Schwinn IC4 Review
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|Pros||Smart/connected features, excellent warranty, 100 levels of magnetic resistance, comes with hand weights||Reasonable price, connected features, free AI Gym App, works with popular training apps, easy assembly||Affordable, smooth belt-driven weighted flywheel, infinitely adjustable resistance, stable and sturdy||Affordable, folds for storage, simple no-frills design||Comfortable recumbent position, affordable, lightweight for a recumbent|
|Cons||More expensive, inaccurate speed and distance readings, doesn't work perfectly with Peloton or Zwift||Needs a phone or tablet to serve as a display, limited seat height adjustment||Basic display, no program workouts, no connectivity||Limited resistance range, basic display||Basic: limited features, large footprint, limited resistance range|
|Bottom Line||A reasonably priced, high-quality spin bike with connected features||An affordable FTMS Bluetooth-enabled upright exercise bike that comes with its own free app and works with popular training apps||A simple, effective, and affordable spin bike that lacks connected features||An affordable and convenient folding model that is ideal for light workouts||A simple, comfortable, and affordable option with a limited range of workout intensity|
|Rating Categories||Schwinn IC4||Renpho AI Smart Exe...||Yosuda Indoor Cycli...||Exerpeutic Folding...||Marcy Recumbent ME-709|
|Exercise Quality (30%)|
|User Interface (20%)|
|Specs||Schwinn IC4||Renpho AI Smart Exe...||Yosuda Indoor Cycli...||Exerpeutic Folding...||Marcy Recumbent ME-709|
|Resistance Settings||100 levels||80 levels||Infinite||8 levels||8 levels|
|Measured Weight||106 lbs||79.9 lbs||68.8 lbs||41 lbs||54.2 lbs|
|Measured Dimensions||48.75" L x 21.25" W x 52" H||40" L x 20" W x 49" H||40.5" L x 21.5" W x 45" H||33" L x 22" W x 46.5" H||58"- 46" L x 24.75" W x 38.5" H|
|Folded Dimensions||n/a||n/a||n/a||20.5" L x 22" W x 55" H||n/a|
|Max. Weight Capacity||330 lbs||265 lbs||270 lbs||300 lbs||300 lbs|
|Recommended Height Range||not specified||4'11" to 6'5"||25" to 35" inseam height adjustment||5'3" to 6'1"||27" to 37" inseam length (12 inches of measured height adjustment)|
|Resistance type||Weighted flywheel with adjustable magnetic resistance||Magnetic with Smart Motor Damping||Weighted flywheel and adjustable resistance pad||Magnetic||Magnetic|
|Resistance Adjustment type||Knob||Knob, automatic or manual||Knob||Knob||Knob|
|Preprogrammed Workouts||No||Through Renpho AI Gym App (iOS and Android)||No||No||No|
|Heart Rate Sensor||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Digital Display||LCD (measure)||No (Device required)||LCD||LCD display: 3.3" W x 1.5" H||LCD display: 3" W x 1.5" H|
|Display Information||distance, time, speed, calories, RPM, heart rate||n/a||time, speed, distance, calories, odometer||distance, calories burned, time, speed, odometer, scan, and heart rate monitor||time, speed, distance, calories, odometer, and scan|
|Other Features||Bluetooth, works with Zwift and Peloton apps, USB charging port, device shelf, 2 water bottle holders, 3 lb weights, weight cradles, Bluetooth Heart rate armband, dual sided pedals with cleats||Transport wheels, Bluetooth, works with popular training apps, device holder, adjustable handlebar height, USB charging port||Bottle cage, device shelf, cage pedals, flywheel brake, transport wheels||pedals with safety straps, cell phone holder, transport wheels, folding for storage||Recumbent handlebar, transport wheels, adjustable seat, digital display, pedals with safety straps|
|Warranty||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 3 years, Labor: 1 year||1 year||1 year parts replacement||Frame: 1 year, All other parts: 90 days||Frame: 2 years|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Schwinn is a big player in the home fitness market and the IC4 is the top of the line model in their range of indoor cycling bikes. In addition to its sturdy build, 40 lb weighted flywheel, and 100 levels of magnetic resistance, it is a smart bike with connected features. With more and more people exercising from home and latching onto the interactive at-home studio and virtual cycling trend, we felt this was a compelling model worthy of testing. We found the IC4 to provide an excellent workout, a high level of comfort, and functionality with popular apps like Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY (it comes with a 1-year JRNY membership). We also think it's a great value since it retails for significantly less than many of the other connected bikes on the market.
The Schwinn IC4 impressed us with its excellent exercise quality that is suitable for all fitness levels. This spin bike is stable and sturdy, with a 40 lb weighted flywheel and 100 micro-adjustable levels of smooth, quiet magnetic resistance. It can be used as a stand-alone spin bike with manual workouts or connected to popular apps like Peloton and Zwift, as well as the included JRNY app membership) for a studio or interactive virtual training experience. This versatility gives the IC4 a leg up on the competition in this metric.
The IC4 is built around an impressively stable and beefy steel frame, even under the hardest out-of-the-saddle pedaling efforts. The frame supports a belt-driven 40 lb weighted flywheel with 100 levels of magnetic resistance. With so many resistance levels, you can micro-adjust it to get precisely the challenge you want during your workout, and there is ample range for riders of all fitness levels. During testing, we rarely turned the resistance above 70, which was plenty challenging for quad-busting intervals. The resistance is controlled by an adjustment knob below the handlebar on the frame, and the rider adjusts it manually whether you're doing your own workout or following along to an on-demand studio class.
While the IC4 is a smart bike with connected features, you can use it as a stand-alone bike for manual workouts without the need to connect to a device. In manual mode, you can start pedaling and adjust the resistance however you like. You also have the option of setting a time, distance, or calorie workout goal through the bike's console.
If manual workouts aren't exciting enough for you, you have the option of connecting your device via Bluetooth and using apps like Peloton, Zwift, and JRNY. These apps all have a monthly fee but are well worth the cost to have access to thousands of live and on-demand studio classes on Peloton or the interactive virtual training world of Zwift.
If you do choose to use apps with the IC4 it is important to note that they have an additional monthly fee (Peloton is $12.99/mo, Zwift is $14.99/mo, and JRNY is free for a year, then $19.99/mo or $149/year) and require a device with a screen to serve as the display. Peloton has thousands of live streaming and on-demand studio workouts with various instructors and music to choose from, as well as scenic rides to watch while you spin away the time. Interestingly, the Peloton app is much less expensive to use with your own compatible bike than with a Peloton brand bike. However, it doesn't provide all of the features or performance data tracking. Zwift is a virtual interactive training app with thousands of structured training programs, races and events, and a huge variety of maps and routes to follow. When connected, your device shows the virtual course you're riding, as well as metrics like speed, time, cadence, watts, and a leaderboard. JRNY has trainer-led workouts, coaching, and virtual courses to ride along to, as well as lots of off-the-bike workouts.
While we love the versatility that this connected bike provides, it doesn't seamlessly integrate with either Peloton or Zwift. Yes, it does connect to either app easily (we tested with an iPad Pro and iPhone 11), and it works; it's just far from perfect. First, we noticed that the speed and distance readings on the bike's own display seemed too high; in fact, they were way off. We like to think we are fast, but we also know that we average 20-22 mph on an actual road ride, not even close to the 27 mph the IC4 recorded. If you base your indoor training rides on speed, distance, or calories burned, this bike will not be giving you accurate readings. Likewise, with Zwift, it has an exceptionally high power output reading that makes you seem superhuman. According to forums we found online, this problem is quite common. It is the result of the power reading being an estimation based on cadence and resistance as opposed to an actual power meter reading. There is a process to recalibrate the resistance on the IC4, which may help normalize the power output reading on Zwift, although it seems unlikely that it would make it completely accurate. This is not to say that recreational Zwifters should avoid this bike, but those who seek to compete virtually would be better off looking into more accurate smart trainers or using power meter pedals. The abovementioned issues are related mostly to the fact that this is a spin bike. Spin workouts are typically high intensity and focus on cadence and resistance instead of distance or power. The Peloton app is a bit different since their studio workouts are based on spin bikes using cadence, resistance level, and perceived effort. The Schwinn's resistance levels aren't an exact match of Peloton's, although there are helpful tips online for converting resistance from Peloton to the IC4. That said, it is up to the user to dictate the resistance level and effort they put in when following along with a Peloton class anyway.
We found the IC4 to be an impressively comfortable exercise bike throughout testing. It has loads of handlebar and seat adjustability to dial in the fit for a vast range of rider heights and preferences, as well as an agreeable performance seat and multi-position handlebar.
The IC4 has a maximum rider weight limit of 330 lbs, although Schwinn doesn't specify a recommended user height range. The handlebar and the seat are adjustable vertically and horizontally to accommodate a wide range of user heights. The seat post has 8.5 inches of vertical adjustment and 3 inches of horizontal adjustability. Likewise, the handlebar has 4 inches of vertical height adjustment and around 3 inches of horizontal adjustment. All this adjustability means that you should be able to dial it in for your needs and comfort. Our six-foot-tall tester with a 32-inch inseam was able to fit perfectly on this bike, although he had the seat height in its highest position. Since Schwinn doesn't provide a height range, we measured the distance from the top of the seat to the pedal in its lowest position to find an approximate inseam range. With the seat pushed all the way forward, we measured a range of 29.25 - 37.25-inches in its lowest and highest settings.
The IC4 is made for serious indoor cycling, and it comes with a race style seat. The seat is slim, performance-oriented, and perfect for the intense cycling workouts this bike was designed for. We found it quite comfortable, with ample padding and a pressure relief cutout. Riders who prefer a broader, more supportive seat will likely find the race seat to be a bit too narrow, and it can easily be swapped out for the seat of your choice. The large, rubber-coated multi-position handlebar also provides a huge range of hand positions to suit your riding style or preference.
The Schwinn IC4 comes with a small LCD display and syncs to the device of your choice with a Bluetooth connection for use with the Peloton, Zwift, and JRNY apps. Thanks to the LCD display, you can use this bike independently without an app or connection to your device, a feature that we feel gives it a leg up on some of the connected/smart bike competitors. When connected to an app, your tablet or phone (not included) serves as a screen that displays the studio workout or interactive ride. The Schwinn 130 Upright Bike is the only other option with a user interface that we like as much as the IC4.
The LCD display is centered in the handlebar and has a screen that measures 3" L x 2" W. The IC4 must be plugged in for the display and Bluetooth connection to work. The dark screen has bright numbers and letters and shows a wealth of information at a glance, including cadence, elapsed time, estimated calories burned, speed, distance, resistance level, and pulse. The display turns on if any button is pushed or the RPM sensor is triggered when the pedals turn. The screen automatically begins to display and record your workout information when the pedals start turning. Your workout automatically pauses if the pedals stop turning for 2 seconds. Your workout ends, and the display powers off after 5 minutes of inactivity. Five buttons below the screen control all of the display functions, including Bluetooth, start/enter/reset, and up and down arrows. The Bluetooth button is used to pair with compatible devices and the included heart rate sensor, while the others are used to start a workout or input a time, distance, or calorie goal for a manual workout. The 100 levels of magnetic resistance are controlled by a knob below the handlebar on the bike's mainframe.
Above the display is a padded device holder designed to hold a tablet or smartphone. The display has a USB charging port so you can keep your device charged while you ride. Using its Bluetooth connectivity, the IC4 is compatible with the Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY apps for a studio or interactive cycling experience.
The Schwinn IC4 is a feature-packed exercise bike. The star of the show is its connectivity and functionality with third-party training apps like Peloton, Zwift, and JRNY. Additionally, this bike comes with loads of user-friendly features that help to enhance your workout experience.
The IC4 functions well as a stand-alone spin bike, plus you have the option of connecting to your device via Bluetooth and using popular interactive training apps. If you're already highly motivated, you may not need the added inspiration that live streaming, on-demand, or virtual training can provide, but we think it's nice to have the option. Unlike the more expensive competition, the IC4 does not come with a high-tech console for streaming workouts; you'll have to use one you already have or purchase one for that purpose. It does have a device holder where you can dock your device for easy viewing, and it has a USB port to keep it charged while you ride. It also comes with a Bluetooth heart rate armband to monitor your pulse during your workout.
Beyond its connectivity, the IC4 comes loaded with valuable features. Both the seat and handlebar have loads of adjustability, both up and down and fore and aft. It comes with a performance-oriented seat as well as a sizeable multi-position handlebar. Below the handlebar are two bottle holders with cradles to hang the included 3 lb hand weights. It comes with dual-function pedals that have cages on one side and SPD clips on the other, so you can choose the footwear that's best for you, plus they come with SPD cleats. The front stabilizer has integrated transport wheels that make moving this heavy bike easy. All feet have independent levelers to help stabilize the bike on uneven surfaces. An adjustment knob below the handlebar controls resistance, and there are 100 micro-adjustable levels of smooth, quiet magnetic resistance. It also comes with an impressive warranty.
Ease of Setup/Portability
Among the exercise bikes we tested, the Schwinn IC4 was fairly involved and time-consuming to assemble, similar to, but slightly easier than the screen-equipped models. It comes with all of the tools you need and detailed instructions that are easy to follow, and while it isn't challenging to finish, many steps are necessary to complete the task. It took about an hour to get this bike from the box to ready to ride.
The IC4 arrived at our test location in a large and hefty box. We didn't weigh the bike in the box, but with a claimed assembled weight of 106 lbs, you definitely want the help of another person to move it or remove the bike from the package. Once removed from the box, the remaining tasks can be completed by one person. It takes several minutes to remove the protective packing materials from the bike and all its parts, and the majority of the remaining assembly is relatively standard. The printed directions are detailed and easy to follow, and all of the tools and hardware needed are included. After attaching the front and rear stabilizers, pedals, handlebar and handlebar post, and the seat and seat post, features like the device holder and bottle holders/hand weight holders also need to be installed.
Once the IC4 is assembled, moving it around on hard surfaces is relatively easy thanks to the transport wheels integrated into the front stabilizer. However, this bike does weigh 106 lbs, so moving it up or downstairs is a task best suited for two people. With dimensions of 48.75" L x 21.25" W x 52" H, the IC4 takes up roughly the same amount of space as most of the other upright models we tested.
Should You Buy the Schwinn IC4?
The Schwinn IC4 isn't exactly cheap, but in our opinion, it is worth the cost. It provides excellent value when you consider that it performs roughly on par with big-name home-studio competition while still being much less expensive. Thanks to a 10-year frame, 3-year mechanical and electrical parts, and a 1-year labor warranty, it is even more worth it. This product is intended to stand the test of time. With the exception of speed inaccuracies and the lack of a dedicated screen, the IC4 is one of our absolute favorite exercise bikes. We recommend it to anyone looking for versatility, comfort, and just an overall solid workout.
What Other Exercise Bikes Should You Consider?
If you are not ready to make such a significant investment, the Renpho AI Smart Exercise Bike is another connected model that is about half the price. It is compatible with many of the same apps and offers almost the same level of exercise quality as the IC4. Suppose all the features and connectivity seem overwhelming, and you just want something to pedal away the minutes. In that case, the Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike is a basic bike that will fit into nearly any budget.
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