Bowflex C6 versus Schwinn IC4 Bikes
In December, we wrote a review on the Bowflex C6 indoor bike, in order to answer a lot of frequently asked questions we see online. Today, let’s expand on that to compare two of the most popular models of indoor bikes, the C6 and the Schwinn IC4.
These bikes are relatively affordable and portable, and are one of the best ways to stay active during cold winter months or when there is a lack of access to gym facilities. So if you’re ready to invest in a new indoor cycle, let’s take a look at which one will suit you better.
The Difference Between the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4
We can start with some of the differences between the two bikes – because there really aren’t that many. In fact, aside from a few surface-level modifications, and different warranties and service offerings, they are basically the same bike. They have different branding, of course, but this similarity is due to the fact that both bikes are made by the same parent brand, Nautilus.
The Schwinn bike has a 10-year warranty as a standard offering, while the Bowflex only has three years included when you buy new (with an additional five years possible if you spring for the added purchase plan). If this is a dealbreaker for you, it’s important to know it from the start.
Aside from logos and warranties, the only difference in the physical appearance and presence of the two models is the style of the bike’s seat. Down to the dimensions (47.8 x 21.2 x 51.8 inches) weight (106 lbs, capable of supporting 330 lbs), and construction (stainless steel in a black finish), they are otherwise identical.
Features of the IC4 and C6 Bikes
What about similar features between the Bowflex and Schwinn bikes? It turns out they share a lot of the same functionality. We already mentioned the size and build above, but some of the other common features are:
Both of these bikes offer 100 resistance levels, microscopically adjustable so you can dial right in to the right spot without much effort.
Because they are both made by Nautilus, both bikes have the same design in their pedals, handlebars, display readouts, saddle, and other user parts. They have color LCD screens to show important information, adjustable handlebars for multiple posture positions, pedals with built-in SPD functionality, water bottle holders, a rack to hold your tablet or phone, and even a bonus pair of dumbbells that fit under the handlebars.
Cadence and heart rate tracking:
Both bikes come with a Bluetooth-enabled armband, which syncs up with the display to show your heart rate. On the same screen, you’ll see all the other information that any fitness buff will want, like RPM, distance, calories, time, and speed.
In addition to connecting with the armband, your smart devices can sync up with both the Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 to take advantage of popular fitness streaming apps (which we’ll talk about more in the next section).
Phone almost dead, but your workout’s just started? No problem for either bike – each has an integrated charging port for keeping your device going as far as you need it to.
Fitness Apps to Use with the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4
Though neither bike comes with its own dedicated screen, that leaves you the freedom to use whatever device and app you already have. So, there are plenty of fitness apps that will sync up to the bikes via Bluetooth, such as:
With over 10,000 classes and compatible with most devices – including smart TVs and Apple Watches – this app is one of the most popular for indoor cyclists, for good reason. And it only costs $12.99 per month.
Focused on group rides through simulated environments, this app is great for getting that social feeling from the comfort of home. Check out the free trial and pay $14.99 per month after.
This app has more of a personalized coaching angle, with a massive selection of classes and rides. It’s a bit more expensive, though, at $39/month ($33 if paid in one annual instalment).
If you want to double down on training and exercise, this is the one for you. It’s $12.99/month for access to over 100 training plans, for all fitness levels.
If you want customization, Echelon’s app is a good choice. With live and on-demand class access, tailoring to many fitness levels, and different subscription options for your needs, you’re sure to find something you’d like here.
There are many other apps that you can use to reach your goals without being locked in to something brand-specific on either bike.
Price Comparison: Schwinn IC4 vs Bowflex C6
As of today, the Bowflex C6 price is $949, and the Schwinn IC4 starts at $799, so the final difference at the end is about $150. However, as mentioned above, the Schwinn bike has a much longer warranty period, which could save you big if you are a consistent rider that will put the bike through heavy use in the years ahead.
For each, don’t forget to factor in the cost of the fitness app subscriptions you’ll use (if any), which can add anywhere from $155 - $470 per year. If you plan on financing your new bike with monthly payments, the two models also have different costs – the Bowflex starts at $53/month, and the Schwinn at $45.
How to Decide Which Indoor Bike to Buy
Some people trust the Bowflex name more than Schwinn, so if that’s important to you, you can choose the C6. However, in almost every way, the bikes have the same build, performance, and capabilities. If all else is equal, the Schwinn IC4 – being a bit cheaper with a better warranty period – will be the better choice for almost everyone.
Do you have a different opinion, or think that we’ve missed something important? Let us know your thoughts on which indoor exercise bike you prefer.
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