It's soon for me to be writing this review, but I'm excited about my Schwinn 450 elliptical. A few years ago I bought an elliptical I didn't like. It was just too hard to use and too noisy. A friend of mine has the Schwinn 420 and had recommended that model. When I started shopping again for an elliptical, I saw that the 450 is an upgrade of the 420.
I'm only 5 4" and just turned 50. I do hike and walk regularly, but I've known for some time I need to really increase my exercise program and I've just not been getting myself to the gym like I used to. I was concerned about the 20 inch stride on this machine, but it's no problem at all. I'm very comfortable with the stride. The arm bars are a bit of a reach for me when fully extended, but I prefer the stationary handles any way. To use the arm bars I have to lean forward.
The first package arrived so beat up I refused it. Large chunks of the box had been torn away, exposing the insides, where Styrofoam was broken all over the inside. The CEVA company that delivers really throws these things around! The second package arrived slightly battered, but I accepted and all was well.
It took my son and I 55 minutes to put the elliptical together. The directions were amazingly clear and well illustrated. I was really impressed with how they packaged the screws and washers, with everything clearly labeled. I used an adjustable wrench where it said the 10mm was needed. All the parts went together easily, and we had no problems screwing anything in. We didn't experience any holes out of alignment as some other reviewers seemed too.
Upon first using, we noticed some clicking sound. Fortunately, I had read about that and how to adjust here in the reviews. We adjusted the bottom levelers, tightened a few screws, until the clicking went away. With my first workout, it clicked twice, but not since then. So I'm wondering if everything is now settled into place. I will report back in a few months. I'm super happy with this machine!
* Easy to put together with two people. Individual parts are heavy and seem really well made.
* Instructions were great! This is rare in instruction manuals.
* The console is easy to read and intuitive to use. I had no problem entering my user info, and getting started.
* There is a nice variety of programs with varying levels, and you can create custom programs as well.
* The water holder in the console is nicely placed.
* After tinkering with the levelers, the machine makes a soft whir sound that seems normal to me. I can hear my music or podcasts just fine.
* The stationary handles are great.
* The touch heart monitor works great.
* All readings on the console provide just the kind of info I want to see. It's really great.
* CEVA freight delivery was horrible. The first time I turned down the package it had been battered and beaten so badly. I accepted the second, though there were holes and smashed and torn areas on the box. After cutting away the plastic yellow strips the box literally fell way. None of the staples were attached any longer! Schwinn needs to create the elliptical box better, and Amazon needs to hire less rough delivery.
* Clicking and clacking sounds are a bit scary, and I wouldn't have known what to do were it not for reviewers here on Amazon. Maybe some documentation about adjustments in the manual would be a good idea.
* I'd like Schwinn to get rid of the speakers and fan in the console, and move the magazine tray down three inches. I have an awesome speaker for my iPod, and that fan is so far away it's useless. I have a nice overhead fan in my room:-)
* I'd like the console to be angled forward about two inches. When reading the iPad or magazine lean back to far. I have overcome this with props behind it.
* The arms are hard for me to reach with my short arms. Schwinn has done a decent job of making them adjustable, but the kind of adjustments don't help me.
I'm very pleased with my purchase. I've only worked out twice so far, so I'll report back as time ticks on. If the machine continues working as it is currently, I'd give this a 5 star rating instead of 4. If it starts failing, I'll let you know, and I'll let you know how good the insurance is that I purchased here through Amazon. I do recommend this elliptical!
NOTE! After two days my elliptical developed a loud, annoying squeak. I tried loosening and tightening screws, leveling and re-leveling. Finally I found the same complaint for the 420, and some good explanations of how to fix the problem. We had to loosen, not the screws, but the nuts where the foot arms join the wheel. Because the nuts have rubber in them, these can be somewhat loose, not completely tightened without becoming more loose. When we loosened these two nuts, the squeak went away completely!