Peloton vs Echelon Connect EX5S: Which bike should you buy?

Peloton Lifestyle
Peloton Lifestyle (Image credit: One Peloton)

At first glance, these two high-tech indoor cycling bikes are very similar, so I took it upon myself to do an in-depth dive and figure out what sets these bikes apart. They both feature subtle design differences and app experiences. Overall, Peloton's app is more well known and is very highly rated. If you're looking for the best all-around community feel and experience, I'd say Peloton has the edge over Echelon. However, if budget is your main concern, Echelon is the way to go. So, which one is right for you?

High-tech cycling bikes - breaking down the specs

These bikes are similar at first glance, but some critical differences are integral to outline. Let's dive in and see how these two differ when it comes to dimensions and design.

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Header Cell - Column 0 PelotonEchelon EX5S
Product dimensions60 x 24 x 48 inches60 x 20 x 54 inches
Weight138 pounds124 pounds
Weight limit297 pounds300 pounds
4-way adjustmentsYesYes
Toe clipsDelta LookShoe cages/SPD
Touchscreen22 inches21.5 inches
Swivel touchscreenNoYes
Resistance32 levels32 levels
App affiliationPelotonEchelon Fit
App rating5 stars4 stars
Weights recommended3 pound2 pound
Weights includedNoNo
Water bottle holdersYes (frame)Yes (handlebars)
Performance metricsYesYes
Interactive experiencesYesYes
Power portsNoYes
Warranty5 years (frame) + 1-year labor and parts1 year limited on all

There are a few key differences here. Mainly, what the final choice comes down to is space, price, and what you're looking to get out of your machine. Of course, whichever model you pick will ultimately be what you prefer, but let's take a more in-depth look at what each bike has to offer.

Similar premium at-home bikes, but different

Let's talk about space and size. The Peloton bike is heavier and a bit wider than the EX5S, but the EX5S is longer, making the storage capabilities of both roughly the same. The critical difference is that the flywheel is located on the front of the Peloton. The EX5S's is located in the rear. This is definitely something to consider if you have small children or pets who like to touch everything.

When it comes to screens, both bikes feature HD touchscreens where you'll take all of your live and on-demand classes. Peloton's touchscreen is half an inch larger, but the cool thing about the EX5S's touchscreen is that it swivels 180-degrees. This is an impressive feature because you can swivel the screen around and use it to take a variety of other classes via the Echelon Fit app off the bike.

Finally, when it comes to pedals, you must clip into the Peloton using Delta Look clips. So, you'll have to purchase spin shoes with these kinds of clips or buy the Peloton branded shoes. There's no option to ride with your sneakers on. The EX5S offers shoe cages and the option to clip in using SPD clips. You can either ride in your tennis shoes or purchase spin shoes. All accessories like free weights, cycling shoes, water bottles, towels, etc. for both of these bikes are sold separately.

Peloton vs. Echelon Fit App experience

Peloton Hero

Peloton Hero (Image credit: One Peloton)

Both of these bikes offer performance metrics where you can measure your progress by checking your cadence, distance, resistance, heart rate, calories burned, and output of power. You can also compete with other riders within the two affiliated communities as there's a running leaderboard on both apps as you ride.

Peloton is the pioneer in the at-home connected bike experience. They were first, and the app and community are beloved by millions worldwide. The app is clean, user-friendly, and gets a five-star rating across the board. It offers cycling classes (of course) as well as strength, yoga, cardio, meditation, running, outdoor, stretching, boot camp, and walking classes via world-class instructors.

The Peloton app enables you to ride with other Peloton members live and on-demand. You can send high fives, and filter who you ride with by followers, age, or gender. You can also save your favorite tunes and create playlists of your own within the app, and since the flywheels use a magnetic resistance system, you can expect a very smooth and quiet ride.

Echelon Connect Ex 5s Lifestyle

Echelon Connect Ex 5s Lifestyle (Image credit: Echelon Fit)

On the other hand, the Echelon Fit app is actively gaining in popularity and making its mark as a fierce competitor. It offers the same variety of classes, and the aesthetic within both apps looks similar. Overall, Echelon's app gets a four-star rating because some members complain of synching and loading issues. Still, the member response to the Echelon fitness instructors is very positive.

While Peloton's community is much larger, Echelon's community is gaining more and more traction. Monthly memberships cost roughly the same; Peloton's monthly costs $39 a month, and Echelon Fit costs $40 a month. Both memberships must be purchased on a month to month basis on top of the cost of the bike. If you cancel your membership with either company, the touchscreen on both bikes cannot be used for anything else.

Considering the cost and quality

When it comes to pricing, you'll save hundreds of dollars going with the Echelon EX5S. Peloton costs substantially more, but it comes with a five-year frame warranty, plus a one year warranty on labor and parts. There aren't a lot of reports of the Peloton bike breaking down. It's reputably very durable. Do take note that those who do need repairs often have to wait a while. Peloton hires third-party companies to do the repairs, and it can take several weeks before they can get someone out to you.

There's not a whole lot to the EX5S's warranty. It's pretty scarce in the user manual. It states that Echelon warrants their bikes to be free of manufacturing defects. Should any defect develop or become evident within one year from the date of purchase, Echelon will replace the entire product, or at its option, repair or replace the defective part(s) without charge. Because the EX5S is such a new model, it's hard to find information about repairs or replacements being needed.

So, will it be Peloton or Echelon Connect EX5S?

Peloton Bike

Peloton Bike (Image credit: One Peloton)

When it comes down to the final pick, it depends on price, space, and preference. If the overall app and interactive communal experience is what you're basing your decision on, I'd say go with Peloton. It was first in its class and has held that position firmly in a world of rapidly increasing competitors.

If you're basing your decision on price alone, go with Echelon. You'll save hundreds of dollars for virtually the same ride. Whatever you're looking for in your at-home boutique cycling experience, you really can't go wrong with either of these brands. They're both excellent at what they do, and both bikes are high-tech, durable, and outfitted with an assortment of premium features.

Nicolette Roux

Nicolette is a freelance writer for iMore. She's been hooked on Apple products since she got the very first iPhone in 2007 and made the switch from PC to Mac in 2008 after inadvertently dousing her laptop with a hefty dose of water. A dedicated creative, Nicolette has had the pleasure of working with some of the top websites, studios, and brands in the industry throughout her career, and enjoys writing about all things: Apple, health, fitness, audio, and home. With over a decade of high-level experience as a health and fitness professional, Nicolette specializes in tech pertaining to the field. If she’s not working, you can find her sipping a glass of wine, enjoying a concert, or hanging with her family.