Schwinn Z Bike Review: My Experience After Using It

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By Katie Pierson

Certified Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer

Katie has been a certified fitness professional for twenty years and holds ten fitness certifications, including Spinning Elite and Personal Training. She has shared her expert knowledge in many fitness outlets like Bicycling & Verywellfit.

Being a certified fitness professional for as long as I have, I have been lucky to take some fantastic certifications and workshops taught by some of the biggest names in the industry. Recently, I was able to try out the brand-new Schwinn Z Bike during my most recent cycling certification taught by Eric Thompson from Beachbody on Demand. I can’t wait to share all the fantastic upgrades this bike offers compared to others on the market.

Katie’s Side Note: If you can take a live class from Eric Thompson, do it! His energy and passion for cycling are amazing!

katie pierson with instructor eric thompson

Schwinn Z Pros & Cons 

Usually, after I have taken a 9-hour cycling certification, I feel it during the workshop and the following day in the form of saddle soreness. However, staying on the Schwinn Z Bike was an absolute breeze because of its meticulous design and comfort. There are so many pros to this bike that it was difficult to find anything as a con. See below a few of the features that make this bike so unique.

ProsCons
Handlebars- the design is incredibly comfortable due to the flat front design.
Heart Rate Tracking via Bluetooth- in a crowded room, the console often picked up another rider’s heart rate instead. If you are riding at home, this would not be an issue.
Smart Watch Connectivity- Easily connects with your Smart Watch, including Fitbit. A simple tap of your Apple or Android watch to the console pairs the device
Price- It might not be affordable for many people due to the price tag being around $3,600.
Riding Experience- The pedal stroke is incredibly smooth due to the drive system.
Competitive Saddle- Since the saddle is a competitive style, some riders might not be comfortable. 
Multiple Training Options- Whether you like to focus on your power output or perhaps a zone (stage) training model, this bike has it all.

Z LED Lights- LED lights coincide with different FTP zones.

Connectivity- Connects via Bluetooth, NFC, and ANT+ technology.

4iii Power Meter- The built-in power meter is one of the most reliable for delivering accurate real-time metrics.
Schwinn Z Bike overview

Schwinn Z Bike Overview

The Schwinn Z Bike features a 32-pound flywheel, magnetic resistance, and a belt drive system. It offers advanced Smart Watch connectivity and multiple app integrations. In addition, the OpenHub Console allows for Zone (stage) training enabling you to take your workouts to the next level.

Although the Schwinn Z Bike was created to be primarily used in a cycling studio setting, it is now also available for home use. Unfortunately, a streaming service for this bike is unavailable since it is most often used in fitness studios. However, if you are a rider who enjoys seeing your progress and the ability to change how you train, the Schwinn Z Bike is an excellent option due to the stage and FTP training options. The console allows for stage training, permitting users to try to beat the metrics achieved during a specific attempt. Want to follow an instructor? You can still pursue an instructor-led class on another platform while still enjoying all the metrics provided by the Z bike

Tip: A fun training challenge when using the Zone mode is to complete three twelve-minute blocks. In the first block, select a pace and resistance that requires significant effort to maintain cadence and intensity. This is your “set it” block of work. The next block is the “match it” block, where you try to match your previous metrics. Finally, the third block is the “beast it” section, where you crush all of your earlier metrics in the set.

Warranty Information

  • Frame: 10-Year Warranty (5-Year Corrosion Warranty)
  • Labor: 1 Year
  • Mechanical Parts: 2 Years (cranks, drive mechanism, braking system)
  • Pedals & Saddle: 6 Months 

Schwinn Z Bike Specs

  • Product Footprint (LxW): 42.5″ x 20.6″
  • Flywheel Weight: 32 pounds
  • Resistance Type: Magnetic
  • Resistance Levels: 25 Gears
  • Drive System: Poly V Belt
  • Max User Weight 300 pounds
  • User Height Range: 4′ 11″ – 6′ 8″
  • Product Weight: 130 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 152 pounds

Mechanics and Detailed Specs

Constructions Quality

The design quality of the Schwinn Z Bike is remarkable. The frame is constructed of aluminum and includes a sweat protection powder coating.

Schwinn Z Bike front

Resistance & Drive Systems

The resistance system of the Z bike features 25 levels of magnetic resistance. The bike design allows for an incredibly smooth transition from when the resistance knob turns and the increase in resistance is felt. With other magnetic resistance bikes I have ridden, there is often a noticeable lag in resistance adjustment, but not with this model. A Poly V belt drive system also helps this bike be whisper quiet when riding. 

Schwinn Z Bike flywheel

OpenHub Console Connectivity

The OpenHub Console offers a multitude of connectivity options. This console offer connectivity options, including ANT+, NFC, and Bluetooth. The different connection options allow riders to pass metrics to their favorite 3rd party apps, such as Strava. Another console feature is linking to Smart Watches and fitness trackers quickly. For example, if you have an Apple or Android watch, you can simply tap your watch on the console to instantly connect to your bike. Your heart rate then begins to appear on the console. Since I have a FitBit watch, I often miss out on these integration opportunities, but not anymore because of the Z bike. Even my Fitbit will pair with the console giving me the most accurate metrics without needing to wear an additional Heart Rate Monitor or invest in a more expensive watch. 

Console

Due to the versatility of the Zone console, workouts can be designed around FTP, cadence, or heart rate. The metrics tracked on the console include heart rate, cadence, FTP, time, distance, gear, stage timer, and calories. One of the great features of this console is the ability to customize the display. Users can add or hide metrics to focus on what they desire.

Power Meter & Z LED Lights

The 4iiii provides strain gauge power feedback in real-time that allows riders to train harder and smarter. The power meter is located on the left crank arm of the cycle. The power reading shows how hard a rider works and helps measure road speed, distance, and caloric expenditure. Accompanying the FTP reading from the power meter is the ability to use the Z LED lights feature. Four color zones on the console indicate a rider’s intensity. They range from yellow being the easiest and red showing the highest energy output. 

Saddle

Since this bike has a competitive style seat, the slimmer silhouette of the saddle increases the importance that the bike set-up is correct.

Schwinn Z Bike seat

Handlebars

The handlebars offer four-way adjustability and are one of my favorite features of this bike due to their design. Due to the flat design of the front of the handlebars, they are incredibly comfortable for long bouts in the saddle. This feature also helps those riders that are shorter in stature since it is easier to rest their hands on than the typical indoor cycling bike handlebars.

Schwinn Z Bike handlebars

Pedals

Featuring both a toe cage and clip option, these dual-sided forged steel pedals are incredibly versatile. Cycling shoes featuring an SPD clip are needed.

Portability

Wheels on the front foot of the Schwinn Z Bike allow for easy portability.

Adjustability

A wide range of riders can be accommodated with the Schwinn Z because the saddle and handlebars move fore, aft, up, and down. This model offers a pop-pin design to move the handlebars and saddle up and down. In addition, micro adjustments are available to move these elements fore and aft. 

Potential Bike Alternatives

Bowflex VeloCore

The Bowflex VeloCore is perhaps another model to consider. This cycle offers two different riding modes leaning and stationery. Men’s Fitness Magazine has recognized the Lean Mode for its engineering and design. Since Lean Mode is unique to only the VeloCore, it is understandably one of the most prominent reasons people purchase this model. With a simple release of the crossbar by pressing a button, the rider can get the sensation of hugging turns when riding a real bike since the bike can lean side-to-side.

This model has a 4.7 out of 5-star consumer rating and costs around $1,700. This model also pairs with Bowflex’s Journey app and connects with third-party apps like Zwift and Peloton.

Bowflex VeloCore Bike Specs 

  • Flywheel weight: 33 pounds
  • User height range: 5’1″ -6’5”
  • Resistance levels: 100
  • Height: 55.3″, Width: 24.1″, Length: 59.8″
  • Item weight: 85 pounds
  • Max user weight: 325 pounds

Keiser M3i

The Keiser M3i offers a V-shaped frame. This frame style accommodates riders up to 7′ tall. Equipped with 24 levels of magnetic resistance, the M3i also features a Poly V-belt drive. This cycle is priced at $1,995 and has a 4.8 out of 5 customer rating.

What is unique about the Keiser M3i is the design of the rear flywheel. Although most cycling bikes offer flywheels weighing 25-40 pounds, the M3i flywheel is incredibly lightweight. This design allows the rear flywheel to spin eleven times faster than the pedal stroke. The result of this unique bike design is that the ride is very smooth and nearly silent.

Cycling apps that pair with the M3i include Sufferfest, Fulgaz, Zwift, and mPaceline. Also included with this model is Keiser’s M Series App. This app provides metrics about heart rate, power, cadence, and FTP zones. 

Keiser M3i Bike Specs 

  • Flywheel weight: 8 pounds
  • User height range: 4’10” -7′
  • Resistance levels: 24
  • Height: 45″, Width: 26″, Length: 49″
  • Item weight: 85 pounds
  • Max user weight: 300 pounds

NordicTrack S22i

Another potential alternative to the Z bike is the NordicTrack S22i. One of the coolest features of this cycle is that the resistance and incline automatically adjust to follow the instructor’s instructions. This 4.8 out of 5.0 consumer-rated bike is $1,899. 

The S22i comes equipped with the iFit app, which features many instructor-led and beautiful scenery rides from around the world. The 22″ monitor swivels 360 degrees and includes an upgraded sound system. Resistance and incline can also be controlled from the handlebars. In addition, this model contains magnetic resistance and a belt drive for a quiet riding experience. Do you get hot when you ride? The console has an Autobreeze fan with multiple settings to keep riders a little more comfortable. We also love that this model includes wireless Bluetooth headphone connectivity. Now riders can even ride when everyone is sleeping and not disturb them. 

NordicTrack S22i Bike Specs 

  • Flywheel weight: 32 pounds
  • User height range: 4’10” -6’10”
  • Resistance levels: 24
  • Height: 55″, Width: 29.1″, Length: 56.9″ 
  • Item weight: 193.6 pounds
  • Max user weight: 350 pounds

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an indoor cycling bike that performs and allows you to take your training to the highest level, we recommend the Schwinn Z Bike.

Katie Pierson

Katie is the creator of MT Girl Fitness and has been a certified fitness professional for almost twenty years. She currently holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training. Fitness is her passion, and she loves seeing her clients reach goals they never imagined.

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