When rain, snow, or foul weather keeps you inside, a quality stationary bike is the next best alternative to cycling on the road. With that said, staring at a blank wall as you pedal your heart out is not exactly a great way to stay motivated when biking indoors.
Thankfully, the popularity of interactive home fitness training has given rise to plenty of high-quality stationary bikes for your home gym. In cycling and fitness circles, the debate between Peloton vs. Echelon rages on.
So which is better, you might ask: Echelon vs. Peloton? Overall, Echelon’s bikes provide better value and versatility for people on a budget. Despite Peloton’s high sticker price, it does come with a bevy of wonderful added features and unparalleled training programs.
The bottom line is that Peloton and Echelon make some great bikes, but they’re each designed for a specific type of athlete. To help you decide which bike is best for your needs, we’ve created this ultimate guide to fully explore the pair of indoor fitness brands.
Echelon vs. Peloton: Overview
|Monthly Membership Fee
|Peloton All-Access: $39
|Echelon Connect: $39.99
|42x22" or 54x20" (106x55cm or 137x50cm)
|User Maximum Weight
|# Resistance Levels
|22" (56cm) HD Touchscreen
|Tablet Holder or 21" (53cm) HD Touchscreen for EX-5s
|Look Delta pedals
|SPD compatible + toe cages
|Connects via WiFi or Bluetooth to HR monitor or smartwatch and Peloton app
|Bluetooth connectivity to the Echelon Fit app, Facebook, Fitbit, and Strava
Which Is Better? Echelon vs. Peloton Bike
Echelon and Peloton are both highly popular indoor exercise bikes that offer a high-quality fitness experience. However, there are some important differences between each bike that will help determine which one is the right option for your needs. Here’s how the Peloton and Echelon bikes perform in the real world:
Monthly Membership & Training Programs
Although you can theoretically use either of these bikes without paying the monthly membership, you’ll get a whole lot more out of them if you sign up for their training programs. The monthly membership price is more or less the same between Echelon Connect and Peloton All-Access, give or take a few cents.
In reality, both memberships offer similar experiences, with an assortment of live classes and on-demand training programs. Additionally, Peloton and Echelon both offer non-biking classes for yoga, stretching, pilates, and other activities if you’re interested in a bit of extra cross-training.
This might not be very reassuring, but we have to call a tie in this category. Although Echelon’s monthly plan is a paltry $0.99 more expensive, both offer pretty similar training experiences.
Warranty & Return Policy
Both companies offer standard 12-month warranties and 30-day return policies on their bikes.
Echelon also offers an extra 12 months extended warranty (for a total of 2 years of protection) on their bikes for an added $79 on top of your purchase price. Based on the high cost of buying one of these bikes, it’s probably worth the money for the extra coverage.
Alternatively, Peloton offers two different extended warranty options:
- 12 additional months of coverage for $175
- 27 additional months of coverage for $230
Again, if you’re going to spend over $2,000 on a Peloton bike, this additional coverage is likely worth it. However, it is another cost that you need to factor in when choosing your new bike.
Peloton offers a more comprehensive extended warranty system, even if it is slightly more expensive. For that reason, we’ll crown them the winner of this category.
Weight & Footprint
At 135lbs (61kg), Peloton’s bike is heavier than all of Echelon’s different models. But, unless you plan to move your stationary bike around a lot, this added 6-20lbs (2.7-9kg) probably won’t make much of a practical difference.
The footprint size, on the other hand, is a fairly important metric when deciding on a bike. If you don’t have a lot of room in your home, a more compact bike is ideal. This is how the bikes stack up:
- Peloton: 8 square feet (0.7 square meters)
- Echelon EX-1 and EX-3: 6.4 square feet (0.59 square meters)
- EX-5/EX-5s: 7.5 square feet (0.7 square meters)
All of Echelon’s bikes are lighter and more compact than what Peloton offers. While they’re all designed for a home gym, Echelon has a clear advantage here.
User Maximum Weight
Peloton’s maximum user weight is 305lbs (138kg), while Echelon lists theirs as 300lbs (136kg). Do we think this actually makes any real difference for you as an athlete? Not really.
A 5lb (2.3kg) maximum difference between the Peloton and Echelon probably isn’t going to make a practical difference in your biking experience. A tie it is!
Both of these bikes allow you to manually control the resistance level as you cycle. However, while Peloton offers 100 different resistance levels, Echelon has “just” 32.
For most athletes, Echelon offers more than enough in terms of resistance for your workout. But, the key difference here is that Peloton’s resistance is fluid, not stepped. This means that you can more easily change and fine-tune the resistance as you ride.
Although most people will be more than happy with 32 levels of stepped resistance, Peloton’s 100 levels of fluid resistance are best for advanced riders.
Display & Connectivity
With Peloton, you get a 22″ (56cm) HD touchscreen built-in on your bike. Echelon’s bikes, however, are “bring your own device,” with the exception of the EX-5s, which has a 21″ (53cm) HD touchscreen.
If you already own a tablet, there’s not much of a practical difference between the displays on these two bikes. But, without a tablet, you’ll miss out on a lot of the cool features that an Echelon bike can offer.
Additionally, both bikes offer good connectivity levels with your other devices. You can connect a Peloton bike to WiFi or Bluetooth to sync it with your HR strap or smartwatch. Alternatively, Echelon’s bikes can be connected via Bluetooth to the Echelon Fit app as well as Fitbit, Strava, and Facebook.
We’ll crown Peloton the winner here, just because their bike comes with its own monitor. But, if you already have a tablet, Echelon is likely the more economical option.
The pedals on your stationary bike might not seem like a huge deal, but they actually greatly affect your cycling experience. While Echelon’s bikes have SPD compatible pedals and have adjustable toe cages, Peloton uses Look Delta pedals.
This means that anyone looking to use a Peloton bike will need to get Look Delta cleats, which means more money out of your pocket. Alternatively, Echelon’s SPD pedals are a bit more universal and even have toe cages so you can use them with regular ol’ sneakers.
Winner: Echelon is the clear winner here unless you already happen to own Look Delta cleats. Plus, you can use Echelon’s pedals even if you don’t own cycling shoes.
Peloton vs. Echelon Bike Review: The Verdict
At the end of the day, both Peloton and Echelon offer some great bikes for a home gym. If you have room in your budget and are looking for high-end features, Peloton is probably your best choice. However, for a more affordable stationary bike that performs just as well as a Peloton but isn’t as flashy, Echelon is a solid bet.