Schwinn IC3 Bike Review (2024): No Screen? No Problem

While many of the best exercise bikes now feature monster touchscreens and integrated fitness apps, there are quality options out there for those of us with a bit of screen fatigue. Its $699 price tag lands the Schwinn IC3 squarely between what we consider budget and mid-range. This compact, sturdy exercise bike safely assumes — based on the fact you’re reading this on a screen — that you’re capable of supplying your own device. 

With a simple LCD monitor to feed you your metrics, it’s in no danger of being mistaken for the high-end Peloton’s of the indoor cycling world. However, for a smooth ride and a virtually infinite resistance range, the budget-friendly price tag may be a breath of fresh air compared to the budget-hostile cost of more tech-laden options. While we haven’t gotten to use the IC3 yet, our team has spent a lot of time with the Schwinn IC4, which is very similar in construction and other aspects. Check out what our team of certified fitness pros had to say in our Schwinn IC3 Bike review.

Schwinn IC3 Bike

Schwinn IC3 Bike

At $699, it’s around half the price of high-end, tech-heavy exercise bikes. With a heavy, 40-pound flywheel, you can expect smooth rides and resistance adjustment. Both the bullhorn-style handlebars and seat adjust vertically and horizontally.

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About Our Expert

This article has been reviewed by Amanda Capritto, CPT, CES, CNC, CF-L1, CSNC, a certified personal trainer and CrossFit Level 1 instructor. She reviewed the research we cite to help ensure we’re providing helpful, accurate descriptions and recommendations.

Main Takeaways

Its $699 price tag lands the IC3 at the low end of the average range across the 22 bikes we have tested — $600 to $2,000.

Once you build up momentum, the heavy 40-pound flywheel can create a smooth ride, even while you make adjustments. (1)(2)

Although its friction resistance system offers a virtually “infinite” range, these systems require more maintenance than bikes with magnetic resistance.

The small LCD console tracks and displays your workout metrics like heart rate, speed, and time. 

Without a built-in screen, you’ll need to place your own device in the media shelf to stream workouts or entertainment.

Schwinn IC3 Bike Highlights

Price: $699

Resistance: Friction

Display: LCD console

Dimensions: 49″ H x 45″ L x 23″ W

Weight Capacity: 300lbs

Bike Weight: 100lbs

Flywheel: 40lbs

Warranty: 5 years frame, 2 years mechanical and electrical, 1 year labor

While virtual Peloton-esque studio classes bring the heat for some athletes, not everyone needs that pulse-pounding experience to cash in on the benefits of cycling. If you’re content to supply your own phone or tablet, read a book, or just set up in front of your TV, the Schwinn IC3 is a quality bike that eschews the flash of app-connected bikes. 

Our tester riding the similar Schwinn IC4.

On any exercise bike, the weight of the flywheel can affect the feel of your ride. (2) Models with heavier flywheels will feel more like an actual bike because they require more effort to build momentum. However, once you get going, they can more easily maintain that speed, resulting in a smoother ride. 

The 40-pound flywheel on the IC3 actually exceeds the 30- to 38-pound range on more expensive and tech-heavy bikes we’ve tested, like the NordicTrack S22i or Peloton Bike. High-end options like these can run anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500, so the $699 price tag on the IC3 should be a welcome sight for budget-conscious eyes. 

[Related: The 8 Best Exercise Bikes with Screens]

Several members of our team have pumped the pedals on the IC3’s big brother, the IC4, and noted really just one major difference. “Schwinn makes quality products in general, but the friction system on the IC3 will inherently require more maintenance than the magnetic resistance on the IC4,” said one tester — a certified personal trainer. Like the brake pads on your car, the more the pads come in contact with the flywheel, the faster they will wear down and need to be replaced.

The flywheel on the similar Schwinn IC4.

Both feature small LCD monitors that display your distance, time, and heart rate, but our tester, who used the IC4, noted one key difference. “Both can monitor your heart rate wirelessly, but the IC3 is only compatible with certain devices,” they explained. “The IC4 comes with its own heart-rate monitor armband.”

While it won’t be mistaken for high-tech bikes like the Echelon Connect EX-8s, our team thinks a lot of people will find value in this no-nonsense, sturdy exercise bike.


At $699, it’s around half the price of high-end, tech-heavy exercise bikes. 

With a heavy, 40-pound flywheel, you can expect smooth rides and resistance adjustment.

Both the bullhorn-style handlebars and seat adjust vertically and horizontally.

The compact design only eats up about the same amount of floor space as a typical recliner — 7.19 square feet. (4)


There is no built-in screen, so to stream workouts or entertainment, you’ll need to place your own device in the media shelf above the handlebars.

It lacks technology like Bluetooth connectivity, fitness app integration, or a USB charging port.

Its friction resistance system requires a bit more maintenance than the magnetic resistance of higher-end bikes.

The LCD display can track your heart rate, but only with a third-party compatible monitor.

Training With the Schwinn IC3 Bike

Whether you prefer an immersive virtual studio class or just like to saddle up and go, our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CF-L1, CES, CSNC, laid out the benefits of exercise bikes. “Cycling brings an impressive collection of health benefits to the table: cardiovascular health, endurance, stamina, muscular endurance are all improved with cycling, to name a few.” (3)

Our tester standing out of the saddle on the similar Schwinn IC4.

After years of assembling, riding, and maintaining over 20 exercise bikes, the BarBend team of road cyclists, daily commuters, and Peloton apologists have the experience to spot a quality bike. While we haven’t had the chance to climb aboard the Schwinn IC3, multiple team members have spent considerable time on its big brother, the IC4. We’ve rated both models on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) across 12 categories like durability, tech capabilities, and value. Lace up your cycling cleats and check out what we thought about the Schwinn IC3.

Friction Resistance Vs. Magnetic Resistance

When you start pedaling on the Schwinn IC3, the 40-pound flywheel takes a bit of effort to build up momentum. If you imagine riding an actual bike, heavy flywheels can simulate the feeling of starting from a dead stop. Once that wheel starts spinning, it generates more momentum, creating a smooth and steady ride, as well as seamless resistance adjustment. (1)

Our tester adjusting the resistance knob on the similar Schwinn IC4.

Both of these bikes use belt-drive systems, but the friction resistance on the IC3 uses brake pads to physically slow down the flywheel. This also means that IC3’s resistance ‘levels’ are essentially infinite, giving you complete control over the intensity. 

Tech Capabilities

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way — the IC3 is not for techies. The LCD display and wireless heart rate monitoring earns it a 2 out of 5 in our intricate equipment testing methodology, but its tech capabilities are not really the point of the IC3. Unlike the IC4, it doesn’t have Bluetooth or connect with any fitness apps, or have built-in workouts. However, if you’re fine to just set your own device on the media shelf and go, there is plenty to like.

Our tester adjusting the controls on the similar Schwinn IC4.

You can still keep an eye on your metrics like time, speed, and heart rate — if you spring for a compatible heart rate monitor — but instead of a huge HD touchscreen, they’ll show up on a small LCD display. Our expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CF-L1, CES, CSNC, noted the difference in technology on solid, budget-friendly options like the IC3 and exercise bikes with virtual courses and studio classes.

“For upright bikes, you’ll notice that there are two distinct camps: Those without giant touchscreen displays, and those with them,” she explained “Peloton-esque bikes have become ultra-popular among people who love the fitness studio vibes that come from interactive workout sessions, both live and pre-recorded. If this is something you’re interested in, be prepared to shell out a significant amount of cash and also pay for a monthly subscription.”

Compact Design

The IC3 is about three inches shorter and two inches wider than the IC4, but both are over 12 inches shorter than higher-end models like the Peloton Bike or NordicTrack S22i. With a footprint of just 7.19 square feet, it takes up about the same amount of floor space as a typical recliner. (4

Our tester lifting and rolling the similar Schwinn IC4.

Given that negligible difference, we feel confident in rating the IC3’s footprint and portability the same 4 out of 5 that certified personal trainer and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1 assigned to the IC4. “I thought the wheels made it pretty easy to move.” Meier said of the IC4. “Most people could probably move it around by themselves.” The IC3 is actually 12 pounds lighter than the IC4, so  you can even expect a bit of easier time rolling it around your space.

[Related: The 7 Best Exercise Bikes for Small Spaces]

The only power source on the IC3 is two AA batteries for the LCD display, which will only increase its mobility. As opposed to the IC4, it doesn’t need to be plugged in, so you can set it up pretty much anywhere you can roll it.


With both four-way adjustable bullhorn handlebars and ventilated seat, users from 4 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 6 inches can find a comfortable fit. The IC4 is identical in terms of adjustability and ergonomics — which earned a 5 out of 5 from Meier, while another tester, a certified personal trainer, highlighted the flexibility offered by the handlebar design. “There are multiple grip positions so you can adjust on the fly, whether you rise out of the saddle or stay seated.”

Our tester adjusting the identical seat on the Schwinn IC4.

Bike seats are not typically celebrated for their comfort, but Meier mentioned the identical padded seat in her rating on the IC4.  Both models use the same race-style seat, but if you find it to be too hard or narrow, you can swap it out with Schwinn’s wide extra-comfort seat or find another option.

Both Meier and another tester — also a certified personal trainer — tried out the identical dual-sided pedals on the IC4 and noted the flexibility they create. “One side of the pedals is SPD-compatible, so you can clip in cycling shoes,” this tester pointed out. “Then on the other side, you can just slide any workout shoe into the toe cages.”

What to Consider Before Buying the Schwinn IC3 Bike

Before committing to an exercise bike, treadmill, or any home gym equipment, look closely at the specs and features to make sure they align with your preferred style of training, as well as your budget. BarBend’s expert reviewer Amanda Capritto, CPT, CF-L1, CES, CSNC, spelled out who should be considering an exercise bike for their space. 

“There are two key groups of people I see benefitting from indoor exercise bikes the most: People who need a low-impact way to do cardio exercise, and athletes training for an event who need a way to perform structured interval training,” she said. Here are a few key factors to keep in mind as you consider the Schwinn IC3.

Preferred Training Type

Whatever type of cycling workouts you are interested in — endurance, HIIT, speed — the limitless resistance range on the IC3 can accommodate it. However, before clicking add to cart ask yourself if you would prefer the immersive experience of an app-connected bike with a large screen and powerful speakers over the bare-bones approach of a more affordable option.

Our tester gripping the handlebars on the similar Schwinn IC4.

With a media shelf conveniently placed just above the handlebars, you can follow a workout, watch TV shows, or read a book while you ride. However, more expensive options like the Peloton Bike or NordicTrack S22i are popular for a reason. High-end bikes that are integrated with the best fitness apps like iFIT, Zwift, or Peloton offer engagement and interactivity that some athletes think justifies their price tags.

Type of Resistance

Keep in mind that while the 40-pound flywheel on the IC3 can make it easier to maintain momentum once you get it spinning, brake pads in its friction resistance system will wear down over time. Another of our testers — also a certified personal trainer — compared the friction resistance of the IC3 with the magnetic system often seen on more expensive models when they went in-depth on the IC4. “Magnetic systems just don’t require much maintenance because nothing comes in contact with the flywheel,” they said.

Bikes like this require a bit more maintenance because those pads need to be replaced when they wear down. A replacement pair of pads will only run you around $15 to $20. How often you need to change them will depend on how often you use the bike, but make sure you consider the time and money spent to replace them (5)


Before you go falling in love with the Schwinn IC3, make sure that its $699 price tag won’t have you pedaling right out of house and home. This bike falls right between what we consider mid-range and budget-friendly options. So while it’s less than half the cost of the average app-connected bikes — roughly $1,500 to $2,500 — it’s actually near the top of the range of the best budget exercise bikes we have tested, like the Yosuda YB001R. Make sure you check the specs and features on the IC3 to make sure its capabilities are worth the $699 hole it will put in your budget.


Even though it lacks the tech features like an HD touchscreen or fitness app integration, the Schwinn IC3 checks a lot of boxes for essential conveniences. Certified personal trainer and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1 rated the IC4’s conveniences a 5 out of 5, but outside of the IC4’s three-pound dumbbells, they share many of the same conveniences. 

Our tester tester on the similar Schwinn IC4.

They both have water bottle holders (the IC4 actually has two), a media shelf, and transport wheels, so without the dumbbells and extra bottle holder, we would rate the IC3’s conveniences 4.5 out of 5.

Schwinn IC3 Bike Vs. The Competition

With so many options out there across a wide range of price points, specs, and features, it can be helpful to lay out how the IC3 stands up to other bikes. We wanted to hold up the IC3 against the Schwinn IC4, an even more budget-friendly option, as well as the ubiquitous Peloton Bike, so take a look and see where they align and where they differ.

Stacked up side-by-side with the more expensive IC4, there isn’t much to separate the Schwinn IC3. Its user weight capacity is 30 pounds less and its frame is smaller by a few inches and 12 pounds, but the main point of difference is the resistance system. 

[Related: The 8 Best Magnetic Exercise Bikes]

Compared to the friction system onboard the IC3, the magnetic systems on the other three will require less maintenance and be inherently quieter during use.

Our tester adjusting the identical seat on the Schwinn IC4.

For $400 less than the IC3, the Yosuda YB001R offers a similar — though smaller — LCD screen, but lags behind in the length of the warranty (three years), as well as its weight capacity (270 pounds). All three, however, lag behind the Peloton Bike in terms of technology and fitness app integration.

There’s a reason Peloton has become synonymous with indoor cycling. Its world-class programming consistently earns 5’s out of 5 from our testers, including BarBend editorial member and self-professed “Peloton guy,” Randall Colburn. “The instructors provide motivation, allow room for adjustments, and routinely make me laugh. I would die for Denis Morton.”

Our tester rolling the similar Schwinn IC4.

While the IC3, IC4, and Yosuda YB001R lack large touchscreens, they do each offer LCD displays to let you keep tabs on your metrics. And unless you can slide an iPad Super Duper in their media shelves, they won’t be able to compete with the 21.5-inch HD touchscreen that impressed yet another of our testers — a certified personal trainer. “What can I say about Peloton? The experience is top-notch, the instructors each bring their own flair to their classes, and the huge display brings it all to life.”

[Related: The 8 Best Commercial Exercise Bikes]

The Peloton Bike is clearly in another class of exercise bike and the price reflects that. The main consideration for the Schwinn IC3 and models closer to its $699 price tag is its friction resistance system. The magnetic resistance on the YB001R and IC4 will require less maintenance, while offering a quieter ride, but the “infinite” resistance range of a friction system may be the kind of control over your intensity you’ve been looking for.

Places to Buy the Schwinn IC3 Bike

Although Schwinn has temporarily paused orders on its website, the IC3 is available on Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and other retailers. 

Customer Experience

Schwinn offers a 5-year warranty on the frame, along with two years on parts, and one year on labor. When Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, checked out Schwinn’s customer service, they earned a 3 out of 5. “Not bad — they list a phone number, email, and even a Facebook page, but the site doesn’t have a live chat.”

Company Information

Schwinn Fitness offers a wide range of cardio equipment for both commercial and home use, from air bikes and upright bikes to recumbent bikes and ellipticals. To reach the customer care team, you can call 800-556-2896. BarBend Reviews Writer Rosie Borchert reached out to see how long it would take to connect with a human being. “When I called them, I was able to speak to a living, breathing person within 1 minute and 22 seconds.”

Final Word

Although the technology onboard the Schwinn IC3 Bike may not impress any techie cyclists, its heavy flywheel and smooth operation still support serious stationary bike workouts. Once you hop in the saddle and clip — or strap — into the pedals, you can slide your own device onto the media shelf to follow a virtual workout, watch TV, or read a book while you get your heart pumping. Its compact design is free of power cords and takes up about as much space as a recliner, making it ideal for anyone tight on space.

After years of pumping the pedals on almost two dozen exercise bikes, the BarBend team is well aware that a budget-friendly model doesn’t have to mean low-quality. Athletes looking for a no-nonsense exercise bike that can handle endurance training, HIIT sessions, or sprints will appreciate the aluminum frame and essential conveniences onboard the IC3. If the nightclub vibes of virtual studio classes aren’t an integral part of your cycling regimen, then the Schwinn IC3 may be the no-frills option you’ve been looking for.


How much does the Schwinn IC3 cost?

The IC3 comes in at $699, which is right between what we consider mid-range and budget. It’s about half the price of app-connected, tech-laden bikes like the Peloton Bike or NordicTrack S22i. It’s at the higher end of budget-friendly exercise bikes, but we think being able to slot in your own device to stream workouts or entertainment makes it a good Peloton alternative.

Is the Schwinn IC3 loud?

Because it uses a friction resistance system, you can expect a bit more noise than bikes that utilize magnetic resistance. However, when certified personal trainer and BarBend editorial member Kate Meier, NASM-CPT, USAW-L1, CF-L1, tried out the similar IC4, she didn’t note any noise concerns. Many customer reviews on Amazon also point to its quiet operation.

What is the difference between the Schwinn IC3 and IC4?

The biggest difference between the two models from Schwinn is the type of resistance they use. With the friction resistance system on the IC3, you can expect to eventually replace the brake pads that slow down the 40-pound flywheel. Conversely, the magnetic systems on spin bikes like the IC4 require minimal maintenance as the magnets on either side of its flywheel never come into contact with it.


YouTube. (2023, October 26). Magnetic vs. friction resistance exercise bikes: Detailed comparison. YouTube. 

Sydney Bueckert Fitness Trainer CES. (2021, October 6). Exercise bike flywheel weight: Heavy or lightweight comparison. Sunny Health and Fitness. 

Oja, P., Titze, S., Bauman, A., de Geus, B., Krenn, P., Reger-Nash, B., & Kohlberger, T. (2011). Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 21(4), 496–509. 

Minasian, K. (2018, September 7). How to measure your space for a recliner. Living Spaces. 

Powertrain Sports. (2022, August 11). Exercise bike setup and Maintenance Guide. 

The post Schwinn IC3 Bike Review (2024): No Screen? No Problem appeared first on BarBend.


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