I wanted an exercise bike. I wanted an exercise bike bad! I had just spent the whole summer trying to get myself into shape on my bicycle. The mountain bike trails had just started to seem fun and then winter arrived. Winter with its long hours of darkness and infernal cold, both of which would keep me off the Mountain bike trails. I needed to find a solution. My idea was to purchase an exercise bike.
Researching what exercise bike to buy
I started to research exercise bikes. I knew the big names! There were two of them. They were the first ones that I went to! I loved the features! They each had accompanying collections of classes, personal trainers and videos to utilize while on the bike??? Awesome! It came with a set of hand weights? Even better! The features seemed quite nice! I was ready to sign up immediately! Oh wait! The price is how much???
I didn’t have a couple thousand dollars to spend on a bike! Sure they sounded like great bikes with amazing features. But, I am a budget girl and I just couldn’t see spending that much money. I was quite disappointed and honestly gave up for a few days. After all, I couldn’t afford an exercise bike so I may as well even look any more. But then I remembered reading an article written by someone that had found a decently priced bike on Amazon. I was back in the research business!
Finding exercise bikes within my budget
I started to look for bikes that were in my specific price range. There were surprisingly quite a few. I scrolled through bikes constantly online and I visited stores in order to try a variety of stles. The numbers and specifications started to run together in my mind. I made a list with prices, features and specifications listed for each bike. I even included the high priced bikes. I wanted to know what the extra money really bought! Slowly I started to whittle down my list as I learned more and more about exercise bikes.
The first and easiest thing that I did to narrow the list a bit was too look at each bike's flywheel. Heavier flywheels seemed to be a more solid and sturdy bike, especially if I wanted a bike that would allow me to comfortably and safely ride out of the saddle on my indoor rides. I eliminated all of the bikes with a lighter flywheel.
There were two features pertaining to our physical features that were important. One important feature was the ability for a bike that would be comfortable for myself, a 5’6” female and for Jason who is a 6’ male. We needed a bike that would allow us both to easily ride the bike with just minimal adjustments. The other physical feature that had to be taken into account was the physical limitations of the bike. I was 240 pounds. I needed a bike that could handle someone of that weight! A few more bikes were knocked off the list.
The next thing I looked at when I was working to eliminate bikes from my list was the type of drive train the bike had. The two options were chair driven or belt driven. From my research I decided that I wanted to have a belt driven. It appeared that they were a bit more quiet and less apt to have mechanical issues. I was able to knock quite a few of the bikes off my list.
From there it was simply a thing of deciding how much I wanted to spend and what features I found important enough to spend an extra dollar or two to have on my exercise. I chose the schwinn IC3 as my bike. It gave me the biggest bang for the buck!
Putting the Schwerin IC3 together
The Schwinn IC3 comes in a large flat box. It does have some weight to it and it took both of us to carry it up the steps to our apartment. We laid it on the living room floor and I couldn’t wait to put it together! We didn’t delay and opened the box immediately. The instructions clear and concise. The parts easily were identifiable. We literally had this bike put together within 5-10 minutes. While we worked together, it could easily be put together by just one person. Even a person with minimal skills!
The first rides on my Schwinn IC3
This bike is a dream! I immediately hopped on and it worked perfectly. The simple computer/monitor fired up and worked with no problems. I was able to easily adjust the bike to make it fit my body. It was quiet and smooth! It was everything I wanted!
The only issue that I have encountered after a few months of riding is that the seat seems to slide, even whilst tightened down as tightly as is humanly possible. Luckily for me, I feel comfortable with the seat far back so I just leave it in the back position and let the metal lip hold it in place. In fairness, I am a 240 pound rider. That could be affecting the hold of that seat.
Overall review of the Schwinn IC3
I would highly recommend the Schwinn IC3 exercise bike. . I did test ride some of the higher prices bikes at various stores. This bike performs exactly as they did. The sacrifice is in the bells and whistles. The ‘computer’ is quite basic but gives exactly what you need! I have spent quite a bit of time on this bike (and more to come as we are in the middle of a heat wave) and I love this bike just as much now as I did when I first bought the Schwinn IC3!
For tips and ideas to workout when the weather is not cooperating, check out this post about exercising during a heat wave.