The elliptical trainer is still considered a cardio machine to be reckoned with despite the bad press it receives from some gym-goers, who consider it an "inferior" piece of equipment.
Some people may think that it's only for older adults with aging joints or people recovering from joint injury. But experts say that ellipticals are just as effective as treadmills, especially if you use it for cross-training. As some fitness trainers point out, the variety provided by ellipticals through the upper body-handle bar movement makes it a unique total body workout machine.
That's why it's no surprise that many fitness buffs would highly consider acquiring an elliptical trainer for home use.
Schwinn is one of the respected brands when it comes to quality but affordable fitness equipment, including elliptical machines, for the home gym. The company's A40 and 430 models are the most popular among their low to mid-range priced ellipticals. Which of the two elliptical trainers is right for you?
Schwinn 430: the Better Elliptical
Schwinn's 430 elliptical model is the clear winner between the two elliptical machines, given its superior features when it comes to the number of available fitness programs, levels of incline and resistance, as well as stride length.
The Schwinn A40 elliptical that is currently in the market, an upgrade of the A40 released in 2011, came out in 2013 and is, therefore, an older model compared to the Schwinn 430, which was rolled out in 2017.
The A40 model is more of a basic, entry-level elliptical with 7 pre-set programs, while the 430 unit offers 22 programs catering to both beginning and advanced users.
The Schwinn 430 has an adjustable incline, while the A40 model's incline is fixed. Moreover, the A40 trainer has only 8 levels of resistance compared to the 430 trainer's 20 levels.
The 430 model also offers a longer 20-inch stride, providing a better workout for taller users, who will find the A40 machine more difficult to work with due to its maximum 17.5-inch stride.
Here are more details about each elliptical to give you a fuller picture of each of their capabilities:
59 x 23 x 64
70.1" x 28.2" x 63.2"
Number of workout programs
The Schwinn A40 has six profiles and one quick start exercise programs. Meanwhile, the Schwinn 430 has 22 programs, including eight heart rate control and two fitness test routines.
The 430 elliptical is bulkier of the two, measuring 70.1 x 28.2 x 63.2 inches (length-width-height) and weighing 183 pounds. Meanwhile, the A40 elliptical measures 59 x 23 x 64 inches and weighs 104.9 pounds.
Owners of Schwinn's A40 elliptical will enjoy a two-year warranty on the frame and a six-month warranty each for mechanical and electrical issues. Meanwhile, Schwinn 430 users will enjoy a 10-year warranty on the frame, a two-year warranty on mechanical issues, and a one-year warranty for electrical needs.
The 430 model can support users weighing up to 300 pounds, while the A40 model can only support up to 275 pounds.
The A40 and 430 machines both have articulating footplates (meaning, they adjust to your posture and stride) with thick ridges and texture that keep your feet in place and reduce strain on joints.
The Schwinn 430 has a maximum stride of 1.7 feet (20 inches), compared to the Schwinn A40's 1.5 feet (17.5 inches). The Schwinn 430 machine will be more appropriate for you if you’re more than five feet and four inches tall. But you will find the A40 easier to use if you're below that height.
Both machines offer no additional features to adjust to your stride.
Incline and Resistance
Only the Schwinn 430 elliptical has a moveable incline with six levels of adjustment so you can bump up your workout according to your targets. Intensifying your workout will raise your heart rate, allowing your blood to bring oxygen and nutrients to your muscles as it circulates to various areas of your body.
The 20 levels of resistance available on the Schwinn 430 also give it a greater advantage when varying your workout intensity. The Schwinn A40 only has eight resistance levels. Both ellipticals operate by magnetic resistance.
Both machines are made of durable steel parts that have scratch/corrosion-resistant paint. They also have rubberized stabilizers at the base.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Both elliptical machines feature handlebars with sensors on the handgrips that send heart rate signals to the machine's main console.
LCD Screen Display
The two ellipticals are both equipped with LCD screen displays. The A40 model gives you a reading of the distance you covered, time spent on the machine, calories burned, and heart rate. The console of the 430 model offers the same information, but in addition, its DualTrack feature keeps a record of the results of your previous workout so you can track your progress.
Both Schwinn elliptical trainers have MP3 ports for listening to music. However, only the 430 model has Bluetooth connectivity.
The Schwinn A40 and 430 models are both budget ellipticals. The A40 falls somewhere below $500, while the 430 costs below $950.
Owners of the Schwinn A40 complimented its easy, do-it-yourself assembly, and quiet operations.
However, they were disappointed with the short warranty plan, especially for the frames. Customers were also limited by the few workout programs offered by the A40 model and the lack of backlighting for its LCD display, unlike the 430 model.
Meanwhile, buyers of the Schwinn 430 appreciated its multi-speed cooling fan and backlit display.
However, its level of adjustment is still minimal at 10 degrees. There are elliptical machines that can incline up to 20 degrees. Buyers also wish it could adjust with the touch of a button instead of manually.
The Schwinn 430 with its more versatile features is a good investment for your home gym in the long run even if it costs a few hundred dollars more than the A40.
But if you think you can wait to save up some more money, go for more modern Schwinn ellipticals, particularly the Schwinn 470, which has an auto incline capability, 25 resistance levels, and 29 built-in programs.