Life Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle Review: Sturdy But Outdated!

This Life Fitness IC1 indoor cycle is an impressive indoor bike. It is a low-priced yet durable exercise bike that supports up to 290 pounds of user weight and is 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 good spin bikes under $1000.

As ICG’s entry-level cycle, the IC1 offers a simplified feature-set without compromising on premium grade materials, proven engineering process, and design. The IC1 is a rock-solid spin bike, suitable even for 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 how Life FitnessICG IC1 indoor bike was evolved.

Life Fitness ICG Indoor Cycling Group Bike Comparison

Currently, there are 8 models of Life Fitness ICG bikes and IC1 is the very first model. Although the bike has been discontinued by Life Fitness, you can still find it on some fitness stores. If you take a look at the Life Fitness IC8, you will immediately notice how long the company has gone since the Life Fitness IC1.

The new models look nothing like the IC1, they have tens of more features and look much nicer. Aside from major improvements such as magnetic resistance and full customization ability, the newer Life Fitness ICG indoor bikes also have colored screens and better transmission systems.

As for the IC1, It’s really the most basic indoor bike by Life Fitness. If you are a fan of Life Fitness company, I would highly recommend you to take a look at the other models, specially from IC4 to IC7 models.

The reason I recommend from Life Fitness IC4 and newer models is magnetic resistance and more ergonomic design. The key features of Life Fitness IC1 is a 40 pounds perimeter-weighted steel flywheel for even pedaling, a Poly-V belt drivetrain for smooth, and On-Board blue backlit RPM console.

Check out the image comparison of Life Fitness indoor cycling bikes and see how they changed the design and made other major improvements.

Life Fitness ICG Indoor Cycles Comparison
NameVerdictMonitorPedalsAdjustmentResistanceExtras
Life Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle$400 Overpriced at $900Backlit with RPM reading (sold separately)Toe-cageVertically adjustableFriction ResistanceDurable Built
Life Fitness IC2 Indoor Cycle$400 Overpriced at $1000Backlit with RPM reading (sold separately)SPD dual-sidedVertically adjustableFriction ResistanceDurable Built
Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Cycle$550 Overpriced at $1200ANT+, Backlit with RPM reading (sold separately)SPD dual-sidedFully adjustableFriction ResistanceConvenient bottle holders
Life Fitness IC4 Indoor Cycle$500 Overpriced at $1500No monitor for this modelSPD dual-sidedFully adjustableMagnetic ResistanceConvenient bottle holders
Life Fitness IC5 Indoor CycleGood Value at $1900ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct WattSPD dual-sidedFully adjustableMagnetic ResistanceDirect watt tracking
Life Fitness IC6 Indoor CycleGood Value at $2000Self-powered, ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct WattSPD dual-sidedFully adjustableMagnetic ResistanceDirect watt tracking
Life Fitness IC7 Indoor Cycle$500 Overpriced at $2700Self-powered, ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct WattSPD dual-sidedFully adjustable and Gas-assisted technologyMagnetic ResistanceToothed belt and direct watt
Life Fitness IC8 Indoor Cycle$700 Overpriced at $3500Self-powered, ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct WattSPD dual-sidedFully adjustable and Gas-assisted technologyMagnetic ResistanceRight and left leg power balance, Free-wheel

Life Fitness IC1 Comparable Alternatives

When it comes to indoor cycling, the Life Fitness IC1 is indeed a solid choice. However, it’s worth noting that there are comparable products on the market that offer more features and benefits at a similar price point. Let’s explore some alternatives to consider based on specific needs or circumstances.

If you value a backlit console that displays essential workout metrics clearly, the Schwinn IC4 is a fantastic option. Its 4×3 inch blue backlit console provides easy visibility of your resistance, rpm, speed, distance, time, and calories. Additionally, the IC4 boasts a manually adjustable magnetic resistance system, which is superior to the friction resistance of the Life Fitness IC1. It also features dual-sided pedals and customizable handlebars, including horizontal adjustments, along with a convenient tablet holder.

For those seeking a heavy flywheel and durability, the Sole SB900 is worth considering. With a 45-lb flywheel, it offers a smooth ride and a sturdy frame that can handle intense workouts. Like the Schwinn IC4, the Sole SB900 features a manually adjustable magnetic resistance system, which surpasses the friction resistance of the Life Fitness IC1. Moreover, it provides horizontal adjustable handlebars and dual-sided pedals, accommodating regular shoes as well as cycling clipping shoes.

If automatic resistance is a priority, the budget-friendly Echelon EX3 is a noteworthy choice. It combines manual and automatic magnetic resistance, offering a seamless transition between resistance levels. This feature outperforms the friction resistance of the Life Fitness IC1, as well as the manually adjustable magnetic resistance found in the Schwinn IC4 and Sole SB900. Although the Echelon EX3 lacks a built-in console, it utilizes wireless sensors to track your rpm, speed, resistance level, and distance. By connecting to popular fitness apps like Zwift, Peloton, Echelon, and Kinomap via FTMS Bluetooth, you can enjoy immersive training experiences that simulate Zwift hills or Peloton power zone classes. If you’re specifically looking for an indoor bike that mimics the electronic resistance adjustments of popular fitness platforms, the Echelon EX3 is an excellent choice.

To summarize, the Schwinn IC4, Sole SB900, and Echelon EX3 are all viable alternatives to the Life Fitness IC1, offering comparable pricing with added features. Each model caters to different preferences, so consider the backlit console of the Schwinn IC4, the heavy flywheel of the Sole SB900, or the automatic resistance of the Echelon EX3 based on your specific needs. By providing more options and features, these alternatives ensure a rewarding indoor cycling experience.

Last update was on: February 22, 2024 7:58 pm
NamesVerdictScreenExtrasApplications
Schwinn IC4Best choice at $799. There is no better spin bike that could beat the IC4 at this price.LED with Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance Readings.Tablet and dumbbell holders plus magnetic resistanceZwift, Peloton, Kinomap, and more
Sole SB900Would highly recommend the SB900. This model is a semi-commercial quality and has many superior features.No backlit with RPM and Speed Readings but without Bluetooth or resistance readings.Tablet holder and magnetic resistanceNone
Echelon EX3I recommend the EX3 because of its mart and better resistance system.No built-in console but sensors read and transmit RPM, Gear, and Speed readings.Tablet holder and magnetic resistance with BluetoothZwift, Echelon, Peloton, Kinomap.
Life Fitness IC1 Alternatives

To facilitate your navigation through this Life Fitness ICG IC1 review, I have created a table of contents below. Click on the spect you would like to learn about or feel free to read the entire review for a comprehensive understanding of this indoor cycling 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, adds 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 assured 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 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 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 the 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 a 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 a 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 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 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 features 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 are 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 a 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 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 assembly tools.
  • Life Fitness ICG IC1 shipping is free in certain areas.
  • It comes in one box that weighs around 125 pounds.

When buying the IC1 Life Fitness ICG exercise bike, you don’t have to pay for 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 Life Fitness directly. As for the installation, it is easy and straightforward.

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 workouts 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 the off-the-saddle riding position.
  • Top of the line narrow Q-Factor to eliminate lateral stress on the knees and ankles.
  • The Fitness meter included – time, speed, RPM, distance, calories and pulse.
  • Blue backlit console, easy to see in low-light conditions.
  • Bottle holders included.
  • A little assembly and maintenance are 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.
8Expert Score
Durable But Outdated!

The Life Fitness IC1 exercise bike is a good quality bike. Considering the low price and the fantastic warranty, the ICG IC1 exercise bike is better than some competitors. It has a heavy perimeter weighted flywheel, bio-mechanic q-factor, a sturdy steel frame, and a great track record. However, its unadjustable handlebars, outdated friction resistance system, and screen are really outdated. So, I would recommend one of the following alternative indoor bike including Schwinn IC4, Sole Sb900, and Echelon EX3 because they have magnetic resistance which has less maintenance and it’s smoother. Plus, they have Bluetooth functionality for app connection, better customisable handlebars, and dual sided pedals.

Performance
8.1
Adjustability
7.9
Display
7.1
Comfort
8
Sturdy
9

Sayed
Sayed

Hi there, I'm Sayed Hamed Hosseiny, the founder and one of the authors at yourexercisebike.com (YEB). I am a former indoor cycling instructor and personal trainer with nearly 20 years of experience. With a passion for indoor cycling, I have spent years designing cycling parts, repairing, and importing exercise bikes. All the articles, tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on YourExerciseBike.com (YEB) reflect my personal opinion and expertise in the field. I'm excited to share my knowledge with fellow exercise bike enthusiasts and help people find reliable indoor cycling information and the best exercise bike for their needs. If you have any questions or suggestion, you can contact me at sayed@yourexercisebike.com.

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