Believe it or not, there was a time where you could jump on an exercise bike at home and didn’t have to stare into a screen where perfectly toned specimens tell you if you’re not struggling, you’re not hustling. If being whipped into shape by an instructor is not your bag, but an indoor bike is your chosen route to a fitter you, then you do have options.
Life Fitness’ IC6 Indoor Cycle is one of those options and at £1,945, it costs more than a Peloton to own. There’s no subscription to cough up for though and it’s built to give you that spin bike feel and also bring that outdoor bike experience into your own home workout domain. We saddled up with the thing for a fortnight to see how it fared.
A quiet ride
The IC6 Indoor Cycle is a bike that brandishes a bold, 60kg steel frame that looks like it’s built to handle some serious pedal pounding as well. The splashes of red on the seat and down by the pedals means it offers that classic spin bike look. There’s a big aluminium flywheel at the back, which dominates that robust look and is in place to power the magnetic resistance that your legs will need to fight against. That magnetic resistance approach also means this bike is one that doesn’t make a huge racket, so it was one that was safe to tackle early morning or late night sessions without fear of incurring the wrath of the neighbours or someone in the next room.
Another major boon? There’s nothing to plug in here. Just slip your feet into the trainer or cleat-friendly pedals, get them moving and that’ll wake up the slim display up front. It’s the same TFT Computer 2.0 setup packed onto Life Fitness’ IC6 and IC8 bikes to give you somewhere suitable to keep track of your cycling stats with buttons just below that are a good fit for handling sweaty fingers. Either side of that display is a generously sized handlebar setup that can be adjusted vertically and horizontally to make it better suited to your indoor riding style. It’s the nice and sturdy kind to get a hold of when you need to get up from your seat to pedal or rest your arms after another lung-busting section in your ride.
The dual water bottle holder spots built into the handlebars are a fitting place to drop your phone into to follow those workouts. You’ll also want to have a water bottle in the other one because whether you go 30 minutes or an hour, you are going to sweat bucket loads in those sessions. Luckily, you’ve got plenty of choice in how you go about this masochism.
Free classes minus a trainer
Although the Life Fitness IC6 Indoor Cycle is definitively not a Peloton Bike+, you can hook up to a companion app for the feel for a coached workout (sans an absurdly good-looking instructor) that’s built to get you fitter, stronger, faster and build leg power. Those workouts range in length and difficulty and employ a simple colour code system that makes it easy to know when maximum effort is required or when you crank down that resistance and take things to a gentler pace. Best of all? If you’re not all clued up on the spin bike lingo, it’s worth checking in on the app to make sure you know when it’s time for a standing climb or it’s time to simulate overtaking a slow set of cyclists.