What stationery bike should I get?

Hi, I am new to this.

I want an indoor bike that allows me to race against others and myself (PR) on Zwift.
I don’t want tot deal with power meter if possible.
I want to keep the price low if possible.

Appreciate any advice you can give.

Any thoughts on these 2 bikes?

  1. Echelon Connect Sport.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Echelon-Connect-Sport-Indoor-Cycling-Exercise-Bike/533034706

  2. Schwinn IC4
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Schwinn-IC4-Indoor-Cycling-Bike/891755220

Any other bikes you would recommend?

Hi @Jeff_Ling and welcome to Zwift.

Spin bikes are known to have accuracy problems when it comes to power readings. If you want to race you should have a more accurate power source such as power meter pedals or a smart trainer. For around the same price you can get a Kickr Core or Elite Suito assuming you have a bike to hook up to a trainer. If not, find a cheap used road bike, or power meters are as low as $299 now but make sure they would be compatible with the spin bike.

This thread might help too:

I would suggest you get a smart trainer. The experience will be better, more fun and that means your fitness will improve faster.

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@Mike_Rowe_PBR
Thanks for the response.
I don’t have a road bike.
I am looking at these spin bikes because of convenience.
I saw those threads about the high output of the IC4 bike. That’s why I didn’t pull the trigger on that yet.
Trying to see if there are other / better spin bike options.
From reviews, the Echelon spin seems to work on Zwift. But I cannot find any discussions on the Echelon spin bike in the Zwift forums.
Anybody has experience with them?
Or any other suggestions?

DC Rainmaker said in a Video, the Wattbike Atom is the cheapest good stationary bike for indoor training.

I’d also get a good smart trainer like Kickr Core, Elite Direto X and a used or cheap road bike.
It’s cheaper and much more versatile.

If you want a stationary bike look at the Tacx (Garmin) or the Wahoo. Some folks like the Stages but as well but I’d stay away from anything that is a tradition spin “bike” that you’d find on the sidelines of a high school football game.

Def get a smart bike/trainer, you wont regret it. The difference between a smart and dumb trainer on Zwift is massive. So much more immersive, engaging and fun.

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Hi Jeff,

Welcome. I asked more or less the same question a month ago. I did get more or less the same answers. The Taxc bike, the Yahoo Kickr Bike and the Wattbike Atom are all not (yet) available in the Netherlands (where I live). Otherwise I would probably have purchased a Atom Wattbike. I decided to go for the Life Fitness IC8 which sends Watt output to Zwift but is non controllable (so no resistance feedback from Zwift). The reason why I bought a stationary bike instead of a smarttrainer is because other family members want to use the bike too and it is easily adjustable to each individual.

If I would have to choose between the Echelon and the Schwinn, I’d go for the Schwinn. This stationary bike is non-controllable (I myself do not mind about that too much) but you can ride it on zwift anyway. I believe Schwinn indoor cycles are well build quality cycles.

@Nick_Janssen
Nick, thanks for the detailed response.
I want to stick with the spin bikes for the same reason. Allowing family members to use it.
I am not going to be riding outside anyway.
and i think the magnetic resistance spin bikes are quieter than a road bike plus smart trainer.

It is interesting that Echelon advertise that it works with Zwift. Yet there is zero info / discussion here.

The thing is even if they say it is compatible that only mean that it will broadcast speed or power it does not say it will be accurate.

Yes a spinning bike is nice because it can adjust easy but if the numbers are way off then your experience will not be as nice.

The data those stationary bikes send will be essentially worthless to you for fitness and training purposes.

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I ride The Expresso bikes and Peloton bikes at work gym regularly. I get the best workout when I have a goal to go after. And that often is my own PR.
To me, I don’t care if it tells me my avg output is 200 watts or 300 watts, I want to continue to push myself to get better result. In the end, I get good workout.

Same goes with racing here on Zwift. As long as the output is consistent, I can push myself.

Depends on which spinning bike Gerrie. I’d say the Life Fitness IC8 is (+/- 1%) more accurate than a some trainers. (But expensive though).

You are correct @Nick_Janssen. I was referring to the entry level spinning bikes that the OP was mentioning. There are a few high end smart bikes out there, but they are smart bikes not spinning bikes.

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Just as an FYI: Power output DOES matter on Zwift, especially if you are planning to take part in any group events or races. If you are putting out 200 W, but the bike is saying 300 W you are, effectively, ‘cheating’ and are likely to get called on it and possibly flagged by other users. Accurate power is important.

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There is quite a difference between a spin bike for $400 and a smart bike like the Kickr bike, Life Fitness IC8, etc… that sell for over $3,000

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To all.

I read that the body weight has an impact on power output. Some people cheat by entering a lighter weight, to gain higher output than what they deserve.

If that is the case, can I enter a much heavier weight to neutralize the high output from the IC 4 bike?

I guess you could compensate with body weight entry IF the inaccuracy would be consistent (meaning always the same deviation). In case the deviation fluctuates that is probably not a solution.

Not really, power is power so no matter what weight you enter your power stay the same. What change is the in game speed a lighter rider will go up a hilly faster than a heavy rider at the same power (w)

I’m a week into my Schwinn IC4 experience with Zwift. Absolutely love it.
Quiet, fit is good for my entire family, most affordable price, and 100% repeatable power output.
Yes - the power that Zwift reports seems to be a little bit high, about 10-15% over what the Spinner Chrono Power bikes reported at my local gym, but that doesn’t impact the quality of solo training in any manner - everything is based on the FTP measured on the same bike. It would be an advantage on group rides and races.

I’ve calibrated the bike once (see a good discussion at https://dataguy.me/2019/11/review-bowflex-c6-indoor-exercise-bike/ ), setting “100” to the last usable resistance just before the rubber brake hits the wheel.
If I recalibrate again, I would probably set 100 to the rubber brake totally cranked down on the wheel. I’m reluctant to do this too quickly as there is a lifetime max of 3 recalibrations (no idea why, but that’s how it is)

Anyways, the Schwinn IC4 has been in low stock or out-of-stock for a while. If you find one I highly recommend it as the most affordable Zwift option.
-Bill

@Bill, does the IC4 allow Zwift to control the resistance or does it just provide power and HR and resistance is still manually adjusted?