Schwinn IC2 Vs. IC3 Comparison: Indoor Cycling & Spin Bikes

If you're still in the dark on Schwinn, this article is all you need to know about one of America's favorite brands. Schwinn produces a variety of excellent fitness equipment, from treadmills to bikes. After reading this article, we hope you'll see some of the benefits of owning a Schwinn of your very own.

Without wanting to overwhelm you, we decided to narrow things down to two indoor cycle bikes - the IC2 and the IC3 – to help you determine what bike fits you best.

Feature

Schwinn IC2

Schwinn IC3

Preview

SCHWINN IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike

Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike

Drive System

Poly-V Belt
(Equal)

40-pound Drive
(Equal)

Flywheel

31 lbs. Flywheel

40 lbs. Flywheel
(Winner)

Noise Level

Silent
(Equal)

Silent
(Equal)

Frame

Steel Frame
(Equal)

Steel Frame
(Equal)

Stability

Palette System
(Winner)

Front-mounted Flywheel

Handles

Multi-grip handlebars
(Equal)

Multi-grip handlebars
(Equal)

Price

Cheaper
(Winner)

More Expensive

Display Readouts

Speed, Distance, Time and Calories Burned

Everything from the IC2, plus a Heart Rate Monitor
(Winner)

Check Price

Exercise Bike Features We Considered

  • Build Quality 
    The construction of any indoor cycle bike is imperative. The material used in the exercise bike and its construction will determine most of its qualities, such as how long it will last and how noisy it may be when in use. Bikes using materials of superior quality will often be more durable and less noisy than cheaper alternatives.
  • Max User Weight & Height    
    Generous fore/aft and height adjustability are essential, and you'll find that pretty much all bikes will come with some kind of adjustable frame. Bikes lacking these abilities will result in a bad posture for their rider. An indoor cycle bike's weight capacity is an important consideration if you are on the heavier side.
  • Footprint & Transportability 
    Short on space? A bike with a small footprint and one that is easy to transport and pack away after use should be a key consideration.
  • Resistance Mechanism & Exercise Levels 
    All good exercise bikes will come with a range of resistance levels, which is especially important for those using them as part of a fitness program. The resistance mechanism is often closely correlated with the price, so superior, magnetic resistance bikes are usually more expensive.
  • Comfort & Adjustability 
    These two features go hand in hand, as great adjustability often leads to fantastic comfortability. An indoor cycle bike lacking in adjustability will prove to be uncomfortable to use, especially if you're an irregular shape or size.
  • Convenience 
    A convenient indoor exercise bike should pose no problem for its user when assembling, transporting, or using. It also should not ugh complicated processes when maintaining.
  • Price Guide 
    When choosing which Schwinn indoor cycle model to invest in, it's worth noting that the IC2 is relatively cheaper than the IC3. This is mainly because the IC3 comes with added 'nonessential' features that help improve your fitness routine. How much you spend is a personal choice and will depend on what features you are looking for in your new bike.
  • Quiet & Smooth Operations 
    Indoor exercise bikes should have a quiet drive system that will ensure you won't end up driving your family and neighbors mad.
  • Integration With Different Tech 
    Everything these days is connected – exercise bikes are no different. With that comes a whole host of excellent features that improve your riding experience. The IC3 features Bluetooth, enabling a heart rate monitor to be synched to your device, displaying your heart rate on the bike's LCD computer.
  • Warranty Length & Type 
    Good warranty and customer service is a must on any fitness equipment. Don't forget that a warranty will cover you should anything go wrong. Warranties will often come in two parts covering the frame and parts separately.
  • Extra Features 
    Quirky nonessential features can really increase the comfort and efficiency of your workout. The good news is that Schwinn offers plenty of additional features to keep you on that bike longer, depending on the model you buy.

Side by Side Comparison: Schwinn IC2 vs. IC3

Durability & Build Quality

The importance of a strong frame build is central to any good exercise bike. The Schwinn IC2 comes with a sturdy corrosion-resistant steel frame, while the IC3 comes in similar steel construction.

The resemblance doesn't stop there as the frame's shape is also near-identical. As you can expect, both bikes being part of the same Schwinn family, their build quality is second to none.

User Weight & Height Needs

The Schwinn IC2 and the IC3 have sturdy steel frames that support a fair amount of weight for their size. The IC2's maximum weight capacity sits at 250 lbs. which is 50 pounds less than the IC3 that sits at 300 lbs.

Because the IC2 and the IC3 share the same design in their seat and handlebar, the seat height is easily adjusted to suit the user's size. However, the Schwinn IC3 has a superior fine-tuning capability that allows you to tailor the IC3 to your liking.

Size of Unit & Portability

The IC2 and the IC3 share the same measurements, complete with wheels on the front for easy transportation. Both the IC2 and IC3 models can easily be compressed because of their seat and handlebar height adjustments.

The IC3 is a lot heavier than the IC2, which isn't surprising considering it has a 40-pound flywheel as supposed to the IC2's 31-pound alternative. This helps the IC3 deliver a more stable riding experience.

Workout Programs & Resistance Levels

The Schwinn IC2 and the IC3 have no training programs to speak of (unlike the Schwinn IC4). However, an easy solution is to use an on-demand training program (such as Peloton or Zwift), which you can stream from your device.

And although the IC2 and the IC3 don't come with workout programs, they do provide a clear readout of your metrics – with the IC3 going so far as to also track your heart rate.

Both the IC2 and the IC3 have an infinite variable level of resistance, optimizing your workout session.

Seats & Handles

The Schwinn IC2 and IC3 opted for the same race-style seat, which isn't as comfortable as a recumbent bike seat. Schwinn does attempt to squeeze in some added comfort by using high-quality materials, but you'll either love it or hate it.

What is undoubtedly comfortable about both Schwinn models is their u-shaped multi-grip handlebars. By choosing this type of design on their indoor cycle bikes, Schwinn bikes offer you the comfortability of multiple grip positions.

Ease of Use

Although some may look at it as a downside, the lack of a workout program makes both the IC2 and the IC3's easy to use. The only thing you need to do is connect the Schwinn IC2 or IC3 into a power outlet, and you can start your workout without the fuss of setting up a training session.

Value for Money

We believe that the IC3 trumps the IC2 in terms of value for money. The IC2 is undoubtedly more accessible than the IC3, but some may consider the IC2 too barebones for their liking. The IC3's added features help optimize your workout, which is very important in exercise equipment.

At the end of the day, the more comfortable or fun your equipment is to use, the more likely you will use it.

With the IC3's additional heart monitor and improved fore/aft and height adjustments, it's hard not to justify the extra few hundred for the upgraded model.

Noise Levels

Both Schwinn models have a silent drive system that will keep you from ruining the peace of your household and neighborhood.

Compatibility with Tech

The Schwinn IC3 only comes with a Bluetooth connection that's solely for the armband to track your heart rate. The Schwinn IC3 doesn't offer the same connectivity as the Schwinn IC4. However, the IC3 is vastly superior in terms of compatibility with tech to the IC2.

Although it's not technically a tech, the IC3's tablet holder allows you to use your machine with your favorite device. It's a shame, but the IC2 is missing these inexpensive features that could have vastly improved the rider experience.

Warranty

Before comparing the warranties between the two bikes, it should be noted that Schwinn offers quality customer service along with their warranty regardless of the model.

The Schwinn IC2 has a five-year warranty for its frame and a single year for its mechanical and electrical parts, which is decent but not as good compared to the Schwinn IC3.

The Schwinn IC3 comes with a lifetime frame warranty, a two-year warranty on its electronics, and a one-year on its parts. This alone makes the Schwinn IC3 pretty hard to pass up.

More Bike Features

Additional features such as the IC3's tablet holder and heart monitor armband make this a solid buy. Both models also come with a convenient water bottle holder to keep you hydrated through your fitness session. The IC3's bottle holder doubles as a tablet tray for an added convenience.

If you're looking for a bike that is fully tech-enabled (and competes with the likes of Peloton), then check our review of the Schwinn IC4.


Schwinn Indoor Cycle Bikes Detailed Comparison

Product Spec

Schwinn IC2

Schwinn IC3

Resistance Type

Friction

Friction

Resistance Levels

Infinite

Infinite

Display

LCD Computer

LCD Computer

Bluetooth Connectivity

No Connectivity

No Connectivity

Preset Exercise Programs

No workout presets

No workout presets

Crank System

1 Piece Crankshaft

1 Piece Crankshaft

Flywheel

31 lbs.

40 lbs. 

User Weight Limit

250 lbs.

300 lbs.

Dimensions (In Use)

45” L x 23” W x 49” H

45” L x 23” W x 49” H

Bike Weight (Lbs.)

83 lbs.

100 lbs.


Pros of These Indoor Cycle Bikes

What We Like

Schwinn IC2
  • Inexpensive
  • Decent maximum weight capacity
  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Infinite levels of resistance
Schwinn IC3
  • Standard metric readouts with the addition of a heart rate monitor
  • Superior maximum weight capacity
  • Portable
  • Fore/Aft and height adjustments
  • Infinite levels of resistance
  • 40 lbs. sturdy flywheel

Cons of These Indoor Cycle Bikes

What We Didn't Like

Schwinn IC2
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Lack of training programs
  • Limited Fore/Aft adjustments
  • Race-style seat
  • Lacking in features
Schwinn IC3
  • No training programs
  • Limited Bluetooth connectivity (only connects to the armband)
  • Expensive

All About the Schwinn Bike Brand 

The Schwinn brand has been in business since 1860. They soon catapulted to one of the most dominant manufacturers of American bicycles in the 20th century. Now, Schwinn is owned by Pacific Cycle, a conglomerate of Dorel Industries. 

Although Pacific Cycle is a Canadian company, their Schwinn bikes are all manufactured in Taiwan, and all of their fitness equipment is built in Vancouver, Washington. They've been in the business of making quality exercise bikes and other fitness equipment for half a century, so investing in any Schwinn brand fitness equipment is a solid choice for your home gym. 


Assembling Schwinn Indoor Spin Bikes

When assembling any Schwinn indoor cycle, there are only a few things to consider. The instructions may be daunting to look at, but you will realize that it's not all that difficult to understand if you give it a second glance.

However, if your DIY skills are not up to scratch, there are plenty of videos available on YouTube to follow along with to make the process a lot easier.

Check out this video if you're struggling with the assembly of your IC2.


Basic Indoor Cycle Care & Maintenance

To take proper care of your bike, it's a good idea to equip yourself with some essential equipment, such as a microfiber cloth and silicone polish. Polish helps things glide smoothly and keeps your cycle resistant to corrosion, which helps in its longevity. Wiping down your equipment after use with a microfiber cloth will keep it looking good for years to come.

In the case that your indoor cycle bike is making that telltale squeaking noise, check whether or not it needs some extra lubricant applied to the flywheel.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are some essential accessories to buy with Schwinn indoor exercise bikes?

As well as the bike, you'll also want to invest in some exercise gear to get the most out of your new purchase. The IC3 is compatible with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, so it is worth picking one of these up if you can.

Fitness trackers are also incredibly useful to keep track of your workouts and to monitor your progress. We wrote a review of the best wearables on the market today, which may help you make a decision.

How effective are these schwinn exercise bikes for weight loss?

Schwinn Exercise Bikes are good sources of low-impact exercises. Because they're a spin-bike, they offer a full-body workout that will help in weight loss. Combined with a balanced diet, they can be a critical tool in your weight loss journey.

How do Schwinn indoor cycle bikes compare to other cardio equipment

Treadmills offer slightly better cardiovascular exercise but are considered high impact on joints and knees. Ellipticals give you great upper and lower body training. Both of these offer you great alternatives to an indoor exercise bike.

We love indoor bikes because they are kind on the joints, making them great for those who suffer from joint pain or those recovering from surgery. They're also much less intimidating than an elliptical or treadmill for beginners.

It's really a matter of preference and what you want to achieve for yourself. If you're simply looking for inexpensive fitness equipment that will help improve your cardio over time, then an exercise bike is for you.

Where Is the best place to buy Schwinn indoor cycle bikes?

Amazon is the go-to place if you're looking to get started ASAP. Of course, there are many other places to pick up your new bikes, such as Walmart and the Schwinn website itself.

If you don't mind waiting for Black Friday, many of the Schwinn fitness equipment tends to go on sale around this time.


Conclusion

Now that you know some of the Schwinn bikes' different features, you can now decide which Schwinn model to buy for yourself.

In our opinion, the IC3 is vastly superior to the IC2. The IC2 is far too 'stripped-back' and lacks some of the features that nowadays are considered a must-have. Spend the extra few dollars; it's worth it.