The Schwinn A20 is the replacement for the Active Series 20.
SET UP: There are very few parts to deal with plus all necessary tools were included and this was a pleasant surprise. I laid them out and checked then against the list given in the assembly instructions before starting assembly. Everything was present. I was able to put it together by myself but having two people would be a nice option. It took about an hour to put it together and the instructions were easy to follow with words and diagrams.
FIRST TIME USE; The seat adjustment was easy which was nice since I share the use of it with my wife (I’m 5’9″ and she is 5′) Both of us had an easy time using it so height wasn’t an issue. Some of the new items included with this new model were the water bottle holder (which I don’t use) and a book platform which is now part of the lcd platform (doubtful I will use it but if you do, you’ll need a way to keep the book open as it rests on a fairly shallow lip). It also has an added built in fan and I agree with the previous reviewer that it’s totally useless unless you stick your face within a couple of inches of it (what were those engineers thinking???)but at least you can turn it off. The lcd panel still doesn’t have back lighting which was a complaint with the Active Series 20. I’m not sure if the newer one differs in size but it’s okay to read with at least some light (window,lamp,etc). The lettering isn’t very bold on the lcd which makes it a little more difficult in low light. A fairly easy solution would be to attach a book light to the lip of the book holder. The operation during use is very quiet and with solid stability. The seat and back are padded and was fine during my initial use.
The resistance levels were very easy to adjust as were the different courses. The monitor takes 4 D size batteries(not included) but there is an optional power adapter (9v,500ma) you can get from Schwinn for about $25 (including shipping) Might be worth looking into this or some generic adapter and saving batteries and bucks.
This was my first time on a recumbent exercise bike and I loved it. It did exactly what I was looking for in an exercise bike. I think it’s a great exercise bike and the price is very reasonable. One reason I bought this bike was because of the Schwinn name (I think Nautilus owns Schwinn and Bowflex)and so far I’m not disappointed.
4 stars because of the lcd (lack of bold lettering and back light)and useless fan. These are very minor complaints which don’t affect performance.
UPDATE 5-20-2011 – I’ve now been using this machine for a few months and without problems. There was a brief time when it made a small weird clicking noise coming from the pedal assembly but this stopped after awhile and hasn’t been heard in weeks. Still a real mystery. Much of my previous review still holds. My biggest praise is for the ease of use and seat adjustment along with with the overall durability of the unit.
Mechanically is does what it’s supposed to do and very quietly (excluding that brief period previously noted). My biggest gripe is the display panel. It’s often difficult to see in low light because primarily of the small lettering (although some back light might also be helpful).
Hopefully Schwinn will address this issue in later models and thus make this model truly worthy of 5 stars.