Life Fitness IC2 Indoor Cycle Review | Get A Better Alternative
Let me be honest with you from the very start of this Life Fitness IC2 review. It’s a durable indoor bike, there is no doubt there. But it’s also one of the most overpriced indoor cycling bikes Life Fitness has ever made.
What’s up with the $1900 price tag for an exercise bike that’s so outdated? No magnetic resistance, no horizontal handlebar adjustment, no Bluetooth connectivity, and an extremely basic monitor.
I am sorry to say this, but Life Fitness ICG IC2 indoor cycling doesn’t even have enough features to stand a chance against spin bikes under $1000, let alone $2000. Later I will explain which comparable indoor cycles offer better value for your money. For now let’s see how ICG IC2 indoor bike was evolved from ICG IC1 and what are its differences.
How Life Fitness ICG IC2 Evolved
|Life Fitness IC1 Indoor Cycle||$400 Overpriced at $900||Backlit with RPM reading (sold separately)||Toe-cage||Vertically adjustable||Friction Resistance||Durable Built|
|Life Fitness IC2 Indoor Cycle||$400 Overpriced at $1000||Backlit with RPM reading (sold separately)||SPD dual-sided||Vertically adjustable||Friction Resistance||Durable Built|
|Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Cycle||$550 Overpriced at $1200||ANT+, Backlit with RPM reading (sold separately)||SPD dual-sided||Fully adjustable||Friction Resistance||Convenient bottle holders|
|Life Fitness IC4 Indoor Cycle||$500 Overpriced at $1500||No monitor for this model||SPD dual-sided||Fully adjustable||Magnetic Resistance||Convenient bottle holders|
|Life Fitness IC5 Indoor Cycle||Good Value at $1900||ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct Watt||SPD dual-sided||Fully adjustable||Magnetic Resistance||Direct watt tracking|
|Life Fitness IC6 Indoor Cycle||Good Value at $2000||Self-powered, ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct Watt||SPD dual-sided||Fully adjustable||Magnetic Resistance||Direct watt tracking|
|Life Fitness IC7 Indoor Cycle||$500 Overpriced at $2700||Self-powered, ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct Watt||SPD dual-sided||Fully adjustable and Gas-assisted technology||Magnetic Resistance||Toothed belt and direct watt|
|Life Fitness IC8 Indoor Cycle||$700 Overpriced at $3500||Self-powered, ANT+ and Bluetooth, backlit with RPM and Direct Watt||SPD dual-sided||Fully adjustable and Gas-assisted technology||Magnetic Resistance||Right and left leg power balance, Free-wheel|
The Life Fitness IC2 Indoor Cycle is the second entry-level cycle after ICG IC1 Indoor Cycle that offers a simplified feature set with premium-grade materials, proven engineering process and professional styling.
There are a few improvements in this model compared to the previous model (IC1). The Life Fitness IC2 bike has better handlebars with an additional hand-grip position, dual-sided cage/basket and SPD/MTB pedals to use regular sneakers or clip in specific cycling shoes, and more durable adjustment knobs that last longer.
But it also has a few disadvantages compared to IC1. The IC2 has lighter flywheel (30-lb vs 40-lb), it’s more expensive, and its fitness tracking monitor is sold separately which adds up to over cost of the bike.
Aside from the mentioned improvements, there are no other differences between the IC1 and IC2 indoor cycles. The Life Fitness IC2 spin bike is $200 more expensive at $1859 with a console and $1699 without a console which is understandable due to its overall improvements compared to Life Fitness IC1.
As for other features, the life Fitness IC2 exercise bike is equipped with a Poly-V belt drivetrain that minimizes maintenance, improves pedaling technique, permits less momentum-based recovery, makes the rider work efficiently and makes less noise compared to chain driven bikes.
Another excellent feature found on the ICG 2 indoor cycle is the perimeter-weighted flywheel. It weighs 33 pounds helping the rider to develop an even, 360-degree technique and better pedal mechanics.
As I mentioned earlier in this Life Fitness IC2 review, one of the improvements is the dual-sided SPD compatible pedals. They give you the option to exercise with clipless cycling shoes or regular gym shoes.
Additionally, the Life Fitness IC2 has aluminum seat and handlebars posts to reduce weight, add durability and make the bike adjustments easy.
On top of that, the Life Fitness IC2 indoor cycling exercise bike features a flywheel and resistance sweat guard to prolong the bike’s life by protecting the frame, resistance pad and flywheel.
The company has gone a long way since the Life Fitness IC2 cycle and they made impressive improvements in the newer Life Fitness ICG IC Series indoor cycles. Currently, in addition to the Life Fitness IC2, the company has 7 more indoor cycling bikes.
The models that evolved after the ICG IC2 is the ICG IC3 which has a better handlebar than IC2 because it adjusts horizontally (not just vertically) so you fit the bike better, an ANT+ console to connect with heart rate monitors for a more accurate feedback, and a set of easier to reach bottle holders. I know IC3 has a few improvements that I mentioned but it’s still an overpriced indoor cycles that I can recommend unless it’s priced under $1000.
After ICG IC3, Life Fitness ICG IC4 was released which is a groundbreaking new model in the ICG Series with several improvements. On this model, instead of frictions resistance which is an outdated system used on IC1, IC2, and IC3, Life Fitness introduced magnetic resistance on IC4 which has less maintenance and makes zero noise. On IC4, they also moved the flywheel to back of the bike so it’s more stable and less exposed to sweat compared to front flywheel used on IC3 and older models.
Another really useful improvement on Life Fitness IC4 is the flywheel cover which keeps the flywheel away. I think it’s a huge factor for households with kids because if they happen to run around the bike and fall on it, it’s safer than IC3’s flywheel that is exposed without cover.
On ICG IC4’s frame, Life Fitness four new indoor cycles including ICG IC5, ICG IC6, ICG IC7, and ICG IC8 which is the very last model and has some really cool features including a large backlist console, accurate watt readings, drop handlebars with elbow rests, gas assisted adjustment system and a very important feature which is a free-wheel transmission system so you can cast like you would on a road bike.
All the mentioned Life Fitness ICG indoor cycling bikes also come with a very generous warranty of 3 years mechanical parts and 1 year labor in the US which is rare to find these days in commercial quality exercise bikes.
Comparable Indoor Cycles to Consider
I tried and used the Life Fitness IC2 exercise bike and it’s a decent quality product but it’s overpriced at $1900. I tried spin bikes half its price that have comparable quality (if not better) but way more features. Here are a two comparable indoor cycling bikes that I suggest buying instead of Life Fitness IC2;
Firstly, Echelon EX5. It is a significantly better indoor cycle than Life Fitness IC2 because it has a much better handlebars with two additional hand grips that adjust horizontally and vertically so you achieve a better bike fit.
Echelon EX5 also has an automatic magnetic resistance that is way better than Life Fitness IC2’s manually adjustable friction resistance because magnets never wear out or make noise but wool brake pads make noise and wear out so you do need to change and maintain them after a while.
The EX5 also has wireless Bluetooth sensors that transmit many detail including gear, rpm, speed, watt, and distance about your cycling session to your phone or tablet while Life Fitness IC2 doesn’t have any wireless connectivity.
Lastly, Echelon EX5 can connect to Zwift, Echelon Fit, Peloton, Kinomap, Strava, Rouvy, and many other indoor cycling applications while Life Fitness IC2 can’t connect to any cycling application.
On top of all the mentioned superior features, Echelon EX5 also has an awesome media shelf that fits up to 15″ tablets. It also has a USB charging port so you can keep you phone and tablet charged while cycling indoors.
Another comparable indoor cycle for half the price of Life Fitness IC2 is the Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycle. It’s a larger 3×5″ console with backlit so it’s easier to see your workouts compare to ICG IC2.
Schwinn IC4 also has Bluetooth connectivity and transmits all your cycling data including rpm, speed, and resistance to spinning applications including Zwift, Peloton and Kinomap.
On top of that, Schwinn IC4 has a better handlebar than Life Fitness IC2 because it adjusts horizontally so you can customise the bike better for you height. There are also dumbbells and a dumbbell holder that comes with the Schwinn IC4 which is something ICG IC2 doesn’t have.
But even importantly, Schwinn IC4 has a magnetic resistance system which is far better than Life Fitness IC2’s wool friction resistance system because it doesn’t wear out and provides a smoother ride.
Out of the three comparable indoor cycles that I covered here, I recommend the Echelon EX5 for those who want their bike to automatically change resistance on Zwift and Peloton classes. But if you don’t want that and instead you like your bike to have a built-in console, I suggest the Schwinn IC4 because it comes with a decent console.
In order to make it easier for you to navigate through this Life Fitness IC2 indoor cycle reviews, I have created the table of content below. To find out about the warranty, drivetrain, assembly, pros, and cons, read the full Life Fitness ICG IC2 review below.
- IC2 Bike Specs
- ICG IC2 Bike Monitor
- Pedals and Q-factor
- IC2 Cycle flywheel
- ICG 2 resistance
- Life Fitness IC2 drive system
- Handlebars and seat
- IC2 bike price and warranty
- Assembly and shipping
- Life Fitness IC2 Cycle Pros
- Life Fitness IC2 Cycle Cons
- Last Word on the Life Fitness IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike
IC2 Bike Specifications:
- 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 33-pound flywheel, the Life Fitness ICG IC2 spin bike can support vigorous workouts. While it 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. Also, with a sleek and relatively compact frame, the IC2 fits nicely into any space.
The Life Fitness IC2 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 IC2 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 IC2 indoor bike powered by ICG can take support more user weight.
Here is the deal though! Being the first Life Fitness spin bike, the IC2’s handlebars are not fully adjustable. Therefore, some people might think they may not be able to set up the ICG spin bike IC2 for a comfortable ride.
But rest assured that will not be the case if you buy the ICG spin bike IC2, as long as your inseam falls between 27 to 36 inches. Lastly, the ICG IC2 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 which 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 IC2 Monitor:
- Life Fitness IC2 has an ANT+ monitor but you need to buy it separately.
- The Life Fitness IC2 monitor is blue backlit and runs on batteries (included).
- IC2 spin bike computer is ANT+ enabled and tracks the following stats:
- RPM, distance, time, calories, and the heart rate (via analog and digital HR transmitter).
- Additionally, it shows the averages for RPM and heart rate.
- Note: This bike’s computer is wireless and not wired like the IC1.
- This monitor is not compatible with any cycling apps.
The Life Fitness IC2 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 this Life Fitness spin bike’s computer. They are 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. Thankfully, this model, unlike the last model (IC1) has wireless connectivity. So, you can save, upload/download your workouts.
For its price range, the Life Fitness ICG IC2 exercise bike’s wireless ANT+ computer measures sufficient cycling workout stats to keep you aware of your workout progress.
Pedals and Q-factor:
- Life Fitness IC2 q-factor is 173 mm.
- It has two-sided SPD compatible and toe caged pedals.
- The pedal straps are adjustable to fit all feet sizes.
One of the selling factors of the IC2 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 IC2 indoor cycle, you don’t need to worry about this problem.
Starting from IC2 all the way to IC3, IC4 and one of the latest model, the IC6 bike, they all have bio-mechanically correct q-factors. Thanks to the elite cyclists whose ideas lead to this awesome design.
The IC2 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 and thankfully, unlike the IC1 cycle, they come with toe caged and SPD pedals. They have the standard 9/11″ pedal thread size. So, you can also easily replace its pedals with your own road bike’s SPD compatible pedals.
They SPD pedals allow 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.
- Life Fitness IC2 indoor Cycle flywheel weighs 33 pounds.
- It features 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 IC2 exercise bike is equipped with a fairly heavy perimeter weighted flywheel; it weighs 33 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 backward if you want. There are some spinning workouts that require the riders to alternate reverse pedaling sessions with normal pedaling sessions to help simulate 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 turn 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 two second brake while the flywheel is still turning. Their drive system works just a like a road bike (the wheel and the pedals work independently).
Unfortunately, the freewheel 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 IC2 features a heavy flywheel that can mimic the sensation close to riding an outdoor bicycle.
ICG 2 resistance:
- IC2 has the friction resistance system.
- IC2’s resistance features a sweat protection guard.
- It has the push emergency stop.
I noticed some Life Fitness IC2 reviews claim this bike is magnetic which is not correct. The Life Fitness ICG IC2 cycle featuring friction resistance which has its pros and cons.
The good spect of 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 IC2 cycle.
The cons of friction resistance include the 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 does not wear out and it is silent.
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: Fortunately, the IC2 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 IC2 drive system:
- Life Fitness IC2 features the poly-v belt drivetrain.
- It has 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 IC2 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:
- ICG IC2 Life Fitness handlebars are vertically adjustable.
- Life Fitness IC2 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 IC2 indoor cycling bike is equipped with a padded sport seat. In other words, the seat 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 IC2 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. It has 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.
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.
IC2 bike price and warranty:
- Life Fitness IC2 price is around $1000 without assembly.
- IC2’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 IC2 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 IC2 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 IC2 price, it mainly depends on where you buy the IC2 bike and when you buy it. Currently, Amazon offers the best price for the IC2.
Assembly and shipping:
- Life Fitness IC2 assembly is fairly easy.
- The bike comes with the assembly tools.
- Life Fitness ICG IC2 shipping is free in certain areas.
- It comes in one box that weighs around 125 pounds.
Buying the IC2 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 products 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 IC2 indoor cycle manual. Because they company does not cover the damages caused due to the wrong assembly.
Life Fitness IC2 Indoor Cycle Pros:
- Extremely sturdy construction, able to support users up to 290 pounds.
- Sleek unisex saddle has an opening in the middle that relieves pressure while riding.
- Dual-sided pedals with both SPD for cycling shoes and a toe cage for regular shoes.
- Aluminum pin-to-lock adjustments on the seat (vertical and horizontal) ensures comfort for a wide range of riders.
- 33-Pound perimeter weighted flywheel providing a smooth, balanced and enjoyable feel which results in an effective and efficient workout.
- Parallel design that accommodates most users despite 2-way adjustable handlebars.
- Bases with four adjustable, rubber levelers.
- Two durable transport wheels for easy mobility.
- 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.
- Bottle holders included.
- Little assembly and maintenance required.
- Unmatched warranty protecting customers’s investments and providing peace of mind.
Life Fitness IC2 Indoor Cycle Cons:
- IC2 does not have a tablet holder.
- The monitor is not included with the bike and it does not track the watt/power .
- It is also not Bluetooth or ANT/+ enabled for cycling applications.
- Friction resistance because it makes a bit of noise and wears out.
- Handlebars can be adjusted only vertically which is why this cycles does not accommodate tall riders.
The IC2 indoor cycle, powered by ICG, is a rugged bike, suitable for withstanding high traffic commercial use in group training classes. This Entry level Life Fitness spin bike features the Poly-V belt, 30 pounds perimeter weighted flywheel, SPD dual-sided pedals, narrow q-factor, blue backlight monitor and a generous warranty.