Schwinn IC4 Vs. Bowflex C6: Indoor Cycling Bikes Compared

An indoor cycling bike or exercise bike, whatever you prefer to call it, is an excellent choice for any home gym, especially those looking for low-impact exercise. When it comes to bikes, nothing offers better quality than the Schwinn and Bowflex brands. Two of the most popular models are the IC4 (by Schwinn) and C4 (by Bowflex).

Today we're taking a close look at these two indoor bikes, not as a means to see which is superior, but rather to provide you a detailed article of the benefits each one has to offer.

The Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6 share many common features (such as their quiet flywheel). However, it's essential to understand the differences to know which one is right for you.

So, what's the verdict? Both of these brands have really put their best foot forward when building these bikes, and it's challenging to pick a victor. Understanding your goals, your budget, and what features you're looking for will help you make a smart buying decision.

Feature

Schwinn IC4

Bowflex C6

Preview

SCHWINN IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike Black, Large

Bowflex C7

Drive System

40-pound Flywheel
(Equal)

40-pound Flywheel
(Equal)

Noise Level

Quiet
(Equal)

Quiet
(Equal)

Frame

Steel

Heavy-Duty Steel
(Winner)

Stability

Stable
(Equal)

Stable
(Equal)

Handles

Multi-grip
(Equal)

Multi-grip
(Equal)

Price

Cheaper
(Winner)

More Expensive

Check Price


Exercise Bike Features We Considered

Build Quality

The quality of an indoor cycling bike's build will reflect in how sturdy the bike is. There are plenty of factors that affect an indoor bike's build quality, such as materials used and how the parts were constructed.

Max User Weight & Height

A standard indoor cycling bike should at least have a maximum weight capacity of 300-pounds. Anything below 200-pounds is questionable.

However, the bottom line is that it should adequately support those who will use the bike. If you're on the heavier side, you'll want to ensure your new exercise bike can accommodate that.

As for an exercise bike's height, most indoor cycles are adjustable to fit any size person.

Footprint & Transportability

We believe that an exercise bike should be compact and easy to transport. Unless you're working with considerable space, the last thing you want is for your new bike to take up your entire home gym.

Many bikes come with handy, space-saving features. The Schwinn IC4, for example, can compress both its seat and handlebars for storage. It also comes with transport wheels for ease of movement.

Resistance Mechanism & Exercise Levels

Resistance mechanisms are pretty much a personal preference. In our opinion, unless you're an elite cyclist, it doesn't matter so much. For that reason, we tend to focus more on the levels of resistance offered rather than the type of resistance.

There are some minor differences; for example, a magnetic resistance mechanism is usually quieter than friction mechanisms.

To us, a bike's resistance level is what makes or breaks it, as it is one of the pivotal factors that encourage exercising.

Comfort & Adjustability

One other pivotal factor is an indoor cycle's comfort and adjustability. What is a good number of resistance levels if it's not comfortable to use, right?

Look out for things such as ergonomically designed seating, multi-grip handlebars, and adjustable pedals to ensure comfort on your new bike.

Convenience

Another factor to consider is the convenience that each bike offers. Two key things to consider are assembly and maintenance. Thankfully most exercise bikes are simple to maintain.

Price Guide

Generally speaking, the more added features your bike has, the more expensive it will be. Named brand bikes, some brands such as Schwinn and Bowflex, do attract a premium price. However, that does allow them to offer added benefits such as enhanced warranties, innovative products, and excellent customer service.

How much you want to spend is up to you, and will depend on what kind of features you are looking for.

Quiet & Smooth Operation

Nobody wants a loud indoor cycling bike. Having a quiet and smooth operation won't only help the people around you but also yourself by giving you a focused workout.

Integration With Different Tech

What was once a nonessential feature has now become an increasingly important factor when considering an exercise bike. Integration with different tech is important as it helps track your workout, your progress and offers some variety to your training.

Warranty Length & Type

The warranty and the type of warranty is something that you should know and understand before purchasing an indoor cycle for your home.

Note that a warranty will often come in two parts, one to cover the frame and one to cover the parts.

Extra Features

Extra features or 'nonessential' features required on your bike will vary from person to person. Whether you're looking for integrated workout programs, compatibility with your fitness tracker, or a built-in media-screen, there will be a bike for you that offers it.

Do be aware that, generally speaking, the more extra features you add, the more expensive your cycle will be.


Side-by-Side Comparison: Schwinn IC4 vs. Bowflex C6

Durability & Build Quality

In our opinion, the Bowflex C6 has a superior frame compared to that of the Schwinn IC4. The Bowflex C6's heavy-duty steel frame is not just a sign of superior material being put to great use but also as a way to guarantee its sturdiness and durability.

User Weight & Height Needs

Both the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 have a maximum user weight of 330-pounds. Because of their high seat and handlebar height adjustability, both models can hold any size person ranging from 4'8" to 6'3".

Size Of Unit & Portability

The dimensions of both the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 are identical. Both also allow the user to adjust the seat's height and the handlebars to further reduce the size of the indoor cycle.

Both indoor cycles also have wheels on the front, which makes moving them easy and without hassle.

Workout Programs & Resistance Levels

Neither the Bowflex C6 nor the Schwinn IC4 comes with built-in workout programs. However, don't let this put you off. Both offer superior connectivity so that you can use your bike in conjunction with your favorite programs such as Zwift or Peloton.

Both models provide an impressive one-hundred micro-adjustable resistance levels.

Seat & Handles

The seats of both models have excellent fore/aft and height adjustability. The same could be said for the multi-grip handlebars. Their adjustable seat height and distance makes for a comfortable indoor cycle that you can configure to your liking.

Ease of Use

When it comes to using the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4, it can be as easy as getting on and pedaling. However, if you're a more advanced user, both cycles allow you to completely customize your workout experience.

Value for Money

The Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 offer a variety of features that helps in elevating your workout. But in terms of which offers more for less,  our pick would have to be the Schwinn IC4.

That's because the Schwinn IC4 comes in at a slightly more affordable price while still offering the same quality features that the Bowflex C6 also provides.

Noise levels

Once again, both the Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6 tie when it comes to noise when in use. Because both models share the same belt-drive, they offer quiet and smooth operations.

Compatibility with Tech

Both models excel when it comes to connectivity. Their excellent connectivity to streaming devices allows riders to take part in immersive workout experiences from the comfort of their own home.

It should also be added that both models come with a Bluetooth armband to help in tracking your heart rate.

Warranty

The Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 offer identical warranties. A 10-year frame warranty, a 3-year parts and electronics, and a 1-year labor warranty.

More Bike Features

Water bottle holders are provided on both the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4, helping you keep hydrated while training. They also both come with a convenient tablet holder to you're your preferred device. A unique feature that the Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6 have is the inclusion of two 3-pound dumbbells.

The dumbbells are a convenient way to multi-task and give you some upper body exercise.


Schwinn IC4 & Bowflex C6 Bikes Compared

Feature

Schwinn IC4

Bowflex C6

Resistance Type

Magnetic

Magnetic

Resistance Levels

100

100

Display Size

LCD Display

Backlit LCD Metric Console

Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth heart-rate armband and other streaming devices

Bluetooth armband sensor and other streaming devices

Exercise Programs

No presets

No presets

Crank System

Crank Arm

Crank Arm

Number of Users

Unlimited

Unlimited

Warranty

10-Year Frame, 3-Year Mechanical and Electrical, and 1-Year Labor

10-Year Frame, 3-Year Parts and Electronics, and 1-Year Labor.

Dimensions

47.8” L x 21.2” W x 51.8” H

48.7” L x 21.2” W x 51.8” H


Pros of These Indoor Spin Bikes

What We Like

Schwinn IC4
  • 100 micro-adjustable magnetic resistance levels
  • 40-pound flywheel
  • More affordable than the C6
  • Accessory tray
  • Wide range of connectivity
Bowflex C6
  • 100 micro-adjustable magnetic resistance levels
  • 40-pound flywheel
  • Superior heavy-duty frame
  • Wide range of connectivity
  • Warranty

Cons of These Indoor Spin Bikes

What We Didn't Like

Schwinn IC4
  • No training/workout presets
  • Basic LCD display
  • Subscription fees for interactive training
  • Inferior frame build
Bowflex C6
  • Expensive
  • No training/workout presets
  • Monthly subscription required for training services

Assembling and Using These Indoor Bikes

Both the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 are a breeze to put together. In fact, they are some of the most straightforward models we have ever assembled, thanks to the high-quality instructions both bikes come with.

Should you get stuck, there are some easy to follow guides available on YouTube, such as this one for the Bowflex C6.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is the Schwinn IC4 the same as the Bowflex C6?

Schwinn and Bowflex both belong to the same parent company, Nautilus. While we wouldn't say that the Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C6 are identical (they have a different name and come in at a different price), they share many great features with one another.

Does the Bowflex C6 require a subscription for the workout app?

Yes, the Bowflex C6 requires a monthly subscription to access their interactive workout app, which is also the same with the Schwinn IC4.

You don't need a subscription to use the bike. However, given the wide variety of immersive exercises it offers, we recommend it.

What apps work with these bike models?

Zwift is one of the most popular and recommended apps, as it offers a wide variety of interactive workout programs. Both bikes are compatible with the Peloton app too.

The Schwinn IC4 can also connect to the Explore the World app, which allows you to immerse yourself in virtual races at real-life locations worldwide.

Where is the best place to buy these indoor cycle bikes?

Amazon is our go-to place when it comes to recommending a good and reliable online shopping store for any indoor cycle. Of course, you can purchase the bikes directly from the Schwinn website and the Bowflex website.

How do you trim belly fat using the Bowflex C6?

With a regular exercise routine and a balanced diet, the Schwinn C6 could prove an excellent companion in your weight loss journey. Fitting in 30 minutes of exercise daily can help you shed those unwanted pounds, and the Bowflex C6 makes it easy and convenient to do so.

What shoes work with Bowflex C6?

You can use regular sneakers on the Bowflex C6 by swapping the clip-in pedals for toe cages. If you prefer to use the toe clip-in pedals, you'll have to use SPD-specific shoes. Of course, the same applies to the Schwinn IC4.


Conclusion

The Schwinn IC4 and Bowflex C6 are almost identical, save for a few minor differences. Whichever you choose, you'll definitely be satisfied with your new purchase. Given their similarity and the fact that the IC4 is a few hundred dollars cheaper, we think Schwinn walks away the victor from this match-up.