One of the aspects of the Schwinn Fitness AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue that is of concern for some people is the price. You may have already checked out the price before looking up a review to know if it worth the investment.
That said, we are going to lay out everything about the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue on the table and let you make your choice based on your knowledge of the cycling bike.
First of all, this spin bike is a commercial-grade bike designed to be used in commercial gyms, spin classes, and health clubs due to its ability to withstand frequent use. It is also available for home use.
Second of all, it is a low maintenance bike that still provides high-quality performance such as quiet and smooth operation with outstanding stability and an unparalleled magnetic resistance system. Its micro-adjustability also provides suitability for users of different heights and sizes.
However, the only serious downside to this bike is the fact that it is not supplied with a console. We sincerely think it could have been almost perfect if it had one.
Although, there is a way around it and that means spending extra dollars. You can get a Schwinn Mpower Echelon2 Console with power upgrade kit if you wish to keep track of your workout progress. Or you may look up the Life Fitness Lifecycle GX Group Exercise Bike, at least they share some similarities and it comes with a console and slightly cheaper.
Moreover, the Spinner Blade ION Indoor Cycling Bike by Star Trac could also be worth looking up if you like a bike with a chain drive system, otherwise, click right here to have a peek at the price of the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue on Amazon.
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue’s frame is made of aluminum. This is deliberate and for a very good reason. Aluminum allows a definitive cross-sectional design and is very immune to rusts as well. Unlike steel, it reduces weight.
However, the bike still maintains a very good weight of 112 pounds/50.8 kg which grounds the bike and boosts stability. The unit’s overall design promotes stability because it features two solid stabilizer bars, one at the front base while the other at the rear base of the bike.
Underneath them are four adjustable levelers designed to level up the bike on an uneven floor. The front stabilizer bar also features two transport wheels that essentially make the bike very portable. Therefore, even though it weighs 112 pounds/50.8 kg virtually anyone can move it from one room to another but it is not easy to roll it on a carpeted floor.
It is sturdy enough to support up to 350 pounds/158.7 kg maximum user weight capacity and the frame is further fortified with anti-corrosion and scratch paint that preserves the outlook and appearance for many years, while the handlebar and the seat posts are chrome finished.
When it comes to size, the bike is compact, at least not as large as the Asuna Minotaur Cycle Exercise Bike 7150. The overall assembled dimensions are 50 inches long by 21 inches wide by 51 inches tall.
Therefore, a workout area of 4.2 feet long by 1.8 foot wide will be required, but if you are making your calculations do add extra clearance of at least 2 feet on each side of the bike and the rear for safe and convenient training. A room with a ceiling height of at least 6 or 7 feet will be enough to allow you to perform the standing ride.
By the way, you may need a protective rubber mat to place the bike on it to prevent damage to the floor especially if you are going to be using the bike on a wooden floor.
The Seat, the Handlebar, and the Pedals
The three most important elements responsible for comfort and suitability are the seat, the handlebar, and the pedals. These three are very important and have to be examined closely to know if they are user-friendly.
That said, the seat is 4 way adjustable, which means it can be adjusted upward/downward and forward/backward. This as we all know, increases the chances of accommodating users of different sizes/heights.
It is said to accommodate users between 4 feet 11 inches to 6 feet 8 inches tall. This could be a fact but people within the range of 6 feet 4 inches and upwards might experience some restrictions because being a relatively compact bike and that could adversely affect the adjustments and the range of users’ heights it can accommodate.
The bike’s saddle is not entirely comfortable and this is not a surprise as the majority if not the entire spin bikes’ seat hardly provide optimum comfort. The bike has the usual standard oval-shaped contoured designed seat that is thinly padded.
For this reason, users that purchase this bike also consider buying the gel seat cover to improve the comfort the seat provides. Better still, you can opt to replace the saddle completely with any one of your choices because its connection mechanism is standard and compatible with other seats.
However, you might just be fine with the seat without any changes after using it for a while and getting used to it. But it is important to be comfortable because that also determines how long you can work out without feeling hurt or bored.
The seat’s dimensions are 11 inches long by 6.5 inches wide by 3 inches tall.
The handlebar is also 4-way adjustable just like the seat. This is the reason why the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue is deemed as a bike with micro-adjustability. The combined adjustability of the seat and the handlebar only increases the possibility of users finding a perfect workout position that resonates with them.
The handlebar can be adjusted vertically (upward/downward) and horizontally (forward/backward). On top of that, it has a multi-grip design that also provides different workout postures that allow different types of spin workouts to be performed.
The handlebar is also integrated with two water bottle holders just like most modern-day spin bikes. It is well coated with rubber form material that is designed to provide a comfortable firm grip that eliminates slippage and blisters in the palms.
The handlebar is ergonomically designed with a 12-degree incline that allows multiple user positions and ultimately increases comfort levels. However, it can also be replaced with any other of your choice but we don’t see the reason why that is necessary because the ErgoLoop handlebar meets all standard anyone can ever expect to see in it.
Both the seat and the handlebar are easy to adjust. This could be done via their respective adjustment knobs and will only take a few seconds to have them all set. Therefore, multiple users can utilize the bike conveniently.
The pedals are not dual-sided like the ones on the Keiser M3i Plus or the Life Fitness Lifecycle GX Group Exercise Bike. In other words, the pedals are not hybrid designed for standard gym shoes and the spin shoes but can only accommodate the latter.
We can’t explain the reason behind the design of the pedals considering the unit is a high-end unit that is expected to have all the bells and whistles. However, they can be replaced with another set of pedals that could allow you to use standard gym shoes and spin shoes. This is possible because the threads are standard.
Now, the good news is that the pedals have at least a narrower Q Factor (distance from the inner edge of the left pedal to the inner edge of the right pedal) than the Keiser M3 plus Cycling Bike. It has a Q Factor of 170 mm/6.6 inches which could allow the alignment of the legs and the feet to the pedals to be comfortable. This will provide some level of natural pedaling that will not stress the knees and the ankles.
But if you have a knee injury, then we suggest using a bike with a Q Factor of at least 160 mm/6.2 inches or below, and some of the bikes with such Q Factor are the Spinner Blade ION Indoor Cycling Bike and the ASUNA Lancer Cycle 7130 Exercise Bike.
The pedals are made of a high-quality material that supports even stand-up pedaling of a weight that is within the stipulated range of 350 pounds/158.7 kg.
You can pedal in reverse thereby allowing you to work on more muscle groups. However, you cannot coast as you could with a road bike since the pedals and the flywheel turn at the same time and this could make a sudden stop of the workout kind of tricky. So, to stop both the flywheel and the pedals from spinning use the tension knob that serves as the emergency brake by pressing it down.
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue features a unique belt drive system that consists of a high-torque, carbon blue belt as the name suggests. Just to be clear, there is yet another model of the Schwinn AC Performance Plus that is driven by a chain drive system.
The chain-driven version is fine but some users complained of some certain noise that is generated by the chain which comes from the interaction of the chain links and other elements that make up the drive system.
Therefore, in a bid to correct this they decided to come up with another version that is belt-driven using the carbon blue technology.
The carbon blue belt is made up of different textures/construction, namely, polyurethane construction, carbon fiber tensile cords, modified curvilinear tooth profile, and nylon tooth, which make it work as a chain drive without the noise. Some users compare its functionality to that of the road bike since the ribbed (looped teeth) carbon blue belt runs on sprockets just as the road bike’s chain does.
The belt drive system is no doubt one of the selling points of the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue because it is being considered the hottest bike on the market.
The carbon blue does not only provide the feel of riding a road bike but it is also very quiet, smooth, and durable and could last for many years without the need for replacement. Do not also forget that this is a maintenance-free drive system, unlike the chain drive that requires some level of maintenance such as the periodic lubrication of the chain and perhaps some adjustments for it to remain in good working order. But all of these are not required for the carbon blue drive that is featured in the Schwinn AC Performance Plus.
Other aspects that make up the drive system are the 3-piece crankset that is made of steel and crank arms that are durable and solid enough to support the standing ride of any weight that is within the stipulated weight of 350 pounds/158.7 kg.
Then, there is the heavy-duty, perimeter weighted, an anodized aluminum flywheel that weighs about 37 to 42 pounds/19 kg.
The drive system components are durably made and can take and withstand any type of frequent and rigorous use.
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue features a magnetic resistance system that is also special and unique. Instead of the usual two magnets that make up the magnetic resistance system in the most bikes, this one has six instead.
The magnets are not facing the top of the flywheel but instead, 3 of the magnets are on each side of the flywheel so that when the tension knob is adjusted, resistance is generated. Note that the magnets never come in direct contact with the flywheel but instead when they are close the magnetic field will generate resistance that is proportionate to the proximity of the magnets and the flywheel.
In other words, when the magnets get closer they tend to generate difficult or challenging resistance but when they are farther away from the flywheel they generate less or easy resistance.
The tension knob is used for the adjustment of the resistance, which means it doubles as the emergency brake and the resistance adjuster. The tension knob is situated on the mainframe tubing connected to the magnets. When the tension knob is turned clockwise the magnets get closer to the flywheel and as a result generate some level of resistance and if it is turned anticlockwise the resistance is reduced.
There are no specified resistance levels indicated on the tension knob. This means that the bike’s resistance is infinite without predefined resistance levels. You just have to keep on twisting or turning the tension knob until you feel you have the right resistance fit for your workout.
The good news is that the resistance system provides easy and highly challenging workouts that could be appreciated by beginners, intermediaries, and of course, the advanced athletes. But the bad news is that you may not be able to keep track of your strength and endurance improvements because you won’t be able to know the highest resistance level used in your previous workout session to make a comparison with the resistance level being used in the current workout session.
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue is not originally supplied with a console and we find this bizarre considering the price of the bike.
However, you can still have a console if you are willing to purchase that separately. Just as aforementioned, the MPower Echelon2 console with a power upgrade kit is recommended and it is compatible with the bike.
There are two types of MPower consoles; besides the aforementioned, there is the Schwinn MPower Sports console which is cheaper with less functionality. Somehow, the MPower Echelon2 is the recommended console for the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue.
With it, you should be able to keep track of your workout progress as it displays watts, time, Kcal, cadence (RPM), distance, and heart rate because it is telemetry enabled.
Interestingly, you can memorialize workout data by doing either of these two things; upload your training data by plugging a USB stick onto the console or wirelessly by using ANT+ wireless devices.
The console could also give you an inkling of the resistance levels you are using as it has a position sensor for reading the angle of the resistance mechanism. You can set up a user profile by entering personal data such as age, weight, and the ambient heart rate.
The console is powered by 3 AAA batteries and it is also backlit with great and wonderful clarity that cannot be compromised by a poorly lit environment.
To be able to read your heart rate, you have to also purchase the HR chest strap because the console doesn’t come with one.
Finally, the console is not compatible with any smartphone app though.
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue does not come with many accessories. It only has two water bottle holders that are integrated with the handlebar. They are indeed designated in strategic positions that make them easy to reach.
The water bottle holders can fit different sizes of water bottles because of the way they are designed.
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue can easily be stored away since it is not a very large bike. The overall assembled dimensions are 50 inches long by 21 inches wide by 51 inches tall; therefore, it will suffice to say that storage space of 4 feet 2 inches long by 2 feet will be just fine.
However, we doubt if it can fit inside a standard closet, but it won’t be difficult to find a place for it, such under the staircase or up against the wall anywhere in the house.
It is also very portable even though it weighs about 112 pounds/50.8 kg because it is integrated with two transport wheels at the front base and won’t be difficult to be moved from one location to the other by one person.
Just as aforementioned, the transport wheels don’t roll freely on a carpeted floor except on a hard floor such as wooden (it may leave some dents on it, therefore you may want to be careful when moving it) or tiled floor.
The approval rating of the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue has been very positive on Amazon with many users having the opinion that it is a special bike.
Simply put, it is a very recommendable bike, but some users have expressed dissatisfaction, who are in the minority.
- It has an appealing outlook and design
- The frame is made of high-quality aluminum
- It is a very sturdy, and stable bike that could support up to 350 pounds/158.7 kg maximum user weight capacity
- It features a belt drive system that is unique which provides quiet and smooth operation.
- Low maintenance needed
- It features a frictionless magnetic resistance system that consists of 6 magnets and a 42 pounds/19 kg perimeter weighted flywheel that provides efficient, consistent and challenging workouts
- The pedals are spin shoes compatible and are replaceable
- It features a carbon blue belt that could last forever and still provides extraordinary drive
- The handlebar is 4 way adjustable with aero bars that are covered with a rubber foam material that provide firm and comfortable grips
- The seat is also 4 way adjustable which allows users of different sizes to be accommodated (4 feet 11 inches to up 6 feet 8 inches tall) with best workout position options
- Very easy to assemble
- It has a space-saving design (dimensions-50 inches long by 21 inches wide by 51 inches tall)
- It is a portable bike that is integrated with two transport wheels
- The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue does not come with a console. You have to purchase (Schwinn MPower Echelon2 Console) the console separately; otherwise, you will not be able to track your workout progress.
- It doesn’t have resistance levels specified on the tension knob
- The price could be on the high side for some people
- The pedals are not dual-sided
Product Dimensions and Specifications
- 50’’ Length
- 21’’ Width
- 51’’ Height
- Weight: 112 pounds/50.8 kg
- User weight capacity: 350 pounds/159 kg
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Handlebar: AeroLoop, aero bars, 4-way adjustable
- Resistance: Frictionless, magnetic resistance system 6 magnets
- Drive: Carbon blue belt
- Pedals: SDP clipless, but could get clips upon request
- 170 mm/6.6 inches Q Factor
- 10 Years on Frame
- 2 Years on Mechanical
- 6 Months on Wear Parts
- 1 Year on Labor
Shipping, Assembly, and Maintenance
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue comes in a box with dimensions of 44.3 x 38 x 11.4 inches and weighs about 113 pounds/51.2 kg.
The shipping cost depends on the retailer that is selling to you; however, some retailer such as Amazon provides free shipping.
You may pay to have the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue fully assembled for you, but that will not be necessary if you are willing to assemble it yourself because it is very easy to do.
The major components are already preassembled and therefore, there are only a few parts that need to be attached to the frame such as the stabilizer bars, the pedals, the handlebar and its post, and the seat and its post.
To completely assemble the bike won’t take up to an hour.
It comes with the tools required and instruction manual that could walk you through the process of assembly.
Since the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue features a magnetic resistance system and a belt-drive, it simply won’t require any major maintenance to keep it running smoothly.
It is a maintenance-free bike that only requires frequent examination for any loose, broken, or worn out part, to prevent any further damage or accident.
Also, make sure to wipe off any sweat and dirt at all times.
The Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue is a commercial grade spin bike that is designed to be used frequently without the fear of a breakdown. It sure has a unique selling point that is called the carbon blue belt drive that provides smooth and quiet operation and yet lasts for many years before a replacement will be required.
However, just like every other spin bikes, it has got its downside which is the console that is not supplied with it and perhaps the resistance levels that are not indicated on the tension knob.