The IC3 may be Schwinn’s entry-level indoor cycle, but it still comes with some legit performance specs for such an affordable bike.
The most notable of which has gotta be the 40 lb flywheel, but it also comes with dual compatible pedals and fully adjustable seat and handlebars.
And Schwinn offers a solid warranty on the IC3 too, which always helps.
But, the IC3 is a bit lacking when it comes to some of the finer console features – it doesn’t come with bluetooth, USB charging, or built-in workouts.
Overall, the IC3 has a lot to offer for a budget cycle, but it’s far from perfect.
Is it worth investing in?
Well, that’s what I’m here to help you figure out.
In this review, we’ll go over everything the IC3 has to offer, as well as where it falls a bit short.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right exercise bike for your home.
The Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike
Schwinn’s a trusted brand that’s been going strong for over a century.
With so many fitness brands coming and going these days, I think it says something when a brand can survive for such a long time.
And Schwinn hasn’t just been around, they’ve been quite innovative over the years. For example, we have them to thank/hate for the creation of air bikes.
Anyway, Schwinn is still very relative and they still offer some great exercise bikes.
When it comes to indoor cycles, the IC3 is their most affordable spin bike at the moment – actually, they only offer 2 directly, with the other being the highly popular IC4.
The IC4 comes with a few key upgrades over the IC3 and is a great buy in my opinion – if you’d like to see how these 2 bikes compare, check out my comparison of the IC3 vs the IC4.
- 40 lb flywheel
- Belt drive
- Unlimited resistance levels
- Heavy-duty frame (for price range)
- Fully adjustable seat
- Fully adjustable handlebars
- Heart rate strap compatible
- Affordable price
- Great warranty
- Friction brake resistance system
- Basic console (no bluetooth)
If you’re familiar with my work, you probably know I like to start all my reviews with a look at the resistance system.
I stress the importance of starting here because a bike’s resistance system is what provides the overall “feel” of your workouts.
A smooth (or not so smooth) pedal motion will affect your overall satisfaction with your bike and it’s the resistance system that largely determines how smooth the pedal motion will be.
And by resistance system, we’re really talking about the flywheel and the type of resistance mechanism used.
Flywheel weight is an important factor to consider and for most home cycles, having a heavier flywheel is beneficial.
That’s because heavier flywheels can build more momentum as they spin, which in turn equates to a smoother pedal motion.
These days spin bikes are packing massive flywheels that can easily weigh 40 lb or more, but I think anything 30 lb or higher is pretty darn heavy.
With this in mind, the IC3 comes with a 40 lb flywheel, which is easily heavy enough to provide a smooth, substantial feel during workouts.
So no issues there.
But we also have to consider the resistance mechanism.
Indoor cycles can either use a friction brake system or a magnetic system to create the resistance you feel.
The IC3 utilizes a friction brake system, which as the name implies, means there’s a felt friction pad that makes physical contact with the spinning flywheel.
Friction brakes do have a few advantages, like unlimited resistance levels and being more affordable, but I prefer magnetic systems.
Magnetic systems tend to offer a smoother feel and you don’t have to mess with replacing felt brake pads, which is a normal part of maintenance for these type of bikes.
So, with a friction brake system, the IC3 can offer unlimited resistance levels and the ability to make very small changes to your resistance.
But that felt pad will break down over time and need replacing.
Oh, the IC3 does use a belt drive, which is nice (tends to be a little quieter than a chain drive).
Overall, the IC3 scores highly with its heavy flywheel and belt drive, but I prefer magnetic systems over friction brakes; so the fact that it uses a friction brake is a downside for me.
If I say the IC3 comes with a really “heavy-duty” frame and then move on, that really doesn’t say much.
I mean seriously – have you ever read a product description for an exercise bike that wasn’t “heavy-duty”?
As a fitness blogger, I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of such offenses in the past, but I’ve learned from my mistakes.
So now, instead of simply using vague descriptions that mean little, I try to use objective data that can be compared between bikes to determine real differences.
When trying to describe how heavy-duty a bike is, I like to go to the bike’s assembled weight and weight capacity because these stats tell us how stable the bike should feel during workouts.
And bikes with higher numbers in these 2 categories tend to feel more secure.
The IC3 comes with an assembled weight of 100 lb, which is pretty good for a bike in this price range.
For the sake of comparison, many budget cycles weigh somewhere in the 75 – 100 lb range, so the IC3 is at the top of this expected range.
The IC3 also comes with a 300 lb weight limit, which is pretty standard for high-end cycles, but certainly not a given in this price range.
Overall, I think the IC3 score pretty highly when comes to its frame. I like that it comes with a fairly high assembled weight and weight limit for its price range.
Schwinn backs their IC3 with the following residential warranty:
- 5 year frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year labor
Fives years on the frame is good for a spin bike in this price range, especially considering some of the luxury brands don’t offer any longer than this.
Two years on parts is also quite generous for a cycle in this price range.
A year on labor is pretty standard stuff, but again, not a given at this price point.
For the sake of comparison, many budget brands (like Echelon or JOROTO) only offer a 12 month guarantee.
Overall, Schwinn’s extended warranty is one of the biggest perks I see to going with the IC3; it’s a lot longer than what most other brands in this price range are offering.
The Schwinn IC3 comes with the following included features:
LCD console- the console on the IC3 is small and simple, nothing too fancy going on here. There aren’t any built-in workout programs or anything like that, but it does display all the key metrics most folks are interested in (time, distance, calories, heart rate). It also isn’t backlit, so you’ll want to have it in a well-lit room for better viewing. The IC3 isn’t compatible with bluetooth, so you won’t be able to connect this bike with any fitness apps.
Heart rate monitoring- as simple as the console is, it is compatible with wireless heart rate straps for more accurate measurements, although one isn’t included with purchase.
Fully adjustable seat- you can adjust both the height and fore/aft position of the seat, making it easier to find a comfortable riding position. And according to Schwinn, most folks between 4’6″ and 6’6″ should be able to fit comfortably.
Fully adjustable handlebars- you can adjust the height and fore/aft position of the handlebars too for even more customization. A nice perk, considering even luxury cycles don’t always offer this feature.
Dual compatible pedals- the pedals on the IC3 come with a toe cage on one side for use with sneakers and SPD compatible clips on the other for use with cleats.
Water bottle holder- and most importantly (joking), there’s a handy holder to hold your water bottle – hey, you gotta stay hydrated!
Ok, I’ve mentioned price range a few times already, so it’s probably a good idea to get a little more specific.
Prices may vary a little throughout the year, but the IC3 goes for roughly $649 through Schwinn (although I’ve seen it for about $100 less through Amazon at times).
This is well under $1000, so I feel comfortable calling the IC3 a budget bike.
That said, it finds itself in kind of a strange price point – it’s a lot more budget friendly than the $1k+ bikes, but it’s also quite a bit more expensive than the super affordable cycles in the $300 -$400 range.
There aren’t a lot of bikes in this price range to compare it to.
There’s Echelon’s EX-15 which costs about a $100 less. It comes with a lighter flywheel, but a magnetic resistance system, which I like.
There’s also Echelon’s EX-3, which is a little more expensive- it also comes with a lighter flywheel and magnetic system.
And Schwinn’s warranty blows Echelon’s warranties out of the water.
Overall, I think the IC3 scores well against most competitors in this price range.
That’s about all I got when it comes to Schwinn’s IC3.
The IC3 is a pretty simple spin bike, nothing too sophisticated going on here, but it does have a lot going for it.
I like the heavy flywheel and fairly heavy-duty frame and it’s warranty is very good when compared to most other competitors in this price range.
The only real issue I have with it is that I’m not a fan of friction brake resistance systems.
But if you’re cool with friction brakes, the IC3 could make a lot of sense.
In this price range, there are bikes with magnetic systems, but you’ll like be giving up something – probably in the warranty department.
Overall, I think the IC3 is a solid spin bike for the price, but personally I’d consider investing a little more and going with their IC4 (which comes with 100 levels of magnetic resistance).