Matrix’s Cycle ICR50 is unlike any other indoor cycle I’ve come across.
At first glance, it doesn’t look that different from any other moderately-priced cycle. I mean the rear mounted flywheel certainly adds style points and the 22″ touchscreen console is always nice to see.
But otherwise, I didn’t see much that helped this bike stand out from the rest… until I started looking at the finer details.
The Cycle ICR50 is a bit of a cunundrum because it comes with interesting features that could make a lot of sense for some riders, but others that seem strangely out of place.
For example, this indoor cycle comes with a fast-spinning, lightweight flywheel (which is great), but then pairs it with only 11 resistance levels (which is oddly low for a bike like this).
And the 22″ touchscreen console can only be used for screen mirroring from you phone – it doesn’t come with any preloaded apps or built-in workouts.
Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about this bike because it’s a well-built cycle and it comes from a reputable fitness brand, but I’m not sure its combo of specs and features is gonna be a great fit for most riders.
Maybe I’ll figure it by the time I finish this review…
Either way, if you’re interested in the Cycle ICR50, I think I can help.
In this article, I’ll go over everything this interesting exercise bike does and doesn’t have to offer; I’ll also try to compare it to a few of the top contenders in its price range to see how it stacks up.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right indoor cycle for you.
Alright, let’s do this.
The Matrix Cycle ICR50
Matrix is a great brand, known for creating heavy-duty cardio machines and for their nice selection of consoles to choose from.
They offer both commercial and residential lineups, which is usually a good sign when it comes to the quality of their residential machines.
Matrix also tends to offer really long warranties, which I especially like.
The ICR50 we’re here to talk about now is the only indoor cycle they offer at the time of writing this.
They actually have a pretty small exercise bike lineup in general – only 2 recumbents, 2 uprights, and this indoor cycle.
So, not a ton of exercise machines to choose from, but I’ve always been a proponent that quality if more important than quantity, so this doesn’t bother me too much.
Anyway, let’s start things off with a rundown on the ICR50’s most important performance specs.
- Lightweight, fast-spinning flywheel
- Heavy-duty frame
- 300 lb weight limit
- Belt drive
- Choice of console
- Fully-adjustable seat
- Dual-sided pedals
- Good warranty
- Only 11 resistance levels
- IX display doesn’t come with workouts or ability to display workout metrics
When it comes to indoor cycles and performance, the flywheel is likely the most important spec to think about.
This is mostly because the flywheel is what is largely responsible for creating the feel and resistance you work against as you pedal.
Most indoor cycles these days are using magnetic systems (although there are still some friction brakes out there), meaning the spinning flywheel is paired with a magnetic mechanism that creates the resistance you work against.
We’ll talk about resistance levels in a minute, but I want to start out by going over the ICR50’s flywheel weight.
Most home exercise bikes utilize heavy flywheels (30 lb+) because this is an affordable way to ensure a pretty smooth pedaling motion.
Basically, the extra weight builds momentum as it spins, which in turn helps keep the flywheel and pedals moving a little bit between pedal strokes.
Which makes for a smoother feel during workouts.
Heavy flywheels work great, but there’s also another route to making for a really smooth pedaling motion – using a smaller flywheel, but getting it spinning a lot faster.
You’ll see this design with some of the higher-end indoor cycles and we have Keiser and their famous M3i to thank for introducing the world to this kind of cycle to begin with.
Lightweight, fast-spinning flywheels are great because you get a smooth pedaling motion without the added stress to the knees that a heavy flywheel can create (especially when slowing down, stopping, or starting from a cold start).
With all of this in mind, the ICR50 comes with a 4.5 lb, which is light even for lightweight flywheels (Keiser’s M3i uses an 8 lb flywheel).
But that light flywheel comes with a gear ratio of 1:10, meaning that it spins roughly 10x for every complete rotation of the pedals.
This means that flywheel is gonna be hauling ass during your workouts.
Fast-spinning, lightweight flywheels work great when it comes to providing smooth pedaling motions, but it’s rare to see ’em in this price range.
For example, Keiser’s M3i costs about $1k more than the ICR50, as does ICG’s IC4 (7.6 lb flywheel, 1:10 ratio).
I love that the ICR50 comes with a light flywheel, but it’s a little disappointing that it only comes with 11 resistance levels.
This is really low for an indoor cycle.
Having more resistance settings doesn’t always give you more total resistance, but it does let you make smaller adjustments to your resistance.
Which is a good thing in itself because it gives you more control over your workouts.
Personally, I’d like to see more resistance levels, but maybe that’s just me (I have a Peloton, so I’m used to their 100 resistance level system).
Overall though, I think the ICR50 scores highly with its lightweight, fast-spinning flywheel design, but it would be nice to see more control over the resistance settings.
But there’s more to an exercise bike than its resistance system, there’s also the bike’s frame itself.
I have to assume we’re all looking for an exercise bike that feels stable and secure to sit on and that isn’t gonna rock and wiggle too much as we ride.
It can be hard to discern which bikes have these qualities without being able to test drive ’em first, but there are a few specs we can look for to get a better idea when searching online.
For starters, I like to look for the assembled weight.
This spec tells us how much the bike weighs (once unpacked and assembled) and it can be a great indicator of overall heavy-dutiness.
Basically, seeing a heavier bike is a good sign it’ll feel stable during workouts.
And when it comes to indoor cycles, I like to see an assembled weight that’s at least over 100 lb because this tells me the bike has enough meat on its bones to provide a stable ride.
With this in mind, the ICR50 comes with an assembled weight of roughly 114 lb.
This is solid for an indoor cycle, especially one that comes with such a lightweight flywheel.
For the sake of comparison, Keiser’s M3i weighs in at around 92 lb and ICG’s IC4 weighs around 110 lb; there’s also Schwinn’s IC4 that weighs about 112 lb, but it does come with a 40 lb flywheel to help jack that number up.
So, I would definitely consider the ICR50 to be a heavy-duty bike, so you won’t have to worry about it feeling lightweight or flimsy.
Its weight capacity is 300 lb, which is pretty average for an indoor cycle and even a bit low compared to the 330 – 350 lb limits the other bikes just mentioned offer.
Overall though, I like how robust the ICR50’s frame is and it does look sleek AF with its rear-mounted flywheel.
Matrix covers their Cycle ICR50 with the following home warranty:
- 5 year frame
- 3 year parts
- 1 year labor
Alright, a few things here.
At first glance, 5 years on the frame sounds kinda short for a cycle of this quality, but it’s actually pretty standard for these indoor cycles.
ICG and Peloton both offer 5 year frame warranties and their cycles cost quite a bit more than the ICR50.
That said, Keiser, Schwinn, and NordicTrack all offer 10 year frame warranties, so there are certainly better frame guarantees out there.
Three years on parts, however, is quite good.
This matches the 3 year parts guarantees offered by Keiser, Schwinn and ICG and surpasses the 2 year parts warranties you’ll get with NordicTrack and Sole (Peloton only offers 1 year on parts).
And a year on labor is pretty standard procedure.
Overall, Matrix could do a little better on the frame, but the parts warranty is about as good as we should expect from this price range.
Matrix’s Cycle ICR50 comes with the following features:
Choice of console- like all Matrix cardio machines, you get to choose your poison when it comes to the console. With this bike, you can choose between a simple LCD console, no console, or a 22″ IX display. There’s only about a $100 difference in price with regards to the 2 console options, but in terms of functionality, they’re quite different. The LCD console displays all your standard workout data and even comes with a few built-in, goal-oriented workout programs. The IX display is huge and awesome, but it can only be used to screen mirror from your phone (HDMI to USB-C cord, not included). This is cool because you could view any entertainment or fitness apps you like through your phone, but the IX isn’t capable of tracking any workout metrics and doesn’t come with any built-in workouts of its own. It does have an HDMI input though, so you could also hook up an Amazon Fire Stick or other media player to get access to apps as well.
Dual-sided pedals- the ICR50 comes with SPD compatible clips on one side and a toe cage on the other for use with sneakers.
Fully-adjustable seat- you adjust both the height and fore/aft position of the seat, making it easy to find a comfortable position. Most folks between 5′ – 6’4″ should be able to ride comfortably.
Multi-grip handlebars- the handlebars are height adjustable and offer different options when it comes to grip.
Belt drive- I think I forgot to mention this earlier, but this cycle uses a belt drive, so it’ll be quiet and won’t require any maintenance.
Water bottle holder- and yes, there’s a place to store your water bottle during rides.
Ok, time to talk price.
As I’m writing this, the ICR50 will cost the following depending on which console option you go with:
- No console – $1,199
- LCD console- $1,298
- IX display – $1,398
I think the no console price is great and I like that adding the consoles don’t significantly increase the price (take notes Life Fitness).
But let’s compare it to some of the other top cycles in this price range to see how it stacks up.
As I said, there aren’t many lightweight flywheel cycles like this in this price range, so I’m gonna compare it to a couple of these as well.
Keiser’s M3i is the gold standard when it comes to these cycles and it usually costs around $2,400.
The M3i comes with a faster flywheel, more resistance levels (24), can fit users up to 7′ tall, and is bluetooth friendly. It also comes with a better warranty, but it does cost $1k more.
ICG’s IC4 is priced around $2,200 and it comes a similar warranty, the same gear ratio (1:10), and a micro-adjustable magnetic resistance.
But it doesn’t come with any console and again, costs about $1k more.
Schwinn’s IC4 is closer in price (around $1k), but it comes with a 40 lb front-mounted flywheel, so it’s more of a traditional cycle.
But with 100 resistance levels, a color LCD console, bluetooth, included dumbbells, and a great warranty, it’s still easily one of the best deals in this price range.
Ok, I think that about does it for the ICR50.
The more I think and write about this bike, the more I like it.
It’s definitely an interesting cycle, but it’s going to be hard to find another lightweight, fast-spinning flywheel bike of this caliber in this price range.
On the other hand, it kinda sucks that it only comes with 11 resistance levels – but it was the IX display that was really throwing me off initially.
I’ve never seen a 22″ screen that doesn’t come with any workouts and that doesn’t even display workout metrics, so I find this a little puzzling.
On the other hand, it makes for an affordable way to get access to any app you want via your phone.
Personally though, I think I would opt for the LCD console option and just put the bike somewhere in my home where I could see a tv…
Either way, it’s cool that Matrix gives us the option to choose.
All things considered, I think the ICR50 is a quality cycle and is well-priced for the performance specs it offers.
I could see it making sense for folks looking for a budget-friendly lightweight flywheel cycle or for those who like the idea of streaming everything from their phone.