Sole’s SB900 and Schwinn’s IC4 are two of the best spin bikes $1000 will get ya – there, I said it.
Both come with heavy flywheels, smooth acting magnetic resistance systems, and pretty heavy-duty frames.
Both also come with fully adjustable seats, fully adjustable handlebars, and dual-compatible pedals.
And when it comes to generous warranties, few brands can compete with Sole and Schwinn.
Long-story-short: there’s really no wrong choice when it comes to the SB900 and the IC4, but there are a few key differences between these cycles that need to be considered.
For example, the IC4 is a better option for pairing with streaming apps, but more on that later.
If you’re trying to choose between these 2 elite cycles, you’ve come to the right place.
In this head to head comparison, we’ll take a comprehensive look at everything these 2 bikes have to offer, including the key differences between them.
After reading, you’ll know which cycle is the better option for your home.
Let’s do this.
|Sole SB900||Schwinn IC4|
|Resistance||35 lb flywheel|
100 magnetic levels
|40 lb flywheel
100 magnetic levels
|Frame||123 lb assembled weight|
300 lb weight capacity
|106 lb assembled weight
330 lb weight capacity
2 year parts
1 year labor
|10 year frame
3 year parts
1 year labor
|Features||Small LCD console|
Fully adjustable seat
Fully adjustable handlebars
|Small LCD console
Bluetooth compatible with apps
USB charging port
Arm band heart rate monitor included
Pair of 3 lb dumbbells included
Fully adjustable seat
Fully adjustable handlebars
Dual compatible pedals
The Sole SB900 vs The Schwinn IC4
Sole and Schwinn are both great brands in their own rights.
Sole has become one of the top home fitness brands (and one of my personal favorite brands) for providing durable equipment that’s easy to use.
They also price their machines fairly and back them with great warranties – you know, stuff that never goes out of style.
It was their treadmills that first put Sole on the map, but their ellipticals and exercise bikes are just as high-end.
Schwinn, on the other hand, is known for their bikes.
And when it comes to budget-friendly exercise bikes, Schwinn’s about as good as it gets.
The SB900 is one of 3 spin bikes Sole currently offers, with the other being the entry-level SB700 and the higher-end SB1200.
I think it makes sense to start this comparison off with an overview of each bike’s resistance system – after all, this is the heart of any exercise bike and it largely determines how every workout is gonna feel.
Indoor cycles are designed to mimic the feel of riding a road bike and as such, they’re designed with the goal of being able to provide intense workouts.
Most cycles achieve this by pairing a heavy flywheel with either a friction brake or magnetic resistance system.
The SB900 and the IC4 both use magnetic resistance systems, so we don’t have to worry about friction brakes at the moment.
The 2020 version of the SB900 used a micro-adjustable resistance system, meaning it didn’t have set levels, but instead let you gradually increase or decrease the resistance as much you wanted.
This is nice because you get a lot of control over your resistance, but it does make it harder to replicate workouts.
Well, with their 2023 update, Sole switched things up and gave the SB900 100 magnetic resistance levels.
Well, the IC4 also comes with 100 levels of magnetic resistance.
Having 100 levels gives you a ton of control over your intensity, allowing you to make very small adjustments.
Personally, I’m used to the 100 level scale that Peloton uses, so I’m more comfortable with this system (especially if you want to pair your bike with Peloton’s app).
So, in terms of actual resistance levels, these 2 bikes are identical.
When it comes to flywheels, there’s a small difference, but both bikes score highly.
The SB900 is packing a 35.27 lb flywheel, while the IC4 is packing a slightly heavier 40 lb flywheel.
The flywheel on the SB900 is a little lighter, but both are well beyond what I would consider necessary to provide a smooth feel (anything over 30 lb is heavy enough in my book).
Both bikes also come with a belt drive, so no differences there.
Overall, both bikes come with heavy flywheels and quiet, magnetic resistance systems.
And now that the SB900 also uses 100 resistance levels, there are no significant differences in terms of resistance levels.
Moving on, let’s compare the frames.
When checking out a bike’s frame, I’m really looking for 2 things: assembled weight and weight capacity.
And seeing higher numbers in both categories is a good thing because it implies the bike will feel more stable and secure during workouts.
Heavier bikes tend to wiggle and move around less because the extra weight makes for a more stable base.
And when it comes to spin bikes, anything over 100 lb is usually heavy enough to ensure a stable frame.
With that in mind, the SB900 comes with an assembled weight of 123 lb, making it one of the heaviest-duty bikes in this price range.
The IC4 comes with an assembled weight of 106 lb, which isn’t bad considering there isn’t a huge console or anything.
But looking at these numbers, it’s safe to say the SB900 is heavier-duty than the IC4.
And when comparing those weights, keep in mind there’s only a 5 lb difference between their flywheels…
When it comes to max weight limits, the IC4 comes with a 330 lb limit, while surprisingly the SB900 maxs out at 300 lb.
Now I’m guessing the heavy SB900 could easily support folks weighing more, but Sole probably only tested up to 300 lb.
Regardless, you have to go by the numbers and when it comes to weight limits, the IC4 does come with a higher capacity.
Overall though, the SB900 is a heavier-duty bike than the IC4, although the IC4 does come with a higher weight capacity.
Sole offers the following residential warranty on their SB900:
- Lifetime frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year labor
And Schwinn offers the following residential warranty on their IC4:
- 10 year frame
- 3 year parts
- 1 year labor
So, Sole’s lifetime frame guarantee trumps Schwinn’s 10 years, but otherwise Schwinn’s parts warranty is more generous than Sole’s.
And a year on labor is pretty standard anywhere.
By the way, Sole is one of the only companies around that offers a lifetime frame guarantee (especially in this price range).
Overall, both bikes come with great warranties, so you have to think about what’s more important to ya – a longer frame warranty or an extra year on parts?
Let’s move on and compare some of the other features these bikes have to offer.
The SB900 comes with a small, simple LCD console that displays all the key metrics you’d expect from an indoor cycle, but nothing more.
The console isn’t backlit, so it’s a good idea to keep it in a well-lit room, and there aren’t any built-in workout programs.
It comes with a tablet holder and is bluetooth compatible with the Sole+ App and a few others for metric tracking.
It’s bluetooth/ANT+ compatible with strap heart rate monitors though and the console has a place to display your heart rate during workouts.
Otherwise, the SB900 comes with a fully adjustable seat, fully adjustable handlebars, and dual-compatible pedals (toe cage and SPD).
Overall, the SB900 is a very simple bike, so if you like the idea of just getting on and pedaling, this may be a good thing.
The IC4 also comes with a small console, but it’s more brightly lit for easier viewing.
And the IC4 is also bluetooth compatible, making it a good choice if you’re interested in following fitness streaming apps.
The built-in tablet holder makes for convenient viewing and there’s even a USB charging port to keep your tablet running during workouts.
Schwinn also includes a free year of their streaming app, JRNY, with purchase.
The IC4 also comes with an included bluetooth armband heart rate monitor, making it easy to track your heart rate during workouts.
Otherwise, the IC4 also comes with a fully adjustable seat, fully adjustable handlebars, and dual-compatible pedals (toe cage and SPD).
The IC4 also comes with a pair of included 3 lb dumbbells, which is awesome if you want to follow along with Peloton’s Digital app.
At the time of writing this, the SB900 and IC4 are priced at $1099 and $999, respectively.
FYI, I’m talking about the 2023 edition of the SB900 here – you can probably still find the 2020 edition on Amazon and it’ll likely cost a little less.
I’ve also seen the IC4 on sale on Amazon for $799 before.
Personally, I think $1k is a pretty fair price for either bike, so anything cheaper is a great deal.
And even at full price, I still consider both bikes to be budget friendly, considering how expensive indoor cycles can get.
Just keep in mind prices can vary throughout the year, so if my above numbers aren’t accurate by the time you read this, I apologize.
Ok, that about does it for Sole’s SB900 and Schwinn’s IC4.
I really like both these bikes and I don’t think there’s a clear-cut winner over the other.
When choosing between these cycles, it really comes down to what you’re looking for.
Both bikes score highly in terms of performance – the IC4 has a heavier flywheel, but the SB900 comes with a heavier frame.
And both cycles now have 100 resistance levels and bluetooth capabilities.
Sole’s warranty is a bit better, but both are very impressive.
If you want to follow streaming workout apps, I think the IC4 is a smarter buy because it’s designed with this in mind – again, its bluetooth compatible and even comes with the included dumbbells and heart rate monitor.
If you don’t plan on syncing with apps, I think the SB900 is a better buy because it’s bigger, heavier, and easier to use.
If I had to pick one of these bikes today, I’d go with the SB900 because I like the idea of having the heavier-duty frame, but again, it’s a tough call.
Overall though, these are 2 great cycles with a lot to offer – there really aren’t any wrong answers here.