out of Clothes: 8 Easy Steps

Wondering how to get sweat smell out of clothes after you exercise? Here’s how to do it. Read more

REP ISO Arms Review: Budget-Friendly Adjustable Jammer Rack Attachment Cover Image
REP ISO Arms Review: Budget-Friendly Adjustable Jammer Rack Attachment

The REP ISO Armsare an adjustable jammer arm squat rack attachment focused on high functionality at a lower price than competitors. After using them for the past four months, we feel they offer the best value for home gym owners with a power rack, which is the typical value proposition for REP Fitness. We do recommend them, but feel the adjustment feature could be improved. Read more

NordicTrack C2255 Treadmill Review (2024): Alternatives to This Defunct Running Machine Cover Image
NordicTrack C2255 Treadmill Review (2024): Alternatives to This Defunct Running Machine

Although this product is discontinued, we provide a full NordicTrack C2255 review along with a superior alternative available today. Read more