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Schwinn IC3 vs IC4 – Is it worth upgrading to the newest version?

January 20, 2021

Schwinn IC3 vs IC4 comparing exercise bikes

Home fitness gear is all the rage but what to pick? A quality exercise bike from Schwinn is always a good investment because Schwinn is a trusted brand whether you need a cycling bike or another piece of exercise equipment. We compared the Schwinn IC3 vs IC4 to help you make the best decision for your needs.

There's no question that the Schwinn IC4 is the better option since it has more features. The higher micro resistance is also good for those serious about workout results. Of course, it comes at a higher price, so the Schwinn IC3 is a good budget option if you are looking to save money. The IC3 has a 300-pound weight capacity and they're still much-loved exercise bikes. 

Here's how you can determine which cycling bike to invest in for you. In each section, we'll compare the Schwinn IC3 bike with the Schwinn IC4 cycling bike. 

Schwinn IC3

Schwinn IC4

schwinn ic3 cycle
schwinn ic4 cycle

Bluetooth Connectivity:

No

Bluetooth Connectivity:

Yes

Travel the Globe:

No

Travel the Globe:

Explore the World app

Coaching Apps:

No

Coaching Apps:

Peloton App, Zwift App, Explore the World App, and more

Resistance Levels:

Infinite

Resistance Levels:

100

Drive System:

40 lb. Flywheel

Drive System:

40 lb. Flywheel

Display:

LCD

Display:

LCD

Seat:

Race-Style Seat, For/Aft & Height Adjustable

Seat:

Race-Style Seat, For/Aft & Height Adjustable

Design

Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

At a glance, the Schwinn IC3 and Schwinn IC4 exercise bikes look similar thanks to the striking red color in the designs. They'll both add some flair to your indoor fitness area.

Thanks to excellent design, especially with the Schwinn IC4, you can expect excellent stability, even when going at full speed on your exercise bike.

The bikes are sturdy and durable, with a high weight capacity, the IC4 can accommodate up to 330 pounds while the Schwinn IC3 only has a 300 lbs limit.

In comparison, both the Schwinn IC3 and IC4 carry helpful design features that optimize any workout time. You'll find a water bottle holder on both that can also act as a media holder. There are helpful extras like transport wheels and levelers that helps when you exercise on an uneven surface. the wheels also mean you can use your stationary bike in a variety of spaces because it's easy to move it out of the way when you're done.

There's some handy tech on both, with an LCD screen to track speed calories time, and distance on the Schwinn IC3 vs the backlit LCD unit you'll find on the Schwinn IC4. You can also connect your smart device to the Schwinn IC4 by using the LCD console's charging port. Connect a tablet so you can enjoy the benefits of fitness apps such as Peloton or Explore the World to enhance your workout.

A bonus with the Schwinn IC4 is the dumbbell station included on the bike. The handlebar section has unique cradles to store them safely and they're close by when you want to exercise your upper body during a ride.

Flywheel

Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

On both these stationary exercise bikes, there is a 40-pound flywheel. Even on the budget buy of the Schwinn IC3, you can expect the 40-pound flywheel to provide a smooth ride without much noise.

The flywheel quality is important because it's this feature that gives a workout indoors some characteristics of being outside on a regular bike. When the sensation of the flywheel gives you an experience resembling a traditional bike, it's easy for cyclists to enjoy a ride inside as much as outside. Excellent exercise options, no matter the weather.

Pedals

Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

On both these models, Schwinn ensured that you'll feel safe and secure while peddling. The dual-link SPD foot pedals have clips as well as toe cages to keep your feet in place. These pedals with toe cages are also designed to work as a safety measure, with less risk of losing grip and falling off.

Seats

Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

It's clear the brand understands the rigors of being on bikes for long periods. Even on an indoor stationary bike, you'll get hot and uncomfortable on the wrong seat. With these two models, you get ventilated seats that are similar to the race style seats pros use. No matter which one of the models you pick, you'll also be able to adjust the seat to suit your height and preferred cycling position. This helps ensure the best possible, comfortable position during your time on the bike.

Handlebars

Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

On a cycling bike, your hands can get surprisingly fatigued, even though you're stationary. Luckily, on the Schwinn IC3 your handlebars are urethane-dipped, making them comfortable to hold. You can also adjust them so you have the correct posture while looking at the LCD display console or if you want to lean forward for an intense session. The handlebar sections can move both vertically and horizontally.

It's a similar story on the Schwinn IC4, so you can decide how you want to position the handle bars to support your upper body. And added benefit is the unique tips on the handles, that could be more comfortable to grab hold of for some users, especially during long riding sessions.

Resistance Levels

The IC3 offers you variable resistance and instead of having presets, it's up to you to pick levels of resistance by using a simple knob. You have infinite resistance options, so you can set your bike's resistance to suit your needs exactly.

On the Schwinn iC4 you have micro resistance options - 100 different levels of them. Your fitness bike provides this through magnetic resistance.

Note that the IC3 uses friction pads which isn't the case in the Schwinn IC4. The latter's magnetic resistance is a maintenance free option, while you'll need to exchange the IC3's worn out pads once in a while.

Compatible Apps

Here's a selling point of the Schwinn IC4 since it allows you to use handy resources like the Explore the World app, which is not an option on the IC3. Other helpful apps you can use with the Schwinn IC4 include the Zwift app, Peloton App through which you can access on-demand classes or even one that's taking place live. This adds a community feel to your exercise sessions and could inspire you to spend more time on the fitness bike. If you are looking for iFit compatible exercise bike, check out our review of the NordicTrack S15i.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Even though connectivity is so popular these days, you can't yet accept that all fitness equipment is Bluetooth compatible. In this indoor cycling bike review, only the Schwinn IC4 is Bluetooth enabled, not the IC3. If you want to connect to mobile phones, wearable monitoring accessories and other gadgets, you'll need the IC4.

Heart Rate Monitoring

With both models, you can easily track your heart rate. The IC3 exercise bike has a built-in system that's telemetry enabled. You can follow your levels during your workout by simply glancing at the exercise bike's LCD console screen.

With the IC4 exercise bike, you'll receive a heart rate armband that will track your heart's performance and communicate with the bike via Bluetooth. The details will be shown on the display in between the handlebars. So, whether you're touching the exercise bike or not, your armband will track your pulse throughout the time of your workout.

Price

There's a considerable difference in the price you'll pay for these exercise bikes. The difference of around $400 makes sense when you consider all the features you get with the IC4 model. However, it helps to think you can get a quality stationary indoor bike, still for under $1000, if you opt for the IC3.

You'll need to decide whether price or outcome is the most important to you since, with all its app options and excellent resistance, you're likely to realize your fitness goal much faster on the IC4.

Note that there's a considerable difference in the warranty coverage of these two indoor cycling bikes. The IC3 only comes with a 5 year coverage, while the IC4 can have up to 10 years.

What Others are Saying

Both these models get shining reviews from users. They compliment the quality of the components usually, although it seems the pedals can be of better quality. Also, you may need to get used to the seat if you're only used to more padded options.

Consumers find them easy to assemble and practical for home use, since they run quietly.

FAQ:

Does Schwinn ic3 have Bluetooth?

Although Bluetooth is present in many Schwinn models, the IC3 stationary bike comes without it. This limits the number of accessories you can use to monitor your fitness, from wearables to mobile phones. However, the IC3 can offer aspects like heart rate monitoring that is built-in.

Can you use the Peloton app with Schwinn ic3?

On the Schwinn IC3 you won't find compatibility with the Peloton app. If you love gadgets and want app assistance to track your fitness, you'll need to upgrade to another indoor fitness bike such as the Schwinn IC4.

Final Thoughts on Schwinn IC3 vs IC4:

In a IC3 vs Schwinn IC4 comparison, there are multiple reasons why the Schwinn IC4 comes out on top. It impresses with everything from its heart rate monitoring to enable you to use apps like Peloton. Also, the 100 micro resistance levels thanks to the magnetic system is a major factor. One of the pluses of the magnetic resistance system is that you will not have to change out resistance pads over time as you have to on the Schwinn IC3.

But don't completely disregard the IC3 in your comparison. It can still be one of the best stationary indoor cycling bikes you try. It has a quality 40lb flywheel, similar to the IC4 and has the extras like a water bottle holder, LCD console and comfortable handle bars. If apps like Peloton don't really matter to you, its features could be more than enough to enhance your future workout. For a budget buy, you can't go wrong with this one.

If you have any tips for other buyers, please leave a comment about these exercise bike options and their features. Or, place your order today so you can start getting fit even if you're stuck at home.

About the author 

Kevin Lee

Health and fitness have always been a passion for me; whether its being in the weight room, going for a run before work or even participating in a half iron man triathlon. ShapeJunkie was created to share to knowledge and love of fitness with others.

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