LOFT is offering a huge discount on their sale items – take an extra 70% off with the code SOCUTE. Hundreds of items are included in the sale. So many readers have already scored incredible deals on this sale and I am so excited you can still take advantage of it.
All sale items are final sale. Affiliate links used in this post.
I also did a quick search and want to share a few finds below.
Face Masks: Retail $19.50, with coupon: $2.10
Ruffle Yoke Sweater: Retail $69, with coupon $4.76
Heart earrings: Retail $44, sale $5
Plaid Tunic Shirt: Retail $64.50, with coupon $5.96
Animal print top: Retail $54, with coupon $7.46
Dotted Chambray Shirt: Retail $64.50, with coupon $7.46
Heart tulip top: Retail $54.50, with coupon $7.50
Heart embroidered top (all sizes + plus size available): Retail $64.50, with coupon $7.50
Rib Trim V-Neck Long Sleeve Tee: Retail $44.50, with coupon $9
Chambray Shirt: Retail $64.50, with coupon $9
This is just a sampling. Click here to shop the full sale.
If you are looking for a Peloton bike alternative, the Schwinn IC4 is a perfect pick.
In summer 2020, I began heavily researching bike options. I was inspired by so many friends who had seen success at home riding on bikes, especially the Peloton. But the price tag for the bike + monthly membership was not appealing to me. I thoroughly researched many options before landing on the Schwinn IC4. This post outlines what I considered, why I selected a Schwinn IC4 vs. a Peloton and why I like the bike.
Alternative bikes to the Peloton
I considered the following bikes in my research
I quickly decided that I did NOT need a Peloton. The unique selling points of a Peloton are the screen, accessing classes live and engaging with the community (via the leaderboard) who is riding at the same time as you. Frankly, I didn’t care about these features. You can still see who is live in the app and I am not someone that the coaches are ever going to shout out to.
I also read hundreds of reviews and comments in Facebook groups that the experience was just fine using another screen that wasn’t the mounted Peloton screen. I also read some suggestions that buying a bike with a screen attached is riskier because it is a big piece of technology that could fail at some point — and likely ahead of the bike itself. (This Peloton digital app users Facebook group has been incredibly helpful — both in researching bikes and afterward.)
Cost is also a huge factor. If you buy a Peloton, the monthly fee to access the classes is $49 (unlimited users). If you just use the app, it is $12.99 per user (that's nearly $600 a year vs $156 a year for one user). This is a costly difference that, again, I just don’t feel is worth it – especially since right now only two people in my house use the bike.
The MYX Fitness and Echelon both have screens and their own classes. Like the Peloton, these are more costly, and I decided it was not what I wanted in my bike.
I narrowly focused in on the Echelon EX-3 (no screen, $1,039), Sunny ($300-$500) and Schwinn IC4 ($899).
All three bikes had solid reviews. The Sunny required a lot of add ons to be competitive with the Peloton and that overwhelmed me, so I decided to eliminate that from my list. (You can find plenty of articles about the Sunny and how to customize it.)
Ultimately, it was the height minimums that were the deciding factor for me. I’m a petite 5’0” and the Schwinn IC4 is made for people 4’6” and taller, so that sealed it for me. I liked that my middle schooler could also ride the bike. (The Echelon recommends 4’11” and the Sunny recommends 5’2”.)
Check out this helpful article comparing Peloton and the Schwinn IC4 for more on specs and similarities/differences between the two bikes.
How to do cycling classes on the Schwinn IC4
The Schwinn IC4 includes a mount for a screen, like an phone or tablet. I have mostly used my iphone to watch classes, which has been totally sufficient. I just got an iPad, so am sure I will enjoy the larger screen as soon as I set it up.
My bike is located in a place where a tv screen is not feasible, though I have read that many people enjoy riding with a tv.
You do need to convert resistance (how heavy the wheel is). I didn't know this at first and it is soooo important. I recommend buying this handy chart, though you could easily make something yourself. Also be sure that your bike is set to miles instead of km. You do this by holding the up and down arrows for 3 seconds, changing to miles, then pushing any other key to lock it.
What metrics are available on the Schwinn IC4?
The bike includes a display that shows heart rate, speed, time, distance, resistance, calories and RPM. The bike's bluetooth syncs with the Peloton app and shows cadence. You can also use the Kinetic app along with the Peloton app for more comprehensive data. My understanding is that the Peloton app works best with ISO devices, though I have no experience with an android device.
Do you need bike shoes for a Schwinn IC4?
You can ride with sneakers or bike shoes. After several months, I just decided to invest in bike shoes, which are supposed to give you better stability and a smoother ride. The Schwinn IC4 comes with attachments for your bike shoes to lock into the wheel. I'll be sure to update this post when I start using them.
Is there a long wait for the Schwinn IC4?
Bikes are super popular right now. I had to wait about six weeks to get mine in the fall of 2020. I have had readers report getting theirs within two weeks. Sometimes you will catch them in stock at Best Buy. I recommend buying directly from Schwinn because if something went wrong, I think the customer service would be better/easier. Shipping is also free when you buy direct.
We found the bike easy to assemble and I did not pay the extra to have someone assemble the bike for us. I think it took about an hour to put together. I did get this mat to put beneath the bike, and added this cushioned seat pad to the seat.
Is financing available?
Yes, when you buy through Schwinn, you can get 18-months interest-free financing.
I couldn’t be happier with my Schwinn IC4 and think it is an excellent alternative to buying a Peloton.
Let me know if you have questions and I will do my best to answer them in the comments.
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Our kindergartener Ezra has been struggling with reading, and Matthew and I have been struggling with how best to help him. We think it is mostly due to a combination of missing the second half of preschool + not getting in person attention because of virtual learning.
Unlike our other kids, he also doesn't respond well to us wanting to help him, but he does great with others. In Wisconsin, he did so much better practicing sight words with his grandparents vs. practicing them with me.
Reading Tutoring for Kids in Grades K-2
In December, we decided to enroll him in an online tutoring service called Savvy Reading. Affiliate links used in this post.
Savvy Reading provides individual or small group (2-4 kids total) live online reading classes led by a coach to help your child become a confident and skilled reader. Sessions are 25-minutes a day, Monday through Thursday, and are available for all children at a kindergarten through second grade level.
Savvy Reading teachers are excellent at their jobs – kind, smart and engaged. I have been so impressed. Savvy Reading also follows Common Core Standards.
Does my child need a reading tutor?
Savvy Reading might be right for your child if….
Your child is ready to learn to read but you don’t have the time, ability or desire to teach them yourself.
You're homeschooling and you want your child to have interaction with other children.
Your child is struggling with reading and needs help getting to grade level.
Your child responds better to an adult that isn’t their parent.
You struggle with consistently working with your child and need a built in program that makes it easy for him or her to get the on-going practice they need.
Save $25 a Month on Savvy Reading
If any of those sound like you, Savvy Reading might be the perfect fit for your family. From February 22-25 they are offering $25 off per month for any plan, so it is the perfect time to join and test it out. With this sale, it works out to less than $10 a lesson, which is a steal for this kind of tutoring.
Ezra genuinely enjoys “reading class” as he calls it. He doesn't complain about it and stays engaged during his sessions. It's only been two months, but I believe Savvy is helping him make progress because of its consistency.
Last week I had a call with Ezra's kindergarten teacher about his reading and she said we were doing everything right and to definitely continue with the tutoring. It was so affirming that she believed it was making a difference.
Check out Savvy Reading
If your child is struggling with reading, I highly recommend checking out Savvy Reading. As soon as he was signed up, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Reading is critical to a child's success in so many areas. I believe Savvy Reading can help give kids like Ezra the tools to be confident readers.
This weekend, my best friend Angie and I hosted a virtual stitching bee to go along with my free Blooming Books pattern.
You can watch the relay in the video above.
We demonstrated multiple stitches used in the pattern, as well as just laughed and had a good time with stitchers from around the world.
Though we can't be together in person, we hope this makes you feel a part of something fun.
If you don't have the pattern yet, you can get it in the form below.
Retail is $70+, so this is a fantastic deal. They have kids, teen and adult sizes. These are the lowest prices on record and inventory is selling fast. If you look at these on Amazon, you'll see they have thousands of five-star reviews.
I ordered one for Elias and can't wait for it to arrive.
Ezra has a similar scooter with a seat and we LOVE it!
Shipping starts at $5.99. But if you order today, you will have free shipping for the rest of the day.