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Nordictrack VX550 vs Schwinn Airdyne Pro

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Nov 20, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Nordictrack VX550 vs Schwinn Airdyne Pro

This is a comparison between the Nordictrack VX550 and the Schwinn airdyne Pro including pros, cons, and alternatives. Follow the links for more details.

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Overview and review of the Schwinn airdyne pro

The Schwinn Airdyne Pro comes in at $999 - $1200. In this article you will learn more about the product itself, its Pros and cons and alternatives you might want to consider. This article has originally been published in the overview "Which conditioning equipment to buy from Rogue".

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Overview of the Schwin Airdyne Pro

Schwinn has been in the game of producing bikes for over a century now. The Schwinn Airdyne pro is their flagship take on the Airbike market. The special features of this design are the handles and how the fans are formed. This machine will blow some serious air into your face. Great if you train in a hot environment. The handles of the Airdyne pro give you many options to vary your ride and burn calories.
Air bikes are unique as the resistance increases the faster you go. This makes for very intense workouts which burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. You also have less impact than on a treadmill. The Airdyne comes with the following specifications:
  • Length 42” 
  • Width 20”
  • Height 52”
  • Color black 
This is a solid option for your gym which looks a little more space than comparable products. If you care about looks, that is, but why have a gym otherwise. 

Pros of the Schwinn Airdyne Pro

The pros of the Schwinn Airdyne are
  • Noise canceling design 
  • Handles 
  • Design 
  • Experience 
  • Price 
One of the biggest pros of the Schwinn is the noise canceling design. Schwinn was one of the first Airbike companies in the market to look into belts rather than chains to propel the wheel on the Airbike. This makes the bike more reliable and silent. Since then it has become an industry standard. 
The new handles are clever and take a leaf out the treadmill and elliptical industry. Most Airbikes have simple handles which leave fewer options. I personally liked and some might say this can get in the way of a very intense workout. 
Design is always a matter of taste. I personally like the Schwinn. It looks spacey and tasteful and might even make it even a little interior design statement if out in the right spot. I don’t see that happening with other, more down to earth, models in the market. 
Schwinn has been building bikes for a while now. You can be sure you will get a top-notch product with a great finish. 
For the quality, you are getting it is aggressively priced just around the $1000 mark. Most other Pro/elite/sport models are usually priced nearer to the $1200 to $2000 mark. 

Cons of the Schwinn Airdyne Pro

  • Specificity 
  • Price 
What you do on an Airbike is not specific to most sports. Most bikes do not have self-moving handles or blow air in your face while riding them. A gym which trains athletes who compete in team sports will still have to invest in equipment like treadmills and run rockets to offer specific training. 
If you only want an Airbike and don’t care that much about design or noise canceling there are cheaper options which can be had to get an Airbike into your place. 

Alternatives to the Schwinn Airdyne Pro

Alternatives to the Schwinn Airdyne Pro Are:
A concept 2 bike will come in a little cheaper than the Airbike and is more specific for cycling indoors when you can not get out on the road. It will not burn as many calories in the same amount of time but offers you a solid alternative.
The Rogue echo bike is a very solid alternative if you want an Airbike. It sells like hot cake and is very popular in the CrossFit community. It is built like a tank and comes in at a good price. Like everything from Rogue, it is designed to work, not to look pretty. In some gyms, it might look displaced. 
The concept two rower is solid, time tested machine to build cardiovascular endurance. If you are a fan of water sports this is probably the better option for you than any of the bikes and treadmills. The only downside is that it takes a bit more space than other options. 

Summary for the Schwinn Airdyne Pro

The Schwinn Airdyne Pro has a good design at a good price point. For a flagship product, it is reasonably priced and comes from a vendor with experience in the market. If you are budget conscious there are also solid Airbike options at a lower price. 


Overview and review of the Nordictrack VX 550 599 (UK)

This article discusses the pros, cons, and alternatives for the Nordictrack VX550.This review was originally posted in “Which Nordictrack bike to get”. Follow the links for more details.

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The VX 550 is one of the lower budget bikes in the NordicTrack line up and is currently only available via the UK website. Its main features are a 9kg flywheel, 5-inch backlit display, and a maximum capacity of 125kg. This is the bike for you if you want a bigger flywheel for relatively little and you do not care about Ifit or other digital features to keep you engaged. The full list of features reads: 
  • This item is NOT compatible with iFit.
  • 5" Backlit Display
  • Smart BlueTooth (BLE) Chestbelt Compatible
  • Dual 2-Inch Speakers
  • Upright Frame
  • 9kg Flywheel
  • 20 Digital Resistance Levels
  • Onetouch™ Controls
  • EKG Handgrips
  • 125kg Max User Weight
  • Oversized Cushion Seat
  • Vertical and Horizontal Seat Adjustment
  • Extra-wide Ergonomic Pedals with Adjustable Straps
  • No AutoBreeze™ Workout Fan Included
  • Front-mounted Transport Wheels
  • Tablet Holder Included
  • 20 Workouts Apps
  • Assembled Dimensions - 150L x 61W x 167H cm
  • Product Weight 44kg
  • Boxed Weight 56kg
  • Boxed Dimensions - 106L x 32W x 66H cm
  • Warranty - 2 Years parts and labor; 5-year frame guarantee upon warranty registration within 28 days of purchase.
This is currently the cheapest 9kg flywheel you can get from Nordictrack. If you are an above-average cyclist who wants a bike that lasts to get a medium cycle in when it rains, the VX 550 can be a good option for you. 

Pros of the VX 550

The pros of Nordictrack VX550 are:
  • Price
  • 9kg flywheel
The VX550 has a great price point for a Nordictrack Cardio machine. In addition you will get a fairly big flywheel for what you are paying. The GX 4.7R is in the same price range but only has a 7kg flywheel. The combination of price and bigger flywheel makes this the durable low budget option in exchange for not being up to the times in the entertainment and engagement department. 

Cons of the VX550

The cons of the VX 550 are:
  • No Ifit
  • No Touch screen 
The VX550 is not compatible with the Ifit subscription from NordicTrack. This means that the number of days for the VX550 in the NordicTrack portfolio are very numbered. NordicTrack is pushing hard on catching up to Peloton in the entertainment and engagement segment to regain market share and establish recurring revenue. The VX550 does not fit anywhere in this strategy. If you are a commercial buyer who wants buy-in bulk, stay way clear from this one for your gym. Home users will have to make a conscious decision whether it is worth to get a 9kg instead of a 7kg flywheel while trading off Ifit. If you think you need the engagement features, go for the GX 4.7R instead of the VX550.

Alternatives to the VX550

Possible alternatives to the VX550 are:
The Nordictrack GX 4.7 is the better option if you are convinced that you need some instructors and entertainment to keep engaged with your workouts. You will get a smaller flywheel, but in return the GX 4.7 is Ifit compatible and therefore give you a big library of engaging content. 
The Nordictrack C700 treadmill is a low budget alternative for anyone who prefers jogging or walking over cycling. The C700 is the cheapest treadmill in the Nordictrack line up that you can currently get. While it is a good option for joggers and walkers, it might be a bit too small for serious runners who put their treadmills through a lot of abuse. 
The SE3i elliptical is the low budget elliptical option from Nordictrack. An elliptical can be a good compromise for the entire family or in a small gym to keep multiple happy, rather than just cyclists. The downside of an elliptical is that it needs more space and higher ceilings. 
The concept 2 model D rower is the bread and butter machine in the rowing world. If you prefer rowing over cycling you can not go wrong with this model. You can also hang the rower on the wall to save space when you are not using it. The model D will be slightly more expensive than VX550
My personal favorite is the Rogue echo bike for home gym use. It is slightly more expensive than the VX550 but is built more stable. In return you sacrifice any type of entertainment as it does not come with a screen. The Rogue echo bike is designed for serious athletes and might be a little intimidating for anyone who just wants to stay active and mobile, without pushing themselves to the brink of exhaustion. 

Summary for the Nordictrack VX550

The VX550 is a good option if you want a big flywheel at a low price from Nordictrack. In exchange for this, you will get a product which the Nordictrack management will care very little about so expect that it will be harder to get support and parts for it. 

Topics: Treadmill