And with the EX-8s Connect Bike, Echelon is sending in the big dog to battle for best indoor bike. Barking out the mantra, “Illuminate your ride,” this bike does bring the features for sure. Fitting in at the top of the brand’s lineup, the Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike features integrated LED flywheel lights which sync with workout metrics like heart rate zone and output. Users can choose from a variety of light settings from energizing pulses to calming sequences. Sporting a patent-pending 24-inch curved screen with 180-degree flip rotation, the bike is priced at $2,299.99, putting it a little ahead of the NordicTrack Commercial s22i Studio Cycle and the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22, which we compare in our head-to-head review here.
Purchase of a one-year membership to the Echelon Fit app also comes with an Apple iPad, and upgrades are available to the standardized warranty.
But it’s not just features that matter here, it’s performance and specs.
To that degree, the Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike brings the total package and you can see for yourself in our detailed review below.
|Model||Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike|
|Drive System||Magnetic e-Drive|
|Frame||Powder-coated, welded steel frame|
|Pedals||SPD compatible with fully adjustable toe cages|
|Programs||Echelon Fit app|
|Display||24-inch Curved HD Touchscreen|
|Max. Weight||300 lbs|
|Dimensions||23” W x 59” L|
|Warranty||1-Year Limited Parts & Labor|
Echelon certainly wanted to make a strong first impression when designing the aesthetics of the EX-8s Connect Bike. The sleek black bike comes in at 59″ x 23″ x 65″ in measurements with a machine weight of 124 pounds and maximum user weight of 300 pounds. Right off the bat, the first thing customers will notice is ultra-cool integrated LED flywheel lights which rotate through 15 different color variations in conjunction with workout metrics. Users can choose their mood in terms of color and pulse frequency, making the workout truly immersive.
Another feature which makes this bike stand out from the competition is the 24-inch curved HD touchscreen which can flip 180 degrees. Designed for those seeking the holistic workout experience, the curved screen gives a more real-world view while it’s ability to flip 180 degrees helps users hit the floors for yoga or dumbbells. Also, the bike’s dual-facing speakers offer surround-sound quality and volume. Tech-wise, the screen features 10 touchpoints and processing speed up to 1.8 Ghz. Loaded up with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of ROM, the screen also features two 3.5mm audio jacks, two 5-watt speakers, an 8mp camera with an optional privacy cover, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and HDMI.
Like nearly all of the newer bikes on the market, the Echelon EX-8s operates off Silent Magnetic Resistance, with 32 levels transitioned through by way of a motorized e-Drive System. This feature operates by way of a Bluetooth Resistance Controller located within easy reach of the handlebars and syncs with the screen display in accordance with workout metrics.
This bike also features a dual-ring with rear flywheel and e-Shock Low-Impact Support to help avoid unnecessary knee strain. Added features include two large water bottles and dual-side pedals with cleat-clips and adjustable toe cages.
One of the great things about an indoor exercise bike is one can always park it front of a smart television or just listen to music. But if interactive training is your thing, then keep in mind the Echelon EX-8s is built to work with the Echelon Fit app. Priced at $34.99 per month, $33.33 per month with a one-year commitment and $29.16 for a two-year, the app provides a leaderboard with fellows from around the world as well as scenic rides. The Echelon Fit community features more than 50 trainers with unique personalities and live music. With more than 40 live daily classes, 3,000 on-demand workouts, 1 million song and artist options, there’s certain to be a workout for everyone. Users can link to Facebook or other social media to share workouts, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate information, as well as engage strength, stretching, core, and yoga workouts.
The Echelon Fit app works on any of their equipment and can be taken on the road by way of other devices, including the Apple iPad which comes with the purchase of a one-year subscription. As with most apps incorporating visuals and sound, the bigger screen does help. If immersive workouts are really your thing, consider placing the bike in front of a smart television set instead of relying on the tablet alone. For more information about workout apps, check out our full review of fitness apps here.
Echelon offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month limited parts and labor warranty with purchase. An extended warranty plan can be purchased separately for up to $149 depending on selections.
- Integrated Lights on Flywheel: The LED lights integrated into the flywheel rotate through 15 color variations in accordance with workout metrics.
- Curved Screen: A curved 24-inch HD Touchscreen with 180-degrees of flip rotation for real-word visioning.
- SMR: 32 levels of Silent Magnetic Resistance mean riders of any level can achieve a solid workout.
- Bluetooth 5.0 Compatibility: Users can incorporate heart rate monitors and other entertainment devices into their workouts.
- Bluetooth Resistance Controller: Quick adjustments from the handlebars and ability to sync with the screen display.
- Dual-facing Speakers: This bike offers immersive workouts by way of sight and sound.
- SPD Compatible Pedals: Dual-sided pedals offer both adjustable toe cages and cleat clips.
- Echelon Fit app: Virtual access to real trainers from the comfort of your home.
- Solid Weight Max: With a 300-pound user weight max, we’re comfortable most users will be able to ride.
- Pricey: At $2,299.99 some users might not need all the bells and whistles.
- Limited Apps: The screen is only designed to work with Echelon Fit and not other programs.
- Warranty: The 1-year limited parts and labor warranty skimpy relative to the price.
Whomever thought up the term “bells and whistles” must have had the Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike in mind. With LED lights integrated into the flywheel and synchronized to the workout metrics, the bike is flashy to say the least. Priced at $2,299.99, it comes into the same arena as the NordicTrack S22i Studio Cycle Bike at $1,999, and features-wise we’d say the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 at $1,199 would be the budget-side rival. Neither of those really stack up though in terms of total number of features, and it’s clear Echelon brought this model online to impress a competitive market.
A 24-inch HD touchscreen is much larger than the norm, but a curved model with 180-degrees of flip rotation is exclusive to this model. Combined with dual-facing speakers at 5-watts each, two 3.5mm audio jacks, and a 8mp camera with optional privacy cover, it does come fully loaded. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and up to 1.8 Ghz in processing speed, as well as 4GB of RAM, users shouldn’t have any problem with connection speeds.
The Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike’s screen only works with the Echelon Fit app, which is a positive and negative. Granted, the Echelon Fit app is a high-quality program, priced at $34.99 per month, $33.33 per month with a one-year commitment and $29.16 for a two-year contract, purchase of at least one-year comes with an Apple iPad. The app provides a leaderboard with fellows from around the world as well as scenic rides. The Echelon Fit community features more than 50 trainers with unique personalities and live music. With more than 40 live daily classes, 3,000 on-demand workouts, 1 million song and artist options, there’s certain to be a workout for everyone. Users can link to Facebook or other social media to share workouts, speed, distance, calories burned, and heart rate information, as well as engage strength, stretching, core, and yoga workouts.
The bike does work without the app of course, but the screen and lighted flywheel suddenly become worthless. We’d say if one doesn’t want to fully utilize the bike in conjunct with the app, it’s probably better to check out say the Echelon EX5s reviewed here.
Frequently Asked Question
- Does the Echelon EX-8s work with apps other than Echelon Fit? The bike itself can be used independently of the app, but the screen and LED lights only work with the brand’s app.
- Is assembly of the Echelon EX-8s easy? Yes, our experience with Echelon products is that the instructions are quite easy to follow actually.
- Can I burn belly fat off with this bike? Ab-solutely. Spin classes and High Intensity Interval Training on this bike could burn between 150 and 500 calories per hour depending on the workout and individual.
Warranty & Guarantee
The Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike is shipped with a one-year limited parts and labor warranty. An extended 1-year warranty for an additional $219 and a 2-year for $339 are also available. Additionally, Echelon gives a 30-day money-back guarantee, but refunds exclude shipping and restocking.
The Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike is certainly top-of-the-line if that’s what you’re wanting. We love the integrated LED lights synced to the workout metrics, but more importantly, the curved touchscreen and surround-sound speakers are a big plus. It really comes down to the dollars, and we’re marking this bike high with the assumption that only buyers who want luxury rides are interested. There’s no question you can get a solid bike for under $1,000, but if you’re looking for the 24-inch screen and high-tech processing options, our vote is certainly for the Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike. Keep in mind though, this bike loses value fast if not used with the Echelon Fit app, so it would be worth a few seconds to check out that program and make sure it’s something you’d like.
Trainer’s Tips for the Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike
Weight loss is certainly a chief interest for those seeking an indoor studio bike such as the Echelon EX-8s Connect, and there’s no question High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the way to go there. With 32 levels of magnetic resistance here, I’d recommend going for broke as the old saying goes, and giving this bike a chance to earn the burn by way of spin classes. The Echelon Fit app has plenty of high-octane workouts, and I like the screen’s ability to flip around so you can workout on the floor too.