Echelon EX3 Review: A Great Indoor Bike For Online Cycling
Aerodynamic, ergonomic, and powerful, the Echelon EX-3 smart 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, smart electronic magnetic resistance system, and Zwifit compatibility.
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, Peloton, and Zwift applications.
The Echelon EX-3 smart connect fitness bike has always been a decent spin bike but it was never as popular as it is today. It is thanks to Roberto Viola, a firmware developer who created the QZ application that made it possible for an Echelon EX3 owner to connect and synch his bike with major indoor cycling applications.
When we received the Echelon EX3 to write this review, this bike was only compatible with the Echelonfit app which is pretty great in terms of the various indoor cycling content and quality but it is expensive. However, now thanks to the QZ application by Roberto, you can connect an Echelon EX3 bike to any application that you like.
This wide range of application compatibility, plus, smart electronic resistance that can be adjusted automatically on Zwift and Peloton has made the Echelon Ex3 one of the best indoor cycling bikes under $1000 for beginning and intermediate-level spinners and fitness enthusiasts.
The machine is sleek 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 smart connect fitness bikes and the EX3 is the fifth model from the tops. So, it’s a mid-range in the series and one of the most affordable options 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 not a bad choice for $699. It’s identical to the Echelon EX1 which is discontinued I think. So, now instead of buying the EX1, you can buy the EX3.
But if your budget is less than $500, and still want to buy an Echelon fitness bike, I recommend the EX15. It is the most basic smart bike by Echelonfit. The main difference between ex15 and ex3 is in resistance.
The Echelon EX15 smart bike has manual magnetic resistance but it’s not electronic so you can’t change bike intensity with the push of a button on the application or set the bike to change its resistance automatically when you go uphill or downhill on Zwift.
There are also the Echelon EX5 indoor bikes that are identical but have different consoles. For instance, the Echelon EX5S has a 22-inch console and costs $1500. Then there is the EX5s-10 which has a 10-inch console and costs $1200. Lastly, the EX5 model which doesn’t have any console on the bike and costs around $899. They all have similar Bluetooth and automatic resistance so you don’t have to worry about connecting them with your tablet or phone in case you want to use the Zwift.
My personal choice among all the Echelon smart connect bikes is the Echelon EX5 bike. I know it doesn’t have a console but it is $100 more expensive than the Echelon EX3 and has more comfortable handlebars. Plus, I don’t really like the Echelon smart bikes that have built-in consoles because the company makes me pay for the console but doesn’t allow me to use it how I see fit.
For instance, for the 22-inch console that comes with the Echelon EX5s, I paid $500 but still, I was only allowed to use the screen with the Echelon application. For a person like me who likes to use his Echelon bike with Zwift, and Peloton, it makes no sense to buy an Echelon fitness bike with a built-in console/screen.
I mean if I have to use my own personal tablet and phone for non-echelon applications, I prefer to buy an Echelon bike like the EX3 or EX5 without a built-in console to save anywhere from $500 to $700. However, if you like the Echelon content, I think it’s worth paying the extra and buying an Echelon fitness bike like the EX7-S or EX5-S that comes with Echelon Monitor/Console.
Now that you know a little more about the Echelon EX Series of Bikes, you should also know that it is a trusted name in indoor cycling, and the EX3 is one of their most affordable and best-seller models. Zwift and Peloton riders love this model. 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. Check out my comparison tablet below to see every little difference between Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bikes.
|Echelon EX7s Indoor Bike||Good Value as long as you don't want to use any other app except for the Echelon application on the bike's screen and okay with its heavy subscription. Be aware that its monitor requires constant paid subscriptions to fully function and the "Free-Style" is packed with annoying ads, but bike is priced reasonably. You can use third party apps like QZ on your own smart Bluetooth devices (not bike's screen) to connect the EX7-s with Zwift or Peloton.||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.|
|Echelon EX5s Indoor Bike||Good Value as long as you don't want to use any other app except for the Echelon application on the bike's screen and okay with its heavy subscription. Be aware that its monitor requires constant paid subscriptions to fully function and the "Free-Style" is packed with annoying ads, but bike is priced reasonably. You can use third party apps like QZ on your own smart Bluetooth devices (not bike's screen) to connect the EX5-s with Zwift or Peloton.||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.|
|Echelon EX5 Indoor Bike||Better Value than the EX5-S and EX7-S. Just remember that you would need to use your Bluetooth device (Tablet, phone, or TV) to connect to the bike and see your progress. If you want to connect the bike to Zwift or Peloton, you can do it through the QZ application. I think this bike is worth the money. You could connect the bike to the Echelon Fit for data tracking without a subscription using the "Free-Style" program but it is packed with annoying ads.||The EX5 has three major improvement compared to EX3. Dual easy-to-reach bottle holders on the handlebars, more ergonomic handlebars, and a better tablet holder that doesn't limit the hand-positions VS EX3 that has inconvenient bottle holders and tablet holder blocks part of the handlebars. Also EX5's handlebars are 4-way adjustable vs EX3's handlebars that are 2-way adjustable|
|Echelon EX3 Indoor Bike||At $800 with its smart electronic magnetic resistance system and the fact that it can now completely synch with Zwift and Peloton (through QZ app), I thing it's one of the best value spin bikes, especially if you like Zwift or Peloton automatic resistance change. If there was a console included with the bike, it would have been even better. But as long as you are okay to use your own screen (tablet, phone, PC, or TV) to see your progress, I think it's a great value spin bike.||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.|
|Echelon EX1 Indoor Bike||Not a great value spin bike when compared to EX3 or EX5. In fact, I think Echelon has discontinued this model. Howerver, if you find it somewhere on offer under $500 and you like to do Zwift or Peloton cycling on your own tablet and phone, I recommend that you buy this mode. It has electronic resistance and thanks to QZ app, you can now synch the bike fully (resistance level, RPM, watt, speed, everything) to non-Echelon application. There is no monitor on the bike so you should be ready to use your own Bluetooth screen.||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. Although there is a difference between the EX1 and EX15. The EX1 has automatic resistance which is better than the manually adjustable resistance on the EX15.|
|Echelon EX51 Indoor Bike||A good quality and good value spin bike that synchs with the Echelon app and also synchs with other third-party apps like Zwift and Peloton through the QZ application. However, this Echelon spin bike has an outdated manually adjustable resistance and other is no electronic and automatic resistance change when an spinning class instructor calls out a new level of intensity. So, you would need to change resistance manually by turning the knob. Ther is also no console on the bike, so you need to use your own tablet. If you are okay with the two things I mentioned, don't hesitate and buy this spin bike by Echelon||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. The main difference is that unlike other Echelon bikes, the EX15 doesn't have automatic resistance. Its flywheel is in front which makes the bike more compact but not as stable as those in the back. Its flywheel is also fully covered which is better than other Echelon indoor bikes because it's safer if you have kids.|
Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike Alternatives
The EX3 comes with all the essential features that you need for a good workout, including a sturdy frame, adjustable smart electronic magnetic resistance, and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has a few extra features that make it a step up from entry-level bikes, such as SPD pedals and a nice tablet holder.
However, there are at least three alternative indoor cycling bikes that you can consider instead of the Echelon EX3. They are great indoor bikes with some smart technology. Some people might find them a better fit for their budget and needs when looking for an Echelon EX3 alternative bike.
The first Echelon EX3 alternative is the Schwinn Fitness IC4 bike. You probably have seen this bike in ads and on Google, it’s one of the most popular and top spin bikes that I reviewed in recent years. The IC4 costs $200 more than the Echelon EX3.
To justify the extra cost, it comes with more customizable handlebars to achieve a better bike fit, a better warranty for peace of mind, a heavier flywheel, and a built-in console/screen.
Just like the Echelon EX3 It also works with more than one application. Using your tablet, you can connect the bike with Zwift, Peloton, and other cycling applications. The only downside to the Schwinn IC4 is its resistance. While the Echelon EX3 has smart electronic magnetic resistance, the Schwinn IC4 only has a manual magnetic resistance. So, with the Schwinn Fitness IC4, you can’t have automatic resistance change on Zwift or Peloton apps while with the Echelon EX3 you can.
The next alternative indoor bike to Echelon EX3 is the ProForm Studio Pro 10. It costs $699 which is exactly how much an Echelon EX3 costs so you are not paying more however you are getting more. The ProForm Studio Pro has a 10-inch touchscreen display. So unlike the Echelon EX3, you don’t need to use your own tablet or phone to see your progress.
However, this bike doesn’t have a tablet holder and the bike’s built-in console is locked to work only with the iFit application. What does that mean? It means if you want to connect the ProForm with the Zwift or Peloton apps, you need to use your own phone and tablet, you can’t use the bike’s console for that.
Just like the Echelon EX3 where you have the freedom to connect and synch the bike with the application of your choice (though the QZ application), you can do the same with the Proform Studio Pro.
The iFit application is not bad either. It gives you access to up to 7 daily live classes and many on-demand classes by world-class instructors. On top of that, iFit’s “individual package” is only $15 per month. So, you would be saving $24 every month when compared to the Echelon’s monthly membership.
Finally, there’s the Bowflex C7 Bike that you can buy as an alternative to the Echelon EX3 exercise bike. It’s similar to the EX3 but has a heavier flywheel and a longer warranty. Additionally, it has a 7-inch touchscreen monitor.
Unfortunately, it is now almost $400 more expensive than the Echelon EX3 and I don’t think it offers enough to justify this price tag. Especially because its built-in console (the selling point of the bike) is completely locked to other applications unless you have a paid JRNY ($20 per month) subscription.
The good news is that it has an open source Bluetooth technology so you can download the QZ app on your phone and get all your cycling data from the bike to your phone easily. Then you can synch the data ride from the QZ app to Zwift, Peloton, Strava, and other applications without any problem, just like the Echelon EX3.
I personally don’t recommend the Bowflex C7 unless the company brings the price of the bike to $700 to $800 so I know I am not paying for a locked screen that I can’t even use without a paid subscription. These companies need to understand that consumers are tired of paying up to $500 for consoles that are locked for third-party apps.
So here we are with the Echelon EX3 alternative spin bikes. Again, if you’re looking for an indoor cycling bike that works best with the Echelon, Zwift, and Peloton applications with smart automatic resistance adjustment, the Echelon EX3 is a great option.
|Echelon Ex3||None||Electronic Magnetic||RPM, Speed, Watt, HR, and Resistance||Tablet and dumbbell holders||Echelon, Zwift, Peloton, Strava, and more (through the QZ app)|
|Schwinn IC4||3-inch LED||Manual Magnetic||RPM, Speed, HR, and Resistance||Tablet and dumbbell holders||Echelon, Zwift, Peloton, Strava, and more (through the QZ app)|
|ProForm Pro 10||10-inch HD||Electronic Magnetic||RPM, Speed, Watt, HR, and Resistance||None||iFit (Zwift, Peloton, Strava, and more through the QZ app)|
|Bowflex C7||7-inch HD||Manual Magnetic||RPM, Speed, Watt, HR, and Resistance||Tablet and dumbbell holders||JRNY, Zwift, Peloton, Strava, and more (through the QZ app)|
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 feet 12-inch to 6 feet 4-inch
- 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 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 a 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 open-source Bluetooth technology that sends workouts to the Echelon app as well as other third-party applications.
- 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 compatible with Zwift, Peloton, and another indoor cycling through the QZ app.
- In order to see your workout progress you don’t need a paid subscription on the Echelon but to save your progress and access live content on Echelon, you need a paid subscription.
- To use the Echelon application you need only one device (tablet, phone, PC, or smart TV).
- To connect the Echelon EX3 bike to Zwift or Peloton (non-echelon apps), you need one device (phone or apple watch) to install the QZ application and you need another device (tablet, smart TV, or PC) to install the Zwift or Peloton application.
- This bike uses a standard manual and smart electronic magnetic system so an application like Zwift can automatically change resistance.
- The QZ application works like a bridge that takes your workout data (everything) from the bike and transmits it to your favorite applications. It costs $5 (one-time purchase) and it is available on App Store and Play Store.
I have to admit, a major negative for the Echelon Connect Smart EX-3 is that it does not include any kind of performance monitor or touchscreen built into the bike. They could and should have included at least a small screen on the bike for those people who don’t want to use their phone to tablet for cycling.
Thankfully, there is a tablet mount and Bluetooth technology that sends workout data (RPM, Watt, Resistance Level, Calories, Speed, Time, and Distance) to your personal device (phone or tablet).
I really like that Echelon has built the Bluetooth system for data transmission and hasn’t limited the bike to a wired system like the Peloton. It’s this fact that you can synch all your data to Zwift or any other application that you like rather than always being stuck with the Echelon app.
With that said, in order to incorporate any kind of fitness feedback, you’ll have to buy your own tablet or phone and a membership to the Echelon Fit app is necessary if you want to access their live and on-demand indoor cycling content.
I know the Echelonfit app monthly fee is expensive. 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 their calories burned info along with other biometric feedback, compare statistics, and compete with other riders, all while following along to built-in workouts on the application.
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 Apple Watch.
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.
How to Connect an Echelon EX3 Bike to Zwift, Peloton, or Strava?
Right out of the box, the Echelon EX3 bike doesn’t connect or sync with the Zwift, Peloton, Kinompa, or Strava because it’s built for the Echelon Fit application.
However, the QZ application enables the bike to connect and send stats with all the mentioned applications. Not only you can sync your stats from the Echelon EX3 to Zwift (other applications), but you can also allow Zwift to “automatically change resistance”.
Here is a step-by-step instruction on how you can connect your Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Fitness Bike to the Zwift application. You can follow the same steps to connect the Echelon EX3 to the Peloton application.
For this process, you need two devices. You can use a smartphone to install the QZ application and a tablet to install the Zwift application (for the Peloton app you need an iPad).
- Power on the Echelon bike
You need to plug in your bike to an outlet electricity source and start pedaling to wake up its Bluetooth.
- Connect the bike and the QZ app
Open the QZ application on your phone and connect the bike to the app (it should connect automatically).
- Open Zwift on your tablet and log in
You should have a Zwift account and log in on your tablet to see the “Paired Devices” screen.
- Connect Zwift with the QZ
On the “Paired Devices” screen, you can start connecting “power source”, “cadence”, “speed”, “Heart Rate”, and “Controllable”. It’s up to your which ones to sync from the QZ app. I connect them all.
If you have issues connecting the Echelon EX3 smart bike to the Zwift app, try these solutions:
- Make sure the Cycling Cadence Sensor “Peloton Compatibility” is off on the “QZ App Settings”.
- Make sure the value of the “Watt Gain” is 1 (not 0) on the “QZ App Settings”.
- Make sure your android device setting is set to visible for Bluetooth.
- Remove all the Bluetooth “paired devices” on your phone and tablet.
- In your Phone and Tablet Settings (not the App Settings), rename your devices to a “4-letter word” like “bike”.
- Those who use a PC to install the Zwift app might need a TP-Bluetooth Dongle to connect the Zwift with QZ.
- 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 and 14.30mm (9/16) pedal thread size
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 pedaling. 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 the 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:
- Echelon EX3 smart bike has a 28-pound fixed flywheel
- You can’t do coasting on the bike due to its fixed system
- 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 from 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.
- It is an electronically adjustable magnetic resistance for applications to adjust the resistance automatically.
- There is also a micro-adjustment resistance knob on the frame that provides a variety of resistance levels in case you don’t want to reach the app on the tablet to change resistance.
- The resistance level synchs to your device and can be adjusted via apps (with offset, the QZ app helps you find the equivalent resistance to Peloton’s 100-level system).
The Echelon EX-3 indoor spin bike uses superior electronic magnetic resistance technology in its class to refine the degree of resistance you’re pedaling 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. Zwift or Peloton App. Via applications, you can set the bike to adjust its resistance when a Peloton trainer calls out a new resistance level or when you go uphill or downhill on the Zwift. It’s all thanks to the electronic motor that controls the resistance on the Echelon EX3.
The Echelon app features many additional international and natural workouts that take you through all kinds of immersive hills, terrain, and world environments that can elevate your exercise intensity and help distract you from all that hard work you’re putting in.
If there was one thing that I hate the most about the Echelon EX3 resistance is that it doesn’t have gear/resistance shifters built on the handlebars. Since the bike is already using smart electronic resistance, they could have easily added a resistance shifter on the right and one on the left side of the handlebars. This way, I wouldn’t have to move my hands away from the handlebars to turn the knob for changing resistance.
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 a Poly-V belt transmission (better than a chain but not as good as Timing/Toothed belts).
- The 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 pedaling 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 pedaling 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) is 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 https://echelonfit.com/pages/contact and fill the form out completely to order the part.
The price of this Echelon exercise 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.
However, the higher price is acceptable because of its Bluetooth system, smart electronic resistance, and the workout feedback the bike provides.
The spin cycle provides some great technical advantages, but the lack of a 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:
The rear-mounted flywheel is the biggest advantage for all the Echelon indoor bikes, and especially the Echelon EX-3 stationary bike. Having the flywheel mounted in the back helps you feel more like you’re riding a natural bike and protects your flywheel from sweat, wear and tear, meaning it can stand years of intensive use.
Electronic Magnetic Resistance:
The resistance system here is sleek and silent, as resistance levels switch effortlessly with no noticeable delay. The electronic 32 magnetic resistance levels offer an incredible degree of customization that’s easily adjustable via the knob and on the paired applications. I love that I can set the resistance to change automatically when I am on Zwift or watching a Peloton spinning class.
Bluetooth, Pedals, and Shelf:
These three features of the Echelon EX3 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 compatible apps. 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 pedaling 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 some users prefer not to use their devices on the bikes. The helpful ride diagnostics provided by the Echelon Fit app and other paired applications are useful, but they’re worthless unless you purchase your own tablet to attach and use with them.
On top of the lack of an existing monitor, the fact that you have to pay for an Echelon fit subscription to save your daily progress 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 at least you could save your workouts on the Free Version of the Echelon application. Thankfully this bike is now compatible with the Strava and other non-echelon apps (through the QZ app) so you don’t have to pay if you want to save your daily workout progress.
Limited App Compatibility:
This bike is designed to synch completely only with the Echelon application which is simply not acceptable. But I am glad Roberto Viola has solved this problem by creating the QZ application that makes the Echelon EX3 cycle fully compatible with the major cycling and spin bike applications.
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 mid-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 that follows through on all its promises. However, the extra expense to buy a tablet or/and phone in order to use the Zwift, Peloton, or simply save your workouts in addition to the wide q-factor is an annoying aspect of this Echelon EX3 smart bike that limits its versatility and affordability. But all things considered, the Echelon EX-3 is a decent indoor bike and a good value purchase.
The Echelon EX-3 smart connect fitness bike offers a durable and long-lasting performance no matter how often 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 great potential for online indoor cycling.
It’s worth pointing out that you can still get the data from the bike (cadence, resistance, power, etc.) using the app without a subscription. You just have to select “freestyle” from the menu. So yes you still need the app but at least you don’t have to pay.