Life Fitness IC8 Indoor Cycle review
The IC8 indoor cycle is THE top model by Life Fitness that retails for anywhere from $3000 to $3500, depending on where you buy the Life Fitness IC8 Cycle and what accessories are included.
This is a high-quality full commercial-grade Life Fitness bike that can withstand weights of up to 330 pounds and is equipped with a frame that has been designed and tested in the US under extremely high standards for commercial use.
You pay more than what you would pay for pretty much any other indoor cycling bike, but you also get a health club level smart bike that is better than most spin bikes on the market.
The Life Fitness IC8 Power Trainer offers users an interactive WattRate TFT computer with a Polar view. It is an advanced and smart console that you would only find on the Life Fitness IC8.
The WattRate TFT computer is equipped with a bright, full-color, self-powered, fully integrated TFT screen and a front LED display. Featuring Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless connectivity, you can easily connect the bike to your smart devices and track your workouts.
Designed and targeted for elite cyclists featuring WattRate direct power meter with +/- 1% power measurement accuracy, the Life Fitness IC8 spin bike delivers superior results.
The Team ICG IC8 is designed with a narrow 155mm q factor and features dual-sided SPD on one side and oversize no-slip pedals on the other side for a safe an efficient ride.
The eddy current system with easy to reach knob controller (not electromagnetic) provides 100 levels to tailor workouts with consistent, smooth resistance. The 100 resistance levels range from 0 watts to 3800 watts which means no matter how strong you are, there is sufficient resistance force to meet your needs.
Before I go more in-depth into this Life Fitness IC8 bike review, I will mention one last feature that I love a lot about the Life Fitness IC8 exercise bike.
It is the freewheel drive system and the Zwift compatibility that I know many of us have been waiting for. Now with the Life Fitness IC8 indoor cycling bike, you can experience the closest feel to real road cycling on a spin bike.
To make the navigation easier through this IC8 indoor cycling bike review, I have made the table of content below. Click on the parts that you want to learn about or read the whole ICG IC8 review for a better understanding of this spin bike.
- IC8 Specs
- TFT Monitor with Polar View
- MyRide VX Personal
- Pedals and Q-factor
- IC8 flywheel
- Life Fitness ICG 8 resistance
- Handlebars and seat
- Drivetrain and gear ratio
- IC8 bike price and warranty
- Assembly and shipping
- Life Fitness IC8 Cycle Pros
- Life Fitness IC8 Cycle Cons
- Final Word on the Life Fitness IC8 Indoor Cycling Bike
IC8 Technical Information:
- Height: 40.5″
- Width: 20.5″
- Length: 56.7″
- Bike Weight: 119 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 330 Pounds
- Inseam Capacity: 27″ to 40″
- Shipping Weight: 135 Pounds
- Stretch pads: Yes
- Floor protection levelers: Yes
- Water Bottle Holder: Yes
With a shrouded commercial frame and heavy-duty three-piece crank arm, this indoor cycle is built for durability and safety. Featuring direct-drive and top of the line data tracking accuracy, this complete stationary bike offers the convenience of never needing to switch bikes, clean, or bother with mounting and dismounting every-time you ride indoors.
The Life Fitness has been a name you can trust, and this Life Fitness IC8 spin bike review is no different. This Life Fitness IC8 exercise bike is the top of the line and part of the Team ICG and Life Fitness’s Line of the Cardio machines. The main selling point of this particular model is the TFT Polar View Monitor, freewheel technology and the Performance Drop handles that many people have been waiting for.
As for the specs of Life Fitness IC8 exercise bike, I love every bit of it. It is compact, has wheels for transportation, base levelers to protect the floor and stretch pads for warm-up.
But what really stands out is the arched fully shrouded black frame. Not only it makes the bike look badass but also keeps the sweat and humidity off the bike at all time. Therefore, there is less maintenance and it is easy to clean the machine. The arch design also allows you to access the floor underneath the bike for cleaning without having to move the bike itself.
The frame, featuring off-set V-shape design, can accommodate all user heights from below average to above average and anyone in between. So, everyone in your family or facility can benefit from a good cardio workout.
WattRate TFT Monitor:
- IC8 by Life Fitness comes with the TFT Coach by Color WattRate monitor.
- IC8 has the Wattrate direct power meter, using photocell technology to measure torsion at the spindle.
- This Life Fitness’s patented power meter computes the power with less than one percent error.
- The computer has 4 built-in workout modes (Quick-Start, Heart Rate, Watt and Coach by Color).
- It has zoom and scrolling capabilities.
- Six different displays rotate on the screen every few seconds, they include:
- 1St Display: Your current Watt, RPM, resistance level, and Training zone.
- 2Nd Display: Your current Watt, Kcal, MPH, Miles, Watt/KG, and Watt/HR.
- 3Rd Display: Your Maximum and Average of Watts, BPM, RPM, MPH, Watt/KG, Watt/HR, Resistance level, and TSS.
- 4Th Display: Coach By Color Zones. The overall percentage you rode on each of the five training zones. For example 5% on red zone, 10% on green zone, 40% on white zone, 30% on yellow zone, and 15% on blue zone.
- 5Th Display: Polar View, real-time left and right leg balance. (See the picture above)
- 6Th Display: Summary screen of workout including lap time averages.
- Overall the IC8 displays more than 40 performance metrics.
- The monitor of IC8 is Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled.
- Life Fitness IC8 bike transmits the Watt and RPM data through ANT+ (not Bluetooth).
- IC8 cycle is compatible with third-party fitness apps that support pairing with ANT+ protocol (Strava, Zwift, Sufferfest, Trainer Road and more).
- IC8 is also compatible with most Garmin computers.
The IC8 monitor is very attractive, with touch buttons, colorful screen, and sleek new design. And thanks to the self-powered technology, you don’t need to plug in the bike or change batteries.
Unlike the older models such as the IC5 bike, this cycle comes with the smart TFT technology. What it means is that the bike will test your fitness level and then assigns you with five colors (White=very light, Blue=light, Green=moderate, Yellow=very hard, Red=maximum).
On the older models, the screen used to go from yellow to red for me and you at the same RPM and Watt, no matter our fitness level. But with the TFT technology, each rider is assigned with five colors that match their fitness level.
Before starting the ride, the TFT computer measures your fitness level. Then the monitor decides when to change the color of the screen from green to red. So, it based on your fitness level, not a preset number for everyone.
Here is how the Wattrate TFT computer measures your fitness level: “Every 4 minutes the WATTs target will increase 25 watts, all you have to do is “keep it green” for as long as you can. Once your fitness level is known, you are assigned the 5 zones to accurately coach your effort for the best-customized results.
Before I jump to the next aspect of the Life Fitness IC8 power trainer bike, it is worth mentioning that the bike has an LED light in front of the monitor. This light is helpful for instructors because they can see your training zone.
As for the connectivity, the IC8 bike has Bluetooth and ANT+. The bike transmits the cadence and the power/watt via ANT+. For now, the Bluetooth functionality is limited to ICG Apps and heart rate chest strap. So, you can not use the IC8’s Bluetooth to connect to other fitness apps.
But thankfully, unlike the IC7 or IC6 cycle, the IC8’s ANT+ connectivity is universal and it is not limited to the ICG app only. It means you can pair up the IC8 indoor cycle with any cycling app as long as they have ANT+ connectivity.
However, if your device (phone, tablet, etc) has the IOS operating system and you want to connect to third-party fitness Apps (excluding the ICG apps), you will need an ANT+ to BLE converter. Because the IOS devices do not have the ANT+ protocol connectivity.
I recommend the CABLE, it is a very popular and highly rated ANT-BLE converter that connects nicely to all your iOS Bluetooth devices for Zwift.
It is great that the IC8’s Bluetooth works with ICG Apps so you don’t need an additional accessory (converter) to connect your IOS devices to the bike. But I can not understand why the IC8’s Bluetooth does not work with any other fitness apps. Hopefully in the future, via firmware updates, Life Fitness adds additional Bluetooth functionality so you wouldn’t need a converter to use third-party apps with your IOS devices.
Overall the WattRate TFT is one of the best (if the not the best) indoor cycling bike computers that allows advanced fitness tracking on Apps, has 4 workout modes, and five touch sensor buttons to ensure fast intuitive operation of the computer during exercise.
MyRide VX Tablet:
- MyRide VX is an Android WiFi-enabled 10.1″ HD touch-screen tablet.
- The My Ride VX Tablet package includes:
- A tablet, headphone connection audio jack, three installed ICG Apps and a tablet holder.
- The ICG apps are the; MyRide® Studio Coach” “MyRide® Tour Coach” “MyRide® World View”.
- Through these Life Fitness Apps, you can access tens of cycling classes by top spinning instructors.
- These apps are completely free of charge, so you don’t need to subscribe to watch the classes.
- You can ride the Life Fitness IC8 indoor cycle with MyRide.
- MyRide VX Personal power requirements: 110-220v AC input for USB Charger
As you read above and see in the picture, the IC8 indoor cycling bike is compatible with the MyRide tablet that comes with 3 installed Apps to allow you access many indoor cycling classes by professional cycling instructors.
Thanks to Life Fitness’s MyRide tablet, you can save the $250 yearly subscription that you would pay for the Peloton app. All the classes on these apps are free to access and watch.
This tablet is made to be used exclusively with the three pre-installed ICG apps. Therefore, you can not install any other application or use the tablet to surf the web, interact on social media or watch movies/videos on Netflix, YouTube, etc.
Note: MyRide VX tablet does not connect to the bike so you can not track your progress on this tablet. This tablet is only to watch the Team ICG cycling classes. To track your progress, pair up your phone using fitness cycling apps.
Q-Factor and Pedals:
- Life Fitness IC8 pedals are dual-sided SPD compatible.
- IC8 Q factor is 155 MM.
One of the main Life Fitness bikes selling points is the industry-leading 155mm Q-Factor that makes you feel like you’re on a real bike, increasing safety, comfort, and efficiency in every pedal stroke.
In case you are new to indoor cycling, the Q-Factor is the distance between your feet when sitting on the bike. Too much distance between the pedals tends to keep your feet too wide.
And that means your hips, knees, and feet can not stay aligned which brings stress on your joints. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about this problem when buying the Life Fitness IC8 cycle. Because it has a bio-mechanically correct narrow Q-factor.
As for the dual-sided SPD pedals with toe cage, they allow riding with regular shoes for cross-training and clipless cycling shoes for a longer ride and better power transfer.
- Life Fitness ICG IC8 exercise bike features an anodized aluminum flywheel.
- It is evenly-weighted.
- The weight of the flywheel is estimated at 9 pounds.
The company hasn’t disclosed the exact weight of ICG IC8 indoor bike’s flywheel but it is estimated to be around 9 pounds. Never mind the weight, it has the momentum and speed of a 60-pound flywheel, thanks to the combination of magnetic resistance and high gear ratio (1:13.75).
Designed with the rear flywheel, this Life Fitness spin bike is easy to clean and has less maintenance due to being away from the sweat zone. IC8 flywheel is also anodized and painted black which provides an attractive, minimum-maintenance, highly durable exterior.
Finally, the full guard around the flywheel. It protects the flywheel in case it gets hit to an object during transportation inside the house and also keeps the curious fingers away from sharp edges.
Life Fitness IC8 Resistance:
- ICG IC8 bike by Life Fitness features manual magnetic resistance, not the electromagnetic resistance.
- Therefore, fitness apps can not automatically control the resistance.
- IC8 has 100 resistance levels/increments.
- The current resistance level is displayed on the computer.
- IC8 indoor cycle creates from 0 to 3800 Watt resistance.
Life Fitness IC8 power trainer comes with the knob adjustment manual-magnetic resistance (not electro-magnetic resistance). Therefore, an Application (software) can not control the resistance.
So, don’t be surprised when you find out the Zwift app does not automatically change the resistance based on the type of terrain. Currently, the only spin bike that allows software such as Zwift app to change the resistance is the ATOM by WATTBIKE.
What I don’t like about the ATOM Wattbike is perhaps the loud noise and the low resistance force. While it has the combination of the air brake and magnetic brake, you can not replicate the desired power output. Because the bike can create only up to 1200W which is good for high cadence but not so great for high-intensity sessions.
Thankfully the Eddy Current System on this Life Fitness exercise bike can provide an extremely high watt to tailor workouts with consistent, smooth strong resistance. The 100 resistance levels range from 0 watts to 3800 watts (level 100).
Handlebars and Seat:
- ICG IC8 Life Fitness handlebars and seat are 4-way adjustable for the finest of bike tuning.
- The seat and handlebars feature the gas-assisted technology for quick and easy adjustment.
- Materials of the seat and handlebar posts are anodized aluminum with soft PVC cover.
- Life Fitness IC8 has a performance unisex seat.
- There is a single water bottle holder integrated on the handlebar.
- Road and triathlon-inspired handlebar design include:
- AERO BARS For triathlon and track;
- AERO PADS For triathlon and track;
- DROPS & HOODS For road and track.
Pro performance handlebar and seat feature the levers for adjustment which is way easier to deal with than the knobs. Featuring aluminum materials combined with “User Assist Gas handlebar and saddle” the bike adjustment is like a breeze.
In fact, all you need to do is to push the lever to vertically adjust the handlebars which means not getting off the bike. For someone who always has to dismount to set up his spin bike, I can only imagine how much easier it is to adjust the bike vertically and horizontally, step-less.
Some of the features that distinguish the Life Fitness IC8 indoor cycle from the older models are the drops, hoods and time trial forearm rests. This had always been missing on Life Fitness spin bikes.
Thankfully, the IC8 exercise bike comes with the pro handlebars that allow you to target different muscle groups for more workout variety. And to personalize workouts to meet specific individualized goals and workout needs.
Overall featuring the offset frame, 155 mm Q Factor, and 4-way step-less adjustment allows you to set up the Life Fitness IC8 spin bike as relaxed or aggressive as your training dictates.
Drivetrain and Gear Ratio:
- Life Fitness IC8 drivetrain gear ratio is 1:13.75
- The IC8 has a two-stage hybrid chain and Poly-V belt.
- This bike has an oversized chain with an automated tensioning system.
- IC8 features the FREEWHEEL drivetrain.
Reading my Life Fitness indoor cycle reviews, you will notice that one thing I have always wished the ICG cycles had was the smart release freewheel drive technology.
Thankfully, IC8 bike was designed with the mighty freewheel drive-mechanism. This type of drivetrain emulates the exact performance and experience of your outdoor bike right down to the sound of the bearings and relief of your legs every time you need to stop pushing.
For those who are new to indoor cycling, there are mainly two types of drivetrain; freewheel and the fixed-wheel also known as fixed-gear which is unfortunately what the majority of indoor cycles have.
On the fixed-wheel bikes, the pedals and the flywheel turn and stop turning together. Therefore, you can not coast or stop abruptly. You will need to wait for the flywheel to stop turning and then you can jump off or take a few second brakes.
Featuring a 1:13.75 gear ratio, the IC8 indoor cycle provides a smooth and fast ride. In case you are wondering what 1:13.75 is, here is a short explanation.
The bike has a big belt ring and a small belt pulley connected to the flywheel. For each turn of the big belt ring, the small pulley turns 13.75 times. Almost 14 times! And that is one of the reasons how this bike manages to create fast aggressive inertia without a heavy flywheel.
Other good features that some riders might overlook are; the oversized chain with an automated tensioning system for durability, performance and reduced servicing. And the compact generator that recharges the integrated lithium polymer battery that power all electronics on the IC8 Cycle.
IC8 Bike Price and Warranty:
- Life Fitness IC8 price is currently around $3390.
- But it might be different by the time you are reading this Life Fitness IC8 exercise bike review.
- IC8’s warranty includes:
- 5 Years structure frame
- 3 Years of mechanical components
- 1 year other parts and labor.
The IC8 spin bike is more expensive than most spin bikes in the market. But considering all the high-tech features and advanced mechanical parts, this bike is a good value for the money.
Based on years of experience in the fitness industry, I am confident to say there is no other spin bike that can beat the technology and durability of the Life Fitness IC8 cycle.
Coming from the world’s leading commercial fitness equipment brand, this Life Fitness ICG IC8 cycle is indestructible. And its generous warranty proves that.
Note: If you need to order parts for the IC8 bike while it is 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 what you are looking for.
Assembly and Shipping:
- Team ICG IC8 exercise bike comes with free shipping.
- Delivery takes between 4-8 weeks depending on your location in the U.S.
- Life Fitness IC8 assembly is not required.
- A few basic tools, as well as the Life Fitness IC8 manual, are included with the bike.
You can buy the IC8 indoor cycling bike from the company. And there is an advantage to buying this model direct from the manufacturer.
Note: The delivery will be a slightly longer lead time but you’ll get the same installers that install Life Fitness machines in the health clubs.
As I mentioned before in this Life Fitness IC8 review, you don’t to assembly anything. The bike comes fully assembled unless there is a change in how the company handles assembly by the time you are reading my IC8 bike review.
Bottom line: if you are willing to spend the money, this ICG cycling bike is a great buy that is an exceptional companion for anyone looking to lose weight or get fit.
Life Fitness IC8 Cycle Pros:
This spin bike is designed with commercial grade quality parts and a solid steel frame, so it’s very reliable, durable and sturdy overall. This is why these machines aren’t cheap by any means, you get what you pay for and that is a quality indoor cycling bike that will last.
Aside from the actual top of the line design and high-tech computer of this exercise bike, a big pro is that you buy these Life Fitness spin bikes directly from the manufacturer which includes full assembly. You will also get the same expert installers that they provide for the health clubs.
Stepless Lever Adjustment:
For a perfect fit, you no longer need to get off of the bike, thanks to the Life Fitness spin bike step-less lever gas-assisted adjustments. The four-way user-assist adjustments of the handlebar and saddle make it easy to create the perfect fit for every rider. All you need to do is pushing the levers.
- Smooth two-stage hybrid chain and Poly-V belt drivetrain.
- The freewheel drive mechanism for a real road riding experience.
- Full-cover shroud Off-set frame for minimum maintenance and easy cleaning.
- 0 To 3800 W magnetic resistance for a challenging workout.
- Industry-leading narrow 155mm Q factor for a safe and comfortable ride.
- Lightweight and durable aluminum posts and sliders.
- Pro performance handlebar with drop and armrests optimized for race training.
- 4-Way step-less, vertical and horizontal handlebars adjustment.
- 4-Way step-less, vertical and horizontal seat adjustment for a perfect fit.
- Integrated water bottle holder on handlebar.
- Direct and accurate power measurement (+/-1%).
- ICG Training App compatibility for workout tracking.
- Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.
- Training intensity guide Coach By Color for user and instructor.
- WattRate TFT computer with Polar View.
- Self-powered generator with LiPo battery.
Life Fitness IC8 Cycle Cons:
One of the major drawbacks of this indoor cycle, considering the price tag, would be the limited Bluetooth functionality. This bike’s 4.0 Bluetooth works only for ICG Apps and heart rate straps. Also as I mentioned earlier in this Life Fitness IC8 indoor cycle review, the IC8 does not transfer the Watt and RPM through Bluetooth. Therefore, you can only ride the bike on the fitness apps that support ANT+ connectivity. And if you to connect the bike to third party apps through a device (phone, tablet, etc) that runs on IOS operating system, you will need an ANT+ to Bluetooth converter.
This bike combines a chain drive on the right side of the bike and a belt drive on the left side of the bike. And it is the last thing I was expecting the IC8 cycle to come with. The chain requires frequent lubing, adjusting (maintenance) and it is not as quiet as single belt-driven bikes such as the IC7 cycle.
Fixed Aero Bars and Armrest:
I love the fact that Life Fitness decided to build the IC8 Power Trainer with multi-position handlebars featuring Aero bar and armrest. But it would have been much better if they weren’t fixed and could be adjusted horizontally. Unfortunately, this design does not allow the rider to have a comfortable personalized grip for triathlon or time trial rides.
Although Life Fitness is one of the world’s leading fitness equipment brands and has a high price tag for their machines, they offer really poor customer service. They are unresponsive and if they do decide to respond, there is very little chance they are going to be helpful. In the last three years, I have sent them several emails and they only responded to one of those emails.
Last Word on the Life Fitness IC8 Cycle:
Life Fitness is a leading brand in the fitness industry, with all exercise machines designed and tested in the United States. They have extremely high standards and their home equipment is subject to the same standards as the commercial exercise equipment.
The Life Fitness ICG IC8 indoor cycling bike combines reliability and advanced technology with a natural pedal stroke motion to give you the perfect spin bike for your home gym and spinning class facility.
Carrying on the tradition of Life Fitness durability, high tech data tracking accuracy and service, the ICG IC8 exercise bike is the best spin bike for elite cyclists who don’t want to use their road bike to train indoor.
The Life Fitness ICG IC8 spin bike with the WattRate TFT Console is designed for users who are looking for a professional and attractive indoor cycling bike with entertainment options and high-tech features, and advanced technology like ANT+ and Bluetooth compatibility.
This commercial-grade indoor cycle is ideal with in-home use with a relatively quiet drive technology for smooth operation that is also safe on joints.
While this spin bike has a high price tag, it has advanced workout mode options that allow users to get in a great workout that is both challenging and fun.
The riders can even use the BLE and analog chest strap to monitor heart rate to monitor workouts, choose heart rate based workout modes and set fitness goals.
The adjustable magnetic resistance offers from 0 to 3500 watt to provide strength and cardio workout for all fitness levels. And, Life Fitness’s industry-leading q factor allows the exerciser’s knees, ankle and hips to align naturally – just like professional road bikes.
The IC8 Life Fitness bike is easy to clean and maintain with a fully covered frame and rear-drive design – all to improve your ownership experience.
For the riders, the Life Fitness IC8 commercial bike combines the benefits of Life Fitness’s gas-assist adjustment technology and racing handlebars for a total-body workout.
Finally, this Life Fitness indoor bike also features a self-powered console system to allow users to save power while working out. Life Fitness offers a five-year warranty on the frame, with years coverage on parts and one-year coverage on labor.
The focus of this Life Fitness bike is the freewheel, innovative Coach by Color monitor, direct WattRate/RPM tracking, step-less gas assisted seat and handlebar adjustment. The Life Fitness IC8 exercise bike is built with commercial grade quality and guarantees a smooth, relatively quiet and natural feeling pedal stroke with the 1:13.75 drivetrain gear ratio and direct power meter technology that Life Fitness is known for. The cost of Life Fitness IC8 is a huge investment, but the TFT monitor, +/-1% direct power meter and the smart release freewheel technology are some of the most advanced of all spin bikes on the market today. Additionally, the IC8 indoor cycle has the Full-cover shroud off-set frame which is truly a commercial-grade product, designed to accommodate all riders and minimize the maintenance that hasn't been seen on any other exercise bike.