schwinn ic4 vs bowflex c6

Schwinn IC4 vs Bowflex C6 [2021]: Which is Better?

If you’re looking at the Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4, I have good news and bad news. The good: They’re basically the same bike. Nautilus is the parent company for both Bowflex and Schwinn bikes. The bad: Knowing that may not make your decision easier.

It does mean that your decision will come down to price differences, discounts, and aesthetics, though. We’re going to walk you through all the things they have in common and what’s actually different about them, then we’ll let you know what we recommend.

Main Differences Between Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4

The Main Differences Between the Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4 are:

  • The Bowflex C6 costs around $999.00, whereas the Schwinn IC4 costs around $899.00.
  • The Bowflex C6 has a sleek, black on black frame with minimal red accents, whereas the Schwinn IC4 has a brighter, sportier look with red and white accents on a black frame.
  • The Bowflex C6 is only available on the Bowflex website, whereas the Schwinn IC4 can be found at several stores.

Features of Bowflex C6

bowflex c6 features

This is a gorgeous bike and one of the top picks for achieving a Peloton-adjacent experience (with a device of your own) if that’s what you’re going for, without the hefty Peloton price tag. It frees you up to use a variety of cycling apps and the dual-sided pedals even give you the option to choose between wearing regular sneakers or spin shoes with SPD cleats.

  • Comes with 3-lb dumbbells and a place to store them within easy reach while you ride
  • 100 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Nice aesthetics, lots of black with red accents
  • Backlit LCD console
  • Works with a variety of apps—Peloton, Zwift, Explore the World–as long as you have your own device to run them on (connects via Bluetooth)
  • Protection plan available
  • Comes with a heart rate monitor you wear on your arm
  • USB charging station
  • Media rack

Pros

Though this is the more expensive of the two bikes, it has a lot going for it.

  • Sleek look, black on black with red accents
  • Doesn’t require a membership to an app
  • Free shipping
  • Payment plan available
  • Military discount
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 10-year warranty on frame; 3 years on mechanical parts and electronics; 1 year on labor

Cons

It’s not the perfect bike for everyone, obviously, and there are some negatives to think about with this one, too:

  • Costs more than the Schwinn
  • Not as easy to get your hands on as the Schwinn since it’s only sold at Bowflex
  • Doesn’t connect to smartwatches, so you’ll need to track your heart rate with the included armband monitor it comes with in order to see it on the screen

Features of Schwinn IC4

schwinn ic4 features

There are very few differences in these bikes’ features, aside from branding. With this one, you get:

  • More red accents and the addition of white accents (writing, mostly) on a black frame
  • Media rack
  • Backlit LCD screen
  • Dual-sided pedals for SPD cleats or regular sneakers
  • 3-lb dumbbells
  • Heart rate armband
  • 100 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Ability to connect to apps like Peloton, Explore the World, Zwift, etc.
  • Protection plan available

Schwinn IC4 Indoor Cycling Bike | Schwinn

Connect with the Peloton and Zwift apps, allowing you to stream thousands of classes directly into your home and compete against others in a virtual world that motivates you at every mile.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

Most of the pros of the Bowflex C6 will also apply to the Schwinn IC4, but there are a few perks here that the Bowflex doesn’t offer.

  • Available at several stores, so getting one shouldn’t be too difficult and you won’t necessarily have to wait for shipping, either, if you drive a vehicle you can go pick it up in
  • Costs less than the Bowflex C6
  • Free shipping
  • Payment plan available
  • 10-year warranty on frame; 3 years on mechanical parts and electronics; 1 year on labor

Cons

It is cheaper than the Bowflex C6 so the Schwinn IC4 sounds like a no-brainer decision, but there are a couple of cons:

  • Not as sleek looking (may not be a con for everyone)
  • No military discount
  • Doesn’t connect to smartwatches.

Comparison Chart

Let’s take a look at the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 side-by-side:

  Bowflex C6 Schwinn IC4
Price Around $999.00 Around $899.00
Payment plan? Yes, you can pay $56.00/month with no interest if you pay it off in 18 months. Yes, with no interest if you pay it off in 18 months
Where to buy Bowflex.com SchwinnFitness.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Amazon
Dimensions 48.7”L x 21.2”W x 51.8”H 48.7”L x 21.2”W x 51.8”H
Weight 106 lbs without dumbbells 106 lbs without dumbbells
Max user weight 330 lbs 330 lbs
Pedals Dual-sided SPD/toe cages Dual-sided SPD/toe cages
Stats it tracks Time, calories, speed, distance, level, and pulse Time, calories, speed, distance, level, and pulse
Warranty 10-year warranty on frame; 3 years on mechanical parts and electronics; 1 year on labor

 

 

10-year warranty on frame; 3 years on mechanical parts and electronics; 1 year on labor

 

 

Type of resistance Magnetic Magnetic
Resistance levels 100 100
Flywheel weight 40 lbs 40 lbs
Notable features Lots of black with a few red accents, connects to several apps via Bluetooth, two water bottle holders, conveniently-placed 3-lb weights Lots of red and white in addition to the black frame, uses Bluetooth to connect to fitness apps, two water bottle holders, conveniently-placed 3-lb weights
Discounts Military May be included in sales specific to retailers

Alternatives to Consider

If the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, here are some other options to consider:

Peloton

schwinn vs bowflex alternatives

You’ve probably heard of this one, but in case you haven’t, purchasing this bike puts you into the whole Peloton ecosystem (down to the shoes, if you’d like), complete with a variety of workout styles (beyond the bike—yoga, running, meditation, boot camps, etc.) and an inspiring team of instructors.

Pros

  • Everything you need is on one screen—no connecting different devices through Bluetooth and/or running multiple apps is required.
  • Doesn’t need a separate screen, like an iPad (if you don’t have or want one, this could almost make up the price difference in some cases)
  • Some users say the Peloton is a nicer riding experience.
  • You get access to more stats and can look at your progress over time.
  • The Bike+ pairs with the Apple Watch.
  • It allows you to save songs to your Apple Music or Spotify account from the workout playlists.

Cons

  • You’ll need spin shoes that work with Delta cleats (which can be purchased from Peloton) because these pedals don’t have toe cages
  • There’s a $39.99 monthly fee to pay, which is more than the app costs when you use it with a Bowflex C6 or Schwinn IC4 ($12.99). You won’t get all the features that come with the more expensive membership (like leaderboards, output numbers, and tracking your progress over time)
  • You can’t use other apps on the screen, so if you’re not head over heels for Peloton classes and ready to commit to those, this isn’t the best choice.
  • It’s much more expensive than the Bowflex and Schwinn bikes.

Check out our full Peloton vs Bowflex C6 comparison.

Keiser M3i

Keiser M3i

The Keiser M3i comes up frequently in indoor spin bike comparisons. It’s well-known for its quality and has a different style—the flywheel is in the back.

Best Bike
Keiser M3i Indoor Cycle Bundle | Amazon
$1,995.00

M3i - Indoor Cycle Keizer introduces Intelligent Cycling and the most technologically advanced Indoor Cycle Group ever, the Keizer M3i with Bluetooth Wireless Display. The new Keizer Bluetooth Wireless Computer is certain to become popular with both groups of riders and exercise instructors.

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
07/23/2021 05:44 pm GMT

Pros

  • You won’t be tied to one company’s spin classes.
  • It has a media rack.
  • It’s lightweight compared to others, without sacrificing stability or quality.
  • Five-year warranty on frame, three on parts
  • Comes with a chest strap
  • Dual-sided pedals for SPD cleats or sneakers
  • Highly adjustable
  • Payment plan available through Affirm

Cons

  • Expensive compared to the Schwinn and Bowflex (but not as much as Peloton)
  • You’ll need a heart rate monitor (included) to track your pulse; it won’t connect to your Apple Watch.
  • Limited number of apps to connect to (no Zwift or Peloton, for example)
  • You have to pay extra for a dumbbell holder.

Schwinn IC3

schwinn ic4 vs schwinn ic3

The Schwinn IC3 isn’t quite as feature-heavy as the IC4, but they’re similar enough if you’re just looking for an inexpensive bike to ride while you’re watching TV.

Schwinn IC3 Indoor Cycling Bike | Amazon

The new Schwinn IC3 is a low impact, cardio-kicking indoor cycling bike designed with the serious cyclist in mind. When harsh weather or a crazy schedule drives your workout inside, just hop on the IC3 for a high-energy, low-impact training experience that will have you feeling like you're riding through rolling hills.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • Cheaper than the other options
  • Easy to find at sporting goods stores, Best Buy, and SchwinnFitness.com
  • Looks very similar to the Schwinn IC4, so if you like the look of that one but don’t want all the additional features, this one could be perfect.

Cons

  • Can’t connect to apps
  • Not as quiet due to the friction resistance, as opposed to magnetic
  • Requires more maintenance than bikes with magnetic resistance

Bowflex C7

bowflex IC bike

This bike is a lot like the C6, only with a 7” screen.

Bowflex C7 Indoor Cycling Bike | Amazon

The JRNY experience provides a personalized fitness experience that analyzes your fitness level, guides you through daily adaptive workouts, and allows you to choose from coach videos, scenic destinations, and more (requires JRNY member).

Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • You can use Explore the World, trainer-led workout videos from JRNY, or watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc, through JRNY fitness membership (first two months of membership is free, then it’s $19.99/month)
  • Quiet, just like the C6
  • Connects to other fitness apps like Peloton and Zwift

Cons

  • Harder to find (as of this writing, it’s only available at Dick’s Sporting Goods)
  • Because there’s a screen, you won’t have as much room to perch an iPad if you want a larger screen. 

FAQ

If you still have questions, we can help. Here are a few of the common ones people ask about the Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4:

Question: Is Schwinn IC4 the same as Bowflex C6?

Answer: Yes, other than the branding. Specs and features are the same. We even chatted with Bowflex to confirm that there are no minor details that would affect the comfort or adjustability and make one bike better than or different from the other.

Question: Is the Bowflex C6 worth it?

Answer: Yes, it’s a great, quality bike that allows you to use several different apps so you never get bored. If you’re on a tight budget, the Schwinn IC4 may be a better fit, though. They’re extremely similar.

Question: What shoes work with Bowflex C6?

Answer: You’ll need to look for shoes that work with SPD pedals like Tiem Slipstreams or Nike Superreps. Because the pedals are dual-sided, another option is to use any sneakers with the toe cages.

Question: Is Schwinn IC4 worth it?

Answer: Yes, it’s a solid bike with features your average spin bikes don’t have that make it fun to use.

Question: Which is better, Bowflex or Peloton?

Answer: It depends on how you feel about leaderboards, big screens that show your stats and progress over time, and being locked into the Peloton world. Those things motivate some people, so Peloton would be best for them. However, if you’d prefer the freedom to app-hop to find new styles of indoor cycling classes to take, don’t mind a few extra steps for tracking stats, don’t care about the leaderboard, and want to save money, the Bowflex is better.

Question: Are Bowflex bikes worth it?

Answer: Yes, they’re well-made, quality bikes from a reputable company. If you’re comparing the Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4, it may not be worth the extra $100.00 since they’re the same bike with different branding, but overall, yes, the Bowflex bikes are worth it.

Question: Is the Bowflex C6 quiet?

Answer: Yes, the magnetic resistance helps.

Question: Is Bowflex C6 belt or chain?

Answer: The Bowflex C6 uses a belt.

Question: How hard is it to assemble a Schwinn IC4?

Answer: Not very. You can do it in as little as 30 minutes.

Question: What apps work with Schwinn IC4?

Answer: Peloton, Zwift, Explore the World, Sutterfest, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, FulGaz, and Tacx

Question: What is the difference between Schwinn IC3 and IC4?

Answer: The IC4 is a pretty big upgrade from the IC3. You can connect to apps and you get magnetic—not felt pad—resistance. The IC3 doesn’t come with dumbbells or a charging port. The max user weight on the IC3 is 300 lbs, compared to the IC4’s 330.

Question: How much does a Bowflex bike cost?

Answer: The Bowflex C6 is around $999.00. The Bowflex Velocore, if you’re interested in one that leans and has a screen, is around $1699.00 to $2199.00, depending on whether you want a 16” or 22” console.

Question: How long does it take to assemble Bowflex C6?

Answer: It’ll probably take around 30 minutes. You can preview the instructions and a video here.

Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4: Which Should You Buy?

It really boils down to whether you want to spend the extra $100.00 on the Bowflex, which isn’t even a factor if you’re eligible for their discounts. Depending on the discount at the time of purchase, you may not get the full $100.00 off, but it’ll shrink the price difference, either way.

If you like the look of the Bowflex C6 so much more that you think it’s worth the extra cash, get that one. If you prefer the look of the Schwinn or want to save that $100.00 for a new pair of spin shoes, get the Schwinn.

Since these bikes are effectively the same, neither is “better” than the other, though we do prefer the aesthetics of the Bowflex and would probably go that route.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top