Life Fitness IC7 not measuring watts

Hi everyone
I’ve bought a Life Fitness IC7: good machine but have some problems connecting with Ziwft.
Apparently, it runs right and i can cycle and use it. But the measuring of watts that IC7 gives isn’t correct. I meet up with some friends to cycle and where they produce 200 wats in a moderated exercise (we are athletic all of us), I produce 140. Nearly they double me each time.

Does anyone know if IC7 has a different kind of measuring watts? ¿Wattrate computer is programmed in a different range?

I bought IC7 to use it, mainly, with Zwift…and in the Technical Service in Spain they don’t answer my matters.

Thanks to all of you

Unfortunately your watts will never be accurate with that device. To experience Zwift properly you need a smart trainer and a bike or an acceptable smart bike. If you want to see which devices will give you the best experience check out GPLama’s Youtube channel and DC Rainmaker’s website and trainer guide here: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2019/10/the-smart-trainer-recommendations-guide-winter-2019-2020.html

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Thanks for reply. But there is no way to measure correctly in IC7? Any accesory?

Thanks

Hello, it’s your C7 the new model with WattRate® 2.0 TFT, or is the older one with wattrate1.0? Did you set up your parameters correctly (FTP test…)? Do you continue with the same issue?

Thanks!!

Hi Tiago

Thanks for responding.

The Wattrate i have is the tft 2.0, updated to last version firmware.

I keep with the same issue now. Impossible to keep 250 watts constantly at indoor bike in zwift.

From the company they say it´s normal and that will never generate same watts as a bike roller.

Do you know anything else? Thanks

I do not believe the answer that you have received from LF Technical Support in Spain is correct. Watts are watts. There are not different kinds of watts. It’s possible that the measurements coming from the IC7 might be slightly less than the measurements coming from a set of power pedals or from a power crank arm because the power on the IC7 & IC8 is measured further “downstream” than those other two methods. But I don’t think that it would be such a significant difference. Also, keep in mind that the IC7 & IC8 have an extremely accurate power measurement system (±1%) that optically measures torsion at the spindle. Power pedals and crank arms have a more indirect power measurement method. I’m not familiar with all the different trainers that attach to the rear frame of the bike, but I would suppose that there are some that are equally as accurate as the IC7 & IC8 and there are others that are much less accurate depending on how they measure the power.

I have a 2018 IC7 that I have upgraded to TFT 2.0 console. I can maintain 250 watts steadily without issue and I am not a very powerful rider. I think that your machine may need calibration. Have you tried the “OFFSET” and “BRAKE CALIBRATION” procedures found in the settings menu?

Also, are you sure that your friends are not using virtual power?

where did you find this information, I have been looking on their site.

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I’m sure that you are correct with respect to most indoor “spinning” bikes. The Keiser M3i and Peloton, for example, both estimate power merely by using a formula using cadence and distance of magnets from flywheel. On those bikes, not even the magnet distance is actually “measured.” The Life Fitness IC7 & IC8 are different animals, however. The power is measured directly by optically measuring the torsion at the spindle. They claim independently verified accuracy of ±1%. On the next lower models, the IC6 & IC5, power is not measured directly and an estimation is used as in the Keiser and Peloton, but at least the distance of the magnets from the flywheel is measured – again, optically. Interestingly, Peloton themselves claim that a properly calibrated Peloton bike has a power reading that is ±10% accurate. That means that your power output reading might be as much as 20% different from a fellow Peloton user when applying the same actual force to the pedals at a given cadence! And that’s if both of you have “properly calibrated” bikes!

Life Fitness is the parent company that fairly recently purchased the much smaller company that actually make the bikes, Indoor Cycling Group, in Nuremburg, Germany. This company has also manufactured the same bikes under these brand names: Matrix, Cybex, Tomahawk. The English language website of ICG has much more information than any Life Fitness website. Here is link to IC7 technology.

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Thanks @Howdy_Doody that is good information. :sunglasses:

There is a big difference between the Schwinn IC7 and the Life Fitness IC7 (I inadvertently opened the Schwinn page) why use the same names?

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Yeah, the Schwinn IC7 is just a basic “spinning” bike. Doesn’t have power readout or any connectivity (neither BT nor ANT+). Looks like it uses a friction pad for resistance, rather than magnets. There are dozens and dozens of models that are virtually identical. The “IC” in IC7 stands for “Indoor Cycling” so I guess it was inevitable that there would be two models from different companies with the same name.

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Thanks for your information! Would you recomend the LF IC7 (model 2020) anyway?
I’m searching an indoor bike to use Zwift, i am not pro, just enthusiastic, i would buy one of the recomended indoor bikes by zwift, but they are not available at this moment. Right now I can only choose between IC7 or maybe wattbike Pro. Thanks for your time!!

I believe that I fit the same category as you. I wanted a bike that I could use with the Peloton Digital app, but that I could also use in Zwift, Fulgaz, Rouvy, etc. I didn’t want to bring a dirty outdoors bike indoors and I didn’t want to take up as much space as an outdoor bike would. That left my choices to either an indoor spinning bike with BT and/or ANT+ connectivity or one of the four smart bikes: wattbike, Stages, Tacx, Wahoo. I felt that the smart bikes are at their “1.0” stage of development and need more work after some user feedback. I was able to find an unbelievably good deal on an IC7 that had only been used as a demo model in trade shows. I was able to purchase this bike for $1650 even though their MSRP when new is $3200. After adding the new TFT 2.0 console for $350, I’ve invested $2000 in this bike so far. I think that I will be able to sell it for close to that amount when the “2.0” versions of the smart bikes come out. I would not buy a brand new LF IC7 for $3200. I think that a wattbike atom or StagesBike SB20 for ~$2900 is a better value.

BTW, there are more of these LF bikes used as tradeshow demos available from the place where I got mine in Santa Ana, California.

Yes, exactly! The IC7 (2020) it´s about $2800 here in Europe, wattbike its around the same price, but it’s the PRO model, it’s all i’ve got here, other models will be available just in July… or more… it’s all shutdown… would you buy the IC7 or the Wattbike Pro? Thanks!

The Wattbike Pro, unlike the Atom, does not have FE-C where the app can automatically control the resistance. In that sense, it would be no different from the IC7. If you think that you might want to upgrade to a smart bike in the future, I would look at the resale values in your area for the Wattbike Pro vs. the IC7 and buy whichever one that you believed you could sell for more money in the future. But, if you are not pro and just enthusiast, it would seem to me that LF IC7 might be better suited to you if you plan to keep bike for long term.

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Two last questions, when i saw this kind of issues (power not accurate) with IC7 i got a bit scared, but with the right calibration does it works properly? Why do you think the IC8 it’s the only model from LF whos supported by zwift (as described at their website)?
Thank you so much!

My LF IC7 with the TFT 2.0 console works perfectly with Zwift. Pairs instantaneously with Apple TV 4K and shows what I believe to be very reasonable power levels. My previous console would not pair with anything other than the ICG app and it was very difficult even at that – multiple attempts would be required. The OFFSET and BRAKE CALIBRATION settings that I mentioned earlier are very simple to accomplish - no tools required.

I notice that Zwift officially supports the IC8 only in ANT+ mode (probably because BT is ‘locked’ on versions prior to 2020). But, pre-2020 IC7 and lower should also work in ANT+ mode. IC8 and IC7 have identical power measurement methods, but IC8 is capable of much higher resistance. The IC8 is geared more to the professional or serious amateur who is trying to increase their power/pedal stroke efficiency. The IC8 is capable of 3800 watts! It also has the individual left/right leg power diagram. The seat and handlebars are completely different and are more like what a road biker would want/expect than what a casual/spin bike enthusiast is looking for. Also, the IC8 freewheels like a road bike, whereas the IC7 is like almost all spin bikes and cannot freewheel. I initially purchased an IC8, but after bringing it home decided that it wasn’t for me and exchanged it for the IC7.

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Thank you for your detailed analisys!

Don’t throw away your money on a spin bike that will never give you accurate watts.

So, if i only had the chance to choose between Ic7 (the new 2020 model) and wattbike PRO, i should go to the wattbike despite its noisy, and it´s older? Zwift says the Ic8 it´s supported, no issues with that model? Thanks!!