The new Echelon Stride presents an interesting conundrum when it comes to an objective review, more so than most treadmills we’ve seen released in the last couple of years. On one hand, Echelon users swear by the streaming programming the brand offers, as its trainers and formats speak to a wide range of fitness fans of all shapes and sizes. Beyond that, the Echelon Stride hangs its hat on being more compact and stowable than most other treadmills in the market outside of no-name bargain treadmills on Amazon. Folded flat, the unit packs down to only 10 inches tall, which means leaning it against a wall or sliding it under a bed will resolve any issues or concerns about a home treadmill taking up too much space. The biggest concern with treadmills for urban apartment dwellers has long been the battle of space, so there you have it—problem solved.
Now comes the flip-side of that coin. While the Echelon Stride earns these points for the tuck-away capability, it loses a lot of ground in terms of build spec and overall quality compared to other treadmills of the same price that aren’t as compact. Its running deck is undersized, its motor is underpowered, its incline capability is lower than standard, and overall its a much lighter machine in terms of overall construction. With all of these factors thrown into the equation we have to say that the Echelon Stride is a good answer when you can’t justify using up the floor space that a conventional treadmill would, but not the right choice if you’re serious about training and have room for a standard-sized folding treadmill. To provide a little context, a folding treadmill like the Nordictrack Commercial 1750 takes up a footprint of roughly 40″ by 40″ when folded upright, whereas the Echelon Stride will come in at 40″ by 10″ when standing or 40″ by 60″ under your bed if you have 10 inches of clearance to slide it under there.
|Speed||0.5 - 12 mph|
|Belt||Frame-balanced elastomer |
for impact absorption
|Max. Weight||300 lbs|
Pros & Cons
- More compact design than any of its competition
- Light overall unit weight means easier maneuverability
- Echelon steaming training remains near top of the category
- Variety of streaming training options and styles
- Well suited to the entry-level, especially walkers and joggers
- Reasonable weight capacity (300 lbs)
- Auto-folding system
- Solid soundtracks/playlists for workouts that include a wide range of musical styles
- Light weight means less sturdy overall construction
- 1-year warranty is sub-par when compared to the competition
- Its motor is underpowered versus the competition
- Requires iPad or tablet to stream training, where other competitors include HD touchscreen for same/near same price point
- Lower than standard incline (10%)
- Smaller running track that we like—will be limiting for taller runners (55″ x 20″)
As noted above, the new Echelon Stride is entirely sold around the idea of being able to tuck away when not in use. This becomes a double-edged sword for some, as there’s the dreaded psychology of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ to consider. This takes some strong resolve to overcome, however with a treadmill like the Echelon Stride where you’re paying for a monthly subscription, you’re less likely to forget about it—your monthly bank statement won’t let you. It’s a pretty sleek unit when it’s not in hiding, though it just feels a little flimsy compared to most treadmills we’re used to reviewing. Its side rails are quite short, meaning you’ll have to be running close to the front of the track to make use of them. This furthers our perspective of this treadmill being better for walkers and joggers, as you won’t be up to a strong enough pace where you need to brace yourself and hop off in a hurry.
The console of the Stride is quite basic, with the center portion reserved as space for the user’s tablet or iPad. Echelon puts its primary focus on streaming training, so that design choice makes a fair bit of sense. You’ll link the tablet to the machine via Bluetooth, but you’ll have to have pretty strong Wifi running to the tablet in order to stream training programs clearly. From there, you’ll have access to hundreds of training options, not just for the treadmill. As a Stride user you can also stream their strength training classes, which is a nice perk, albeit one you can also get from NordicTrack’s iFit, as well as from Peloton and other brands.
Back to one of Echelon’s key selling features (on every piece of equipment they sell), the Echelon Fit app is loaded with tons of live and streaming training options for the Stride treadmill as well as for other off-treadmill workouts. At their current production trajectory, Echelon is filming nearly 2,000 workouts per month, so even if that pace is slowed a little it’s clear that there will be no risk of running shy of workouts for the Echelon Stride.
Looking at the treadmill-specific workouts, walks, sprints, bootcamps, and cross-training workouts are on offer, as well as challenge-style races to help keep runners engaged in their routines. Off treadmill routines include yoga, stretching. pilates, meditation, and more.
Aside from its folding function, the Echelon Stride isn’t particularly feature-rich, so to speak. Its basic console relies primarily on the use of a tablet rather than having a built-in screen, and on-board programming is nonexistent for the same reason. The console does have two water bottle holders, and and a USB charging port to keep your device powered up.
Warranty & Guarantee
Another point of struggle with all things Echelon is the brand’s lackluster warranties. The Echelon Stride treadmill, like other Echelon products, holds a modest 1-year manufacturer warranty.
At the end of the day the answer here is simple. If you absolutely need something compact that can be packed away, the Echelon Stride is better than any of the ultra-compact no-name brand treadmills we see all over Amazon and elsewhere. If you have a bit more space to spare, you’re much better off spending your money elsewhere.