Bowflex C6 & Schwinn IC4 vs. Echelon EX3 & EX5 Connect Bikes: Which is the Best for You?

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Do you desire the chance to experience many different cycling apps without being locked into a bike-specific option, or do you prefer more of a one-stop-shop kind of experience? Whichever your preference, we have a bike for you.

BOWFLEX C6 & SCHWINN IC4 VS. ECHELON EX3 & EX5 CONNECT BIKES

Comparison of C6/IC4, EX3 & EX5

The Nautilus’s Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are two fantastic and affordable models. With their sleek designs and commercial-grade construction, these cycles offer a superior riding encounter at a reasonable price. With 100 levels of resistance, riders of all fitness levels are guaranteed to experience a challenging workout. In addition, only a few minuscule differences between these two cycles exist. To learn more about how these bikes differ, visit our in-depth article.

The EX3 and EX5, created by Echelon, provide a heart-pounding experience when paired with the Echelon Fit app. Scenic, live, and on-demand rides are available in addition to a collection of other formats. With a 180-degree swiveling device holder, riders can easily experience app workouts on and off the bike. These models do not include a console, so a tablet or phone is required to monitor stats. The EX3 and EX5 are remarkably similar except for the Aero ergonomically designed handlebars of the EX5 that allow them to move both front and back. The front and back handlebar adjustability is not a feature offered by the EX3. 

Bowflex C6 & Schwinn IC4
Echelon EX3
Echelon EX5
Resistance Type/Levels
Magnetic / 100 Levels
Magnetic / 32 Levels
Magnetic / 32 Levels
Metrics Available Without Subscription
Yes
No
No
Flywheel Placement / Weight
Front / 40 lbs.
Rear / 28 lbs.
Rear / 28 lbs.
Max User Weight
330 lbs.
300 lbs.
300 lbs.
User Height Range
4’6” – 6’6”
4’11” – 6’4”
4’11” – 6’4”
Bluetooth Armband Included
Yes
No
No
Touchscreen 
No
No
No
LCD Metrics Console
Yes
No
No
Bike Specific App
Yes
Yes
Yes
Comparison Table for C6, IC4, EX3 & EX5

Detailed Reviews

Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4

Nautilus continues to improve its Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 to make them one of the best bikes on the market. Recently, Bowflex’s JRNY app became available with these models through the use of a tablet or phone. JRNY is more than a place where you can take invigorating classes and view scenic rides, but now you can enjoy your favorite streaming services, including Disney+, HULU, Netflix, and Prime Video. Not purchasing the JRNY app has no impact on the bike’s functionality. Additional fitness applications can integrate with these models, including apps such as Peloton and Zwift.

Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Affordably priced at under $1,000
  • Includes 6-month JRNY app free trial
  • App integrations with Peloton, Zwift, and more
  • Membership is not required to enjoy bike functionality
  • Well-constructed
  • Superb customer service
  • Dual pedals included
  • Comfortable saddle
  • Warranty-10-year frame, 3-year parts/electronics, 1-year labor
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Tablet or iPad not included in price
  • Front hand weight location causes weights to fall out if riding vigorously out of the saddle

Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 Bike Specs

  • User height range: 4′ 6″- 6’6″
  • Height: 51.8″
  • Width: 21.2″
  • Length: 48.7″
  • Item weight: 106 pounds
  • User weight maximum: 330 pounds
  • 100 levels magnetic resistance

Echelon EX3

The Echelon EX3 is affordable, with an initial purchase price of $799. This 4.5 out of 5 rated cycle is commended for its sleek and sturdy design. In addition, the Echelon Fit app provides riders with a plethora of formats and duration options to keep workouts exciting and versatile, whether you are taking a cycling class or enjoying other off-the-bike classes such as yoga.

Echelon EX3 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Echelon Fit App offers live and on-demand classes
  • Bluetooth capability
  • More affordable
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Resistance level only displays with Echelon Fit App Membership
  • Monthly membership of $39.99 required to access Echelon content
  • No Bluetooth heart rate monitor included
  • Handlebars only move up and down
  • Lighter flywheel
  • Tablet not included
  • Only 12-month warranty

Echelon EX3 Bike Specs

  • User height range: 4’ 11″- 6’4″
  • Height: 54.33″
  • Width: 19.88″
  • Length: 54.92″
  • Item weight: 103 pounds
  • User weight maximum: 300 pounds
  • 32 levels magnetic resistance

Echelon EX5 

The EX5 includes the vast majority of features as discussed above in the EX3. This model is available for $999.99 and also received a 4.5 out of 5 consumer rating. This upgraded model includes greater versatility in securing the ideal riding form. Since this model boasts that it accommodates riders beginning at 4’11”, it is imperative that the handlebars have four-way adjustability, which this model does. The upgraded Aero ergonomically designed handlebars and larger cushioned seat help make this cycle more comfortable than other bikes on the market. This model does include a tablet holder that can swivel up to 180 degrees. 

Echelon EX5 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Live and on-demand classes through the Fit app
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Handlebars include four-way adjustability
  • Aero ergonomically designed handlebars
  • Easy to assemble
  • 32-levels of magnetic resistance

Cons

  • Monthly $39.99 Echelon Fit App Membership required for resistance to display and to access Echelon content
  • Heart-rate monitor not included
  • Lighter flywheel
  • Only 12-month warranty

Echelon EX5 Bike Specs

  • User height range: 4’ 11″- 6’4″
  • Height: 52.36″
  • Width: 19.88″
  • Length: 54.92″
  • Item weight: 112 pounds
  • User weight maximum: 300 pounds
  • 32 levels magnetic resistance

Which bike is for me?

The Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are for riders that don’t want to be required to purchase an additional membership to enjoy all bike features. Furthermore, excellent app integration allows purchasers the freedom to select which app they’re passionate about using. 

*The Bowflex C6 is the model that I ended up purchasing, and I couldn’t be happier. I can ride while my family is asleep since this bike is whisper quiet. I also want to note that the customer service team is exceptional. 

The Echelon models are for riders who desire an extensive class library at their disposal and the availability of live classes all within the Echelon family. For those riders that are shorter in stature, the EX5 is a better option than the EX3 since the Competition Aero handlebar system allows the handlebars to move forward and backward.

Unique Alternatives

Take a glance below at three other bikes on the market that we feel all offer something a little different than their competitors. 

Bowflex VeloCore Bike

Get ready to take your workout to the next level with the Bowflex VeloCore, allowing riders to click out of static mode and experience Lean Mode easily. In addition, riders better engage their core and upper body during Lean Mode as the bike can sway from side to side as if they were hugging those turns on the winding road. 

Whether you enjoy watching Netflix or Hulu, the Bowflex VeloCore can make it happen with its JRNY app on the built-in console while enjoying an incredible indoor cycling session.

MYX 2 Bike

The power of the whole Beachbody experience is now available with the recent introduction of the MYX 2 Bike. Riders can instantly enjoy live and on-demand fitness and cooking classes through two excellent platforms, including BODi (Beachbody On Demand Interactive) and Openfit. These platforms do require memberships. One of the most exciting features of this new bike includes the ability for users to be seen and receive real-time shout-outs and form corrections from instructors using the new BODcast technology. This is all possible due to a built-in camera in the monitor.

Peloton 

Strive to be at the top of the class with Peloton’s Leaderboard, a feature that can’t be found anywhere else. This empowering community of over 5.4 million members offers thousands of live and on-demand classes with all of your favorite hits. Besides cycling, members can enjoy other class formats, including strength, yoga, cardio, meditation, running, outdoor (audio workouts), stretching, tread and bike Bootcamp, and walking. Although a digital app is available, the leaderboard can only be enjoyed using the Peloton bike and monthly membership.

Bottomline

The Nautilus and Echelon models we examined are comparable in price and quality. However, in our opinion, Bowflex and Schwinn offer users more. The most significant point we want to convey is the flexibility of the riding experience that the C6 and IC4 offer. Without sacrificing functionality, riders of these models can indeed find which cycling application, if any, they want to enjoy and at a price point they decide. 

Katie Pierson

Katie is the creator of MT Girl Fitness and has been a certified fitness professional for almost twenty years. She currently holds ten different fitness certifications, including Group Fitness, Spinning Elite, Rockstar Spinning, and Personal Training. Fitness is her passion, and she loves seeing her clients reach goals they never imagined.