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Home gym equipment is getting smarter (mirrors that talk to you — what??) and more accessible every day. Edging its way to the front of the exercise retailer pack is Echelon Fitness.
Echelon sells a variety of your fave workout machines (rowers, treadmills, smart mirrors), but its real claim to fame is its lineup of stationary bikes.
Comparable to the ubiquitous Peloton Bike, an Echelon bike can provide some of the same benefits at half the cost. But is it really any good? And what features come with each model?
We did the research for you.
- less expensive than a Peloton
- multiple models and price points to choose from
- models available with touch screens or device mounts for your tablet or phone
- 30-day return policy
- 1-year warranty
- still on the pricey side
- compatible only with Echelon app/digital streaming service
- takes time to reconnect to app before each class
|Connect EX-7S||Connect EX-5s||Connect EX-5||Connect EX-3||Connect EX-1 LE|
|Price||starts at $2040||starts at $1,640||starts at $1,240||starts at $1,040||starts at $840|
|Key features||22″ HD touchscreen, Bluetooth-capable||22″ HD touchscreen, Bluetooth-capable||smart device mount, Bluetooth-capable||smart device mount, Bluetooth-capable||smart device mount, Bluetooth-capable|
|Pedals||SPD-compatible with adjustable toe cages||SPD-compatible with adjustable toe cages||SPD-compatible with adjustable toe cages||SPD-compatible with adjustable toe cages||SPD-compatible with adjustable toe cages|
|Weights||frame-mounted dumbbell rack, weights sold separately||frame-mounted dumbbell rack, weights sold separately||frame-mounted dumbbell rack, weights sold separately||seat-mounted dumbbell rack, weights sold separately||seat-mounted dumbbell rack, weights sold separately|
|Other tidbits||adjustable handlebars, 2 water bottle holders||adjustable handlebars, 2 water bottle holders||adjustable handlebars, 2 water bottle holders||fixed handlebars, no water bottle holder||fixed handlebars, no water bottle holder|
Echelon Connect Bikes comes in five models: the Connect EX-7S, Connect EX-5s, Connect EX-5, Connect EX-3, and Connect EX-1 LE. At first glance, the obvious difference between them is the price, which ranges from $840 to $2,040.
The bikes are designed for relatively easy setup you can do with an instructional video. And they’re made of structurally sound metal, so no worries about tackling those standing climbs.
Echelon bikes are also sleek and compact, so you won’t feel like your bike is an eyesore if you set it up in your office or living area rather than a garage or basement.
One of the biggest draws of the Echelon bike is the ability to take virtual classes, which you can do on-demand or live, in addition to virtual bike rides for an outdoor tour (similar to the ones made famous by Zwift).
The live classes are streamed directly from Echelon’s studios to your app. You can filter classes by instructor, length, difficulty level, and music genre.
Classes last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and come in a wide variety of formats. In addition to cycling classes, you can choose yoga, Pilates, stretching, cardio, and even meditation.
As previously mentioned, the price varies based on the bike model and any add-ons you purchase.
The bikes are currently not available for purchase without a virtual membership, but there are membership tiers to give you some price control. Tiers include monthly, annual, and 2-year memberships.
All in all, if you’re an indoor cycling lover who’s still wary about returning to the gym, an Echelon bike could prove to be a good investment. If you take advantage of the live classes, you’ll be back to feeling the effects of the community aspect before you know it.