Schwinn and Sole are two big names in the world of indoor cycling. Schwinn’s IC4 has been compared to much pricier, highly coveted models only with a lower price tag, and the SB 900 is Sole’s top indoor trainer. In this Schwinn IC4 vs Sole SB900 comparison we compare the two to determine which one would be a better choice for you.
Hi, my name is Carl. I have been working at a local fitness studio for a few years. I often have clients at the studio asking for advice on the brand and model of spin bikes they should buy for home use. They are looking for a strong durable bike which doesn’t cost as much as the high-end commercial spin bikes usually found at the studio.The Schwinn IC4 is often pitted against Sole’s SB900.
Here is a Schwinn IC4 vs Sole SB900 comparison highlighting key similarities and differences to help you decide which of the two should be the next new member of your home gym.
What Are The Differences Between Schwinn IC4 And Sole SB900?
48.7 x 21.2 x 51.8 inches
40 x 21 x 42 inches
40 lbs. ( 18kg)
48 lbs. ( 21.8 kg)
Compatible applications include: Peloton, Explore the World, Zwift, Sufferfest, Strava, Rouvy, TacX, FulGaz, MyFitnessPal, Apple Health, Google Fit
Maximum weight capacity
330 lbs. ( 150kg)
300 lbs. ( 136 kg)
Schwinn IC4 Vs Sole SB900 – How Do They Compare?
Heart Rate Monitor
Monitoring your heart rate is an essential part of exercise especially if one of your goals is cardiovascular health or weight loss. Some bikes come with a heart rate monitoring device while for others, you need to buy one separately and pair it with the bike.
The Schwinn IC4 comes with an armband which keeps track of your pulse rate and displays the rate on the screen. The armband has a rechargeable lithium battery which you can recharge using a USB cable. You can either connect it to the console to charge or any other powered device with a USB port.
Sole’s SB900 doesn’t come with a pulse reading device. If you want to keep track of your heart rate as you ride, you have to purchase an arm band or chest strap and pair it with the bike’s console. Unlike the Schwinn, this bike doesn’t work with Bluetooth though you can use it with an ANT+ strap.
The Schwinn IC4 is the better bike in this regard. You don’t have to go to the trouble or bear the cost of a compatible heart rate monitor. The bike comes with one.
Although neither of the two spin bikes have pre-set workouts, the Schwinn IC4 has Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to stream interactive workout sessions through a variety of fitness applications. These include Peloton, Explore the World, Zwift, Sufferfest, Strava, Rouvy, TacX, FulGaz, MyFitnessPal, Apple Health, Google Fit and others.
Peloton, one of the world’s most popular fitness apps offers at least 14 live workout session every day. Zwift lets you compete with other riders and Explore the World app lets you enjoy scenic trails around the world.
The Sole SB900 doesn’t have any application options.
The downside to Schwinn’s application options is that there is a subscription cost to most of the apps and you need a steady Wi-Fi connection. With the Sole bike, you don’t need to incur any extra costs for subscriptions and there is no need for Wi-Fi connection.
Schwinn IC4 is a better choice because it gives you the option to subscribe to a variety of apps. You can use the bike without apps and pay for them when you want them.
A key performance feature in any spin bike is resistance. This is what allows you to vary difficulty levels as you pedal.
The Schwinn IC4 has a magnetic resistance system with a 40 pound flywheel. This is a relatively weighty wheel and its primary benefit is smooth cycling. There are 100 micro-adjustable resistance levels which assure you of precise adjustments.
Sole’s SB900 has an even heavier flywheel. The 48 pound steel, chrome plated wheel effectively delivers a smooth road bike feel. The Eddy current resistance system ensures a near-silent operation so you can use the bike in an apartment without disturbing other people in the house or neighbors.
Schwinn IC4 is a better bike when it comes to resistance because it allows you to make very small changes in resistance through very precise resistance measurements.
A key difference in the overall duringexperience is in how you adjust resistance levels. In the Schwinn IC4 you can make micro-adjustments. It is easy to make very small and gradual increments as you progress and decreases as you wind down. It is impossible to make such minute changes in the Sole SB900.
In the same breath, it is worth noting that the Sole bike doesn’t have marked resistance levels. This makes it difficult to find previous resistance settings especially if someone else has used the bike since the last time you used it. You have to go by the feel and estimation.
If you like to take advantage of technology then you will enjoy the Schwinn bike more because it is compatible with a variety of fitness applications. You can never run out of new workout sessions to try or take trails from virtually any corner of the world.
The Schwinn IC4 gives you a better riding experience. You get to enjoy smooth riding with minute resistance adjustments. Connectivity opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities through a variety of fitness applications.
Schwinn IC4 Vs Sole SB900 – A Comparison Overview
Schwinn IC4 Overview
- Features. Wireless display console. Conveniently placed seat and handlebar fasteners.
- Super quiet eddy current magnetic brake resistance. Whisper quiet resistance. Heavy duty 48 lb chrome plated flywheel.
- Magnetic braking design. Integrated console displays RPM, time, KCal, distance and speed and is also compatible with a wireless heart rate chest strap. Model No. SB900.
- Made in Taiwan.
The Schwinn IC4 is a standard spin bike designed for home use. It has multi-grip handlebars which let you target different muscle groups by varying grip positions in the course of your workout. If the seat is not to your liking, you can adjust it both vertically and horizontally to find a perfect fit.
A key disadvantage in this bike is that it doesn’t come with any preset workout programs. Interactivity which is one of its biggest selling points makes up for this. You can access a variety of fitness apps and enjoy what they have to offer. It is important to note that the bike comes with a simple console which only displays basic metrics like distance, speed, RPMs, time and calories burned. To be able to stream workouts and make use of these apps, you need to use a suitable, higher-tech device of your own.
A set of 3 pound dumbbells are included in the package. These come in handy for users looking to incorporate more of the upper body during workouts.Dual water bottle holders let you have your drink within reach making it easy to stay hydrated without having to stop cycling.
- 100 levels micro-adjustable resistance
- Dual design pedals
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Bluetooth heartrate armband
- No preset workouts
- Basic LCD
- No fan
Sole SB900 Overview
- Includes 1-Year JRNY Membership ($149 value)
- The JRNY experience assesses your fitness level, creates daily adaptive workouts that automatically adjust as you improve over time, and provides coaching and feedback that guides you through your workouts (JRNY Membership required)
- Explore the world and discover 50+ global routes that auto-adjust in real time to your speed (JRNY Membership required)
- Dual link SPD foot pedals come standard with toe cages or clips
- Full color backlit LCD console monitors heart rate, speed, time, distance, calories and RPMs
The Sole SB900 is designed for competitive training, weight loss and body sculpting. Its maximum user weight capacity of 300 pounds tells you it is strong and sturdy. You won’t have the bike jerking unsteadily even during vigorous workouts.
It features a basic 3 inch by 4 inch LCD which displays basic workout statistics. RPMs, calories burned and heart rate are displayed constantly. You have to cycle through to see the other data using buttons at the bottom of the console.
There are no speakers or Wi-Fi connection capability so there isn’t much in terms of entertainment.
Adjustable handlebars are covered with rubber material to help you maintain a good grip even when your hands get sweaty. The seat is also adjustable and is clearly marked to enable you find your preferred seat adjustment even after several people have used the bike.
When fully assembled this bike weighs 160 pounds. This makes it quite heavy and cumbersome to move about (despite built-in transport wheels) so it is best to set it up in a convenient position where it can be kept permanently.
You can place it in any part of the house since it doesn’t require electricity. It doesn’t have a power cord and instead operates on self-generating power. This not only saves you electricity costs but also means you can set it in the middle of a room.
- ANT+ compatible
- Adjustable rubberized handlebars
- Self-generating power
- Very quiet
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- No preset workouts
Schwinn and Sole are two reputable names in the industry. The former’s IC4 and the latter’s SB900 are both strong and sturdy spin bikes with heavy flywheels for smooth riding and efficient resistance. Both come with basic consoles which display basic workout statistics.
Both have dual system pedals which let you choose between professional clipped cycling shoes and trainers.
Verdict: So which is better Schwinn IC4 or Sole SB900?
Considering the discussed features, the Schwinn IC4emerges as a better optionmainly because it has Bluetooth connectivity and you can use it with a variety of cycling apps. It gives you up to 100 resistance levels to choose from and lets you make minute adjustments as you go along.
My Schwinn IC4 bike displays distance in kilometers. Can it display it in miles?
Yes. You can switch the default unit for distance to miles. To do this, press both the increase and decrease buttons and hold them down for 3 seconds. Once it displays it in miles, press any of the other buttons to save your preference.
Why is the Sole SB900 flywheel coated with chromium?
Chrome plating is an electroplating technique in which a thin layer of chromium is layered onto a metal object. This serves to increase resistance to corrosion, make it easier to clean and also adds to the objects aesthetic appeal.