My DIY Peloton Bike Setup (Part 2)

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.

diy peloton bike on a Schwinn ic4

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Missed part 1 of this series? Click here to check it out!

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.”
diy peloton Schwinn IC4

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
diy peloton Schwinn IC4

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.

diy peloton Schwinn IC4
diy peloton Schwinn IC4
diy peloton Schwinn IC4

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.

diy peloton Schwinn IC4

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.

diy peloton Schwinn IC4

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.

Check out part 1 of this DIY Peloton post by clicking here

Check out my full gym tour by clicking here

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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  1. Monica Nielsen-Parker says:

    When I pull up the Kinetic app, it causes the Peloton app workout to pause. When I hit play on the Peloton workout, the Kinetic sidebar screen goes away. I can’t get them both to work and show on the screen at the same time. Any suggestions?

    1. I’ve heard a few people in the Facebook group talk about this; I think it has something to do with your iPad model. I just took a quick look through and can’t find the specific post; but join the Schwinn IC4 Facebook group and do a search, they might be able to help!

    2. gabrielvida says:

      I’m having this same issue. Did you figure it out?

  2. Did you have an issue with the handlebars rocking left to right a little. I just put the bow flex version of this bike together and my rocks a little.

    1. I haven’t, but I think I’ve seen some people in the Schwinn IC4 Facebook group talk about this. Maybe you can find some answers there!

  3. Excellent post! So helpful!! So thank you!
    Just a quick question… do you still need to use the IC4 heart rate monitor to see your heart rate in peloton? I just did the same set up as you this weekend and the first day I realized the ic4 heart monitor was dead. I used my Apple Watch with blueheart and it’s showing accurately on my peloton app. Would be one less thing you need to wear.

    1. I like recording my heart rate in both the Peloton app and in Kinetic, that’s why I use both the IC4 monitor and my Apple Watch. You can’t use the same monitor in 2 separate apps. But if you don’t want to record it in both, you definitely don’t have to wear both!

      1. Definitely good to know! I just started playing around this week and haven’t been able to fully set up the kinetic app to connect to my bike and work yet which is probably why I haven’t noticed the lack of being able to use the same heart rate monitor in both. Thank you for replying and putting this all together!
        Last question, because you can’t connect the same heart rate monitor to more than one thing at a time, is that why the Schwinn monitor just displays a beating heart with a P and not your heart rate if you are already using your monitor on the peloton app?

  4. Gina Roscioli says:

    This post is HIGHLY underrated!!! Thank you so much for this!!

  5. Great post. I had been searching for information on this exact setup and came across your informative and complete post. It has helped greatly. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

  6. Jamie Barnes says:

    Great post, I enjoyed them both. I have the IC4 with a very similar setup as you do. I have a TV with AirPlay on it. I use my iPhone to cast it to the TV. I’ve tried using my AirPod Pros for the audio but I haven’t been able to get it to work either on my iPhone or iPad. I’ve even tried a chrome cast option on the Peleton app. Whenever I click on my AirPod pros it stops streaming to the TV and goes back to my iPad/iPhone for the video, the audio is coming through the AirPods but the video is back on the device. I’m not getting this to work like you describe. Am I missing something or a step? I perform the step of disconnecting the AirPods from the device and then click on them in the airplay once the workout is streaming. Thanks!

    1. Try disconnecting your AirPods from the device (phone/ipad) first – that’s the trick I have to do to get it to work. So you’ll disconnect the AirPods, screen mirror, then through the Peloton app, select your AirPods to cast. That *should* keep the streaming on and connect to AirPods.

  7. For some reason I can’t get my metrics to populate into the peleton app. I can see it on kinetic though. Am I doing something wrong?

    1. You’ll need to make sure your bike (and heart rate monitor, if using one) is connected to the Peloton app. I always have to connect to Peloton first, then Kinetic.

      1. Joshua Weiss says:

        This post was so helpful as was the mPaceLine app. The craziest part is that I did the whole calibration setup to convert my bike’s numbers to the peleton numbers and mPaceLine is showing pretty much the exact same numbers that I saw. With that running I don’t really even need to look at the native numbers on the bike.

        Only issue I have is that I’d rather have mpaceline use my Apple Watch as a heat rate monitor and not use the one from the bike. My wife and I share a peleton account so I can’t allow peleton to write workouts otherwise I’ll get credit for her workouts Even if they logged on another device. Or at least that’s how it did work.

        Even if that wasn’t a problem and peleton was reading from my watch would mpaceline combine the peleton heart rate data with its own? Looking for any advice. Thank you again.

        1. Leslie Lambert says:

          Yeah the heart rate monitor part is kind of confusing; I wish you could run the stats from the apple watch to both, but it’s an IOS issue from what I’ve found. Instead of trying to find a workaround, I just found it easier to put on the extra monitor.

  8. Moondancer says:

    Thank you for all the info!

    I can’t seem to get the cadence from the IC4 to connect to the Peloton app at the same time as to Kinetic tho, Bluetooth will only do one or the other, right? I have to stop it on one to get it to show on the other.

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      Try connecting to Peloton first, then Kinetic. For some reason you can’t connect to Peloton once it’s on an outside device.

  9. Hello and thanks! I see you mention seeing resistance in the kinetic app, but all I see are cadence, power, heart rate, etc. just no resistance, how do you get that?

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      If I remember correctly, Kinetic doesn’t show resistance – you’ll need to look on your bike to see that number. If you want to see everything in one app, I recommend mPaceline – I’ve actually started using that instead of Kinetic. I’ll try to update this post soon with the details about that!

  10. Joe DeMonia says:

    This is awesome, I like how much data that mpaceline captures, once I adjusted the calories burned to match Peloton, Apple Fitness and Zwift and I feel it’s one of the best app out there, but the luxury of using it with Peloton, makes it even better. Thank you for taking the time to write up all the steps, posting it and for sharing it: it’s by far the best DIY Peloton setup I’ve seen.

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Joe!