Horizon Fitness 5.0 IC Indoor Cycle Review: Worth it

If you’re in the market for a reliable and affordable starter magnetic indoor bike, look no further than the latest offering from Horizon Fitness. As an avid indoor cyclist, I’ve come across numerous options that claim to be budget-friendly alternatives to the Peloton, but most of them fall short in terms of overall experience. Whether it’s the bike’s noisy operation, wobbly handlebars, lack of clip-in pedals, or limited fitness tracking capabilities, cutting costs often leads to noticeable drawbacks.

Although Horizon Fitness is a well-known name in the treadmill industry, their reputation for indoor bikes isn’t as widespread. However, after spending four months and riding over 600 miles on the Horizon Fitness 5.0 IC Indoor Cycle, I can confidently say that this bike stands out from its competition.

Here’s a little secret: If you already own a tablet or iPad, you possess the most important features found in those expensive indoor bikes with built-in screens. The classes and training programs offered by companies like Peloton are available through various apps, which means that a bike with a good tablet mount gives you access to a wide range of workout types.

When considering an indoor bike, three crucial factors come to mind: stability, consistency, and comfort, all without occupying excessive space in your home. And if I’m being honest, the ability to watch Netflix or YouTube while riding is a delightful bonus.

The 5.0 IC’s dimensions out of the box are 47 inches in length and 21 inches in width, making it 12 inches shorter than a Peloton and slightly narrower. This compact design not only saves space but also makes moving the bike for cleaning a breeze.

The seat post of the 5.0 IC features a standard adjustable knob, allowing it to accommodate riders of any height. The handlebars can be raised or lowered accordingly for a customized fit. The bike comes with cage pedals equipped with adjustable straps, enabling anyone wearing sneakers to ride comfortably. However, if you prefer SPD or Look shoes, you’ll need to replace the pedals with widely available 9/16″ dual-sided ones.

Atop the handlebars, you’ll find a flat surface specifically designed to hold your tablet. While it’s worth noting that this tablet shelf isn’t adjustable like some other auto-resistance spin bikes I’ve tried, it’s certainly wide enough to securely place a laptop if necessary.

According to Horizon Fitness, the 5.0 IC comes with a racing-style road saddle. However, I must confess that this claim seems exaggerated. Indoor bike saddles are often designed to accommodate a wide range of body types and are replaceable with a personal preference in mind. Unfortunately, the saddle that came with the 5.0 IC was extremely uncomfortable for me, making a 20-mile ride nearly unbearable. Thankfully, replacing the saddle with a Wittkop trekking-style seat solved the problem, allowing for long rides without any discomfort.

The front of the bike features a 28.6-pound flywheel controlled by a magnetic resistance system. Operating the resistance is simple, thanks to the performance panel located beneath the tablet mount. The panel provides essential data such as speed, distance, and heart rate when using a Bluetooth heart rate monitor strap, armband, or watch.

Unlike traditional resistance knobs, the 5.0 IC utilizes up and down arrows to adjust resistance levels, ranging from 1 to 100. During casual rides, I typically found myself hovering around 20. However, once you surpass 50, the resistance simulates a challenging climb up a fairly steep hill. I rarely felt the need to exceed level 60, except for the occasional personal challenge. Furthermore, the flywheel remained remarkably quiet, surpassing the noise levels of any other bike I’ve tested this year.

For a fully connected experience, Horizon Fitness recommends using the Zwift app. By pairing the included heart rate monitor and the bike itself with Zwift, you can track your performance and participate in virtual rides around the world, either individually or with others. The app reflects the bike’s speed, allowing for realistic racing experiences against other users.

Additionally, the Peloton app and several others are compatible with the 5.0 IC for training purposes. If you prefer, you can simply watch a movie while spinning and import your health data to popular platforms like Strava, Fitbit, and Apple Health. I highly recommend using the QZ app as a bridge application to synchronize all stats with Zwift, rather than just connecting speed data. If you’re seeking a space-efficient bike without compromising quality, options within this price range are limited.

The Horizon Fitness 5.0 IC Indoor Cycle is priced at $500, which is only a third of the cost of a Peloton Bike Original and one-fifth of the Peloton Bike Plus. It is slightly more expensive than the Niceday bike, but the key feature that sets the 5.0 IC apart is its motorized resistance system, providing smarter automatic resistance changes. If auto-resistance isn’t a priority for you, I believe the Niceday bike is an excellent alternative due to its horizontal handlebar grips and dual-sided pedals.

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Horizon Fitness 5.0 IC Indoor Cycle Bike

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Last update was on: February 28, 2024 3:12 am
8.5Expert Score
Horizon Fitness 5.0 IC is a Good Indoor Cycle!

The Horizon Fitness 5.0 IC Indoor Cycle offers an affordable and reliable option for those seeking a starter indoor bike. With its focus on stability, compact design, and compatibility with tablet-based apps, it provides a versatile and enjoyable workout experience. While it may have a few drawbacks like the initial saddle comfort, its magnetic resistance system, ease of use, and attractive price make it a standout choice in its price range. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned indoor cyclist, the 5.0 IC delivers quality and convenience for achieving your fitness goals at home.

Adjustability
8
Display
8.2
Comfort
8.5
Performance
9
Sturdy
8.7

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