The Peloton bike was the first to allow you to take boutique indoor cycling classes at home. It's equipped with a 22-inch LCD touchscreen that provides real-time performance metrics so you can measure your progress while riding with fellow members and world-class instructors in the highly-rated Peloton app.
- Very popular name brand
- 5-star app rating
- High-tech + durable
- Fun music options
- Repairs can take several weeks
- All accessories sold separately
The Echelon Connect EX5S is Echelon's latest and greatest model when it comes to its connected bikes. It comes with a variety of new features, including an HD touchscreen that swivels 180-degrees. You'll get real-time performance metrics as you ride and compete with others in the Echelon Fit app.
- Less expensive
- Echelon's closest model to Peloton
- Touchscreen swivels 180 degrees
- New advanced features
- 1-year limited warranty
- App issues/lower app rating
- All accessories sold separately
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.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Peloton||Echelon EX5S|
|Product dimensions||60 x 24 x 48 inches||60 x 20 x 54 inches|
|Weight||138 pounds||124 pounds|
|Weight limit||297 pounds||300 pounds|
|Toe clips||Delta Look||Shoe cages/SPD|
|Touchscreen||22 inches||21.5 inches|
|Resistance||32 levels||32 levels|
|App affiliation||Peloton||Echelon Fit|
|App rating||5 stars||4 stars|
|Weights recommended||3 pound||2 pound|
|Water bottle holders||Yes (frame)||Yes (handlebars)|
|Warranty||5 years (frame) + 1-year labor and parts||1 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
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.
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?
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.
Premium app experience + brand name
Five star app
High tech spin bike that paired with the companion membership can offer thousands of live/on-demand boutique classes. You track and control your settings and can compete/engage with other members as you cycle with world-class instructors.
Brand new features + more affordable
Swivel touchscreen and easier on your wallet
Echelon's newest connected bike showcases the company's most advanced features yet and, paired with the companion membership, offers hundreds of live/on-demand classes. The 180-degree swivel touchscreen enables you to take classes on and off the bike.
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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.