Great ‘Bowflex’ Quality But Poor Warranties
The Schwinn 840 treadmill is built by Nautilus, which also builds treadmills under the BowFlex and Nautilus brand, and in fact, they use many similar parts. I have always been a big fan of the BowFlex treadmills, and they were some of the most popular on Amazon.com. There were three models, and they seem to be phasing them out, since there is only the Series 7 currently available.
The Schwinn 840 has many of the attractive features that made the BowFlex treadmills so popular. One of the primary features was that they were well engineered machines that were fairly durable for the price. However, the one area that Nautilus comes up short in comparison to the competition is on their warranties. A perfect example is the Schwinn 840 treadmill. From my knowledge it has one of the least comprehensive warranties of any comparably priced treadmill.
Note: Last I looked the Schwinn 840 Treadmill was selling for $1,100, which is overpriced for what you get. Check out my “Best Buy” recommendations.
Over the last several years warranties have increased on most treadmills. This reflects the fact that the quality and the durability have increased. For example, the majority of treadmills over $600 come with a lifetime warranty on motors. The reason! There is seldom a problem with Weekend treadmill motors.
Unfortunately Nautilus has not been following the trend. With the Schwinn 840 you get 10-years motor, 6 months parts, 3 months wear parts and labor coverage. Not sure exactly the difference between parts and wear parts, but I would suspect wear parts are the parts most likely to wear out. Most comparably priced machines offer a lifetime motor, and 1-year parts and labor warranty. For $999 you can get the Sole F65 with 3-year parts and 1-year labor.
Of course, you only need to rely on the warranty if you have mechanical issues, and overall it appears the Schwinn 840 is durable machine. However, if you do have problem the cost for service and parts can make you say Ouch! Expect to pay a minimum $75 just to have someone analyze the problem. Nautilus, get smart and start matching the competition’s coverage if you want to be a serious player in the treadmill biz.
2.5 Continuous Duty HP Motor — The motor is up to the task of handling both walkers and joggers. It runs quietly even at speeds above 5 mph
20″ x 55″ Running Surface — An adequate length to handle joggers up to around 6’2″. Taller individuals will want to consider a 60″ running surface. The deck does a good job of absorbing the shock, and is a vast improvement over walking or running on pavement.
285 lb. Unit Weight — This is one of the heavier treadmills at this price range. The result is a very solid and stable machine. Be aware that the free shipping is typically to the curb, which means you have to get it into the house. Allow for two strong individuals to move this bear.
Easy to Assemble — Although I have not personally assembled the Schwinn 840, according to customers, it is simple to assemble, basically requiring attaching the console.
20 Workout Programs — You get a nice selection of programs, which can break up the monotony of exercising in place. There are several heart rate control programs, where the level of exertion is dependent on your heart rate. However, the wireless belt is extra. They’re inexpensive.
Customer Reviews — On Amazon.com the average customer ratings are 4.5 stars out of 5. A respectable rating considering the price. Most people were very pleased with the performance.
I like Nautilus equipment. I think the Schwinn elliptical trainers are a real bargain, and the Schwinn/BowFlex/Nautilus treadmills are quality machines. However, the company needs to get their act together over the warranty issue. First, when I talk to other manufacturers they claim they virtually never have a motor fail. That is why they all have lifetime motor warranties. I’m sure the motor on the Schwinn 840 is comparable, so why not match the competition? By offering such a whimpy warranty, Schwinn is suggesting their equipment is not as durable as other brands, which is not the case.
My recommendation. If you are sold on the Schwinn 840 treadmill go for an extended warranty. It is makes this treadmill a reasonable bargain if you purchase it at the right location.
One further note. For some reason when you buy direct from the company web site they take you to the cleaners. Nautilus was charging $1,299 at BowFlexCatalog.com. As of 9/13/11 you could purchase the Schwinn 840 with shipping for $899. Now what is that about?