Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer Review

The Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer has worked its way into the hearts of many users everywhere for an affordable elliptical trainer on the market today. With 7 programs and 8 resistance levels, this trainer offers the best value for an entry level elliptical trainer in the $300-$500 price range.

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This machine comes with a stride of 17 inches, just an inch shy of the much higher priced Schwinn 430 Elliptical trainer. What most users find appealing with this machine other than the cost factor is the stability of this machine, thanks to the oversized stabilizer, which gives you a solid workout platform.

One design flaw though that most users have pointed out when it comes to the Schwinn A40  is the LCD panel, which is very small. However it does provide vital fitness metrics  such as speed, time, distance, calories, heart rate, and RPM,  course profile as well as the resistance level. The Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer is the ideal elliptical trainer if you are light user and are looking for a solid yet budget elliptical trainer under $500 that will not fall apart on you.

Comfort Features

This elliptical machine offers the following stride advantages that lets you truly customize the feel of your workout:

1) Rear-drive design delivers a flatter, truer elliptical path that closer resembles natural stride ergonomics.

2) Oversized pedals offer options for wide or close feet placement.

Table of Contents 

(click a title to jump ahead!)

1. Comfort
2. Noise
3. Key Features
4. Assembly Instructions
5. Weight and Dimensions
6. Customer Reviews
7. Warranties
8. Pros & Cons

Combining flywheel design and computer controlled drive systems co-creates a comfortable stride by eliminating bumps in the motion and create smooth strides. On this elliptical trainer, I found three specific comfort features worth mentioning in this review as follows:

1. Linkage Design – Linkages in simplest terms are the various moving parts that give you the elliptical motion on a trainer. On the  Schwinn A40, Nautilus has used a bio-mechanical design, meaning you will get a more natural and comfortable foot motion during your exercise. Simply put they have studied motion in living organisms (bio) and have translated it into a machine (mechanical) hence the term bio-mechanical.

2. Handle Design- The Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer handles have been designed to maximize your training experience by reducing  fatigue and discomfort. You can therefore adopt multiple multiple workout positions, meaning you won´t get bored from working out in a certain position. Varying your style based on what works at that point of your workout is an important consideration for most users.

The only downside, which I have also picked up in other Schwinn A40 reviews though is there is one set of handles unlike on other elliptical trainers such as the Horizon Fitness EX-59 or the Schwinn 430. Also there are no heart rate monitors meaning you have to let go of the handles to read your heart rate.

3. Sturdy Base – The A40 has integrated leveling feet and these enhance stability while also protecting your floor. This means you get a solid workout platform. An additional feature I like on this  trainer is its compact footprint which makes it fit virtually everywhere, so it does not come across as invading your space.

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Noise Levels

Finding an elliptical trainer in the $300-$500 price range,  which delivers a quiet training experience is often a hard feat to achieve. However thanks to the ingenious combination of an electromagnetic system for handling resistance and a perimeter flywheel which gives you a smooth performance, you can enjoy a quieter experience with the Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer.

The great thing with the Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer is that in trying to minimize the noise levels, the designers have also delivered a machine with better resistance management as well as performance. On a scale of 1 to 10 on noise, I give this a 6, as it does emit some noise. Other users have found that using noise-cancelling headphones during their training almost eliminates any noise that may be emitted by this machine, so this is something worth considering. However for the price level and other features that you get, noise levels aren’t really a deal breaker for this space saving elliptical trainer.

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Key Features of the Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer

What I love about the Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer is that its features are designed to make your training experience a lovable experience. Just like the other Nautilus designs, these features include preset workout programs, an LCD back-lit console,  grips with heart rate monitors, and a good 17″ stride which is only an inch shy of the more expensive gym equivalent Schwinn 430.

1. Workout programs:  The Schwinn A40 comes with 6 preset workout programs and one manual/quickstart. You also get 8 resistance levels which offers you a  smooth upper and lower-body cardiovascular workout.  The resistance levels are enhanced by forward perimeter weighted flywheel which uses an electromagnetic resistance system. The Quick Start/Manual program lets you start a workout without entering any information.

It comes with 2 course, 2 pursuit and 2 circuit preset programs, which automate different resistances and workout levels. Pausing, starting or ending the workouts is very easy on this trainer. You can simply push the START / STOP button to pause your workout and use the same buttons to continue the workout. To end the workout, you simply hold the START / STOP button for 3 seconds.

Your current workout value totals and averages will be displayed on the LCD console  when you complete, pause or cancel a workout. The console will automatically enter sleep mode after 5 minutes of no activity.

2. LCD Console: The LCD console on the  Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer  is simple and easy to use.  It shows time, rpm, distance, pulse, speed, calories, resistance level, and course profile. Other than displaying important information about your workout, the console also lets you control the resistance levels while you exercise.

Navigating your way through the various workout programs is made easier via a grid display with touch control buttons. However the LCD console does not have any back lighting making it difficult to read the information. This can easily be rectified by placing the unit in good light.

3. Workout Stride: High end elliptical trainers usually have an 18 to 20 inches stride length, so at 17 inches, the  Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer is just an inch shy of the top end. This means you get a near gym or high end trainer experience for an affordable price.

A stride short of 18/20 inches is more ideal for less fit persons or older people so this may be a good elliptical if you meet these two factors. However even fitter and younger trainers can still enjoy a good training experience at 17 inches. The Schwinn A40 also lets you do a forward or backward workout stride and even allows you to change direction during a workout.

4. Heart Rate Monitor: Monitoring your heart rate while you train cannot be overlooked. The Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer uses contact heart rate sensors found on sides of the LCD console.  Although these are conveniently located within easy reach, some users may find their location annoying as you have to physically move your hands from the handle bars in order to access it.  Despite this little inconvenience contact heart rate sensors are very sensitive and will give you a reading within seconds of placing your palms against them.

5. Convenience: There is no greater convenience than having to relocate your elliptical trainer to a location of your choice once its fully assembled. The Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer comes handy with inbuilt transport wheels located on the oversized stabilizers.  Being a lightweight elliptical trainer, you can easily yank it up from behind and push it forwards in a wheelbarrow motion to another location of your choosing.

Users with smaller living spaces find this feature very handy as it allows them to maximize their living space by conveniently tucking away the elliptical trainer after a training session. Other than the transport wheels, this machine also comes with a fan, a water bottle  holder as well as a reading rack. However the fan is not so great so this is not something to really look forward to.

The water bottle is handy and if you love reading while you train, then you will find the reading rack a worthwhile extra on this elliptical trainer. You can browse through a full list of features here.

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Assembly Instructions

There are 13 clearly laid out steps for assembling your new Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer. The easy to follow assembly manual lays out all the parts and hardware you need to assemble the unit. Also included is an Allen key  so you can tighten all the bolts with ease. All the hardware (screws, bolts, washers, etc.) comes on a cardboard sheet with each item lettered (A-B-C, etc.) and a drawn image of the item underneath.

If you can follow instructions, then you will have the unit assembled in as little as 2 hours and can immediately start playing around with the controls and workout programs.  However you will need to have some 4 D-cell batteries handy as these are not provided with the unit. Although the assembly is a one person job, if you have a friend or your partner, asking them to help with assembling the foot pedals will make it a lot easier.

The inbuilt wheels on the Schwinn A40 Elliptical trainer means you can assembly this unit while watching your favorite program on telly or in any other room/space which is convenient to you, then wheel it to wherever you want it located for your workouts. If you want to see the full Schwinn A40 elliptical trainer assembly manual before you buy, you can download one here.

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Weight and Dimensions

Your new Schwinn A40 ships in at 106 lbs and once assembled, weights in at 90.4 lbs. You will find everything in the packaging that comes with the machine. Once assembled your new Schwinn A40 elliptical trainer footprint will measure 59″ x 22.5″ x 64″ (LxWxH).

The maximum weight that the machine can hold is 275lbs, just 25lbs short of the higher priced Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer. The maximum height of the footplate is 16″ (41 cm). In order to calculate the minimum ceiling height, you will need to add this to your height, making a provision for several inches for comfortable clearance.

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Customer Reviews

"I rate the Schwinn A40 as 5-star because for the price range it is in, it really is a great machine……(read more here: Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer Review)”

“The Schwinn A40 elliptical trainer is one great machine. It is very smooth,very stable and extremely well built…(read more here: Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer Review)”

I really wanted an elliptical but had previously been put off by the cost. This one about $200 less than most of the other “entry level” machines I was looking at….(read more here: Schwinn A40 Elliptical Trainer Review)”

Amazon Rating: 3.8

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Aspect Covered (Standard Warranty only)

  • Mechanical Parts
  • Frame
  • Electricals
  • Wear Parts

Time (Years/Days)

  • 0.5
  • 2
  • 0.5
  • 30 days

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Pros & Cons


  • Operates smoothly
  • Easy to use workout programs
  • Designed with the user in mind for things like comfort, convenience etc
  • Sturdy base and easy to relocate in your apartment
  • Doesn’t take up much space


  • Display is hard to see/make out
  • Weak fan
  • AC adaptor not included but can be purchased separately

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