A sturdy indoor cycle that's reasonably priced though low on tech features.
The Life Fitness IC1 is a solid example of a well-constructed no-frills indoor cycle. It's low on tech, but is built to last for years on end.
The competing pool of indoor cycles seems to be growing exponentially, and though we have yet to cover them extensively, Life Fitness is anything but a new entrant to the category. They’re a household name in the commercial fitness space, not to mention the creators of the first ever electronic exercise bike back in the day. The IC1 is their entry-point into the indoor cycling realm these days, and though it’s light on the pocketbook it’s anything but bargain basement.
The IC1 indoor cycle is a classic example of focusing on the fundamentals. Rather than trying to add in as much extra tech and as many frivolous features as possible, Life Fitness spent money where it counts. This thing is built like a tank from tip to tail, right down to the linking structures used for its seat adjustment. They don’t use a contactless magnetic flywheel to adjust resistance, nor do they give you a giant touchscreen display loaded with frilly features. Instead you get a bike with 3-way ergonomic adjustability, and a simple LCD display screen that reads out essential data simply and without fuss.
- Killer Construction: Though an affordable home cycle, it’s built like a heavt-duty commercial unit.
- V-Belt Drive: As is fairly standard for the category, a smooth-running belt transmits power from pedals to flywheel.
- Quiet Operation: Even at high resistance, the IC1 (like other Life Fitness offerings) is known for being whisper quiet.
- Thoughtful LCD Display: Its simple display indicates distance, heart rate, calorie burn, distance, and flywheel RPM.
- Great Warranty: A lifetime warranty on the frame, 3 years on parts, and 1 year on labor ensures this bike will last for years.
- Brand Reputation: As one of the oldest in the game, owner support is generally seamless.
- Cordless Operation: Due to the low power consumption of its display, the IC1 runs on batteries rather than needing a power outlet.
- Stiff Competition: Some of the other players in the segment are offering more features for less $$ (See ProForm Studio Bike Pro).
- Friction Resistance: While not a dealbreaker, more competitors are offering magnetic resistance in this price bracket.
WHO SHOULD RIDE THE LIFE FITNESS C1 LIFECYCLE?
The Life Fitness IC1 is specifically geared towards the no-frills fitness enthusiast that simply values durability and longevity over anything. You can get more tech and more cutting edge features from some of this bike’s competitors, but if you’re more the type that wants to “disconnect” during a workout this bike has you covered for years to come.
The Bottom Line
When you boil it right down, there’s a reason that bikes like this and others from Life Fitness have been chosen repeatedly by the commercial fitness industry at large. Ascribing to the formula of “the more features, the more things to break down”, the IC1 exercise bike is pared down to just the right level. That said, if you want niceties like a large touchscreen, interactive training sessions, and other goodies, you’ll have to spend your money elsewhere.