Life Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle Review

Overview:
Life Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle

The grey, silver and red Life Fitness IC1 indoor cycle is an impressive bike. It is a low-priced yet durable exercise bike trainer that supports up to 290 pounds of user weight and designed for all fitness levels.

Whether you are a beginner or pro, your goal is strength training, weight loss cardio workout or preparing for outdoor rides, the Life Fitness IC1 group exercise bike can be a great fitness machine!

It is the very first Life Fitness spin bike that was powered by ICG and released years ago. But due to its high-quality, smooth ride and affordable price, it is still one of the top spin bikes under $1000 in 2020.

As ICG’s entry-level cycle, the IC1 offers a simplified feature-set without compromise on premium grade materials, proven engineering process and design. The IC1 is a rock-solid spin bike, suitable for high commercial use and comes with a generous warranty.

Despite coming from the world’s leading fitness equipment brand, the Life Fitness IC1 exercise bike is less expensive compared to many other indoor cycling bikes with the same features from lesser-known brands.

This unit’s list price is $999 but now it is priced at about $890 with fast shipping included. Here’s an overview of the Life Fitness IC1’s features. But to see more details, make sure to scroll down and read this Life Fitness IC1 review thoroughly.

Its key feature is a 40 pounds perimeter-weighted steel flywheel for even pedaling, Poly-V belt drivetrain for smooth, low maintenance and quiet operation, and On-Board blue backlit RPM console.

But more importantly, the Life Fitness IC1 indoor studio bike has a bio-mechanically correct industry leading 173 mm q factor. There is rarely any other indoor cycling bike in this price class to offer such a narrow q factor. You will learn more about the q factor in the pedal section down below this life fitness IC1 exercise review.

Additionally, to give you peace of mind and to confirm the quality of Life Fitness IC1 group exercise bike the company offers a generous warranty. The Life Fitness IC1 spin bike comes with 5 years frame, 3 years technical components, 1 year other parts, and a 1-year labor warranty.

These days “commercial quality” phrase is very common in the fitness industry and every brand likes to use it. But there are very few companies like Life Fitness that would back up the “commercial quality” phrase with a true commercial warranty.

Note: The company has gone a long way since the Life Fitness IC1 cycle and they made impressive improvements. Currently, in 2020 in addition to the Life Fitness IC1, the company has 7 more spin bikes.

Our favorite among the first four bikes manufactured by this company is the Life Fitness IC4. It has silent magnetic resistance, a better rear-drive design, SPD pedals, fully adjustable handlebars, and better overall quality. If you can afford to spend $500 more, I suggest the IC4.

But if you can not afford to spend more than $900, don’t look further because the Life Fitness ICG IC1 indoor cycling bike is great value for the money.

In order to make it easier for you to navigate through this Life Fitness IC1 indoor cycle reviews, I have created the table of content below. Click on the aspect that you like to learn about, or read the Life Fitness IC1 spin bike review completely for the better understanding of this exercise bike.

Technical Information:

IC1 Bike Specs:

  • Height: 43.3″
  • Width: 21.7″
  • Length: 45.3″
  • Bike Weight: 112 Pounds
  • Max User Weight: 287 Pounds
  • Inseam Capacity: 27″ to 36″
  • Shipping Weight: 125 Pounds
  • Water bottle holder: Yes
  • Floor protection levelers: Yes

With a sturdy steel frame and a 40-pound flywheel, the Life Fitness ICG IC1 spin bike can support vigorous workouts. While IC1 is no longer the best spin bike on the market, it is still a great value exercise cycle for all riders, including avid outdoor cyclists.

The Life Fitness exercise bike offers exceptional stability. To begin with, both its bases are equipped with adjustable levelers with large rubberized pads to keep your floor unscratched and minimize rocking during intense rides.

In addition to that, the fully assembled trainer weighs 112 pounds, this weight, plus your own weight, add to the overall stability. With its sleek and relatively compact frame, the IC1 fits nicely into any space.

The Life Fitness IC1 isn’t a large fitness bike. Its total length is 45.3″ and its width is approx 21.7″. This means you don’t need to have a large floor space to use this bike.

It says the IC1 bike can support up to 287 pounds but I believe the company is playing safe. Looking at the commercial quality steel frame and sturdy parts, I believe the IC1 indoor bike powered by ICG can take support more user weight.

Here is the deal though! Being the first Life Fitness spin bike, the IC1’s handlebars are not fully adjustable. Therefore, some people might think they may not be able to set up the ICG spin bike IC1 for a comfortable ride.

But rest assure that will not be the case if you buy the ICG spin bike IC1, as long as your inseam is between 27 to 36 inches. Lastly, the ICG IC1 bike by Life Fitness’s frame is double-coated with a durable powder finish, resistant to scratching and corrosion.

Even though it’s rather heavy, the bike’s transport shouldn’t be a problem, once it is assembled. The front base has two durable wheels that facilitate its transportation. Therefore, you won’t have to handle more than 1/2 of the bike’s total weight and can store the bike after each use.

ICG IC1 Monitor:

ICG IC1 computer
  • Life Fitness IC1 monitor is blue backlit and runs on batteries (included).
  • IC1 spin bike computer tracks the following stats:
  • RPM, distance, time, calories, and the heart rate using the pulse sensors on the handlebars.
  • Additionally, it shows the averages for RPM and heart rate.
  • Note: This bike’s computer is wired and not wireless.
  • It does not have Bluetooth or ANT/+ connectivity.

The Life Fitness IC1 commercial bike provides readouts for time, distance, speed, calories burned heart rate and more importantly, the RPM. This basic computer helps you for the goals of weight loss, strength training and preparing for outdoor rides.

There are two features that I like the most about the IC1’s computer. They included the RPM measurement and the blue backlit that allows you to see your spinning workout stats in the low-light conditions.

But it is not the best computer for pro cyclists who want to improve their pedal efficiency because it can not track the rider’s watt/power. It also does not have wireless connectivity. So, you can not save, upload/download your workouts.

I don’t know of any indoor cycling bike in this price class that features wireless (Bluetooth, ANT/+) technology and can track rider’s watt output.

Therefore, unless you are willing to spend at least $1500+, don’t look for a spin bike that can accurately track your watts and allows fitness App connectivity.

For its price range, the Life Fitness IC1 exercise bike computer measures sufficient cycling workout stats to keep you aware of your workout progress.

Pedals and Q-factor:

ic1 pedals
  • Life Fitness IC1 q-factor is 173 mm.
  • It has regular toe caged pedals.
  • The pedal straps are adjustable to fit all feet sizes.

One of the selling factors of the IC1 indoor cycle powered by ICG is its top of the line narrow q factor. I don’t think there is any other spin bike under $1000 with such q-factor.

In case you are new to indoor cycling, Q-factor is the horizontal distance between the two pedals. If there is too much distance between the pedals, your feet cannot stay aligned with your knees and hips.

Therefore, after a while, you might feel ankle and knee pain, especially if you have narrow hips. Thankfully, when buying the IC1 indoor cycle, you don’t need to worry about this problem.

Starting from IC1 all the way to IC2, IC3 and one of the latest models, the IC6 bike, they all have bio-mechanically correct q-factors. Thanks to the elite cyclists whose ideas lead to this awesome design.

The IC1 bike powered by ICG is equipped with a very solid crankset. It can hold the user in standing up position with no problem, as long as they don’t exceed 290 pounds.

The pedals are also highly durable but unfortunately, the ICG series IC1 comes with toe caged pedals. They have the standard 9/11″ pedal thread size. So, you can easily replace its pedals with SPD compatible spin bike pedals.

It costs you around $40 and allows you to ride the bike with specific spinning shoes. And as always, I recommend our readers to use clipless cycling shoes for three reasons. Comfort, safety and a more efficient cycling workout.

IC1 flywheel:

IC1 flywheel
  • Life Fitness IC1 indoor Cycle flywheel weighs 40 pounds.
  • It features a perimeter-weighted design for extra smooth rides.
  • The flywheel is fixed.

The three main elements of a spin bike’s drive system are the crankset, flywheel, and the transmission. The IC1 exercise bike is equipped with a fairly heavy perimeter weighted flywheel; it weighs 40 pounds, which means it can deliver a very consistent momentum.

Unlike center weighted flywheels, the perimeter-weighted flywheels do tend to be heavier for maximum resistance levels and a more aggressive inertia. Which ultimately provides a more consistent pedal stroke.

This bike’s flywheel is bi-directional. It means you can pedal forward as well as backward if you want. There are some spinning workouts that require the riders to alternate reverse pedaling sessions with normal pedaling sessions to help stimulate the muscles in different ways and prevent the plateau.

There are freewheel and fixed-wheel (fixed-gear) bikes. And this indoor cycle is fixed-gear which means the pedals and the flywheel start and stop turning together. So, in case of emergency, if you need to get off the bike, you will have to wait for the flywheel/pedals to completely stop turning.

The freewheel indoor cycles such as the IC8 bike allow you to get off the bike or stop pedaling for a short break while the flywheel is still turning. Their drive system works just like a road bike (the wheel and the pedals work independently).

Unfortunately, the free-wheel design is only available on spin bikes that cost more than $2000. Hopefully, in the future, it will be more common!

Note: When it comes to friction resistance spin bikes, the weight of the flywheel is an important factor, unlike magnetic resistance indoor cycles. Thankfully the ICG series IC1 features a heavy flywheel that can mimic the sensation close to riding an outdoor bicycle.

ICG 1 resistance:

IC1 bike resistance
  • IC1 has a friction resistance system.
  • IC1’s resistance features a sweat protection guard.
  • It has the push emergency stop.

I noticed some Life Fitness IC1 reviews claim this bike is magnetic which is not correct. The Life Fitness ICG IC1 cycle featuring friction resistance which has its pro and cons.

The only good thing about the friction system is that it offers unlimited resistance. So, no matter your fitness level, you can still get a challenging workout from the Life Fitness IC1 cycle.

The cons of friction resistance include extra noise and maintenance. Unlike magnetic resistance, the friction brakes come in contact with the flywheel which causes the brake pads to wear out and make a bit of noise.

Therefore, if you live in a small apartment or you know you will be riding early mornings or late evenings, I suggest you buy a magnetic indoor cycle. Their resistance system is completely silent and does not wear out.

So, you won’t be bothering your partner if he/she is resting and can also enjoy watching a movie without increasing to the maximum volume.

Note: The IC1 bike has durable sweat resistance guard to protect the flywheel and prolongs the life the resistance pads. This protection guard plus 3 years commercial use warranty indicates high-quality brake pads.

Life Fitness IC1 drive system:

Poly-v-belt-drivetrain
  • Life Fitness IC1 features the poly-v belt drivetrain.
  • It has a 1:3 drivetrain gear ratio.

There two types of transmission for spin bikes, the belt, and the chain. This indoor cycling trainer uses a durable poly-v belt which means unlike chain drive, you won’t have to worry about lubricating it, or about locked links.

It’s also quieter and generates less vibration. So, in terms of noise generated by the drivetrain of the bike, it is safe to say that it’s almost completely silent.

As for the gear ratio, for every turn of the belt ring, the flywheel turns 3 times which is very little compared to the current IC5 bike with 1:11 gear ratio.

But thankfully the IC1 has a heavy flywheel to make up for the little gear ratio. So, you will still get a high-speed flywheel and consistent pedaling motion.

Handlebars and seat:

Team ICG IC1 seat handlebars
  • ICG IC1 Life Fitness handlebars are vertically adjustable.
  • Life Fitness IC1 seat is unisex and 4-way adjustable.
  • The seat and handlebars have rust-resistance chrome plated posts.
  • Pulse sensors are built-in on the handlebar.

The Life Fitness IC1 indoor cycling bike is equipped with a padded sport seat. It is relatively narrow to reduce friction and prevent bike chafing.

It does have a layer of padding and works both for men and women. Also, it has a standard design, so in case you want to replace it, compatible exercise bike seats are widely available.

The seat can be adjusted up, down, forward, and back. Due to its adjustment span, the IC1 bike can accommodate users between 4’9″? and 6’3″?. It also has a very durable construction and can support users up to 290 pounds with no problem.

The handlebar features a multi-grip design. It does not integrate bottle holders like the IC7 bike, but it has pulse sensors. So, you can track your heart rate as you ride with sensors built right into the handlebar.

It also has the aero bar to promote the racing posture. Additionally, the IC1 handlebars have the PVC material to deliver a sure grip and minimize abrasion during long workouts. But unlike the seat, the handlebar is only 2-way adjustable (up/down).

Note: Both the handlebar and seat are equipped with knobs. So, their adjustment is not as easy as it would be with the levers which is what you would find on the Life Fitness IC3 bike.

IC1 bike price and warranty:

  • Life Fitness IC1 price is around $900 without assembly.
  • IC1’s warranty inside the US includes;
  • 5-Year structural frame
  • 3-Year mechanical components
  • 1-Year other parts
  • 1-Year labor

Life Fitness is one of the good fitness equipment brands that stand with their products. With 3 years part warranty, the company proves that the phrase “high quality durable indoor cycle” is not just an advertisement.

It says a lot about how confident the company is about the ICG IC1 cycling bike. Otherwise, they could give it a 90-day warranty like many competitors on the market.

If you ever need a part for the IC1 while it is still under warranty, you should first create an account on external.lifefitness.com. Then you can enter the bike’s serial number and the part number to easily find and order what you are looking for.

As for the Life Fitness IC1 price, it mainly depends on where you buy the IC1 bike and when you buy it. Currently, Amazon offers the best price for the IC1.

Assembly and shipping:

  • Life Fitness IC1 assembly is fairly easy.
  • The bike comes with the assembly tools.
  • Life Fitness ICG IC1 shipping is free in certain areas.
  • It comes in one box that weighs around 125 pounds.

Buying the IC1 Life Fitness ICG exercise bike, you don’t have to pay for the shipping. However, this item is part of the heavy bulky program and is only available for local delivery and installation.

So, if Amazon says this product can not ship to your address, you might have to try the Life Fitness directly. As for the installation, it is easy and straight forward.

The bike comes mostly assembled. You will have to install the stabilizer feet, handlebars, monitor, pedals, seat and the water bottle holder. It shouldn’t take you more than 40 minutes.

When assembling the bike, make sure to follow the Life Fitness IC1 indoor cycle manual. Because the company does not cover the damages caused due to the wrong assembly.

Life Fitness IC1 Bike Pros:

Life Fitness IC1 exercise bike

Durable Poly-V belt
Featuring a durable automotive grade belt, the IC1 ensures a quiet ride and transfers more power than other belts, ensuring less maintenance, fewer breakdowns, and improved pedaling technique.

Excellent Warranty
This Life Fitness bike’s list price of $899 includes an unmatched warranty protecting customers’ investments and providing peace of mind for years of cardio workout to come. The frame is under warranty for five years and parts are covered for up to 3 years.

  • Extremely sturdy construction, able to support users up to 290 pounds.
  • Parallel design that accommodates most users despite 2-way adjustable handlebars.
  • Bases with four adjustable, rubber levelers.
  • Two durable transport wheels for easy mobility.
  • 4-Way adjustable padded sport seat.
  • Extra-heavy, 40 lbs perimeter-weighted flywheel for a consistent momentum and a smooth pedaling motion.
  • Heavy-duty crank, able to support any user up to the maximum listed weight, in off the saddle riding position.
  • Top of the line narrow Q-Factor to eliminate lateral stress on the knees and ankles.
  • Fitness meter included – time, speed, RPM, distance, calories and pulse.
  • Blue backlit console, easy to see in low-light condition.
  • Bottle holders included.
  • Little assembly required.
  • Little maintenance required.

Life Fitness IC1 Bike Cons:

Life Fitness IC1 indoor cycling bike

Pedals
IC1 Life fitness exercise bike features toe cages. They don’t have SPD clips for spin shoes, but they have standard 9/16 threads. So, you can easily find the SPD replacements.

Handlebars
IC1 handlebars can be adjusted only vertically which is why this cycle does not accommodate tall riders.

Friction resistance
If you have been reading this Life Fitness IC1 Indoor bike review, you already know I am not a big fan of friction resistance because it makes noise and wears out.

  • IC1 does not have a tablet holder.
  • The monitor does not track the watt/power.
  • It is not Bluetooth, ANT/+ enabled.

Last Word on the Life Fitness IC1 Exercise Bike:

The Life Fitness IC1 brings an incredible indoor cycling experience to your home gym. With top of the line proven engineering from ICG, the Life Fitness IC1 is made to last.

The Life Fitness IC1 spin bike gets overwhelmingly positive reviews from a wide variety of rider. It fits pretty much all user heights it’s stable for heavier trainees.

The IC1 Life Fitness indoor cycle trainer has a narrow q factor, a heavy flywheel, an RPM bike monitor, a quiet belt drivetrain, a sturdy steel frame, and an excellent track record.

Overall the IC1 by Life Fitness is a great option for almost anyone with less than $1000 budget who doesn’t mind the basic bike console, 2-way adjustable handlebars and the friction resistance.

A cheaper alternative option with the SPD pedals and 4-way adjustable handlebars is the Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike. It also has a 40-pound flywheel and a fairly good warranty but has a wider q-factor.

Note: For the price of this Life Fitness spin bike you can buy the ASUNA Sprinter. It is a magnetic spin bike with SPD pedals, better computer and better handlebars. But it has a wider q factor and does not have as good of a warranty.

9.8 Total Score
Durable

The Life Fitness IC1 exercise bike is an excellent bike. Considering the low price and the fantastic warranty, the ICG IC1 exercise bike is the real deal. It has a heavy perimeter weighted flywheel, bio-mechanic q-factor, a sturdy steel frame, and a great track record. We recommend buying the optional SPD pedals for a safer and more efficient workout. Read the point-by-point Life Fitness IC1 indoor cycle review and find out this bike can meet your indoor cycling fitness needs.

Life Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle
9.8
User Rating: 3.2 (44 votes)

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