Echelon EX-5 Smart Connect BikeShare on Pinterest

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Riding a stationary bike is a great way to get some movement in during your day and build strength. Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your own home regardless of the weather.

If you’re in the market for an indoor exercise bike, the Echelon EX-5 might be a good option.

Since there are so many smart bikes available, it’s important to know which special features the EX-5 has and how it compares with other popular bikes, like the Peloton and the NordicTrack S22i.

This article provides a thorough review of the Echelon EX-5 to help you decide if it’s the right bike for your fitness goals.

Pros

  • There are 32 levels of magnetic resistance.
  • The bike has a smaller footprint and weighs less than a Peloton.
  • The pedals have both toe cages and SPD clip options.
  • The handlebars and seat are 4-way adjustable.

Cons

  • You’ll have to provide your own screen if you want to stream classes while you ride.
  • The bike doesn’t have automatic resistance control like some other smart bikes.
  • Some reviewers have had difficulties with customer service.
  • The warranty is limited compared with the warranties on other smart bikes. (But you can purchase a longer, more extensive warranty for an additional fee.)

Founded in 2017, Echelon Fitness is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The company is known for producing high quality fitness equipment and often partners with celebrities to promote its products.

Echelon makes treadmills, rowers, fitness mirrors, and stationary exercise bikes. The Echelon EX-5 is a step up from the brand’s EX-3 bike.

While neither bike includes a built-in screen, the EX-5 is more adjustable, has higher quality handlebars, and includes a few more features like water bottle holders.

The Echelon EX-5 measures 58 x 20 x 55 inches (147.3 x 50.8 x 139.7 cm) and has a maximum recommended user weight of 300 pounds (136.1 kg). It also offers 32 levels of magnetic resistance that you can change with a resistance knob.

While the bike is recommended for users 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm) to 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall, people with heights ranging from 4 feet 5 inches (134 cm) to 6 feet 8 inches (203 cm) have reported using Echelon bikes.

The EX-5 can be adjusted in many different ways, depending on your preferences. The elevated, Bullhorn-style handlebars on the EX-5 can move up, down, forward, and backward. The vented competition style seat can be lowered or raised depending on your height. The bike’s pedals have both SPD compatible clips and toe cages.

Additionally, the bike has two water bottle holders and two dumbbell holders that can hold two-pound dumbbells, although the dumbbells are sold separately.

While it doesn’t have a built-in touchscreen, the Echelon EX-5’s device holder can hold products from 2.5 to 12.9 inches (6.35–32.8 cm) and flips 180 degrees for off-bike workouts. The bike is also Bluetooth enabled.

The Echelon EX-5 retails for $1,499.99, and Echelon also offers payment plans starting at $22 per month. Shipping costs $99, or $198 if you want the bike assembled for you as well.

It’s important to note that an Echelon Premier membership is required to purchase the bike through Echelon’s website. The subscription costs $39.99 per month. It includes up to 5 profiles, more than 40 daily live classes, and thousands of on-demand options for cycling classes and off-bike workouts.

Classes include cycling, HIIT, and yoga workouts, and you can keep track of your progress on the app’s live leaderboards. Echelon’s app offers an extensive library of workout music, and the brand also plans to add Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Samsung streaming options soon.

If you opt for a 1-year or 2-year subscription, you’ll make a payment of $399.99 every year or $699 every 2 years instead of paying each month. (The annual and biannual memberships end up being a little cheaper than paying month-to-month.)

While the bike comes with a 12-month limited warranty on parts and labor, you’ll need to pay extra if you want a 1-year or 2-year extended warranty (costing $109 for 1 year or $169 for 2 years) that covers repairs needed due to normal wear and tear or electronic issues.

In general, users give the Echelon EX-5 positive reviews when it comes to ease of use and assembly. Reviewers suggest giving yourself between 30 minutes to an hour to put together your bike.

It weighs 106 pounds (48.1 kg), which makes it reasonably easy to move out of the way between workouts. Plus, it’s lighter and smaller than both the Peloton and the NordicTrack S22i.

The EX-5 runs quietly and smoothly. It doesn’t have automatic resistance control, which allows your trainer to adjust the resistance for you, but the easy-to-reach resistance knob allows you to quickly adjust the difficulty of your workout.

The toe cages on the pedals allow you to ride without having to wear special clip-in shoes, and they make it easy for you to mix up your workout with some off-bike exercises. That said, you can also easily use cycling shoes if you prefer.

Being able to adjust both the seat and handlebars in four different directions can help you stay more comfortable during longer rides. Plus, the high level of adjustability makes the EX-5 a good choice if you’ll be sharing the bike with other people.

The Echelon EX-5 is good for those who like studio-style, rear flywheel design bikes and virtual training classes but don’t need a built-in screen. If you’re looking to save space but don’t want a folding bike, the EX-5 might be worth considering.

If you intend to do a lot of riding and are concerned about maintenance issues due to wear and tear, the EX-5 may not be the best option for you, unless you want to pay for the extended warranty.

Additionally, if you prefer a bike with a built-in touchscreen, you’ll want to pay a bit more for the Echelon EX-5s or you’ll want to choose another brand.

Echelon Fitness is generally considered a popular, more budget-friendly alternative to other brands, like Peloton, although it’s worth noting that the EX-5 and Peloton Bike are very similarly priced.

Echelon has a C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, which reports over 370 complaints closed with the company in the last 3 years (over 130 in the last year).

Most customer complaints about Echelon express frustrations with the company’s customer service department. Some customers have had difficulties getting help when they’ve experienced connectivity issues with their equipment or wanted to change their warranty and subscription status.

Wondering how the Echelon EX-5 stacks up against other popular exercise bike options? Here’s a quick run-down.

PriceWarrantyTraining optionsResistanceOther features
Echelon EX-5$1,499.9912-month limited parts and labor warrantyEchelon membership (purchase required)32 levels• two bottle holders
• dumbbell holders
• dual-sided pedals (toe cages/SPD clips)
• 4-way adjustable seat and handlebars
• 180-degree rotating tablet holder
Peloton Bike$1,49512-month limited warranty, 5 years on the bike framePeloton membership (30-day free trial included with bike purchase)100 levels• 21.5-in. (54.6-cm) touchscreen
• adjustable pedals, handlebars, and screen
• dumbbell holders
NordicTrack S22i$1,89910 years frame, 2 years parts, 1 year laboriFit membership (30-day free trial included with bike purchase) 24 levels• 22-in. (55.9-cm) 360-degree rotating touchscreen
• 4-way adjustable seat
• Automatic Trainer Control
• incline/decline from -10 to 20%
• dual water bottle holders
• 3-lb. (1.4-kg) dumbbells
Bowflex C6$99910 years frame, 3 years part, 3 years electronics, 1 year labor
Optional 5 year extension for parts and labor available for $109
• JRNY membership (1-year membership included with purchase)
• compatible with Peloton and Zwift apps
100 levels• backlit LCD console
• media holder
• 3-lb. (1.4-kg) dumbbells
• Bluetooth heart rate armband monitor
ProForm Carbon CX$59910 years frame, 1 year parts and laboriFit membership (30-day free trial included with bike purchase)16 levels• tablet holder
• adjustable handlebars
• Automatic Resistance Control
• water bottle holder
• 3-lb. (1.4-kg) dumbbells

Does the Echelon EX-5 come with a screen?

The Echelon EX-5 does not come with a screen. It’s designed to hold a tablet or other device from 2.5 to 12.9 inches (6.35–32.8 cm) on the handlebar mount, which flips 180 degrees for off-bike workouts.

What is the difference between the Echelon EX-3 and EX-5?

The biggest differences between the Echelon EX-3 and EX-5 are small upgrades in the EX-5’s features.

For example, the EX-3 has ergonomic handlebars with an adjustable console, while the EX-5 has a Competition Aero handlebar system that can be adjusted in four directions: forward, backward, up, and down. The EX-5 also has a nicer tablet holder and two water bottle holders.

Is Echelon as good as Peloton?

Both Echelon and Peloton bikes allow you to get a studio-style cycling workout from your own home. To decide which brand is a better fit for you, you’ll want to consider a variety of factors, like:

  • budget
  • feature preferences
  • type of trainers and classes you enjoy

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, Echelon offers some more affordable bikes. Most Echelon bikes don’t come with a built-in screen for streaming classes though, so if that feature is important to you, you’ll want to consider an Echelon EX-5s or a Peloton.

If you’re looking for a bike with Bluetooth connectivity, a membership option with plenty of classes, and a highly adjustable design, the Echelon EX-5 is worth looking into.

While you’ll make some trade-offs (like no built-in screen), the price reduction may be worth it if you’re willing to provide your own tablet or smartphone.