The Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling bike comes with a feature you don’t normally see at such a price. Does it live up to the promise of comfort, performance and feedback? Our review checks it all out.
As well as the normal features you’d expect from a spin bike – different levels of resistance, adjustable seat and handlebars etc, that give you a low impact workout with different levels of intensity you also get a console to monitor your performance.
And of course there is the seat that is like just about every other spin bike in that it is not comfortable when you first sit on it. I’ve yet to come across a bike that does have a comfortable seat! But of course that’s no reason not to get the bike. You can change it if you can’t get used to it.
With this bike you can stay out of the bad weather and get your cycling training done or get a spinning workout without going to the gym at anytime you want to do it – even in the middle of the night.
The frame is made from steel helping to keep the bike steady while you are working out. The seat and handlebars are secured in tight when assembled so there is no wobble from them when you are cycling.
If you have an uneven floor, the bike comes with adjustable levelling feet at the rear to counteract this so you won’t experience any rocking.
The manual recommends you do standard maintenance checks to make sure the bike is in good order. These don’t take much time at all and are what is standard for any spin bike. It seems the bike will give many years of service and can take the punishment of high intensity workouts if you look after it.
The 31 lb flywheel offers a smooth ride, although this is at the lower end of what you would expect for a flywheel to provide you with a natural feeling ride. There is none of the choppiness or changes in speed you get with flywheels below this weight. Users have reported they are happy with the feel and the quality of the ride. However, I feel when pushing really hard and standing up you may notice a bit of variation in speed of the wheel that you wouldn’t with a heavier flywheel.
Under 30 lbs weight the flywheel starts to slow as your pedaling transitions between down stokes. With your feet at the top and bottom of the pedalling cycle most people don’t maintain the level of pushing they do on the down pedal. A heavier flywheel (over 30 lbs) helps to maintain the momentum you’ve achieved and you don’t get the unnatural feel you get with the bike feeling like it keeps slowing down which can be offputting and makes it difficult to maintain your rhythm and intensity. The advantages of a ligher flywheel is that you get to your desired pedalling speed with less effort than a heavier one for any give resistance, the bike is lighter overall and wil lbe less expensive – the offset is the unnatural feel you get with flywheels below 30 lbs – it doesn’t have the same feel as riding a bike due to fluctuations in speed and therfore it can affect your workout quality.
When transitioning from seated to standing the bike does not wobble from side to side making for a safe secure workout whatever the intensity.
The handlebars can be adjusted up and down using the adjustment bar to get them into the right position for cycling. They can’t be moved horizontally. However, the seat can be adjusted forward and backwards as well as up and down to allow for different heights.
The bike seems to accommodate a range of heights with people from 6 ft 5 inches to 4 ft 9 inches report they have been able to set the bike to ride it without being uncomfortable. For heights below 4 ft 9 inches it would mean that they are stretching for the pedal at the bottom of the stroke and also stretching for the handlebars making it possible for them to strain too much and possibly injure themselves.
Making the size adjustments is quick and simple – by turning the knobs and sliding the posts to the correct position making it suitable for many people to use the one bike.
Resistance is provided by a wool felt pad on the top of the flywheel. To increase or decrease the resistance you turn the knob as you do with the ones you find in gyms. You don’t have to turn it too much for the resistance to become very hard, so it can take a little getting used to but it is incremental. It does not go from no resistance to impossible to pedal and nothing in between, it just needs small turns.
The single wool felt pad gives good consistent resistance so there is no variations while riding. The resistance is caused by friction so the pads will wear down and need to be replaced periodically. The only place I can see that they can be sourced is from Schwinn itself.
To stop the wheel quickly rather than letting it come to a stop naturally you press down on the resistance knob and it acts like a brake.
The resistance is a continuous adjustment. Therefore there are no levels or settings that you can use to mark how much resistance you had for a particular workout. This can make it difficult to set the bike back to a previous a workout setting if the resistance has been adjusted in between workouts – you can only do this by feel. This is similar to what you would experience at the gym and is a common problem with this type of resistance.
The Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike uses a chain drive like you find on an outdoor bike. It requires the same sort of maintenance that you would do for those bikes – it is going to need lubricating with bike chain oil every month or 20 hours of riding. The chain may also need tightening or loosening as it beds in over time.
Although there is more ongoing maintenance than with a belt-type drive it can always be adjusted unlike when a belt drive loosens and needs changing. The chain is a bit noisier than a belt-drive and has a level of noise around the same as you get from a standard outdoor bike.
The chain has a guard around it which helps to keep it quiet and prevent you from getting oil on your clothes or banging the chain with your ankles.
You can’t coast with these bikes meaning that pedals will continue turning until the flywheel comes to a stop. Before dismounting the bike pedals should not be turning and you can stop this with the brake quickly if you need to get off in a hurry.
The pedals are toe cups with an adjustable strap. The sizing of cups and strap should fit most shoe sizes but won’t accommodate spinning shoes. If you want clip-on pedals or SPD you are going to have to change the pedals.
Although the company site says, in response to a question, they are not interchangeable many users have successfully changed the pedals with standard bike pedals.
The crank shafts and pedals are strong enough to be used for standing up and pushing hard against the resistance.
The company says that the q-factor is inspired by outdoor cycling which means, I think, that it will be similar to that found on standard bikes (I’ve asked the company for the measurements) so should make riding this bike seem more like an outdoor bike. The q-factor is the distance between the crank shafts. The shorter the distance, as a general rule, the more natural it feels and the less stress is put on your legs.
Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike Comfort
The seat is described as being an oversized padded saddle and it seems that, in spite of that, many people still find it uncomfortable. Which is par for the course for bike seats. It seems to be a universal rule that the seat provided with indoor bikes will not be liked by most people. A lot of this comes down to the fact that it is down to the individual as to what is comfortable on the sit-bones. Most people change the seat or persevere until they get used to it. It can be changed for any stand fitting bike seat.
It is a good idea to put your bike on a rubber mat to protect your carpets and floors as the bike is going to give off dust and drop lubricant from time as a result of being used and maintained.
It doesn’t make too much noise. You’ll hear the chain noise (as with any bike) and a quiet shushing sound from the resistance pad. It is going to be louder than a belt drive bike but you’ll still be able to hold a conversation and hear the TV without turning the volume up. Anything louder than this and you may need to look at lubricating the brake pad or chain.
It is quiet enough that you can probably ride this bike when your kids are asleep without waking them up at night or if you have very young kids you should be able to squeeze in a workout while they are napping and not disturb them. Also, it is unlikely the noise is going to disturb the neighbors when you are cycling if you are in an apartment.
The handlebars are designed so you can hold them in the different positions depending on the intensity of your workout. You can hold the end of the handlebars or at shoulder width when you are climbing the hills or rest your hands in the middle when you are taking it a little easier.
The bike has a foot print of 45 inches by 23 inches so doesn’t take up that much room. It can be easily stored in a corner out of the way or in a cupboard until you want to use it again.
To move the bike there are 2 transport wheels at the front that make it easy to wheel around to where you want to use it for a workout or to store it. It is easy to tip the bike forward on to the wheels by using the handlebars despite the bike weighing 83 lbs because of where most of the weight is centered.
Assembly is straightforward and the box includes good instructions to follow. It can normally be completed in 30 to 60 minutes. There are 11 pieces that need to be put together and the tools required to do it are included. In addition you may need scissors and/or a sharp knife to get the pieces out of the packaging.
It is recommended that 2 people put the bike together. This is mainly due to the weight of the bike which can make it difficult to handle for one person. The packing weight is 96 lbs and when fully assembled the bike weighs 83 lbs.
The bike comes with a simple computer with an LCD display that attaches to the handlebars. It is powered by 2 AA batteries that are included.
It measures RPM, calories burned, time, distance and speed. It cycles between each of these measurements every 5 seconds and this can’t be changed so you need to wait for it to cycle round if you are checking one particular statistic while riding. The numbers are easy enough to read in good light but it can be difficult to know which statistic you are reading. The display could do with backlight to make this easier to see.
The distance and speed can be set to either miles or kilometres. To start the computer you can press the start button or begin pedalling. The console turns off after 5 minutes of no activity or you can turn it off or restart it by pushing the start button.
If you cycle at less than 5 rpm for 3 seconds – you then can read all the measurements – Time, Calories, Total Distance, Average Speed and Average RPM. When you start pedalling again the workout measurements will continue.
The computer does not store your previous workout numbers nor can you upload these to your PC or online. If there are any you want to keep they need to be recorded manually in your workout journal or on a spreadsheet.
The calories number is only an estimate based on the distance travelled and speed so it doesn’t take into account the user’s weight etc.
The computer is basic but it is good to see it on here as you usually only find them on much more expensive models.
The dimensions and weight are:
Width – 23 inches
Height – 49 inches
Depth (Length) – 45 inches
Flywheel weight – 31 lbs
Pedal Thread size – fits standard bike pedals
Q Factor – outdoor cycling inspired
Weight 83 lbs (Gross weight with packaging 96 lbs)
Maximum User Weight – 250 lbs
You can store your water bottle at the front of the bike by placing it in the holder on the handlebars which means leaning forward and reaching over the console. Alternatively this can be used as a MP3 holder, but you won’t have anywhere to put your water bottle on the bike. If you want both you could use a table to put you water bottle on next to the bike.
- Easy to assemble in 30 to 60 minutes
- Comes with a basic console for keeping track of your workout
- Has a water bottle holder
- Easy to move around and store out of the way
- Quiet so you won’t disturb others in your house and you can watch TV without turning it up
- 5 year manufacturer’s warranty on the frame, 1 year on parts and electronic and 3 months wear parts
- 1 bike can be used by more than one person due to the easy adjustable height settings and caters for heights between 4 ft 9 inches and 6 ft 5 inches
- Bike is low maintenance on a day to day basis with the resistance pad needing to be changed periodically
- The console does not store previous workout sessions nor does it work with any internet fitness accounts
- Only comes with toe cup and strap pedals, if you want clip-less pedals they need to be changed which should be straightforward
- Lighter flywheel at 31 lbs may make higher intensity workouts feel a little unnatural
- Handlebars cannot be moved horizontally to make the bike more comfortable for shorter users
- There is nowhere to put your MP3 player if you want to use the console or water bottle holder for what they were intended
- The continuous resistance means that you don’t have levels of resistance marked to help you quickly get to the resistance you used on previous rides
- The seat is uncomfortable but can be changed easily with a seat for a standard bike
Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike Consumer Ratings
Looking through reviews for this and the previous model they have been, on the whole, positive.
Most like the console even with its limits as you don’t normally find a console on bikes in this price range.
They say the riding experience is smooth and quiet with very little choppiness and you can get a great workout.
The seat is the one negative that comes through about the bike itself and this is easily changed and a bike’s seat comfort is a personal thing anyway.
Also many people would prefer different pedals so they can use their bike shoes.
Other than that there are some concerns about the packaging but that is to do with delivery/packaging rather than the bike itself.
Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike Price
As noted in customer reviews you don’t get a console with a spin bike at this price. You normally have to pay much more to have a computer integrated with a bike. In addition it delivers good value and gives a good, stable ride.
It was discounted from the list price on Amazon and when I checked it was a very good price but this can vary.
The console of the bike, which is one of the selling points, is a little limited but you can use it to get details on your workout and with a spreadsheet or journal you can track your performance over time.
The seat is not comfortable and bike pedals only have toe cups and strap. These are items you are likely to want to change if you are going to spend a lot of time on the bike. They can be replaced with items that fit a standard bike.
It does provide a good stable ride where you can get a good workout in your own home with a 31 lb flywheel. It caters for a variety of different heights by adjusting the seat and handlebars. This can be done quickly and easily so it can be conveniently used by more than one person.
It should last a number of years without having to do to anything other than a small amount of routine maintenance on the bike.
Although the flywheel is on the lighter end of an acceptable weight for these types of bikes you still get a good smooth ride with variable resistance to give you a workout that is as intense as you want it.