Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
Schwinn IC2 Overview
Simple, functional, and down-to-earth, the Schwinn IC2 indoor exercise bike is a beginner bike that’s a good choice for beginner or low-impact athletes looking for a way to spin from home. From the legendary and infamous Schwinn biking brand, the new Schwinn IC2 Indoor Exercise and Spin bike is a streamlined and smooth spin bike that’s a great entry into the spin world and perfect for people looking for safe, sturdy, and comfortable rides.
The Schwinn IC2 indoor exercise bike is designed and made for a beginning cyclist, providing gentle practice and a stable base on which to practice low-impact spinning. Easily moved and lightweight, this bike is built for gentle yet productive training and at-home work, so you can add cycling into your routine right away without having to invest in your local gym or spin studio. Priced at around $300-500, this is definitely no small purchase, so you’ll want to make sure you’re satisfied with every aspect of the bike before you invest.
The technical capabilities of the Schwinn IC2 indoor bike are relatively simple yet streamlined. Built with a 31 pound flywheel that uses a wool felt pad to generate resistance with each push of the pedals and an included performance monitor that tracks your rides for quick integration into your fitness routine, the Schwinn team really works to offer a simplified fitness experience that will push you hard while protecting your joints and muscles.
With an adjustable frame, fluid chain drive system, and a weighted/fixed flywheel, this indoor cycling bike was made to create high-energy, low-impact workouts. The race style bike seat is designed to cushion and protect as you move on and off the bike, while the handlebar unit is height adjustable to accommodate a variety of rider sizes. The bike measures 45” L x 23” W x 49” H with a maximum user weight of 250 lbs.
Schwinn IC2 Comparison!
We were able to compare the Schwinn spin bikes including the IC2 with similarly priced indoor bikes on the market to see if it’s really a good value purchase in 2020.
Unfortunately, this indoor cycle by Schwinn Fitness doesn’t offer enough to justify it’s $450 price tag. A few dealbreaker shortcomings are the lack of magnetic resistance, SPD pedals, and belt transmission.
For this money, there are other options that include all these features missing on the IC2. One, for example, is the HMC indoor cycling bike. Aside from the belt transmission and magnetic resistance, it also has a heavier flywheel and fully adjustable handlebars.
Schwinn IC2 Review and Specifications:
- Width: 23”
- Length: 45″
- Height: 49”
- Bike Weight: 83 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 250 Pounds
- Max User Height: 4’9” – 6’5”
- Transportation Wheels
The Schwinn IC2 has a compact design while still delivering a strong performance. Thanks to its simplistic outdoor bike inspired chain-drive system and streamlined frame, it balances out high-energy workouts with low-impact exercise.
The chain and flywheel work in tandem to create an endurance-based workout, and its included transport wheels mean that you can easily transplant this bike wherever you want to work out without needing a tow truck.
From its portability to its streamlined yet intensive design and performance, the Schwinn IC2 spin bike is designed to accommodate needs for gentle yet productive workouts.
IC2 Digital Monitor:
- The non-backlit digital monitor console on the Schwinn IC2 powers on with two AA batteries;
- Measures RPM, speed, distance, time, and calories (no resistance level, or Watt reading);
- Does not offer Bluetooth or smart app integration, unlike many competitor models;
- Can’t sync ride data up with external apps or recorders
The digital monitor that comes with the Schwinn IC2 indoor cycling bike is very basic, but still effective based on what you need. The simple tracking modes help you pace yourself before and during your ride without throwing too many confusing stats at you
However, its simple design brings quite a few negatives as well: you can’t export or sync ride data, so if you want to track or transfer your rides you’ll have to hand copy the details off your monitor or rely on an external strap or watch to track yourself.
The monitor’s weakness lies in its design: relatively low-tech, offering the bare essentials of distance, cadence, time, and calories, which is simple compared to its price tag and to competitive models. If you’re looking to track biometric statistics like heart rate or get a more accurate read on burned calories, you’ll have to rely on a smart watch or a third-party fitness tracker that will again cost more. For a brand that’s so committed to providing high-quality fitness and performance, it’s a bit underwhelming to not have these features included from the start.
Pedals and Q-Factor:
- Pedals have straps that lock your feet in (somewhat)
- Pedals have toe clips but not full SPD compatibility
- Average Q Factor (173 mm given measurement by third-parties)
The pedals included on the Schwinn IC2 bike are fairly basic unlike the Schwinn IC3: simple bike pedals with included straps to keep your feet from slipping off the pedal mid-stride. They also feature a basic toe clip on the front side, but these pedals are not double-sided and don’t offer thorough SPD compatibility (according to several other users as well). According to the Schwinn manufacturers, the Q factor, or the distance between pedals, is inspired by outdoor bikes, making it a natural, narrow, and smooth ride. It also allows for the highest efficiency when pedaling, which is a plus for riders looking to maximize their workout without experiencing leg or foot pain associated with the pedal positioning.
Fortunately, the actual Q-factor is also provided for us by a third party (173 mm), meaning you won’t have to take a guess when determining whether it will fit for you. SPD pedals are a staple for many cyclists, including those who are working with spin classes directly or using bikes to train for outdoor cycling events. Most SPD pedals are double sided – that means you can clip into either side of the pedal, which makes starting from a stationary position (not pedaling) a lot easier. The fact that this pedal is single-sided is a bit of a drawback, but it’s an easy fix. You can
As far as the stationary pedaling, some riders prefer the additional security that comes from knowing that you need to push hard to move the wheel, but if you’re just starting out you may want less tension. For beginning riders, not being able to train with double-sided SPD pedals could be a problem later on if you’re looking to increase your spinning abilities, and we’re concerned that this small strap isn’t enough to hold you in safely to begin with. An alternative is to order replacement pedals: whether they’re SPD-equipped or otherwise, we’ve got a list of our favorites here to check out as well.
Schwinn IC2 Flywheel:
- 31 lb fixed flywheel (fixed flywheel);
- A durable felt-pad protection sweat guard is included;
- Uses a simple felt pad to create resistance and drag.
Unlike bikes with traditional tension-based chain systems, this Schwinn IC2 indoor spin bike relies on a wool felt pad to create a natural drag that builds resistance. Felt pads are part of the less popular friction-resistance model of spin bikes. The fixed flywheel works to generate internal traction that propels the pedals forward as you push, meaning you work hard with every stride to earn a good workout.
The flywheel itself is relatively protected due to a heavy-duty aluminum frame that protects the wheel and resistance system from bumps, dents, or average wear and tear. However, the felt pad is relatively lower quality than other resistance systems, meaning it’s more likely to wear out faster despite the company reporting it uses high-quality felt that’s allegedly long-life.
The flywheel might be able to withstand years of use, but the felt will likely wear out more quickly and need to be replaced or maintained more consistently. The replacement pads are also only available directly from the manufacturer, meaning you’re likely to pay a premium price each time it needs to be replaced.
Schwinn IC2 Resistance:
- The Schwinn IC2 features an adjustable felt pad resistance system;
- Incremental adjustment knob cranks up resistance before or during rides;
- The resistance knob also functions as an emergency brake;
The Schwinn IC2 bike is similar to other lower end spin bikes under $200 in its approach to adjusting resistance. Instead of having a set amount of magnetic resistance levels like many similar exercise bikes, the incremental adjustment knob allows a rider to adjust the resistance settings with the twist of a knob, which then gradually applies pressure to the felt pad that in turn presses to the flywheel and slows down the wheel rotation. A slower wheel rotation requires more effort to push to move, which is how your workout is generated.
While this does help the rider customize their intensity more specifically to their needs, it lacks the third-party or electronic resistance options that more advanced bikes offer, like resistance levels that simulate specific terrain or target specific workout types. Interval workouts are hard with knob adjustments, so this bike is better suited for long cardio-based style rides than regular interval intensity changes such as hill or terrain training.
The knob also does not allow for more refined adjusting, meaning that you can’t really push yourself as hard as you might on a higher end model. This is a common issue with knob adjustments, but the felt pad really amplifies this problem and emphasizes the inability of the knob to create a consistent resistance experience.
Handlebars and Seat:
- Two-way adjustable handlebars
- Four-way adjustable padded seat
Another shortcoming of the Schwinn IC2 magnetic spin bike is the limited personalization available due to the lack of horizontal adjustment on the handlebars. Basically, the lack of horizontal adjustment means you can not do upright riding because the handlebars don’t come close toward the seat (they are fixed) so you need to lean forward to reach them. The seat, on the other hand, offers several positions for customized alignment and riding poses so both riders who normally train indoors and those who ride outdoors can find their preferred arm positions with little to no trouble adjusting and creating a good spinning fit.
It also features roughly a foot and a half range of height adjustment, so riders between 4’9″ and 6.5” feet can share a bike without problems. However, these handlebars do not have a personal device holder that would allow riders to store phones, tablets, or books while they ride (unless they want to keep in in the bottle holder).
This doesn’t affect the practical use of the bike, but it is a major inconvenience that some may find troublesome and annoying when trying to ride. There is a water bottle holder you could prop a device in, but then you don’t have a good place to store your water, so you’ll have to balance out which are the highest priorities for you to store.
Transmission and Gear Ratio:
- The Schwinn IC2 indoor cycle use a chain for transmission;
- Its drive train is fixed (you can’t do casting);
- The gear ratio for the Schwinn Fitness IC2 spin bike is 1:3;
Chain systems in general are usually cheaper to install and repair, which helps keep maintenance costs down. However, you will want to do regular lubrication, tightening, and rust-prevention to help keep your chain in top shape and avoid long-term wear and tear. Eventually, standard wear over the years may require a replacement of the entire system, but this will be relatively simple and affordable to replace.
Another big pro of the Schwinn IC2 chain is its ability to deliver maximum powered workouts. The chain won’t stretch, change, jerk or slip even on the highest resistance settings or you are riding the bike while standing up, which means you can push yourself without worrying about the bike staying put. The gear ratio helps here too by balancing your bike’s resistance and the demand on the chain drive to allow you to get a consistent ride.
The one downside to chain drive systems is their noise. They’re quite loud, especially in indoor workout spaces, and the creak of the metal doesn’t make for the most inspiring of workout tracks. Even with regular lubrication and care, the noise of the chain drive is a constant that you’ll have to learn to live with should you choose to purchase this bike.
IC2 Price and Warranty:
- The Schwinn IC2 bike is currently priced at between $300-500 USD depending on the seller
- The Schwinn IC2 bike’s warranty includes;
Five years on the frame
One year on parts
Three months on labor
- For warranty questions or parts replacement, you can contact the Schwinn manufacturers through their website.
The price of this bike in comparison to the range of features it offers and the range of other bikes available is not impressive. These are decent bikes for those who are just starting out in cycling and not ready to commit to a higher-end machine but do want to get in the game and start with a lighter and cheaper machine.
However, they’re pretty overpriced and don’t offer enough extras or a good enough performance to justify their price tag. The warranty is fairly extensive, but when the performance of the bike is lackluster from the start having extra coverage just doesn’t feel like an important priority.
Assembly and Shipping:
- Shipped in a single box, with assembly required;
- Takes about 1 week to arrive normally, though there are a variety of factors that could affect that especially as distributors adapt to COVID concerns;
- Depending on where you purchase from assembly services can be purchased as an add-on;
- All the assembly tools and instructions are included in the box;
Assembling your Schwinn IC2 is relatively simple. The complicated parts, such as the flywheel and the chain system, come pre-assembled, so you won’t need a degree to attach them.
Two people following the fairly clear assembly diagrams can likely assemble this in about an hour, with the biggest concern being the weight of the larger pieces as you move to put them together. However, if you’re on edge by the idea of assembly, you can purchase labor services to come to your home and assemble the bike depending on your location.
Shipping timeframes will depend on the carrier, but if you have concerns about getting it into your house you can call ahead and arrange assistance with your local delivery system.
Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycle Pros:
Streamlined and efficient:
This is one of the most simplistic indoor exercise bikes out there. It’s sleekly designed and easy to use and store, so people looking for light and low-impact exercise will find it perfect. The included front wheels make transport even easier, so you can wheel the bike to wherever you feel like exercising today and then quickly push it back into its storage place until you’re ready to use it again. Getting started is easy, low-impact, and simple, so your workout will be relatively low stress and easy to complete day after day.
Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycle Cons:
Low-Weight, Noisy Flywheel:
The felt pad and chain (instead of magnetic and belt) here are huge drawbacks. They are noisy and require a lot of maintenance to stay in top shape, so if you don’t keep up with the maintenance regularly you’ll really start to notice the drawbacks of this friction-based resistance system. This low-weight flywheel is nice for people with knee problems or who need low-impact exercise options, but it also is easily overcome with training and will not last long for hard-working cyclists. For people who need more resistance or a harder workout, this is not the bike for you.
NO SPD Pedals:
The lack of double-sided SPD pedals is another negative to note. SPD is a huge component of spin and cycling, so not having pedals that are compatible with all cleats or other elements of the SPD pedaling system feels like a major miss. Though these pedals do feature some elements of SPD, the single-sided pedal just doesn’t maximize the tenets of SPD pedaling systems. Though you can easily replace your pedals with third-party options, it’d be nice to not have to immediately purchase upgrades for your machine.
Considering the fact that it is a very simple spin bike with old-style friction resistance and a loud chain drive transmission, we believe that the IC2 by Schwinn is at least $200 overpriced (at $450). For half the price of this indoor cycle, you can buy magnetic resistance spin bikes that are way quieter and require less maintenance.
The Final Verdict
The Schwinn IC2 Indoor Spin Bike is frankly not a good choice. The single-sided pedals are a huge issue, and the low weight low-resistance flywheel is another major setback. The bike’s resistance is noisy and needs lots of care and attention, the monitor offers an average performance, and there’s no personal device holder to make working out with a device easier. The bike functions well enough, but it’s definitely at a limited capacity compared to others in the marketplace.
The felt padded flywheel resistance system of the Schwinn IC2 bike just doesn’t hold up. The friction-based resistance network makes braking and starting loud and creaky, which is not such a great thing to have when you’re in the middle of an intensive workout. The knob adjustments, though challenging to use for interval workouts, are decent at presetting levels for long cardio-heavy rides, but the levels themselves are not very intensive and it’s hard to reset to previous levels once you’ve adjusted them. The adjustable seat and handlebars do try to create a flexible fit for every rider, but the low weight limit excludes some people from being able to use it successfully.
At the end of the day, the Schwinn IC2 is a disappointing bike that is probably best suited for very new spinners or people in need of low-impact exercise. It’s not very affordable considering the few benefits it does provide, and the friction flywheel, noisy resistance, and limited user ranges exclude it from being useful for a lot of riders. If you’re a beginning individual or someone who works with exercise impairment and has some cash to spend, this bike might work for you, but if not, you may want to stay away.
The Schwinn IC2 indoor exercise bike is priced relatively expensively especially for its lack of associated benefits. The smooth incorporation of the stability flywheel and durable chain design help increase workout intensity to an extent, but the lack of quality or SPD integrated pedals and loud, high-maintenance friction flywheel sets it far back from other similar bikes on the market. The Schwinn IC2 indoor spin bike can serve as a helpful piece of exercise equipment for beginning users or exercise-limited riders, but the underdeveloped pedal and poor resistance wheel make it a bad fit for other riders.