After we were in lockdown for about 3 months my husband and I started to consider getting some type of exercise equipment for at home. Peloton has had a large appearance online and was definitely an option we looked into. But that price tag… ouch!
After hours of research we found the Schwinn IC4 bike, a great dupe to the Peloton that can easily be paired with their app. Seeming like a great solution we proceed towards the buying process. But as you can imagine, in May the IC4 was sold out EVERYWHERE! So at the time we decided against it and just went without for a few more months.
Then August rolled around and we knew self-isolating wasn’t going to end any time soon. We ended up ordering a Schwinn IC4 Bike directly from the manufacture and waited about 6 weeks before it arrived.
Note: Delivery was a pain as we live on a high floor of an apartment complex (and didn’t pay the extra delivery/assembly fee) and UPS chose to leave the 115lb box at the bottom of the stairs.
The price break down: Peloton vs Schwinn IC4
I’m going to break down the prices for you so you can compare the two side by side. Keep in mind, Peloton just lowered the price of the ‘original’ bike because they just came out with Bike + that has a $2,495 price tag! Yikes!
First-year costs: $2,363
Continuing annual costs: $468
First-year costs: $1055
Continuing annual costs: $156
Now the apps do include different features, hence the price difference. But, will dig into that later. In the first year (when you purchase the bike) you’ll be saving $1,308 if you purchase the Schwinn and then an additional $312 every year after that!
What You Need To Buy To Dupe the Peloton Bike
The Schwinn IC4 proves to be such a great Peloton dupe because it’s cheaper (duh) but also, it has a built-in cadence sensor that you can Bluetooth to the Peloton app! The only other thing you need is a heart rate monitor (again you’ll Bluetooth this to the app). The Schwinn Bike does come with a heart rate monitor, but we already had some.
Here are the different types of data that the Schwinn IC4 has integrated with various apps:
We also purchased a floor mat because we have hard floors and didn’t want to disturb our downstairs neighbors.
Where Do I Buy the Schwinn IC4 Bike?
We purchased our Schwinn IC4 Bike directly from the Schwinn manufacture back in August. At that time, there was an 8-week waiting period before it would be delivered, ours arrived in 6 weeks.
Right now it looks like they’re available on Amazon!! You may also be able to find one at your local Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or Play it Again Sports!
Does the Bike come with classes?
Short answer, no. There’s no screen on the Schwinn bike, you need to use your own tablet or phone.
Long answer, if you purchase a 3rd party app (like Peloton) then yes.
There is a 30-day trial that you can start with to try it out and you can always cancel before they charge you if you decided it’s not your thing.
We chose to purchase two subscriptions to the Peloton App. The reason we went with two subscriptions is so that my husband and I can keep our stats separate (we’re nerds like that). BUT here’s the kicker… it’s still cheaper than paying for ONE monthly subscription to the Peloton App that comes with their bike?!
Peloton All-Access Membership (the one that comes with the Peloton Bike)
Unlimited user profiles
This fee is in ADDITION to the ungodly price you have to pay for the bike itself!
With this membership you can also use the digital membership version on your iPhone or iPad for free.
Peloton Digital Membership (the one you use with your iPad or iPhone)
Only one user profile
The interface of the app kind of sucks, you can’t search for specific rides. You can filter by different criteria though (length, type, instructor, etc.)
You can connect your Cadence and Heart Rate to the App but it doesn’t show your Output (power).
Should I do the Live or Recorded Peloton classes?
This is completely personal preference! I’ve only ever tried one live class and it honestly wasn’t my favorite. I found that during the live classes I would get distracted by the instructor calling out and cheering for the other riders – each instructor is different so I could have gotten one that’s super into motivating their students by username.
I like the recorded classes because I can pick and choose whatever ride I want and I can do it whenever I want!
Do I need Clip-in Shoes For The Schwinn IC4?
No, you don’t have to use clip-in shoes to ride on a Schwinn IC4 bike. This is one of my favorite things about this bike, the pedals have two sides! One side has the little clips for normal cycling shoes and the other side has cages for standard running/gym shoes. I recently switched from standard running shoes to these cycling shoes.
Does the Schwinn Bike Come With Weights?
Yes, the Schwinn IC4 Bike comes with two 3 lb dumbbells. They are easy to grab and sit right under two water bottle holders. There are actually quite a few Peloton ‘Arms & Intervals’ classes that you can take that mix up a few arm toning moves with HIIT intervals.
Are the Resistances on the Peloton and Schwinn Bikes The Same?
When I first purchased the Schwinn I assumed that the bikes would share equal resistances because they both go from 0 to 100. But after the first few rides I quickly discovered that’s not the case!
But, there’s an easy solution for this. I found the resistance conversion online, wrote it out on a post-it note, and attached it to my bike right under the tablet holder, perfect!
Is the seat on the IC4 Bike Comfortable?
I don’t really have anything else to compare this seat to so keep that in mind, but the first week or two that I rode this bike was ROUGH! My butt hurt terribly. I would have to take a day or two off between rides until my butt wasn’t sore anymore.
Thankfully, you do get adjusted and now I can ride for over an hour comfortably! There is an adjustment period though so you need to into riding this bike knowing that.
I actually had purchased these padded bike shorts but by the time they arrived I had adjusted to the bike and ended up returning them!
Do I wish I would have gotten the Peloton Bike?
Nope! As someone that had NEVER cycled before buying my Schwinn bike, I’m extremely happy with my purchase. And I’m quite proud of myself for finding a more economical solution.
From a more nerdy perspective, I am kind of bummed that I don’t get all of the same stats. But alas, you don’t need to have everything in life to be happy 🙂