This post shows how to use a Schwinn IC4 Spin Bike to get a DIY Peloton workout. Includes supplies needed, how to get cadence and resistance measurements, and what apps are needed.
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Welcome to part 2 of my DIY Peloton tutorial! In part 1, I talked all about what equipment you needed for this setup, how to set up your technology, how to calibrate your bike and figure out resistance levels, and even how I organize my Peloton workouts each week. (Before you read this post, I highly recommend going back to read that one if you haven't already.) Now we're getting to the meat of the tutorial…today, I'm going to walk you through how I do a workout.
Let's pick up where we left off in the last post!
How to Start a DIY Peloton Workout
This is a step-by-step look at how to start your DIY Peloton workout each time. There are a few steps each time you start, so this seems like a lot, but you really get used to them after awhile.
- First, put in your AirPods and put on your Apple Watch (totally optional) and heart rate band that comes with the IC4. Turn on the heart rate monitor (you'll need to connect this to the MPaceline app; that's what the heart rate monitor is for, but you can use it on both apps). If you're using an apple watch as well, sync your apple watch to your Peloton account by going to your phone and selecting “apple watch” in the “more” section at the bottom). After that, it should pick up when you start a workout on either your phone or iPad (it doesn't always though).
- This is weird – but disconnect your AirPods from your iPad if they're connected. This little trick is how I get my AirPods to play the TV sound while I’m streaming to the TV. To do this in your iPad, go to settings, bluetooth, click the “i” next to your AirPods, and scroll down to the bottom to select disconnect.
- Start your workout, then start airplaying your iPad to your TV (this isn’t absolutely necessary, but I like having a bigger screen, especially for things like bootcamp workouts where you're on and off the bike). You do this by swiping down from the top right of your iPad, clicking “screen mirroring,” and selecting your TV.
- Click the icon on the right of the Peloton screen that looks like a heart rate to make sure both the IC4 and the heart rate monitor or Apple Watch are connected to Peloton (sometimes they connect automatically, sometimes they don’t). Very important – you have to connect the bike/heart rate monitor to the Peloton app before Mpaceline for them to work on both apps at once! Because you're using the Peloton app to run your apple watch in this setup, it won't work with Mpaceline.
- (This part is only needed if you're streaming to a TV and want to send the audio to your AirPods.) Click the streaming icon right below the heart rate connection icon on the right hand side of the Peloton app. With your AirPods disconnected, select your AirPods in this drop-down. After doing this, your iPad should keep airplaying to the TV and the audio comes to your AirPods! It took me weeks to figure out this trick. 🙂
- Now, swipe up a little from the bottom of your iPad to show your frequent apps. Use your finger to pull Mpaceline up to the right side of your screen. Click the second icon on the top of Mpaceline and you should see your workout already playing in Mpaceline if you've connected your Mpaceline account to your Peloton account.
- At this point, if your heart rate band and/or bike aren't connected to Mpaceline (indicated by both meters at the very bottom showing green), click those three lines at the bottom and click “connect meters.”
And you should be off and running on your DIY Peloton ride! I know that sounds like a lot, but it really does become second nature after awhile (and several of these things are totally optional…you can definitely still do a workout without doing them).
Quick Summary of Setting Up Your DIY Peloton Ride
- Put on heart rate band and apple watch
- (Optional – if using a TV to stream) Disconnect AirPods from iPad
- Start Peloton workout
- (Optional – if using a TV to stream) Start TV streaming
- (Optional – if using a TV to stream) Connect AirPods to Peloton app
- Connect bike and Apple watch/heart rate monitor to Peloton app
- Start Mpaceline app
- Check to make sure monitors are connected to Mpaceline
This is an actual screenshot from the middle of that ride – you can see my power graph, total output, heart rate, cadence, speed, and even calculated resistance in the Mpaceline app.
Here's what my stats from both the Mpaceline app and the Peloton app look like after the ride. All of the info you could want about your output!
What don't you get with an Schwinn IC4?
I know this is the question a lot of you are asking. To sum it up, not much.
The big difference in riding through the Peloton app vs on an actual Peloton bike is the ability to be on the leaderboard. If you're not familiar with Peloton, it ranks the people that are doing a live ride (and I believe on demand as well) on a leaderboard by their total output in a ride. App riders don't appear on this leaderboard, so you won't get your actual ranking in the app or be seen by other riders to get high fives. This really isn't a huge deal – I've found that competing against yourself (by trying for higher output in the same amount of time) is much more motivating than competing against others. You will be able to see others that are currently taking a class though.
This also means you can't do synced-up rides with friends directly through the app. Peloton users have the ability to ride with others, even giving you a video chat option. Of course, you can just set up a time with a friend to do this on the IC4 and FaceTime – it's just not possible through the actual bike.
If you're in any Peloton groups (yes, they are a thing), you can't search by hashtag to see who else in your group is riding. I am in Sweat Squad (a really fun group on Facebook), but I can't search the hashtag #sweatsquad when riding to see who else is there. (And I believe they can't see you either.)
You don't have the ability to search rides by song, workout equipment, or name. So, if you're wanting to do a strength workout that uses resistance bands, you're going to have to work a little bit harder to find it. Lucky for us, somebody put this together – it's a spreadsheet with tons of older Peloton rides, including equipment, artists, songs, and even difficulty rankings. It's amazing!
One final thing – you can't see your output or resistance in the app after you do your workout (it does show heart rate and cadence). Those will all be in Mpaceline though, so it's not a big deal at all.
Really, those are the only things I've found that I can't do. Like I mentioned in the last post, you really need to ask yourself if those things are worth an extra few hundred dollars in setup and $30 a month – and if they are, that's totally ok, it's your money! Some people need different things for motivation, and I can see a lot of this being really fun to have. They just personally weren't worth it for me.
That was a LOT of information – I know. But, once you get the routine down, you won't miss the real deal one bit! The IC4 is one of the best purchases I've ever made – it's been a life-saver for both my physical and mental health throughout the pandemic, and it's something I can see myself using for a really long time.