In an ideal world, everyone is healthy and in the best shape of their lives. However, the reality is cruel, and most of us don't have the time to hit the gym because of our busy schedules. Thankfully, our comparison of Echelon vs Peloton bikes should offer some solution to this problem.
Both brands offer you an excellent live spin class app that makes indoor cycling exciting. They also have a similar design and help you get the best indoor cycling workout possible.
But since the Peloton and Echelon stationary bikes have so much in common, how will you know which one is better for you? Should you purchase a Peloton or Echelon for your home gym?
We've put together this article to cut the guesswork out of your decisions by making an in-depth comparison of the Peloton vs Echelon Smart Connect exercise bikes.
We look at all aspects of both bikes and compare them side by side to give you a completely unbiased opinion of the best indoor bike to choose. But before we jump into the comparison, we'll do a quick review of both the Echelon and Peloton bikes.
Table of Contents
Echelon Smart Connect EX5s Review
Spin bikes are an excellent alternate workout activity because of the low impact it has on your body. But you also need intensity to help you lose adequate weight and get heart-pumping workouts.
The Echelon Smart Connect achieves this by providing "Remarkable" low impact high-intensity workouts!
With the Echelon Spin Bike, you get all the expected amenities of traditional stationary bikes.
What truly makes the Echelon different from your standard stationary bike is the app and the size of the bike. The Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX5s measures 58" x 21.5" x 61" and weighs 124 lbs.
You also get a few primary inclusions such as:
- 2 large water bottle holders
- Screen that flips 180 degrees for off-equipment cross-training
- Access to pre-programmed or live workouts sessions
- Powder-coated, scratch-resistant frame
- It includes an indexing resistance knob with 32 levels of magnetic resistance
- Slip-resistant padded handles
- An extra-large cushioned seat for a more comfortable ride
- Fully adjustable toe cage on the pedal for a better fit
- 6-inch lever allows you to easily adjust the seat position to fit any body type
All in all, you get a high-quality bike that will provide value for money.
Peloton Indoor Bike Review
Like the Echelon fitness bike, Peloton indoor bikes are excellent in helping you achieve low-impact, high-intensity workouts. They've been in the business since 2012 and have since become the frontrunner in their segment.
Notably, Peloton were the innovators in providing high-energy live fitness classes and packaging them with an indoor bike and app.
So, what do you get with a Peloton bike?
You get all the standard features of any other bike but more premium quality and design. The first notable feature you get on the Peloton is the 22" HD touchscreen display. You also get the Peloton fitness app built into the screen as well. Here's a quick look at what you get on the Peloton bike:
- It comes with pedals for cycling shoes
- A weight holder under the rear seat
- Two Medium water bottle holders
- It has a Multi-grip handlebar that can be adjusted to suit your ride
- A Magnetic Resistance Knob
- It comes with firm rubber leveling feet and rollers at the front for easy movement
- It has a seat with a two-dimensional adjustment
For people that want to stay fit, lose weight, and maintain optimal wellness, buying a Peloton bike is a decision you won't regret.
Echelon vs Peloton Comparison
This section compares the price, key features and specs, apps, space requirements, and comfort of both models. We've also included our own opinions and thoughts from other customers.
The problem with indoor exercise activities is that they quickly become monotonous. So without adequate motivation, you'll soon find that your bike has become a decoration or coat rack.
The truth is...
Comparing the Peloton vs Echelon is like comparing a Porsche to a Toyota. You get four wheels and an engine on both cars, but the Porsche feels better and gives a satisfying feeling to drive. That's not to say that the Toyota - Echelon bike in this case - won't take you to where you want to go.
It will, just not in the same fashion!
But let's make the full comparison first so you can decide for yourself which bike is better for you.
Key Features and Specs
The first point of comparison we'll be focusing on is the features and specs of both models. The main selling point of the Peloton and Echelon bikes is the accommodating fitness app. Without the apps, the bikes are not significantly different than any other indoor exercise bike.
However, there are a few things we loved on the Echelon and Peloton that you probably won't find elsewhere.
First up is the design. The Echelon and Peloton bikes are very compact but high-quality bikes. They both have a similar design theme, with the more significant difference being the position of the drive wheel.
The Echelon has a rear drive system, while the Peloton has a frontal drive system. Even though the location of the wheels is different, there is virtually no difference in performance or feeling. Also, the wheels on both models are very quiet and smooth when in motion.
A word of caution:
You need to be more careful while using the Echelon bike if you have kids because the wheel is a moving part that sits behind you and can cause injuries to your kids if you aren't paying attention to them.
On the Peloton bike, the wheel is in front of you, where you'll be able to see your child's actions before the machine causes any damage. Moreover, most of the spinning parts on the Peloton indoor bike are covered up behind a plastic covering.
Additionally, the Peloton indoor bike features a large 22" HD touchscreen display extending below the frame's handlebar. The Echelon smart connect bikes do not include a built-in display but instead allow you to utilize technology already present in your home. This means that if you don't have a large tablet, you're pretty much screwed with a tiny phone screen to use their app.
Looks and Comfort Levels
Both machines do generally look similar. However, there is no clear difference in the quality of the materials. The Peloton has a great feel overall on the handle grips; it features a welded steel frame coated with ED & powder, which promotes longevity of the build.
The Peloton also has a more versatile handle than the Echelon. Because of the limitation of having a media rack in the center of the handle, the Echelon connect bike is forced to use a rectangular handle. This handle can only be held in 2 ways, while on the Peloton, you have three different grip styles.
One key aspect that determines the comfort of your bike is the design and cushion of the seat. This part is a bit tricky and subjective to a user's liking. However, we found that a larger and thicker seat is more comfortable if you are working out for short periods. If you are going to be working out for upwards of 30 minutes to an hour, then the sporty seat of the Peloton will feel better.
Resistance System Comparison
Both bikes have similar positioning for the resistance adjuster knobs. The Peloton knob has a sleeker look and smoother resistance transition than the Echelon.
The Echelon Smart Connect EX1 spin bike uses a Precision Resistance Motor with 32 levels. The Peloton, on the other hand, uses an entirely different resistance system called Neodymium rare earth magnet system for resistance. The Peloton's system is different as it uses a combination of cadence, resistance percentage, and output to determine how hard you are working.
In simpler terms, the Peloton will push you to work harder and more efficiently than Echelon's simpler resistance level-based system.
With that in mind, if you want the traditional level-adjusted resistance, you should stick with the Echelon bikes.
Dimensions and Space Requirements
There is also a difference in size between the Peloton and Echelon Smart Connect bike. The footprint of the Echelon is slightly less than the Peloton bike. The Echelon EX5s has dimensions of 58" x 21.5" x 61" while the Peloton comes in at 4' L x 2' W. The EX5s model is slightly thinner than the Peloton as well.
In terms of weight, the Echelon is also slightly lighter due to the materials used and the lack of a screen. The Echelon weighs just 124 pounds, while the Peloton indoor bike weighs 135 pounds in total.
Overall, both the Peloton and Echelon bikes can be placed in just about any room without taking up much space. Both bikes also feature a roller for easy movement to whichever area you choose to work out. However, due to the lighter weight, you may find that the Echelon is easier to move.
Frame and User Weight Capacity
Both of these exercise bike options are constructed with high-quality steel, so there isn't going to be a huge difference when it comes to the durability of each. The same applies to the user weight capacity as well. The frame and user weight capacity impact how stable and durable the exercise bike will be while indoor cycling. Both of these bikes have no issues in this department.
Interactive Training and Display
One of the main selling points of a Peloton is its 21.5" HD color touchscreen. This screen size allows users to completely immerse themselves in their interactive workout. With the gym membership through Peloton, you gain full access to their complete experience, including 20+ live classes per day, on-demand classes, curated training programs, and so much more.
When choosing a model in the Echelon Connect series, you have to use your own tablet or smartphone if you want any kind of interactive training. However, when it comes down to the display and fully interactive training abilities, we do have to give the point to Peleton for everything they offer in this department.
You can find integrated workout metrics with the Peloton app and Echelon app. You can easily connect your Wi-Fi or use a Bluetooth device to track your stats. However, you can also link your Facebook, Fitbit, and Strava accounts in the Echelon app. This is a plus If you want to track your progress while also sharing that progress and competing with your family and friends.
Echelon App vs Peloton App
The main difference in the Echelon vs Peloton bike is found here in the apps they both provide on a subscription basis.
Since most people are more interested in the apps, we decided to compare the apps you get with the Echelon app or Peloton app.
Let's start with the similarities of both apps.
The Echelon and Peloton apps are both available for download on an iTunes and Google Play store for FREE. A 14 day free trial period is available for you to test out the apps. However, you will eventually have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee.
How Much Do the Apps Cost Monthly?
When we made this comparison, the Peloton cycle app costs $12.99 per month, but the Peleton monthly subscription fee is $39.99; however, if you go online right now, you can get a 30-day free trial for the app when you start your membership.
The Echelon Connect Bike App United Plan costs $39.99, which is on par with the Peloton app. The app itself is free to download but a membership plan is required to access much of the content and to participate in Live, On Demand, and FitPass Classes.
In addition, Echelon also offers you other purchases that may interest you, such as a Yearly FitPass Class Unlimited Access for $99.99 and Monthly FitPass Classes with Unlimited Access for $11.99 monthly.
What to Expect with the Apps
Through both apps, you'll get access to join live classes and watch pre-recorded class videos. Besides, you get to access virtual riding content featuring locations all over the world. The apps also allow you to track your exercise statistics such as calories burned, distance, resistance, speed, and a few other indicators.
Peloton App Review
Our favorite app of the two was the Peloton app for its easy-to-use intuitive user interface. Overall we found the Peloton app easier to navigate and loved the positioning of different items such as the class schedules. Plus, we liked that the programs were broken down into different exercises.
Another fantastic thing we loved after comparing the Echelon app vs Peloton apps is the instructors. There is an immense gap between the instructors' teaching styles and experience levels on both apps. We found that the Peloton's classes are more coordinated. Plus, the music selection of the Peloton live classes was always on point for all the sessions we chose.
Echelon Fit App Review
The Echelon app is pretty similar to Peloton's; however, there are some slight differences. The first thing that will pop out when you do one of Echelon's live classes is the teaching style of the instructors. They were reasonably ok overall, but there were a lot more dry moments. And they didn't motivate enough so that you'll want to push yourself past your supposed limit.
The camera angles were also off at times on the Echelon app, and the classes had a completely different atmosphere. With the Peloton classes, you will feel like you are around people working just as hard.
Both apps also have a great feature that shows your position among all the other participants in the classes. However, sometimes that feature isn't necessary, so you can quickly turn it off.
Biking indoors isn't all that fun, and without something or someone to keep you excited, you'll find yourself spending less time with an indoor bike. The Peloton instructors were so efficient and fun to follow along with that you'll probably see yourself doing more than you thought possible.
Regardless of which app you choose between the Peloton vs Echelon bike app, you'll be getting a great workout! Also, bear in mind that both apps provide a free trial period that you can use to see which you prefer.
Winner: Peloton with Echelon being close behind
Most people are more concerned about the vast price difference between the Echelon bike vs Peloton. The thinking behind it is that since one is half the price of the other and does the same thing, why not go with the cheaper Echelon Smart Connect?
There are many reasons the cheaper model may or may not be the better option. But for those who aren't aware, here's a quick breakdown of the costs. To get the basic Peloton bike package, you'll be spending at least $2,295.
If you don't have a media device at home or you have a mobile phone but think it is too small or you instead prefer not to use it, you would have to purchase a tablet along with the bike. A tablet with an average screen size of at least 12" will cost you anywhere between $200 to $600! With the Peloton, you get a massive 22" HD touchscreen display with a built-in camera and all the latest tech.
If you're tech-savvy, you could potentially get the Echelon app to work on a smart tv or laptop, but you'll still end up incurring extra costs.
The bottom line is that if you don't have a media device, the Echelon isn't exactly the best option.
However, if you have something suitable to run the app, then saving a few bucks by buying the Echelon is a bike you should consider.
Nonetheless, you also have the option to finance both the Peloton and Echelon bikes for roughly $50 to $60 bucks per month. So, if you think the prices are too high, you should consider making a monthly payment.
Pros & Cons of Both Models
We compiled all the pros and cons of the Peloton bike and Echelon bike so you can quickly choose which is better to buy.
Pros of Echelon
Cons of Echelon
Pros of Peloton
Cons of Peloton
The Bottom Line...
Both the Peloton and Echelon bikes will offer intense workouts! However, deciding which is the better bike between the Echelon vs Peloton, will be dependent on your situation.
While we loved both bikes, we would rather spend less by buying the Echelon bike. However, Peloton's Digital App is better than Echelon's App, so if your desire is amazing workout content, then you won't go wrong with the Peloton bike.
The only downside to the Peloton is the cost. But if you can afford it, you'll be making a great purchase. The design is just gorgeous plus the built-in display works seamlessly with the app. Also, the Peloton has instructors that we find a lot more experienced at guiding you than the Echelon instructors. Furthermore, the Peloton has far more media content than Echelon at this point.
The Echelon Smart Connect Bikes are not that bad either. You get "Just enough," and the classes are "good enough" to follow along. If you've never tried the Peloton live classes before then, you likely won't even notice anything wrong with the Echelon classes.
Echolen: A Strong Peloton Competitor
With the latest release from Echelon, we now have a bike that is a strong competitor to the Peloton. Their new Echelon Smart Connect EX5 and EX5s both feature a built-in monitor that lets you stream classes like the Peloton. Plus, the 21.5" HD Touchscreen monitor can be flipped 180 degrees! This is a feature that isn't available on Peloton yet.
Considering the new Echelon Smart Connect EX5s compared to the Echelon vs Peloton bike, we have to say that the better option is Echelon. It is cheaper, has better pedals with a toe cage & SPD compatibility, and does nearly everything you can do on a Peloton. So, why spend more on a Peloton when you could save $1000 on a spin bike?
Echelon has even upgraded the magnetic resistance motor to allow a smoother riding experience. You'll also be getting more comfortable 4-way adjustable seats if you go with Echelon bikes over Peloton ones!
Another thing to consider is that Echelon Fit is still a new company that hasn't been around for long. They are developing the product and their bikes as time goes on. So, buying one now isn't a bad option as they will likely improve going forward.
The good news, though, is if you are on a tighter budget, then the Echelon almost falls in the price range of used spin bikes that will definitely save you more money in the long run.
Who Should Buy the Echelon Smart Connect?
If you are looking for a more immersive fitness experience that offers classes and instructors so you won't get bored and want to save money by purchasing a more budget-friendly option, then the Echelon Smart Connect fitness bike is a great option. Echelon Fitness is a good alternative to the more expensive Peleton fitness bike and offers you much of the same regarding features and specs.
Echelon Fitness Multimedia LLC is a strong competitor to Peleton and provides Connect bikes, rowers, apparel, accessories, and more. They have created a professional and quality fitness experience for users that they can do on their own time and in the comfort of their own homes. With the variety of Echelon class and program options available, you are sure to find a cycling class that suits you or scenic rides you will enjoy.