If you are in search of an indoor cycling bike, the iconic Schwinn brand is probably one of the first that springs to mind.
Among their products are the Schwinn IC3 and the Schwinn IC4. How do these two indoor cycling bikes compare, and which is right for your needs?
To help you reach an informed decision, we have put together this in-depth comparison guide. We are going to go over resistance levels, construction, comfort features, apps and programs, warranty information and more for both bikes.
Below, you can find a quick comparison list that makes it easy to view features for the IC3 and IC4 at a glance. Scroll past that to dive into the in-depth comparison.
Schwinn IC3 vs. Schwinn IC4 Comparison Table
|Schwinn IC3||Schwinn IC4|
|Resistance Levels||“Infinitely variable”||100|
|Flywheel Weight||40 pounds||40 pounds|
|Comfort||Oversized water bottle holder, device holder||Dual water bottle holders, device holder|
|Interface||LCD console||Tablet, Phone, or Your TV with Apple TV or Chromecast|
|Apps and Programs||No||JRNY™ Membership trial, compatible with Zwift and Peloton|
|Extras||n/a||Pair of 3 pound dumbbells|
|Warranty||Frame: 5 years, Mechanical and Electrical: 2 years, Labor: 1 year||Frame: 10 years; Mechanical Parts & Electronics: 3 years; Labor: 1 year|
|Maximum User weight||300 pounds||330 pounds|
|Dimensions||45” L x 23” W x 49” H||48.7″ L x 21.2″ W x 51.8″ H|
|Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
Think bicycles, and you probably are going to think “Schwinn.” This famous company got started in Chicago back in 1895. Since then, it has been one of the most well-known manufacturers of bicycles on the planet.
Today, Schwinn is owned by Dorel Industries, and is a sub-brand of Pacific Cycle. Under Dorel, Schwinn continues to put out high-quality bicycles under the brand “Schwinn Bikes.” Under the brand “Schwinn Fitness,” you will find the company’s exercise bikes, treadmills and ellipticals.
Now that you have a bit of background on Schwinn, we can talk about the two fitness devices we are comparing today: the IC3 and the IC4.
Schwinn IC3: A Low-Impact Indoor Cycling Bike With Infinitely Variable Resistance
While the IC3 and the IC4 have similar names and builds, you will discover that they are quite different in terms of their features.
If you are looking for a basic, budget-friendly indoor cycling bike that offers infinitely variable resistance levels, the IC3 is the device that will interest you.
Schwinn IC4: A Premium Indoor Cycling Bike You Can Pair With Fitness Apps
Want to be able to use your Schwinn indoor cycling bike with Peloton and similar fitness apps? The IC4 is probably the bike that is going to appeal to you.
Below we give you the full breakdown between the features for the IC3 and the IC4 so you can understand exactly what they have in common as well as the areas where they differ.
How Do Dimensions, Construction and Design Compare?
Where the Schwinn IC3 and IC4 are most alike is with regards to their overall builds, dimensions, and mechanics.
In fact, both of these indoor cycling bikes have the very close dimensions, with the IC3 measuring 45” L x 23” W x 49” H and the IC4 measuring 48.7″ L x 21.2″ W x 51.8″ H.
The IC3 supports users with weights up to 300 pounds, while the IC4 supports users with weights up to 330 pounds.
It is not just their outer appearances that are similar, but also their inner workings. Both of these fitness devices are outfitted with a 40 pound flywheel and a quiet belt drive.
So, you can expect the same basic “feel” as you are pedaling on either, as well as the same low noise levels.
What else should you know about the construction of each bike?
This bicycle includes adjustable handlebars as well as an adjustable seat. You can move these parts horizontally or vertically as you need to in order to maximize ergonomics and comfort.
This bike’s padded handlebars are comfortable to grip, and you can change the grip positions as you require throughout your indoor ride.
The race-style seat is ventilated, offering you breathable comfort.
You can switch between standard toe cages or SPD clips with the dual SPD pedals.
This product features 4-way adjustable handlebars. You can push them up, down, to the front, or toward the back. You also can adjust the seat so that it suits you.
As with the IC3, you can switch between toe cages or SPD clips with the dual-sided pedals, depending on what types of shoes you are wearing.
The IC3 and IC4 are comparable in terms of their construction. They share almost the same dimensions, support the same approximate maximum weight (30 pounds more on the IC4), and feature an identical 40-pound flywheel. Moreover, they both feature dual-sided pedals and adjustable seats and handlebars.
Features to Enhance Comfort
Both the IC3 and the IC4 feature a device holder, in case you want to watch or read something while you are cycling.
Both have water bottle holders as well to help you stay hydrated. There is a single oversized water bottle holder on the IC3, while the IC4 boasts a pair of water bottle holders.
In terms of extra features for your comfort and entertainment, the IC3 and IC4 are pretty close. They both have a device holder, but you get an extra water bottle holder if you pick the IC4.
Resistance Levels Offered
The IC3 is marketed as an indoor cycling bike featuring “infinitely variable resistance.”
Meanwhile, the IC4 features 100 levels of resistance.
From a practical standpoint, we do not really feel that there is much difference between these options. 100 levels of resistance is more than enough to support a broad array of workout needs.
Ease-of-Use Comparison for Schwinn IC3 vs. Schwinn IC4
While most of the features we have discussed for these indoor cycling bikes have been pretty similar, we can now start getting around to some of the key differences between the two models.
The user interface for the IC3 is an LCD console. This console is packed with information, including the time you have been cycling, the distance you have covered, the calories you have burned, your heart rate, and RPMs.
The IC4 has a similar monitor that shows heart rate, RPMs, resistance levels, distance, calories, time and speed.
But you can go a step further with the IC4 than you can with the IC3 by connecting it with your tablet or smartphone. That means you can link it to a fitness app of your choice. You cannot do this with IC3.
The IC3 and IC4 feature similar high-quality monitors. As Bluetooth-enabled devices, they can track and display information about your workouts.
But the IC4 features better ease-of-use than the IC3, because you can also connect it with your phone or tablet and link up a fitness app (more on that later).
Are Any Extras Included?
The Schwinn IC3 does not come with any extras, but the IC4 does come with a pair of 3 pound dumbbells featuring easy-reach cradles.
The extra dumbbells included with the Schwinn IC4 add value to your purchase. The IC3 does not include the dumbbells.
Apps, Compatibility, and Fitness Programs
We are guessing that for most users, the main deciding factor between choosing the IC3 and IC4 is going to come down to apps and fitness programs.
Indeed, we expect this to ultimately be a bigger factor than price, for the simple reason that the functionality difference more than justifies the cost difference between the devices.
Plus, the experience of cycling with the IC3 vs. the IC4 is entirely different when you take app compatibility into account.
As we mentioned previously, the IC3 is not compatible with any fitness apps. That means that while you can customize your workouts with the infinitely variable resistance levels, you cannot use workouts from apps.
The IC4, on the other hand, can be paired with your Android or iOS device to use the JRNY®, Peloton®, or Zwift® apps.
In fact, your purchase of the Schwinn IC4 includes a 6-month JRNY trial.
The JRNY app includes:
- Real-time coaching
- On-demand classes
- Adaptive workouts
- Virtual destinations
- Real-time tracking
- Music playlists
For many users, the functionality of JRNY, Peloton, or Zwift is a game-changer. Having access to these features can make cycling indoors a more exciting, varied experiences. Workouts become more engaging, and it gets easier to focus on achieving one’s goals. Plus, real-time coaching can have a motivating effect, pushing exercisers to accomplish more.
Take note that while you can use fitness programs with the IC4, no subscription is required to use the device.
If you let your subscription(s) lapse, you just will not have that functionality until you renew again.
But you will still be able to use all the basic functions of the indoor bike.
When it comes to compatibility with fitness apps and programs, there is no contest between the Schwinn IC3 and IC4.
The IC3 has nothing to offer in this department, but the IC4 is compatible with multiple fitness apps. Plus, you get six months of JRNY rolled right into your purchase.
How Do the Warranties Compare?
We have now had the opportunity to go over the features for both of these fitness products. But how do their warranties compare?
Schwinn IC3 Warranty:
Frame: 5 years, Mechanical and Electrical: 2 years, Labor: 1 year
Schwinn IC4 Warranty:
Frame: 10 years; Mechanical Parts & Electronics: 3 years; Labor: 1 year
While the 1-year Labor for both warranty policies is identical, with the IC4 warranty, you get an additional year for Mechanical Parts and Electronics and an added 5 years for the Frame.
So, the warranty for the IC4 offers you far more in the way of protection, with the company standing behind your purchase for significantly longer.
What Are Customers Saying About Schwinn IC3 and Schwinn IC4?
The next thing you are probably wondering is what real-life buyers have had to say about these two Schwinn products.
According to customers, both of these bikes are fast and easy to set up, run quietly and smoothly, and are comfortable for long workouts.
Occasionally, the brake pads can develop a squealing problem on some of these bikes. If this happens, you will need to get it fixed. Otherwise, you might not be able to work out at the resistance level you prefer without putting up with the noise.
The most glowing reviews, however, have largely come from customers who purchased the IC4 model.
These buyers were originally thinking about getting Peloton bikes, but were deterred by their high costs.
For reference, many Peloton bikes cost $2,000 or more.
The Schwinn IC4 is nowhere near as expensive, but delivers what buyers describe as a similar level of performance and an experience that easily rivals with Peloton.
Plus, if you want to use your Schwinn IC4 bike with the Peloton app, you can.
On the whole, customers are happy with both of these Schwinn IC Series bike models. But those who purchased the IC4 seem most impressed, given how much money it helped them save compared to a Peloton bike.
Pricing and Value: Which Product Offers More Bang for Your Buck?
As of the time of this writing, the IC4 is selling for around $250 more than the IC3.
Is that additional cost worth it? In our opinion, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes”—assuming the IC4 is what you are looking for.
If you have no interest whatsoever in workout apps and programs, there’s no reason to spend the extra money. You may as well save a bit and get the IC3.
But if you are looking for an experience similar to what you would get from a Peloton bike, you would be sorely disappointed with the IC3, because it is never going to offer you that. But you will probably love the IC4.
Not only that, but you will be able to appreciate that the price increase over the IC3 is pretty much insignificant next to the amount of money you will save buying the IC4 instead of a Peloton bike.
The IC3 is the less expensive indoor cycling bike, but the IC4 is without a doubt the better value.
Which Indoor Cycling Bike Should You Buy?
Having had a chance to go over the details of both of these indoor cycling bikes, you probably have a pretty good idea which one you want to purchase.
But in case you need some extra guidance, here are our concluding recommendations:
The Schwinn IC3 may be right for you if …
- You are on a budget, and want to keep the cost of purchasing an indoor cycling bike to a minimum.
- You have no interest in apps like Peloton or JRNY.
- You just want a smooth, quiet, reliable bike featuring sturdy construction and a solid warranty.
The Schwinn IC4 may be right for you if …
- You want to use apps like Peloton or JRNY.
- You have a little bit more to spend on a bike than the IC3 costs, but are looking to save hundreds of dollars in comparison to a Peloton bike.
- You would appreciate an extra bottle holder and a set of dumbbells.
- You are looking for the strongest warranty to back your purchase.
For users on a budget who are indifferent to workout apps, the Schwinn IC3 is a great cost-saving bike.
But to us, the higher value of the Schwinn IC4 is obvious, and if you want to work out with apps, this bike absolutely should be your choice.