Life Fitness IC7 Review | Wouldn’t Recommend it in 2023
Hands down the Life Fitness IC7 Indoor Cycle is one of the best indoor cycles in the entire indoor cycling market. But let’s see if Life Fitness IC7 has a chance to stand against competitors like Tacx Neo.
It’s a multiple award-winning commercial quality indoor cycle that provides maximum user comfort and a precise Watt rate power meter.
With IC7 Indoor Cycle, Life Fitness once again proved that they specialized in revolutionizing indoor fitness equipment.
So, if you have been waiting for that ultimate life-lasting magnetic resistance indoor cycle, this Life Fitness IC7 indoor bike could be the one.
It is built beyond a rider’s expectation with true road biking feeling inside your living room, plus advanced technology and a unique drive system.
Under the bike’s cover, there is a Timing transmission with a press-down pully + sliding belt adjuster to maximize power efficiency and minimize maintenance.
I think is the best indoor bike transmission on the market. I will talk more about Life Fitness IC7’s drive but now let’s take a look at Life Fitness Indoor bikes and see where the IC7 stands in ICG Series.
Later in this Life Fitness IC7 review, I will show some alternative indoor bikes that I think offer more value for your money.
Life Fitness Indoor Cycles Group (ICG) Comparison
There are eight models of Life Fitness indoor bikes, from the Life Fitness IC1 to the Life Fitness IC8.
Each newer model was built with additional features and an improved structure. The Life Fitness IC1 is the basic model, while the Life Fitness IC8 is the best in the ICG Series.
In between, there are six other models to choose from. All Life Fitness indoor bikes are built with a heavy-duty steel frame but it’s the ergonomic design started from the Life Fitness IC4 model.
The older Life indoor bikes (IC1, IC2, and IC3) had a more basic design without full handlebar adjustment. They were all front-drive and their flywheel wasn’t covered so they would get dirty quicker and they were less safe for households with kids.
Starting the Life Fitness IC4 model, the company decided to cover all the sharp edges and corners of the bike including its flywheel so it was nicer looking, easier to clean, and much safer for homes with kids.
But Life Fitness didn’t stop improving their ICG Series indoor bikes at IC4, they kept working on newer models with better features like a power meter, gas-assisted adjustment technology, and much better drives.
To IC5, IC6, IC7, and IC8, bikes they also added nice colored consoles that track RPM, watt, speed, distance, time, and calories burned. The Life Fitness IC7, in particular, is one of the best sellers of the brand which also has an accurate watt reading system with watt sensors built into the bike rather than just giving an estimation based on resistance, and speed.
But that wasn’t the only improvement Life Fitness brought on IC7, they also added front and rear gas-assisted adjustment systems, and the industry’s top-of-the-line transmission system. It is an extremely durable Carbon toothed belt that delivers great power.
But for the Life Fitness IC8, the company went even further and added three fantastic extra features that made the bike the perfect choice for all riders, especially elite cyclists.
The three additional features on Life Fitness IC8 are; double power sensors to provide right and left leg balance reading, a free-wheel mechanism that allows casting as you would on road bikes, and aero bars so you can assume the racing-style position in comfort.
As you can see the company has been revolutionizing the indoor cycling industry and creating really awesome indoor bikes. I am sure in the coming years there will be even better and more advanced spin bikes coming from Life Fitness. Probably, their next indoor bike will integrate a leaning system so you can lean to the sides and mimic road corners.
|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|
Life Fitness IC7 Alternative Indoor Bikes
Life Fitness IC7 is a great bike for semi-professional and elite road cyclists but I don’t think it’s appealing to novice riders or those who enjoy following live online indoor cycling classes because it doesn’t have a huge screen.
Plus, the bike integrates with the ICG app which is considered poor when it comes to online spin bike workout classes. Therefore, if you fall in the category that likes cycling online with a huge screen on the bike, you may want to consider opting for an alternative like the Peloton Bike.
The Peloton Bike has a large screen that lets you follow live online spin classes, and the Peloton app offers a wide variety of workout classes that are sure to keep you motivated. In addition, the bike itself is extremely well-made and features a smooth and quiet ride.
However, if you’re looking for a more technologically advanced option, the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle is also a great choice. It literally has everything the Peloton Bike has, plus, many additional features including an incline and decline system.
It’s also compatible with iFit which gives you access to live and on-demand spin classes and its “Individual” package is much cheaper than the Peloton membership. And like the Life Fitness IC7, the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle is also very well-made and offers a smooth riding experience.
The catch in both these awesome spin bikes with screens is that in order to benefit from their large screens online, you would need to pay their monthly membership which can add to the cost of the bike.
But not only that, but you should also know that neither of these indoor bikes has the toothed-belt transmission, gas-assisted system, and direct power meters that come with the Life Fitness IC7.
Once again, these features are something that matter mainly for professional riders, not necessarily those who simply want a cardio workout from a spin bike.
More than Nordictrack or Peloton, in my opinion, the best alternative to Life Fitness IC7 is the Tacx Neo bike, especially for road cyclists.
It has several superior features compared to Life Fitness IC7 and if I was going to choose between the two of these indoor cycling bikes in 2023, I would buy the Neo bike.
Life Fitness IC7 has one power sensor while Neo has right and left leg power sensors so you get detailed feedback on how your legs perform on the bike.
Additionally, it has a virtual gearing system (front and rear cassette) that allows changing wheel ratio. Plus, its resistance is electronically adjustable so the bike can automatically change resistance when you hit an uphill or downhill on Zwift.
On Life Fitness IC7 I have to let go of the handlebars and manually twist the resistance knob every time I reach an uphill on Zwift or when I do Peloton Power Zone rides. I know it doesn’t sound much but after a while, it gets pretty annoying.
On top of that, Tacx Neo includes two cooling fans and an adjustable tablet holder. Plus, the bike receives frequent firmware updates and works with Zwift without additional bridge accessories or apps.
But even more importantly, Tacx Neo has gear shifters on the handlebars which is more convenient to use than Life Fitness IC7’s outdated resistance knob.
Considering the superior features of the Tacx Neo and the fact that it cost $200 less than the Life Fitness IC7 at the time of writing this review, you can understand why I recommend the Tacx bike over the IC7 bike.
Whether you’re looking for an affordable option or a top-of-the-line alternative bike to Life Fitness IC7, one of these three given names should do it.
|Tacx Neo Bike||High contrast||$2500||Zwift, Tacx, QZ, Wahoo, Rouvy, and Strava||Electronic Magnetic||No||Yes||Yes||Direct right and left|
|Life Fitness IC7||High contrast||$2700||ICG, (Zwift and other apps through QZ)||Manual magnetic||No||No||No||Direct right sensor|
|Peloton Bike||Swivel 22-inch||$2499||Peloton: Premium Package $399 PY||Manual magnetic||No||No||No||Estimation|
|Nordictrack S22i||Swivel 22-inch||$1999||iFit: Family Package $399 PY | Individual Package $180 PY||Automatic magnetic||Yes||Yes||No||Estimation|
IC7 bike frame
It’s nor straight neither V, it’s more like a U Shape. The frame is made of stainless steel for protection against corrosion and sweat but that’s not it. The whole frame is covered with a super-durable plastic cover for further protection. The black cover gives a professional look and adds decades to the life of this indoor cycle. It’s also good for safety if you have children in the house.
We know kids love to stick their fingers everywhere and most indoor cycles have many places for that. However, IC7 spin bike frame and mechanism are fully covered to eliminate the chance of sweat getting on the machine and of children hurting themselves.
Unlike any other indoor cycle, the frame is NOT stepped toward the mechanism of the bike, the middle frame bar has 20 degrees toward the front of the bike. Therefore, when you sweat, the fluid goes toward the front of the bike and away from the mechanism creating less maintenance down the road.
The handlebars and seat
ICG Series IC7 spin bike features revolutionary handlebars and seat. They are fully adjustable like most other indoor bikes but what makes them special is the gas-assisted posts. You no longer have to get off the bike to adjust the handlebars or seat vertically. Because on IC7 the gas smoothly pushes the post up when you pull the lever.
This makes the adjustment much easier for cyclists. You can adjust the seat and handlebars horizontally with a turn of a knob. The sliders are all marked so that you can easily find your preferred adjustment measures. The marks on the posts are very helpful, especially for the bikes used
by multiple users. The ergonomic shape of the handlebars allows for all the cycling grips. On both sides of the handlebars, there is elbow rests for the highest comfort during the aero position.
ICG Series IC7 spin bike features one of the most professionally designed seats. The seat is durable and built for comfort. In the middle of the seat, there is the ventilation area to prevent the rider from overheating.
Like all the high-end indoor cycles the Life Fitness IC7 spin bike has smooth and quiet magnetic resistance. The resistance level displayed on the screen makes it special. The 300-degree magnetic resistance offers adjustment from 0 to 300 knob twist.
The knob has 100 clicks and each click is one resistance level. It’s better than some other indoor bikes I tried including a few stages indoor cycling bikes where you don’t have the click and don’t see your resistance level on the screen.
On the Life Fitness IC7 bike, a highly precise resistance level is shown on the LCD in percentage. For emergency braking, you can push the dial to stop the flywheel.
Despite its silent and smooth magnetic resistance, it is now in 2023 considered outdated because it’s not automatically adjustable on applications like Zwift.
Also, because it is only manually adjustable, there is no gear shifters on the handlebars like those on Wahoo Kicker or Tacx Neo. So, to adjust your resistance level, you should always move your hands away from the handlebars and turn the knob.
Due to the lack of electronic and auto-resistance, Life Fitness IC7 didn’t make it to the best indoor bikes for Zwift cycling in 2023.
Just like a car engine, it features a durable belt which makes the bike super quiet, smooth, and maintenance-free.
The thick and strong Toothed/Carbon belt on Life Fitness IC7 indoor cycle allows you to exercise for years before having to change or adjust the drive.
The IC7 has a two-stage Carbon belt drive that you would never have to deal with broken pieces. It helps to provide 100% power efficiency and zero slippage while standing on the bike.
The weight of the flywheel is not disclosed but it’s not a factor when the bike features magnetic resistance with Carbon belt drive combined with small and big pullies.
The flywheel on this bike is anywhere between 8-15 lbs. Again, everything you heard about the spin bike flywheel is not relevant to this mechanism.
You can rest assured that with Life Fitness IC7 indoor cycle you will have the most natural and closest to real outdoor cycling experience.
It also has a safety guard all around the flywheel for better protection. Lighter flywheels also have less maintenance because there is pressure on the bearings. Plus, it has very little impact on the knees and hips.
Pedal and Q-factor
IC7 indoor cycle features dual-sided spd pedals for cycling shoes and heavy-duty durable cranks. Life Fitness bike’s frame and parts are high quality and can take up to 330 lbs of user weight.
The crank arms are wider than most indoor cycles to ensure greater durability. They can support user weight during all cycling positions. So, you don’t need to worry about snapped cranks like you would on cheaper indoor bikes.
Life Fitness IC7 indoor cycle also includes an industry-leading bike Q-factor. What’s the Q-factor, you wonder? Simply the distance between your feet when set on the bike.
The bigger the Q-factor, the more pressure on the lower body joints because ankles and knees can’t align with each other.
This IC7 has a 155mm Q-Factor, which makes you feel like you’re on a real road bike rather than a fat bike, increasing safety, comfort, and efficiency in every pedal stroke.
This is the information shown on the LCD: RPMs, calories burned, distance, heart rate, resistance level, direct watts, training zone/watt rate, heart rate, maximum and average performance values and the feedback of the user’s time in each training zone.
The LCD is fully colored, has touch-sensor buttons and is super easy to read. Before starting the ride, you need to click on the profile button at the bottom of the console and enter your mode settings, gender, weight, age and weekly hours of cycling.
The bright full-color screen is self-powered which means you don’t need to change batteries every week. This indoor cycle captures the rider’s energy through a compact generator at the flywheel and recharges the bike’s integrated Lithium Polymer Battery.
The console displays five different training intensities in different colors. When the screen is white, it means you are riding very light, blue means light, green means moderate, yellow is very hard, and red is the maximum exercise level.
So, depending on which level you exercise, the color on the screen changes and it plays the role of a coach for the rider. So, if you don’t have a trainer and don’t want a membership, you can just follow the colors for your indoor cycling sessions.
The color of the screen is also visible in front of the bike for the instructors to monitor the student’s performance. But this feature is mainly for studio cycling classes and wouldn’t affect personal home use.
The IC7 spin bike features Bluetooth 4.0 and ANT+ technology and can be connected to Android and iOs devices. There are several apps you can sign up to and create your own profile to save your daily workout data.
The ICG training APP allows you to create your custom workouts, send workouts to your friends and receive theirs, or even select a workout based on intensity. The Bluetooth feature also allows the rider to connect with other cyclists, share workouts and compete online.
The bike picks the heart rate through the wireless chest strap (ANT+, BLE, and analog belts). Although, it’s not included and needs to be purchased separately.
MyRide VX- Tablet
If you want to add more excitement and options to this award-winning indoor cycle, you can purchase the MyRide VX- Tablet and the three APPs mentioned below are included in the purchase (while the tablet bracket mount is not included and you need to buy it separately):
MYRIDE® VX Package
- Myride® Tablet
- Myride® World View App
- Myride® Studio Coach App
- Myride® Tour Coach App
- Myride® Tablet mount
MYRIDE® VX – Tablet
- Display size: 10.1″
- Display type: HD multi-touch display
- Screen resolution: 1920 x 1200
- Server connection: WiFi
- Operating system: Android Customized
- Power source: 110-220v AC input for USB Charger
- Weight: 580g
- Warranty: 3 years
MYRIDE® VX – Handlebar mount
- Compatibility: IC5, IC6, and IC7 indoor cycles
- Viewing angle: Adjustable
- Audio Connection: 3.5mm output
- Weight: 190g
- Warranty 3 Years
Accessories and Assembly
There isn’t much to say about this as the bike is complete. You will receive everything you need to start riding and exercising. The IC7 indoor cycle has two water bottle holders located on the handlebars and very easy to reach. However, you can use one of the holders for your phone.
Life Fitness bike IC7 has adjustable foot levelers to prevent the bike from rocking and also from scratching the surface. However, to protect your surface from sweat, I suggest you invest an extra $30 for a cycling mat.
It comes mostly assembled but some parts (pedals, seat, handlebars, feet, and console) of this indoor cycle require assembly and if you are not good with the tools, we recommend you spend an extra $90 and have it assembled by a professional.
Life Fitness IC7 Specs:
- Structural frame – 5 years
- Mechanical components – 3 years
- Other parts – 1 year
- Labor – 1 year
- L 53″ W 20.5″ H 40.2″
- Weight: 330 lbs
- User height: From 5.2 to 7 feet
Life Fitness IC7 Pros and Cons:
- Fully covered frame and parts for protection and safety;
- 100 Resistance levels adjustment;
- Easy gas-assisted handlebars and seat aluminum posts;
- Self-powered and Bright LCD display;
- 4-way adjustable Ergo formed multi-position soft PVC handlebars;
- Dual integrated bottle holders on the handlebar;
- 2-Stage Toothed belt transmission;
- Multi-grip hand positions including aero bars;
- Compatible with Myride tablet and apps;
- Bluetooth, ANT+, and Long Warranty;
- Dual-sided SPD pedals & toe cages;
- The shape of the frame gets the sweat away from the drive system;
- Small q-factor. 155mm and Commercial quality;
- The elbow rest is not comfortable;
- The handlebars don’t have the drop race grips;
- The monitor is not compatible with non-ICG apps unless you use the QZ application or an additional accessory (ANT bridge);
- A tablet holder is not included with the bike;
- No automatic resistance on Zwift and other apps;
- Lacks gear shifters on the handlebars, and only has a knob;
Life Fitness IC7 is an indoor cycling bike that has less maintenance, is easier to clean, and is safer for homes with children. But that’s not all, it has an extremely durable transmission system which is very similar to what you would find on your car. That transmission, plus a gas-assisted system, and direct watt tracking system put the Life Fitness IC7 at the top of the chain. However, there are some alternative indoor bikes like Tacx Neo that offer more value for your money.
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