While they are both decent indoor cycling systems produced by Schwinn and share some similarities, there’s also key differences between the two.
IC4 is the newer, improved indoor bike and therefore boasts some advantages over IC3 when it comes to connectivity with training apps and its driving system among other things. That is why we picked Schwinn IC4 as the winner against Schwinn IC3.
In our decision, we relied on users’ reviews, the specs of two models and our own experience with indoor bikes. To see a more in depth analysis comparing IC3 and IC4, keep on reading!
At A Glance
After reviewing the specifications and qualities of both bikes and testing them, we picked Schwinn IC4 as the superior indoor cycling bike.
The main reasons we picked IC4 as the winner are its ability to connect with training apps and its superior resistance system. There are other differences between the two models as well, some of which we will go into detail in the next section “Schwinn IC3 vs Schwinn IC4 Comparison”.
First we start with the similarities between the two models. As you can see IC4 and IC3 are actually similar in a lot of ways.
Schwinn IC3 Bike & Schwinn IC4 Bike
- Displays: Time / Distance / Calories / Speed / RPM / Heart Rate BPM
- Seat: Race style with fore & aft adjustment
- Crank/Pedals: Pedal toe cages & pedal SPD clips
- Handlebars: Fore & aft adjustment
- Media Shelf/Tablet Holder: Yes
- Transport Wheels: Yes
- Switchable from Miles to Km: Yes
Now let’s jump into the differences between IC3 and IC4. We will explore some of these differences in detail to explain why they would/should have an impact on your decision making when picking between the models.
Schwinn IC3 vs Schwinn IC4 Comparison
Here we delve into a detailed comparison between the two models by category. We won’t go into every single difference between IC3 and IC4 but rather key differences we think are most important. Let’s begin!
Connectivity to Fitness Apps
One of the biggest differences between the two models is that you can connect IC4 with training apps such as Peloton and Zwift whereas you cannot do the same with IC3.
From what we know of cycling apps, they can really elevate your indoor cycling experience. You can set up a virtual ride in an imaginary or real-life environment, follow one of the training plans offered on the platform, participate in classes curated by expert-level trainers, track your progress and analytics on the saddle and even share your cycling data with other users.
Our point is, using a training app has a lot of value especially if you are serious about your training and keeping track of your metrics. You can visit our article “15 Best Cycling Apps in 2022” by clicking here.
Schwinn IC4 is obviously the winner of this category because it can connect to training apps and IC3 cannot.
Winner: Schwinn IC4
Another key difference between the two models is the resistance systems they use. Schwinn IC3 comes with the more traditional friction pads you can use to switch between unlimited resistance levels.
Schwinn IC4, on the other hand, comes with a state-of-the-art magnetic resistance technology and 100 micro-adjusted resistance levels. With 100 resistance levels you are almost certain to find the one that fits your needs at a given point during your exercise.
The magnetic resistance system of IC4 is superior to the friction pads of IC3 because its transitions are smoother and more silent. The friction pads in IC3 also wear out and need to be replaced over time which is not the case with the magnetic resistance system in IC4.
Basically we are picking Schwinn IC4 as the winner of the resistance-system category because its magnetic resistance technology is smoother, more silent and lower-maintenance compared to the friction pads in IC3.
Winner: Schwinn IC4
This is a pretty basic difference between the two models but we thought it should still be highlighted because many heavy people invest in indoor cycling bikes to lose weight and get fit.
If you’re on the heavier side it’s important to realize the maximum user weight is higher for the IC4 (330 lbs) compared to the IC3 (300 lbs). If you’re under 300 lbs this is probably not a very important feature to you but for someone who weighs between 300 and 330 lbs, this key difference could be the deciding factor.
Considering the IC4’s higher capacity to support heavier bikers, we deem it the winner of the weight limit category.
Winner: Schwinn IC4
This, again, might not be a feature that you greatly care about but we think it’s nice to have. Schwinn IC4 comes with a full-color LCD screen whereas the LCD screen in IC3 is black and white.
We would like to mention both models display time, distance, calories, speed, RPM and heart rate BPM. Here we are just pointing out the full color LCD in IC4 vs the black-and -white LCD in IC3.
This difference in itself is not really a deal breaker in our opinion but Schwinn IC4 is still the superior of the two thanks to its LCD screen in full color.
Winner: Schwinn IC4
Schwinn IC4 comes with a 10-year warranty for its frame and 3-year mechanical and electrical warranty whereas IC3 comes with a 5-year frame warranty and 2-year mechanical and electrical warranty. Both models have a 1-year labor warranty.
If you intend to use your indoor bike for a long time it might be a good idea to invest in an IC4 due its longer frame and M&E warranties.
Winner: Schwinn IC4
It should come as no surprise that IC3 is the more affordable option of the two if you are looking to buy first-hand. IC4 is the newer generation model and it comes with more advanced systems and additional features the IC3 just does not have.
You can see by looking at all the other categories that IC4 is the superior model (which makes sense given that it is the newer, more improved version). This also means it comes with a higher price tag.
For some people the IC4 is worth it and for others it is not. It really depends on how serious you are about your indoor cycling and how much you care about certain features.
Regardless of all of that, Schwinn IC3 is the cheaper model and therefore wins the affordability category.
Winner: Schwinn IC3
Schwinn IC3 vs IC4: The Winner
After testing adn reviewing both models and their specifications, we picked Schwinn IC4 as the winner against Schwinn IC3. While both are decent indoor bikes, once you do an in depth analysis comparing the two it becomes clear Schwinn IC4 was an improvement after IC3.
The most important reasons we picked IC4 as the winner include its ability to connect with training apps and its superior magnetic resistance system among other things. Schwinn IC4 is more expensive than IC3, which is really the only drawback we could note.
If you are a more casual rider who doesn’t care that much about tracking your progress and other perks that come with training apps, then Schwinn IC3 might be the better model for you.
You would be getting a lower quality resistance system with IC3 (friction pads instead of magnetic resistance technology) but you would also be paying less. It really just comes down to what matters more to you.
Here are three excellent alternatives to the Schwinn IC3 and IC4, each offering unique features to cater to different needs:
This bike boasts a 21.5-inch touchscreen, ideal for streaming classes, enhancing the indoor cycling experience. It features a wider, cushioned seat for added comfort, and the handlebars are coated to repel sweat. The sturdy, durable frame supports a weight capacity of 300 lbs. It includes 32 resistance levels, allowing for a range of workout intensities. The bike’s higher price point reflects its quality and features, making it a top choice for those seeking a premium indoor cycling experience.
The Carbon CX stands out for being budget-friendly without compromising on quality. It lacks a touchscreen but supports iFit membership through a phone or tablet, offering flexibility in accessing instructor-led classes. This bike is equipped with 16 resistance levels and features a compact design, making it suitable for smaller spaces. With a weight capacity of 250 lbs, it caters to a wide range of users. Its affordability and essential features make it an excellent choice for those looking for a cost-effective indoor cycling solution.
Perfect for those on a budget, this bike offers a durable build and a smooth ride. It includes an easily adjustable seat and handlebars, with micro-adjustable resistance levels controlled via a manual tension knob. The bike’s design incorporates non-slip handlebars, a device holder, and caged pedals. It has a weight capacity of 265 lbs and a slim profile, making it easy to move and store. This bike is an ideal choice for those seeking a quality indoor cycling experience at an affordable price.
Each of these bikes provides a unique set of features, catering to different preferences and budgets, while offering a quality indoor cycling experience.