Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Cycle Review
The Life Fitness IC3 indoor cycle is an impressive bike. It is a mid-priced commercial and very durable exercise bike trainer that supports up to 290 pounds of user weight and designed for all fitness levels.
Featuring all the essentials for serious indoor cycling, the Life Fitness IC3 indoor cycling bike would be a good choice for anyone. So, whether you are a beginner or pro, your goal is strength training, weight loss cardio workout or preparing for outdoor rides, the Life Fitness IC3 indoor cycle powered by ICG can be a great fitness machine!
The 8 improvements on the Life Fitness IC3 indoor cycling bike includes; Ergo-formed, multi-position, soft PVC handlebars, dual water bottle holder integrated on the handlebars, vertical and horizontal handlebar adjustment, lever for emergency brake, 40-pound perimeter weighted flywheel, 155 mm q factor, molded form-fit protection and stretch plates for warm-ups, and oversized adjustable frame stabilizer bars.
This unit’s list price is $1500 but now it is priced at about $1400 with fast shipping included. Here’s an overview of the Life Fitness IC3’s features. But to see more details, make sure to scroll down and read this Life Fitness IC3 review completely.
The key features of Life Fitness IC3 are a 40 pounds perimeter-weighted flywheel for smooth even pedaling, Poly-V belt drivetrain for low maintenance and quiet operation, and the blue backlit RPM and ANT+ enabled console (sold separately).
But even more importantly, the Life Fitness IC3 indoor studio bike has a bio-mechanically correct industry leading 155 mm q factor. You will learn more about the q factor in the pedal section down below this life fitness IC3 exercise bike review.
Additionally, to give you peace of mind and to confirm the quality of Life Fitness IC3 commercial exercise bike the company offers a generous warranty. The Life Fitness IC3 spin bike comes with 5 years frame, 3 years technical components, 1 year other parts, and a 1-year labor warranty.
Note: Currently in 2019 in addition to the Life Fitness IC3, the company has 7 more spin bikes on the market. Our favorite among the first four models manufactured by this brand is the Life Fitness IC4. It has the silent magnetic resistance, a better rear drive design, and faster flywheel with higher gear-ratio. Surprisingly, the IC4 retails at the same price point.
To make it easier for you to navigate through this Life Fitness IC3 indoor cycle review, I have created the table of content below. Click on the part that you like to learn about, or read the Life Fitness IC3 spin bike review completely for the better understanding of this ICG powered exercise bike.
- IC3 Indoor Cycle Specs
- Powered by ICG ANT+ Monitor
- Pedals and Q-factor of IC3
- IC3, Powered by ICG flywheel
- ICG 3 resistance
- Life Fitness IC3 drivetrain
- Handlebars and seat
- IC3 bike price and warranty
- Assembly and shipping
- Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Bike Pros
- Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Bike Cons
- Final Word on the Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike
- Height: 43.3″
- Width: 21.5″
- Length: 47.2″
- Bike Weight: 126 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 287 Pounds
- Inseam Capacity: 27″ to 38″
- Shipping Weight: 135 Pounds
- Water bottle holder: Yes, dual integrated
- Floor protection levelers: Yes, oversized adjustable
Featuring a durable steel frame and a 40-pound flywheel, the Life Fitness IC3 spin bike can support all spinning 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 and gym owners.
The Life Fitness exercise bike offers exceptional stability. To begin with, both its bases are equipped with adjustable levelers with oversizes 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 the rider’s weight, add to the overall stability. With its sleek and transport wheels, the IC3 fits nicely into any space.
The Life Fitness IC3 isn’t the most compact exercise bike and it is understandable because it is made for commercial facilities and has to accommodate all riders. So, check the dimensions above and see if you have enough floor space for this indoor cycle.
It says the IC3 bike can support up to 287 pounds but I believe the company is playing safe. Looking at the commercial quality steel frame and sturdy components, I believe the IC3 indoor bike powered by ICG can at least support 300 pounds of user weight.
Being the improved version of the first Life Fitness spin bikes, the IC3’s handlebars are fully adjustable. Therefore, almost all riders can set up the bike for a comfortable indoor cycling workout.
The ICG IC3 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 easily store the bike after each use.
ICG IC3 Monitor:
- The IC3 monitor is not included with the purchase, it is sold separately.
- Life Fitness IC3 monitor is blue backlit and runs on batteries.
- IC3 spin bike computer tracks the following stats:
- RPM, distance, time, calories, and the heart rate (using digital and analog HR).
- Additionally, it shows the averages for RPM and heart rate.
- Note: This bike’s computer is wireless.
- So, unlike the IC1, it does have ANT/+ connectivity.
- But it is solely for wireless HR tracking and the bike’s sensor connectivity, NOT for app connectivity and workout tracking.
- It also doesn’t have Bluetooth or watt tracking capabilities.
The Life Fitness IC3 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.
It is also backlit that allows you to see your spinning workout stats in the low-light conditions. Unfortunately, the computer is not included and it is sold separately. My personal recommendation is that if you want a bike with a computer for around the same price, buy the ProForm Studio Pro bike. It has Bluetooth, 10″ screen, magnetic resistance, built-in workouts and it is also iFit enabled.
Pedals and Q-factor:
- Life Fitness IC3 q-factor is 155 mm.
- It has dual-sided SPD compatible and regular toe caged pedals.
- The pedal straps are adjustable to fit all feet sizes.
One of the main selling factors of the IC3 indoor cycle powered by ICG is its top of the line narrow q factor. There is barely any other fitness brand that manufactures spin bikes with such a narrow 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, in the long run, you might feel ankle and knee pain, especially if you have narrow hips. Thankfully, when buying the IC3 indoor cycle, you don’t need to worry about this problem.
Starting from IC3 all the way to IC4, IC5 and one of the latest model, the IC6 bike, they all have bio-mechanically correct q-factors. Thanks to the elite cyclists and skilled engineers whose ideas lead to this awesome design.
The IC3 bike powered by ICG is equipped with a very solid crankset. It can hold the user in out of the saddle position with no problem, as long as they don’t exceed 290 pounds.
The pedals are also highly durable and thankfully, the ICG series IC3 comes with SPD compatible and toe caged pedals. They allow regular gym shoes for cross-training and clipless cycling shoes for a safe and comfortable ride. This bike has the standard 9/11″ pedal thread size. So, you can easily replace its pedals with your power pedals if you want.
- Life Fitness IC3 flywheel weighs 40 pounds.
- It features perimeter-weighted design for even pedaling and extra smooth workout.
- The flywheel is fixed and bidirectional.
The three main elements of a spin bike’s drive system are the crankset, flywheel, and the transmission. The IC3 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 backward if you want. In fact, some spinning workouts 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 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 short break 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 indoor cycling bikes that cost more than $2000. Hopefully, in the future it will be more common and available in cheaper exercise bikes.
Note: When it comes to friction resistance spin bikes, the weight of the flywheel is an important factor. Thankfully the ICG series IC3 features a heavy flywheel that can mimic the sensation close to riding an outdoor bicycle.
ICG 3 Resistance:
- IC3 has a friction resistance system.
- IC3s resistance features a sweat protection guard.
- It has the lever push emergency stop.
I noticed some Life Fitness IC3 reviews claim this bike is magnetic which is not correct. The Life Fitness ICG IC3 cycle features felt-pad friction resistance which has its pros and cons.
The good aspect 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 IC3 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 working out early mornings or late evenings, I suggest you buy a magnetic indoor cycle. Their resistance does not wear out and they are 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 IC3 bike has durable sweat resistance guard to protect the flywheel and prolongs the life pg the resistance pads. This protection guard plus 3 years commercial use warranty indicates high-quality resistance brake pad materials.
Life Fitness IC3 drive system:
- Life Fitness IC3 features the poly-V belt drivetrain.
- It has 1:3 drivetrain gear ratio.
- Fixed-gear driven system.
There are mainly two types of transmission for spin bikes, the belt and the chain. This indoor cycling trainer uses a 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. On top of that, the poly-v belt used in the IC3 is high-quality and not easily stretchable.
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 IC3 has a heavy flywheel to make up for the little gear ratio. So, you will still get good momentum and consistent pedaling motion.
Handlebars and seat:
- There are three handlebar improvements that were missing on older models;
- IC3 has the ergo-formed, multi-position, soft PVC handlebars.
- There are dual water bottle holders integrated on the handlebars.
- ICG cycle comes with vertical and horizontal handlebar adjustment.
- Life Fitness IC3 seat is unisex and 4-way adjustable.
- The seat and handlebars have rust-resistance lightweight aluminum posts.
- This bike features the aluminum, pin-to-lock adjustment.
The Life Fitness IC3 indoor cycling bike is equipped with a padded performance seat. In other words, the seat is relatively narrow to reduce friction and prevent bike chafing for long rides.
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, fore/aft. Due to its adjustment span, the IC3 bike can accommodate users most users.
The handlebar features a multi-grip ergonomic design. It integrates bottle holders like the IC7 bike, and features 4-way adjustment to provide a safe and comfortable workout without unnecessary pressure on the riders’ back.
It also has the aero bar to promote the racing posture. Handlebars have the PVC material to deliver a sure grip and minimize abrasion during long workouts.
Note: Both the handlebar and seat are equipped with a dial and lever. So, their adjustment is easier than the older Life Fitness models.
IC3 bike price and warranty:
- Life Fitness IC3 price is around $1500, assembly not included.
- IC3’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 IC3 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 IC3 while it is still under warranty or even after the 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 IC3 price, it mainly depends on where you buy the IC3 bike and when you buy it. Currently, on Amazon, you can get one of the best deals for the IC3.
Assembly and shipping:
- Life Fitness IC3 assembly is fairly easy.
- The bike comes with the assembly tools.
- Life Fitness ICG IC3 shipping is free in certain areas.
- It comes in one box that weighs around 125 pounds.
- Life fitness IC3 manual comes with the bike, you can also download it from the website.
Buying the IC3 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 (if included), 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 IC3 indoor cycle manual. Because the company does not cover the damages caused due to the wrong assembly.
Life Fitness IC3 Exercise Bike Pros:
Durable Poly-V belt
Featuring a durable automotive grade belt, the IC3 ensures a quiet ride and transfers more power than other belts, ensuring less maintenance, fewer breakdowns and improved pedaling technique.
This Life Fitness bike’s list price of $1500 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.
- Ergo-formed, multi-position, soft PVC handlebars with dual water bottle holder integrated on them.
- Vertical and horizontal handlebar adjustment.
- Molded form-fit protection and stretch plates to warm up.
- The frame has oversized levelers in case your floor is uneven.
- This bike can safely hold up to 290 pounds
- Caster wheels are attached to the bike frame to easily roll the fitness machine to a different location.
- Oversized, hidden bolts and adjustable frame stabilizer bars
- 4-Way adjustable padded sport seat.
- Heavy-duty 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.
- Little assembly required.
- Little maintenance required.
Life Fitness IC3 Exercise Bike Cons:
In the current market where you can buy spin bikes (ProForm Studio Pro) with 10″ touch screen monitor for less than $1000, I strongly believe Life Fitness should have included the monitor with this cycle.
IC3 has an optional monitor that you can buy it separately but unfortunately, even then you won’t be able to track your workout or connect the bike to your device. The ANT+ monitor can only connect with the wireless chest straps.
There are pros and cons to the friction resistance system but overall it is not better than magnetic resistance technology. Because the friction resistance makes a bit of noise and wears out after a few years of use. Thankfully, after the IC3, Life Fitness discontinued using the friction resistance technology. So, if you but the Life Fitness IC4 or new higher models, you can enjoy the benefits of a magnetic system.
- IC3 does not have a tablet holder.
- The monitor does not track the watt/power.
Last Word on the Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Cycle:
Featuring a 40-pound flywheel, it supports smooth pedaling and can replicate the sensation of uphill/downhill riding. A favorite feature of Life Fitness IC3 cycling exercise bike is its customization;
With a dial and knob pin-to-lock adjustment system you can set up the handlebar and seat ideally for a comfortable exercise. Other highlights of the handlebars include a multi-grip design with a built-in dual water bottle holder.
Additionally, the IC3 bike by Life Fitness features SPD compatible pedals with shoe clips and cages, and wide stretch pads to warm up before the ride.
The Life Fitness IC3 Indoor Cycle Trainer is a good bargain for home gyms and commercial facilities. This model is well-equipped for the $1500 sale price. Both the customer reviews and the generous commercial warranty indicate that it’s a durable spin bike.
The IC3 is a first choice spin bike when high-tech computer and magnetic resistance aren’t a priority. But if workout tracking and the silent magnetic resistance system is your priority, check out the Keiser M3i indoor cycle. It is a bit more expensive but it is truly worth it.
Final note: There are two IC3 indoor cycling bikes with the same features and prices. They are both powered by ICG and look identical. One is called Life Fitness IC3 while the other one is referred to as the Matrix IC3.
IC3 indoor cycle powered by ICG combines three critical components to comfortable cycling performance. Unlike the older models by Life Fitness, the IC3 exercise bike has a better Q factor (155mm vs 172mm) heavier flywheel (40-lb vs 33-lb) ergonomic handlebar (fully adjustable handlebars with bottle holders vs 2-way adjustable handlebars without bottle holders) and advanced geometry. Additionally, the Life Fitness IC3 spin bike also has stretch pads to warm up before the ride, oversized base stabilizers to keep the bike in place during HIIT, and lever emergency brake.