Our Schwinn 438 elliptical trainer review looks at a popular elliptical from a popular brand – it appears a good bet, is it?
Essentially this is the same machine as the very good Schwinn 418, and as such you get a well put together elliptical that looks like it will provide a smooth, stable ride whilst coping with the rigours of your daily workout.
In the highly competitive mid-price market it will need to stand out from the crowd!
Whilst there are many fans of Schwinn exercise equipment, will the 438 appeal to the average buyer looking for an elliptical around the $1,000 mark?
Schwinn 438 Elliptical Trainer Review – Features…
What I like about Schwinn’s approach to making their elliptical is the emphasis on investing in the business end of the machine – the frame and drive system – rather than lots of electronic gadgets and gimmicks to bump the price over the $1,000 mark.As with the cheaper 418, Schwinn gives you a tremendous amount of machine for your hard earned cash with the 438, which sells for $1,299.
You don’t get a TV, but you do get a smooth, stable ride that ensures a comfortable but challenging workout.
An example of Schwinn’s philosophy is the the eddy current brake (ECB) system, which is largely responsible for the smooth ride and is vastly superior to the silent magnetic resistance (SMR) system more commonly found on ellipticals at this price.
Combine the ECB with the high-inertia front drive, over-sized flywheel and eight levels of computer controlled resistance and you have a near commercial quality drive system.
You also get an 18″ stride length, which will suit most taller users and when allied to the articulating pedals – essential on a front drive machine – ensures your foot moves through a natural, elliptical motion with each stride.
I found the pedals eliminated the uncomfortable stress that my heels and ankles sometimes develop after 15 minutes or so on cheaper machines.
Now you get all of this on the 418, so what distinguishes the 438 from the 418 – and how come it costs $300 more?
Well, the 438 comes with 21 workout programs, including all the usual suspects like fat burn, mountain, cardio and so on, as well as some variations on a theme.
For people who like a lot of choice this is fine, but you can have a little bit too much of a good thing – will you really use them all?
You also get four user settings, which is handy if other members of your household want to use the elliptical on a regular basis.
The other difference is the heart monitor, which in addition to the grip sensors comes with a chest strap.
Handy, but only really necessary for heart control workout programs where the on board computer manages the intensity of your workout automatically depending on your heart rate.
Otherwise the 438 feels just like the 418. It even has the same LCD console display that shows you all the info you’ll need during your workout – speed, distance covered, calories burned, resistance level and so on.
The 438 also has the same dimensions as the 418 – a 66″ x 25″ frame which is very stable – and it weighs in at the same 180lbs.
It comes with the same warranties too – 15 years on the frame, two years on the parts, one year on the electronics and six months on the labour and wear items.
Six months on a $1,299 elliptical isn’t very generous, but is more than the far too common 90 day warranties still found in this price range.
The 438 retails for $1,299, but our Schwinn 438 elliptical trainer review found it on sale for as low as $999 with free shipping at Amazon, although we suggest that you check out Amazon for the current price on the Schwinn 438.
Schwinn 438 Elliptical Trainer Review – The Bottom Line…
There’s no doubting the build quality, solidity and stability of the Schwinn 438. It’s a very good elliptical trainer.
But does it offer the value for money that the 418 does?
It shares all the attributes of its cheaper sibling, but has a few extras thrown in, which bump up the price quite a bit.
If you’re torn between the 418 and the 438, our Schwinn 438 elliptical trainer review would suggest that unless you really want all the extra workout programs and the chest strap heart rate monitor, the 418 probably offers the better value for money.
They’re both great machines – well, they’re basically the same machine! – and neither will disappoint.
I really like the 418 and 438 and would recommend either to the serious home exerciser looking for a not-too-far-from club quality elliptical trainer!
At $1,299 it’s a good buy, knock $300 off and at the sale price of $999 with free shipping it becomes a great buy!
However, please check Amazon for the current price on the Schwinn 438.