Schwinn AC Performance Plus Review | Rating, Pros, Cons
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Blue Carbon belt drive. On the surface, it looks like a simple studio spinning bike, but it’s far from that. The intention of this bike is for a studio and home use. It has some excellent features that will surprise you hidden below the surface. This is Schwinns flagship exercise bike, and I can see why.
The bike, unlike others, doesn’t come from a range of bikes. Instead, it has upgrades, and in this review, I will speak about the upgrades you can do to this bike. Price-wise it does sit in the mid to high-end range and is up against some excellent spin bikes.
Assembly is relatively standard and easy. The essential tools needed are provided and can be done in about an hour or two. The Schwinn bike has ten years warranty on the frame, five years warranty on corrosion, a two-year warranty on the mechanical parts, one year of labor warranty, and six months on wear parts like the pedals. This warranty is good on a bike like this, especially on the frame.
Let’s start with the monitor. Unfortunately, the spin bike doesn’t come with a monitor, but you can upgrade with two options. For the low-cost option, you have the Schwinn Cadence Pro Console costing about $300, a straightforward monitor that will display RPM, Time, Heart rate, and Distance with a backlight.
The higher cost option is the Echelon2 Console, about $400, or the Echelon2 Console with a power function for about $450. I would recommend the power console as it’s $50 more but worth the extra money to have that data. This will give you RPM, Time, Heart Rate, Distance, Current and Average Watts, Calories, Resistance level, and gear indicator again with a backlight.
The Echelon2 Console also has Ant+, so you can link up heart rate monitors and other devices for you to aid your training. The power on this unit is estimated because the bike doesn’t have an inbuilt power meter. You can connect this to Zwift and Peloton, but you have to use a Viiiiva Connection bridge and use a tablet on the handlebars, which they do accommodate for, but it’s pretty complex to get this all set up and isn’t cheap, but it will give you an interactive experience.
The resistance system on this indoor cycling bike is excellent. It is magnetic and has an efficient, frictionless system of 6 magnets that lower themselves onto a perimeter flywheel to create resistance. This will cater to your standard spinner up to a seasoned pro cyclist. The belt is a carbon fiber drive belt and will not stretch over time or use.
Not only is it highly durable, but it is also notched, so the bike will have an instant connection while you are riding and always feel solid and sturdy when pedaling. With this system, the bike requires no maintenance. No oil or lubrication is needed on this indoor cycle.
This isn’t the only thing that is great about this bike, Schwinn Fitness has made the bottom bracket, and they say it has been engineered so highly at four times the cost of a typical bottom bracket and will never break. This system with that bottom bracket makes this probably the most durable spinning bike on the market. This would be perfect for any studio or even home setup. The money you will save in the future is something to think about.
The pedals are also an excellent feature being very high quality and having toe clips on the side and Spd clip-ins on the other. They are very high quality and have a fantastic broad support base for your feet. They offer an upgrade for this as well. This is called the triple basket. It will give you the option to have a toe cage, Spd Clip in, and even make them compatible for Look Cleats.
I like the fact they have done this, and it opens up loads of options. The pedal thread is standard, so you could put anything you wanted in no trouble at all. The Q-Factor is 170mm this is the distance of the bracket where your crank arms attach. I look for 140mm to 170mm.
Road bikes being 150mm, and mountain bikes being 170mm. Knowing it has that special unbreakable bottom bracket, and they have kept it nice and small, it is excellent engineering in my eyes. The Flywheel also has had a lot of time put into it. It is a perimeter weighted Flywheel meaning that it has the weight held on the outside to give it a smooth outdoor bike feel to it.
The Flywheel itself weighs 33lbs. It is an ideal weight for an exercise bike, and the technology supporting it makes it very effective. Another thing which sets this bike apart from the competition is the smart wheel system. The smart wheel system gives you the option to freewheel like you could on a bike outdoor. This is great for cyclists or people used to doing HIIT Classes and something you don’t see on indoor bikes very often.
The indoor cycle itself is made of aluminum and protected with an anti-corrosive material. It weighs 46kg, and it is easy to move with the wheels on the front. It’s 54” in length, 21” in width and 51” in height. Overall size in the middle of the range it’s not too small or not too big. It can accommodate riders up to 159kg. As far as sizes go 4ft 11” through to 6ft 8” again middle of the range.
It has two bottle holders on the handlebars, and as mentioned before, you can mount a tablet here too. The handlebars are a bit special on this Schwinn though, they have been made with flat points all around to take the pressure off certain parts of your hands, adding comfort to your ride. It’s not many bikes that have this, and it looks great, and for anyone who’s doing a lot of standing or longer rides, I think this will make it a much more pleasant experience.
The saddle is also of really high quality, and although looking like a racing saddle, it does get great reviews for being comfortable by many people. The saddle and the handlebars will both move horizontally and vertically, helping you get that position perfect. This bike is well made and feels so solid while riding it.
The transmission makes it very responsive and highly sturdy in any sprint or a long climb. It is absolutely lovely to ride and favored by many indoor cycling studios worldwide. The bike is incredibly quiet, and you would struggle to hear it in the next room. With all the intervals being of such high quality, this doesn’t surprise me at all.
Schwinn AC Performance Plus Indoor Bike Features:
- Q-Factor: 170mm
- Pedals: Dual-sided SPD
- Flywheel: 33 Pounds
- Resistance: Magnetic
- Transmission: Carbon Notched Belt
- Weight capacity: 159kg
- Height capacity: 4ft 11″ – 6ft 8″
- Bike weight: 46kg
- Bike dimension: 21″W x 51″H x 54″L
- Monitor: Upgrade
- Connectivity: Ant+ on Upgrade
- Applications: None but with upgrade can be bridged
- RPM tracking: Upgrade
- Speed tracking: Upgrade
- Watt tracking: Upgrade Estimation
- Resistance level tracking: No
Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue Pros
- Durable commercial quality
- Zero to no maintenance
- Great looking and Very adjustable
- Carbon Blue toothed belt drive
- Unique handlebars with tablet holder
- Aluminum frame with Anti Corrosive points
- Perimeter Flywheel with Advanced Magnetic Resistance System.
- Smart Wheel System
Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue Cons
- The monitor is an Add on
- Price to much to ask
- No Bluetooth or ANT technology
The Final Verdict
This bike is the most durable bike I have ever reviewed. The technology to make it maintenance-free is exceptional, and the ride quality is something else. Suppose you are the owner of a spin studio or looking for a spinning bike for home and are not too worried about a screen, then it would be outstanding. If you’re looking for home entertainment, then this isn’t the bike for you. By The time you have bought the monitor and the connecting bridge, you could have a Bowflex Velocore or even a Life Fitness IC7 indoor bike with what you have spent. There’s no doubt this bike is incredible, but I think it’s more suited to spinning studios more than anywhere else. It’s excellent quality and the perfect ride but is held back on compatibility for entertainment in my eyes.