Echelon EX15 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
Whether you are a current spin bike user or someone getting ready to dip a toe into the world of indoor cycling, the Echelon EX-15 indoor cycling bike is a well-designed low-range spin bike that offers many desirable qualities. The lowest cost member of Echelon’s “Connect” line of exercise bikes, the EX-15 does not sacrifice quality for lower cost, so even at it’s considerably cheap price it can still hold its own in comparison to other bikes. Echelon’s EX-15 is a suitable bike for those new to indoor cycling or those who are simply looking for a cheap new model.
As the smallest bike in the Echelon Connect lineup, you’ll find the EX-15 is perfectly accommodating of all spatial restrictions which may be limiting your spin bike search. The EX-15 is also well-built, featuring a strong steel frame designed in such a way so as to last after many years of use. These features make the Echelon EX-15 a great option for anybody who is searching for a spin bike in the hopes of finding something accessible and that is not too much of a financial or spatial commitment.
The importance of having a personal space in which you can exercise in comfort cannot be understated, however, not everyone is able to afford the financial costs or allocate space for the necessary equipment. Through low costs and a small, space-conscious design the EX-15 is the perfect answer to this call. Costing a measly $450, and as with all their products Echelon offers payment plans to ease the financial burden, the EX-15 is a highly affordable exercise bike which would make a welcome edition in any home gym, studio, or workout room.
However, the strong build and small spatial commitment are not the only benefits that Echelon has to offer with the EX-15. The EX-15 is also a product which, through the utilization of high-quality spin bike technology, will grant you a high-intensity workout every time. One of these features that the EX-15 offers is a 20 lb fixed flywheel which uses magnetic resistance to allow for 32 varying levels of resistance.
EX 15 Comparison and Verdict!
As usual, this is where I regularly search the market to see if there are better deals available for the price range. And currently, the EX 15 is an excellent purchase for less than $500 (it was overpriced at $700).
As described below, this indoor bike is pretty solid and has a great built and even more importantly, it synchs with the Echelon spinning application to allow you track your stats on the screen of your smart phone or tablet.
As for comparison with similarly priced bikes, it stands above them all (currently in March 2021). It even has a fully inclosed flywheel which is an important factor for households with children. All in all, based on several criteria and my person experience in the industry, the Echelon EX15 is a great buy.
Echelon EX-15 Review and Technical Information:
EX15 Cycle Specifications:
- Width: 20”
- Length: 42″
- Height: 53”
- Bike Weight: 90 Pounds
- Steel Frame
- Max User Weight: 300 Pounds
- Transportation Wheels
Echelon’s Connect series bikes also all feature belt drivetrains, which means that the EX-15 will always offer a clean and quiet ride. Some other features present on the EX-15 bike are a water bottle holder which is positioned behind the seat above the flywheel, ergonomic handlebars, adjustable toe cages on the foot pedals, and both a horizontally and vertically adjustable saddle and handlebars, allowing for maximum customization so that you are able to work out however you see fit.
Unlike the other bikes in the Connect series, the EX-15 does not have any dumbbell holders, so anybody looking to combine an upper body workout with their cycling will be out of luck with this model. These high-quality offerings add up to make the EX-15 a quite respectable option in the lower price range for indoor cycling bikes, and one that anyone looking for a cheaper option would not be making a mistake purchasing.
Lack of Monitor:
The Echelon EX-15 has much to offer in the way of quality spin cycling, but it does have downsides as well. One of these, common to all the bikes which Echelon offers in the Connect line except for the Echelon EX5S, is the lack of any sort of integrated monitor as part of the bike. Instead, Echelon has opted with the EX-15 to have a stand attached to the handlebars on which you can place a tablet. To compensate for the lack of functionality that normally would come with an integrated monitor, Echelon requires that you download the Echelon Fit App and connect a tablet or phone to the bike with Bluetooth.
Echelons Fit App offers a wide variety of on-demand classes, live classes, and scenic virtual biking routes, a pleasing selection which slightly softens the blow of no built-in monitor. It is also on the app where you will find various statistics, such as distance, time, speed, resistance, and HR if you wear a cycling heart rate monitor watch or strap. The EX-15 does not have support for any other apps besides the Echelon Fit App, so if you are a user of any different indoor cycling apps, e.g. MyFitnessPal or Zwift, you will be unable to utilize some of the bike’s features which rely on the Echelon Fit App, such as tracking your stats and resistance level. The Echelon Fit App requires a subscription for use, which raises the cost of the bike to $740 if you purchase it with a one-year subscription to their service or $900 if you purchase a two year subscription.
EX 15 Q-Factor and Non-SPD Pedals:
- Non-SPD pedals are equipped with an adjustable toe cage.
- EX15 by Echelon has a Q-factor of 202 mm.
A recent trend among exercise bike users has been the rise of SPD cleats, used to “clip in” to the pedals of a stationary bike. The use of SPD cleats make pedaling more stable and efficient for the rider, hence their rise in popularity. The Echelon EX-15 unfortunately does not have SPD compatible pedals.
This will certainly be a barrier for more serious cyclists who are more likely to prefer to use SPD cleats if at all possible. What the pedals offer instead are adjustable toe cages, which allow for you to comfortably ride the EX-15 in common running shoes. Toe cages are a nice feature to include, but not having SPD compatibility does damage the quality of the EX-15, especially when other models in the Connect line feature them alongside toe cages.
The Q-factor of the Echelon EX-15 spin bike is 202mm, which places the EX-15 on the wider side of indoor cycles which are currently available. Narrower stances are often preferred by experienced riders because they permit for the most ergonomic placement of one’s feet and knees, promoting a comfortable and productive workout through the reduction of strain on muscles and joints.
Echelon EX-15 Spin Bike Flywheel:
- Echelon EX15 indoor bike is equipped with a 20 lb fixed flywheel.
- It is mounted in front of the bike with damage and child-protection cover.
- Magnetic resistance works with belt transmission to provide a smooth and quiet riding experience.
A very important aspect of any indoor cycling bike which must be considered before purchasing is the flywheel. The Echelon EX-15 is equipped with a 20 lb magnetic flywheel, which is quite light, but not so light as to fail to provide the rider’s cycling with a smoother pedaling motion.
Despite its light weight the EX-15’s flywheel is still perfectly capable of preventing any undesirable slowing down and speeding up during the pedaling motion. The magnetic resistance which the EX-15’s flywheel utilizes also contributes to a smoother riding experience, allowing for contactless braking, which has the added benefit of preventing wear and tear which accumulates on friction braking systems. The flywheel on the EX-15 is in an uncommon location, finding itself fixed below and behind the saddle, however placing it there can actually be beneficial, by balancing the weight distribution of the bike and keeping the flywheel away from a location where it is likely to get sweat on it, which helps prevent rust damage from building up over time.
The Echelon EX-15 features a belt drivetrain and not a chain. Echelon does not specify the belt that they use, though it is our assumption that they likely utilize the Poly-V, which is the most commonly used belt among bikes which use a belt drivetrain. The combination of a belt drivetrain with magnetic resistance allows the EX-15 to offer a sleek and near silent riding experience. The low placement and lack of covering on the flywheel mean that there is a possibility of accidents occurring.
Echelon EX-15 Indoor Bike Resistance:
- The Echelon EX-15 indoor spin bike is equipped with robust magnetic resistance, offering 32 different levels of resistance for the user.
- The resistance knob can be used before or during rides, allowing riders to train with their desired resistance levels at all times.
The Echelon EX-15 features a magnetic resistance system, utilizing the best in flywheel technology to offer users the choice between 32 different levels of resistance. This degree of variability allows the rider to decide the intensity of their workout. The EX-15 has a resistance knob which is located on the downtube, allowing easy access on or off the bike.
Additionally, the knob makes it easy to switch your resistance level, so if you desire to adjust your resistance during your ride it will not be a struggle to do so while maintaining your motion. This provides capability for several different possibilities including the replication of terrain, HIIT, endurance workouts, etc.
Echelon EX 15 Handlebars and Seat:
- Dipped ergonomic handlebars, which are horizontally adjustable.
- Vertically and horizontally adjustable saddle.
- Built-in tablet holder on the handlebars.
Similar to the Echelon EX-3 model, the EX15 features dipped ergonomic handlebars which can be moved only vertically (not horizontally). While this allows for different riders to use the bike and still be able to ride in comfort, there are some situations that you would probably prefer both horizontal and vertical adjustment on the handlebars, especially if you want to set upright rather than leaning toward the handles.
The handlebars are adjusted using a similar knob to the one used to adjust resistance. Placed in between the handlebars there is a simple stand which can be used to place a tablet on, which in conjunction with the Echelon Fit App acts as a stand-in for what would otherwise be an integrated monitor. The EX-15 has fairly basic handlebars, lacking any particularly special features such as drop bars or elbow-rests, but the ability to keep your device on the bike is an appreciable feature that multi-user customers will benefit from.
Unlike the handlebars, the saddle of the EX-15 can also be adjusted both vertically and horizontally, meaning that the EX-15 can be used comfortably by people of many different heights and body types. The EX-15’s saddle is also wider than the standard road cycles, which will make it a comfortable fit for most all users. The amount which the saddle and handlebars of the EX-15 can be adjusted make it a particularly apt choice for customers who anticipate that they will have multiple people using the bike.
Echelon EX15 Belt Drivetrain:
- This indoor bike is equipped with Poly-V belt transmission (better than chain but not as good as Timing/Toothed belts).
- Gear ratio is not specified but considering the lightweight flywheel, it should be around 1:6.
All of the bikes in Echelon’s Connect series feature a belt drivetrain as opposed to a train, and the EX-15 is not an exception to this rule. We do not know the exact make of the belt that is used in the EX-15, however it is safe to assume that they use Poly-V belts, which are the most commonly found belt in indoor cycling bikes which do not use a chain. The benefit of using a belt over a chain is that belts provide a slicker and quieter cycling experience than chains are able to.
By constructing their bikes with both a belt drivetrain and a moderately heavy flywheel, the EX-15 provides cyclists with an exceptionally smooth workout every time, free from any of the jolting and clunkiness which can come with a chain. Belts also escape all of the maintenance, such as oiling and tightening, that come with chains, making them an optimal choice.
One of the most impressive benefits of the Echelon EX-15’s belt transmission is the near silence with which it enables the bike to perform. This is aided by the EX-15’s rigid steel build which withstands workouts of the highest intensity without any give. Finally, the magnetic resistance system is the cherry on top, granting the EX-15 the ability to provide you with a ride that is near silence. For any customer who may need a quieter bike for whatever reason, this attribute of the EX-15 cannot be understated.
Echelon EX-15 Price and Warranty:
- The Echelon EX-15 spin bike is currently priced at $450
- The Echelon EX-15 spin bike’s warranty includes just one year of coverage on mechanical parts and labor
- Extended warranty can be purchased for 1 or 3 years for an additional fee
- If you are having trouble with your EX-15 bike while it is under warranty, you can visit https://echelonfit.com/pages/register-warranty and fill out a claim there for whatever issue you are having.
It would be imprudent to settle for the measly 1 year warranty which Echelon’s EX-15 bike comes with. Thankfully, for anyone set on purchasing an Echelon bike, Echelon does offer extended warranties for purchase with the bike. A 1 year extended warranty costs $79 and a 3 year extended warranty is $199. While the EX-15 is not a perfect spin bike, the fact that they only offer their products with a 1 year warranty is the most offensive blunder that Echelon commits.
One of the biggest draws of the Echelon EX-15 is its very low cost, sitting at an MSRP of just $450. However, prospective buyers should be forewarned that this price is deceptive. When factoring in an extended warranty and the constant need for an Echelon Fit App subscription the price leaps higher, pushing the EX-15 out of the price range which its features could reasonably justify. So although the EX-15 has several good qualities to offer to a cyclist, it doesn’t compare to cheaper offerings on the market which will do more for less.
EX15 Assembly and Shipping:
- When purchased without a subscription plan to the Echelon Fit App, premium shipping will cost $199. If purchased with a 1 or 2 year subscription plan, premium shipping is free to the contiguous US.
- Parts of the Echelon EX 15 that require assembly are; front/rear feet, pedals, seat, and handlebars.
The Echelon EX-15’s assembly is nothing to fear, and by simply following the instructions that are included with the product it shouldn’t be too difficult to assemble your bike within 20 to 30 minutes. The larger parts, such as the frame and the flywheel, will come individually pre-assembled and packed separately from each other.
The bulk of the assembly required for the EX-15 indoor bike is simply putting these larger parts together. Some tools will be required, but nothing that you don’t most likely already have somewhere in your residence. With a little determination and by closely following the included instructions you’ll have your EX-15 stationary bike assembled in no time at all.
Echelon EX-15 Smart Connect Fitness Bike Pros:
Lightweight, Compact, sleek and easy to move:
The Echelon EX-15 indoor cycle exhibits a tough all-steel build combined with an ergonomic modern aesthetic. This makes the EX-15 is both easy to use and perfectly capable of withstanding the most intense needs of all spin cyclists. The EX-15, like all of Echelon’s Connect line, also allows for many degrees of variation, enabling it to cater to all your needs. As the EX-15 is also the smallest of Echelon’s Connect line it is also easy to allocate space for it, even further increasing the ease with which this bike can be incorporated into your daily life.
Quiet Belt Drive and Child-Safe Flywheel:
The combined belt drivetrain and magnetic resistance flywheel ensures that the Echelon EX-15 gives you an almost silent riding experience every time. The fluid no-contact brakes and the use of a belt instead of a clunky chain add up to a slick cycling experience. And as we see on the other spin bikes in Echelon’s Connect line, the magnetic flywheel offers 32 different levels of resistance, which just offers another layer of customization to the EX-15, letting its rider personalize their workout to best fit their needs and desires.
Well-Constructed Frame and Bluetooth Connectivity:
Echelon’s EX-15 is a true example of masterful craftsmanship, built with a robust steel frame that will stand up to whatever you demand of it. The strong build of the EX-15 means that you can put this indoor bike through the ringer without fear of it giving out or feeling unsafe. One of the greatest advantages of picking the Echelon EX-15 is the ability to synch with the Echelon cycling application. This means enable you to connect your smart device (IOS or Android) and track and save your daily progress on the app.
Echelon EX-15 Smart Connect Fitness Bike Cons:
Single-Sided Non-SPD Compatible Pedals:
The EX-15’s pedals are not SPD compatible. While this is not an overall dealbreaker, it will put off more experienced spin cyclists who wouldn’t ride with anything less than SPD compatible pedals. However, for the less experienced rider the adjustable toe cages will be perfectly adequate to allow the user to ride in maximum comfort. Also, the lack of horizontal adjustment on the handlebars is a con to consider, especially if those who use the bike are below or above the average height.
Lack of Digital Monitor or Other App Support:
One of the big issues presented by the Echelon EX-15 is its lack of an integrated monitor. Echelon decided instead to incorporate a mount upon which a tablet is placed which acts as a surrogate monitor. The problem with this isn’t so much the lack of a digital monitor alone, but that the only app with which the EX-15 is compatible is the Echelon Fit App. Echelon requires a paid subscription to use the Echelon Fit App, so this not only increases the cost, but it also limits the utility of the bike if you do not shell out for it. The Echelon Fit App is the only way to see any statistics which you might like to track, such as time, distance, and speed, and the app is also the only way to know which resistance level you are on. This means to fully utilize your EX-15, you are locked in to paying the subscription fee for the Echelon Fit App.
Unimpressive Limited Warranty:
The most serious problem that we have with Echelon’s EX-15 is not actually a feature of the bike itself, but is the extremely limited warranty which is sold with the bike. A 1 year warranty is a pathetic offering, especially compared to those given by other companies, and requiring customers to pay a second fee if they want their warranty extended beyond 1 year is heinous.
Final Thoughts on the Echelon EX-15:
With the EX-15, Echelon has produced a high-quality bike as far as the lower price range is concerned. The EX-15 has the standard high-quality steel frame that we expect from Echelon, along with a well-constructed magnetic flywheel and belt drivetrain, ensuring that the EX-15 will last as long as you need it to. The EX-15 also has a high standard of adjustability and offering 32 levels of magnetic resistance. This ensures that if you purchase the EX-15 your desires will always be met. Yet the EX-15 is still held back by some very poor decisions made by Echelon. By having neither an integrated monitor nor any support for apps besides the Echelon Fit App, the EX-15 requires you to pay for a subscription to the Echelon Fit App if you desire full functionality from your stationary bike. And of course, the most unforgivable factor is the laughably short 1-year warranty. Echelon allows you to purchase an extended warranty for your EX-15, either 1 year or 3 years, but the fact that the included warranty isn’t longer than it truly does the EX-15 a disservice.
The Echelon EX-15 is a very tempting option to those shopping for an exercise bike in the lower range of prices, and rightfully so. The EX-15 has a high quality, intuitive build which can conform to whatever you require of it.