Life Fitness IC7 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
Life Fitness IC7 Overview
The Life Fitness IC7 is the top-of-the-range indoor bike from Life Fitness. Starting with the IC1 and ending with the IC8 (now slightly outdated compared to the latest IC7 model), Life Fitnesses range of indoor bikes gradually gets better and more expensive until you get to the IC7. Although it is costly, you are paying for high-quality craftsmanship, all the latest tech, and a sturdy, durable design. In this Life Fitness IC7 review, we are going to go into a bit more detail about whether you should part with your hard-earned cash and help you decide whether this exercise bike in the $2,000 – $2,500 price range is right for you.
So confident are Life Fitness that you are investing in a top-quality indoor bike the IC7 comes with a lengthy 5-year warranty on the structural frame (3 years on the mechanical components, 6 years on other parts). Upon delivery, the installation is super easy. Thanks to the covered design, you need to make only a few minor adjustments and installations before you can jump on and start cycling. The instructions that are included are easy to follow and informative.
The bright LCD screen shows all the fitness data you need to smash your workout and make sure you are on track. The illuminated display makes it easy to follow your progress and the touchscreen buttons are responsive and intuitive (the display is not touchscreen). The screen displays: RPMS, Calories Burned, Distance, Heart rate (if you have an HR band connected), Resistance Level and Watts (including training zone). You can also scroll between current, maximum, and average performance stats. The Watt reading comes from the market-leading Wattrate system. It gives accurate direct power measurements, perfect when combined with the coach by color system.
One of the Life Fitness IC7 spinning bike’s best features is the coach by color on the color display. Essentially the screen changes color based on which training zone you are in. This is an excellent feature for any serious cyclists who like to use power or heart rate zone training to level up their fitness and cycling performance. Often this data is hidden or hard to see.
With both Bluetooth and ANT+, you can sync up any other fitness device. However, as the Life Fitness IC7 is so packed with features, you only need the ANT+ for your heart rate monitor. The bike’s Bluetooth is somewhat limited to the use of the ICG app. It requires additional accessories to be able to sync with popular apps such as Zwift or Peleton (another expense for any already pricey indoor exercise bike).
For a bike monitor on an indoor bike to be so jam-packed with features and feedback, it is a nice touch that it is also self-powered. Well, not self-powered, you need to ride the bike to turn on the display and keep it running, but no need to be near a power outlet or worry about the batteries running out mid-ride.
The magnetic resistance system gives a smooth riding experience and is very similar to riding a well-maintained road bike. As with most spin bikes, you can not coast on the Life Fitness IC7 spin bike. The 1:11 gear ratio combines with the two-stage drivetrain, driven by a hybrid Poly-V and Tooth belt to allow for instant power transfer as soon as you put pressure on the pedals. Once you have built up some momentum, you can get the flywheel moving very fast. Even at high speeds, the Life Fitness IC7 exercise bike still sounds relatively quiet compared to the cheaper spin bikes on the market.
Similar to the types of spin bikes you find in the gym or latest spin studios. You change the resistance levels using a handy-to-reach gear knob. With each click, you change the resistance level. You have the choice of up to 100 different resistance levels. This means that you can truly tailor your workout to your needs and still have plenty of gearing range when you start getting fitter. The resistance level you are in shows on the LCD screen as a %.
As far as the transmission goes, this bike comes with the top-notch design in the industry. Its tooth/timing belt transmission is much better than chains and poly-v belts you see on 95% of spin bikes. Although it is a little bit louder than the flat poly-v belts, for sure, it is way quieter than a chain. It also has way less maintenance compared to chain drive while delivering 100% power efficiency.
The exact weight of the flywheel is shrouded in secrecy. However, this is a testament to how confident Life Fitness is of its top-of-the-range spin bike’s ride quality and performance. Based on the overall weight of 119lbs, we would estimate the flywheel to be between 8-15lbs. However, do not be too hung up on the flywheel weight. The quality of the two-stage drivetrain and tooth belt allows for an incredibly smooth riding experience. This bike has a covered flywheel designed that keeps the sharp edges covered, making the bike a little safer for households with kids.
The Life Fitness IC7 spinning bike feels like riding a road bike, making it a great workout and piece of fitness equipment for anyone looking to maintain and improve their cycling performance without having to leave the comfort of their own home. The Q-factor is only 155mm, one of the smallest available on the top of the range exercise bikes available. This essentially means that the crank arms are closer to the frame of the IC7, resulting in a more ergonomic riding position. Your legs are not forced into an unnatural pedaling position. However, this can feel a little strange if you are not used to riding a road bike.
Pedals and Cranks
The dual-sided pedals are sturdy and give you the flexibility to wear spin bike shoes with SPD cleats or just a regular pair of trainers. Thanks to the plastic toe clip with an adjustable fabric strap, you can easily fit a wide pair of trainers in the toe clip (or simply remove it if you are only ever going to ride with SPD cleats). The crankarms are wider than you will find on a lot of spin bikes. This only adds to their durability and stability no matter how hard you are spinning the pedals.
Specifications and Adjustability
This sturdy exercise bike allows for a max rider weight of 330lbs. Thanks to the strong steel frame and 4 adjustable feet, you get a sturdy riding experience even on an uneven surface. Both the handlebars and seat allow for micro-adjustments so that you can find the perfect riding position for your spinning session. Also, both the handlebars and seat allow for 4-way adjustability. A feature you generally only get on higher-end exercise bikes and is useful if you want to be comfortable for longer rides or need to share the Life Fitness IC7 indoor bike with your loved ones.
The handlebars are ergonomic and relatively unique in the number of hand positions they allow you to choose from. However, one of the best parts is the 2 easy-reach bottle holders in between the bars. Having 2 water bottle holders is great for those longer rides where hydration is key to maintaining peak performance. As you would expect on an indoor exercise bike of this high quality, it comes with discreet wheels on the front to allows for easy maneuverability.
Life Fitness IC7 Indoor Bike Pros:
- A very well made and sturdy top of the range Life Fitness indoor exercise bike
- Smooth riding experience. Very similar to riding a road bike (without having the ability to coast)
- The 2-Stage Hybrid Poly-V & Tooth belt combined with the lightweight flywheel makes for tranquil and near-silent spin sessions
- The Flywheel and Drivetrain are wholly covered. Helping to improve safety and prolonging the Life Fitnesses IC7s life
- A generous warranty as a testament to the durability of the bike (5-year warranty on the structural frame, 3 years on mechanical components, 6 years on other parts)
- Self-powered, so no need to be near a power outlet or worry about the batteries dying and losing your riding data mid-ride
- Clear and intuitive LCD screen. The Coach by Color feature is a great way to make use of the power zone training to fast track your fitness
- Wattrate direct power meter built-in, offering super accurate and precise power readings
Life Fitness IC7 Indoor Bike Cons:
- All these features do not come cheaply. The IC7 is a top of the range indoor exercise bike, and the price tag to match
- The narrow 155mm Q-factor is favorable for many. However, if you are new to cycling or have wide hips, you may find these crank arms too close to the frame making the ride uncomfortable
- The seat that comes with the IC7 is not very comfortable. Although designed to mirror the narrow seats found on road bikes, you may want to upgrade
- There is no dedicated phone or tablet holder (although you can easily balance your table on the bars)
- The bike’s Bluetooth is somehow limited and requires additional accessories to be able to sync with popular apps such as Zwift.
The Final Verdict
The Life Fitness IC7 indoor cycling bike is one of the best indoor exercise bikes available on the market. You may be paying a premium, but you are getting a lot of bike for your money. The sturdy design and 4-way adjustability of both the handlebars and seat make for an incredibly comfortable ride no matter your size or body shape. The unique 2-Stage Hybrid Poly-V & Tooth belt combined with the flywheel’s magnetic resistance provides a smooth and responsive indoor cycling experience.
The Life Fitness IC7 indoor bike’s best feature is the LCD screen, which syncs with the bike to bring you all the training data you could need. The WattRate power meter is incredibly accurate, with a tolerance of just +/- 1% (one of the most precise on the market). The Coach by Color system helps you use power zone training to ensure maximum training benefits with the short spare time you have to jump on the bike. This, combined with the narrow q-factor, does mean that this exercise bike is mainly suitable for more seasoned cyclists.
Hopefully, this Life Fitness IC7 review has helped answer any questions you had about this exercise bike. Here is a quick snapshot of the highlights that will help you compare the Life Fitness IC7 with other exercise bikes.
Life Fitness IC7 Spin Bike Rating
- Q-Factor: 155mm
- Pedals: Dual-sided SPD & toe Cage
- Flywheel: 8-15lbs
- Resistance: Magnetic
- Transmission: 2-Stage Hybrid Poly-V & Tooth belt
- Weight capacity: 330 lbs
- Height capacity: 5’1″ – 6’9″
- Bike weight: 119 lbs
- Bike dimension: 20.5″W x 40.2″H x 53″L
- Monitor: Backlit
- Connectivity: Bluetooth and ANT
- Applications: ICG app
- RPM tracking: Yes
- Speed tracking: Yes
- Watt tracking: Direct