The Inspire Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle looks like it can hold its own as a spin bike or indoor cycle for the home. It looks tough enough to be used in a commercial gym.
It has a heavy flywheel, a solid construction, a console and all the basics required for provide a safe and strong basis for low impact cardio workout however tough and intense you want.
In our review we’ve looked at the product listings, checked the owner’s manual and asked questions of the supplier to get the full lowdown on the bike.
A great thing to see with the bike is that they include a heart rate strap that works with the console – that is something that most spin bikes don’t offer. I like that a lot about this bike.
But it does need to deliver on its’ ability to provide a good base for your workouts and not cause unnecessary hassle in the home too which I assess thoroughly below.
The bike weighs in at 155 lbs and is solidly made from steel. It provides a good stable base for working out. There is little to no flexing in the frame even when working out at high resistance levels.
It is rock steady whether you are seated, standing or moving in between. The bike should be used on a flat surface. However, there a leveling feet underneath the stabilizer bars that can be used to offset any small variations in the floor evenness.
The flywheel weight is 45 lbs which is balanced to provide a natural feeling ride. The weight will help to pull the pedals through the pedaling cycle which helps to give a more circular pedal stroke that is easier on the joints preventing an up down stroke. It is isn’t aggressive as you get on a Spinner NXT where the wheel is perimeter weighted.
The difference will be felt more at the higher resistance levels and when starting your workout. Perimeter weighting is easier on the joints and helps more in promoting a proper pedaling technique but for most people the weight on this flywheel will provide a good natural ride and is low impact.
Inspire Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle Adjustability
The bike can be adjusted to fit people between the heights of 5 ft and 6 ft.
Adjusting the bike is quick and simple to do which means multiple people can use it. They make the adjustments to set it up for their height and they can be working out in less than a minute or 2 at the most.
It is fully adjustable with the seat and handlebars being able to be adjusted upwards/downward and forwards/backwards. This helps in getting the bike set up just right to prevent injury and unnecessary strains for the best workout.
You can set the height of the seat from the pedal and get it set horizontally position too. You can then set the handlebars in relation to this to get the most comfortable and efficient setting.
If you are using the bike for indoor training as part of your cycle training you can use the adjustments to set the bike to be the same as your outdoor bike.
The seat and handlebar are each on an adjustable slider that sits on and adjustable tube. To move them into position you loosen the L-Handle knobs and slide the tube to where you want it and then tighten up again. When properly tightened you should not experience any rattling or shaking.
You can move the adjustment tubes to exactly where you want as there are no pre-set holes in them. It means you can get the setting just right so you don’t have that feeling of it being just too high or too just too short that you can get sometimes when having to use pre-set holes.
The tubes also have levels marked alphabetically that makes it easier to return to a setting if it has been moved since you last set it.
Resistance for hill type workouts is provided by a resistance pad that pushes against the flywheel using friction. The amount of resistance is controlled by the tension knob that is at the top of the frame. To increase resistance you turn it clockwise and vice versa to reduce the resistance.
You can quickly turn the tension knob to where you get the resistance you want. It is incremental and you can set it anywhere from easy to very hard.
Like most spin bikes it doesn’t have resistance levels marked which can make it difficult to return to a previous level within a workout or from workout to workout.
This can only be done by estimate and feel. The only bikes that have this are those with magnetic resistance which is also quieter and needs less maintenance but is more expensive such as the Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle or Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike
The resistance pad and flywheel are protected by a cover that prevents sweat from dropping on them which can be very damaging.
The resistance pad will wear down over time and need replacing. The cover prevents sweat speeding up that process.
The resistance pad will normally last for 12 months or more with moderate to heavy usage. To buy replacements you need to contact the supplier.
The bike has a belt drive which provides a smooth and quiet ride. There is no clinking as you get with a chain drive. There is no maintenance required on a day to day basis as it won’t require lubricating or tightening.
However, in a few years time the belt drive will need replacing and this will probably need the help of someone with specialist skills to do this but in the meantime you’ll have a maintenance free drive.
To add a more secure grip the belt is poly-V. This stops the belt from slipping giving it a better grip and helps in keeping the drive quiet.
There is drive guard which protects the drive from damaging effect of sweat to prolong the life of the belt. The guard also protects your legs and clothes from getting caught up in belt while you workout. It also keeps it away from little fingers that could otherwise get trapped.
The bike has a direct drive or fixed gear which means that you can’t freewheel on the bike. This means that while the flywheel is turning so are the pedals.
The momentum of the flywheel will keep it turning for a while after you stop pedaling so you need to either gently slow the pedals with your feet or push down on the tension knob to use it as a brake to stop it quickly.
It is normal for spin bikes to have this arrangement it helps in giving you a tougher ride but also in helping it to feel more like riding an outdoor bike.
The bikes has standard pedals with toes cages and straps. They take athletic shoes which you slide into the cage and then tighten up the strap. They give a good grip on the pedals for pedaling and standing. The cranks are made from steel to hold the pedals steady while pushing hard against the resistance while standing up.
It is possible to replace them with pedals that take SPD cleats but they do cost extra. The thread is 9/16″- 20 so they can take standard bike pedals if you want to use other pedals.
The Q factor which is the horizontal distance between the pedals is 177mm (approx7 inches). Spin bikes do tend to have a wider Q Factor than outdoor bikes. The distance on this bike is average. (The Spinner NXT Q Factor is 158 mm). As general rule the narrower the Q factor is the more natural it feels as it brings the feet, knees and hips more into alignment.
Seat. The seat is described as comfortable and is gel coated. You may find that is the case but not everyone will agree. It can be replaced if you find it is too hard on your sit bones as it will take a standard bike seat. Padded bike shorts can also help alleviate any pain.
Dust and Dirt. It’s not going to be that dirty of a bike. The biggest source of dust is likely to be from the resistance pads as they wear down but it won’t be much. It is important to keep the bike clean from sweat to keep it looking good and in top condition and the instruction go through what you need to do. To protect your floor from dirt and the bike resting on it a rubber exercise is a good option. They are available on Amazon.
Noise. The bike is quiet due to the belt drive being almost silent. The noise that is going to be heard from the bike is the resistance pad rubbing on the flywheel. This isn’t going to be that loud and it is unlikely that it will disturb anyone else in the house even if you’re riding late at night or early in the morning while others sleeping.
Handlebars. They have been dipped in a polyurethane coating to provide a more comfortable grip that prevents blisters and hands from slipping when they are wet from sweat. It isn’t padding so they won’t take much leaning on.
They have been designed to accommodate the standard hand positions for spinning – at the center, shoulder width and at the ends when more leverage is needed. The centre bars are long enough to be used as aero bars for use in that position. They are bent which makes the position more comfortable but they aren’t padded and don’t have elbow pads.
The Inspire Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle has a footprint of 22 by 46 ins, so doesn’t require too much space when not in use and could fit under the stairs or in a large cupboard or against a wall out of the way.
It’s a reasonable looking bike and with the paint and plastic/rubber guards it should stay that way for many years.
It is a heavy bike, weighing a total of 155 lbs. Fortunately for moving the bike it has 2 transport wheels for moving it between locations. They are at the front that work well on even hard surfaces. You tip the bike up onto them. They should be fine on carpet as they are exposed preventing them getting jammed up with all but the deepest pile.
They do hold most of the weight of the bike leaving you to navigate the bike but it is advised that there is 2 of you to be safe to avoid any overbalancing that may cause damage to the bike or yourself.
The bike comes partially assembled with you needing to complete the process. Most of the bike is already together including the frame, drive and crank so it isn’t too big of a job.
You’re are required to add the pedals, stabilizer bars, handlebars, seat, adjustment poles, console and water bottle holder. Everything should fit together as it is made from quality components.
The tools needed to complete the job are included. Most people area able to complete this type of assembly within an hour – it is much easier than putting together kitset furniture. The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
The hardest part of the task is likely to be handling the weight of the bike as it weigh 145lbs. It is probably a good idea to have two of you for moving it around when it is in its’ packaging and when putting on the stabilizer bars.
The console that sits at the front of the bike at the end of the inner bar in a good easy position to see while you workout.
The console reports on RPM, calories, speed, distance, time, clock and heart rate when wearing a heart rate strap (included). Speed and distance can be in miles or kilometers.
It provides you with information to monitor your workout but it doesn’t have any pre-set workouts or graphical display.
The RPM are displayed at the top of the console. The heart rate and calories are in the middle.
At the bottom you see speed, distance, time and clock but only one displays at a time and to cycle through them you have to push the left button
The button on the right is for setting your weight and whether to display kms or miles.
The display is 5 by 3 inches which is enough to see while you ride. It isn’t backlit so you do need it to be in good lighting to see it properly.
If you need to get off the bike the display will stay on for 2 minutes before turning off – so you can only take a quick break if you want the console to continue from where you left off.
It is great to see that the heart rate strap is included, most bikes don’t and expect you to pay extra for that. You can see it but it doesn’t include heart rate zones or allow you to set zones.
It is not possible to upload or store your workout result so if you want to track progress or record workouts this has to be done manually on a spreadsheet or journal.
The dimensions and weights of the bike are:
Height 53 ins
Width 22 ins
Length 46 ins
Bike Weight 155 lbs
Flywheel Weight 45 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
There are dual water bottle holders in the handlebars for easy access while you workout. You can quickly grab the water bottle and return it to the holder as they slip in and out easily- no need to slow or stop to get it out or back in the holder.
But that is it as regards to accessories- there is nowhere to plug in your mp3 player or place your tablet.
The instructions included are good for assembling the bike but there is little in the way of how to set up the bike or usage. Which is fine if you are an experienced spin bike rider or someone in the house is.
But if you are a beginner the option you’ve got is to go online to watch online videos and read articles. The good news is there is a lot of good ones that can help you get started.
You can find loads of workouts online too, you’ll need to get them up on your computer or TV and have your bike located so you can see them.
This lack of accessories isn’t unusual and the ones that do have more do charge extra.
- Provides a good solid base for workouts
- The ride is smooth and feels natural and compare favorably with gym bikes
- Includes a console for monitoring your workout
- Includes heart rate strap that works with console to monitor your heart rate
- Gel covered seat for added comfort and can be replaced
- Easy to assemble within an hour
- Fully adjustable to fit people between the heights of 5 ft and 6 ft – allowing more than one person to use
- 10 year warranty on the frame, 3 years on parts, 1 year labor
- You can’t upload workout data to a fitness account
- There are no resistance levels marked
- Standard bike pedals don’t fit specialist shoes but they can be changed
- No pre-set workouts
- No instructions included for beginners
- There is nowhere to put your mp3 player or tablet
- Narrow range of adjustment of sizes makes bike not suitable for people below 5ft and over 6 ft
Inspire Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle Consumer Ratings
When writing this review I couldn’t find any customer reviews for the bike.
I did check reviews on other products made by Inspire Fitness.
There isn’t that many to look at but they are positive.
It seems they supply good products and their customers are happy with them too.
Inspire Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle Price
There are some good bikes priced around the same as this bike with similar features.
This one does look like it is match for them too.
This is a good bike for those want to take their spinning and training seriously. It has a heavy flywheel and steel frame that provide a solid basis for intense workouts.
It can be used by beginners too and those who want to exercise moderately. It doesn’t have any instructions or training.
It has a basic console for keeping your training on track. One thing that does set it apart from other spin bikes is that it includes a heart rate strap which is great to see. It makes training in your heart rate zone much easier when you can see it in front of you. It can be quickly adjusted to fit a range of sizes between the heights of 5ft and 6ft.
It is a quiet bike with a relatively small footprint making it a good choice for the home. It well made so should be with you for years standing up and providing a good base for the challenges of intense workouts.