Stationary bikes are some of the best options for getting a good cardio workout, especially if you don’t want to pay for expensive gym memberships. They help burn fat, build stronger muscles, and improve your heart health. More importantly, some of them allow you to connect to instructor-led workout sessions, whether live or pre-recorded, which could be a major booster when you need some motivation to stay on track.
Schwinn and Echelon are two popular brands that offer this functionality and perhaps more. There are other brands like Peloton, but they usually cost a lot more.
Schwinn IC4 Overview and Main Features
The Schwinn IC4 comes with frills you would normally expect from a high-end bike. It has magnetic resistance with up to 100 micro-adjustment levels. The flywheel is quite heavy (about 40 pounds) and ensures the bike delivers a smooth and quiet ride.
The bike can support users with up to 350 pounds of weight.
The main downside is that it doesn’t come with a touchscreen monitor. However, it has a simple console that displays basic workout metrics such as time, distance, heart rate, and speed. It also allows you to stream live classes on your own device.
Echelon Connect is a series, not just a single bike. Amongst these, the model that comes close to the Schwinn IC4 is probably the EX1. Other bikes in the series include the EX3, EX5, and EX5S.
Some of the main highlights of the Echelon Connect include Bluetooth connectivity, high precision resistance, front and back handlebar adjustment, a swiveling device holder, a comfortable seat, and the ability to pair with the Echelon fitness app.
Like the IC4, the EX1 does not come with a console, so you will need your phone or tablet to monitor your stats.
Our Verdict: Echelon Connect vs Schwinn IC4
Overall, the Echelon Connect and Schwinn are both great. They are more affordable than higher-priced models like the Peloton yet deliver a smooth and quiet workout. They are both “connected” and allow you to access a huge library of live and on-demand spinning classes.
However, while the Schwinn IC4 only allows you to connect to popular fitness apps like Peloton, Zwift, and others, the Echelon Connect has its own compatible app and hosts its own classes. This includes at least 17 classes daily, covering several workout options such as yoga, cycling, and others.
Both bikes have a similar price point, with the IC4 costing around $800 while Echelon Connect EX1 is pegged at about $900. The price of the EX1 might vary depending on the type of subscription you choose; however, the standard rate is $39 per month. If you’re using the IC4 with the Peloton app, you will also be required to pay for a monthly subscription service of $39.
Overall, both the IC4 and Echelon Connect have good quality and will deliver great value for your money. However, we think the Echelon Connect is a more complete and well-rounded bike.