Schwinn A45 Elliptical Review
Overall Rating: 3.05
While Schwinn in not void of features to recommend it we would first look at product offerings from Gold's Gym and Proform before you make your decision.
The Schwinn A45 is an elliptical that sells for $499. While it's not a bad deal at this price, there are probably some better options. Keep in mind, buying an elliptical at this cheap of a price means you won't be getting a quality machine. It costs too much money too use decent components.
Ergonomically speaking, this model is pretty bad. It's common for cheaper ellipticals to offer a less natural range of motion, but you can find a few ellipticals that sell for only $100 more that are much better ergonomically. The lack of adjustability is horrible. The stride length is fixed at 17.5", so you have to hope that works for your body type. There are, however, 8 levels of resistance, which gives you some ability to align your workouts with your fitness levels. Still, there isn't a single elliptical we reviewed that offers less options for adjustments.
As far as projected reliability is concerned, this machine is unimpressive. Very few ellipticals have a shorter life expectancy than this one. The quality of parts used is also very low. This is not surprising considering the sub-$500 price tag.
The noise levels of this machine are slightly higher than average. Most ellipticals make about the same amount of noise, but those that cost less than $1,000 tend to make a bit more noise. If quietness during operation is a major concern for you, you'll have to pay a little extra to find a model that is better in this area.
The warranty on the Schwinn A45 is okay. Wear parts are covered for 90 days, parts and electronics are covered for 1 year, and the frame is covered for 5 years. You can get much better coverage if you are willing to pay an extra hundred dollars or so for a different elliptical.
Schwinn is part of the Nautilus Health & Fitness Group, and the fitness equipment is made overseas. Nautilus has made Schwinn a focus of their elliptical and group cycling lineup. You can find these widely marketed on the Internet and in some mass-market stores.
Quality / Philosophy
Their design philosophy seems to be to make a decent machine and put the money where it is important, but they have been known to go cheap when they shouldn't, from time to time. They give their machines decent core drive system parts and then cut corners wherever possible. .
With the continued recession, many of the fitness companies have simply gone out of business. Nautilus was one we were worried about, but with strong profit growth over the last year, it looks like they have steadied the company and are moving in the right direction..