Schwinn IC4 Review: What You Should Know
Schwinn IC4 Overview
The Schwinn IC4 is a great-looking bike, and coming in at about $900 is definitely in the budget of many people looking for a home spin bike. I had heard a lot about this bike before I got the chance to review it and was excited to find out more. The Schwinn IC4 is the same as the Bowflex C6. They are branded differently but have the same parent company overall. Assembly is relatively straightforward. I’d recommend laying everything out on the floor and having a read of the manual before you start. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours. Warranty sits at ten years on the frame, three years mechanical and electrical parts, and one year labor. It’s a reasonably generous warranty. Schwinn Fitness has an excellent reputation in the spin world, and the products are built to last. The IC range goes from IC2 to IC4. As the number gets higher, the indoor bikes get more advanced. Today we are talking about the IC4, which is the top in their range and with what it has to offer, sits in the spinning world as more of a mid-range bike. The cost is meager. Is this bike too good to be true or the bargain of the century?
Let’s start with the monitor, a lot of spin bikes at this price don’t even come with a monitor, so this is great that it has one. It requires an external power source and will need plugging in at the wall and doesn’t have any memory, so life totals disappear after you stop your session. It is backlit and will give you a lot of data. It gives you Time, RPM, Calories, Speed, Heart Rate, and what level you are working at. This is a lot of information on a screen for a bike of this price. On the side of the unit, you have a USB Charger which is a nice touch. It also comes with a Heart Rate monitor arm strap that connects to the screen. Above the monitor sits a tablet holder, and now the best bit, this unit has inbuilt Bluetooth, so not only can you connect to other Heart Rate monitors, but you also can connect to Applications. You could sign on to Peloton, Zwift, and Les Mills, to name a few, and use this bike to spin with. Not many in its price range have this connectivity. One thing to note is that when using these Apps, the power is an estimation of RPM and the level you are on, and from what I can tell makes you super fast compared to others on platforms like Zwift. They will not be as accurate as a direct power meter-based bike, but it’s comparable data you can use to see improvement. This is a very impressive indoor cycling bike for the price range it is in. Schwinn has put a lot of time and money into this setup to be ahead of the competition.
The resistance of this bike is magnetic and an intelligent system. It is entirely frictionless. The magnets lower themself to each side of the Flywheel, creating more and more push against the wheel the closer they get. It has 100 levels of resistance to choose from, which is excellent, and finding the levels are made easy as its four full turns on the dial takes you from 0-100. If you need to stop fast, you can push straight down, which will hit the emergency brake. The Flywheel is driven by a belt which is a quieter and more durable option compared to a chain. With all this out together, you get a very quiet bike, and compared to other spin bikes is one of the most peaceful. It would be the bike I picked if I lived in an apartment block or had my training room on my house’s second floor.
The pedals are better than I expected. They have a toe clip on one side and SPD on the other. They look like they are excellent quality, and from the information I get from long-term users, they say they have never had any issues. The Q Factor is quite large on this spinning bike. This is the size of the bracket where the crank arms attach. Road bikes would be about 150mm, and Mountain bikes 170mm. This Indoor bike has a Q Factor of 190mm. You might notice the difference for an avid cyclist, but day-to-day spinner, this is probably a size you’re used to as this is quite common in spinning bikes. The Flywheel weighs 40lbs and is Perimeter weighted. This means the weight is held outside the Flywheel and will give it a lovely road bike feel as it turns. Perimeter technology is typically seen in high-end bikes, and I was impressed to see it on this Schwinn. The Flywheel is situated in the front; I call this the sweat zone. They have made sure it’s protected with a sweat guard, so it won’t get water damaged. It’s a fixed wheel and can go bidirectional forward and backward but cannot coast.
The bike itself weighs 106lbs which is easy to move around using the wheels provided at the front and has adjustable feet to level it wherever it is Sat. It’s a steel frame and looks very well made and put together. It feels very sturdy to ride, and under heavy sprints, I have complete confidence in it. It is 49” in length, 51” in height, and 21” in width and will support a rider up to 330lbs. It’s relatively a small bike compared to its competitors and would suit a small studio or workout room. Schwinn recommends this indoor cycle for users from 4ft 6” to 6ft 6”. This is about a normal range, and most magnetic spin bikes can offer this. The Handlebars are superb on this bike. They are very similar to a standard spin bike, but the climbing handles are flat at the end, and the cruising handles at the front are angled slightly down. However, this doesn’t sound like much it adds a lot to the comfort and experience of riding this exercise bike. As mentioned before, it has a tablet holder and also water bottle holders hidden under the bars. The Saddle is of good quality and very comfortable as it has a lot of padding and cushioning on it. The Handlebars and Saddle will move vertically and horizontally. This is another significant benefit of this bike and will help you get the position right. Some high-end bikes, such as Peloton and the Nordictrack S22i, don’t even have this feature. Another great thing about this bike is two 3lb weights for upper body workouts. They sit in small hangers under the handlebars.
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Bike Features:
- Q-Factor: 190mm
- Pedals: Dual-sided toe straps and clip-ins
- Flywheel: 40 Pounds
- Resistance: Magnetic
- Transmission: Belt
- Weight capacity: 330 Pounds
- Height capacity: 4’6″ – 6’.6″
- Bike weight: 106 Pounds
- Bike dimension: 21″W x 51″H x 49″L
- Monitor: Backlit
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Applications: Zwift, Peloton and more
- RPM tracking: Yes
- Speed tracking: Yes
- Watt tracking: Estimation on Applications
- Resistance tracking: Yes, 100 levels
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike Pros:
- Excellent Build Quality
- 40lbs Perimeter Flywheel
- 100 Resistance levels of Magnetic Resistance System
- Unique Handlebars with adjustability
- Compact and Small in Size
- Advanced LED Monitor
- Excellent tablet holder
- Low maintenance Belt transmission
- Bluetooth technology
- Dual-sided SPD Pedals
- Very quiet drive system
- Great value for the money
- Dual bottle holders and weights
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike Cons:
- No Power Meter
- No drop bars on the handles
- No elbow pads on the handlebars
- A toothed belt would have been better
The Final Verdict
This bike is excellent, and Schwinn has done something unique here. They have made a bike suited to using the majority of apps on the market and kept it at a meager cost. When I first saw the price, I was looking for faults, but I really can’t find anything I don’t like after learning more about it. It’s an excellent quality bike with some great technology not only in the screen but in the transmission. It’s better than anything in its range, and I’d recommend it over bikes double the price. In the Cons, I have mentioned power. The only reason I say this is if they can estimate it for Zwift, it would be amazing to have it on the monitor without using a tablet. Apart from that, I can’t fault it. In my opinion, this is the best value-for-money indoor cycling bike on the market, and by far the best in its range.