Bowflex IC Bike SE Review: My Thoughts After 3 Months

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While many people have returned to gyms and boutique studios to take in-person instructor-led workouts, having a quality indoor cycling bike at home makes exercising on your schedule easy and convenient. It can be confusing which bike to select and what price point is needed to get a killer workout at home. That is why I was excited when asked to demo BowFlex’s newest bike, the IC Bike SE, which costs just a little over $1,000.

I have enjoyed my BowFlex C6 for the past three years, so I was eager to see what the new IC Bike SE offers. After using it for the past three months, I can share everything I have found about this new model. Read on to learn what I experienced while riding the BowFlex IC Bike SE.

Important Note: The bike has been independently bought and tested by the IndoorCyclingLove.com team. Bowflex hasn’t provided us with this sample.

The box of IC Bike SE when it arrived to my home

My Verdict: The Pros and Cons

The IC Bike SE checked many boxes for me when considering what makes an awesome commercial-grade bike. The riding experience is my most important factor when considering the quality of a bike, and in my opinion, the IC Bike SE delivered it. See below what I liked and did not like about this model.

What I liked

·   Riding experience

·   Construction quality

·   Console metrics

·   Connectivity

·   Price tag

What I didn’t

·   The bike was very heavy, making it difficult to move

·   The JRNY platform

·   No touchscreen

BowFlex IC Bike SE Main Components

  • Flywheel: This model includes a rear flywheel, which weighs 36 pounds—heavier than most flywheels on the market.Frame: The steel frame helps the IC Bike SE to remain very sturdy.
  • Resistance: This model features 100 levels of magnetic resistance that are controlled with a knob.
  • Console: The 7-color LCD console tracks watts, speed, time, RPMs, resistance, distance, total calories burned, calories burned per minute, and heart rate.
  • Handlebars: The padded handlebars offer four-way adjustability since they can move up and down in addition to forward and backward.
  • Drive: The belt-drive train offers a quiet riding experience.
  • Pedals: Whether you prefer to ride in your street or cycling-specific shoes, the IC Bike SE includes dual pedals with SPD and toe cage options.
  • Flywheel: This model includes a rear flywheel, which weighs 36 pounds—heavier than most flywheels on the market.
  • Saddle: The seat is a competitive-style saddle that includes a narrower profile for maximum stroke output. This component also offers four-way adjustability.
  • Dumbells: Three-pound dumbbells are included with the purchase of this bike. They are stored under the handlebars.

BowFlex IC Bike SE Specifications

  • Max User Weight: 330 pounds
  • User Height Range: 4’10’-6’5”
  • Inseam Range: 28”-38”
  • Flywheel Weight: 36 pounds
  • Q-Factor: 7.3″
  • Dimensions: 54.7″ L x 21.5″ W x 52.8″ H
  • Minimum Ceiling Height: User Height + 19.8″

How We Rated the BowFlex IC Bike SE

As in all of our reviews at Indoor Cycling Love, we rate all of our equipment against a similar scale out of five to ensure that product comparisons are easy for our readers when evaluating which models are right for them. We rate our exercise equipment based on the categories below:

  • Construction Quality & Durability
  • Riding Experience & Performance
  • Assembly Process
  • Comfort & Adjustability
  • Console, Content & Connectivity
  • Support, Financing Options & Warranty
  • Value for Money

My Rating of the BowFlex IC Bike SE

Construction Quality & Durability: 4.8

This bike‘s thick steel frame makes it durable and sturdy. The standard for a high-quality flywheel is usually between 30 and 40 pounds. The flywheel on the IC Bike SE weighs 36 pounds.

This model is well constructed and does not shake or wiggle when riding when the stabilizers have been moved to the correct placement. I never felt that I would damage this bike while riding it or that it would break with continued use. The only time I ever thought I would cause damage was when I was moving it since it was so heavy, and I had difficulty slowly lowering it back to the ground.  

I also like that BowFlex moved the dumbbells to the opposite side of the bike from the flywheel location, unlike the BowFlex C6. This bike is very durable, and after three months, it looks just as good as the day I put it together.

Riding Experience and Performance: 5.0

The IC Bike SE’s heavier flywheel is one of the main reasons this bike provides a great riding experience and performs so well. With the flywheel belt-drive combination, the ride is exceptionally smooth and quiet. I could ride this bike while my family was sleeping in the next room without any fear that I would disturb them, which I did on multiple occasions.

Assembly Process: 3.7

The assembly process of this bike was challenging, not because there were so many pieces but because of the weight of this cycle. Coming in at just over 141 pounds when constructed, I had difficulty assembling this bike independently. Numerous times, I had to ask my husband to assist me in lifting the bike to attach different bike components. It took me over an hour to put this bike together, and I feel that it was because of the weight of the cycle. If you plan to have assistance when putting this cycle together or are bigger and stronger than me, you will have a better experience than I did.

Comfort & Adjustability: 4.7

With its padded seat and soft handlebars, I found this bike very comfortable. Since it offers four-way adjustability of both the saddle and handlebars, a wide range of riders can enjoy it. If you are a shorter rider like me, it is critical to remember that the handlebars will actually move farther away as you raise them since this bike has a V-shaped frame.

Console, Content & Connectivity: 4.2

The 7-color console tracks metrics such as watts, speed, time, rpm, resistance, distance, total calories burned, calories per minute, and heart rate. It also shows if you are connected to the JRNY app. I thought the console was easy to see and loved that it displayed my watts. For more seasoned riders, being able to track watts helps them better gauge their training regime. I wish that the console had a touchscreen.

Riders can decide whether to use the JRNY app or an app of their choice. With many bikes, such as the BODi or Peloton, you must use the platform that comes with the bike; otherwise, the bike‘s performance is impacted. However, BowFlex allows users to enjoy the JRNY Essentials app or upgrade to the full JRNY app, which is $11.99 per month. The application must be used on a smartphone or tablet since a monitor is not included with the IC Bike SE. These devices can sit on the provided padded tablet rest. Your metrics are linked to the app via Bluetooth.

The app experience is the only reason this section isn’t closer to a perfect 5.0. Whether you enjoy scenic rides or prefer instructor-led classes, this app provides options. However, if you are like me and love riding or working out in an instructor-led class that includes music, this app might fall a little short. While you can select your music from many genres, they will not match what the instructor does. I was not a fan since music is such a huge part of when I teach or workout on my own. (In fact, I have left the gym and gone home to complete my workout instead if I have forgotten my earbuds). The musicality I feel can drive intensity throughout a class, and I thought that the lack of choreographed rides to music impacted my enthusiasm and performance. However, if you do not feel that music plays much of a role during your instructor-led rides, this might not be an issue for you.

In addition to rides, dumbbells, and whole-body adaptive workouts are also offered. These workout options require that you provide JRNY with camera access so that they can count reps and provide form feedback. I had a tough time getting the motion-tracking feature to work.

This bike also offers Bluetooth connectivity to Peloton and Zwift and displays your metrics. The IC Bike SE also connects with your heart rate monitor.

Support, Financing Options & Warranty: 3.5

Support

Regarding support, I spoke to the Bowflex support team multiple times about trying to get into my JRNY app. I spoke to them before and after they restructured. If you didn’t know, Bowflex was recently acquired by a new company. Before the acquisition, I called in since the JRNY app would not let me in, and I was never sent the original code when I purchased the bike.

Unfortunately, the advice I received from the first support team member did not fix the issue. A few days later, I called back to receive the recording that the support desk would be down for 30 days as the company transitioned to new ownership. This was frustrating, but unlike other bikes, not having the JRNY app didn’t impact the bike‘s functionality in the least.

After the new support team came online, the rep got me back into my account within minutes. I was happy with the support I received from the last rep.

Financing Options

For riders who cannot pay for the bike in full, Bowflex offers the option of paying in four installments.

Warranty

The warranty for the IC Bike SE is in line with other industry standards for a commercial-grade indoor cycling bike. Please see the table below for more information.

FrameMechanical PartsElectronicsLabor
10 Years2 Years1 Year1 Year

Value for Money: 4.8

The IC Bike SE offers an excellent value for its $1,099 price tag. The riding experience is better than that of other bikes that I have tried, and it provides riders with the option of using the JRNY app or not without impacting the bike’s performance.

Main Differences between Bowflex IC Bike SE and C6

My C6 and my new IC Bike SE

These are the main differences between the two bikes:

  • IC SE has a larger console.
  • IC SE has a sleeker look.
  • IC SE has a rear-wheel design, which is out of the sweat zone and mimics the outdoor bike experience.

Who Should and Shouldn’t Use the Bike

Who is it for  

·   Riders of all skill levels

·   Those looking for an excellent quality commercial-grade cycle at a fair price point

·   Riders that do not require to always follow along to instructor-led workouts but want a variety

Who it is not for

·       Riders that will need to move this bike regularly to use it

·       Users under 4’10” and over 6’5”

The Bottom Line

The Bowflex IC Bike SE is an excellent bike for its performance and connectivity to other apps. The overall construction and riding experience are fantastic for such an affordable price.

BowFlex IC Bike SE
4.4

Featuring a 7" color LCD display, 100 magnetic resistance levels, and compatibility with JRNY, Peloton®, and Zwift® apps, this sleek bike ensures a personalized and challenging workout. With a range of adjustability, Bluetooth heart rate compatibility, and bonus additions like a padded media rack and 3 lb dumbbells, it's the ultimate home fitness solution.

Official Site
Katie Pierson CPT

Katie has been a certified fitness professional for twenty years and holds ten fitness certifications, including Spinning Elite and Personal Training. She has shared her expert knowledge in many fitness outlets like Bicycling & Verywellfit.

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