Schwinn 411 Elliptical Review: Is It A Good Compact Machine?

The Schwinn brand officially started in the late 1800s, specializing only in on-road bicycles. Now, Schwinn manufactures indoor fitness equipment in addition to outdoor bikes, and some of the company's most popular models for at-home cardio are the Schwinn elliptical machines 

Schwinn offers a few different ellipticals to cater to all fitness needs and budgets, including the 470, 430, and 411. The Schwinn 411 elliptical machine has regularly come out on top as a best-seller, particularly for people who are looking for a durable yet budget-friendly cardio solution.  

In this Schwinn 411 elliptical review, we’ll cover all the good and bad features of this specific model to help you decide whether or not it’s right for you.  

The Schwinn brand puts a lot of thought and care into its products’ designs, and the 411 elliptical is the perfect example of that. This machine was specifically crafted for the beginner and intermediate fitness levels on a midrange budget, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in features or performance. 

Here’s what you can expect in terms of the 411’s unique features and functions:  

16 Levels Of Variable Resistance 

This elliptical is built with a magnetic resistance system that features 16 unique levels of tension. Adjusting the resistance using the console’s up/down arrows is easy, and it allows you to quickly dial the challenge level to meet your workout goals.

Related Article - How Long On Elliptical To See Results

Space-Saving Design 

Out of all the Schwinn ellipticals, the 411 is the most compact. The company designed it specifically for small workout spaces, and because of that, it has a shorter 18” stride length compared to the usual 20” stride on other Schwinn models.

For more space-saving machines, read our comprehensive review guide on the best compact ellipticals for home gyms.

Streamlined Console With Built-In Media Rack & Water Bottle Holder 

The 411 features a basic and easy-to-use console that comes with everything you need for each workout. There’s a sturdy and spacious media rack to hold your phone, tablet, or book, and the water bottle holder is large enough to hold a 36-ounce bottle.

Using the console display, you’ll be able to easily track your workout progress, make changes to your resistance, and choose a program that best meets your fitness goals. 

Moving & Fixed Padded Handlebars With Heart Rate Grips 

In addition to the moving handlebars that allow for an upper body workout, the 411 is also designed with fixed handlebars. This is a great feature for anyone who struggles with mobility or balance, such as seniors or beginner elliptical users.  

Located on the fixed set of handlebars, you'll find a set of contact heart rate grips. By placing your hands on these, you'll get an accurate reading of your heart rate in real-time. The elliptical also allows for wireless heart rate monitoring through a chest strap, but you’ll have to purchase that separately.  

13 Built-In Workouts & Bluetooth Tracking 

For anyone who prefers accessing workouts directly from a machine’s console, the 411 elliptical makes it easy. The display comes with 13 built-in workouts, ranging from weight loss to heart rate controls.  

Better yet, the 411 features Bluetooth tracking capabilities that allow users to sync the machine with the Explore the World app. Through this app, you can quite literally explore the world; it uses routes around the globe to spice things up with your elliptical workouts.  

SCHWINN Fitness 411 handle grip
Cushioned Pivoting Footplates

This elliptical’s footplates are quite large, making them comfortable for almost every shoe size. Even though elliptical training involves very little impact and shock to the joints, the pedals feature extra cushioning for added shock absorption.  

As you move, the pivoting footplates reach an 18" stride. While this isn't the longest stride length out there (20" is a better choice for taller individuals), it's long enough to cater to most people, but short enough to keep the machine compact.  

SCHWINN Fitness 411 foot plates

Inertia Enhanced Flywheel 

The entire 411 elliptical machine is designed around Schwinn’s signature inertia-enhanced flywheel. This basically means that the machine is able to adjust quickly to resistance changes or modifications in the workout program. 

Read Also - Does An Elliptical Machine Build Muscle?


Schwinn Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Reviewed 

SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical...
1,710 Reviews
SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical...
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Machine Specifications 

Assembled Dimensions

54”L x 24”W x 62.5”H

Machine Weight

100 lbs

Maximum Weight Capacity

300 lbs

Stride Length 

18”

Resistance Levels

16

Warranty

Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 1 year
Labor: 90 days

Let’s get down to business and start reviewing the specific design features and workout functions of the Schwinn 411 Elliptical.  

After receiving the machine, assembling it, and putting it to the test workout-wise, I was able to experience firsthand all that this elliptical has to offer (as well as what it doesn’t) in terms of assembly, design, performance, console, and more. Here’s what I found out:

Assembly & Maintenance

Since I’ve had some past experience with assembling Schwinn ellipticals, I was able to get the 411 up and running in about 30 minutes. For most people, though, I’d expect it to take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.  

This particular model only weighs 100 pounds when fully assembled, so none of the parts are overly heavy. I was able to set everything up on my own (with the included tools, of course) but if you prefer having a buddy to help out, then go for it. Regardless of whether you do it alone or with a partner, assembling the machine is straightforward, thanks to the easy-to-follow instructions.  

There is an in-home assembly option through the Schwinn website, but this will cost you an additional $249. Unless you want to dish out the extra cash to save an hour or so of your time, I recommend just following Schwinn’s assembly steps or watching the video below to make sure you have everything set up correctly.

Maintenance Tips - How To Stop Elliptical From Squeaking

Design & Workout Features  

Even with its budget-friendly price tag, this Schwinn elliptical is sturdy, durable, and capable of delivering an intense cardio workout. It can accommodate a maximum user weight of 300 pounds, which may not sound like a lot, but it’s more than most ellipticals at this price point can handle.

The magnetic resistance system is smooth and quiet, and the 16 levels of resistance make it easy to find the perfect tension level. Unfortunately, there’s no incline adjustment with this machine, so if you like changing the incline to simulate an uphill run, you’ll have to look elsewhere. 

I love that there are 13 preset workout programs to choose from, ranging from heart rate control to fitness tests. The real stand-out feature, though, is the Bluetooth connectivity. Even though it doesn’t work with all apps or devices, it’s compatible with wireless heart rate monitors as well as Schwinn’s Explore the World app.  

Using The Console 

The 411 elliptical has a basic console, which is great for anyone who doesn’t need all the added bells and whistles to get in a solid workout. It’s easy to use and navigate, mainly because there aren’t many buttons and everything is very clearly labeled.

But when I say basic, I mean basic, and in my opinion, a few features are missing from the console, like built-in speakers and a USB charging port. If those are things you're looking for, I recommend going with the slightly more expensive 430 model.

SCHWINN Fitness 411 Compact Elliptical Machine console

It’s important to note that the display is just an LCD, not a high-def touchscreen that you’ll see on high-end cardio machines. It doesn’t allow you to stream on-demand or live workouts directly from the elliptical, but you can use the media shelf to set up your phone or laptop and access your fitness apps. 

Weight & Height Limitations 

As I said before, this elliptical has a recommended max user weight of 300 pounds. If you’re over that weight or even pushing it, it’s probably best to find an elliptical with a higher weight limit.

Each footplate has a stride length of 18”, which is a pro as well as a con. The standard stride length is about 20” since it caters to longer strides and taller individuals. So if you’re on the tall side, this one might not be as comfortable as an elliptical with a 20”+ stride.  

The plus side is that the shorter stride allows for a smaller machine footprint, making this one of the top choices for anyone looking for a compact elliptical machine. To give you a frame of reference, the 430 model has a 20" stride, and the length of the machine is 70", whereas this machine has a stride length of 18" and has a much smaller length of 54".  

For more info about height and ellipticals, head over to our article on elliptical stride length.

Price & Warranty  

The cost of this machine falls somewhere between budget and midrange, but in terms of performance, I'd describe it as midrange or even advanced. That means this elliptical offers great value for money, especially if you don't want to spend more than $600.  

Schwinn's warranty is surprisingly good, even compared to more advanced models with higher price tags. As far as I can tell, all Schwinn ellipticals come with the same policy, which is 10 years of coverage on the frame, 2 years of coverage on the parts, 1 year on the electronics, and 90 days for labor. 


Pros & Cons Of The Schwinn 411  

Before exploring an elliptical’s specific features and functions, taking a look at the pros and cons of the machine will help you get a clearer picture of whether it’s worth investing in. Like all fitness equipment, the Schwinn 411 comes with both - here’s what they are:

The Good 

  • Small footprint that’s great for small spaces 
  • Bluetooth heart rate monitoring 
  • 16 levels of smooth magnetic resistance 
  • High 300-lb weight capacity considering the small machine size 
  • Impressive customer service from Schwinn + great warranty policy 

The Bad 

  • Shorter-than-average stride length of 18” 
  • Basic console with no backlighting 
  • No adjustable incline (not even manually) 

Comparing The 411 With Other Schwinn Ellipticals 

Although this is one of the most popular, the 411 model isn’t the only elliptical manufactured by Schwinn.

We also review other popular Schwinn ellipticals to help you decide which one is best.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how the 411 compares to other Schwinn ellipticals: 

Schwinn 411 Vs A40  

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Strangely enough, the Schwinn A40 elliptical has a higher price tag than the 411 model, but the 411 comes with more features and functions. The A40 has just 7 built-in programs and 8 resistance levels compared to the 411’s 13 programs and 16 levels of resistance. However, the A40 is still a great choice for anyone looking for a compact, streamlined elliptical machine.  

Schwinn 411 Vs 430  

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Aside from the 411, the Schwinn 430 elliptical is probably the most popular. Compared to the Schwinn 411 dimensions, this machine is significantly larger, which also means it has a longer stride length of 20". For that reason, the 430 is the recommended model for taller individuals, let's say over 6' in height. 

You can find a complete review of the Schwinn 430 here!


Comparing Schwinn 411 With Similar Elliptical Brands

If you’re set on the Schwinn brand, the 411, A40, 430, or even 470 ellipticals are all great choices. There are, however, some amazing ellipticals from other fitness brands as well, like these: 

Schwinn 411 Vs Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical  

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Horizon Fitness isn’t as well known as brands like Schwinn and Bowflex, so it’s no surprise if you’ve never heard of the Horizon Fitness EX-59. While this elliptical isn't quite as highly rated as the Schwinn 431, the EX-59 is an excellent option if you want Bluetooth connectivity but you're on a budget.

Read More - Popular Horizon Ellipticals Reviewed

Schwinn 411 Vs Bowflex Max Trainer Series  

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The Bowflex Max Trainer is more similar to a StairMaster than it is an elliptical. It delivers similar cardio benefits and targets the same muscles, but you have to be willing to pay about twice as much as you would with the 411.  

Related Article - StairMaster Vs Elliptical


How To Assemble & Disassemble The Schwinn 411 

Assembling a Schwinn elliptical is fairly straightforward, and it can be done in less than an hour. It’s best to follow your 411 Owner’s Manual for exact assembly steps. Feel free to use your own tools, but know that Schwinn provides you with everything you need, including an Allen wrench and Phillip’s head screwdriver.  

Disassembling an elliptical machine can be just as hard as putting it together, which isn’t ideal for moving or storing your elliptical. Luckily, the Schwinn 411 elliptical disassembly process isn’t that difficult, and it’s all thanks to Schwinn’s easy-to-follow user manual 

To disassemble your Schwinn, you’ll start by removing the elliptical stride arms, then move on to disconnecting the machine’s resistance system, and finally, you’ll take apart the frame. You’ll need an Allen wrench and screwdriver, and it doesn’t hurt to have an extra set of hands helping out.  


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How do you lubricate a Schwinn elliptical?  

Part of Schwinn’s recommended maintenance routine is to ensure that all elliptical parts continue to move smoothly, and that can be done by using a silicone lubricant. Read our guide on how to lubricate an elliptical here. According to the user manual, you just have to:

“Apply a silicone lubricant to a dry cloth and wipe the rails to eliminate roller noise.”

It’s as simple as that. 

Is the Schwinn 411 magnetic? 

Yes, Schwinn ellipticals use magnetic resistance, which makes it a lot easier to control resistance and adjust it to your desired level. This type of resistance is also ideal for its smooth motion and quiet operation.  

How do I adjust the resistance level of the Schwinn 411 elliptical? 

The 16 variable resistance levels are easy to adjust using the Schwinn 411 console. You'll find up/down arrows labeled resistance, so just press one of those down until you’ve reached your desired resistance level.  

Does the Schwinn 411 elliptical fold? 

Unfortunately, no. The 411 elliptical does not fold up for easy storage, but on the bright side, the fixed frame of this machine is what’s to thank for its sturdiness. If you're looking for a folding elliptical, check out our guide to the best compact foldable elliptical machines. 

Where can I buy the Schwinn 411 for sale? 

You can either purchase your 411 elliptical directly from the Schwinn Fitness website or from a third-party retailer like Amazon or Walmart. Schwinn has its own Amazon storefront featuring all of the brand’s fitness equipment, so this is a great option for fast shipping and low prices.  


Conclusion

Anyone looking for a compact, reliable elliptical machine cannot go wrong with the Schwinn 411. The small footprint makes this an excellent choice for tight spaces, and not many compact machines have the 411’s 300-pound weight limit.  

While the Schwinn 411 is recommended for small spaces and for meeting basic fitness needs, there are certainly more high-tech ellipticals out there. If you want all the features, like advanced Bluetooth or adjustable incline, consider models like the Schwinn 470 or the Horizon Fitness EX-59 instead.