Echelon EX3 Review: Beautiful Bike But Should You Buy it?
Aerodynamic, ergonomic, and powerful, the Echelon EX-3 spin bike makes every workout personal through responsive and high-performing resistance technology. This high-quality cycle is the fifth of a strong line of Echelon Fitness Smart Connect Bikes, pairing standard and high-performing spin bike essentials with innovative cycle and flywheel design to produce a solidly mid-range spin bike.
The Echelon EX-3 indoor cycle generates strong performances that set it slightly above other lower-range spin bikes with its signature Echelon online cycling classes, magnetic resistance system and tablet mount. Thanks to its Bluetooth sensors, by placing your own tablet on the bike, you can experience the same quality and energy of a boutique spin studio class from the privacy of your own gym using the Echelon Fit App. The Echelon EX-3 indoor cycling bike provides ergonomic, top-grade spinning on a semi-industrial-strength machine for a good beginning-spin experience for all.
The Echelon EX-3 Indoor spin cycle is a decent spin bike that’s best for beginning and intermediate level spinners and fitness enthusiasts due to the powerful intensity levels and somewhat stable frame and pedal design. The machine is sleekly and ergonomic, offering your choice of three different colors for an aesthetic appeal, and as far as performance, its 32 resistance levels help you keep pace with any spin workout, while the tablet mount lets you keep up with Echelon Fit workouts on and off your bike. Let’s find out how the Echelon EX3 compares with other Echelon smart connect bikes.
Echelon Smart Connect Bikes Comparison
Echelon has 6 different models of spin bikes and the EX3 is the fifth model from the tops. So, it’s one of the most affordable and basic models in among the Echelon indoor cycling bikes.
If you really like Echelon as a band and don’t mind using your own device (tablet, phone, etc) for tracking your stats, the EX3 is probably not a bad choice.
That said, I would suggest the Echelon EX15 which is nearly $300 less expensive and has a similar built quality. After off neither of these bikes have any sort of monitor/console and are built for home use.
If I was going to buy an Echelon indoor bike, it wouldn’t be either of these two basic models. I t would be the Echelon EX5S. It has a better built quality and a nice tablet holder. But that’s just me, I wouldn’t buy either of these Echelon bikes because I am not okay to pay to pay a heavy $39 monthly subscription fee and always being stuck with one application (Echelonfit app).
With that out of the way, Echelon is a trusted name in indoor cycling, and the EX3 is one of their most affordable and basic models. It’s a great choice for riders who are new to indoor cycling, or for those who want a reliable bike that won’t break the bank.
The EX3 comes with all the essential features that you need for a good workout, including a sturdy frame, adjustable resistance, and a Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a few extra features that make it a step up from entry-level bikes, such as SPD pedals and tablet holder. Here is a comparison chart that explains the differences between every Echelon bike.
|Echelon EX7s Indoor Bike||Good Value as long as you don't want to use any other app except for the Echelon application and okay with its heavy subscription. Be aware that it requires constant paid subscriptions to fully function, but bike is priced reasonably||The EX7S has five major improvement compared to the EX5S. A better seat, a thicker/commercial crankset, a more responsive monitor that pivots, more comfortable flat-top handlebars, and protective rubber guards on the base for stretching.||NordicTrack S22i, it has better warranty, incline/decline, cooling fan, and iFit subscription is less expensive|
|Echelon EX5s Indoor Bike||Good Value as long as you don't want to use any other app except for the Echelon application and okay with its heavy subscription. Be aware that it requires constant paid subscriptions to fully function, but EX5-s priced reasonably||The EX5S has one major improvement compared the EX5. A 22" HD Touchscreen VS no screen on the EX5 model. Other than that, everything else is the same on these two models||NordicTrack S15i, it has better warranty, incline/decline, cooling fan, and iFit subscription is less expensive|
|Echelon EX5 Indoor Bike||Overpriced. Doesn't include a monitor, not compatible with other apps and requires constant paid subscriptions to fully function. It's overpriced when you compare it to Bowflex C7. However, if you want to use your tablet and only like to ride on Echelon, it's not a bad deal||The EX5 has three major improvement compared to EX3. Dual easy-to-reach bottle holders on the handlebars, more ergonomic handlebars, and the a better tablet holder that doesn't limit the handlegips VS EX3 that has inconvenient bottle holders and tablet holder blocks part of the handlebars.||Bowflex C7, it has better warranty, a 7" HD touch monitor and not limited to one application|
|Echelon EX3 Indoor Bike||Overpriced. There is no monitor, not compatible with other apps and requires constant paid subscriptions to fully function. But if want to use your device and love the expensive Echelon app, then it's your best shot||There is no major differences or improvements between the Echelon EX3 and EX1. They are pretty similar in every terms which is why the EX1 is no longer manufactured.||Schwinn IC4, it has an LED monitor and not limited to one application|
|Echelon EX1 Indoor Bike||Overpriced. No monitor, not compatible with other apps and requires constant paid subscriptions to fully function||There is no major differences or improvements between the Echelon EX3 and EX1. They are pretty similar in every terms which is why the EX1 is no longer manufactured.||Diamondback 1260, it has ANT+, heavier flywheel, and not limited to one application.|
|Echelon EX51 Indoor Bike||A good quality bike that synchs with the Echelon app. But around $100 overpriced at $500 and No monitor.||This is the most affordable option by Echelon and as you can see, it doesn't come any sort of screen which is the case with EX3 and EX1.||Dmasun bike, it has an LED monitor, cheaper price, and it has drop handlebars.|
Echelon EX3 Alternative Bikes
Echelon makes great exercise equipment, but their EX3 indoor bike just doesn’t stand up to the competition in its price range. There are three other options that are better buys.
The first is the Schwinn IC4. It costs the same as the EX3 but comes with a more customisable handlebars, better warranty, heavier flywheel, and an LED screen. It also works with more than one application. Using your tablet, you can connect the bike with Zwift, Peloton, and other apps.
The second is the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 10. It has a 10-inch touchscreen display, 1-month iFit free membership, and a longer warranty than the EX3. It also integrates with iFit’s popular app, which gives you access to up to 7 daily live classes and many on-demand classes taught by world-class instructors. On top of that, iFit “individual package” is only $15 per month. So, you would be saving $25 every month when compared to Echelon membership.
Finally, there’s the Bowflex C7 Bike. It’s similar to the EX3 but has a heavier flywheel and a longer warranty. It also has a 7″ touchscreen monitor and Bluetooth connectivity so you can use it with several cycling apps for live and on-demand classes.
So if you’re looking for a great indoor bike, there are three better options than the Echelon EX3.
However, if you’re looking for an indoor cycling bike that work best with he Echelon application and you don’t want to buy the more recently Echelon smart bikes, the Echelon EX3 is a great option.
|Schwinn IC4||It’s a better value and has more features than Echelon EX3. It’s more customisable and has an LED screen.||LED with Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance Readings.||Tablet and dumbbell holders.||Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY|
|ProForm Pro 10||One of my favourite alternatives to Echelon bikes. Aside from its 10-inch monitor, it also has automatic resistance.||10″ Touch with WiFi, Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance readings.||1-Month free iFit membership.||iFit|
|Bowflex C7||It’s a great alternatives to Echelon EX3 because its more customisable and has a 7-inch touchscreen.||7″ Touch with WiFi, Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance readings.||Tablet and dumbbell holders.||Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY|
Echelon EX-3 Review and Specifications:
EX-3 Indoor Cycle Specs:
- Width: 19”
- Length: 54″
- Height: 54”
- Bike Weight: 110 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 300 Pounds
- User Compatible Size Range: 4”6” to 6’6”
- Power Sourced through 100-250V input and 9V/3A output
- Transportation Wheels
The technical capacity of the Echelon EX-3 spin cycle is fairly competitive with most other spin bikes on the market, though it might fall in the lower range for some. Built with a thin, light, and speedy 28 pound rear-mounted fixed flywheel and a magnetic resistance system, this spin bike provides a powerful spin at maximum speed and resistance on your ride that can be tweaked however you choose.
The effortless belt transmission powers a smooth spin without any halts or jerks, integrating a silent, soft, and hard-working resistance framework into your ride that preserves your smooth and effortless ride. The industrial grade powder-coated steel frame is designed for strength and sweat protection of your bike without requiring a lot of maintenance and the rear-mounted flywheel is an extra-intuitive design addition. Overall, the Echelon EX-3 indoor spin cycle is a lower to mid-range bike that performs reliably but is a bit overpriced and expensive to maintain regular use.
Tablet Mount (But No Monitor):
- EX3 comes equipped with Bluetooth technology that sends workouts to the Echelon app.
- Data that syncs to the app include; estimated watt, RPM, speed, time, distance, and heart rate (if you use a Bluetooth HRM).
- Echelon EX 3 is not compatible with any other indoor cycling apps except for the Echelon app which requires paid subscription.
- This bike uses standard magnetic resistance (not smart electromagnetic) so an application can’t automatically change resistance.
A major negative for most of the Echelon Connect bikes, the Echelon EX-3 does not include any kind of performance monitor or touchscreen built into the bike. Unlike many great spin bikes on the marketplace, there’s no included digital monitor, at least not built into the bike. There is a tablet mount and the Bluetooth technology that sends workout data (RPM, Speed, Time, and Distance) to the your personal device (phone or tablet).
So, in order to incorporate any kind of fitness feedback, you’ll have to buy your own tablet or personal device AND a membership to the Echelon Fit app, the only fitness app the bike is compatible with. If you want to use apps like Zwift or Peloton, you’ll also have to buy and attach your own pulse and cadence sensors, another additional expense that’s a major pain.
However, if you decide to invest in a subscription to the Echelon Fit App, it does feature many benefits that can make the $39/month subscription fee well worth your purchase. Riders can track your rides using RPM (a feature that’s less reliable, which is another reason why you might want to consider adding on pulse or cadence sensors) and calories burned along with other biometric feedback, compare statistics, and compete with other riders using the built in race tracking, all while following along to built-in workouts.
You can track heart rate as well through the console and Bluetooth connectivity, which is a helpful tool when it comes to monitoring your performance throughout the ride, but you’ll also have to purchase a heart rate band or tracker yourself (at this point, to get full functionality you’ll need to buy a tablet and a heart rate monitor in addition to the Echelon Fit subscription). The subscription also offers hundreds of expert-led fitness classes you can follow along to, including spinning, cycling, stretching, weight training, meditation, yoga, and more, making this a really versatile fitness experience.
Though the Echelon Fit App is definitely an useful tool that provides access to an all-inclusive library of personal training tools that can be customized to your exact needs, the extra expense is a pain especially considering the expensive original price of the bike. The lack of a monitor is also extremely frustrating, as it’s yet another expense you’ll have to tack on to your original purchase in addition to a heart rate band, pulse sensors, and more.
- SPD-equipped pedals feature completely adjustable toe cages
- Compatible with cycling shoes, SPD cleats, and athletic tennis shoes
- EX3 comes with a Q-factor of 202 mm
The Echelon EX-3 features completely SPD equipped pedals that provide a versatile, three-in-one spin experience that’s designed to engage riders at all levels of spin intensity. The crank arms fit securely into top-of-the-line pedals that are dual-sided SPD models. The dual sided function is especially helpful for switching pedaling styles on the go, as cycle cleats can clip quickly and securely into either side allowing for flexible pedalling. The fully adjustable toe cage provides a secure spin experience with either cycle cleats or flat-soled athletic shoes, so you can switch up your cycling gear for best results.
The Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike features a q-factor of 202mm, an unusually and generally less than ideal wide q-factor stance. This wide Q-factor means the pedals and crank arms are set roughly eight inches apart from each other, which can be very uncomfortable and even painful for shorter cyclists. The wide q-factor causes your legs to bow outwards when you pedal down, creating a painful drive that puts unnecessary stress on your knee muscles and can shred your cartilage over time, a major no-no. A narrow q-factor is preferable for spin bikes because it positions the feet and knees in a line that drives straight down, allowing maximum drive on the pedal and creating smooth and ergonomic positioning for legs and knees that reduce strain on joints and other muscle functions. Some riders who are taller or heavier set might find this bike to be the perfect fit, but overall this wide q-factor is really not an ideal factor.
Echelon EX-3 Flywheel:
- 28 Lb fixed flywheel
- Unguarded rear-fixed flywheel (not child-safe)
- Magnetic resistance and sleek belt transmission
The Echelon EX-3 features the standard Echelon magnetic resistance system that performs with the typical excellence we’ve come to expect from the Echelon resistance design. The Echelon EX-3 has a powerful transmission belt drive that doesn’t create strain on your joints with every pedal, plus a no-contact braking system that prevents wear, tear, and damage to your flywheel over the years. The fixed rear flywheel prevents casting and can be pedaled in either direction for a dual-intensity workout. The flywheel generates magnetic resistance that forces you to work harder with every stride thanks to its 32 levels of resistance. Despite being lighter-weight, this flywheel is also heavy-duty and surprisingly speedy, as well as being rear-mounted to prevent sweat or water dripping into your flywheel and messing up your gears or resistance system.
The long-lasting belt drive system and flywheel work together to ensure a consistent performance that lasts many years. However, just like other Echelon models, this Echelon EX-3 features an unguarded flywheel, which is unusual when it comes to the indoor spin bike. Unguarded flywheels can be major safety hazards if you have pets or small children in your home who might get fingers or tails trapped in your spinning space. It also makes your flywheel vulnerable to damage from bumping or other spills that can hurt the overall drive of your flywheel.
Echelon EX-3 Resistance:
- The Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike features a 32-level magnetic resistance system.
- The micro-adjustment resistance knob provides a variety of resistance levels.
- The resistance level synchs to your device but it can’t be adjusted via apps.
The Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike uses superior magnetic resistance technology in its class to refine the degree of resistance you’re pedalling against during your ride without needing to click through endless levels or fidget with your ride to find the right level of challenge. The adjustable magnetic resistance reacts instantly to your desired increased or decreased adjustments through a simple twist of your knob, creating a silent but responsive resistance adjustment that won’t interrupt your ride.
The Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike resistance knob offers Echelon’s standard 32 levels of resistance, creating a customizable approach to resistance where users can tweak their desired resistance to a preferred individual and challenging resistance level.
The precisely adjustable resistance on the Echelon EX-3 is a valuable addition to any indoor spin cycle, especially if you enjoy workouts where you can build to a climax gradually throughout your ride.
The resistance knob lets you create any type of resistance landscape and pairs fluidly with the Echelon Fit App. The Echelon app features many additional international and natural workouts that take you through all kinds of intensive and immersive hill, terrain, and world environments that can elevate your exercise intensity and help distract you from all that hard work you’re putting in.
Handlebars and Seat:
- Multi-position, competition Aero-handlebar system
- Two-way horizontal and vertical adjustments for handlebars
- Four-way horizontal and vertical adjustable padded race style seat
The handlebars on the Echelon EX-3 are multi-position, competition Aero-handlebars that are designed to adjust to your needs quickly and frequently through innovative adjustment options that are only featured on Echelon’s higher end bikes. The handlebars adjust in two directions (up and down) for a customizable approach to your ride and position neatly with multiple grip options depending on if you’re standing or sitting.
The handlebars sit underneath the tablet mount, providing easy access to your tablet if you choose to use one. If you’ve got a tablet AND a phone to store, you can store your phone in one of the two water bottle holders directly beneath the handlebars. The padded, comfortable saddle on the Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike provides comfort and flexibility for all riders.
Featuring nine levels of height and aft adjustments that adjust via a convenient lever as opposed to a bolt and tightening mechanism, this bike can fit a variety of different rider heights. There’s also a rear-mounted dumbbell rack for additional workout variety, a nice touch present on all the Echelon bikes. All spin riders will feel comfortable on this bike with this comfortable saddle that shifts up, down, back, and forth as needed.
EX3 Transmission and Gear Ratio:
- This exercise 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 1:5.
The Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike’s transmission drive system uses the standard, high-performing and low-maintenance Echelon drive belt for an easy pedalling stride, though Echelon hasn’t disclosed what material they use to make your transmission belt. This transmission belt works harder and lasts longer than chain drives, providing a simple and durable spin ride for every user over the years.
The Echelon EX-3 belt drive is made of a durable, likely polymer material that doesn’t require frequent adjustment, tightening, or protection from rust. The Echelon’s belt drive provides a superior pedalling experience and a tight fit to the gears for a smooth overall ride. Say goodbye to jerking, slipping, or pulling with the Echelon EX-3 belt that creates a consistently soft ride that will feel like you’re barely pedaling.
The other consistent benefit of the Echelon EX-3 spin bike (and of belt drives in general) are their completely quiet performance. The gear ratio is another contributor to this silent experience: the smooth magnetic gear switches effortlessly between levels of magnetic resistance and reduces the clank or creak of changing weight, keeping your bike quiet no matter what. The low-noise component of these belt drives is an unbeatable advantage over other chain models; this belt plus the magnetic resistance system makes for a virtually silent ride that you can use day or night without waking up anyone in your house.
Echelon EX-3 Price and Warranty:
- The Echelon EX-3 spin bike is currently priced at $1,000
- The Echelon EX-3 spin bike’s warranty includes one year on the frame and all parts
- The Echelon EX-3 offers a free thirty day return policy
- Extended warranty can be purchased for 1 or 3 years for an additional fee
- If you need parts for this bike while still under warranty, visit the https://echelonfit.com/pages/contact and fill the form out completely to order the part.
The price of this bike in comparison to the range of features it offers and the range of other bikes available is a little higher than we’d like, especially when you consider the small warranty. The spin cycle provides some great technical advantages, but the lack of monitor sets it back in performance even though there’s still a pretty high price tag attached.
This is a decent bike that will serve beginning spinners well over the years, but the price is higher than we’d like to see for a bike of this functionality. The small warranty is also an area of concern, and it feels like just another scam designed to make you pay more for an already underperforming bike.
Assembly and Shipping:
- Expected delivery is within one to two weeks using standard shipping
- When purchased without a subscription plan to Echelon Fit App, premium shipping costs $199. If purchased with a 1 or 2 year subscription plan, premium shipping is free to the contiguous US.
- Parts that require assembly are; front/rear feet, pedals, seat, handlebars, and tablet mount.
Assembling your Echelon EX-3 indoor bike should be pretty simple and easy to complete. The included manual features clear diagrams, labels, and instructions that should be a big help when it comes to assembly. You and a partner can always check the Echelon website or fitness YouTube channels for video walkthroughs on how to put together the EX-3.
The more complicated parts like the flywheel, drive, and handlebars will come preassembled, so you really just need to find the right way for each piece to fit together. With some patience and a partner, you should be able to securely put the entire bike together in about an hour.
Echelon EX-3 Exercise Bike Pros:
Rear-Mounted Flywheel Resistance:
The rear-mounted magnetic resistance system is the biggest advantage for all the Echelon indoor bikes, and especially the Echelon EX-3. The resistance system here is sleek and silent, as resistance levels switch effortlessly with no noticeable delay. The 32 magnetic resistance levels offer an incredible degree of customization that’s easily adjustable via the knob, and all three components (resistance level, transmission belt, and braking system) work together to create an easy and silent ride that you’ll enjoy time and time again. Having the flywheel mounted in the back also helps you feel more like you’re riding a natural bike and protects your flywheel from wear and tear, meaning it can stand years of intensive use.
Bluetooth, Pedals, and Shelf:
These three features of Echelon 3 indoor exercise bike make the ride more enjoyable and safer. While the pedals allow you to ride with regular gym sneakers or professional indoor cycling shoes, the Bluetooth technology synchs the workout to the compatible app (in this case the Echelon application). The media shelf is also a nice touch giving you the option to keep your tablet or iPad on the bike during the spinning session.
Echelon EX-3 Exercise Bike Cons:
The awkwardly large q-factor is a major setback on the Echelon EX-3, one we would have hoped had been fixed after multiple iterations of the Connect bikes. Though the pedals themselves offer fantastic SPD functionality, the wide stance of the crank arms creates a problem for some riders. Not being able to easily adjust the positioning of your bike crank arms as easily, especially in the context of these essential pedalling motions, just makes this q-factor unhelpful for many shorter riders and is a big drawback.
No Integrated Digital Monitor:
Not having an integrated monitor on this bike is really unfortunate, especially because most user prefer not to use thier devices on the bikes. The helpful ride diagnostics provided by the Echelon Fit app are useful, but they’re worthless unless you purchase your own device to attach and use with them as well as the subscription. The tablet mount provides functional use on the bike, but again, you have to invest in your own tablet to make it worth it, and for a bike at this price point it just feels foolish to not have one built in.
On top of the lack of an existing monitor, the fact that you have to pay for an Echelon fit subscription is another major con. Though it’s under $40/month, it’s still an additional expense that’s necessary if you want any automatic tracking data from your bike or prebuilt workouts to follow along with, in addition to the bells and whistles you’d need to purchase to fully integrate. It would be nice if this price was included from the get-go especially as this is a higher priced indoor bike to begin with.
Limited App Compatibility:
This bike is designed to synch only with the Echelon application which is simply not acceptable. No one should be forced to pay $1000+ for an average indoor bike and then not be able to use it with their favorite indoor cycling applications. In this matter I love the Bowflex indoor cycling bikes, they are cheaper, yet compatible with almost all the fitness applications on the market.
Last Word on the Echelon EX-3:
The Echelon EX-3 indoor exercise bike is an okay model from the Echelon bike family, but in the context of the larger spin bike world it’s a big under-performer. The durable frame, flywheel, and silently reliable drive guarantee powerful rides and workouts, which is nice, and the versatility of the SPD pedals allows riders to pursue all types of spin workouts, a big benefit for every rider.
The Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike promises compelling performance capabilities and top of the line technological integration, but it just doesn’t follow through on all its promises. Ultimately, the Echelon EX-3 indoor exercise bike is a mid-range bike that’s overpriced and underperforming.
The extra expense in order to guarantee a functional monitor (including purchasing your own device, additional sensors, and a Echelon Fit subscription) in addition to the wide q-factor are annoying aspects of this bike that limit its versatility and affordability. All things considered, the Echelon EX-3 is a decent bike, but its high price and negative components make it an inconsistent and a lower value purchase.
The Echelon EX-3 offers a durable and long lasting performance no matter how many times you use this indoor spin cycle. The price of the Echelon EX-3 is $799, making it a slightly more expensive investment in a spin bike that has potential, but doesn’t fully execute all that it promises to do.