One of the best exercises to gain fitness and improve and maintain overall health is riding a bike.
Riding a bike has very little to no impact on the body, making them the perfect exercise that can be performed every day if done correctly.
Stationary bikes have been gaining popularity in recent years, and I’m sure many of us have given them a go while at the gym.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6.
Is The Schwinn IC4 The Same As The Bowflex C6?
Many of you may not know that the same parent company, Nautilus, actually manufactures both the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4. To the naked or untrained eye, the bikes look almost indistinguishable from one another.
The only real way to tell them apart is the branding and decals.
The Nautilus brand has tended to steer clear of the cycling industry, so when the new Bowflex C6 came to the market, it was a massive surprise to many in the industry.
These bikes include state of the art LCD screens, which are an excellent way to track your progress and maintain a workout diary.
Unfortunately, neither the Bowflex C6 nor the Schwinn IC4 comes with a built-in screen, although this is not really a deal-breaker as most people these days use their laptops or tablets to link to software programs like Zwift or Peloton.
The bike itself is well worth the wait, and as you’ll see, the Bowflex C6 comes jam-packed with high-tech features that actually help the rider and make a real difference to performance outcomes.
The Schwinn IC4 is an incredibly inexpensive bike that offers the user the experience of the higher-priced bikes without the need for blowing a big hole in your wallet.Schwinn is one of the most recognizable and well-known cycling manufacturers and delivers high-quality bikes with all the latest features.
The 40-pound magnetic drive resistance has 100 levels of “micro” resistant adjustments allowing any user to discover the resistant level that best suits them.
Bowflex C6 Review
What Are The Main Differences Between The Bowflex C6 And The Schwinn IC4
Both of them provide excellent and easily accessible USB ports, ensuring your device doesn’t run out of battery halfway through your workout. A convenient ledge and rack are also made available, so you can safely secure your device.
An outstanding feature is that both the BowflexC6 and the Schwinn IC4 are equipped with technology that allows for 100 micro-adjustments to be made. This allows the rider to find the exact resistance level they are looking for hence providing a practical and efficient workout.
Although the adjustments need to be made manually, it’s effortless to do, and safety is not an issue even while riding the bike.
Included with the bikes are heart-rate armband monitors that are Bluetooth compatible. These are excellent devices, especially for those who may not be reaching the higher limits of their heart rate and looking to track their progress.
The Bluetooth feature is by far the most important as it allows you to connect to phones, tablets, laptops, or smart TVs. Apps also require some sort of Bluetooth connection, so the feature is a standout.
One unique feature is that both bikes come with 3kg dumbbells secured on the bike’s side, making them easily accessible when riding. The dumbbells provide that added workout boost and provide a challenging full-body workout.
What Are The Main Similarities
The Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6 are very similar in many ways, and one thing they both have in common is they make excellent alternatives to the larger, heavier bikes commonly found in gyms.
Those bikes can cost thousands and thousands of dollars, putting a big fat hole right in your wallet.
Both bikes come with 100 magnetic resistance levels providing the rider the opportunity to find the perfect resistance level for them; this feature is excellent because it also means any family member can ride the bike regardless of age or fitness level.
The ride quality and feel are very smooth and smooth, and it’s precisely what you’d expect from a high-quality manufacturer. The handlebars are comfortable, and both the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 come equipped with an adjustable race-style saddle.
The Bowflex has a high-grade frame that comes with excellent ergonomics, extensive adjustability, and features a water bottle, toe clip pedals, and a holder for weights.
The fluid magnetic resistance is a primary feature and really makes riding the bike an enjoyable experience.
The IC4, as with the Bowflex C6, comes equipped with a heart rate monitor that can be strapped to your arm and connects directly to Bluetooth. Heart rate monitors are an excellent way to track the progress of your workouts.
Digital and Bluetooth connectivity make the bikes very adaptable to provide you with options to sync to your favorite apps. The LCD screens on both bikes are excellent for tracking the progress of your workout.
GirlBikeLove.com C6 & IC4 Survey
GirlBikeLove.com Blog is always trying to find the most critical and useful information for our users. That’s why, except for our own Bowflex C6 review, we asked 165 C6 & IC4 bike owners to share their feelings on these models.
You can see the whole survey and results here.
In short, we had the following results, based on the answers we got.
How happy are the owners with their bike?
We asked owners to rate their exercise bike satisfaction level on a scale from one to ten. On average, the satisfaction rate of the 165 respondents was 8.18 / 10, which is one of the highest we have seen in the indoor cycling category.
Most Loved Bike Features
It seems that connectivity, construction quality, and smoothness of the ride were the most loved attributes of the IC4 and C6 bikes. Other high-ranking features included the bike’s price point and how quiet the bike is when riding.
Some of our respondents made the following statements regarding connectivity capability:
- “I like that the bike is not tied to a specific streaming service…”
- “It feels really sturdy. You can more or less just jump on and jump off…”
- “I like the smooth motion of the flywheel when it’s operating smoothly.”
The bike is an excellent alternative option to Peloton or other streaming bikes available for sale. The primary reason to develop the Bowflex C6 was to create and build a bike proficient enough to link with the many available streaming devices.
The cycle does have one or two negatives, but overall it’s an excellent bike that should fit the needs of most people who purchase it.
When it comes to reviewing any product on the market, there are always several essential factors to consider, and even more so when it comes to reviewing bikes.
As I mentioned, though, the bike has some cons, although only minor and a few. The most significant factor to consider will be what device you’ll be using, along with the quality of Wifi you have in your home gym.
These devices are a must in modern-day indoor cycling, and without them, you miss out on the primary benefits the bike has to offer.
These are small problems to factor in because most people have access to modern devices and high-quality Wifi.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros:
Apps Or Workout Programs
The Bowflex C6 is explicitly designed to be compatible with streaming devices such as Peloton, Sufferefest, Zwift, and several others. The amount of options really does provide the user with a whole plethora of options when it comes to choice.
If you are new to these apps, most of them offer a free one week or one month trial period, making it ideal for those looking to find the app right for them.
Depending on the app, you’ll experience a different workout, with some taking you into virtual worlds where you can ride several various courses. In contrast, others link you to fellow competitors using the app and compiling a leader board.
The heart rate armband included is an excellent way to track data, and with the inclusion of Bluetooth, this monitor is extremely accurate when compared to the older handlebar grip type sensors.
When it comes down to the crunch, the Bowflex C6 is a well-built and designed bike that offers the latest high-tech features that actually help the rider enjoy the experience and perform better.
The bike is easy to adjust and comfortable to ride due to the ergonomic design. This makes it very easy for riders of all body types to find the correct riding position, which is absolutely critical as it helps prevent injuries such as knee strain and lower back pain.
The magnetic resistance allows for a smooth ride and offers over 100 resistance levels making it easy for riders to find the correct resistance allowing for effective workouts.
The LCD screen gives the rider data on time, speed, rpm, distance, calories, and resistance level.
One excellent feature is the pedals. On one side, they are designed with conventional style pedals allowing people to ride in sneakers, while the other side is fitted with SPD clips for riders who use cycling shoes.
The Bowflex C6 comes with a 10-year warranty, which is actually fantastic when compared to some other models that only offer a 1-year warranty.
You can purchase a more extended warranty, but I suspect that the bike is so well made and durable that the short term warranty is sufficient.
The Schwinn IC4 comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to link to several apps such as Peloton and Zwift.
The opportunity to experience some of the world’s best cycling apps on a durable and inexpensive bike makes the Schwinn IC4 an excellent option for newcomers to the market.
The Schwinn IC4 is ideal for beginners yet at the same time offers experienced spinners an effective workout; This is because the number of magnetic resistance levels available makes it possible for all levels of rider to find the correct level for them.
Higher-priced bikes come with a heap of high-tech features, and although the Schwinn IC4 doesn’t have many of them does not diminish the exceptional quality and functionality of the bike.
The Schwinn really does offer excellent quality at a very affordable price.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros:
As you can see, the Schwinn IC4 does offer the consumer a whole heap of useful features that make the experience of stationary cycling an enjoyable one. The bike measures 48.7″ long and 21.2″ wide, making it ideal for most home gyms.
The Bluetooth connectivity and the dual purpose pedal, in my opinion, make the bike stand out from other models in the niche; couple that with a ten-year warranty, and you’ve got an excellent bike that is inexpensive yet durable.
The Schwinn IC4 does not come with any preset workouts but keep in mind the bike itself was specifically designed to be used with the various cycling apps on the market.
Zwift and Peloton allow you to ride in virtual worlds, races and provide an array of different training programs suitable for all athlete’s levels.
The 3lb dumbbells included really are a great feature and offer a unique workout because you can ride and perform upper body movements simultaneously.
Best Alternatives To The Bowflex C6 And The Schwinn IC4
An excellent alternative to the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4, The Peloton Bike has a durable frame and comes with several variations of spinning classes.
It has all the features you’d expect from a bike of this price and quality, and the two hand weights that are located just behind the saddle are an excellent inclusion.
Peloton vs Schwinn IC4
However, the price is quite steep at just over $2000, and unless you have Look-Delta shoes, you will need to invest in a pair to ensure compatibility. The spin classes available are fantastic but will set you back $37 a month.
Overall the Peloton Bike is an excellent option for the serious athlete looking to make serious gains.
The VeloCore Indoor Cycling Bike just squeezes into the category of an affordable bike alternative to the IC4 and C6. Coming in at around $1700, it’s certainly not cheap, and if you’ve got the money, you can upgrade to the 22-inch screen model for another $500.
This bike’s beauty is its ability to allow the rider to move side to side and tilt forward and backward to simulate mountain climbs.
The entire frame unlocks and provides the rider with a genuine cycling experience that feels as close to real as you can get.
The bike allows you to sync your workout data to your favorite apps such as Peloton and Zwift and the subscription fee of $20 is excellent value for money.
The ingenious design of the NordicTrack bike really is a game-changer when it comes to stationary cycling. The mechanized shaft moves up and down, simulating those epic mountain climbs we all love.
It even has the ability for remote adjustment by cycling instructors, meaning that there’s no need to fiddle around with controls when you’re riding.
The fan is a great feature; however, I would say it tends to be quite loud and likewise can be said for other moving parts of the bike. The flywheel itself is extremely silent, which is one saving grace.
The software has its pros and cons too, and while it does give you access to classes and virtual roads, the interface itself is quite a glitch, and the screens take time to recalibrate after every control adjustment.
Overall I would say the bike is definitely worth the money for the serious athlete who is looking for a quality home gym bike.
MYX Fitness Bike
This bike has an array of quality functional features that include a 21.5-inch touch screen, stabilizing mat, a top of the line Polar Heart Rate monitor, access to world-class coaching, and literally hundreds of cycling workouts at the touch of a button.
The mat, which is included, is a great addition and measures a substantial 48 X 72″, giving the rider comfort and confidence.
The resistance band, foam roller, and six-piece kettlebell really make this Myx a standout in the stationary cycle category.
Echelon Smart Connect EX3 & EX5
If you’re looking for one of the best alternatives to the Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6, then the Echelon is that bike. The brand offers very similar class arrangements and provides both on-demand and live streams, all with less inexpensive hardware.
Price does range, and the company also offers an excellent package that includes a yearly subscription giving you unlimited access to all classes and other features.
The one downside is that you can only pair to the Echelon app and not to an outside app such as Zwift or Peloton. You read a relevant article with a detailed comparison of the Bowflex C6/ Schwinn IC4 and theEchelon Smart Connect EX3 & EX5.
Maybe the best for last; The Stryde bike offers everything the higher-priced bikes offer but comes with a much more affordable price tag. Unlike almost every other bike on the market, the Stryde gives you the option of connecting your favorite apps and can even connect to Netflix.
It’s like possessing a smart tablet right in your very own hand.
The only downside to the android version is that, unfortunately, you can not connect to the more popular apps such as Zwift and HBO.
Netflix is already installed when you buy the bike, but if you want access to Disney Plus or Hulu, you need to download them separately.
Stryde works by linking you to several classes throughout the country, providing the user with a broad range of workouts and class instructors.
The ProForm really does offer one of the best value deals on the market today, and just under $40 per month, you get an unlimited subscription to the iFit platform.
The parent company to both the ProForm and the NordicTrack, Icon Health, ensure the bike is fitted with high-quality components and first-grade build quality.
The bike has easy to use digital settings, fully adjustable handlebars, saddle, two hand weights, and one of the best screens on the market that can rotate 180 degrees either way.
Summary And Verdict
With upgrades in technology and the ability to link programs like Zwift, many gym-goers are now purchasing stationary bikes for their home gyms. This is perfect because most of us are strapped for time, so having the ability to workout at home is very convenient.
With so many bikes on the market, though, how do you choose the stationary bike that’s best for you?
Price, features, weight, size, and compatibility are all factors that need to be considered before purchasing your bike.
The pedals on both bikes have a built-in SPD function, which is something to keep in mind when purchasing.
One positive about not having a screen included is that you have the freedom of choosing the platforms you wish to connect to in terms of riding apps, power meters, or heart rate monitors.
This makes the BowflexC6 and the Schwinn IC4 adaptable and flexible bikes for all situations and helps you find the best possible settings and workouts for you.
Both of the bikes are very similar in almost every feature, and the bikes’ appearance also differs very little. When it comes to choosing the model that’s right for you, then, in this case, the price point would be the most relevant factor to take into consideration.
There is no “one bike” that is perfect for everyone, so recommending specific bikes can be tricky.
Every bike listed in this review is a quality bike, and it’s just a matter of going through the features to choose the bike that is right for you.