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Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4 - Best Alternatives for Peloton

Carlos Glover
November 25, 2022

In the indoor bike world, the biggest and most popular name out there is the Peloton bike. However, the bike has a steep price tag of over $2,000. As an alternative, the biking community has found Bowflex and Schwinn bikes to be the best options to go with. Overall, they are quality bikes and have a very affordable price for future bike owners.

I have a Peloton for my indoor training program. However, I tried these bikes on plenty of occasions. I´ve been riding them over the past few days, trying to gather some information about them.

In this article, we´ll review everything you need to know about the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 models, and if they´re a good alternative to Peloton. Keep reading to find out more.

The Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 Comparison

Let's start by saying that the Bowflex C6 and Schwinn IC4 are both stationary bikes. Although they have different branding, names and different prices, both brands are owned by the same parent company: Nautilus.

However, there are a few minor differences between these modern exercise bikes. Let´s take a look at them.

Price Comparison

First off, a head to head comparison of the price:

Bowflex C6

The Bowflex C6 stationary bike has a price tag of $1,000. You could potentially find it for even cheaper, depending on the shop.

This price is good because it does not include a screen.. However, if you have a tablet, you can make it work well and find some good value both for your bike and tablet.

Schwinn IC4

The Schwinn IC4 bike has a price tag of $1200 with a small LCD screen included. Nevertheless, you can often find it for cheaper with a discount, or depending on the shop you´re in.

App Compatibility

A crucial factor to know is which apps can you use each bike with. Here are some apps the two bikes are compatible with:

Bowflex C6

  • Peloton App
  • Zwift
  • Sufferfest
  • Rouvy
  • FulGaz
  • Tacx
  • TrainerRoad
  • MyFitnessPal

Schwinn IC4

  • Peloton
  • Zwift
  • JRNY
  • Sufferfest
  • FulGaz
  • TrainerRoad
  • MyFitnessPal

Ease of Use

How easy and enjoyable it is to use your bike is also an important factor.

Bowflex C6

Unlike most bikes, the bowflex keeps things really simple. It isn't a bike with fancy equipment and high tech screens. Rather, it's just a bike with a simple mechanism.

You can enhance your experience by adding your own tablet as a screen. However, this isn't a must. You can also use fitness apps to design your workout routine. You could even take on demand classes if you so wish. Nevertheless, you are free to use the bike as you see fit. (Pun intended).

Although the bike has a simple mechanism, it still has some cool features that make riding it very pleasant and relaxing.

Schwinn IC4

The Schwinn IC4 is a well-liked product. While it doesn't have the most luxurious equipment installed, it still makes for a pretty enjoyable ride.

The indoor cycling bike has quite a simple interface, which will tell you some statistics about your riding. In addition, via the bluetooth connectivity feature, you can connect to plenty of fitness apps and broadcast them on your bike.

The bike has a 40lb Flywheel and a magnetic resistance mechanism. This is the same mechanism the Peloton exercise bike has. You can adjust this to your needs.

Finally, you can stock up in water bottles, place the seat in a comfortable position, and put on some headphones because once you begin training, you won't want to stop.

Branding

As previously mentioned, Bowflex and Schwinn are owned by the same company. Therefore, the bike´s branding is another aspect to review.

In essence, what truly differentiates these two bikes is the price, design and some external features. However, these two bike models are basically identical under the hood. They work the same way and they do have a ton of similarities.

You might be wondering, why the price gap then?

That's where branding comes in. Each of these bike brands have different designs and are known for different areas of expertise. All that, in addition to some external features that really enhance the riding experience make the difference in price.

Smiling Women Working Out Using Indoor Bike

Warranty

One of the things which makes these bikes so appealing is the warranty. Let's take a look at the main points:

Bowflex C6

  • Frame: 10 years
  • Parts: 3 years
  • Electronics: 3 Years
  • Labor: 1 Year

You can buy the Bowflex Protection Plan which extends labor and coverage for 5 years. It costs $100.

Schwinn IC4

This comes with a standard warranty for the bikes. The duration of the warranty varies according to the bike part:

  • Frame: 10 Years
  • Mechanical System: 3 Years
  • Electrical System: 1 Year
  • Labor: 90 days

You can purchase a 5 years warranty to extend these plans, including labor in the case it needs some fixing.

Similarities and Differences Between Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4

Similarities

  • Both bikes have the same resistance mechanism under the hood.
  • Many other parts are also the same.
  • The riding experience from one indoor cycle to the other feels eerily similar.
  • Both bikes are compatible similar mobile apps.
  • Both bikes have hybrid pedals.
  • Both bikes are good alternatives to the Peloton bike.
  • Both offer quiet, smooth rides.

Differences

  • The most significant difference between the bike is the design.
  • The Schwinn IC4 bike comes with a small LCD screen, whereas the Bowflex C6 doesn´t have a screen, but rather a tablet holder.
  • These are some other external features which one bike possesses that the other doesn't, such as the dual water bottle holder on the Schwinn IC4 bike.

Pros and Cons

In an effort to better differentiate the bikes, we´ll also take a look at the pros and cons of each.

Bowflex C6

Pros

  • The riding experience is silent and smooth.
  • The bike is small in dimension and isn´t so heavy to move around.
  • You can do some quality workout programs.
  • The bike is quite simple, yet rides quite nicely.
  • It is a very recent model, so the technology on the bike is quite modern.
  • It has a nice design.
  • The bike is quite versatile, plus it helps you do a full body workout.
  • The bike seat is adjustable.

Cons

  • The bike is somewhat new to the market, so not everything about it like durability is known yet.
  • You´ll need an app subscription is you wish to access fitness content.
  • If you use your tablet, the screen will most likely be smaller than a Peloton or Nordictrack.

Schwinn IC4

Pros

  • You can connect the bike with a variety of fitness sites for some quality workout programs.
  • The bike is sturdy, and not so big or heavy as well.
  • It offers a lot of value.
  • It is a quiet and enjoyable ride.

Cons

  • The pedals can be a bit fragile.
  • The bike´s calibrations may be a bit tough to adjust.
  • There is an issue with the bike´s resistance levels, as they can feel uncalibrated sometimes.
  • The screen is too small.
Couple Working Out At Gym

Overview

Bowflex C6

Bowflex bikes are known throughout the indoor fitness world for the accessibility and quality their products have. Between them, one of the products that shines the brightest is the C6 spin bike.

The bike comes with:

  • 100 resistance levels
  • Magnetic Resistance Mechanism
  • SPD clips
  • Computer console
  • Tablet holder (The bike doesn't include a touch screen)

The Bowflex also offers some unique features which make the riding experience more enjoyable:

  • Bluetooth
  • Cadence sensors
  • App compatible
  • Smooth ride

The bike comes with an adjustable seat for four different positions, which should help you be comfortable for various workout programs.

Through the Bluetooth connectivity feature, you can connect your bike to fitness apps such as the Peloton app or Zwift. With the help of the cadence sensors, your bike should adjust to the intensity of the workout.

The Bowflex is considered to be one of the best exercise bikes in the market, due to it's affordable price and great features.

Finally, the bike was released in 2020, which makes it brand new. There might still be some things to learn about the bike, specifically regarding durability.

Schwinn IC4

Schwinn is a well-known brand. They´re famous for making all types of high quality bikes. Their indoor spin bikes are well known and they´re sought after by those who look for some value their for money.

The bike includes:

  • A small backlit LCD monitor
  • Multi-grip handlebars
  • 40lb. Flywheel
  • Hand weights
  • Dual water bottle holders

The Schwinn IC4 has plenty of features that you can find in a quality bike. Here are some of them:

  • Magnetic resistance mechanism
  • 100 levels of resistance
  • Adjustable seat in all four directions

The bike is a little smaller compared to other indoor cycling bikes, However, you can adjust the bike for your comfort, meaning people of all sizes can comfortably ride it.

The exercise bike´s magnetic resistance mechanism makes for a very smooth and quiet ride.

Both the Schwinn IC4 and the Peloton bikes have 100 different levels of resistance. However, one is not the same as the other. You can try looking for a chart to set the equivalent resistance.

Finally, the Schwinn IC4 is one of the best rated products in the market and is considered a top product in the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There Any Difference Between the Schwinn IC4 and Bowflex C6?

In a nutshell, they are different bikes. They come from different brands and have a few different features. However, the parent company of these two brands is the same and they are incredibly similar, especially under the hood.

How Does Bowflex C6 Compare to Peloton?

The Bowflex C6 can be a good and cheap alternative to the Peloton. Much like the Peloton, the Bowflex also has 100 resistance levels to regulate your training. However, bike calibration may vary from bike to bike.

If you have a bowflex, you can even get a subscription to the Peloton App on your phone and train from there. However, the Bowflex bike doesn't have a screen and the riding experience is different.

Group Cycling Workout At Fitness Center

Recommendations/Tips

  • The maximum weight capacity for both Bowflex C6 and the Schwinn IC4 is 150KG.
  • In a nutshell, both indoor cycles are basically the same bike.
  • You should get professional medical advice to see if you´re fit to ride an indoor bike before you go and buy one.
  • With a good fitness app, you can get a lot from any bike.

Final Thoughts

To settle the Bowflex C6 vs Schwinn IC4 case, let's say that these bikes are like brother and sister. They share similar traits, have a lot in common, but, in the end, they are their own thing.

Both these bikes are a great replacement for a Peloton. They´re quality products and you can really get a lot done with them. The hard part (exercising) depends on you, not on the bike.

Finally, which bike is the best? We´ll leave that to you. Each bike has its own pros and cons. You´ll know which is the right one for your needs and what you´re looking for. If they're not, you can always go for a Peloton. But be warned, it´ll be more expensive.

Carlos Glover
About the Author
I took up cycling in high school and haven’t looked back since. My love of cycling eventually evolved into an obsession with bicycles. From road bikes to mountain bikes, I have tried them all – and have the scars to prove it! I love sharing my findings with the rest of the cycling world as unsolicited as they may be.
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