One piece of gym equipment many people choose to include in their home gym is a stationary bike. It allows you to get in a great cycling workout regardless of the weather. And with exercise apps, you can take studio-style cycling classes from home at any hour of the day.
If you’ve started researching exercise bikes, you may have come across the Echelon EX5s and may be wondering how it measures up.
This article takes an in-depth look at the EX5s, including its key features, what it’s like to set up and use, how it compares to other smart exercise bikes, and more.
Echelon Fitness was founded in 2017 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The company has partnered with celebrities like Mario Lopez and Pitbull to promote its products and add extra entertainment options to its app.
Echelon produces treadmills, rowers, fitness mirrors, and exercise bikes. The Echelon Premier app allows subscribers to access live and on-demand classes, and Echelon plans to add Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Samsung streaming options soon.
While most Echelon bikes do not have built in-screens, the Echelon EX5s stands out from other models because it has a touch screen. Otherwise, this bike is very similar to the EX5, although it has a few extra features such as charging ports for your phone or tablet.
The Echelon EX5s is available in two versions, one with a 10-inch (25.4-cm) touch screen and another with a 22-inch (55.9-cm) touch screen.
Both versions measure 58 x 21.5 x 61 inches (147.3 x 54.6 x 154.9 cm) and weigh 124 pounds (56.2 kg), making the EX5s a little bigger and heavier than the EX5.
The EX5s has a maximum recommended user weight of 300 pounds (136.1 kg) and offers 32 levels of magnetic resistance that you can change with a resistance knob.
The bike is recommended for riders 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm) to 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall, but riders ranging from 4 feet 5 inches (134 cm) to 6 feet 8 inches (203 cm) claim to have used Echelon’s bikes.
Like the Echelon EX5, the EX5s is highly adjustable — the handlebars and seat can move forward, backward, up, and down. It also has a vented competition-style seat that can be raised or lowered based on the user’s height and preferences.
Additionally, the bike’s pedals offer both SPD-compatible clips and toe cages.
For longer workouts, the bike has two water bottle holders. It also has two dumbbell holders that can hold 2-pound dumbbells, which are sold separately.
Plus, you can charge your phone or tablet using the bike’s charging ports.
The Echelon EX5s with a 10-inch (25.4-cm) screen retails for $1,799.99 but is often on sale for $1,199.99. Financing options are also available, starting at $26 per month.
The 22-inch (55.9-cm) screen version of the Echelon EX5s costs $1,999.99 but is often on sale for $1,499.99. You can also choose to pay by month for as little as $32 per month.
Both bikes include a 12-month limited warranty on parts and labor. For an extra fee, you can purchase a longer, more extensive warranty that will cover any repairs needed as a result of electronic issues or normal wear and tear.
Shipping usually costs $99.99, and in-home delivery and setup costs $198. If you purchase a 1- or 2-year Echelon membership, shipping is often free.
In addition to the cost of the bike itself, an Echelon Premier membership is required to complete a bike purchase through the brand’s website.
You’ll get 5 user profiles, more than 40 daily live classes, thousands of on-demand class options, and access to live leaderboards and a vast library of workout music.
A monthly Echelon membership costs $39.99 per month. For a 1-year subscription, $399.99 is billed annually, which is equal to $33.33 per month. Currently, a 2-year subscription for $699 is the best deal, since that works out to $29.16 per month.
The Echelon EX5s comes with an assembly guide that includes color pictures and a written description for each step. Most reviewers agree that the process of putting the bike together wasn’t too difficult, but you may need to give yourself a few hours.
As mentioned, the EX5s measures 58 x 21.5 x 61 inches (147.3 x 54.6 x 154.9 cm) and weighs 124 pounds (56.2 kg), so it’s smaller and lighter than the Peloton Bike+ and the NordicTrack s22i.
Like other smart bikes, it doesn’t fold, so you’ll want to factor its full size into your space requirements.
While the EX5s doesn’t have an automatic resistance control option that lets your trainer adjust the resistance on your bike for you, it’s easy to change the difficulty of your workout using the resistance knob.
Being able to adjust both the handlebars and the seat forward, backward, up, and down means you can share the bike with people of different heights and body sizes. Plus, you’ll be able to find a custom fit that works best for you.
The dual-sided pedals allow you to ride with cycling shoes if you have them, or you can wear regular running or training shoes.
Choosing to wear regular sneakers may make it easier for you to jump into some off-bike exercises like strength training or high intensity interval training during your workout.
Since it has a built-in screen, the Echelon EX5s is a good match for those who enjoy virtual training classes and a more immersive riding experience than some of the more basic Echelon bike models can provide.
For those who like to ride without a class or prefer the additional apps their own tablet offers, the Echelon EX5s might be a more expensive bike than is necessary. The Echelon EX5 has nearly identical features at a reduced price, since it doesn’t include the screen.
Echelon Fitness is a popular alternative to brands such as Peloton and NordicTrack. That said, customers sometimes struggle to get help from customer service when their equipment has malfunctioned or when they want to change their payment plan.
Echelon has a C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, which reports 378 complaints closed with the company in the last 3 years (133 in the last 12 months).
Wondering how the Echelon EX5s stacks up to similar exercise bikes? Here’s a quick overview:
What is the difference between the Echelon EX5 and EX5s?
The Echelon EX5s includes a 10- or 22-inch (25.4- or 55.9-cm) touch screen, while the EX5 requires users to provide their own smart device if they want a screen. The EX5s is also a little bigger and heavier. Otherwise, the two bikes have nearly identical features.
Can you use the Echelon EX5s without a subscription?
Yes, you can use the Echelon EX5s without a subscription. You’ll need to use the Freestyle section of the app. You’ll be able to see your stats, but you won’t be able to save them in the Progress area. For classes and additional features, you’ll need to pay for the subscription.
That said, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re required to purchase an Echelon Premier membership if you choose to buy the EX5s from Echelon. So, you’d have to cancel your membership at a later date to use the bike without a subscription.
Can you watch Netflix on the Echelon EX5s?
The touch screen on the Echelon EX5s is not designed to show Netflix, but Echelon plans to add Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Samsung streaming capabilities.
If you want to watch Netflix while you work out, you may wish to purchase the Echelon EX5 and stream Netflix on your own tablet or wait until those features are available in the Echelon app.
Whether the Echelon EX5s is worth the price tag mostly depends on how much you want a touch screen.
If you don’t intend to use the bike often or you prefer to use your own smart device for streaming classes, the Echelon EX5 has nearly identical features for a significantly lower price.
However, if you’re looking for a rear-flywheel exercise bike with a built-in screen, the EX5s may be a good option.
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