Skip to main content

What is the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike?

The Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike is a lower cost competitor to Peloton. In this review, we’re breaking down what makes it worth your attention and how it stands up to the competition.
Schwinn-IC4-Indoor-Cycling-Bike_Hero

The products featured in this article have been independently reviewed. When you buy something through the retail links on this page, we may earn commission at no cost to you, the reader. The Sports Illustrated editorial team is not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more here.

The Schwinn IC4 belt-driven bike is a good addition to any home gym setup and a great choice for cardio lovers. It’s come a long way since the last iteration, the IC3. A few of the main updates include the integrated app technology—which connects with apps like Zwift and Peloton—and the addition of quiet magnetic resistance pads rather than friction pads.

Interactive programming has become somewhat of a standard for exercise bikes these days. When Peloton hit the market, it made waves, forcing other exercise bike manufacturers to adapt. The Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike is a less expensive alternative to Peloton and offers app connectivity, comfort, durability and much more.

Pros

  • Less expensive than similar alternatives
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • Compatible with popular apps like Zwift and Peloton
  • Integrated iPad or tablet holder
  • 100 adjustable resistance levels

Cons

  • Lack of integrated workouts on a built-in screen
  • Assembly isn’t very practical
  • LCD screen metrics aren’t as in-depth as many popular fitness apps

Who should (and shouldn’t) buy the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike?

Schwinn-IC4-Indoor-Cycling-Bike

When it comes to overall performance and durability, the Schwinn IC4 has an excellent value. With a price point of $999, near-silent magnetic resistance and Bluetooth connectivity, it’s an excellent exercise bike for many kinds of people, including:

  • Those who are looking for a smooth and silent ride
  • Those who are looking for sturdiness and durability
  • Those who like Peloton but don’t want to spend as much money

Purchase Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike


Even with a great features-for-price value, the IC4 doesn’t top the market for technology-integrated workout bikes. We wouldn’t recommend it for certain kinds of people, including:

  • Those who want the manual operation of an air bike
  • Those who want a built-in monitor or other high-tech integrations
  • Those who want exact metric matchups between their preferred fitness apps and LCD display

Factors to consider about the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike

Detail-Schwinn-IC4-Indoor-Cycling-Bike_Source-

Dimensions/footprint

The Schwinn IC4 bike is 49 inches long and 21 inches wide. Essentially, it has a standard exercise bike footprint. While it certainly isn’t the most compact bike on the market, it can fit nicely in your average garage gym or apartment. Of course, you’ll just need to make sure that you have a power outlet nearby.

One of the reasons this bike is so stable and quiet is that it has a 40-pound flywheel for high-quality magnetic resistance. Some bikes create resistance using bike pads, though magnetic resistance is a more durable option, as you won’t need to replace worn pads.

With the addition of this 40-pound flywheel, the bike weighs 106 pounds, making it relatively easy to move around by yourself using the front wheels attached to the bottom.

Frame

The frame of the IC4 is durable and stable, supporting up to 300 pounds with ease. You’re unlikely to experience any jiggling or shaking, even when you begin pedaling hard. This is because there are two supportive stabilizers found at the front and rear of the bike, as well as a center bar for additional support, which connects the two stabilizers.

When you need to roll your bike around, you can use the two front-mounted red wheels. It’s worth noting that, though the frame is made with heavy-duty steel, it’s susceptible to rusting, which is why we wouldn’t recommend leaving this outside.

Pro tip: Place a cycling mat beneath your Schwinn IC4 to minimize floor vibrations and keep your floor sweat-free.

Seat

As with your average exercise bike, the Schwinn IC4 has a cushioned, race-style seat. If you aren’t used to these kinds of bikes, the seat might not feel the most comfortable. It has a slim, performance-oriented design that was made for intense cycling workouts; however, it’s easy to swap your seat out for one that you find more comfortable. Also, the seat is completely adjustable: it moves up and down and side to side, accommodating riders that are between four feet, five inches and six feet, five inches. This adjustability helps this bike feel more personalized for the rider.

Pedals

The pedals are made for both cycling shoes and regular trainers. On one side, you’ll find SPD clips that enable you to clip in your favorite pair of cycling shoes; on the other side is a caged toe for pedaling with running shoes or trainers. If you don’t plan on using spin bike shoes for your cycling workouts, we recommend using athletic shoes with stiff soles to give you a bit of additional support underneath the foot. Stiffer shoes won’t bend atop the pedal when standing up or applying extra pressure.

JRNY app

If you’re not a big fan of self-directed workouts and enjoy following a trainer, you’re in luck. The Schwinn IC4 is compatible with a number of apps, including the Zwift app, Peloton app and JRNY app.

A one year membership to the JRNY app is included in the cost of the Schwinn IC4 bike. After that, it costs $19.99 per month or $149 per year. You’ll need to have a tablet or similar device to use as the display screen. JRNY has several coaching options, trainer-led workouts and virtual riding courses. You can even find off-bike workouts to diversify your cardio, including HIIT, treadmill and elliptical exercises.

Bluetooth connectivity

With the Schwinn IC4’s Bluetooth integration, you can easily connect to your favorite apps just like you would with any other Bluetooth product. Simply open up your smart devices and turn Bluetooth on. Then, press the Bluetooth button on your bike to sync your devices. This includes a heart rate sensor that comes with the Schwinn IC4 bike.

One of our favorite ways to utilize the IC4’s connectivity is through the Explore the World app, which was created by Schwinn. This app provides indoor cyclers with a wide range of streets and trails from across the globe to cycle through, and new destinations are added each month. The Explore the World app costs $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

Wheel

Stationary exercise bikes don’t use kinetic energy to propel riders forward (like outdoor bikes) so a weighted flywheel is needed to create momentum as you pedal. A well-balanced flywheel creates and maintains momentum and a smooth pedaling motion. Flywheels that don’t have enough weight won’t have the proper amount of inertia for even spinning. That’s why many low-end exercise bikes feel heavy and jerky. In contrast, the Schwinn IC4 uses a high-end, 40-pound flywheel that keeps the bike stable, even with high-tempo riding.

Display screen

The Schwinn IC4 doesn’t have a large monitor for program viewing, but it does have a simple backlit LCD display that’s similar to what you might find on your average exercise bike. The screen measures three inches by two inches, and is located between the handlebars. It needs to be plugged in for the Bluetooth connectivity to work.

The screen is mainly dark with bright letters and numbers that provide metric information at a glance. The displayed data includes pulse, resistance level, distance, speed, estimated calories burned, elapsed time and cadence.

Five buttons beneath the screen control the various display functions, making navigation more intuitive for those who don’t consider themselves very tech-savvy. The device holder and a USB charging port are located just above the integrated display. Note that some Android users said that they had a bit of lag between the LCD display and the metrics on their connected devices.

Set up and assembly

The Schwinn IC4 bike comes with free shipping and the option to pay a non-refundable $150 for in-home assembly. You can install the bike yourself using three-step assembly instructions, but note that each step has multiple sub-steps. You’ll need to make sure you set your bike up near an outlet to use its full functionality. While you can still manually adjust the resistance levels and pedal your bike without plugging it in, you won’t be able to use the Bluetooth connectivity or console display without electricity.

Warranty and return policy

The Schwinn IC4 has different warranty agreements for different parts of the bike. The frame is covered for 10 years, the parts and electronics are covered for three years and labor is included for one year. If you decide that the Schwinn IC4 isn’t the right fit, you can return it up to six weeks after making your purchase. You’ll need to pay for return shipping, which can be expensive for a heavy piece of equipment.

Price

One of the big selling points of the Schwinn IC4 is the price. You get a high-quality build with a smooth ride and tons of pro features for under $1,000. You can choose to buy the bike outright for $999, or you can opt for an 18-month, $60 per month financing plan. Included in the price are shipping, a one-year subscription to the JRNY app, a heart rate monitor and a set of three-pound dumbbells. Certain accessories need to be purchased separately, such as spin shoes or fitness app subscriptions beyond the one-year JRNY membership.


Purchase Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike


Benefits of indoor cycling

Lifestyle-Schwinn-IC4-Indoor-Cycling-Bike_

Weight loss activity

Indoor cycling is an effective form of cardio exercise you can get at home. A single hour of indoor cycling can burn anywhere from 400 to 900 calories, depending on a number of factors, such as height, weight, sex and fitness level. Paired with a healthy diet, physical exercise can help you lose excess weight.

Improved fitness level

Indoor cycling relies on two forms of rider fitness: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercise is any exercise that involves continuous movement, where you gain fuel by the air you breathe. Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, is exercise fueled by muscle-stored energy that uses short bursts of activity.

Not only will you improve your stamina and endurance, but you’ll also increase your cycling power and speed over time. Because cycling can keep your heart rate up, it can improve your cardiovascular fitness. If your fitness levels are high, you’ll feel better mentally and physically.

Improved lung and heart health

When indoor cycling, your heart rate increases. Increased heart rate during exercise can move more blood and oxygen to your muscles, helping to lower your cholesterol. Plus, regular physical activity can enhance your pulmonary (lung) function, helping to increase lung capacity.

Reduced stress

As with many forms of exercise, cycling can give you an endorphin boost, and indoor cycling is no different. Endorphins are hormones that give you a boost of positivity and energy after working out. Exercise has also been shown to improve feelings of depression.

No weather compromise

There are many situations where biking outside isn’t ideal. Many people don’t have the ability to go biking at night in their neighborhood, while others live in places with inclement weather, such as rain, hail, snow and wind. When you have an indoor bicycle, you don’t have to compromise your workout because of the weather.

Low impact exercise

Indoor cycling (and cycling in general) is a low-impact workout that shouldn’t strain your knees, ankles or hips, especially compared to other high-impact exercises like running. If you’re struggling with a chronic lower-body injury, cycling can be a better option for cardio exercise.

Comparing the Schwinn IC4 to the competition

Peloton

Peloton has become a household name over the past few years—both for the brand’s high-energy, integrated cycling workouts and high price tag. The main difference between the Peloton and the Schwinn IC4 is that the Peloton bike comes with a built-in display for following live classes or programmed workouts. The Peloton also comes with a camera for those who want to cycle with friends. It’s also worth noting that the Peloton is heavier at 135 pounds and has a larger footprint than the IC4 (two feet x four feet). If you don’t have the space or budget for the Peloton, you can use the Peloton app on the Schwinn IC4, though the app costs $12.99 per month. Just note that you won’t get to utilize the Peloton Leaderboard on a Schwinn bike.

Schwinn IC3

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the Schwinn IC4, then the Schwinn IC3 might be right up your alley. The main difference between the two is that the IC3 doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can’t connect with apps like Zwift or Peloton. The IC3 also doesn’t come with three-pound dumbbells or a heart rate monitor, and it uses friction pads instead of magnetic resistance, which is why it’s slightly louder. We recommend spending a bit of extra money on the IC4 if you want a quieter, more connected cycling experience with extra accessories.

Renpho AI Smart Exercise Bike

The Renpho AI Smart Exercise Bike is another Bluetooth-connected indoor cycling bike with a sturdy steel frame and quiet riding experience, thanks to its smart motor damping. This form of motor damping uses digitally-generated resistance that’s quieter and more precise than standard magnetic resistance. The Renpho AI bike is about half the price of the Schwinn IC4 at $479, while offering similar app compatibility. Your purchase includes a free lifetime AI Gym app and around 80 levels of magnetic resistance (20 levels less than the Schwinn IC4). The resistance levels can be automatically toggled to follow along with classes, or manually when you’re working out at your own pace. This isn’t a feature you’ll find on the Schwinn IC4.

Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike

The Yosuda Indoor Cycling Bike is a mid-range upright bike that uses a 35-pound weighted flywheel and a belt drive, which is louder and less smooth than the IC4 magnetic resistance. It also comes with a basic screen display, which monitors your time, speed, calories burned and distance, providing a bit less insight than the IC4. While the design of the Schwinn IC4 encourages a more aggressive position, with the rider's weight leaning toward the handlebars, the Yosuda has an upright pedaling position similar to a beach cruiser bike. Like the Schwinn IC4, the Yosuda comes with an adjustable seat, cage pedals, a bottle cage and a device shelf for your tablet or smartphone.

Bowflex C6 Bike

The Schwinn IC4 is often compared with the Bowflex C6 indoor cycling bike because they’re so similar. Bowflex and Schwinn come from the same parent company, Nautilus, so it’s little surprise that the C6 offers many of the same features as the IC4, but for about $100 more. With that said, some who have tested out both bikes note that the C6 has a more comfortable seat. Our take? The only true differences are price and brand reputation.


Purchase Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike


Schwinn IC4 FAQs

Does the Schwinn IC4 work with Apple Fitness+?

Unfortunately, the Schwinn IC4 has no direct integration with Apple Fitness+. However, you can wear your Apple Watch during your workout to track your calories and heart rate, and then compare your Apple Fitness stats with those on the IC4’s display.

Can you use the Schwinn IC4 without a JRNY subscription?

Yes, you can hop on your bike and cycle without the JRNY app. The cost of the Schwinn IC4 bike includes a one-year membership to the JRNY app, but after the year, you can opt not to renew your subscription and use your bike without the app.

Can you connect the Schwinn IC4 to a TV?

No, the Schwinn IC4 doesn’t connect to a TV, but you can still stream cycling classes from a TV in the same room as your IC4 bike.

Does the Schwinn IC4 come with a tablet?

The Schwinn IC4 does not come with a tablet, but there is a small bike computer that displays various metrics on an LCD screen between the handlebars.

Is the Schwinn IC4 worth buying?

The Schwinn IC4 is a great indoor cycling bike for those who want to spend under $1,000 without compromising on modern features like Bluetooth connectivity, fitness metric tracking and features like dual-sided pedals. If you want to participate in live or programmed cycling classes, you’ll need to have a tablet or smartphone, since the IC4 doesn’t have a screen for streaming.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Schwinn IC4 is a quality indoor bike with a reasonable price tag. The 40-pound weighted flywheel provides a sturdy and comfortable cycling experience, while the 100 levels of magnetic resistance offer flexibility for just about every fitness level.

With the ability to sync up with your smart device to work with popular fitness apps, you can enhance your at-home cycling experience. We appreciate how versatile this connectivity is, providing high-quality exercise that almost makes you feel like you’re at the gym.

Beyond its main selling points, it also comes with a bundle of additional features, such as dual-function pedals with toe cages and clips, a water bottle holder, hand weights and a wireless heart rate armband. With seat and handle adjustability, the bike accommodates a wide range of sizes and fitness levels. Overall, it’s a great choice for those who want a quality, Bluetooth-connected indoor cycling bike at a more affordable price.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.

Tags
terms: