Are you looking to buy an indoor bike but feeling overwhelmed by all the options in the market? Here is a thorough comparison between the Stages SC3 and Schwinn to help you determine which of the two would work best for you.
Choosing the right exercise bike forhome use was difficult. Now I’m looking for a suitable brand for our commercial gym and it has been more challengingthan I expected to find a brand and model which will fit a variety of users.
This StagesSC3 vs Schwinn comparison looks at the two good quality bikes and tells you what is great and what is not so great about each of them.
What Are The Differences Between Sc3 And Schwinn?
Max weight capacity
350 lbs. (158 kg) ( accommodates heavier users)
300 lbs. (136 kg)
L 43.5’’ W 24.5’’
L 45’’ W 23’’
Single method (Dial)
Two methods (dial and lever)
– Power meter ( battery powered)
– EcoSCRN display – self generating power
Console (battery powered)
Stages SC3 Vs Schwinn – How Do They Compare?
High maximum weigh capacities in indoor bikes are usually an indication that the bike is strong and sturdy. Indoor bikes in the market generally give maximum weights ranging from220 pounds all the way up to 350 pounds.
The Stages SC3 has a maximum weight capacity of 350 pounds while the Schwinn IC3’s maximum capacity is 300 pounds. Going by other products in the market, both are high though Stages gives users a bit more wiggle room.
It is advisable to consider weight capacity in relation to your own weight and leave some room between your weight and the bike’s maximum capacity.
There is a wide range when it comes to monitoring your stats as you ride. Some bikes have no monitors at all and others have highly sophisticated devices which are Bluetooth enabled and can be used with auxiliary devices.
There is a stark difference between these two bikes. The Schwinn IC3 has a fairly basic monitor which displays distance, time, RPMs and calories burned. It can however, be used with a wireless heart rate monitor.
The stages SC3 monitoring device is more sophisticated than the Schwinn one. It has a company specific Stages Power Meterwhich measures the power delivered by the cyclist. This meter is said to be superior in terms of accuracy and reliability. It is also compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ enabled devices. It should give you at least 2,000 hours of life and is powered using a pair of AA batteries.
The screen on this bike is unique because it is one of few eco-friendly components in indoor bikes. The Stages EcoSCRN operates using power generated by the rider. It doesn’t require any batteries. This is what makes it both eco-friendly and cheaper to maintain. The generator which makes this possible is at the flywheel hub with its wiring hidden in the handlebar stem.
The screen also has a backlight which is always on so you can easily see what is displayed in natural daylight and dim artificial light.
Unlike the Schwinn stats displayed, the Stages monitor displays maximum, average and totals for usual metrics that is RPMs, work, calories burned, speed, time and distance.
It also allow you to transfer data using a USB cable.
Resistance adjustment is a key functionality in any indoor bike. You want to quickly and easily increase difficulty levels as your energy increases and decrease them as your tire. Different bikes have different ways of doing this.
The Schwinn IC3 has a dial which is turned in either direction to increase and decrease resistance. It is considered advantageous because you can make small increments by turning the dial only once or twice. Larger increments require several turns. Like many bikes there is only one method to adjust resistance.
In the Stages SC3, there are two ways to adjust resistance. A dial and a lever. Like in the Schwinn, the dial is ideal for small increments at a time. The lever has 3 levels which allow you to make more drastic, instant increments. With the two you can use the lever to move one level up and then use the dial to make smaller adjustments.
Stages SC3 vs Schwinn – A Comparison Overview
Stages SC3 Overview
The stages SC3 is designed for commercial use with numerous users with varying needs and preferences.
This is evident in many if not all its features. It has a strong, solid aluminum frame which makes it strong enough to handle both light and powerful riders.
The drive system features a Stages Gates Carbon Drive fiber belt which requires no maintenance. Itworks in conjunction with a perimeter weighted flywheel. Being perimeter weighted means it still provides sufficient momentum to create an outdoor feel without being particularly heavy.
Even taller than average riders will fit in this bike comfortably. The height range on this bike is quite wide ranging from 4-foot-10 to 6-foot-10. This is essential for bikes designed for commercial use.
The handle bars are easily adjustable. They allow for height adjustment which is done using a lever and horizontal adjustment (back and forth) which is done using a knob. Similar adjustments can be made to the seat.
An interesting detail in regard to handlebar and seat adjustments is that the manufacturer claims that this product is the fastest adjustment systemin the industry thanks to their unique FitLoc system.
This bike’s pedals have a dual design with both SPD and toe cages. SPD design on pedals allows users wearing specialized riding shoes to use this bike. On the flip side is a cage-like design which allows users wearing regular shoes (usually trainers) to fit their toes into the enclosure to hold the foot in place as they pedal.
Pros and Cons
- Fast adjustment system
- Pedals – SPD and toe cage
- Dual resistance adjustment
- Includes a Stages Power meter
- Self-power generated EcoSCRN
- Wide user height range
- Handlebars are oversized
- Uncomfortable seat
Schwinn IC3 Overview
This bike has a sleek frame with a 40 pound flywheel which is responsible for a smooth, consistent ride. It weighs 100 pounds but doesn’t take up that much room.
With a length of 45 inches and width of 23 inches, it can fit into the corner of an apartment living room or bedroom. In case you have to move it back and forth every time you need to use it, the hefty weight is not a problem because it has transport wheels.
All you have to do is tilt it until its weight is rested on the wheels and roll it into position. Be sure to hold the machine steadily when moving it considering the bulk of its weight is in the flywheel.
If you have to put the machine on an uneven floor, then the adjustable levelers come in handy to make sure the bike and user are stable regardless of the floor.
This bike has padded, multi- grip handlebars. Multi-grip bars allows for varying hand positions which are important especially when seated and standing. Ability to shift hand positions also makes the ride less tiring and therefore allows you to ride longer. Padded bars add to comfort while riding.
The seat can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally which helps you to achieve the perfect position for your height and build. A lever is used to make back and forth adjustments and a pin is used for up and down movements. Many users have said that this seat is uncomfortable because it is not padded. If this a problem for you, try putting a gel cushion on it.
- Handlebars adjustable vertically and horizontally
- Multi-grip, padded handlebars
- Monitor compatible to chest strap
- Dual SPD and toe cage pedal
- Belt drive system
- Uncomfortable seat
- Basic capability monitor
The two bikes are both highly efficient machines. They are both fairly heavy, each weighing 100 pounds. Both use a belt drive system which is great for users who don’t want to think about maintenance of a chain. Both have dual design pedals allowing for specialized riding shoes or a toe cage for trainers.
Verdict: So which is better? Stages SC3 or Schwinn?
After analysis of both products, the Stages SC3 proves to be a superior product. It is more expensive but for good reason. With this bike, you get to enjoy dual resistance adjustment, a superior Stages power meter which gives more detailed metrics and a self-powered screen.
If you are taller than average, you don’t have to worry about squeezing into this bike. If you want to transfer data to another device, the USB port allows you to do that.
What does SPD in pedals mean?
SPD stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics. The system is a design in bike pedals in which a small cleat fits into a recess in the sole of specialized riding shoes. It helps to increase riding comfort and keeps the foot firmly on the pedal during workouts.
Does the Schwinn IC3 come with a heart rate monitor?
No, the bike’s computer is compatible with a chest strap but you have to buy one separately. It doesn’t come with the bike.