Schwinn IC3 Review | What I Think After 3 Years
The Schwinn IC3 was a groundbreaking entry into the budget indoor cycling and spinning bikes market in 2018. It was the first to feature SPD pedals and a telemetry wireless chest strap connectivity computer in its price range. For spinning workouts, the Schwinn IC3 computer tracks important data including cycling cadence, speed, and heart rate.
With a slim profile, the Schwinn Fitness IC3 features a durable and professional construction similar to Schwinn IC4 bike which is a newer model in Schwinn IC Series. Like another popular Schwinn spin bike, the Schwinn AC Sports bike, the Schwinn IC3 has more to offer than just an eye-catching sleek design and solid construction.
The racing-style seat and Urethane-dipped handlebars are fore/aft adjustable to provide comfort and minimize the impact. The four-grip position handlebars are great for utilizing different riding positions.
In terms of pedal stroke and smoothness, the IC3 Schwinn stationary bike is unbeatable for under 500. It has a 40-pound perimeter-weighted steel flywheel that offers plenty of inertia and intensity for indoor cycling rides. It has a smooth pedal stroke even during mix high-intensity and high-speed indoor cycling exercise.
But that’s just the beginning. This budget best indoor bike by Schwinn comes with a generous warranty and great height and weight capacity. Unlike other spin bikes in this price point, when buying IC3 Schwinn spin bike, you get 5 years on frame and 1-year warranty on all parts.
I understand you would like to know more before you buy the Schwinn IC3. Therefore, I went through the IC3’s features with more details down below.
Schwinn Indoor Cycling Bikes Comparison:
Schwinn has 8 models of indoor cycling bikes; the IC2 is the most basic bike with friction resistance system and lower weight capacity, the IC3 is the second model with has better handlebars than Schwinn IC2, plus SPD pedals and RPM reading. It’s a good bike still comes with an outdated friction resistance system and black and white small console.
The next model up by Schwinn is the IC4. Schwinn’s IC4 is a great entry-level bike with a few more features than the IC3. It’s one of my favourite indoor cycles by Schwinn that comes with a Bluetooth screen, magnetic resistance, SPD pedals and dumbbell holders. If you are a fan of Schwinn Fitness brand, I highly recommend you to consider the Schwinn IC4 instead of IC3. It is a better indoor bike with many great features and better ergonomics. Its magnetic resistance is much better than friction, Zwift compatible Bluetooth computer, and USB device charger. Also, a $50 chest strap is often comes included with IC4.
Schwinn is a trusted name in the world of indoor cycling bikes, and the Schwinn AC Sport is a mid-range option that comes equipped with a high-quality drive system. However, I wouldn’t recommend the Schwinn AC models because they are overpriced compared to other bikes. Schwinn Fitness retails them for around $1200-$1600 excluding the monitor. For the mentioned price range, you could buy a Nordictrack S15i with a 15″ screen or a ProForm Studio Bike Pro with 22″ screen. Both of these options offer more in terms of console options, making them a better value for your money. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a Schwinn indoor cycling bike in the AC Sport Series, I would recommend checking out other models
We all know Schwinn has always been associated with quality bicycles. But in recent years, Schwinn has expanded its product line to include indoor cycling bikes. The Schwinn AC Performance Plus Indoor Cycle is the top-of-the-line model in the Schwinn indoor cycling bike lineup. With a price tag of $2000 to $2500, the Schwinn AC Performance Plus is one of the most expensive indoor cycling bikes on the market. While the Schwinn AC Performance Plus are quality bikes, they are not considered smart spin bikes and are pretty outdated when compared to other options in their price range. For the price of a Schwinn AC Performance Plus bike, you could buy a Tacx Neo, a Peloton Bike+, or a Stages SB20, all of which come with automatic resistance system and accurate watt tracking.
|Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycle||Overpriced||Distance, Time, Calories, not backlit||Cage-integrated pedals||Fixed||Friction, Chain Transmission||None|
|Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycle||Overpriced||RPM, heart rate, distance, time, calories, not backlit||SPD clipless and cage||Fixed||Friction, Poly-V Belt Transmission||None|
|Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycle||Great Value||Bluetooth, Resistance, RPM, distance, time, HR, Calories||SPD clipless and cage||Fixed||Magnetic, Poly-V Belt Transmission||Bluetooth & Dumbbell holder|
|AC Sport Indoor Cycling Bike w/ Chain Drive||Overpriced||Mpower Echelon2 and Cadence Pro Compatible (not included)||SPD clipless and cage||Fixed||Magnetic, Chain Transmission||Aluminum frame|
|AC Sport Indoor Cycling Bike w/ Carbon Drive||Overpriced||Mpower Echelon2 and Cadence Pro Compatible (not included)||SPD clipless and cage||Fixed||Magnetic, Carbon Belt Transmission||Aluminum frame & Toothed Transmission|
|Schwinn AC Performance Plus w/ Chin Drive||Overpriced||MPower Echelon Compatible (not included)||SPD clipless and cage||Free (Smart Release System)||Magnetic, Chain Transmission||Aluminum frame|
|Schwinn AC Performance Plus w/ Carbon Drive||Overpriced||MPower Echelon Compatible (not included)||SPD clipless and cage||Free (Smart Release System)||Magnetic, Carbon Belt Transmission||Aluminum frame & Toothed Transmission|
|Schwinn AC Power w/ Carbon Drive||Good Value||MPower Echelon 2G Comes Included||SPD clipless and cage||Free (Smart Release System)||Magnetic, Carbon Belt Transmission||Aluminum frame & Toothed Transmission|
Schwinn IC3 Alternatives
I used the Schwinn IC3 in 2018 and back then, it was really one of the best value indoor bikes under $500. However, that has changed. Currently, in 2022, I don’t think the Schwinn IC3 offers enough to justify its $500 price point.
Don’t get me wrong, the Schwinn IC3 is a good indoor bike, it’s just not as good as alternative options that are available in 2022. It has outdated frictions system which requires extra maintenance and it is louder than magnetic resistance stationary bikes.
Therefore, instead of the Schwinn IC3 for $500+, I would recommend other alternatives indoor cycling bikes that have more updated features such as HD screen, magnetic resistance system and Bluetooth monitor. So, you can enjoy connecting your bike to online cycling applications and classes.
A few of these Schwinn IC3 alternatives are; the Bowflex C7 mode which has a 7-inch touchscreen HD monitor, Bluetooth, and magnetic resistance, and Dmasun bike that cost much less than the IC3, yet it has road-style drop handlebars and magnetic resistance.
Another good alternative to Schwinn IC3 would be the Proform Studio Bike Pro 10. It has a huge 10-Inch touchscreen, electronic magnetic resistance, and 1-month free iFit membership. Any of these fourth indoor bikes that I just mentioned would be a better choice than Schwinn IC3 exercise bike (unless prices change).
Here is the Schwinn IC3 Alternative bikes to help see your choices within this price category and make the right decision.
|Schwinn IC3||Friction||40-Lbs||No-backlit, RPM, Speed, HR, & Calorie Readings||No||No||SPD and Cage|
|Bowflex C7||Magnetic||40-Lbs||7″ Touch, Resistant Level, RPM, Speed, HR, & Calorie Readings||Yes||Zwift, Peloton, JRNY||SPD and Cage|
|Dmasun Bike||Magnetic||40-Lbs||No-backlit, Speed, HR, & Calorie Readings||No||No||Cage Only|
|ProForm Studio||Electronic Magnetic||25-Lbs||10″ Touch, Resistant Level, RPM, Speed, HR, & Calorie Readings||Yes + WiFi||iFit||Cage Only|
To help you easily navigate through our Schwinn IC3 indoor cycling bike review, we have created a table of content below:
- Schwinn IC3 Technical Information
- IC3 Specs
- Schwinn IC3 Monitor
- Pedal and Q Factor
- Drive system
- Handlebars and seat
- Price and warranty
- Shipping and Assembly
- Schwinn IC3 Pros
- Schwinn IC3 Cons
- Needed Cycling Clothing and Accessories
- Final Word on the Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike
- Height: 49″
- Width: 23″
- Length: 45″
- Bike Weight: 100 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 300 Pounds
- Inseam Capacity: 29″ to 40″
- Shipping Weight: 114 Pounds
The Schwinn IC3 indoor cycle has relatively compact dimensions. It’s lightweight and features a very slim profile, so you don’t need too much space for indoor spinning cardio exercise.
IC3 Schwinn exercise bike frame has double-coated corrosion resistance color to protect against humidity and excessive sweat. It can withstand 300 pounds user weight which is enough for most users. For easy transportation and storage after use, the IC3 indoor cycling bike also features two durable wheels.
Schwinn IC7 Monitor Features:
- Wireless telemetry enabled monitor tracks the heart rate accurately.
- Easy to track large monitor.
- Monitor readouts include RPM, Time, Calories, Distance/Mile, Speed, and Heart Rate.
- Runs with easy to find AA batteries. They are included.
IC3 exercise bike LCD monitor is truly generous. It’s equipped to monitor heart rate, RPM, and calories burnt, as well as other standard metrics such as time, distance, and calories.
It’s not backlit but it’s clear and the stats are displayed large. So, you can easily track your stationary exercise bike workouts as long as it’s not too dark.
The IC3 spin bike monitor runs with 2 AA batteries, which can last up to 1 year depending on how often you do the spinning workout. When buying IC3 Schwinn home spin bike, you will also receive the batteries.
Pedals and Q-Factor:
- The Current Schwinn’s IC3’s Q-factor is not disclosed (Nautilus Support reports it is 9.5″ but we are not sure they measured it correctly).
- Dual-sided SPD.
- And toe cage pedals.
- Note: One of our readers emailed us the q-factor for the IC3 (8″) which sounds more accurate than the 9.5″!
The IC3 Schwinn exercise bike Q-factor is not disclosed. But in a comment, the Nautilus Support said “the q-factor for IC3 is 9.5”. Unfortunately, we no longer have access to this bike to measure therefore, we can’t tell for sure what is the q-factor for the current Schwinn IC3 indoor cycle. However, if the 9.5″ is to be correct, it’s simply too wide for any rider. With that out of the way and considering other Schwinn spin bikes such as the AC Sport with 6.5″, I believe it’s less than 9.5″ (but that’s not certain). After all the brand is recognized for its well-thought ergonomic German engineering.
In case you are new to the indoor cycling world, the spin bike Q-factor is the distance between the two pedals. 5.”-6.7″ Q-factor is ideal because it allows your ankles to stay aligned with your knees and hips. Too much distance between the pedals keep your feet wide open and doesn’t let them stay aligned with your hips and knees.
Even though the Schwinn IC3 spin bike costs less than $500, it comes with Shimano compatible pedals. The Schwinn IC7 pedals have a toe cage side and a clip in the SPD side. So, you can use the bike with regular gym shoes or with specific spinning shoes. Note that usually, the SPD pedals are included with spin bikes above $1000.
- Schwinn IC3 Flywheel weight: 40 Pounds
- Flywheel type: Perimeter Weighted
If you have been reading our Schwinn IC7 review, you probably know the weight of the Schwinn IC3 flywheel already. But what you probably don’t know the type of the flywheel.
The Schwinn IC3 flywheel is perimeter weighted. Meaning the weight is around the desk. Therefore, the pedal stroke is extra smooth, yet, has high inertia. The perimeter weighted flywheel is often found in home spin bikes above $1000.
Handlebars and Seat:
- Four-way adjustable seat.
- Four-way adjustable handlebars.
- Race-style middle cutout seat.
- Schwinn IC3 seat is ventilated
- Urethane-dipped handlebars.
The IC3 Schwinn stationary spin bike features padded handlebars to provide better grip and extra comfort during long spinning sessions. Additionally, unlike the older model (Schwinn IC2), the IC3 is fore/aft adjustable and has the urethane-dipped handlebars.
The multi-grip dipped adjustable handlebars allow pretty much all users heights to adjust the bike to fit their arm lengths. It is not just adjustable, it has an ergonomic design that makes it unique compared to other cheap spin bikes.
Ventilated and cushioned, the Schwinn IC3 seat features a decent narrow race-style with horizontal and vertical adjustment for maximum adjustability. So, you wouldn’t need to buy gel seat. The high-quality breathable seat prevents overheating during long rides.
The IC3 spin bike seat is four-way adjustable with excellent inseam capacity. Schwinn IC3 indoor cycle can be adjusted to accommodate all your family members. Users from 29-inch to 40-inch inseam can comfortably exercise on Schwinn indoor cycling bike.
- Schwinn IC3 resistance is friction
- Felt pad resistance type
- Push down emergency brake
- Resistance guard/bike fender
The Schwinn IC3 uses a felt pad to create resistance. It’s not magnetic or leather pad but due to the high-quality materials used in the felt pad, it’s pretty quiet and smooth.
What’s nice about the felt pad friction is the infinite amount of resistance. There is no level so the more you turn the knob, the more challenging the workout gets.
This way, all fitness levels can find a resistance that meets their need. Schwinn IC3 resistance is not shown on the IC3 monitor. So, you can see the exact level of resistance. But after a while, you will get the feel of how many turns can be your average and max point.
If you are still reading our Schwinn IC3 review, you should know that this inexpensive indoor exercise bike by Schwinn has a resistance and flywheel guard. There is bike fender that prevents sweat from ruining the Schwinn IC3’s resistance pad.
Overall the resistance is good, although not as quiet as magnetic. But for sure, the IC3 Schwinn spin exercise bike offers more resistance than magnetic spin bikes.
- Belt drive Poly-V transmission;
- IC3 comes with a 1:3 gear ratio;
- The drive system of this Schwinn indoor bike is fixed (not free-wheel);
Schwinn IC3 exercising bike features high-grade belt drive that is smooth, and consistent to provide you with a really good workout experience. It requires very little maintenance because it doesn’t need oiling or adjusting too often.
Compared to chain drive bikes, it is also extremely quiet in operation, which is an important factor when it is being used at home. Especially if you live in apartments. The belt adjustment nuts are high-quality so the thread won’t ruin if you need to adjust the belt.
Price and Warranty:
- Whole bike frame: 5 Years
- Mechanical and electric parts (Belt and monitor): 2 Years
- Other parts: 12 Months
- Labor warranty: 3 Months
Home warranty of IC3 Schwinn spin cycles is unbeatable for this price point. When buying IC3 Schwinn spin cycle, you are confident because you know the company backs the bike for years. Not only you can buy the IC3 spin bike by Schwinn with peace of mind, but it’s also a quality assurance.
Schwinn Fitness offers years of warranty for the Schwinn IC7 indoor cycling bike because they trust the quality. Otherwise, they could go with 3 months warranty like all the other home cycling bikes with this price tag.
As far as the Schwinn IC3 indoor cycling bike price goes, it’s the most affordable professional spin bike on the market. For less than $400, Schwinn IC3 home exercise bike is the best value exercise bike.
There are a few indoor cycling bikes with similar features, but three times more expensive. Buying Schwinn IC3 spin bikes, rest assured that you are getting one of the best deals, if not THE best spin bike deal on the market.
Shipping and Assembly:
- Schwinn IC3 assembly is easy.
- Shipping is free.
- Assembly tools are included.
- Schwinn IC3 indoor cycling bike manual is included.
IC3 Schwinn exercise bike comes partially assembled and according to many Schwinn IC3 spin bike reviews on Amazon, the Schwinn IC3 assembly is very easy. When you buy the IC3 Schwinn spin bike, you will also receive the tools needed for assembly.
The Schwinn IC3 instructions are also included. Following the instructions, it shouldn’t take you more than 40 minutes. Consider that you need to assemble the stabilizers, seat, handlebars, monitor, and pedals.
Buying the Schwinn IC3 exercise bike from Amazon you won’t have to spend on shipping. The Schwinn IC3 indoor bike shipping is free and it is relatively faster than a few other retailers.
Schwinn IC3 Pros:
RPM (Revolutions per minute) is also known as cadence. It’s the number of flywheel turns in one minute. It tells you how fast you are pedaling. You can see your current and total RPMs and compared it with another day’s record. It’s also an important metric when following spinning classes online because the instructor gives specific RPM every few minutes. Schwinn IC3 spin bike tracks the RPM but most spin bikes in this price range don’t.
Heart Rate Strap connectivity
In case you are still reading our Schwinn IC3 exercise bike review, you already know the Schwinn IC3 computer connects to the wireless non-coded chest straps such as the Polar T31. It’s more accurate and easier to use than the pulse sensors on the handlebars. When 100-120 is your BPM (beat per minute), you are in health improvement zone, 120-150 BPM in fitness zone (fat burning), 150-170 BPM is performance zone, 170-200 BPM is high-performance zone (fit athletes). Thanks to the IC3 Schwinn spin bike for home use, you can accurately see which workout zone you are on.
- Dual-sided SPD pedals.
- Breathable soft racing-style seat.
- Automative grade smooth belt-system.
- Easy to reach convenient bottle holder.
- 4 Adjustable foot levelers.
- Tablet holder.
- 40 Pounds perimeter weight flywheel.
- Four-way adjustable ergonomic multi-grip handlebars.
- Generous warranty.
- Excellent customer support.
- Huge inseam capacity.
Schwinn IC3 Cons:
The IC3 LCD monitor doesn’t connect to Bluetooth or ANT/+ devices. These wireless connections allow users to connect the bike to their phone/tablet to save their daily progress on free cycling apps or do live competitions on cycling apps. Note that these wireless communication protocols are often found on spin bikes that cost $500+ such as the Bowflex C7.
Watts, or in other words, the power you produce with each pedal stroke. It’s an important spinning metric that allows you to see how much effort you are putting. With the Schwinn IC3 you can not track watts that you produced throughout the spinning workout. Note: We don’t know of any spin bike under $500 that can track Watts so unless you are willing to stretch your budget, we suggest you not to consider the watt tracking capabilities.
Unlike high-end and expensive Schwinn indoor bikes with smart release mechanism, the IC3 comes with the fixed wheel mechanism. Smart release system allows the flywheel to keep spinning when the pedals and crank arms are static. It’s similar to how outdoor bicycles work. And it’s safer because you can jump off the bike without having to wait for the flywheel to stop spinning. With fixed gear bikes, both the pedals and flywheel start and stop spinning together. Therefore, you can’t get off the bike immediately because you need to wait for the flywheel to stop turning. The smart release feature is only available on Schwinn exercise bikes that cost $1500+.
- The telemetry chest strap is not included.
- Wide q-factor is not ideal for everyone
- It has a friction felt pad, not magnetic resistance.
Indoor Cycling Clothing and Accessories:
When buying the IC3 exercise bike, you are going to need a few accessories and clothing to make cycling more comfortable and enjoyable. For a start, you need padded cycling shorts to provide cushioning between you and the seat and to prevent painful chafing. We have written extensive women’s spinning shorts and men’s spinning short reviews.
If you want to connect the Schwinn IC3 indoor cycling bike to the cycling apps such as the Zwift, you will need Bluetooth-enabled Wahoo sensors. To find out the price and more information about the Wahoo sensors, read our spin bike computers review.
Indoor cycling shoes
You are lucky because the Schwinn Fitness IC3 indoor cycling bike has SPD pedals. So, you have the option to wear specific cycling shoes for indoor cycling. These shoes have stiff soles that allow you to produce more power, burn more calories and feel more comfortable. We have picked and reviewed the top women’s spinning shoes for you.
Mat and cover
To make sure the bike doesn’t scratch your floor and to eliminate the bike’s vibration to extend the life of your newly purchased Schwinn IC3, we recommend an exercise bike mat. You can buy it from Amazon for less than $30. And if you have kids in the house, we suggest you consider covering the bike after use. It keeps the naughty fingers safe while keeping the dust away from your bike. Here is the link to our favorite exercise bike covers.
Final Word on the Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike:
Throughout this Schwinn IC3 review, you probably noticed that we like this indoor bike. So much that if it is under $350, we would highly recommend it.
From top to bottom, this spin bike is made extremely well. Schwinn IC3 has a decent comfortable and breathable, racing-style seat, SPD pedals, belt-drive, tablet holder and an easy-to-reach big bottle holder. It adjusts fully to provide good bike fitting for all heights. It’s easy to assemble and the bike computer that reads RPM is a nice bonus.
The main concern with the Schwinn IC3 is its outdated resistance system that use a wool-pad to create intensity rather than magnets. Other than that, it’s one of the best Schwinn exercise bikes to buy.
I initially bought the Schwinn IC3 in 2018 and back then at $500 it was a great value. But years passed and now that we are in 2022, I no longer think it’s a good value option on the market. It’s not a bad indoor bike, it’s just outdated and there are better options for around the same price. That said, if by the time you are reading this Schwinn IC3 bike review and you can get your hand on one of these for less than $350, rest assured you are getting a solid and durable exercise bike that delivers a smooth workout. It comes with chest strap compatible console that reads rider’s cadence. And it also has SPD pedals that worth around $50 if you were to buy it separately.
Just bought an ic3 doesn’t display the watts. Pretty bummed about it too.
what is the push down emergency brake on the fixed wheel mechanism compared to the smart release mechanism?
The smart-release system is the opposite of the fixed-wheel mechanism. Spin bikes that are built with fixed-wheel/fix-gear mechanism (like this Schwinn IC3) don’t allow you to get off the bike or take a 5-second break until the flywheel completely stops turning because the flywheel and the pedals are fixed together.
On the other hand, we have some spin bikes with the smart-release mechanism such as Life Fitness IC8 and Concept 2 bike. On these bikes the pedals and the flywheel work independently. Therefore, you can get off the bike in case of an emergency or take a short break from pedaling while the flywheel is turning (like road bikes).
Compared to fix-gear, the smart-release system is better because it is safer but unfortunately it is too expensive. I don’t know any spin bike (except for Concept 2) under $2000 with this technology.
The push-down emergency brake is something that 99% of spin bikes (including the IC3) have it. It allows you to stop the flywheel immediately in case of an emergency.
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