If you are looking for the Peloton workout experience without the Peloton price, you may be checking into compatible indoor cycling bikes from alternative brands.
Two options you may be considering are the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4.
Both of these bikes are compatible with Peloton as well as Zwift. But how do they compare to one another? Which one is right for your needs?
In this detailed guide, we will take an in-depth look into the benefits and costs of these two products as well as what customers have to say about them.
That way, you can make an informed decision, bringing home the indoor bike that is best for you.
The comparison list gives you an easy way to check the features of these two products against each other. Below the list, you can find the full breakdown on these features.
Bowflex C6 vs. Schwinn IC4 Comparison Table
|Bowflex C6||Schwinn IC4|
|Construction||40 pounds||40 pounds|
|Comfort||Dual water bottle holders, device holder||Dual water bottle holders, device holder|
|Interface||Tablet, Phone, or Your TV with Apple TV or Chromecast||Tablet, Phone, or Your TV with Apple TV or Chromecast|
|Apps and Programs||JRNY™ Membership trial, compatible with Zwift and Peloton||JRNY™ Membership trial, compatible with Zwift and Peloton|
|Extras||Pair of 3 pound dumbbells||Pair of 3 pound dumbbells|
|Warranty||Frame: 10 years; Mechanical Parts & Electronics: 3 years; Labor: 1 year||Frame: 10 years; Mechanical Parts & Electronics: 3 years; Labor: 1 year|
|Dimensions||48.7″ L x 21.2″ W x 51.8″ H||48.7″ L x 21.2″ W x 51.8″ H|
|Check Bowflex Price||Check Price on Amazon|
About Schwinn and Bowflex
The first thing you should know about these two products is this: they are essentially the same.
To understand why this is the case, you need to know a bit about Schwinn and Bowflex.
In 1895, the Schwinn Bicycle Company started up in Chicago. The company quickly became famous for its bikes, but it went bankrupt in 1992.
The company changed hands multiple times after that. In 2001, a company called Pacific Cycle purchased Schwinn at a bankruptcy auction.
Another company called Dorel Industries subsequently bought Pacific Cycle three years later in 2004.
Later, a marketing company called Direct Focus, Inc. purchased Schwinn fitness equipment division assets, and then re-branded as Nautilus, Inc.
Where are we going with all this? The reason this history is relevant is because Nautilus, Inc. also owns the Bowflex fitness equipment brand.
Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4: Basically the Same Under the Hood
As you are going to see, these are basically the same exact product with some cosmetic differences.
Nautilus sells them both, but has branded them differently.
In fact, we could basically end our analysis right here and now. But we know this can be a confusing topic, so we want to make sure that buyers are clear on the relationship between these two products.
How Do Dimensions, Weight, Construction and Design Compare?
Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are almost exactly the same with respect to their builds:
48.7″ L x 21.2″ W x 51.8″ H
330 pounds maximum user weight
Dual-sided pedals with SPD clips and toe cages
4-way adjustable handlebars (up, down, front, back)
A quick note about the dimensions—we have also seen the dimensions for the Schwinn IC4 listed with a length of 47.8”. Given the broad similarities between these two bikes, we are pretty sure that where this shows up, it is simply a typo, and that both exercise bikes measure 48.7” long.
One of the very few differences between the Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6 are their appearances.
The configurations of the bikes look about the same, and they feature the same black-and-orange color scheme.
But the orange highlights are more prominent on the Schwinn IC4 than they are on the Bowflex C6.
It is easiest to see the difference by looking at the flywheels. The flywheel on the Bowflex C6 is almost entirely black, with one ring of orange toward the center.
But the flywheel on the Schwinn I4 has a prominent orange disc in the middle with the Schwinn labelling around it.
Also, the pedals on the Bowflex bike are black, but on the Schwinn bike, they are orange.
Again, these are cosmetic differences between the products only, not functional differences.
The construction and dimensions for the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 are basically identical. The only major difference between them is in their appearance, and even that is not that pronounced unless you are looking for it.
Neither bike objectively has a better appearance than the other. It is entirely up to your subjective taste which one you prefer.
Features to Enhance Comfort and Convenience
Both of these bikes also have the exact same features to boost comfort and convenience while you are working out:
- A device holder
- Two water bottle holders
With a device holder and two water bottle holders for both the C6 and the IC4, the two products are exactly equivalent in this category.
Resistance Levels Offered
The C6 and the IC4 both offer 100 levels of resistance. For most people, this should be more than adequate. You should have no problem customizing your workouts to your exact needs.
The 100 levels of resistance for the C6 and the IC4 are identical. This is yet another respect in which the two devices are exactly the same.
Ease-of-Use Comparison for Bowflex C6 vs. Schwinn IC4
As you might expect, another area where the C6 and the IC4 are exactly the same is with respect to how they display information. Both of them have a backlit LCD monitor that allows you to track information such as how long you have been cycling, what distance you have covered, how many calories you have burned, your heart rate, and so forth.
There is an armband monitor you can put on with either bike. Bluetooth connectivity is what allows the bike to display your pulse.
The user interface is the same for both of these indoor cycling bikes. As a result, ease-of-use is the same as well.
Are Any Extras Included?
Next, you may be wondering whether any sort of additional accessories are included with either purchase.
Not surprisingly, this is another category in which the two products are identical.
Regardless of whether you buy the C6 or the IC4, you receive two 3 lb. dumbbells with easy-reach cradles as a bonus.
You get a set of dumbbells with your purchase of either the IC4 or the C6.
Apps, Compatibility, and Fitness Programs
For many buyers, one of the most important aspects of buying an indoor cycling bike is going to be its compatibility with different fitness apps.
Regardless of which of these two products you choose to buy, you will have the exact same functionality in this department.
Both the C6 and IC4 are compatible with:
The price for both exercise bikes includes a six-month trial membership in JRNY. So, you will have something to start you out from the moment you set up the bike and connect to the app.
JRNY offers you the following exciting experiences:
- Real-time coaching
- On-demand classes
- Adaptive workouts
- Virtual destinations
- Real-time tracking
- Music playlists
So, that is a lot of value added to your purchase. JRNY helps to keep your workouts engaging and motivational, and gives you the means to customize and vary your exercises.
With your purchase of the C6 or the IC4, you get a 6-month trial membership in JRNY. You also can connect with Peloton or Zwift.
How Do the Warranties Compare?
It should come as no surprise that the warranties are identical between the two products:
Frame: 10 years
Mechanical Parts & Electronics: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
This is a really good warranty, especially for the frame. Notably, it is longer than the warranty on the IC3, another entry in the Schwinn IC Series of bikes (the IC3 is a little less expensive, but not compatible with apps).
Whichever of these two products you pick, you will be getting the exact same warranty length on the frame, parts, electronics, and labor.
What Are Customers Saying About Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4?
Naturally, you will find roughly the same pros and cons cited by customers for both of these indoor cycling bikes.
Purchasers of these products like how easy they are to assemble, how well-constructed they are, and how smooth and quiet they are to pedal. They appreciate the many levels of resistance available, and praise the ease-of-use of the LCD monitor.
Downsides that are mentioned for these bikes include the hardness of the seats and occasional issues with the brake pads squealing.
But the features purchasers are happiest with for both bikes are their relatively low prices and the fact that they are compatible with Peloton and other fitness apps.
Customer reviews for the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are comparable in terms of content. This is not a surprise, considering that these are basically the same products.
Although a few buyers mention a couple of potential downsides, on the whole, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
Pricing and Value: Which Product Offers More Bang for Your Buck?
At the time of this writing, the prices for the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are exactly the same.
This hypothetically could change in the future, but it seems relatively unlikely, considering that neither of these products has any differentiation in features that would justify a difference in price between the two.
If, for whatever reason, that does happen, obviously, you would want to go with the less expensive product.
As for general comments on the price, we can say that you are getting an excellent deal with either of these indoor cycling bikes.
Purchasing a Peloton bike would cost you closer to $2,000, possibly even more depending on the model you picked.
At the time of this writing, the identical pricing between these products means that they are equal in terms of cost and value.
Which Indoor Cycling Bike Should You Buy?
Normally at this point, we would provide a detailed breakdown of situations where one product might be more suitable than the other and vice versa. That way, you would have exact recommendations to guide you in your purchase decision.
But in this case, there is really no need to do that, nor is there any way to do it even if we wanted to. You now understand that despite the different branding, the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are basically equivalent.
In fact, the only significant differentiating factor we can come up with is the divergences in the appearances between the two bikes.
So, this is a rare case where we would tell you to make your decision aesthetically. You will be getting the exact same functionality in either product, and you will be dealing with the same parent company (Nautilus). You will be paying the same amount for your bike.
Thus, you might as well choose based on what you would like to look at each day in your exercise room.
But either way, you are getting an excellent low price on a high-quality bike that will offer you a smooth, quiet pedaling experience while you enjoy JRNY, Peloton, or Zwift.