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Echelon Connect EX5 Bike Review

Quick Summary

The Smart Connect EX5 is Echelon’s “most advanced connected bike”. It retails for $1,499, but you can often get the bike on Echelon’s site for hundreds of dollars less. Interactive training is integral to all the bikes in the Echelon Connect Series. They all feature a 13 KG flywheel and 32 levels of magnetic resistance, and the EX5 is no exception. A competition seat, indexing resistance adjustment knob, and new motor for precise magnetic resistance are also part of the package. What makes the EX5 a cut above the EX1 and EX3? For one, the EX5 features a competition Aero handlebar system. These handlebars have a different structure and shape to the ergonomic handlebars found on the EX1 and EX3, allowing for a greater range of movement. Also, where the EX1 and EX3 have adjustable consoles to dock your tablet for interactive training, the EX5 has a new smart device mount instead. This sleek arm design fits with the handlebar upgrades and adds a more premium feel. It also features dual water bottle holders. See below for a detailed review of the Echelon EX5 including pros and cons.

Specifications

Model Echelon Connect EX5 Bike
Rating

Our custom rating considers all of the bike's features, specs, warranties, and 100's of user & expert reviews, to save you time!

85%
List Price

Suggested retail price, typically higher than the price you'll pay with our recommended retailers.

$1,499.99
Best Price

Since prices change daily, this link goes to our preferred retailer for the current best price. Note: MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.

$1239.98
Resistance

The flywheel in an exercise bike is what creates resistance. You can choose the level of resistance to increase your workout intensity.

32
Resistance Type

The type of resistance shows what kind of flywheel is being used (if any), and its weight if the manufacturer provides it.

Flywheel
Type

Type refers to the style of the ride: Recumbent bikes allow you to lay back, while Upright bikes are more like road bikes (lean forward).

Spin
Drive System

The bike's drive system is how your pedaling interacts with the rest of the bike (flywheel) to give you a good workout.

Belt
Frame

It's important to choose an exercise bike that will last, and the material of the frame determines how durable the bike is.

Powder-coated, welded steel frame
Seat

The most important part for comfortability during your workout, the seat should be adjustable and have ample cushioning.

Competition seat with 6'' lever-style adjustment
Pedals

Pedals are the driving force for an exercise bike, and should be comfortable, adjustable, and easy to control without slipping.

SPD compatible with fully adjustable toe cages
Programs

Bike Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

0, only interactive workouts via Echelon Fit app
Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.

Wireless (with tablet)
Display

Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

No, but Bluetooth connectivity allows you to connect your mobile/tablet
Max. Weight

Max. User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that the bike can safely support, which can represent durability.

300 lbs.
Dimensions

Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this treadmill will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

20” W x 54” L
Accessory Tray

Some bikes include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.

Speakers

Cooling Fans

Portable?

Some exercise bikes can fold up and/or have wheels that make it easy to roll them around for convenience and to save space.

Warranty

The warranty is a very important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs by the manufacturer.

1-year Limited Parts & Labor

Rating: 85%

Our Rating

Rating: 85/100

The Echelon EX5 is an affordable spin bike for at-home training. Although the EX5 doesn’t have a built-in screen like the top-of-the-line EX5S, like the EX5S, it boasts the most features and best performance of all the Echelon Connect bikes. We don’t think adding on around $400 (sometimes more) is worth upgrading from the EX5 to the EX5S. If you already have a tablet in your home that you can use with the EX5, then saving nearly half a thousand bucks for basically the same bike is a better deal. If an affordable option with a built in screen is more your speed, we’ve recently reviewed the MYX Fitness Bike—our new favorite entrant into the category that delivers on proper affordable interactive training (read the full review of the MYX Fitness Bike here).

Weighing just 112 lbs (and at just 20” wide and 54” long), the EX5 is compact and light enough to suit most home gym spaces. And with front-mounted wheels, it’s easy to move from room to room. What’s more, most trainees will find it comfortable as it’s fully adjustable and has a large, padded seat. It’s a durable spin bike that can handle whatever workout you throw at it. Paired with the Echelon Fit app, most riders will find a training program to fit their needs, and a variety of workouts to keep them motivated. Get the pros and cons of the EX5 below.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Durable: Heavy-duty steel frame.
  • Interactive Training: Bluetooth connectivity supports virtual training with Echelon Fit App.
  • Compact: It’s a compact, light bike that would work in most home gyms.
  • Flywheel: Heavy 13 KG flywheel supports 32 resistance levels.
  • Handlebars: Competition Aero handlebar system provides fore and aft adjustment. They are multi-position to diversify training.
  • Adjustability: Vertical and horizontal seat adjustment.
  • Competition Seat: Comfortable seat with 6” lever-style adjustment.
  • Storage: Dual water bottle holders on handlebars and weight rack behind seat.
  • Tablet Holder: Modern smart device mount flips 180° for off-machine workouts.
  • Diverse Pedals: SPD compatible as well as fully adjustable toe cages.
  • Resistance: Indexing resistance adjustment knob to adjust the 32 levels of resistance.
  • Motor: New motor for precise resistance.

Cons:

  • Limited Functionality: Unless you purchase the Echelon Fit App, there isn’t anything in the way of entertainment, programming or stats tracking on this bike. You only get access to programs and heart-rate monitoring via use of a tablet and buying a subscription. 
  • No Console: You have to bring your own tech to this bike. That said, this is also a plus as it keeps the costs down.
  • Warranty: A 1-year limited parts and labor warranty is not impressive.

Introduction

The Echelon EX5 is a durable, budget-friendly spin bike for home use. When paired with the Echelon Fit app, you’ll get access to a variety of live and on-demand virtual workouts, as well as scenic rides. Read more about the workouts, features, and buyer protections below.

 

Workout Programs

Like the other bikes in the Series, the EX5 doesn’t offer any preset workouts. Like many spin bikes on the market these days, paying for a separate subscription for interactive training is the focus. The EX5’s Bluetooth connectivity means you can connect any smartphone or tablet to enjoy interactive training. With Echelon bikes, interactive training is delivered via the Echelon Fit app. With this membership, you’ll get access to tons of workouts and scenic rides. The app has come a long way since its debut, and the user experience and variety of workouts continues to improve. The app offers different monthly and annual subscriptions, starting at $39.99 per month, with discounts available for annual subscriptions. This gives you unlimited live classes and FitPass access for any off-bike workouts such as yoga, pilates or strength training. Another reason to buy the subscription? Fitness tracking. As the EX5 doesn’t have a console, you will need to use a tablet or smartphone to monitor your stats, such as speed, calories burned, and distance. This is the only way you can monitor your workout on the EX5. For wireless heart-rate monitoring, just connect your wireless device to your tablet and the app can track this.

Echelon EX5 Features

The EX5 features a strong, steel frame, that’s still light and compact enough for most home gym spaces. The bike is 20” wide and 54” long, and weighs 112 lbs. Front-mounted transport wheels make it easy to move the bike from room to room after workouts if needed. With a heavy 13 KG flywheel and 32 levels of resistance, the EX5 boasts a smooth, quiet ride that can provide enough challenge for most riders. The EX5 also features a new motor for more precise magnetic resistance, which you can adjust with the indexing resistance adjustment knob. It’s a very adjustable bike. The comfortable competition-style seat can be moved forward, backward, up and down with 6” lever-style adjustment. The EX5’s competition Aero handlebar system is different to the ergonomic handlebars found on the EX1 and EX3. They allow for more movement, for either performance or comfort setup.

 

The handlebar design also features a new smart device mount, and dual water bottle holders. You can flip this 180° to enjoy your off-machine workouts like yoga or pilates. There’s also a weight rack behind the seat which can hold a set of 2 lb. dumbbells for upper-body workouts (not included). Your device will never run out of power thanks to the built-in USB charging port. Whatever your pedalling style, the EX5 can accommodate. The pedals are SPD compatible with fully adjustable toe cages.

Warranty & Guarantee

Like all the Echelon Connect bikes, the EX5 is shipped with a one-year limited parts and labor warranty. Extended warranties are available. Additionally, Echelon gives a 30-day money-back guarantee, but refunds exclude shipping and restocking.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affordable, durable spin bike that supports immersive, interactive training, then the EX5 is a great option for you. The heavy-duty flywheel and multiple resistance levels in combination with the ever-growing library of Echelon Fit virtual workouts will keep you challenged and motivated. We assume you’re looking at Echelon because you want to train interactively at home. Just keep in mind that it’s not just the bike you’re investing in, but the monthly app subscription too. Without this, you won’t be able to track your stats either. To get the most out of this bike, or any of the Connect bikes in general, paying the monthly subscription is a must.

 
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