The Echelon Connect EX1 is a premiere spin bike that offers a great way to work out from home. Paired with the Echelon Fit app, you’ll have access to a variety of virtual workouts that take you around the world. From scenic rides across beaches and mountains, to live spin classes, there will always be something fresh and new to keep you motivated. Just connect your own tablet via Bluetooth and you are ready to go.
Solidly built, the 13 KG flywheel gives a smooth and quiet ride while the steel frame is strong and sturdy, both of which are important when maneuvering through the 32 levels of resistance. The padded seat makes it comfortable to go the distance whether you are participating in a live class, on-demand workout, or scenic ride.
The Echelon Connect EX1 is a sharp looking bike with modern black and red detailing and an easy-to-move structure. It’s perfect for beginner or intermediate cyclists/athletes who are looking for a budget-friendly exercise bike to use at home.
The bike is lightweight and easy to assemble. The instructions include pictures, tools and step-by-step directions to set up the bike. It takes around 45 minutes from start to finish.
The pedals provide 2 options, one on each side. One side is for SPD clip-in shoes and the other side features cages which can be used with standard running shoes—a great feature for multiple users.
As far as quality, the bike is sturdy and well made. The 13 KG 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 thanks to the built-in USB charging port.
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. The handlebars are multi-positional making it easy to stand up or lean forward as you ride. That said, they aren’t in the most ideal position 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 (or weight racks) are great to have for longer rides, and the seat is 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 options to ride around the world virtually—on beaches, country roads or mountains—whatever you choose. Link to Facebook, FitBit and Strava to share your progress or challenge your friends or family 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. That said, the user experience and variety of workouts on the app is only going to improve with time.
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.
- Seat: Large, comfortable padded seat which is adjustable up & down and forward & backwards. It features dumbbell holders so you can add arm workouts while you ride.
- Pedals: Allow for clip-in or regular running shoes.
- Handlebars: Multi-position handlebars.
- Personal training experience: Virtual access to real trainers from the comfort of your home.
- Programs and Stats Tracking: You only get access to workout programs and heart-rate data via use of a tablet and subscription to the app. There are no other options available for monitoring your workout. You must purchase a subscription to use the basics.
- Warranty: The 1-year limited parts and labor warranty is a little short for our liking.
- Live classes: Live classes were limited to the day in EST when we tried the bike. This means those who live in other time zones have limited access to live classes. However, this is likely to improve as Echelon grows.
“Never Ride Alone” is one of Echelon’s mantras. 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 Connect EX1 allows you to do it all.
Echelon Smart Connect bikes use the Echelon Fit app for interactive training and stats tracking. You can monitor your stats such as your speed, distance, calories burned, resistance level, watts, RPM and heart rate by connecting your bike to the app on your tablet or smartphone. A membership will grant you 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, the bike is challenging enough 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 Connect EX1 Features
- Programs: Live and on-demand workout programs with the Echelon Fit app.
- Type: Indoor residential bike (spin).
- Bracket: Allows for attachment of a tablet.
- Multi-position handlebars.
- Resistance: Belt with 32 levels of resistance.
- Flywheel: 13 KG.
- Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
- Seat: Adjustable and padded.
- Pedals: SPD compatible with fully adjustable toe cages.
- Storage: 2 bottle holders (or weight racks).
- Dimensions: 22” W x 42” L.
- Weight: 105 lbs.
Warranty & Guarantee
The Echelon Connect EX1 is shipped with a one-year limited parts and labor warranty.
Extended warranties are available for purchase. Additionally, Echelon gives a 30-day money-back guarantee, but refunds exclude shipping and restocking.
The Echelon Connect EX1 is a good quality spin bike. Its interactive training compatibility which gives you access to live and on-demand workouts is a central part of its appeal. Although the app needs some improvements, it has come a long way since its initial release, so we are confident the user experience is only going to get better as time goes on.
The bike itself is sturdy, and provides enough challenge with its 32 levels of resistance. Its 13 KG flywheel makes for a quiet, comfortable ride. Overall, this is a great option for those looking for an affordable spin bike to use for interactive training at home.