Which Is the Best Choice For You?
Wondering which is the best option for you?
These are two popular, starter ellipticals.
The Schwinn 430 has been around for a lot longer than the Proform 520 and has had time to garner more user reviews.
However the Proform 520 has the advantage of being a new kid on the block.
So it has the latest toys and construction updates that Proform usually puts on their newest models. Thus you might get more for your money.
Regardless, these are both front drive ellipticals with some very similar features – and both come in at a great price around $600.
So how are they different and which is best for you?
Here’s a rundown of some of the main differences between them to help you decide:
Schwinn 430 vs Proform 520 – Price
The Schwinn 430 – depending on where you get it – runs around $500 – $700. However we found it here for $499 with Free Shipping – which is a great price. It retails for about $999 but you can usually get it for less than that, depending on the store.
The Proform 520 is similarly priced. It too retails for $999 but you can get it here for $599 with Free Shipping. So there isn’t really a winner in terms of price – you might be looking at $100 price difference either way depending on where you buy.
Schwinn 430 vs Proform 520 – Console Differences
The Schwinn 430 has a simple, non-backlit dual track two LCD screen system that gives all of your basic information. There’s also a built-in iPod dock with speakers and a three-speed fan to keep you cool. Not bad.
The Proform 520 however has a backlit console that is easier to read – along with a scrolling message board to lead you through your next workout.
In addition to being easier to read, it has a much better, more intuitive layout. And it also has the tablet holder above the console. So you can attach your tablet above the console and watch your favorite movies or shows as you workout – something a lot of people really like to do.
The Schwinn 430 also has a media shelf for your tablet – however it will cover most of the console window so you won’t be able to see your workout stats. You’ll also be looking down so it might be a strain on your neck.
Schwinn 430 vs Proform 520 – Stride
The stride length is the furthest distance between the two pedals. A longer stride (18 – 21 inches) feels more comfortable for most people than a short stride (14 – 17 inches). The Schwinn 430 gives you a very decent 20 inch stride – which is great for most people.
The Proform 520 gives you a 19 inch stride – which again is pretty generous. There isn’t a big difference here but if you’re set on a longer 20 inch stride, then the win goes to the Schwinn 430.
Schwinn 430 vs Proform 520 – Incline
Incline changes the slope of your elliptical pathway and helps you to train different muscle groups, getting a better overall crosstraining workouts. The Schwinn 430 comes with a 10 degree manual-adjust ramp with 6 different positions.
This again is not bad – especially since you don’t usually get incline or ramp on a starter elliptical. However the Proform 520 outdoes it with a 20 degree ramp. So you get about double the incline on the Proform 520 trainer vs the Schwinn 430 elliptical.
Online Tracking and Entertainment
Schwinn does allow you to track your workouts and calories and then transfer this info via USB to the Schwinn Connect App or other popular fitness apps.
But that’s really all you’ve got for entertainment (except for the iPod dock with speakers – something the Proform 520 also has).
However the Proform 520 has iFit LIVE – which adds a whole other dimension of tracking and fun to your workouts. iFit tracks your workouts and lets you graph your progress, set new goals, even get personalized sleep and meal recommendations.
You can also download unlimited new workouts to your elliptical – including some from Jillian Michaels where she coaches you through your workout.
You can also run famous world trails and watch real landmarks pass you by in the tablet screen for some virtual reality fun (Note – you will need your own tablet to connect to iFit and do this).
The only drawback is that iFit is a subscription service and starts around $9 a month. You don’t need to have it – it’s completely optional. But for everything it gives you, it might be worth a try.
Schwinn 430 vs Proform 520 – Size
The Schwinn 430 measures 70.1″ x 28.2 “. The footprint on the Proform 520 is 68.5″ x 25.7”. So the Schwinn 430 is slightly bigger than the Proform 520 – but just slightly.
They both have a user weight capacity of 300 pounds.
Schwinn 430 vs Proform 520 Elliptical – Warranty
While this isn’t something most people notice, it’s fair to point out that the service warranty on the Schwinn 430 is only 90 days – which is kind of a red flag, especially since labor can be the most costly part of fixing your trainer.
The Proform 520 service warranty gives you a year – which is much better protection on your investment.
So what’s the bottom line in the Schwinn 430 vs Proform 520 elliptical comparison?
Well, the Schwinn 430 is affordable and gives you an impressive 20 inch stride. It has also been a very popular elliptical – with decent user reviews – for years now.
However the Proform 520 has a far superior console with a lot more entertainment options like the tablet holder and the iFit LIVE option. It also gives you a higher incline and a much better warranty.
So really it comes down to what you want in a trainer
Want to learn more about either elliptical?