Echelon EX5S vs. NordicTrack S22i: Which is the Best Bike?
The Echelon Connect EX5S and the NordicTrack Commercial S22i offer indoor bike shoppers a great comparison/contrast when considering price versus features. The EX5S actually comes with two options in terms of screens, the 22- and the 10-inch, with pricing differences reflected there. The S22i meanwhile offers a whopper of a 22-inch screen and the ability to both incline and decline. In terms of machinery, both bikes represent a solid investment for fitness fans of any level. No pieces of equipment are the same, even within a brand, and here shoppers can really break down the perceived values of some refer to as “bells and whistles.” But in terms of indoor exercise bikes under $2,000, we feel buyer’s can’t really go wrong. Below is our side-by-side spec analysis, along with commentary based on our own experiences testing the bikes, as well as that of riding rival brands.
Price is always an issue, so right off the bat, one finds the S22i online offered at $1,999 with a free 30-day trial of the iFit Family Membership valued at $39. The EX5S meanwhile is priced at $1,499.99 with a 22-inch screen, and $1,199.99 with a 10-inch screen. Purchase of the EX5S does require a separate sign-up for the Echelon United fitness app for between $39.99 and $29.16 per month. The NordicTrack family of exercise machines have established a partnership with the iFit fitness app, which brings specially enabled machines that allow trainers to control the resistance and speed from remote locations if desired. For a complete review of the iFit fitness programming, read our analysis here. The Echelon United fitness app does offer 24/7 live and on-demand fitness programming and both can be utilized on multiple devices. One downside to both bikes is that neither is really designed to work with apps other than those two, and while riders can always switch them off and use the bike in more of a manual mode, other bikes do offer variety by way of app synchronization.
Read below for the complete details and links to our complete reviews of each bike. Meanwhile, feel free to browse our comprehensive Exercise Bike Reviews for 2021 here.
Interested in the Echelon Connect EX5S?
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Echelon Connect EX5S Pro Specs & Highlights
The Echelon Connect EX5S is built with the budget in mind, bringing engaging training to the home with both live and on-demand programming. Buyers have the choice between a 10-inch and 22-inch HD Touchscreen, both of which rotate 180 degrees, priced at $1,199.99 and $1,4,99.99 respectively. With 32 levels of magnetic resistance, riders can engage in classes ranging from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to slower-paced rides. Users are also afforded a built-in two-spot dumbbell holder for floorwork. 58″ x 21.5″ x 61″ and weighing 124 pounds, the bike’s maximum user weight is 300 pounds. Other top features of the bike include:
- Adjustable seat and handlebars which move up/down and fore/aft
- 10-inch or 22-inch HD touch screen which swivels
- 32 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance
- Two power ports for charging phones or tablets
- Dual-side Compatible Pedals with Toe Cages
- Dumbbell holder (Dumbbells sold separately)
- Two water bottle holders
- User weight capacity of 300 pounds
- Limited 12-month warranty on the frame/parts, and 30-day return policy
Read our full Echelon Connect EX5S Review here.
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Bike Specs & Highlights
NordicTrack has a well-earned name in the world of home fitness, and its brand of indoor bikes is likewise highly rated. The S22i comes into the lineup full of features, including the relatively rare ability to incline 20% and decline -10%. Priced at $1,999.99, the model also comes with a 22-inch rotating HD Touchscreen and is iFit-enabled with automatic trainer control. This bike is also Bluetooth-enabled for both headphones and heart rate monitoring. While working with the iFit program, users can allow live trainers in remote locations to adjust the resistance, speed, incline, and decline of the bike as they ride on virtual trails around the globe. Measuring 63″ x 22″ x 60″ and weighing 203 pounds in-box, the bike sports a maximum user weight of 350 pounds. Other features include:
- Adjustable padded saddle
- Multi-grip handlebars
- 24 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance
- Compatible with standard road bike pedals and seat
- AutoBreeze Workout Fan
- Two 2-inch digitally amplified speakers
- New Android 9.0 OS system
- Bluetooth headphone and heart rate monitoring
- Dual water bottle holders
- Two 3-pound dumbbells included
- User weight capacity of 350 pounds
- 10-year warranty on frame, two years for parts, one for labor
Read our full NordicTrack Commercial S22i Review here.
Echelon Connect EX5S Vs. NordicTrack Commercial S22i Breakdown
Echelon Connect EX5S Pros
· Two options for screen size
· Low price
· Silent Magnetic Resistance
· Well-built bike
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Pros
· Incline and decline function
· Higher user weight capacity
· Bluetooth for headphones and heart-rate
· Great maximum user weight
Echelon Connect EX5S Cons
· Short warranty
· Not Bluetooth-enabled
· Limited programming
NordicTrack Commercial S22i Cons
· Pricier model
· Larger framed bike
· Built specifically with iFit in mind
Key Differences Between Echelon Connect EX5S and NordicTrack Commercial S22i
In terms of raw specs, the Echelon Connect EX5S measures 58 inches x 21.5 inches x 61 inches. Meanwhile, the larger and NordicTrack Commercial S22i is 63 inches x 22 inches x 60 inches. That difference might become relevant for some considering room placement. We also notice the EX5S only weighs 124 pounds whereas the S22i is 203 pounds in-box. Depending on a rider’s size, the 300-pound or 350-pound maximum weight advantage held by the S22i might also come into play, as it’s clear that model is simply a bigger bike. With regards to the warranty, the EX5S underwhelms with a limited 12-month warranty while the S22i offers a more standard 10 years for the frame.
Obviously the first difference one notices is cost here, with the S22i coming in at $1,999 and the EX5S starting out at $1,199.99 for the 10-inch screen, and $1,499.99 with the 22-inch version. One big point in favor of the S22i is the 20% incline and -10% decline function. Given the virtual programming afforded here, users can literally hit the same inclines they might face on hills, which is a big plus. In terms of programming, one is choosing between iFit and Echelon United. To that degree, we’d say both apps are rough equivalents in terms of content and cost. Riders can operate the bikes without those apps and also listen to music or perhaps park the machine in front of a smart television.
So, just how important the ability to incline/decline is, and how attached one is to a particular fitness community, may well be a deciding factor here. For larger riders, the maximum user weight overall bike might also play a role, but the difference in warranty is another element which should be considered carefully when comparing prices.
Where the Echelon Connect EX5S Leads
- If a smaller bike is desired due to space or rider size, the EX5S model is certainly the winner. Ergonomically speaking, the bike also has seat adjustment both vertically and horizontally.
- The EX5S bike offers a 10-inch or 22-inch HD Touchscreen, which gives buyers an opportunity to choose between size and price. Both sizes are respectable, and the fact they can swivel 180 degrees is a big plus.
- Back to price, the EX5S is significantly less expensive and that’s clearly a consideration.
Where the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Leads
- The S22i is a bigger bike with a higher maximum user weight and for some folks that a factor.
- The ability to incline and decline while riding is a big plus in favor of this bike as it unlocks a greater number of workouts.
- The superior warranty of 10 years for the frame is a big point to consider when investing money in a machine like this.
- Bluetooth headphones and heart rate monitoring helps accentuate the rest of the unit’s programming potential.
We’re rating the NordicTrack Commercial S22i higher than the Echelon Connect EX5S for a number of reasons, but the value of the incline and decline option is significant. The S22i also has a number of other niceties which do add up to a more comfortable ride, and at the end of the day, warranty matters. The EX5S is certainly a good bike, but we feel the extra options on the S22i are worth the bucks.
See Echelon Connect EX5S Price Here!
See the NordicTrack Commercial S22i Price Here!