Returning unopened Scwhinn IC4... looking < $1000 combo

Hi all,

53 years old - Used to run 2-3 miles 3 times a week after work. Some foot & knee injuries has put that on hold, so I decided to look into getting an indoor bike to do what I can to justify eating and drinking all the stuff I like :slight_smile:

My wife wants to use it too, and it needs to be quiet, so a stationary bike looks like the way we’ll go.

Love the look & feel of Zwift and would really like to use it, not for racing so much though - but I would like to start off easy & likely use the feature of creating my own starting routines for a bit. I want it to be accurate.

I picked up a Schwinn IC4 after seeing lots of great reviews and videos. Everyone was running out quickly so I wanted to get it while I could. (8 stores literally sold out in 2 days…) Haven’t assembled as I’m still researching. Found some sticking points.

Two things got my attention regarding the bike: 1) Pedal/crank production issues (some were told 4-6 weeks for a replacement!) and 2) inaccurate data.

Mechanical problems can be fixed. Software problems, apparently, can not.

I’m kind of a numbers guy when it comes to watching performance data when I’m exercising, so this is really important to me. That, combined with also finding lots of posts regarding pedal and crank problems has convinced me that perhaps spending nearly $1000 on a bike is unwarranted for something that essentially won’t be 100% reliable out of the box.

So, I’m considering getting a stationary bike without data functionality, and getting data pedals or another device set to send accurate data to Zwift & devices.

For the record, I would like to be able to use my Apple watch, iPhone, iPad, and I think a TV with Apple TV hooked up. (I have all these now.)

Any recommendations for a reliable, quiet bike & pedal combo are greatly appreciated. Hoping to keep the bike & data device(s) <$1000 or so if possible.

Thanks!

You are making a good choice in bringing that thing back for a refund. For a smart trainer you can check out this buying guide https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/11/smart-cycle-trainer-recommendations-guide-winter.html by DC Rainmaker which will walk you through all of the price points and pros and cons of each recommended smart trainer. If you are a numbers guy like myself you will definitely want a smart trainer with a real power meter that is reliable and accurate within ±3% or better generally. Rear wheel off trainers that adjust resistance automatically are the most useful and engaging for getting in shape and just having fun indoors when you would otherwise become bored.

When it comes to a bike all I can say is that I use a cheap 9-speed hybrid and it has served me well for 4 years but I am looking to upgrade to a road bike soon. I personally went all out on the trainer with a Tacx Neo and have never regretted it. If your local bike shops don’t have much inventory you can perhaps order a cheap canyon bike online and have it delivered to your house.

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If you are a data guy you want a Smart trainer or a Smart bike. You won’t be satisfied for long with a stationary bike and power meter pedals.

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I would say your options are either a smart trainer and separate bikes for both of you as @Fez_Rockbottom mentions , or a cheap spin bike with power meter pedals.

With the smart trainer you would need to swap bikes out for your wife when she wants to ride, which might get annoying after a while (probably takes just about as much time to change all the seat and handle bar settings on a spin bike however). But overall the smart trainer is a much better experience due to automatic resistance changes. With the cheap spin bike you will have to manually adjust resistance.

Also note that Zwift doesn’t have a family plan, each of you would need separate subscriptions essentially doubling your monthly cost.

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Thanks - neither of us currently has a suitable bike, so I’d need one; also, she isn’t really into using Zwift - that’s for me :slight_smile: My wife is fine watching a show on an iPad & using Apple Fitness apps & watch to track calories.

A big factor is also how quiet it is - this would be set up, at least for now, in our office right next to our daughter’s bedroom. She’s a late sleeper :wink: I don’t mind adjusting resistance for hills.

So… as far as a “cheap” spin bike goes - any recommendations?

FWIW I’m also looking at upright bikes. She’s more comfortable that way, too.

thanks - Sort of a non-starter for a number of reasons. I’d go for it if I were the only one using it.

Thanks for the note - I like the idea of a trainer, but a) we don’t have bikes, 2) noise is a big factor, and 3) my wife isn’t into “serious” biking - would just be doing it to burn calories… so what we end up needs to be quickly adjustable & take up the least amount of space possible.

There are no spin bikes that have accurate power so you would have to be comfortable spending another $600+ on power pedals as mentioned by @Mike_Rowe1 Mike for accuracy. It will provide an underwhelming experience that you may be fine with for a while.

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I cannot add to what others have said but would comment on the noise issue. Most of us run one or two fans when we use our trainers indoors. I use a wheel-on trainer and find that even with that kind of trainer the fans make more noise than the trainer.

Allow me to say that I get it that the cost is steep for a husband and wife but my sister, after asking me for my advice on starting indoor riding with Zwift, ignored my advice to get a smart trainer and use her old bike to start, instead got the Schwinn IC4 and has serious regrets.

Allow me to say one more thing in a general sense, I kind of puttered around riding my bicycle for over a year outside, doing very little during the winter because I hate the cold. I started indoor riding/Zwift last November and this totally changed my cycling.instead of zero miles on my bike Thanksgiving to April 1st, I rode over 3000 miles last winter. It has transformed my riding!

Go to DCRainmaker’s 2020-2021 trainer review and pick out a ~$500 wheel on trainer. Then get on your local Craig’s list and find two used bikes for around $250 each and away you go. If you are lucky maybe you and the wife are close enough in size you could share a bike. Then I would move up to a $700 trainer and a $300 used bike. You will need a trainer tire for each bike and a trainer mat.

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