Peloton vs. Echelon Connect: Comparing Luxury to Economy
Peloton is currently quoting 4 to 12 week delivery times for Bike and Bike+, potentially missing holiday deliveries. One of our top alternative picks, the Myx Fitness Bike is still shipping within 2 to 4 weeks.
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.
With recent updates at Peloton, their original Peloton has seen a bit of a price drop (from $2,245 to $1,895) and a new Bike+ model was added to the roster with a host of new features. Because budget plays a key role in this debate, the more fair comparison takes place between the original Peloton Bike and not the newer model.
Ed. Update — Since writing this, a new contender has thrown their hat in the ring, delivering a closer-to-Peloton experience for the price of the Echelon EX3. The MYX Fitness Bike has rapidly become our new favorite affordable alternative—read the full MYX Fitness Bike review here.
Interested in the Echelon EX3?
the Peloton 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.
The Peloton’s biggest sales pitch is 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 ($1,895), but aims to set the bar high with elite level instructors and a wide range of training styles. That said, if the higher price tag is the only thing putting you off, you could find a lightly used model on an online marketplace such as eBay. 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
- Dual water bottle holders
- Elite instructors teaching live from a studio in NYC
So which one is best for you?
· Large built-in display
· Elite trainers with great music
· Extremely smooth flywheel
· Cycling shoe clip-in option
· Significantly better bang-for-buck
· Lightweight and easy to move
· SPD clip and cage pedal options
· User friendly app and beginner rides
· Still significantly more expensive
· Not ideal for manual workouts
· Dumbbells not included
· Older ergonomic setup
· Less extensive live training programs
- 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 if you opt for a new model rather than finding a used one on a classified site, 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 probably going to want to lean towards the Echelon. That said, if you’re mostly interested in the training courses Peloton has to offer, you may be able to justify the cost or find a used, cheaper Peloton bike on somewhere like eBay.
- 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.
Both of these bikes 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 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. If you’re settled on Peloton but are worried about the price tag, try searching for a lightly used model on a classified site like eBay.
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?
the Peloton Bike?