Indoor bikes allow us the convenience of working out at home when we want. The Schwinn IC3 and the Echelon EX3 are among the best mid-range indoor bikes on the market today.
In this article, we would like to tell you, in detail, which one would be best for you. Here’s a breakdown of how we intend to do that.
We’ll start with a glance at the brands behind the two bikes before jumping into a detailed review of the two. This will cover their features, pros, cons, and customer reviews.
We’ll then outline a comprehensive buyer guide on indoor bikes then give you a quick summary of their similarities and differences in table form.
We’ll tell you the benefits of using either bike, followed by a list of links we deem useful in expanding your knowledge on indoor cycling. A final verdict will end the article. Let’s get started!
Schwinn IC3 vs Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Indoor Bike Review: The Brands
About the “Echelon” Brand
Echelon was an American company founded in 1988 in Santa Clara, California, United States. It’s currently owned and operated by Adesto technologies. It was in the power metering business until late 2014. It then moved to IoT and fitness products like the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike. The brand is very successful locally and internationally.
About the “Schwinn” Brand
German-born mechanical engineer Ignaz Schwinn founded The Schwinn Bicycle company in 1860 in Chicago, US. It dominated the American biking space for most of the 20th century. After declaring bankruptcy in 1995, it was acquired by Dorel industries and is still in operation to date. They now make cheap, quality bikes like the Schwinn IC3.
Schwinn IC3 vs Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Indoor Bike Comparison
Schwinn IC3 Indoor Bike Review
The Schwinn IC3 is the successor to the successful Schwinn IC2 indoor bike. It comes with an updated frame, drive train, and media capabilities. It costs nearly double the price. Is it worth it? Let’s breakdown all the features you get on the bike:
1. Build and Construction
The Schwinn IC3 indoor bike measures 45” long, 23” wide, and 49” tall and weighs 100lbs. You are most likely to find a suitable spot for it in the house. It comes in parts in a box. A user manual is included to guide you through the 30minutes-1 hour process. Tools are provided.
Black is the only color option and it looks great. There are a few red touches here and there to make the thing appear more sporty—a front-mounted, 40lbs flywheel powers your rides. Dual-sided, 9/16” thread pedals come standard-an SPD compatible and toe cage sides. You can also swap the pedals for another of your choice.
Twin stabilizers, joined by a center pole, keep the bike in place no matter the activity. Combine this with its industrial-grade steel frame, and you can see how the bike supports riders weighing up to 300lbs. Aero-style handlebars with a dynamic loop offer multiple grip positions for a comfortable ride.
An LCD console is attached to the bars. It displays variables such as time, distance, calories, and RPMs. A media holder to clip in your tablet or iPad allows you to watch your favorite spin classes from the comfort of your seat. There’s an oversized water bottle holder to ensure you don’t have to pause your workout to rehydrate.
The seat is competitive style and easily replaceable if you don’t like it.
2. Adjustability and Comfort
First off, the bike runs on a belt drive. It’s silent and requires no maintenance. This means that your early morning and late evening workouts will not bother anyone. A well-padded, ventilated seat ensures that you can stay on the bike for longer. The handlebars are also padded for additional comfort.
I like the positioning of the pedal compartment. It’s slightly ahead of the seat pole. This puts the rider in a strategic position for low-impact training and maximum power transfer.
Thus, you aren’t likely to suffer any injuries. I’m not a big fan of the front-mounted flywheel due to sweat exposure, which may corrode the flywheel over time.
I found a quality microfiber towel to be a good fix. The handlebar is fully adjustable-fore and aft. This ensures that a diverse size of riders can use the same bike.
The seat is also fully-adjustable- up, down, front and back. Not only does this accommodate different rider heights and weights, but it also changes the angle of contact of your feet on the pedal.
This adjusts your level of energy input and riding comfort. You can play around with all these different settings to find the ideal. The Echelon Fit App will ease your journey from beginner to pro via varying levels of difficulty and intensity.
3. Resistance and Drive Train
You have the option to either pedal from the SPD or toe cage side. I prefer the earlier for its better riding efficiency. The bike employs a friction-based resistance system. It uses a proprietary, high-quality, long-lasting material that runs smooth. You may have to replace it after some years, which is not so bad.
The outstanding quality of this type of resistance is that it’s infinitely adjustable. You will never overpower this thing, unlike magnetic types.
But, I’m not sure that will ever be necessary. The difficulty level is manipulated using a dial-style, fully-calibrated knob on the center stem. It’s within reach and easy to use.
The Schwinn IC3 indoor bike supports Bluetooth. You can pair it with your heart rate monitor, cadence tracker, and other compatible sensors. The aforementioned LCD console uses 2AA batteries that may last for several months or years, depending on usage. You can also use your favorite compatible apps like Zwift, Explore the World, MyFitnessPal, etc.
- Reasonable price
- Small footprint
- Infinite resistance
- Excellent build quality
- Multiple app compatibility
- Friction-based resistance requires maintenance.
What Customers Have to Say About the Schwinn IC3 Indoor Bike
After scouring the internet for customer review, I found the general response t the Schwinn IC3 to be rather positive. Below are snipped images for what some verified buyers had to say about the product:
One customer said:
Another customer said:
Another customer said:
Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Indoor Bike Review
Echelon is among the most reputable indoor bike manufacturers in the world. While the Echelon EX3 is the entry model to its “SMart Connect” series, it has a lot going on in the performance, durability, and electronic training. Let’s breakdown all of its capabilities in the subsequent section:
1. Build and Construction
The Echelon EX3 has a familiar look from Peloton. It’s unmistakably related thanks to the use of a similar, carbo-dipped steel frame. At first glance, the bike looks premium with its deep black paint job.
The Echelon logo is repeatedly printed on the rear-mounted flywheel and the seat stem. Nothing exaggerated here; it’s mostly a minimalist design.
Ergonomic handlebars with two grip positions provide excellent riding angles on the bike. Right in the middle is the electronics compartment with a USB power output.
Right above the handlebars is a tablet holder that spins up to 1800 for an ample view. You can use your android tablet or iPad to access the Echelon Fit app.
The Echelon Ex3 Smart Connect bike measures 54.33 x 19.88 x 54.92 inches and can comfortably fit in small spaces. A center pole connects front and rear stabilizers to support more intense workouts.
The entire package weighs 126lbs and maybe a challenge to move around by yourself. Caliper wheels are built into the front stabilizers for the same reasons.
A well-padded competition-style seat makes long rides bearable. An easy-to-reach resistance adjustment knob is fitted on the handlebar pole. You also get two weight holders attached behind the seat.
These also double as your biking water bottle holders, so you never have to pause your training to reach for your beverage.
2. Adjustability and Comfort
The handlebar’s fore and aft position can be adjusted by pulling a lever located on its stem. Different riders can find an ideal riding height for their body frame. Besides, they are well-padded, have excellent traction even when you sweat, and offer 2 grip positions to reduce monotonous riding.
The seat is well-aerated and padded for maximum comfort. It’s also fully adjustable( up, down, front and back) using two sets of levers mounted underneath. Again, people of different heights can benefit from the bike. The bike offers 32 resistance levels to keep you challenged as you improve your athletic performance.
You can swap the seat and pedals since they both use standard attachment threads. This ensures that you can customize the bike to your liking.
3. Resistance and Drive Train
The Echelon EX3 Smart Connect bike uses a belt drive train. It’s silent and maintenance-free. This brings huge repair cost savings. It also means you can workout at any time without disturbing your family. It’s smooth, comfortable, and low-impact on your tendons and joints.
A 33-lb flywheel delivers an experience as close to outdoor riding as possible. The momentum is adequate to maintain high RPMs as you would on an ordinary bike. A magnetic resistance unit offers 32 levels of difficulty. These can be adjusted on the flywheel using the dial-style resistance knob. It offers noticeable, fine adjustments.
With the Echelon Fit app subscription, the full utility of this resistance is unlocked. As previously iterated, the app pairs with the bike via Bluetooth and allows you access to a diverse video class collection.
4. Echelon Fit App
One of the most outstanding perks of getting this bike is the Echelon Fit app compatibility. The platform has over 30 world-class trainers uploading high-quality content. You can peruse through live and pre-recorded classes. It’s gonna cost you $39.99/month for an unlimited subscription.
The unpaid version of the app sucks. You can only access the free ride feature, which doesn’t add much to your overall cycling experience. The paid option is the real deal, especially with the simplicity of the user interface.
The available classes include Cycling, Rowing, Running, Strength Training, Yoga, pedaling, rowing, and running. Therefore, you can technically use the app with your treadmill, rowing machine, or elliptical. On the bottom side of the dash, you’ll find 3 sections- resistance, output, and cadence.
You can also choose to view tertiary metrics such as distance, speed, calories, and output in kilojoules. On the top right corner, your time-lapse is displayed. Then on the left pane is the leaderboard, where top performers for the specific class are ranked. Your video class is displayed in the background of all these.
I may not entirely cover what the apps bring on board, but I’ll tell you classes are never going to be an issue. There’s a strong online community where you can share your experiences, compete, form workout groups, and find tips on getting the best off your bike.
The bike supports Bluetooth via which you can pair the app as well as other Bluetooth-smart devices. However, such devices, for instance, a heart rate monitor, can only be viewed through the app. There’s no in-built LCD console. This is no big deal since most of those computers are simply outdated!
- Durable steel frame
- Long warranty period
- It lacks an in-built display.
What Customers Have to Say About the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Indoor Bike
Echelon closely follows Peloton’s footprint. So I was curious about what people had to say about the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike, given its relatively low price. To my surprise, the reception is great. Below is a snip of what some verified buyers had to say about the bike:
One customer said:
Another customer said:
Another customer said:
Schwinn IC3 vs Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Indoor Bike Buyer’s Guide: Things to Consider Before Buying An Indoor Bike
Indoor bikes might be all you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. They are simple to use, and there are a ton of free and paid spin classes to take advantage of. So I’d like to consider buying one to be a life-changing decision. This is why you can’t afford to go wrong.
To find an ideal indoor bike for your budget, consider the following factors:
I’m assuming the cost of an indoor bike, as-is for me, is one of if not the most important considerations before purchase. However, I’ve since adopted a different idea of how to approach the price of a bike. Instead of making decisions based on budget, I prioritize the health impact I would like to achieve while using the equipment.
For instance, if you’d like to use video spin classes on your bike, you may opt for a model supporting a media display and app compatibility. On the other side, if you’d like to just ride freely without any guidance or for fun, then you can get the simplest bike. Either way, quality always comes at a price.
More dollars will earn you a longer service life, better performance, and reliability. The contrary is true for lower prices. You can rest knowing that you can get a great bike for a relatively affordable price. Thanks to stiff competition, forcing quality up and price down. A great example would be Schwinn bikes, which are known just for that.
Several companies such as Echelon and Peloton are happy to take your high bucks if you are into premium products. For this, you get the best spinning experience possible. It’s up to you to judge the eligibility of the price tag!
2. Customizability and Comfort
An indoor spin bike must be comfortable to ride. This is because any worthwhile progress requires considerable effort and time spent on the bike. The seat should have a comfortable form factor. To this end, I recommend competition-style seats. It should also be well-padded and ventilated for enhanced comfort.
The handlebars should be well-padded and have an excellent grip. This ensures maximum power transfer, coziness, and stability of the rider. The pedals should offer a full range of motion. This allows your tendons and joints to stretch as designed, thus, reducing injury and delivering low-impact training.
Two-way adjustability of the handlebars means you can change its fore and aft position. This allows you to get an ideal riding position for your height. The seat should also be 4 way adjustable( height and horizontal position relative to the handlebars) for the same reasons.
The media holder should also be tiltable for better tablet/iPad/ in-built display viewing angles.
Bluetooth is the first thing you need to have. It enables you to connect anything, and I mean anything on the bike. Oh, my bad, you may also need ANT+ to get the full scope of connectivity. So what can you pair with a bike? Bluetooth headphones, heart rate monitors, cadence trackers, and any other gadget you can imagine.
Next up is the fitness app. This can either be native to the bike or 3rd-party. Either way, some apps are more able than others. For instance, the most basic ones can only show you content and let you manually adjust the resistance, and your effort, of course! Others can automatically adjust the resistance per the tutor’s instruction.
This means that the resistance should be electronically accessible, aka electromagnetic resistance. And there are plenty on the market. Next up is an optional onboard console that checks and displays basic metrics like speed, distance, and time. They typically come in the form of an LCD.
Such computers, though, may or may not be reliable, depends on how lucky you get. Translation: you may not find them all that useful. This is further amplified because you can easily whip up your own 3rd-party set tech gadgets to use on the bike.
More premium models come with full-blown giant color displays that have better utility.
It’s going to cost you a few extra hundred dollars. Depending on how you see it, this may be a great option if you don’t want to think too much. Otherwise, you can grab a nice tablet for cheap and spend the remaining cash to buy other wearables. Just know that tech can really help you fast-track your fitness journey.
4. Customer Service and Warranty
A free-return policy should be non-negotiable if the manufacturer has confidence in its indoor bike. It should be valid for at least 30 days to allow you to do thorough testing of the product. The company/ vendor should be reachable via phone/ text/email or have an active brick-and-mortar outlet.
Do expect some form of warranty on the bike. The frame should have a longer warranty, at least 2 years. Other wearable parts and electronics normally have shorter warranty periods due to their vulnerable nature.
Finally, do well to confirm that current owners of the specific indoor bike are happy with its performance- as in, it should have mostly positive reviews!
5. Frame and Size
The frame of a durable indoor bike should be made of high-quality Aluminium or steel. The latter is my personal preference. Aluminum may be ideal if you prioritize portability(e.g., foldable bikes). Stronger materials will afford you a higher weight limit, which is good by default.
The bike should have stabilizers to keep it still when you are going crazy! A pair of moving wheels are also great when you need to relocate the bike. Check on the vendor website for the bike’s dimensions to ensure that you can create ample space for it in your home.
Finally, confirm that your height is within the bike’s limit.
While these are not in any way necessary, they are nice to have. I’m talking about water bottle holders, weight holders, towel racks, gadget trays, and cleats. They just give you a better bang for your buck! To my surprise, several companies offer one or more of these items! So look out!
7. Resistance and Drive Train
Finally, unlike a toddler and its shoes, you must never outgrow your indoor bike. This means that you should have as many resistance levels as possible. It could be friction or magnetic-based.
As the name suggests, friction-based resistance mechanisms use pads to rub on the flywheel with different intensities in sync with your lever/knob setting.
They offer up to infinite resistance but may require some maintenance and replacement with time. Magnetic resistance units may use permanent or electromagnets. Both of which deliver the same outcome.
Permanent magnets are manual and do not require the bike to be plugged into a wall outlet. The other type does.
These are maintenance-free! However, they offer limited resistance. Which, for your information, may never be surpassed by a rider’s strength. The drive train maybe a belt or chain drive. Belt drives are silent and maintenance-free.
Chain drives a little noisy and may require regular lubrication and tension-adjustment to maintain good ride quality.
Similarities & Differences
Similarities between The Schwinn IC3 vs Echelon EX3 Indoor bikes
|ASPECT||Schwinn IC3||Echelon EX3|
|Water bottle holder||✅||✔️|
|9/16” pedal thread||✅||✔️|
|Heart rate monitor telemetry||✅||✔️|
|300lb weight limit||✅||✔️|
Differences between The Schwinn IC3 vs Echelon EX3 Indoor bikes
|ASPECT||Schwinn IC3||Echelon EX3|
|dimensions||45” long, 23” wide, and 49” tall||59″ L x 23″ W x 53″ H|
|3rd party app compatibility||✅||✖️|
Benefits-(Schwinn IC3 vs Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Indoor Bike )
The Schwinn IC3 and the Echelon EX3 are relatively small bikes in terms of footprint. This means that most people may find a place for themselves in the house. Meaning you never have to fit gym costs and commute time into your daily schedule. You can simply work out whenever you want. This makes it easy to get your daily recommended dose of physical activity.
Echelon Ex3 and Schwinn IC3 indoor bikes don’t run on any paths or roads. This means that they remain planted no matter what you are doing. Therefore, shock on your bones, ligaments, and muscles is eliminated, allowing for safer rides. It is handy for people with limiting pre-existing conditions such as Osteoporosis.
Juggling between the demands of different training videos as you cycle, put your coordination to the test. Do this long enough, and your body parts will be in full, instant corporation.
Working out on the Schwinn IC3 or Echelon Ex3 bikes is a great way to get pumped up. When your body is physically stimulated, it produces endorphins. These are hormones that make you feel great and forget about your trouble for a moment.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
The Echelon EX3 and the Schwinn IC3 are a sure way to burn many calories. They also raise your heart rate through a dynamic range of riding challenges. These two factors are what you need to improve your heart’s efficiency, thus, its overall health.
Independent Reviews and Recommendations
Check out the following links to further information on the Schwinn IC3 and Echelon EX3 indoor bikes, ideas on how to develop a solid riding schedule, stick to it, and the benefits to expect:
The Schwinn IC3 is a good-quality, well-built, and fairly-priced indoor bike. It’s set to deliver sufficient cardio training for all users within that budget range. The Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike is a strong, modern, good-looking, tech-compatible indoor bike. It rides smooth, and the Echelon Fit app opens up a world of possibilities of what you can do with it.
I recommend it for anyone who would like to enjoy the benefits of fitness tutorials and tech. Thanks for reading to the end. Do check out more tech and fitness content on the site, just like this. Until next time my friend, stay safe and fit! #Cheers!