Fun fact: the “tread wheel,” a variation of what we now know as a treadmill, was originally used back in the 1800s to keep British prisoners from idleness and as a punishment. Ironically, many of us still view our treadmills as a form of punishment today. I mean who enjoys running essentially in place?

But 50 million Americans (likely more now thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic) own treadmills, including myself!

It suffices to say that treadmills have come a long way and although most of us would still rather take our walks, jogs and runs outside, that’s not always an option. Whether you’re faced with inclement weather, kids at home, or restrictions that force you to remain inside most of the time, treadmills have become one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment.

Luckily, we now have Smart Treadmills and they’re changing the way we see running indoors and making the experience less of a chore and more of a thrill. In this article, I’m reviewing two of the top smart treadmills on the market right now, the Peloton Tread and the Echelon Stride. 

Can the Stride compete with Peloton’s innovation? Is the extra investment worth it? Let’s explore.

Why Choose a Smart Treadmill?

As I was saying, treadmills have come a long way over the years. Today, they’re fully electronic, have adjustable incline and speed settings, Bluetooth speakers, wireless connectivity, and some even come equipped with built-in HD screens.

Running indoors is no longer the boring slog that we used to dread. Thanks to streaming apps and the creativity of top fitness brands, you can experience a thrilling workout while connecting with and competing with others, and while being coached by a professional. You can even experience runs that take you to other locations all around the world, immersing yourself in a new environment.

The bottom line is that treadmill runs or walks are now fun, exciting, and exhilarating thanks to smart treadmills that allow you to experience all that streaming apps have to offer. They also allow you to take care of your body and reach your goals all from the comfort of your own home, something that many of us have been forced to do over the last year. 

It’s comforting to know that just because we’re home doesn’t mean we can’t experience amazing workouts and connection with others in a community.

Peloton Tread Vs. Echelon Stride: A Head-to-Head Comparison

When making a decision as crucial as to which treadmill is right for your home gym, it’s important that you know all the facts and features of each so that you can choose which one is right for you. Take a look at the table below for a comparison of these two smart treadmills. For the sake of this comparison, I will be using the specs for the original Peloton Tread, not their new Tread +.








69.3" × 31" × 49.2"

68” L x 33” W x 62”

Running Space:

55" L × 20" W

59” L x 20” W


0.5 to 12 mph

0 to 12.5 mph

Max Incline:



Max User Weight:

300 lbs.

290 lbs

Screen Included?

Yes, 18.5-inch touchscreen display but you must use a tablet or other device to stream your workouts.

Yes, 23.8” touchscreen

Speed & Incline controls:

Located on the handlebars + quick incline options on the screen

located on the handlebars + jump buttons


✅ Yes, 3-step auto-folding design



Yes, with thousands of live and on-demand options + access to mat/floor workouts

Yes, with thousands of live and on-demand options + access to mat/floor workouts

App cost:




1 year

1 year


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The Main Considerations

When it comes to the Echelon Stride vs. Peloton Tread, there are some remarkable differences that you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing which one is right for you. For starters, the price difference is pretty significant. We’re talking a difference of around $1,000, so it’s important to consider your budget as you’re making your decision.

You’ll also want to consider space, the Peloton Tread is larger than the Stride, and it doesn’t fold away, so consider the space where you’ll be placing your treadmill and whether or not you’d like or need the option to fold it up and store it away. Also, keep in mind that the Peloton Tread has a longer belt, so if you’re taller and/or have a longer stride, the belt size can play a critical role in your experience.

Next, think about whether you’re comfortable with bringing your own screen (phone or tablet) or if you would rather have an included screen. Stride saves money by making their screen display your stats only, not streaming your workouts. Part of the extra cost of the Peloton is the giant HD touchscreen.

Also, consider the experience you want when you use your treadmill. Both apps are generously equipped with thousands of live and on-demand workouts, but we all know that Peloton has a cult following based mostly on their world-class instructors and programming. But we can’t sleep on Echelon’s programming, though, they too offer classes taught by amazing instructors and feature a wide range of options that’ll ensure you’re never bored.

Lastly, when do you want your treadmill? The Stride is available right now and can be delivered to your home in 2-3 weeks. The Peloton Tread is not going to be available until February or March of 2021 and Peloton has had notoriously long wait times for their products.

Like watching video reviews? Take a look at the 5 most important considerations when choosing between these two treadmills.

Echelon Stride Overview

Echelon is a well-known player in the fitness industry, releasing equipment that rivals its competitors while remaining more affordable and accessible. The Stride is no exception, it’s their latest release and it’s directly aimed at customers who want the Peloton experience without the Peloton price tag.

As mentioned in my honest evaluation of the Echelon Stride treadmill, the thing that makes this treadmill so appealing is the fact that it’s foldable, closing down to just 10” deep for easy, discreet storage. This is incredibly appealing for those who have a small or limited space for working out, like those who live in apartments are use their treadmill in places like their bedroom or office. Additionally, it’s lightweight and really easy to move around.

Aside from its foldability and ease of maneuvering, it has features that can stand up to any competitor. Some of these key features include:

  • Top speed of 12 mph
  • Automatic incline that goes to 12%
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • 1.75 HP motor
  • Spacious “step off” area
  • 8 pre-programmed workouts
  • Live and on-demand classes
  • Opportunity to compete with others
  • Tablet/phone holder
  • Access to other class types (strength, cardio, cycling, HIIT, yoga, etc.)
  • Two drink cup holders

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Peloton Tread Overview

Peloton has become one of the biggest, most recognizable brands in the fitness industry today. Their claim to fame lies largely in their use of live classes, loveable instructors, and HD touchscreens built right into their machines. Because of all of that, the “Peloton experience” comes at a lofty price point. However, they did just announce the release of their Bike + and Tread +, leaving their original bike and tread to hit the market at a reduced price that’s more competitive.

The Peloton Tread is relatively large, taking up a significant amount of space, which is perfect for those who have an area designated for it. It’s giant HD touchscreen allows for easy viewing, navigation, and controls. The live class leaderboard features allows participants to to compete with others while working to reach their personal goals. Some of the other important features of this treadmill include:

  • Extra long running surface
  • 32” touchscreen display included
  • Access to thousands of live and on-demand classes of all kinds (cycling, running, walking, HIIT, cardio, strength, yoga, and more)
  • Automatic incline and speed controls for smooth transitions
  • Interactive leaderboard for live classes

Which Option is Right For You?

After reviewing all the information about both models, you’re likely thinking that they both sound great, with each one having its own set of pros and cons. So now it’s the hard part, deciding which one to pull the trigger on. Don’t worry, I got you.

Your decision is essentially going to come down to a few factors: how much space you have, what your budget it, and what kind of experience you want.

If you budget is of no concern and you don’t mind waiting some extra time, then the Peloton Tread is an amazing option. If you haven’t taken a Peloton class yet, you’re in for a treat. Let’s just say that the hype is real - the classes are fun, full of energy, and always a challenge. Peloton is also a great option if you have a dedicated workout space in your home and you won’t need to tuck the tread away at anytime.

On the other hand, if budget is a concern, then you may be more incline to take a closer look at the Stride. This new treadmill is making major waves in the fitness industry and is quickly becoming a go-to Peloton alternative. It’s perfect for small homes, apartments, or homes that don’t have a designated workout area. This machine folds up easily and is so discreet, allowing you the freedom and flexibility you need to incorporate exercise into your life without creating an obtrusion of your personal space.

The Echelon app also features tons of amazing workout content, however, it doesn’t have the same cult following as Peloton. If that type of experience is irrelevant to you, then you’ll likely be just fine with Echelon’s app experience as it’s very similar. Pro tip: you can easily have the best of the both worlds. If you want to save money but still experience Pelton’s training, all you need to do is purchase the Echelon Tread and then subscribe to the Peloton app to access their workouts.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a treadmill, or any piece of home gym equipment. is a big deal and not one that you should take lightly. In all honesty, both of these products are high-quality, innovative and will provide you with an amazing experience and workout. That said, your personal budget, goals, and space limitations will play a role in your decision making.

Personally, I find that the Echelon Stride is providing wonderful value in the market and highly recommend taking a closer look at it. While many have tried to compete with the Peloton Bike, this is one of the first competitors for the Peloton Tread, but it certainly won’t be the last.

If spending over two grand  on a piece of equipment is a tough pill to swallow, then check out the Stride treadmill. You’re going to love the ease of use, convenience, and quality that you’ll experience with Echelon.

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About the Author
Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Macro Coach, Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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