Schwinn IC4 exercise bike review

The Schwinn IC4 has an almost silent flywheel that provides a quiet ride for early risers or those living in an apartment.

Schwinn IC4 being tested by Live Science contributor Maddy Bidulph
(Image: © Maddy Bidulph)

Live Science Verdict

The Schwinn IC4 is a well-designed exercise bike that offers good value for money. With an almost silent flywheel, it’s a solid choice for anyone wanting to get fit at home without breaking the bank.

Pros

  • +

    Crisp display screen

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    Easy to move

  • +

    Syncs with JRNY, Peloton, Kinomap and Zwift

Cons

  • -

    Limited JRNY app content

  • -

    Short power cable

  • -

    Heart rate monitor needs syncing with app every time you use it

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The Schwinn IC4 (known as the 800IC in the U.K.) is a high performing and premium exercise bike that is worth every dollar. Built to last, with well-made components and a nearly silent flywheel, it provides a smooth and stable riding experience.

Schwinn IC4: Key specs

Dimensions:  123.7cm x 53.8cm x131.6cm

Weight: 106lbs

Max user weight: 150kg/330lbs

Display? Color backlit LED display  

Resistance levels: 100

Warranty: 2 years 

Workouts:  Eight on JRNY app with free membership for one year 

Other features:  Tablet holder, dual pedals, dual water bottle holders, weights holders, Bluetooth connectivity, and more

It has a sturdy frame without feeling overpowering in a room, and it’s quick to assemble and easy to move thanks to the transportation wheels. It can also easily withstand high intensity standing rides, so fans of getting out of the saddle will enjoy putting this exercise bike through its paces.

We love the micro-adjust resistance (levels 0 to 100), and the double water bottle holders and weights cradles are a nice touch.

The JRNY app needs a lot more content, but what’s there is decent – especially the adaptive workouts which get more challenging as you get fitter. We also love the off-bike classes, which include stretching sessions, a foam roller masterclass and knee-friendly workouts. The power cable could do with being a lot longer, but this is nothing an extension lead can’t solve. 

Schwinn IC4: Set up and usability

Schwinn IC4 being tested by Live Science contributor Maddy Bidulph

(Image credit: Maddy Bidulph)

The Schwinn IC4 comes largely pre-assembled, with an instruction manual and all the tools you need in the box to add the final elements. It also has four types of plugs. 

It’s quite heavy to get out of the box, so you might need someone to help you remove it. It took quite a while to remove all the packaging – about 30 minutes – but the instruction booklet is quite easy to follow. We found the images were quite small however, so if you are shortsighted you might prefer to watch a YouTube video about how to set up the bike instead.

The design and build quality is really decent and set up was relatively quick, taking about an hour. Finishing the bike itself didn’t take that long, but attaching the dual water bottle and weights holders took time. Top tip: screw these on before you put the handlebars on. The power lead is pretty short, so we recommend positioning the bike near a socket, or investing in an extension lead.

The Schwinn IC4 is a stationary indoor bike ideal for spin style classes, with a large 18kg flywheel at the front and ergonomic handles suitable for multiple grip positions. As you’d expect you can customize the height and position of the seat, as well as the handlebar height.

The bike feels well made, and looks like a standard spinning bike you’d find at the gym. The backlit LCD metric console has a premium feel, and it’s here you can track your magnetic resistance (which goes up to 100 and is controlled via a dial). As you’d expect, this information can also be viewed on the device you use to stream JRNY workouts.

The bike has dual pedals, so you can wear your normal trainers or invest in the cycling shoes for a more secure ride. 

Schwinn IC4 being tested by Live Science contributor Maddy Bidulph

(Image credit: Maddy Bidulph)

Schwinn IC4: Design and display

The Schwinn IC4 is relatively compact and has a footprint of 123.7 centimeters x 53.8 centimeters x 131.6 centimeters. It has a small LCD display, space for two water bottles and cradles for two weights. We noticed that when we were out of the saddle for a climb, our knees got quite close to the water bottles. However, this was easy to rectify by moving the handlebars further away from the seat.

The bike doesn’t fold, but the transportation wheels make it easy to move around. The power plug is very short however, so you will want to position it near to a socket.

It’s well designed and feels premium and sturdy, with a black and red color scheme. The dual pedals mean more advanced cyclists can snap in via their cycling shoes for a more stable and fluid ride. The crisp LED display shows time, distance, calories burned and heart rate, although a heart rate strap is not included.

The four-way adjustable handlebars can move up and down, as well as forwards and backwards, so you can customize the bike to your height.

Schwinn IC4: Features

The JRNY app comes with a free 1-year membership trial, so you can enjoy workouts that adapt, as you get fitter, cycle to over 50 destinations around the world, follow trainer-led videos and access virtual coaching. After the free trial, you will need to pay. 

When you connect the app to the bike via Bluetooth it has a reminder to regularly tighten your pedals and frame bolts to ensure a smooth and safe ride. Then it will ask you to do a seven minute fitness assessment so it can work out your fitness level. This will help when it comes to the adaptive workouts (which will recommend different training based on your progress and fitness level). This involves four short intervals at varying intensities, and is worth doing to get the most out of the app.

Metrics tracked include time, calories, speed, distance, resistance level and pulse (although a heart rate strap is needed as it is not included). 

Schwinn IC4 being tested by Live Science contributor Maddy Bidulph

(Image credit: Maddy Bidulph)

Workouts on JRNY are split into two categories: bike and whole body. We liked that as part of the workouts you can try a roller stretch session – important for recovery – and there are lots of off-bike workouts to try too, like “fired up abs” and a neck and shoulder stretch. We like that you can watch a short preview of the workout first. It also gives you an option of choosing your own music (click the notes icon) and opt from pop, rock/alternative, hip hop/rap or EDM/dance. Here you can browse playlists or listen to the JRNY radio.

Our main issue is that the app is seriously lacking in content, containing just four bike workouts and four off-bike ones. However, you can sync the bike with Peloton and Kinomap for a larger library of live and on-demand classes (although a subscription is needed), and it pairs with Apple Health so you can access all your data in one place. The JRNY app also works with many Schwinn and Bowflex machines, so if you have an elliptical trainer or treadmill by these brands you can track your workouts in one place. You can also use the bike without an app.

The bike itself is very comfortable, with excellent build quality and the handlebars in particular have good grip. There is no squeaking and the flywheel is practically silent. As you’d expect, you can adjust the seat height and move it forwards or backwards, and the dual pedals are great for people who own cycling shoes. 

The micro-adjustable magnetic resistance dial goes from 0 to 100, and we like that there is space for two small weights. The LED screen is crisp and clear, and has a USB port for charging your device while riding. The device holder is only really big enough for a smartphone however, which feels like a slight oversight given that so many people like watching classes on a tablet. You could balance a tablet on the holder, but it feels a little unstable to us.

It’s easy to move around, too, thanks to its transportation wheels. However, bear in mind that the plug is very short so you will need to position it near to a power source.

Schwinn IC4 being tested by Live Science contributor Maddy Bidulph

(Image credit: Maddy Bidulph)

Schwinn IC4: Performance

The bike feels premium, well made and sturdy. It’s ergonomically designed and feels as good as it looks. With its 18kg flywheel, the bike is reassuringly stable, especially during sprints or riding out of the seat. It’s also really easy to start and stop, with intuitive controls on the app and a digital display.

But it’s the sound of the flywheel, or lack of, where the IC4 really comes into its own. It’s almost silent, making it a great choice for people living in shared accommodation or who like working out while everyone else is still in bed. The IC4 also boasts a high-speed drive system (1000 watt at 100 rpm) plus a pulse belt compatible for heart rate controlled training.

The seat is a fairly standard padded one and does the job. If you’re new to indoor cycling or someone who prefers endurance to high intensity you could consider investing in padded cycling shorts to make it extra comfortable.

Schwinn IC4 being tested by Live Science contributor Maddy Bidulph

(Image credit: Maddy Bidulph)

Should you buy Schwinn IC4?

The Schwinn IC4 is a great stationary exercise bike that has the perfect combination of excellent design and performance at a budget friendly price. It provides a premium experience, is easy to set up and use, and the almost silent flywheel makes it a pleasure to ride.

The JRNY app could do with a lot more content, but it works well, plus the bike pairs with many of the main cycling brands to help you take your workouts to the next level. The IC4 is stable, well made and comfortable, and a solid option for anyone who wants to train indoors on and off the bike, without waking up the house. 

If this product isn’t for you

If you’ve got a bigger budget, the Peloton Bike lives up to the hype of being a sleek and stylish cardio machine. With its world famous Peloton instructors (subscription required) and robust and stylish design, there’s a reason why this is one of the best bikes on the market.

Peloton bike being ridden by Sam Hopes, resident fitness writer at Live Science

(Image credit: Future)

If you’re new to the exercise bike game, or short of space, then a budget-friendly option is the Mobi Turbo. It’s a compact and quiet machine, which is easy to assemble and looks smart and modern. It lacks a screen, water bottle holder and has limited programs, but is a great entry-level bike for beginners.

Maddy Biddulph

Maddy is a freelance journalist and Level 3 personal trainer specializing in fitness, health and wellbeing content. She has been a writer and editor for 22 years, and has worked for some of the UK's bestselling newspapers and women’s magazines, including Marie Claire, The Sunday Times and Women's Health. Maddy loves HIIT training and can often be found working out while her two young daughters do matching burpees or star jumps. As a massive foodie, she loves cooking and trying out new healthy recipes (especially ones with hidden vegetables so the kids eat them).