The Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike is a bike that comes with a lot of features and flexibility.
It has magnetic resistance, belt drive, fully adjustable seat and handlebars, LCD display console, dual pedals and Bluetooth connectivity.
This can allow the user to get the workout they want and they are not tied into one type or source of workout class and not worry about being forced to upgrade their bike.
It is a mid priced bike but the features included are often only available with more expensive bikes.
The bike promises a lot.
Schwinn says it connects to Peloton and Zwift as well as a number of other Apps.
Schwinn does have a good reputation.
It looks good too. It has a lot going for it but does it live up to the promise?
The bike has a steel frame and stabilizers to give a good solid base for your workouts, in and out of the saddle. There should be no rocking or wobbling of the seat and handlebars.
If the floor you are using is slightly uneven there are levelers in the end caps on the stabilizers bars. By turning these you can balance out the bike to stop the possibility of rocking.
It has good length of warranty with 10 years on frame, mechanical and electrical 3 years and 1 year on labor. Schwinn seem to try hard to keep their customers happy and sort any issues that arise although they can be a bit slow at responding sometimes.
Most customers say they have got a bike that will be durable and reliable to meet their needs for a good number of years.
It has fairly low maintenance requirements and these are explained in the manual, it includes cleaning and checking the nuts and bolts are properly tight along with a check of the belt tightness (easy to do and only includes pedaling).
The bike has 4 way adjustment for the seat and handlebars. This means you can adjust the height and horizontal position of them both.
The seat height is adjusted using the adjustable knob on it’s support post. You loosen if and pull to release the pop-pin and slide into position, align the pre-set hole, insert the pin and tighten into place. Once tightened in place there should be no slippage.
The backwards/forwards of the seat and handlebars and height of handlebars work in a similar way but you can adjust to the position you want and tighten in place.
These adjustments allow you to get the most comfortable and most effective fit for your workout.
The adjustments to the vertical and horizontal sizing can done quickly and easily.
It can fit people between 4ft 6 ins and 6ft 6 ins allowing it be used by a number of people in a household to get their cardio exercise. The adjusting won’t be a barrier to getting on the bike. You can use a permanent marker on the posts to mark your fit once you’ve sized the bike for you to make it quicker.
When adjusting the handlebars the water bottle holders can get in the way when tightening and loosening the handles but you can pull the handle to change the angle of the lever and then continue tightening or loosening – there’s no need to leave loose or take off parts or leave in the wrong position as some customers have mentioned in their reviews.
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike Resistance
The resistance is provided magnets that are positioned close to the flywheel below the guard at front of the bike. The amount of resistance is controlled using the tension knob near the top of the cross frame. When turned to the right it increases the amount of resistance by moving the magnets closer to the flywheel and to reduce you turn it left and moves the magnets away.
The magnets don’t ever touch the flywheel allowing it to be very quiet and low maintenance as there is nothing touching.
The level that you’ve set the resistance at is reported on the console from 1 to 100. At 1 you shouldn’t feel any resistance at all. It increases/decreases incrementally as you turn the tension knob.
For most people the top of the range should give them more than enough tension to be as tough as they want. However, the most hardened may find it a little softer than they want but if they contact Schwinn they may be able to re-calibrate this so it meets their demands.
The guard protects the magnets and flywheel from the corroding effects of sweat that may drop in what is a sweat zone at the front of the bike in particular when people are up out of the saddle.
The bike uses a belt to connect the pedals with the 40 lbs flywheel. The belt and flywheel provide a consistent and quiet workout experience. The 40 lbs flywheel prevents the pedals from slowing down noticeably at the top/bottom of the pedal cycle to prevent an up/down pedaling motion which can add impact on the joints especailly when out of the seat.
It has a fixed gear arrangement which means that when the flywheel is turning so are the pedals. You can’t coast or freewheel. Also, when wanting to get off you need to wait for the pedals to stop (using gentle pressure on pedals to slow) if you don’t want to whacked in the back of legs by the pedals.
If you want to get off quickly you can push the tension knob down hard for it to work as a brake to stop the pedals/flywheel from turning.
The drive is low maintenance and should not require adjusting as you would with a chain. It does loosen over a longer period of time and can start to slip. There are simple adjustments that can be done to tighten it up as needed.
The drive is encased in a guard which helps to protect it from dirt and sweat but also protects children and pets from being hurt when being used.
The flywheel doesn’t have this cover and it is advised to have an area of 2 feet clear of the bike (as with all indoor cycles) to help if you need to get off quickly but also so people don’t get to close when moving past when being used.
The pedals cater for athletic shoes and specialist SPD clips. They are double sided with toe cages on one side and clips on the other.
This can be good if you are just starting out or you are sharing the bike with others and some don’t have cycling shoes. Both sides can give you a good grip on the pedals for pushing and pulling. You are unlikely to slip of the pedals.
Being clipped in to the pedals gives a firmer connection to the bike and a more effective pedaling stroke. But you don’t have to have them to gwt a good cardio workout.
The toe cages have straps so they can fit a range of shoe sizes and can be tightened to get the most secure grip on the pedals. Your feet will stay in place and not move around.
Cleats are included with bike to use with the pedals. They fit shoes that are designed to work with Standard 2-Hole MTB SPD Cleat Mounts.
According to Schwinn the Q factor and crank length are about 8 inches. If you are road cyclist you may find this feels wide.
The Q factor measures the distance between the inside of the pedals horizontally. It helps in understanding the alignment of the legs. A narrower one can be better but it does depend on hip width. Having said that most find the bike to be comfortable and don’t mention any issues with leg alignment or injuries.
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike Comfort
Seat If you are a hardened cyclist you will probably find the racing style seat fine on your sit bones. For anyone else, especially if you are a beginner you are likely to find that it gets painful after a short period of time. You may find after a couple of weeks the numbness and soreness when sitting on the bike is no longer an issue.
But this is not always going to be the case. Uncomfortable seats for indoor bikes is a common problem. Although, Schwinn appear to have put some extra effort into designing a seat to be as tough as possible on people sit bones.
Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer that way for your exercise. To alleviate the issue you can try padded cycle shorts and/or a gel seat cover. These do sort the issue for most people. If not, you can replace the seat with a more comfortable bike seat. The bike will fit most standard bike fitting seats. Fitting a new seat is similar to fitting a seat to a road bike.
Handlebars The handlebars are dipped and oversized to provide a better grip and comfort especially when hands are wet they won’t slip or have blisters form. When standing out of the seat the end of the handlebars are shaped and flattened to provide an easier and more secure grip. The shape of the handlebars allows for multitude of hand positions to match effort and class positions. The angle of them can’t be altered.
NoiseThis is a very quiet bike. The only sound you’ll likely hear, if you haven’t got music playing or using an App etc, is your breathing when working hard. No-one should hear you if they are in another room at anytime of the day or night and you may be able to workout in the same room as someone sleeping depending on how light they sleep.
You can therefore workout when you want even during the night or early in the morning or when you have the time in your schedule and won’t annoy or wake anyone even little children.
If you live in an apartment you won’t disturb the neighbors they won’t even realise you are working out unless you have a workout video or App playing loud. If you are upstairs you may want to put the bike on a mat to prevent any possible vibration being transmitted through the floor.
Dirt and CleaningYou shouldn’t find any dust coming from the bike so the bike itself won’t add too much to your chores. It is best to wipe it down on a regular basis to keep it in the best shape. If you are like me when working out hard you may find you sweat a lot and have it dripping on to the bike and floor. This should be wiped off the bike to prevent it corroding the bike. To protect your floor from any movement or anything dropping an exercise mat is a good idea.
When not in use it needs an area of 48.7 ins by 21.2 ins to be stored in. There are 2 wheels on the front stabilizer bar the bike can be tipped on to help with moving the bike. It weighs 106 lbs, so those wheels come in handy.
The weight is supported on these wheels leaving you to navigate the bike to where you want to move it to for exercising or storing out the way. You do need to be careful if you are moving round doors and furniture so as not knock anything especially when going round corners.
It can be moved by 1 person but 2 will make it easier to navigate and remove any threat of overbalancing. The wheels are spaced apart to reduce risk of toppling.
The wheels work best on hard surfaces and on plush carpet you may find they jam up. Also, on a wood floor you may want to check they don’t scratch or leave a dent in it first.
The bike comes partly assembled with the drive and frame already put together. You need to install the stabilizer bars, pedals, support posts, seat and slider, handlebars, water bottle holder, dumbbell holder, media tray and the console.
The assembly process takes about an hour. A good portion of that will be unpacking and unwrapping the bike parts. They are well packaged.
The shipping weight of the bike is 120 lbs and the hardest part may be moving it to where you want to assemble it. It is recommended that 2 people put it together, although one person can manage it.
The instructions aren’t as clear as they could be but with just a little bit of study of the diagrams there shouldn’t be any major issues.
The only real thing to look out for is when installing the pedals. This is the same problem with all exercise bikes. The left pedal is screwed counter clockwise (left tighty not left loosey) -it prevents it coming loose when riding. The right is screwed on as normal (righty-tighty). The pedals and cranks are well marked to show you which one is which.
Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike Console
The console has a backlit LCD crystal which is easy to read and can be read in dim light. The only measure that may be difficult to read is the RPM bar at the top of the display.
The console is powered by plugging in the adapter to the wall and attaches to the bike at the bottom of the front support. If you don’t plug in the bike you can still use it just the same but you won’t see any of your numbers and it won’t work with Apps.
As well as tracking RPM it displays time, speed, calories, distance, resistance level and pulse (when armband is connected).
Working down the screen from top to bottom:
RPM If you are wanting to use the console to measure RPM and not an App you may become a little frustrated. For some reason Schwinn have decided to show this as a bar at the top of display. It lights up across the bar as you go pedal faster but does leave it open to interpretation as how fast your turning over your feet – the bands of light cover about 5 RPMS and this part of the display isn’t the best to see.
Time Measures length of workout up to a maximum of 99 mins 59 seconds. You can also set the time you want your workout to last and it will countdown
Calories Measures estimated calories burned up to a maximum of 9999. Again you can set a target and it counts down and sound an alert when it reaches to 0.
Speed displays a calculated speed of rider
Distance shows the calculated distance in workout. The default is kilometers but this can be changed to miles using the up/down buttons below the console. The maximin distance is 9999.9. You can set a target where it again countdown to zero and alerts you when reached.
Level This displays resistance between 1% and 100% with the level controlled by the resistance knob. It increases/decreases in 1% increments. You can turn it to greater than 100% but this shouldn’t be used when using the bike but only for storing.
Bluetooth Icon is displayed when connected to App
Pulse displays heart rate when heart rate strap is connected with range of 40 -240 bpm. A heart is displayed when a device connected.
Under the display are 5 buttons – bluetooth to connect to armband and other devices, a start/enter button – to start workout and enter targets, up/down buttons for changing to miles and to increase/decrease targets for measures and a reset button resets the console.
The monitor is turned on by pressing any button or by starting to pedal. To pause the workout stop pedaling for 2 seconds. The workout ends after being paused for 5 minutes or by pushing the reset button.
The console connects to variety of Apps with Bluetooth Smart BLE. Schwinn as of now states it connects to Peloton, Zwift, Explore the World, Stava, Suffefest, Rouvy, Fulgaz, Tacx, TrainerRoad, Under Armour Record, MyFitnessPal, Goodle Fit and Apple Health
Here is a quick update on the Peloton and Zwift two of the most popular Apps used with the bike.
Peloton The bike connects with Peloton Digital. You can see your resistance and cadence on the screen as you follow along to a class. You won’t be on the leader boards. Power is not shown on the App (it’s not on the montor)
Although both have 100 resistance levels they don’t match up exactly. You’ll need to come up with a conversion chart by following along to the instructor using cues such as – it’s like being on the flat, on a slight incline etc. to help with this. Also, there is an active facebook page that has help with this to.
Zwift It connects well with the App and it transmits power calculation which can be seen on the App.
However, there is an issue with it. It overstates the output by a very large margin, so you don’t have a fair measure. You can find yourself passing others too easily to move up the leaderboard and doesn’t give a real measure of your performance.
Schwinn are working on a fix to improve the data. They do appear to have one for existing bikes that went out with the faulty console and have replaced some. It does seem they are sorting the known and accepted issue.
It seems a big mistake to me to market it as compatible and then have this ongoing issue. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.
It is not a supported indoor bike by Zwift as of now.
At this time, if you are looking for a Zwift compatible indoor bike you are probably better looking at the Keiser M3i or Scwinn AC Performance Blue with MPower Echelon2 (resistance change is not controlled by the App) and they do cost considerably more.
If you are patient you may be rewarded.
Explore The World This is Schwinn’s App and is still being developed and doesn’t provide the experience of Apps like Peloton. It does sync with Strava.
The bike can only sync up with one App at a time to see your metrics in real time. In the video below they sync to Zwift for their numbers and then take a Peloton class. It can help if you are taking a Power Zone class as Zwift shows Power and also record your ride/metric in Zwift to share with other Apps.
The bike is not a smart trainer so the resistance level is not controled by the App nd needs to be changed manually.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are:
Height 51.2 ins
Width 21.2 ins
Length 48.7 ins
Bike Weight 106 lbs
Max User Weight 330 lbs
The bike comes with a number of extras as standard:
Dual water bottle holder These are situated just below the handlebars. This puts your water in an easy position to reach. They’re easy to take out and put back – there are no clips to fuss with. However, there is an issue with the positioning, if you have the handlebars moved towards you. You can find your knees hitting long bottles of water depending on the height you have handlebars. To sort the issue you’ll need shorter bottles that don’t extend over the holder. When you adjust the handlebars the dual holder moves with them.
Heart Rate Strap This is an arm band that fits on your forearm. It seems to provide an accurate heart rate when properly worn as described in the manual. It provides a good signal to the console or to the App you are using. It is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery (included).
It includes the wire for re-charging which can be plugged into the USB port in the bike to be charged.
Media Tray This is in a good position at the front of the bike. It has a tray and two hooks to keep tablets and ipads etc in place. If you have your device in a case you may find you have to remove it to fit your device in the holder. The bike doesn’t move around much so there shouldn’t be any issues with your tablet etc. falling from the bike.
Dumbbells and Holder There is a pair of 3lbs dumbbells included. The holders are at the front of the bike putting them in a convenient place to get them for when the class you are following wants you to exercise the arms. You’re not having to lean down to pick them off the floor or searching to find them from behind you as some bikes have them.
The inclusion of the holder and dumbbells is not something that comes standard with most exercise bikes.
USB Charging Port This is on the side of the console. It can be used for charging the heart rate arm band or any other device. It is a trickle charge so doesn’t really charge ipads and tablets when they are being used but should help them from running down while being used with your workout. When not being used they are slowly charged.
Cleats Included are 2 SPD cleats that can be fitted to SPD spinning shoes to clip in to the SPD compatible side of the pedal. The cleats are Standard 2-Hole MTB SPD Cleat Mounts.
- Bluetooth enabled and works with a good range of Apps including Zwift and Peloton and more
- Dumbbells and Holder included
- Heart rate arm band included
- Magnetic resistance with 100 levels measure on console
- Heart rate and RPM measured
- Transport wheels
- Very quiet bike
- Low maintenance
- Works well with Peloton
- Dual sided pedals
- Wide range of heights can use comfortably
- Tablet holder included
- Cleats included
- Resistance is manual and not controlled by Apps
- Uncomfortable seat
- RPM on console is measured using a bar rather than numbers
- Doesn’t properly connect to Zwift with reliable power numbers
- Console doesn’t measure power
There is a mixture of ratings for the bike.
The reviews say that it is a good well built bike and at good price for the quality and features included. They like how quiet it is. Although there has been an issue with damage on delivery as well as crank and pedals being problems however, Schwinn do work to resolve when made aware.
In one review it mentions the issue with Zwift and the accuracy of the power metrics.
There is concern with it overstating the numbers on the console and when connected to Zwift it overstates power.
The company does appear to working on an update to solve this known problem.
Customers like its connectivity to the range of different Apps to use and the Peloton Digital App in particular. It all helps to keep them motivated and persevere with exercising.
The Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike is considered to be the same as the Bowflex C6 and some users have confirmed this with Bowflex. The C6 indoor bike can be priced more than the IC4 and come with a mat.
It can be down 1/3rd the price of Peloton.
However, it is more than the Schwinn IC3 Indoor Bike and for that you get bluetooth to connect to Apps including Peloton, a heart rate armband, magnetic resistance with reported levels and dumbbells with holder extra.
When I checked on Amazon it qualified for free shipping.
You get a lot of versatility with the bike. It fits a wide range of heights, it can cater for beginners up to more serious exercisers.
For those who want to use spinning shoes and for those who don’t it has dual pedals.
It seems it is durable and robust and can take the punishment from high intensity workouts while also catering to moderate workouts too.
The bike connects to a number of Apps to provide a good variety in workout choice. It works well with Peloton Digital App. It works with Zwift but there are issues with accuracy of the Power number on the earlier versions of the console (these are being updated or replaced).
It is a versatile and flexible indoor cycling bike with good features to track and record workouts to help with motivation, maintaining and improving cardio fitness.
It seems it does live up to the promise (except for Zwift accuracy).