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 EX5 might be a good option.
Since there are so many smart bikes available, it’s important to know which special features the EX5 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 EX5 to help you decide if it’s the right bike for your fitness goals.
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 EX5 is a step up from the brand’s EX3 bike.
While neither bike includes a built-in screen, the EX5 is more adjustable, has higher quality handlebars, and includes a few more features like water bottle holders.
The Echelon EX5 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 EX5 can be adjusted in many different ways, depending on your preferences. The elevated, Bullhorn-style handlebars on the EX5 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 EX5’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 EX5 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 EX5 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 EX5 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 EX5 a good choice if you’ll be sharing the bike with other people.
The Echelon EX5 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 EX5 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 EX5 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 EX5s 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 EX5 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 EX5 stacks up against other popular exercise bike options? Here’s a quick run-down.
Does the Echelon EX5 come with a screen?
The Echelon EX5 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 EX3 and EX5?
The biggest differences between the Echelon EX3 and EX5 are small upgrades in the EX5’s features.
For example, the EX3 has ergonomic handlebars with an adjustable console, while the EX5 has a Competition Aero handlebar system that can be adjusted in four directions: forward, backward, up, and down. The EX5 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:
- 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 EX5s 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 EX5 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.
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