Schwinn 130 Vs. 170: Popular Upright Exercise Bikes Compared

So you've decided that it's time to whip yourself into shape with the help of an upright exercise bike. That's a great starting point for kickstarting your fitness, but the next step is where many cardio newbies start to feel lost… Actually deciding on which upright exercise bike to buy.

Well, search no further because you've got two great options from the well-known Schwinn Fitness brand: the 130 and 170 upright exercise bikes. Whether you're new to indoor cycling or consider yourself an advanced rider, both of these models are worthy additions for any home gym. So the question now is, which one to buy?

We're here to help you make that decision. In this Schwinn 130 vs. 170 comparison guide, we’ve covered all the similarities and differences between these two upright models.

After taking a quick glance at the Schwinn 170 upright bike vs. 130, the bikes might seem identical at first. Although they’re very similar in appearance (yes, you could say they’re identical), there are a few notable differences between the two.

First, the 170 is considered the more high-end, more high-tech option. It is slightly more in cost, but that’s because it's built with a few more resistance levels (25 vs. 20), a few more preset programs (29 vs. 22), and Bluetooth compatibility to integrate with goal-tracking fitness apps. That means the 170 Bluetooth upright exercise bike syncs with Ridesocial and Schwinn apps while the 130 cannot.

Another difference has to do with comfort. While the seat on the 130 bike is fully adjustable up and down with its 1-piece crank system, the 170 bike’s seat adjusts frontward and backward as well since it has a 3-piece system instead. Both consoles are great and packed with features (did we mention the 22+ preset programs?), but the LCD on the 170 is backlit while the 130 isn't.

The last big difference is that the flywheel of the 170 bike is heavier than the 130’s wheel, which makes for a slightly smoother ride. So while the Schwinn 130 price is a bit lower, the 170 comes out on top in a few categories as the winning model.

Feature

Schwinn 130

Schwinn 170

Preview

SCHWINN 130 Upright Bike

SCHWINN 170 Upright Bike

Drive System

Belt-Driven

Belt-Driven

Noise Level

Virtually Silent

Virtually Silent

Frame

Solid Steel

Solid Steel

Tech Integration

No Bluetooth

Advanced Bluetooth

Winner

Seat Adjustability

Up & Down

Up & Down/Fore & Aft

Winner

Features

20 Resistance Levels, 22 Preset Programs

25 Resistance Levels, 29 Preset Program

Winner

Price Guide

$$

Winner

$$$

Check Price

Exercise Bike Features We Considered

To give you a better idea of how we've made the Schwinn 130 vs. 170 comparisons, you first have to know about the most important bike features. Indoor cycling safety and stability are essential, but what else is there?

  • Build Quality 
    Always look for a bike with a sturdy frame and stable footprint. Anything other than this isn't considered safe for riders, so start with the build quality, and then you can focus on other factors.
  • Max User Weight & Height 
    Most bikes are designed to accommodate large riders who want to lose that extra belly fat, which is why the best upright bikes can hold at least 300 pounds. It’s also a good idea to check into the height limitations, especially if you’re below or above average for height.
  • Footprint & Transportability 
    A bike's footprint is the amount of space it takes up while in use. Many people assume that a large footprint is necessary for maximum stability, but that's no tactually the case. As long as the bike has a sturdy frame and stable footings, a smaller footprint can be just as stable as a larger one.
  • Resistance Mechanism & Levels 
    A bike’s resistance is the tension that works against a rider to give him/her a more intense workout. There are 4 different types of resistance - magnetic, mechanical, belt-based, and fan-based - and the smoothest and quietest tends to be magnetic. Also, look into the number of adjustable resistance levels available - while 8 is sufficient for some, we prefer to see 20+ resistance levels.
  • Comfort & Adjustability 
    Upright bikes may not be as comfortable as their recumbent cousin, but that doesn’t mean riding one should feel uncomfortable. Look for one with a padded contoured seat that’s adjustable to give you the most comfortable ride. Oh, and don’t forget about handlebar padding and positioning - this is another determining factor for bike comfort.
  • Convenience 
    Upright bike convenience applies to many different things, like assembly, usage, and maintenance. Assembly shouldn’t take more than an hour - the best bikes come partly assembled already. For usage, convenience comes down to how easy the bike is to use, and the good news is that newer bikes don't require a lot of maintenance apart from the occasional cleaning of dust and tightening of the crank system.
  • Price Guide 
    It’s really easy to assume that it’s necessary to spend thousands of dollars on a quality piece of cardio equipment, especially since so many people are doing just that for bikes like the high-end Peloton. But even if you’re on a budget, the good news is that it’s possible to find a bike within your ideal price range.
  • Quiet & Smooth Operation 
    The noise output of an upright bike has a lot to do with the resistance mechanism; magnetic resistance is the quietest, while fan bikes with air resistance tend to be louder. In terms of the smoothness of the ride, it’s all about the flywheel, which is the large metal disk inside the bike that’s connected to the pedals. Just remember, the heavier the flywheel, the smoother the ride.
  • Integration with Different Tech 
    Bluetooth majorly adds to the convenience, and it’s starting to become a more standard feature in exercise bikes these days. A bike that’s Bluetooth compatible can connect to fitness apps, sync with a user’s smartphone, and even connect to your Apple or Spotify playlists.
  • Warranty Length & Type 
    Any cardio machine you purchase should come with a warranty policy. Read the policy carefully because there are different lengths and types of coverage for different aspects of a bike. For instance, a bike frame should be covered for at least 10 years, while the smaller components (like the console and electronics) may only be covered for a year.
  • Extra Features 
    Just like Bluetooth, extra features are things that add to a bike’s convenience factor but aren’t necessarily essential. This would include features like preset workout programs, a built-in fan, a water bottle holder, and a media shelf.

Side by Side Comparison: Schwinn 130 vs. 170

Now that you know the important features to think about, let’s apply them to the Schwinn 130 Upright Bike and Schwinn 170 Upright Bike models to see which one comes out on top:

Durability & Build Quality

When comparing durability of the Schwinn upright 130 vs. 170, there's not much of a difference. These two bikes share the same frame construction and structure, and both have a sturdy frame and quality components.

User Weight & Height Needs

Since these two bikes share the same frame build, the user weight and height limitations are exactly the same for each. Both bikes can hold a maximum of 300 pounds and accommodate all users, short and tall, between 4’11” x 6’3”.

Size of Unit & Portability

This is yet another feature that's exactly the same between the Schwinn 130 vs. Schwinn 170. Both bikes have a footprint (dimensions) of 41.3 x 21.4 x 55.6 inches and weigh just under 60 pounds. Neither are quite as compact as Schwinn's A10 exercise bike, but they’re still lightweight and compact enough to easily transport and store.

Workout Programs & Resistance Levels

This is where there starts to be differences between the 130 and 170. The 170 offers a wider range of tension adjustment as well as integrated workout programs. While the 130 has 20 levels of resistance and 22 preset programs, the Schwinn 170 has 25 resistance levels and 29 programs.

Seat & Handles

We’re going back to almost similarity with this next aspect. When it comes to seat/handle comfort and adjustability, these bikes are close to identical. They both have padded hand grips that are positioned for a comfy ride and a contoured padded seat.

With both bikes, it’s easy to remove the current seat and replace it with a different one that you prefer. The only significant difference is that the 170 can be adjusted forward/backward, while the 130 is just up/down adjustable, so it's easier to find the perfect riding position on the 170.

Ease of Use

Both bikes are straightforward to use, especially since both feature the DualTrack console design. This allows you to see multiple readouts at once, so you’ll always have a full view of workout progress.

One thing to note about the Schwinn 130 upright bike vs. 170 is that the console on the 130 upright bike is not backlit while the 170's console is bright and backlit. This makes it more challenging to see, especially if your home gym doesn't have the best lighting.

Value for Money

While the 170 is just slightly more expensive than the 130, both bikes offer excellent value for money. Spending a tiny bit extra might be worth it if you’re interested in having more adjustability for resistance and a wider variety of preset programs.

Noise Levels

Both bikes are quiet and smooth, and that’s all thanks to the magnetic resistance system. Magnetic resistance is virtually silent, even if you’re going all out with your workout on the highest tension setting while biking uphill. Just note that the 170 has a heavier flywheel, so from that standpoint, it should be quieter (although there doesn’t seem to be too much of a difference).

Compatibility with Tech

This next category is where the 170 takes a few leaps and bounds ahead of the 130. The 130 is not fully compatible with Bluetooth while the 170 is, and that means the 170 bike can fully integrate with fitness apps so that users can set, track and monitor progress with popular tracking tools. With the 170, you’ll have easy access to apps like Explore the World, RideSocial, and more.

Warranty

You’ll find the exact same warranty policy for the exercise bike Schwinn 170 and 130 models. You’ll be covered against damage and defects for 10 years on the frame, for 2 years on mechanical parts (like the flywheel, the belt, etc.), 1 year on the console and electronics, and 90 days for labor.

More Bike Features

Aside from the additional 7 preset programs and 5 tension levels on the Schwinn model 170 exercise bike, most other bike features are the same. You’ll get add-ons for each, like a media shelf, a built-in fan, a USB charging port, and a water bottle holder. While both bikes can monitor heart rate, the 130 only does it through handgrip contact, while the 170 is compatible with a telemetric chest strap (which is sold separately).


Schwinn Upright Bikes Compared


Schwinn 130 Upright Bike 

Schwinn 170 Upright Bike

Resistance Type

Magnetic

Magnetic

Resistance Levels

20

25

Display

DualTrack LCD

Backlit DualTrack LCD

Bluetooth Connectivity

No

Yes

Preset Exercise Programs

22

29

Crank System

1-Piece

3-Piece

Number of Profiles

2

4

Weight Limit

300 lbs

300 lbs

Dimensions (In Use)

41.3 x 21.4 x 55.6

41.3 x 21.4 x 55.6

Bike Weight

58.4 lbs

58.4 lbs

Heart Rate Monitoring

Contact Only

Contact & Telemetry


Pros of These Upright Exercise Bikes

What We Like

Schwinn 130
  • Great value upright bike
  • Magnetic resistance for quiet performance
  • Extra features like USB port, media tray, etc.
  • Fully-loaded console with 22 programs
  • DualTrack viewing on console
Schwinn 170
  • Heavier flywheel for a smooth ride
  • Magnetic resistance for quiet performance
  • Bluetooth for advanced fitness tracking
  • Extra features like USB port, media tray, etc.
  • Fully-loaded console with 29 programs
  • Backlit LCD for easier viewing

Cons of These Upright Exercise Bikes

What We Didn’t Like

Schwinn 130
  • No fore/aft seat adjustment
  • Slightly lighter flywheel
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • No backlighting on LCD
  • No telemetric heart rate monitoring
Schwinn 170
  • Slightly more in cost
  • Steps for Bluetooth syncing can be tricky

All About the Schwinn Bike Brand

The Schwinn company was founded in 1895, and although it has seen some economic hardship over the years, it’s now stronger than ever under the supervision of parent company Nautilus.

Schwinn specializes in all types of bikes, including outdoor mountain and road cruisers, but the company’s real selling point is its indoor bike products - recumbent, spin, and upright models like the 130 and 170.


Assembling Schwinn Upright Bikes

Another big pro that we didn't talk much about in the comparisons is that Schwinn bikes are made for easy assembly. Both Schwinn 130 assembly and 170 assemblies are simple, and that's because both bikes come partly assembled; all you have to do is follow a few simple steps in your Schwinn exercise bike 170 manual or Schwinn 130 user manual to get the bike all put together.

Because there are a lot of parts and pieces for both bikes, opening up the box might feel overwhelming at first. It helps to lay out all your pieces with the parts guide handy, and this also helps you to make sure nothing is missing before you get started. Assembly shouldn't take more than an hour, so if you're having trouble, you can contact the Schwinn Help Center.

The most challenging part of assembling Schwinn bikes for many users is figuring out the programming steps, but it's actually pretty easy. Schwinn has laid out the 14 steps for console-setup in both manuals (page 30 for the 130 and page 31 for the 170 model).

According to Schwinn, “the Console Setup Mode lets you input the date and time, set the units of measurement to either English or Metric, control the sound settings ( on/ off), or see maintenance statistics,” so this is an important part of the assembly process - read these steps carefully.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can I connect the Schwinn upright bikes to a wellness app?

You can connect the 170 bike to wellness apps, but not the 130. This is a big reason why many people opt for the 170 model, especially since the Bluetooth function allows users to connect to apps like Explore the World, RideSocial, MyFitnessPal, GoogleFit, Apple Health, MapMyRun/Ride, and more.

How does the Schwinn 130 price compare to the 170?

The 130 bike shares a lot of structural similarities to the 170, but in terms of functionality, the 170 takes the cake. Check out the quick comparison above to better understand why the 170 comes out on top.

How do Schwinn upright bikes compare to other cardio equipment?

Compared to cardio machines like rowing machines and treadmills, exercise bikes are considered the more low-impact alternative. Ellipticals are another low-impact solution, but while it’s easy to find a high-quality bike around $500, it’s not quite that easy with ellipticals, which tend to run between $1000 and $2000.

Where is the best place to buy Schwinn upright bikes like the 130 and 170?

The Schwinn website is always available for buying the company’s cardio equipment, but there’s also an official Schwinn storefront on Amazon. You’ll find both the 130 and 170 models sold directly from Schwinn at this storefront, and the nice thing about shopping on Amazon is the free shipping.


Conclusion

The clear winner in terms of features and performance is the Schwinn 170, but the 130 model definitely gives the 170 a run for its money. The 170 scores extra points because it has more preset programs, more resistance levels, and most importantly, Bluetooth compatibility.