Schwinn IC3 vs. Schwinn IC4: Differences & Head-to-Head Comparison

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Intro

Whenever it comes to spending your hard-earned cash, ensuring you take the time to research is crucial. But with so many indoor bikes on the market, it’s tough to know where to start.

Today we look at two of the most popular. The Schwinn IC3 and IC4.

Although they may look similar, these bikes have some surprisingly significant differences. The price point, resistance system, and tech options differ enormously, yet both bikes are excellent options depending on your situation.

The IC4 is better suited to those who want Bluetooth tech and connectivity. At the same time, the IC3 is ideal for newbies to indoor cycling. Either way, I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.

So, let’s take a look at two bikes from one of the best names in the business, the Schwinn IC3 and IC4. How do they compare?

Schwinn IC3 vs Schwinn IC4

Main Differences

To the naked eye, The Schwinn IC3 and IC4 may look very similar, but with closer inspection, it’s clear to see there are some significant differences. 

The price difference between the two bikes is significant, as is the apparent difference in resistance systems. The Schwinn IC3 opts for the traditional friction system, while the IC4 utilizes the latest magnetic resistance technology.

Both bikes are built with the latest design and manufacturing technology and come with long extended warranties. The IC3 has a five-year warranty, while its more expensive counterpart, the IC4, offers customers an impressive ten years. 

Which bike to choose? Well, depending on your needs, both bikes are excellent choices. If you’re after a bike with the latest tech, then the IC4 is for you. However, if you’re new to indoor cycling, the more basic IC3 makes the most sense.

Schwinn IC3Schwinn IC4
Price $650$990
Weight100lbs (45kgs)106lbs (48kgs)
Resistance TypeFrictionMagnetic
BluetoothNo Yes
ScreenLCD ConsoleLCD Console
Max User Weight300lbs (136kgs)330lbs (149kgs)
Pre-Set TrainingNoYes
Levels of ResistanceUnlimited100 level fully micro-adjusted

Schwinn IC3 & IC4 Detailed Comparison

Resistance

  • But when it comes to any bike, the resistance mechanism is what serious riders pay most attention to. The Schwinn IC4 utilizes the latest in state-of-the-art magnetic resistance technology with 100 levels of micro-adjustability. The magnetic system is incredibly smooth and quiet, making it ideal for working at home or office. The 100 levels of adjustability mean that any athlete of any age and level can find a suitable resistance level to get the most out of their workout. If you can’t find the right resistance level, then it might be time to take up running.
  • The Schwinn IC3 uses a more traditional perimeter weighted flywheel that, although it is an older technology, I like the feel it provides through the pedals. 

Warranty

With so many standout features on the Schwinn IC3 and IC4, it’s hard to nail down which one takes the cake. The warranty is one feature that many reviewers gloss over, but in reality, in my opinion, the warranty is the most crucial facet to consider when purchasing a bike

  • The Less expensive Schwinn IC3 provides users with an impressive 5-year warranty.
  • At the same time, the Schwinn IC4 goes even above and beyond that, offering a whopping 10-year warranty. Now that’s tough to go past!

Pricing

There are numerous big-name indoor bike brands on the market that demand respect and are fully loaded with all the options, but the only difference is these bikes come with hefty price tags. 

  • The Schwinn IC4 is an affordable bike that offers all the bells and whistles to compete with these other brands and comes with a much lower price tag. It offers great value for the money
  • IC3 has a significantly lower price tag but you will for sure miss some premium features if you want to really step up and get the full experience of a Peloton or Peloton-Like indoor cycling app.

Versatility and Functionality

Any piece of fitness equipment will generally be quite heavy. Therefore, moving the machine around quickly is a must-have feature. The Schwinn IC3 and IC4 both come equipped with two small wheels situated at the front of the bike

  • Both the Schwinn IC3 and IC4 are incredibly comfortable and functional bikes. Ergonomically designed framesets and components such as the saddle and handlebars make long riding sessions and absolute joy. Dual-purpose pedals are also a feature that will excite hardcore cyclists. It gives them the option of clipping in with their shoes use regular sneakers.

Tech

Interactive cycling apps have become an everyday part of riding your bike or even running on the treadmill. You can now train in virtual worlds and even race in official competitions using specifically designed heart rate monitors, power, cadence, and speed monitors. 

  • Although the Schwinn IC3 does not allow you to sync to these apps, its big brother,
  • the IC4, does, and, boy, does it do a great job. It’s as simple as connecting via Bluetooth and syncing to your favorite apps like Zwift or Peloton.

 

These apps take your fitness experience to another level. If you haven’t experienced it, I would highly recommend signing up and immersing yourself in these fun and interactive training programs.

IC4 Review

Specs

  • User Weight 330lbs or 150kgs
  • Machine Weight 106 lbs or 48kgs
  • Price $990.00
  • Dimensions 48.7 inches long x 21.2 inches wide
  • Screen Full-color LCD screen

Are you looking for an indoor cycling bike that exceeds your expectations in nearly every category? Well, the Schwinn IC4 is the bike for you. Several indoor training bikes on the market promise to deliver the ultimate riding experience but fail to do so; however, the Schwinn IC4 lives up to this promise.

All the main features you’d expect of a bike of this quality are on hand. The Schwinn IC includes Bluetooth connectivity, handlebars that have been ergonomically designed, dual-purpose pedals, and the latest in the way of LCD Screen technology.

The moment you hop on the saddle, you can immediately feel the quality, and it’s easy to see why Schwinn is considered the best on the market. The Schwinn IC4 is a robust and durable bike that gives the user plenty of confidence when mashing the pedals hard, which is precisely what you want when purchasing an indoor bike.

The Schwinn IC4 is not overly big or hefty and, although robust, will fit into most home or office gyms. Measuring 48.7 inches long and 21.2 inches wide, the footprint is relatively small. Oh, and don’t forget the 3lb dumbbells included, which are an excellent little option for those wanting to pump up their biceps.

We live in an age of technology, and the Schwinn IC4 doesn’t let you down. The ability to download and sync your favorite apps such as Zwift or Poloton separates this bike from the rest. The dual-purpose pedals are also designed with versatility in mind and allow riders to either “clip in” or ride in regular sneakers.

Things I liked:

  • The dual-purpose pedals give riders two options. 
  • 100 levels of resistance provide an excellent workout for all
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Ergonomically designed handlebars and saddle
  • Tracking workout data is straightforward
  • Hard to go past the 10-year warranty

Things To Consider:

  • Workout variety is quite limited when compared to other bikes in the price range
  • It does fall behind many other brands in terms of LCD screen technology
  • No built-in fan, which manufacturers are now including

IC3 Review

Specs

  • User Weight 300lbs or 136kgs
  • Machine Weight 100lbs or 45kgs
  • Price $650.00
  • Dimensions 45” × 23” × 49”  or 114.3cm × 58.4cm × 124.5 cm
  • Screen LCD 

The Schwinn IC3 should not be overlooked because when you compare it be many of its competitors in the same space, the IC3 is top of the heap.

Let’s start with the style and design of the IC3. The frame is designed and manufactured from high-quality, durable steel “rounded” to provide more stability and durability. Although the frameset is slightly outdated, the matte black paint finish spruces it up and gives the IC3 a contemporary feel.

In terms of space and the bike‘s footprint, the Schwinn IC3 is a relatively small piece of equipment, making it ideal for those living in smaller apartments. The bike measures 45” × 23” × 49” or 114.3cm × 58.4cm  × 124.5 cm, and its recommended to keep it at least 2-3 feet from any walls or other impediments.

The Schwinn IC3 is robust and well made, and you wouldn’t expect anything less from a brand like Schwinn. The bike weighs 100lbs or 45kgs and has an outstanding max user weight of 300lbs or 136kgs. Now, although the bike is heavy, don’t worry; Schwinn has positioned two wheels made of durable plastic at the bike‘s front. 

The LCD is quite basic, but to be honest, it’s to be expected for a bike of that price point. All of the most critical metrics are tracked, including speed, power, calories, distance, and time. 

Overall, if you’re a newcomer to cycling or looking to dip your feet in without spending too much money, then it’s going to be challenging to find a better alternative than the Schwinn IC3.

Things I liked:

  • Fully adjustable saddle makes for a comfortable ride
  • The flywheel is heavy and durable, weighing 40lbs or 18kgs
  • The option to monitor your heart rate wirelessly
  • Handlebars provide several grip positions ideal for longer rides

Things To Consider:

  • The LCD screen, while clear as crystal, is not in color
  • Older resistance system means its quite noisy
  • The design is a little outdated

IC4 & IC3 vs Peloton: How they Compare

So how do the Schwinn IC3 and IC4 stack up against one of the best bike brands in the business, the Peloton?

Many indoor bikes on the market are targeted towards beginners or athletes with limited training time. The Schwinn IC3, IC4, and Peloton are not in this category. These bikes are serious pieces of equipment with serious athletes in mind.

The Peloton provides on-demand and live-training sessions, ergonomically designed saddle and handlebars, a state-of-the-art LCD screen, and dual-purpose pedals. It’s tough to find many negatives with a bike that’s been so well built and designed.

Related:
Schwinn IC4 vs Peloton Detailed Comparison

Then you have Schwinn, in my opinion, the most reputable brand in the indoor cycling industry. Schwinn has been around since 1895, so not much more needs to be said. Schwinn bikes, particularly the IC3 and IC4, offer the rider an incredibly smooth and silent training experience, one that will keep the neighbors happy too.

Both Schwinn IC4 and the Peloton use the latest in resistance technology. Still, the primary difference between the two bikes is the on-demand and live workouts offered. While the Schwinn IC3 and IC4 have preset training programs, the Peloton goes above and beyond. 

World-class experts in their fields design Peloton’s training programs, and the quality and delivery are second to none. The sessions offer something for everyone and are immersive, interactive, and, most importantly, fun.

Either way, you won’t go wrong selecting any of the three bikes as they all proved excellent value for money. 

IC4 & IC3: Which One is for Me?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “Which indoor training bike is best for me?” Many people think it’s pretty tricky selecting the right indoor bike, but in reality, it’s just a matter of answering a few basic questions. 

As we’ve seen, the Schwinn IC4 is loaded with the latest gadgets and is built with serious trainers and riders in mind. If you’re someone who expects the best, then the IC4 wins out over its little brother, the IC3. The IC4 provides the rider with a smooth and, more importantly, quiet training experience, and with 100 resistance levels, everyone can benefit.

IC4 Perfect for

  • Users who love the latest tech
  • Those who value ride quality
  • Serious riders looking for big gains
  • Not limited by budget

The IC3 should not be overlooked, though, and serves its purpose for beginners or those who ride 2-3 times a week. Let’s not forget the IC3 was built by Schwinn, probably the most reputable brand in the business. So if you’re looking for functionality combined with affordability, the IC3 is for you.

IC3 is perfect for

  • Beginners and riders who ride 2-3 times weekly
  • Those people who are constrained by budget
  • Riders who value the training experience over the latest tech
  • Users who want a functional and affordable bike.

Other Alternatives 

Bowflex C6

Wow, wow, wow; The Bowflex C6 is a standout when it comes to indoor cycling and getting the most out of your workouts. The design, construction, and thought put into the features are simply incredible. 

However, the bike is not perfect and has one or two cons, such as the monthly fees for the streaming apps and several other bikes offering similar features for a more affordable price. 

Related:
1. Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4 Differences
2. 8 Indoor Cycles for A Great Experience with the Peloton App

The Bowflex C6 is fully adjustable and straightforward to set up in terms of streaming and getting ready for your workouts. The ergonomically designed frame, including the handlebars and seat, provides a very comfortable ride experience.

The Bowflex C6 comes equipped with a heart rate monitor with Bluetooth connectivity and offers the rider the opportunity to track their ride data accurately. 

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty, the Bowflex C6 is a well-thought-out indoor bike that provides the user with all the top-notch features you’d expect from a bike brand of this stature.

Echelon ex5s

Another excellent option when it comes to indoor bikes is the Echelon Smart Connect EX5. Priced at a little over $1400, it’s a little bit on the expensive side, but the good news is you can get it cheaper directly from the Echelon site.

The bike is excellent for those looking for a realistic and interactive riding experience, and with 32 levels of magnetic resistance, finding the correct difficulty level is a piece of cake. 

Related:
Schwinn IC4 vs Echelon EX3 & EX5

A standout feature is a saddle that is world-class competition level and offers the sort of comfort you’d expect from a brand like Echelon. Another well-thought-out feature is the adjustment knob for the magnetic resistance, which comes with superior indexing, making it easy to see and remember your previous ride setting.

The handlebars are ergonomically designed and are referred to as an “aero handlebar system.” With a nice mount that lets you attach your device securely, two water bottle holders, and precise build quality, this bike is well worth the money.

Nordictrack s22i

The NordicTrack bike brings an intelligent artistic and ergonomic design that makes this bike a real serious alternative. The frame itself moves in multiple ways that mimic riding outside on the road or riding up your favorite mountain pass.

Another outstanding feature is the ability for cycling instructors to change or modify your workouts by remote control. This is great because it lets you concentrate on the training itself instead of fiddling around with the control buttons.

Although the fan is pretty loud, it’s an excellent feature that any cyclist will appreciate, primarily through those summer workouts; on the other hand, the flywheel is very quiet and almost silent, to be honest. 

Unfortunately, users have reported that the software is a little bit glitchy, which can cause the screen to take a few seconds to recalibrate; not the best thing to happen during your workout. 

Let’s be honest here; overall, the NordicTrack is a bike for serious athletes who wants to get the most out of their workouts. 

Verdict

Well, here we are, at crunch time. This is one of those reviews where I can honestly say both bikes are excellent choices for their perspective user.

The IC3 comes in at a much lower price point yet still offers all the manufacturing might Schwinn has to offer. It’s an affordable and durable bike perfect for beginners and individuals with limited time on their hands.

Alternatively, the IC4 is packed with the latest tech and 100 levels of magnetic resistance, making the ride realistic and challenging. If you’re a hard-core cyclist or fitness fanatic, then the IC4 is right up your alley, and at just under $1000, it won’t break the bank.

Happy spinning!

Brenton Barker

Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching from the University of Delaware and was the former Head Advisor for the Japanese Government's Sports Science Institute. Brenton currently consults with several Professional Athletes and clients in Self- Accountability, Health, and Goal Orientation.

1 thought on “Schwinn IC3 vs. Schwinn IC4: Differences & Head-to-Head Comparison”

  1. Are any apps that connect to Bluetooth free, or low cost, do you have to have an expensive subscription to access them?

    Reply

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