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Illustration by Brittany England

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The Echelon line of bikes is often billed as a budget-friendly alternative to high-end brands like Peloton, NordicTrack, and SoulCycle.

With multiple models to choose from and thousands of live and on-demand classes available via their app, it can be a good option for those looking to squeeze in more spin workouts on their own schedule.

However, there are also a few drawbacks to consider before investing in an Echelon bike.

This article reviews some of the key features of Echelon bikes to help you determine whether it’s worth the price.

Echelon is a type of indoor exercise bike that’s popular among many fitness enthusiasts.

A variety of models of Echelon’s Connect bikes are available, each of which can be used with Echelon Fit, a subscription-based app that offers live and on-demand streaming workout classes.

The bike models available include:

  • GT+
  • EX-5
  • EX-5s
  • EX-8s

Each model offers a different set of features and has slight variations in terms of its technical specs and measurements. Certain models also include extras like bottle holders, weight racks, and power ports.

Each bike comes with a 1-year warranty.

Echelon membership

All Echelon bikes work with the Echelon Fit app, which provides access to both Connect rides and classes from Echelon FitPass.

The Echelon app offers both live and on-demand cycling classes and allows you to ride with friends and compete on the leaderboard. Additionally, Echelon FitPass offers several other types of classes, including:

Additionally, Echelon recently added streaming capabilities to the app, so you can watch shows and movies on Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Samsung. (Those subscriptions are not included with the app membership.)

An active membership for the Echelon Fit app is required to access some of the bike’s features, but up to five riders per household can share a subscription.

Monthly memberships cost $39.99 (currently discounted to $34.99). Annual memberships are also available and cost $399.99 for 1 year or $699 for 2 years, which translates to around $29 to $33 per month.

One thing to keep in mind is that only the EX-5s and EX-8s models have a built-in touch screen, so you’ll need to use your own device to access the app if you choose to purchase one of the other models.

Pros

  • Echelon has a variety of bike models available at different price points. The GT+ and EX-5 models are currently on sale for less than $1,000.
  • Pedals on Echelon bikes are dual-sided, so you can wear cycling shoes or regular shoes.
  • You can sync the bikes with third-party apps like Strava, Zwift, Apple Health, and Fitbit.
  • You can stream entertainment from Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Samsung via the Echelon app (subscriptions to these services are not included with app membership).

Cons

  • The standard warranty is not as long as the warranty some other brands offer.
  • Some competitors’ bikes offer more resistance levels and additional features at a similar (or lower) price point.
  • Echelon bikes do not have automatic trainer control, and they do not come with accessories like dumbbells or a heart rate monitor.
  • There are some complaints about Echelon’s customer service.

Here’s a closer look at each of the four Echelon Connect bike models. Prices are based on MSRP, but we’ve also included the sale price listed on Echelon’s website at the time of publication.

Echelon GT+

Price: $1,299.99 (on sale for $899.99)

The GT+ is the least expensive of the Echelon bike models listed. It’s available in three different flywheel colors, and there’s also a special edition pink version to support breast cancer awareness. Unlike the other models, the flywheel is located at the front of the bike instead of at the back.

The bike features a large adjustable padded seat, a device holder, water bottle holders, and a dumbbell rack. You can adjust both the seat and the handlebars in four different directions so you can find the fit that’s most comfortable for you.

While it does not include a built-in touch screen, it has the same amount of resistance levels and the same dual-sided pedals as the other more expensive options. That said, the GT+ does not have Bluetooth connectivity like the other bikes.

Echelon GT+ at a glance

  • Dimensions: 54 x 24 x 57 in. (137.2 x 61 x 144.8 cm)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs. (136.1 kg)
  • Weight: 88 lbs. (39.9 kg)
  • Resistance levels: 32
  • Screen: N/A
  • Seat: large, padded
  • Pedals: dual-sided with SPD clips and toe cages
  • Other features: device holder, water bottle holders, and dumbbell rack
  • Pros:
    • currently on sale for less than $1,000
    • same amount of resistance levels as the more expensive options
    • variety of different flywheel colors available
  • Cons:
    • no built-in touch screen
    • no Bluetooth connectivity

Echelon EX-5

Price: $1,499.99 (on sale for $999.99 at time of publication)

Like the GT+, the Echelon EX-5 does not have a built-in touch screen, but it does have a rear flywheel and Bluetooth connectivity. The bike has a vented seat that’s smaller than the seat on the GT+ but made to be competition-style and more similar to the seat on a Peloton bike. The seat and handlebars are adjustable in four different directions.

It also includes a device holder that can flip 180 degrees, which makes it easy to do off-bike workouts. The bike has Bluetooth connectivity so you can track your performance.

To learn more about the EX-5, check out our full review.

Echelon EX-5 at a glance

  • Dimensions: 58 x 20 x 55 in. (147.3 x 50.8 x 139.7 cm)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs. (136.1 kg)
  • Weight: 106 lbs. (48 kg)
  • Resistance levels: 32
  • Screen: N/A
  • Seat: vented competition-style
  • Pedals: dual-sided with SPD clips and toe cages
  • Other features: Bluetooth, device holder, water bottle holders, and dumbbell rack
  • Pros:
    • currently on sale for just under $1,000
    • device holder can flip 180 degrees for off-bike workouts
  • Cons:
    • no built-in touch screen
    • fewer resistance levels than some other bikes at this price point

Echelon EX-5s

Price: $1,799.99 or $1,999.99 depending on screen size (on sale for $1,199.99 or $1,499.99, respectively, at time of publication)

The EX-5s is very similar to the EX-5, except it comes with either a 10-in. (25.4-cm) or 22-in. (56-cm) touch screen that flips 180 degrees. There are also two charging ports so you can charge your phone or tablet while you’re working out.

If you opt for the larger screen, you’ll be able to select from two color options, black or mossy oak.

Read more about the EX-5s in this in-depth review.

Echelon EX-5s at a glance

  • Dimensions: 58 x 21.5 x 61 in. (147.3 x 54.6 x 154.9 cm)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs. (136.1 kg)
  • Weight: 124 lbs. (56 kg)
  • Resistance levels: 32
  • Screen: 10- or 22-in. (25.4- or 56-cm) HD touch screen that flips 180 degrees
  • Seat: vented competition-style
  • Pedals: dual-sided with SPD clips and toe cages
  • Other features: Bluetooth, charging ports, water bottle holders, dumbbell rack
  • Pros:
    • includes an HD touch screen that can rotate 180 degrees for off-bike workouts
    • can choose between two different screen sizes depending on budget and workout preferences
  • Cons:
    • warranty is a little limited for a bike of this price point
    • fewer resistance levels than some other bikes at this price point

Echelon EX-8s

Price: $3,199.99 (on sale for $2,299.99 at time of publication)

The EX-8s is Echelon’s most high-tech model, and it’s also the most expensive. It boasts a 24-in. (61-cm) curved HD touch screen, dual front-facing speakers, and Bluetooth-enabled buttons on the handlebars for easy resistance adjustments (there’s still a resistance knob as well).

Another unique feature of this bike is its dual-flywheel design, which Echelon says helps provide a smoother ride. The flywheels have LED lights that change colors to match workout metrics like your heart rate zone to help keep you motivated and immersed in your workout.

This bike has a large, padded seat and handlebars that adjust in four different directions.

Echelon EX-8s at a glance

  • Dimensions: 59 x 23 x 65 in. (149.9 x 58.4 x 165.1 cm)
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs. (136.1 kg)
  • Weight: 124 lbs. (56 kg)
  • Resistance levels: 32
  • Screen: 24-in. (61-cm) curved HD touch screen
  • Seat: oversized, padded
  • Pedals: dual-sided with SPD clips and toe cages
  • Other features: Bluetooth, water bottle holders, dumbbell rack, dual front-facing speakers, resistance adjustment buttons, and LED flywheel lights
  • Pros:
    • can adjust the resistance without touching the knob using the buttons on the handlebars
    • LED flywheel lights with 15 different colors options to match workout metrics
  • Cons:
    • higher price tag
    • warranty is short for a bike at this price point

Warranty and additional fees

When purchasing an Echelon bike, you can also opt for an extended 1- or 2-year warranty. It covers things like repairs, wear and tear, and any electronic issues.

The warranty cost is based on the value of the bike. It costs $99 for a 1-year warranty or $149 for a 2-year warranty on the GT+, but that increases to $219 for a 1-year warranty or $339 for a 2-year warranty on the EX-8s.

It’s also important to note that you’re required to purchase an Echelon membership ($29 to $39.99 per month depending on which plan you choose) during the checkout process on Echelon’s website, which will add to the total cost.

When calculating your final price, you’ll want to keep in mind that in addition to the prices listed above, you may need to pay an additional fee for delivery depending on which Echelon membership you choose and where you live.

GT+EX-5EX-5sEX-8s
Price$1,299.99 (on sale for $899.99)$1,499.99 (on sale for $999.99)$1,799.99 or $1,999.99 depending on screen size (on sale for $1,199.99 or $1,499.99)$3,199.99 (on sale for $2,299.99)
Dimensions54 x 24 x 57 in. (137.2 x 61 x 144.8 cm)58 x 20 x 55 in. (147.3 x 50.8 x 139.7 cm)58 x 21.5 x 61 in. (147.3 x 54.6 x 154.9 cm)59 x 23 x 65 in. (149.9 x 58.4 x 165.1 cm)
Weight88 lbs. (39.9 kg)106 lbs. (48 kg)124 lbs. (56 kg)124 lbs. (56 kg)
Weight capacity300 lbs. (136.1 kg)300 lbs. (136.1 kg)300 lbs. (136.1 kg)300 lbs (136.1 kg)
Resistance levels32323232
ScreenN/AN/A10- or 22-in. (25.4- or 56-cm) HD touch screen that flips 180 degrees24-in. (61-cm) curved HD touch screen
Seatlarge, paddedvented competition-stylevented competition-styleoversized, padded
Other features• device holder
• water bottle holders
• dumbbell Rack
• device holder that flips 180 degrees
• water bottle holders
• dumbbell rack
• water bottle holders
• dumbbell rack
• charging ports
• water bottle holders
• dual front-facing speakers
• dual flywheels with LED lights
• resistance adjustment buttons

Prices are accurate as of date of publication.

Echelon has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but only 1.2 out of 5 stars, which is based on 40 customer reviews. There have been 410 complaints with the BBB in the last 3 years and 99 in the last 12 months. Most of these complaints involve issues with membership subscription costs or customer service.

Out of 49 reviews on Trustpilot, Echelon has 1.7 out of 5 stars, or a “bad” rating. The majority, or 86%, are 1-star reviews. Similar to the reviews on the BBB website, many of these complaints are about poor customer service.

The Echelon app has 2.8 stars on the Apple App Store and 2.6 stars on Google Play.

Reviews are mixed. While some reviewers really like the variety of workouts offered and find the app easy to use, others say they’ve experienced connectivity issues and glitches.

Some of Echelon’s main competitors include Peloton, NordicTrack, and Schwinn. Bikes from these companies are generally similar but also have unique features, so you’ll want to think about what features and price point are best for your needs.

To help you decide, here’s a look at how some of the most popular models compare:

Echelon EX-5Peloton BikeNordicTrack S22iSchwinn IC4
Price• $1,499.99 (on sale for $999.99)
• shipping fees based on location and membership
• no assembly service
• $1,445
• free shipping and assembly
• $1,999
• free shipping
• $199 for assembly
• $999
• free shipping
• $129 for assembly
Weight capacity300 lbs. (136.1 kg)297 lbs. (134.7 kg)350 lbs. (158.8 kg)330 lbs. (150 kg)
Weight106 lbs. (48 kg)135 lbs. (61.2 kg)205 lbs. (93 kg)106 lbs. (48kg)
Resistance levels3210024100
ScreenN/A21.5-in. (54.6-cm) tilting HD touchscreen22-in. (56-cm) 360-degree rotating HD touchscreenbacklit LCD console
Warranty1-year12-month limited warranty• 10-year frame
• 2-year parts
• 1-year labor
• 10-year frame
• 3-year parts and electronics
• 1-year labor
Training options• Echelon Fit ($39.99/month)
• can sync third-party apps to Echelon app
Peloton App ($44/month)• iFit ($39/month)
• 30-day iFit membership included with purchase
• JRNY ($19.99/month)
• 1-year JRNY membership included
• compatible with third-party apps, including Peloton
Pedalsdual-sided (SPD shoe clips and toe cages)delta-compatible aluminum pedalsdual-sided (SPD shoe clips and toe cages)dual-sided (SPD shoe clips and toe cages)
Seatvented competition-stylevented competition-styleergonomic, paddedstandard (option to pay extra for an extra comfort bike seat)
Other features• Bluetooth
• device holder that can flip 180 degrees for off-bike workouts
• water bottle holders
• dumbbell rack
• Bluetooth and ANT+
• water bottle holder
• dumbbell rack

• Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
• -10% decline to 20% incline
• auto-adjusting incline and resistance
• fan
• water bottle holders
• dumbbell rack
• pair of 3-lb. (1.4-kg) dumbbells included with purchase

• Bluetooth
• pair of 3-lb. (1.4-kg) dumbbells included with purchase
• Bluetooth-enabled heart rate armband monitor included
• USB charging port
• device holder

Echelon bikes are frequently on sale, so they can be a more budget-friendly alternative to brands like Peloton or NordicTrack, especially if you don’t mind using your own tablet or smartphone in place of a built-in touch screen.

Using an Echelon bike with the Echelon Fit app can also be a convenient and cost-effective alternative to boutique fitness studios and spin classes, allowing you to ride from the comfort of your home whenever it works for you. Plus, the app allows you to connect with the Echelon community, which may benefit those who enjoy having extra social support to stay motivated.

That said, Echelon bikes may not be a good option for everyone. For starters, several models do not include a built-in touchscreen, which can be an important feature for some. The two models with a touchscreen are much more expensive and comparable in price to competitors like Peloton or NordicTrack.

In addition to the price of the bike itself, you need to pay to use the Echelon Fit app, which can become expensive over time though it’s comparable to many other fitness apps.

One final thing to keep in mind is that the Echelon bikes come with a 1-year warranty, which falls short when compared with the warranties some competitors offer.

Is Echelon as good as Peloton?

Peloton bikes offer more resistance levels and comes with a touch screen, plus the Peloton app offers a wider variety of workout classes, is highly rated, and works with other brands of fitness equipment.

However, the base model costs $1,495, and that does not include the monthly All-Access membership fee or the cost of accessories like dumbbells or cycling shoes (you’ll need cycling shoes to ride a Peloton bike).

On the other hand, Echelon offers a wider variety of bike options at a range of price points (and they’re frequently on sale), so it may be easier for you to find a bike that’s right for your needs and budget. Additionally, you will not need special shoes to ride an Echelon bike.

Can you watch TV on an Echelon bike?

Yes, you can watch TV using the bike’s touch screen. Echelon recently added streaming capabilities to the Echelon Fit app, so you can stream shows and movies from Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Samsung. (Those subscriptions aren’t included with the Echelon membership.)

If you get an Echelon bike without a tablet holder and have an existing streaming subscription, you’ll be able to watch TV using your own device from any subscription service you choose.

Is Echelon made by Peloton?

Echelon is not made by Peloton. Echelon and Peloton are competitors, and the bikes are made by separate companies. (In fact, Peloton sued Echelon for patent infringement, but Echelon won the suit after Peloton’s patents were voided.)

Echelon bikes are a type of indoor exercise bike often touted as affordable alternatives to Peloton.

There are several models available, each of which varies in price and offers a unique set of features.

While there are additional costs to consider and some models may be missing certain features like a touch screen, investing in an Echelon bike can be an easy, fun, and effective way to squeeze in some extra workouts during your day.