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Echelon Smart Connect EX1 Bike Review

Quick Summary

Echelon Smart Connect EX1 Bike is a premiere spin bike that offers a great way to workout from home. It comes with the Echelon Fit app and offers a variety of virtual workouts that can take you around the world to ride on different terrains—city streets, a beach, a mountain or a real time indoor spin class. Just use your own tablet and you are ready to go. Solidly built, the 33 lb flywheel gives a smooth and quiet ride while the steel frame is strong and sturdy, both of which are important when maneuvering through 32 levels of resistance. The padded seat makes it comfortable to go the distance whether you are participating in a live class or on-demand.

Specifications

FitRated
Model Echelon Smart Connect 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!

81%
List Price

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

$999.99
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.

$999
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.

Padded
Pedals

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

SPD compatible
Programs

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

Bluetooth-connect with Echelon Fit App to track stats.
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
Display

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

Works with any size mobile device screen. Wifi and Bluetooth connect.
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).

59”L x 53”H x 23”W
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 warranty

Rating: 81%

Our Rating

Rating: 81/100. The Echelon Connect EX1 is a sharp looking bike with modern black and red detailing, a light flywheel and easy-to-maneuver structure. This bike is a great option for beginner or intermediate cyclists/athletes looking for a moderately-priced at-home exercise bike option. Equipped with an easy-to-use app, the bike provides a display unit to accommodate a phone or tablet connected through an aux cord.

The bike is lightweight and easy to assemble at home. The instructions include pictures, tools and step-by-step direction to set up the bike. It takes around 45 minutes from start to finish. The seat is very comfortable and includes an attached holder for dumbbell weights to add on if desired. The pedals provide 2 options, one on each side. One side is for SPD clip-in shoes and on the other side cages can be used with running shoes—a great feature for multiple users.

As far as quality, the bike is sturdy and well-made. The 33 lb magnetic flywheel makes for a smooth, quiet ride. Light weights can be stored and are easily accessible from the rear of the padded seat. The console/tablet mount can hold a variety of sizes of devices, whatever is more convenient for using the app.  You’ll never run out of power with the USB port to charge your smartphones or tablets.

Knobs are used to adjust speed and resistance. The resistance knob is easy to use with directing arrows to add or reduce. You also use knobs to adjust the handlebars and the seats, which can be moved up & down and back & forth. Handlebars are multipositional making it easy to stand up or lean forward as you ride. The handlebars are not the most ideal positioning if you’re looking for the feeling of an outdoor ride, as they are angled upward.

This bike’s compact frame and light weight make it easy to move out of the way and store when not in use. The water bottle holders are a bonus (and great to have for longer rides) and the seat pretty comfortable as far as bike seats go.

Through the Echelon Fit App, you are able to see the speed, distance, calories burned, resistance level, watts, RPM and heart rate.  There are the options to ride around the world virtually—on beaches, country roads or mountains—whatever your pleasure. Link to Facebook, FitBit and Strava to let others know of your progress or challenge them to a friendly competition. Additional programs include workouts for strength, stretching, core and yoga exercises. This is a great feature to round out your cycling routine.

While the bike itself is quite nice to ride, the app could use improvements in the quality of the videos. The instructors in the app often come across as unpolished or lacking motivation. The music is outdated and the camera angles are uninspired. The outdoor rides are a great idea in theory but the video footage is too slow to mimic an actual bike ride and the accompanying music was bland. In general, the app videos are not comparable to an actual spin class but would be efficient for a rider looking for a basic instructional video to ride to. Users have also complained of the app crashing or freezing.

Overall, the bike itself was much better than the app it is paired with. The Echelon Smart Connect EX1 Bike would receive a higher rating if the app were improved. Its color and style are appealing and would be suitable for a variety of riders of different sizes. The bike itself is definitely a great purchase for new riders looking for a lightweight at-home exercise bike. An elite rider may require more features and different positioning of the actual bike frame to mimic a road bike.

Pros:

  • Seats: Larger, comfortable padded seat, adjustable up and down forward and backward and also include dumbbell holders so you can add arm workouts while you ride
  • Pedals:  Allows for clip on and regular running shoes.
  • Handlebars: Multi-position handlebars
  • Personal training experience: Virtual access to real trainers from the comfort of your home.

Cons:

  • Programs: Only have access to programs and heart rate via use of a tablet no other options available for monitoring workout. You must purchase a subscription to use the basics.
  • Warranty: The warranty that comes with purchase is 1 year only but you can purchase extended warranties. At this price point, the warranty is a little short.
  • Price: Although well-made, the price is high considering the console will be your own tablet purchased separately, although, in some cases, you can get a free Android tablet with your bike purchase.
  • Live classes: Live classes were limited to the day in EST; which means those who live in other time zones are limited to the access of live classes. However, this is likely to improve as Echelon grows.

Introduction

“Never Ride Alone” is the mantra that comes up on the homepage of Echelon’s website and the words are true—you can experience a live class with fellow spinners, on-demand classes with Echelon trainers and link your Facebook, Fitbit and Strava accounts to compete with friends or family.

If a bit of alone time (with a little escapism) doesn’t sound like such a bad thing for your workout, you can enjoy scenic rides around the world. The Echelon Smart Connect EX1 Bike allows you to do it all.

Workout Programs

Echelon Smart Connect Bike programs work with the Echelon Fit App, where you can monitor your stats: speed, distance, calories burned, resistance level, watts, RPM and heart rate.  Through tiered monthly subscriptions of $19.99, $29.99 or $34. 99 you will have access to a wide variety of live and on-demand classes. The classes range from hip-hop rides to upper and lower body workouts to scenic outdoor landscapes (country, city, beach). With 32 levels of resistance, it is challenging for most riders.

There are many instructors and live classes available. Be sure to confirm the timing of the live classes in your particular time zone. The live classes become on-demand options once completed, in case you miss out.

Echelon Smart Connect EX1 Features

Programs: Live and on-demand workout programs

Type: Indoor residential bike (spin)

Bracket: Allows for attachment of a tablet

Multi-position handlebars

Resistance: Belt; 32 levels of resistance

Flywheel: 33 lbs

Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.

Seat: Adjustable and padded

Pedals: Allow for regular toe and clip-on

Holder:  2 bottle holders

Dimensions: 59”L X 53” H X 23” W

Warranty & Guarantee

The Echelon Smart Connect EX1 Bike comes with a one year warranty.

Conclusion

The Echelon Smart Connect EX1 Bike is definitely a good quality bike, but it makes the app/programs—live streaming and on-demand workouts as well as options that allow you to “explore the world” while getting your ride in—a central part of its appeal. And let’s just say there are some improvements to make with the app. The bike itself is sturdy, has 32 levels of resistance and the 33 lb flywheel which makes it a quiet, comfortable ride. Even with the less-than-stellar app, this is a worthwhile bike.

Other Echelon Exercise Bikes

4 Comments

  • Debbie Macri April 22, 2019 at 4:20 pm from CO
    Enjoying the rides! I wish I knew how to get my heart rate to show up on the app though.
    • Courtney Grafton April 24, 2019 at 8:03 am
      Hi Debbie, do you have the heart rate monitor for this machine?
  • connie wolf March 27, 2019 at 10:57 am
    just purchased the ex3 bike , love the bike easy to put together and very sturdy,
    • Courtney Grafton March 27, 2019 at 3:36 pm
      So glad you're enjoying it Connie!

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