Category: Home Exercise Articles

I Tried It:The Schwinn Classic Cruiser Exercise Bike

With more and more people working out at home these days, there’s no shortage of fitness gear out there to help you lose weight. One of the most popular choices for the home exerciser: Cardio machines.

The most popular is usually a race between the treadmill and the elliptical with the stationary bike following up the rear, but no matter which one you choose they all pretty much look the same, don’t they?

Big steel creatures with all kinds of handles and buttons and flashing lights…usually the kind of the thing you relegate to the basement because no one really wants ugly, bulky machinery out where everyone can see it.

At least, until now. You might change your mind when you check out the Schwinn Classic Cruiser Exercise Bike by Nautilus.

The Skinny

I’ve used Nautilus cardio equipment before – The Nautilus U616 Upright Bike, which I really loved, the Bowflex Treadclimber and my favorite the Bowflex Max Trainer.

No, I don’t work for Nautilus, but it’s kind of like buying a car. When you find a company who makes high-quality machines that never break down, you stick with them. And that’s just one thing Nautilus is known for.

Everything I’ve tried by Nautilus has been just that – High quality, sturdy, easy to use and easy to find space for, even in the smallest workout space (like my tiny basement).

The Schwinn Classic Cruiser has all of those qualities, but with an added bonus that no machine I’ve ever seen has:

It looks really cool.

In fact, looking at it, you might think it isn’t a real bike but maybe a statue or a sculpture you’re not supposed to sit on.

I know…It’s hard to imagine that anyone could make a stationary bike look cool, but Nautilus did.

They did it by going retro, combining old-school charm along with modern technology, something you could almost put it in your living room as a piece of art…and, even better, something you can use to exercise while you’re watching TV.

If I had the space, this is something I would love to put in my office so I could hop on and get some exercise throughout the day.

The Features

When you look at the features on just about any cardio machine, they go on and on and on. In fact, most machines have more bells and whistles than any of us actually use, making them so complicated you have to read the manual before you can even start a workout.

This is another thing that sets the Schwinn apart – It’s sleek and simple with everything you need for a great workout, but without all the extras you don’t care about.

The Schwinn has:

  • A state-of-the-art electromagnetic flywheel – This is what you want in a stationary bike. You’ve probably seen bikes that have a knob where you adjust the resistance. That’s okay, but what you really want is one like the Schwinn which changes the resistance electronically. That means it responds more quickly and makes the ride feel smoother.
  • Odometer – This tracks your distance in miles or kilometers and speed in mph or km/h.
  • Bluetooth connectivity – Download the free app, Schwinn Classic Cruiser, and you can wirelessly sync your workout. You can track total calories burned, time and distance. The app itself has 4 different workouts to choose from, including a tough 14-minute interval workout.
  • Brake levers – This is one feature that makes the Schwinn such a modern classic. They’re not operational but are part of the sleek, retro design of the bike.
  • Resistance shifter –  This controls the level of resistance, which goes from 1 to 7.
  • Workout timer – There’s also a cool little workout timer. Turn the knob all the way up to 20 minutes and it ticks the time down as you workout.
  • Media rack – The media rack is also sleek and unobtrusive. You can easily fit almost anything there, from an iPad to a book.
  • Partner apps – The bike also works with popular apps like Zwift, which is a training game that connects you with other cyclists, and RideSocial which has a variety of videos to watch so you can cycle through everywhere from Death Valley to Scotland.

The Experience

The best thing about the Schwinn is the fact that you don’t have to push a lot of buttons to get started. You simply plug the bike in, get on, start your app, set the timer (if you like) and go. The saddle seat is wide and very comfortable as well as easily adjustable.

The timer goes up to 20 minutes and it does tick down the seconds of your workout, which can be a little distracting.

However, the feel of the bike is very smooth…the pedals glide like a hot knife through butter and the seat is nice a cushy.

Start the Schwinn Classic App and you’ll find 4 workouts options.

The first one is cute – It’s a game where you’re the paperboy pedaling through a neighborhood and you use the handlebars to throw newspapers. You try to get points by hitting pink flamingos or gnomes…you lose points when you do things like break windows (which I did a lot).

The other workouts are more typical – a 14-Minute Interval Workout in which you sprint for 30 seconds and recover, repeating that. There’s a Timed workout and then there’s a manual setting. There’s also a link to get the RideSocial app as well.

The Pros

  • The cool factor – I’ve never had a machine that looks like this. It really is a beautiful machine that basically looks (and feels) super cool.
  • The simplicity – The idea behind this bike, according to Nautilus, is: “The Schwinn Classic Cruiser bike offers a trip down memory lane through a fast and effective 20-minute workout, transporting users to a simpler time when your biggest concern was what baseball card to put in your wheel spoke or what color handlebar streamers to hang on your bike. “
  • The comfort – Most stationary bike seats feel like you’re sitting on a slab of concrete, unlike the Schwinn which is nice and wide and cushy.
  • The variety – I like the different workouts offered and I like the fact that you can use other apps as well, so you get a lot of variety.
  • The solidness – One of the most important features of any home cardio machine should be sturdiness. The Schwinn Classic is solid and durable, not moving at all even when I’m pedaling at my fastest.

The Cons

I have to admit, I have almost no problems with this bike. I think if there were one thing, it might be that some exercisers might find it a little too simple. Some might miss having a console right there to track your progress.

True, it doesn’t have a console, but the app does a great job of taking its place. And, in my mind, that’s kind of the point of the Classic. It takes you back to simpler times when you could just hop on your bike and go.

The Schwinn Classic Cruiser is an excellent choice for a home exerciser looking for a fun, stylish way to exercise and at $799, very affordable.