Interactive training has changed the fitness industry over the past few years, particularly in the home cycling industry. However, the entire home fitness industry is literally booming right now. A recent article projected that the industry will grow to 23.27 Billion by 2025, a 13.1% compound annual growth rate.
If you haven’t heard of Peloton by now, you must have been living under a rock. But seriously, they are considered the mecca of interactive home spin bikes and the standard by which other direct to consumer fitness brands strive to compete.
Given Peloton’s lofty position in the industry, you can expect to pay a lofty price tag to enjoy their equipment and programming at home. Luckily, they aren’t the only player in the game anymore, you now have options!
Other prominent players like Echelon are giving Peloton a run for their money by releasing bikes that have similar features and experience but without the premium price. Essentially, other manufacturers are making home exercise bikes more accessible to everyday folks. Companies like Echelon compared to MYX Fitness and Stryde, plus more are bringing to the market some very formable contenders.
In this article, I’m going to bring your attention to the comparison between the Peloton bike and the Echelon indoor exercise bike: is this peloton alternative budget bike worth it, or should you spring for the Peloton? Let’s explore.
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The Showdown - Echelon Vs. Peloton: The Stats Table
Both Peloton and Echelon have multiple models to choose from now. I will include information for all available options in the table below.
Original $1895 Plus $2495
EX-1 $839.98, EX-3 $1039.98, EX-5 $1239.98, EX-5s $1639.98
Monthly subscription cost:
Included (4-6 weeks for Original bike delivery, 10+ weeks for the Plus model)
$150 for delivery if you choose the monthly membership, free if you purchase an annual plan.
12-month limited parts and labor warranty and 30-day return policy
12-month limited parts and labor warranty and 30-day return policy
48” L X 24” W
EX-1: 42” L X 22” W
Original 135 lbs., Plus 140 lbs.
EX-1: 105 lbs
User weight capacity:
300 (all models)
0-100 levels of magnetic resistance
32 levels of manual resistance
Original 22” HD, Plus 23.8”
Bring your own screen for all models except the EX-5s which includes a 21.5” HD
SPD only - Cycling shoes required unless you purchase a separate kit
SPD compatible and fully adjustable toe cages (wear with any shoes)
Available through the Peloton App
Available through the Echelon Fit App
Next, I’ll dive a little deeper into a few of the most critical categories to give you a closer look at the similarities and differences between these two competing bike brands.
Price: head-to-head comparison
I’m just going to go ahead and assume that price is one of the most important factors in your decision between Peloton and Echelon, so let’s discuss that point right off the bat. Making in an investment into a piece of gym equipment is a big decision, and definitely not one that you should take lightly.
We all know that accessing the Peloton experience comes at a price. Their original bike costs $1895 for just the basics. Echelon, on the other hand, has models that range from $839.98 to $1639.98, so even if you chose their best model, the EX-5s, you’d still be paying less than if you were to purchase a Peloton bike.
However, you also have to keep in mind that Peloton offers free delivery, although delivery times are very long right now, and Echelon only offers free delivery and setup if you purchase a one or two-year subscription to their membership. That said, most customers assemble the bike easily themselves and it takes only 15-20 minutes to complete. To have Echelon assemble for you it would cost $199.
Recently, I shared my honest thoughts on peloton compared to myx fitness, and one of the key differences is in fact the price. Myx does a complete set up free of charge (for a limited time anyways).
Monthly subscription fees
The other price consideration is the monthly subscription fees. Both brands have essentially the same membership cost, with a difference of just $.99 each month, so there’s really no difference in this area. Additionally, both brands offer the same 1-year limited warranty and 30-day return policy (which would likely include restocking fees).
Whether you’re a serious cycler or not, it’s important to understand the resistance types and levels available on the bike you chose. When it comes to Echelon and Peloton, both bikes work similarly when it comes to resistance. Each bike is manually controlled by a knob using a magnetic resistance system, which is considered the best system for indoor cycling.
The difference between these two systems is that the Echelon bike offers 32 levels of resistance and the Peloton offers 0-100 levels of resistance. This means that Peloton has more resistance levels and therefore a finer adjustment of the bike, which gives you more control. I want to also note that the new Peloton Plus model comes with Auto-Follow technology which means that when the instructor calls for a change in resistance, the bike with automatically adjust for you. This is a nice feature that certainly adds value to the Plus, but it’s not a deal-breaker in my book.
Unless you’re a professional cyclist, the resistance provided by Echelon is probably going to be plenty for you. It comes down to your deciding if the more advanced system which features a smoother ride is worth the extra cost or if the traditional stepped levels of resistance will be sufficient.
Display and Training
A look at Peloton:
It’s no secret that one of the best features of the Peloton is their 22” HD touchscreen which allows for a fully immersive virtual workout. With their monthly membership, you get access to daily live and on-demand classes. Each day there are 20+ live classes and their library has thousands of on-demand options to choose from.
For those who are motivated by competition, the live-workouts include a leaderboard that will show you where your performance stands against the others who are taking the live class with you. Additionally, they have tons of classes that are designed for off the bike like cardio, strength, yoga, pilates, bootcamps, and more. The only downside to the original bike is the fact that the screen is fixed, making it hard to do off-bike classes efficiently. Their Plus model does have the swivel screen that has become famous with bikes like the one from MYX Fitness, however, the Plus model is significantly more expensive.
A Look at Echelon:
Echelon, on the other hand, does not include a screen display with all their models. Their first three models include a holder for you to bring your own screen, which is the main reason why their bikes are much more inexpensive. Their latest model, though, the EX-5s does include a 21.5” touchscreen that very closely resembles the Peloton bike while still remaining less expensive.
But whether you choose the bike that has the screen or not, your subscription to the Echelon Fit app will give your access to a similar experience in that they have a variety of live and on-demand classes to choose from. Your monthly subscription includes access to daily live classes, hundreds of on-demand classes and a variety of “Extra Mile” classes to choose from which include stretching, strength training, yoga, and more.
All Echelon models include a 180 degree adjustable console which is ideal for your off-bike workouts so that you can achieve optimal screen viewing. Again, this is a feature that the original Peloton does not include, so if you think you’ll be taking advantage of the off-bike content a lot, I would recommend keeping this in mind.
All in all, the content on each platform is very similar, but Peloton is undeniably still the reigning king when it comes to programming. They have a cult-like following thanks to their lovable instructors who are motivating, challenging, and super easy to connect with.
If you’re an avid spinner or cyclist, you may already have a pair of cycling shoes, but if you don’t and you choose Peloton, then you’ll need to invest in a pair because their pedals are designed to be used with cycling shoes only. You can switch out the pedals if you want, but it will cost extra and it would then void the warranty on the crank arm, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Echelon, on the other hand, is more inclusive thanks to the fact that their pedals come fully compatible with SPD clips and toe cages, which means that you can use cycling shoes or regular shoes for your workouts. This makes Echelon more accessible.
When it comes to the frame and overall construction of these bikes, you’ll be pleased to know that both the Peloton bike and Echelon’s line are made of high-quality steel. This means that either way you go you can count on the bike being very durable. And given their similarities in construction, there really is no difference in their weight capacity, both are rated for up to about 300 pounds.
When choosing a home spin bike, the frame and user weight capacity play an important role in how stable the bike is as well as how durable it is. In this case, both bikes are incredibly well-made, so you can feel confident choosing either.
Final Thoughts: Which Bike is the Best Choice For You?
As you can see, both brands have developed incredible bikes that will allow you to get in an amazing workout from the comfort of your own home. That said, it’s obvious that Peloton is the flashiest, most coveted system on the market right now, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you get any less tech or experience when you choose the Echelon.
The decision comes down to your personal needs as well as your budget. If you’re simply looking for a reliable way to get in a good workout from home without breaking the bank, then one of the Echelon models will likely be a great fit for you. You can save over $1000 by using your own screen and your regular tennis shoes.
If you want to have access to the famous Peloton Experience, then you can either invest in the Peloton Bike, or you can use your Echelon bike with the Peloton app. Many people do it this way - you still get to experience Peloton but you get to avoid the high sticker price, long wait times, and extra expenses.