Schwinn IC4 vs Peloton: Which Bike is Right for You?

The main difference between the Schwinn IC4 bike and the Peloton Original is that the Schwinn IC4 features a traditional LCD screen, while the Peloton Original comes with a 21.5 HD touchscreen.

The screen is the main difference but there are several other important differences too between the Schwinn IC4 bike and Peloton Bike. As expected from the price point, the Schwinn IC4 and the Peloton Original bike are not exactly like for like, as one is a low-budget exercise bike and the other is a premium spin bike. Nonetheless, it is worth comparing the two bikes against each other.

Peloton Bikes are like the iPhone in the cycling industry. They are technologically reliable, they are sturdy, and the support from the brand and its community is hard to beat. Not to mention Peloton have the widest range and the best online/virtual live and on-demand indoor cycling classes in the world.

That being said, let’s take an in-depth look at how the Schwinn IC4 (aka 800IC) and the Peloton Original fare against each other! But, before that, here is an overview of how both bikes compare.

Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike: Side-by-Side Comparison

FeaturesSchwinn IC4 BikePeloton Original Bike
Resistance level100 level100 level
Resistance TypeManual magneticManual magnetic
Max. User Weight330 Pounds297 Pounds
Dimensions48.7″ L × 21.2″ W × 51.8″ H59″L × 53″ H × 23″ W
Bike weight106 pounds135 pounds
Display3×4″ LED metrics display21.5″ Full HD Touchscreen
Live classesNoYes
Built-in workoutsNoYes
On-demand ClassesNoYes
Membership cost (per month)Depends on the app$12.99 App only – $39 Full Access
BluetoothYes (for data transmitting)Yes (only to receive heart rate data)
Price£999£1,495
QualityInferiorSuperior
Zwift compatibilityYes (out of the box)No (Possible with additional accessories)
PedalsDual sided cage and SPSLook Delta pedals
Handlebars4-Way adjustable2-Way adjustable
TransmissionPoly-V beltPoly-V belt
ExtrasIncludes a set of 2-lb dumbbells and tablet holder.Doesn’t include tablet holder or dumbbells.
Schwinn IC4 vs Peloton Bike

Frame and Build Quality: Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike

Frame and build quality of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike
Close-up of the frame and build quality of Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike.

The Peloton Original and the Schwinn IC4 sport similar aesthetics; a polished black body with red accents. However, the Peloton Original is slightly more good-looking than the Schwinn 1C4, which favors functionality over aesthetics. For the record, both indoor bikes are constructed out of steel which guarantees durability.

The biggest difference between the bikes in terms of frame and build quality is their weight and footprint. The Schwinn 1C4 weighs 106 pounds and needs a space that accommodates its 48.7″ L × 21.2″ W × 51.8″ H dimensions.

The Peloton is much bigger at 135 pounds and needs a space requirement of 59″L × 53″ H × 23″ W. Ultimately, the Peloton Original packs more weight and stability than the Schwinn IC4. However, the Schwinn 1C4’s lighter weight load makes it easier to transport or relocate.

As for the sturdiness, I found Peloton to be more stable during high intensity workouts than Schwinn bike which is a bit wobbly during high intensity workouts, specially fi you are a heavier riders. Also, Peloton bike has higher quality and sturdier bearings and crank system than Schwinn IC4.

Console and Workout App Showdown: Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton

Console and workout app of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton
Comparison of the console and workout app features on Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike.

The Schwinn 1C4 bike comes with a traditional 3×4 inch LCD screen that tracks workout statistics like calories, time, distance, RPM, and resistance level but no wattage reading. On the contrary, the Peloton Original bike is equipped with a state-of-the-art 21.5 HD touchscreen monitor that tracks everything Schwinn IC4 does + wattage.

When using the Peloton bike, you don’t need an additional screen/device to install Neftlix or the Peloton app but on Schwinn IC4 you need to use an additional device like a tablet or monitor to install the application of your choice.

Although neither of the indoor bike have built in pre-designed workouts, they do allow you to customise a workout based on time, calories, or distance.

Peloton bike is built to connect with the Peloton application. It’s a closed system and the goal is to sell you the app membership which is $12.99 to access certain recorded classes but to access all the content on the app including live classes, you would need to pay $39 per month. Unfortnetly you can’t connect the Peloton (at least not out of the box) with Zwift and other cycling apps.

On the other hand, Schwinn IC4 has an open system with a Bluetooth transmitter that enables connection to all major cycling applications including Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, and a few others.

Peloton bike synchs all your information with the Peloton app but Schwinn IC4 only synchs your RPM with the Peloton app. So, as you can there is a limitation with Schwinn IC4 despite connecting with the Peloton app.

It’s also worth noting that Schwinn IC4 comes with a free 1-month membership to the JRNY app but I am not crazy about the JRNY app because it’s not as immersive as Peloton app and I don’t think it’s worth paying $19.99 per month.

In conclusion, Peloton bike beats the Schwinn in terms of display monitor and app content but it’s doesn’t connect as many applications as Schwinn IC4 does. So, if you like only streaming live classes from the Peloton app and join a workout community, I recommend the Peloton bike but if you like trying different cycling apps (not just the Peloton), Schwinn IC4 is better.

Resistance Battle: Which Bike Offers Better Resistance?

Resistance comparison of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike
Comparing the resistance mechanisms of Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike.

Unlike the old IC3, Schwinn has upgraded its IC4 to include magnetic resistance, which is undoubtedly one of the best resistance systems out there. Peloton bikes have long used magnetic resistance, so it is no surprise that the Peloton Original has this feature.

Thanks to the magnetic resistance settings, both bikes offer a whisper-quiet and seamless riding experience. But by virtue of its heavier flywheel, the Schwinn 1C4 bike’s resistance feels more inertia.

On both of these indoor bikes you can adjust the resistance via a knob to suit your workout or ability. However, neither of these two spin bikes (Schwinn IC4 and Peloton) have automatic resistance. It basically means that you have to manually change your resistance when you are following an online Peloton class or competing in a Zwift cycling race.

I am aware that Peloton Bike+ has been developed with automatic magnetic resistance and can change intensity based on online cycling instructor recommends. But as you can imagine Peloton Bike+ is more expensive than the Peloton Bike and not everyone’s budget.

As far as drive train goes, there’s nothing significant to compare here as both bikes are engineered with a belt drive. And it is no news that belt-driven systems are the best drive systems compared to chain driven systems, owning to their low-noise volume, pedalling stroke, and low-maintenance rating.

Adjustability and Comfort: Comparing Schwinn IC4 and Peloton

Adjustability and comfort comparison of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike
Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike adjustability and comfort features.

The adjustability of an exercise bike directly impacts its comfort level. The Peloton Original bike comes with fully adjustable seat that goes up, down, forward, and backward but its handlebars only adjust vertically.

That said, there is an additional accessory called Peloton handlebar adjuster sold and made by a third party that you can buy and install on your bike to enable horizontal adjustment on the bike. This is accessory is sold separately and costs around 150 BP.

Despite the fact that Peloton bike handlebars don’t adjust horizontally, they are super sturdy and comfortable thanks to their non-slip dipped coat. They also stay firmly in place and don’t wobble when you ride the bike out of the saddle.

Now, let’s talk about Schwinn IC4’s comfort and adjustability. Like the Peloton Original, the Schwinn 1C4 bike also comes with a fully adjustable seat that goes up, down, forward, and backward. However, to be honest it’s not as comfortable as Peloton seat.

Also, the seat doesn’t have a wide range of vertical adjustability. On Peloton I am able to lower the seat for my nephew who is 145 CM but on the Schwinn IC4 if you are shorter than 160 CM, you can’t comfortably reach the bottom of the pedals.

On the positive side, Schwinn IC4 handlebars offer vertical and horizontal adjustments which is better than Peloton because without any additional accessories you can do forward and backward adjustment.

Another positive aspect of Schwinn’s handlebars is that I can easily without putting much effort adjust the handlebars because it’s not as heavy as Peloton’s handlebars. Peloton has a 22″ inch screen attached to the handlebars which makes the vertical adjustment a bit difficult.

So, to wrap this part up, you should know Peloton has a more comfortable seat with a wider range of adjustment while Schwinn has a more comfortable handlebars that allow more adjustment than Peloton bike.

Pedal Quality: Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike

Pedal quality comparison of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike
Close-up of the pedals on Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike.

The Schwinn IC4 bike and the Peloton Original bike adopt different pedal and cleat styles. While the Schwinn IC4 features dual-link pedals with SPD cleats on one side and clipless toe cages on the other, the Peloton Original employs LOOK Delta cleats and pedals.

You’d need special cycling shoes compatible with Delta cleats to use the Peloton pedals. This means you’d have to buy these shoes directly from Peloton or another vendor, increasing the bike’s overall cost.

While Peloton gives you no choice other than Delta cleats, the Schwinn 1C4 offers a choice of using special cycling spd shoes or any athletic shoes to clip in. The toe cages are in one word: convenient! Plus, it is more cost-effective!

In conclusion, both indoor bikes are compatible with clipping shoes, one with spd type and one with Look Delta. I highly recommend avoid wear gym shoes with either of the bikes. Regular shoes have soft soles which reduces power efficiency.

Plus, because the fact that regular shoes don’t slip into the pedals, they are not safe and there is a risk of slipping which can really hurt your shin bone. Also, regular shoes are not as comfortable as Look Delta or SPD shoes because you can’t pull the pedals on the upstroke. So, no matter which of these exercise bikes you end up buying, I highly recommend also buying a pair of men or women indoor cycling shoes.

Setup Simplicity: Which Bike is Easier to Assemble?

Setup simplicity comparison of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike
Comparing the assembly process of Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike.

The Peloton’s assembly is pretty straightforward. Most times, the company sends the bike almost completely assembled, so you don’t have to sweat it. Peloton’s delivery team is helpful at best; they’d walk you through the assembly and move the bike to its reserved spot.

On the other hand, the Schwinn IC4 arrives in a large yet narrow cardboard box. The box is quite heavy, so you’d need assistance to move the item. Nonetheless, its assembly isn’t a herculean task, provided you follow the attached instructions.

Attaching the pedals to the bike’s crankshaft is the most challenging part of the Schwinn 1C4 assembly. You’d have to tread with caution and strictly follow the directions therein to avoid damaging the pedals. The Peloton, in this case, is the easiest to assemble.

The actual parts that you need to assemble with both of these bikes include pedals, seat, handlebars, monitor, frame legs. The flywheel, drive, resistance, and cranks come assembled on the main frame. Both stationary bikes come with assembly tools and straight forward instructions to follow.

Price Comparison: Which Bike is More Affordable?

Price comparison of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike
Comparing the price points of Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike.

This is one category that sets the Peloton Original apart from the Schwinn IC4 bike. The Peloton Original starts at £1,495, with a one-month Peloton subscription fee. Conversely, the Schwinn IC4 costs £999, a one-month JRNY subscription fee inclusive.

There is a huge price gap between both bikes, courtesy of Peloton’s premium features and Schwinn’s more basic ones. Though a low-budget bike, the Schwinn has a competitive advantage. Aside from its basic screen, it competes fair and square with the Peloton.

In a nutshell, you should opt for the Schwinn IC4 bike if you are looking to save money or want a no-frills screen. But if you want all the perks that come with a high-tech exercise bike, you should consider the Peloton Original.

Warranty Comparison: Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike

Warranty comparison of Schwinn IC4 vs. Peloton Bike
Warranty details for Schwinn IC4 and Peloton Bike.

A bike’s warranty says a lot about its lifespan and quality. The Schwinn 1C4 comes with a 10-year warranty on the frame, a three-year warranty on the parts, and a year for labor. This warranty is impressive at best.

The Peloton Original offers a 12-month warranty on the HD touchscreen from the date of purchase, a five-year warranty on frame, a year warranty for all parts and components, and a year for labor.

Ultimately, both bikes offer fairly reasonable warranty coverage, but the Schwinn’s 10-year warranty on frame beats that of the Peloton’s 5-year warranty. Overall, it is best to buy good-quality bikes whose warranty holds a bright future.

Final Verdict: Schwinn IC4 or Peloton Bike?

Anyone looking for an affordable indoor cycling exercise bike with spectacular features should consider the Schwinn 1C4 bike. The bike offers all that you need to enjoy a pleasant and productive ride.

It’s one of the best spin bikes to use with the Peloton and Zwift app, ride with or without cycling shoes and keep tabs on your workout activity. Provided you don’t care much for high-tech features, the Schwinn IC4 is a bike that is worth every penny!

If you’d like to replicate the indoor cycling class from the four walls of your home, then the Peloton Original bike is the bike for you. The bike’s remarkable workout catalog coupled with seasoned and interesting instructors will keep you on your toes longer than you planned.

Its high-tech screen is an asset that makes the classes more appealing. So if you have a competitive streak and fancy a high-tech premium exercise bike, then you should consider the Peloton Original bike.

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as of July 13, 2024 6:34 pm

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Original Peloton Bike | Indoor Stationary Exercise Bike with Immersive 22” HD Touchscreen
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Pro tips when choosing either of these exercise bikes

  1. If you like the idea of the bike changing its resistance automatically when connected to Zwift or Peloton, you will need to buy a SmartSpin2K accessory and install it on the resistance knob of the bike. It costs around 200 BP and it’s easy to install.
  2. If you want your Peloton bike to connect to more just the Peloton application, you can buy the SmartSpin2K accessory which not only enables automatic resistance but also make your speed and cadence transmittable to Zwift and other indoor cycling apps.
  3. It doesn’t matter you buy the Schwinn IC4 or Peloton Bike you need to wear padded indoor cycling shorts to avoid saddle soreness and bruises.
  4. Before starting to ride either of these two spin bikes, you need to adjust the bike’s seat and handlebars for your height.
  5. If you buy the Schwinn IC4, you can either use gym shoes or spd clipping shoes but if you buy the Peloton bike, you will need to use a set of clipping cycling Look Delta shoes.
Sayed Hamed Hosseiny Author at cyclingindoor.co.uk

About The Author: Sayed Hamed Hosseiny

Hi, I'm Sayed Hamed Hosseiny, a seasoned semi-professional indoor cyclist with nearly two decades of experience in fitness equipment. Though retired from competitive cycling and rowing, I'm passionate about sharing my coaching expertise. Join me as I explore the world of indoor bikes and rowing machines in the UK, offering valuable insights to maximize your fitness journey.

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