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Peloton vs. Echelon Connect: Comparing Luxury to Economy

Peloton Bike vs Echelon Connect Bike, side by side.

The Peloton and Echelon are two stationary bikes designed for cyclists and those looking to take their indoor workouts to the next level. Both bikes have different apps that offer unique elements to keep indoor workouts exciting and challenging. In this review, I will break down the best features of both and compare head to head. While both bikes will provide you with a great ride, one may be better suited for your personal goals and interests.

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the Peloton Bike?

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ECHELON

Black and Red Echelon workout bike.Rather than building in an oversized screen into their equipment, the Echelon EX3 takes advantage of existing tech in your home, providing a secure holder for your tablet or phone to display the Echelon Connect App on while riding—saving you significant cost in the process. The bike comes equipped with the option to use SPD clips on one side and cage clips on the other allowing riders to use cycling shoes or their own sneakers. The Echelon is affordable, easy to set up and caters to tech-savvy riders wanting to take advantage of training programs from the comfort of their own home. Some of the top features of this bike include:

  • Rear flywheel and sleek color combination
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Live and pre-programmed workouts (first year subscription included w/ bike)
  • Universal pedal design; comes equipped with caged pedals that also can be flipped for SPD compatible clips
  • Easy set-up and maneuverability
  • Easy to use app with many beginner friendly rides
  • Lightweight (105lbs)
  • Ability to choose your own display; can hold different sized tablets, phones, etc.

PELOTON

Black and Red Peloton BikeThe Peloton’s biggest sales pitch its its 24/7/365 live and pre-programmed classes led by real instructors, all filmed in one of the brand’s fitness studios in Manhattan. Rather than running an app on your existing device, this bike comes with a large 21.5″ built-in HD display. The Peloton comes in at a much higher price point than most bikes on the market ($2,245), but aims to set the bar high with elite level instructors and a wide range of training styles. Some of the top features of this bike include:

  • Peloton app built into screen display with monthly membership ($39/month)
  • 21.5” HD touch screen
  • Thousands of different rides and workout options
  • Clip-in pedals, with the option to purchase Peloton cycling shoes
  • Dual water bottle holders
  • Elite instructors teaching live from a studio in NYC

So which one is best for you?

Peloton Pros

·         Large built-in display

·         Elite trainers with great music

·         Extremely smooth flywheel

·         Cycling shoe clip-in option

Echelon Pros

·         Significantly better bang-for-buck

·         Lightweight and easy to move

·         SPD clip and cage pedal options

·         User friendly app and beginner rides

Peloton Cons

·         Double the price of Echelon

·         No fan in display or tray for items

·         Dumbbells not included

Echelon Cons

·         Older ergonomic setup

·         Less extensive live training programs

 

 

My Experience

  • Both bikes are quiet to ride in terms of the flywheel but the Peloton delivers a slightly smoother ride.
  • The Peloton gets the upper hand on account of its built-in display. It feels more “complete” than the Echelon on account of it, but given that it’s twice the price that is to be expected. If you aren’t tech obsessed this might not be worth the big price bump.
  • The Peloton definitely has a more premium feel, but is heavier to move around your home and would require more space than the Echelon that is very light and easy to move in comparison.
  • The Echelon is significantly more affordable than the Peloton—so, if cost is of concern then you are definitely going to want to lean towards the Echelon. However, if you have the budget for the Peloton and are mostly interested in the training courses they offer, you may be able to justify the cost.
  • The Echelon includes both cages and SPD clips so you can ride right away with a couple options whereas the Peloton comes with clip compatible pedals only that require you to buy their own branded shoes—a bit of a frustrating detail.
  • When adjusting the resistance on the Peloton, the numbers increase showing you exactly how much resistance you are adding as the instructor leads. The Echelon resistance I found to be not very sensitive to resistance adjustment.
  • The Peloton is a bit more sturdy with a heavier overall weight, so riding out of the saddle or pushing sprints physically felt more comfortable than the Echelon.
  • When comparing the apps, I found the Peloton app instructors were more authentic and inspiring than those from Echelon. I also enjoyed the music better on the Peloton, but that is pretty subjective. The Echelon rides are filmed with essentially 2 different angle, and their workouts come across a bit more dated versus the cutting edge tech company.

In Conclusion…

Both of these bikes are offer great workout options that will leave you sweating. When deciding which of these bikes is best for you I would recommend narrowing down how much importance you’re placing on the live training, and how much you will use that functionality day-to-day. If you are interested in getting your butt kicked in studio-similar classes and intense rides, the Peloton great. If you are more of a beginner or new to spin classes, or you plan on sticking to your own routine and music from time to time, the Echelon is likely a better match. The physical bike setup is also important, as you want to be comfortable when riding daily. The setup of the Peloton is more similar to that of a road bike (which I personally preferred) whereas the Echelon reflects more closely what you would see in a local gym spin class.

The Peloton does require a $39 monthly membership on top of its higher price point, where the Echelon does offers a year’s free subscription to their programming. The Echelon does require you to own a tablet or phone to display the app, but in this day in age there’s already something suitable kicking around in most households.

Lastly, the price point is something to consider for your own budget and what you are looking to achieve from your new purchase. Both bikes offer unique features so it may come down to the best price point. My advice, compare the pros and cons and determine which factors are most important to you and your personal fitness levels, and you will be able to choose the bike that best suits your needs!

Interested in the Echelon EX3?

See Echelon EX3 Price Now

or

the Peloton Bike?

See the Peloton Price Here!

25 Comments

  • Willie644 September 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm from NY
    Is there a way I can try it beforehand? Does anyone know? I have tried the Peloton and the Stage bikes and I love the Stages bikes over the Peloton Bike. However, the Peloton bike has a much better screen than the Stages. I read the comment on the ergonomic fit and that is important to me being that I ride 4 to 5 times a week. I need to make sure I do not mess with my body mechanics after having slowly recovered from an old accident that took years to fix.
  • Kawanis September 13, 2019 at 10:07 am from Tallhassee
    I was wondering about the instructor lead training for the Peloton bikes. Does the program provide strength training? Also, what about spin classes using the dumb bells? Can you stream strength, yoga, or any other training from your television? One more question, does it have a Zumba or Pilates classes ?
    • FitRated October 2, 2019 at 4:25 pm
      Hi Kawanis, the Peloton app available on the bikes provides a variety of classes from cycling to bootcamp to yoga. You can learn more about their app on their website https://www.onepeloton.com/digital
  • Kristen September 8, 2019 at 9:06 pm from AR
    I am contemplating the Echelon connect vs the Peleton. I am wondering if the Peleton app can be used with the echelon bike? I already have the Peleton app for their other workouts and enjoy it. The reviews so far seem to not be favorable of the Echelon app. Price is my real reason for considering Echelon. I don’t expect them to be identical on their benefit, but I would hope they are close enough. Is the Echelon quiet enough to have in your bedroom and enjoying a morning workout without waking my husband?
    • FitRated October 3, 2019 at 3:55 pm
      Hi Kristen, you can use any app with the Echelon bike. However, a common problem people have with this is measuring cadence and resistance. There are a few videos and DIY guides on how to do a DIY peloton set up using a regular exercise bike, the peloton app, and a cadence sensor available on Youtube. The Echelon bike is definitely quiet enough to have in a bedroom.
  • Whitney July 28, 2019 at 11:16 am from Connecticut
    I’m looking to get clarity on something — I’m thinking about getting the Echelon, because sometimes I like to ride to my own playlists (and not a class). I was glad to see this listed as a PRO for Echelon, but in a couple comments I noticed that people said you NEED to use the app in order to operate the bike. Is this true? Do you have to continue the app subscription in order to do freerides to your own playlists? I’m looking for a quality bike that doesn’t require me to do a monthly subscription if I find I don’t need the video classes. Perhaps this means I should get one of the less tech-involved bikes, but I really want to be able to track my ride stats (distance, heart rate, etc)
    • FitRated October 3, 2019 at 3:33 pm
      Hi Whitney, the bike does operate without a subscription. However, your ride statistics and information cannot be seen or stored. You can only access programs and heart rate monitor via use of a tablet, and you must purchase a subscription to use these basic functions. The good news is that you can pair the bike with any app that you'd like!
  • Rachel S June 16, 2019 at 5:56 pm from Wisconsin
    I have a question about both bikes. Is WiFi required to use either app? I live in an area where we cannot access WiFi, but I do have a tablet with cellular data and Bluetooth access.
    • FitRated June 18, 2019 at 2:20 pm
      Hi Rachel, WiFi is required to use both apps. However, you may be able to hotspot your tablet's cellular data and use that in place of WiFi.
  • Gregory Sandau May 25, 2019 at 5:46 pm from Seattle, WA
    I needed a solid indoor workout to augment my running program and the Echelon fits the bill. I play my own music and have no need for any apps. A hard 30 minutes and I'm soaked in sweat. Love it. Plus I'm 66 years old and my knees love it too.
  • G Santoro May 15, 2019 at 4:12 am
    I tested both bikes - and settled for the Echelon. However, I feel it might have been a mistake because the bike is definitely ‘wonky’ sometimes. It will freeze up mid ride and you have to hope it will pick back up again. Sometimes the software does not. The initial connection always makes me say a silent prayer that my iPad and bike will work together. I like most of the instructors. I spin 5 days a week.
    • Courtney Grafton May 15, 2019 at 1:55 pm
      Hi G, thank you for letting us know about your purchase. Have you tried contacting Echelon directly to inquire about the connectivity issues? The bike may have connection issues to your tablet if not in a good wifi area. Also check that blue tooth is on when connecting. The Echelon bike is definitely not as premium of a bike and therefore may not give you that sturdy structure of a higher priced model but should operate smoothly if on a hard surface. I find that most bikes have a smoother and sturdier feel if on hard flooring versus carpet.
  • Elizabeth May 9, 2019 at 5:21 am
    I have had a very difficult time with my bike. I cannot ride it without the app and the app crashes and then I need to start the same or another ride with no stats carried over or ability to start where it crashed. It will look like all is fine but all of the sudden the tension takes a life of its own and it goes haywire not responding to the knob to increase or decrease; it is rendered useless and I need to stop, disconnect from wall power and the app completely, and then start again from scratch. Sometimes this process is ineffective and I go through all the steps again and throw a prayer in that this time is will work. Customer service is polite and well intentioned but the follow through was sorely neglected. I also had difficulty with a broken pedal (could use the clip in shoes) and at first they didn’t send it at all and after a couple of week and inquiring about my other problem I found out the pedal was never ordered to send to me. Then they sent three! The bike is also very creaky. I am still frustrated with myself for assuming this bike could be used without a power source and app. They said I needed a new console and never sent it. The lag time and confusion with customer service issues and the mechanical/technical issues has resulted in my decision to return the bike. I loved this bike at first but it’s was a very short love affair. I have been spinning for 18 years and almost want to go back to old clunker I have. At least it worked.
    • Courtney Grafton May 9, 2019 at 1:43 pm
      Hi Elizabeth, we are so sorry to hear about your negative experience with the bike. That definitely sounds like a very frustrating situation to deal with. We hope you will consider some of our other bikes that do not require an app to run and perhaps some more standard feature rather than all the bells and whistles. We hope that a different model of exercise bike can offer you a better experience.
  • ryan doyle April 30, 2019 at 9:08 pm from Wisconsin
    Have had nothing but problems so far with the echelon!!! First of all, it took almost 2 weeks to get it when they first said 48 hours to ship. My girlfriend went round and round with them until we received the bike. Then once we got it the tablet that comes with it wouldn’t connect with the bike. She was able to get her phone to connect......for one training session!!!! Then nothing. Called customer service and still waiting for a response on what they’re going to do. Yes it’s true the price is way less, and I understand you get what you pay for but looking back, I would be willing to pay another 800 for quality craftsmanship and customer service.
    • Courtney Grafton May 2, 2019 at 11:21 am
      Hi Ryan, we are sorry to hear about the delay in getting your bike and the connectivity issues. Have you been able to speak to a representative yet to discuss connecting the tablet? We do find sometimes resetting your wifi and reconnecting can be a solution if you haven't tried that yet. We hope we can help you solve this issue in a timely manner.
  • Tony April 24, 2019 at 11:58 am from New York
    The Peloton bike is absolutely amazing! It's the complete package where I don't have to worry much after initial set-up. While the price is on the hefty side I feel its worth it. In my opinion the bread and butter are the instructors. Peloton did a great job hiring personable instructors that really motivate you to push harder (I heart Emma and Cody). That to me is the clincher. Most people have a hard time sticking to their own routine. The amount of content on the Peloton will give you plenty of options where every ride feels new.
    • Courtney Grafton April 26, 2019 at 6:32 am
      Hi Tony, so glad you are enjoying the Peloton! It definitely is a great bike and we agree, the instructors are amazing!
  • Dean Lambert April 6, 2019 at 11:55 pm
    I have used both and opted for the Echelon. $2,400 for the Pelton compared to $999 for the Echelon. The price difference made it very difficult to justify what amounts to little additional value. The Pelton is heavier, which makes it seem a little more stable when going at it hard. Peleton's trainer programming is more "live," but not enough of a benefit to justify $1,400 in additional cost. I am very eased with my decision.
    • Courtney Grafton April 8, 2019 at 3:33 pm
      Hi Dean, thank you for sharing this information! We are glad that you are enjoying the Echelon. It is a great value!
  • Jeff Allen April 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm from Atlanta
    Peloton shoes are a standard called Look Delta and you can buy them anywhere. I got mine at REI but they aren’t much different than the Peloton branded ones - just cheaper.
    • Courtney Grafton April 3, 2019 at 12:31 pm
      Hi Jeff, yes you can purchase the same clip-style shoes at most stores. They are also SPD compatible.
    • Kelly June 6, 2019 at 6:44 pm
      Was about to post the same. I use the same shoe model I have for my road bike - just a different set of cleats. This comparison should be updated since the author notes this as a negative against Peloton ("...whereas the Peloton comes with clip compatible pedals only that require you to buy their own branded shoes—a bit of a frustrating detail.")
      • FitRated June 18, 2019 at 2:10 pm
        Hi Kelly, thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. We will look into updating this post.
    • Donna Heaton dixon August 26, 2019 at 3:20 am from California
      Love my echelon, received in Feb 2019, did not consider the peloton due to the price, I don't mind using my phone or tablet, this way I don't have to worry about that built in tablet malfunctioning on me, my husband says the more gadgets the more repairs, I can replace a phone/ tablet quicker than repairing it.❤❤❤my ECHELON, although I do need to tighten the handlebar, it came with tools,I'm using my bike.

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