Echelon EX5 Review | Great Indoor Bike But Is it Worth it?
The Echelon EX-5 Indoor Spin Cycle is a sleek and smooth spin bike that promises tight, responsive performance on a personal level. This high-quality bike is another improvement on the Echelon Experience, pairing standard and high-performing spin bike essentials with innovative cycle and flywheel design to produce one of the better mid-range spin bikes available on the market today.
The Echelon EX-5 spin cycle offers a competitive advantage over lower-range spin bikes with its powerful magnetic resistance system and smooth rotating tablet mount. Just add your own tablet and experience the same quality and excitement of a spin studio class from the privacy of your own space. The Echelon EX-5 Indoor Cycle provides ergonomic design, high-tech potential, and top-grade machinery for a quality spin experience for all.
The Echelon EX-5 Indoor spin cycle is a good cycle for beginning and intermediate level spinners and fitness enthusiasts due to the versatility of the machine and the intensity levels. The machine’s sleekly ergonomic spin design and 32 resistance levels help you keep pace with any spin workout, while the tablet mount lets you keep up with Echelon Fit workouts on your bike. . Let’s see how the Echelon EX-5 compares with other Echelon indoor bikes.
Echelon Smart Connect Bikes Comparison
Echelon currently has 6 different model of indoor bikes and the EX5 is the fourth level bike from the top after the Echelon EX-7s, a durable commercial bike, the Echelon EX-5s with 22″ screen, and the Echelon EX-5s-10 with a 10″ screen.
Obviously, the only difference between the EX5, EX5s-10, and EX5s is that the EX5 doesn’t include a monitor while the EX5s includes a 22″ monitor and the EX5s-10 has a 10″ monitor. Other than that, everything else is the same on these three bikes.
At $999, the Echelon EX5 is $500 less expensive than the EX5s and $200 less expensive than the EX5s-10 which is the price of the screen that comes with the other models.
There are also the Echelon EX3 and EX1, and EX15 models but they don’t have the quality or the features of the EX5 bike. Plus, neither of these bike include a monitor so you need to use your own device (tablet, phone, etc) as a screen.
The Echelon EX5 is a good bike but it comes without any sort of screen. So, you would need to use your own tablet and subscribe to Echelon’s online cycling classes. If you like Echelon, for an additional $200, I think it’s worth getting the EX5s-10 as it already includes a HD touchscreen.
|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 EX5 Alternatives
The Echelon EX-5 offers a heavy-duty, long lasting performance no matter how many years you use this machine. And to be honest, it’s priced reasonably at $999. However, there are currently better alternatives at this price range. Here are three of the best Echelon EX5 alternatives that we tried and liked:
The Schwinn IC4 is a great choice for those looking for a quality indoor bike. It comes with a better warranty and its LED screen is compatible with major cycling applications like Zwift and Peloton. The Echelon EX5, on the other hand, comes with a shorter warranty, no monitor, and it only works/ with Echelon application.
The Bowflex C7 is another excellent option that I really like. It’s a better indoor bike than the Echelon EX5 because it comes with a 7″ HD touchscreen. This makes it easier to track your progress and stay motivated during your workout. Plus, it’s often $200 less expensive than the Echelon EX5 bike.
Finally, the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 10 is another great alternative to the Echelon EX5. It offers a 10-inch touchscreen monitor that works seamlessly with the iFit application which is cheaper (the Individual Package) and has more content than the Echelon. On top of that, this is a better indoor cycle than the Echelon Smart Connect EX5 because it has an automatic resistance system which changes intensity automatically if you follow online spinning classes on iFit app. All together making it a better choice for those who want a more challenging workout.
|Schwinn IC4||Best choice at $799. Literally, there is no better spin bike that could beat the IC4 at this price. I like its LED monitor app compatibility||LED with Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance Readings.||Tablet and dumbbell holders plus magnetic resistance||Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY|
|ProForm Studio||Great value for the price, the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 10 works with iFit which is cheaper than Echelon.||10″ Touch with WiFi, Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance readings.||Automatic Resistance and 1-month free iFit.||iFit application|
|Bowflex C7||At its current price of $899, I highly recommend it instead of Echelon EX5,. Comes with a 7″ screen and often available with discount.||7″ Touch with WiFi, Bluetooth, RPM, Speed, and Resistance readings.||Tablet and dumbbell holders plus magnetic resistance||Zwift, Peloton, and JRNY|
EX 5 Cycle Specifications:
- Width: 20”
- Length: 51″
- Height: 54”
- Bike Weight: 105 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-5 spin cycle is pretty competitive with most other spin bikes on the market. Built with a slim and speedy 28 pound rear-mounted fixed flywheel and a sleek magnetic resistance system, this spin bike provides maximum spin at maximum speed on your ride.
The effortless belt transmission drive powers a hard-working spin without any jolts or jerks, integrating both durable and hard-working resistance frameworks into your ride while preserving a 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. Overall, the Echelon EX-5 indoor spin cycle is a mid-range bike that performs reliably but is an expensive home addition.
Tablet Mount (But No Monitor):
- Echelon EX5 comes equipped with Bluetooth technology that sends workouts to the Echelon app (if installed on your phone, tablet, etc).
- 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 a paid subscription.
- This bike uses standard magnetic resistance (not smart electromagnetic) so the app can’t automatically change resistance.
A big negative for the Echelon EX-5 is the total lack of monitor on the device. Unlike many magnetic indoor cycling bikes on the marketplace, there’s no included digital monitor, at least not built into the bike. There is a tablet mount, but other than that, nothing. In order to incorporate any kind of tracking, 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.
The Echelon Fit App boasts many benefits that can make the $39/month subscription fee well worth your purchase. Track your rides using RPM 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 or charting your own pace without being limited to any one particular app.
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 have to purchase a heart rate band or tracker yourself. 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.
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 catered 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.
- SPD-equipped pedals feature completely adjustable toe cages
- Compatible with cycling shoes, SPD cleats, and athletic tennis shoes
- Q-factor of 202 mm
The SPD-equipped pedals on the Echelon EX-5 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 or versatile results.
The Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike features a q-factor of 202mm, an unusually wide q-factor stance. This wide Q-factor means the pedals and crank arms are set at a wide distance, 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 out when you pedal down, creating a painfu.l drive that puts unnecessary stress on your knee muscles and can shred your cartilage over time.
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 great.
Echelon EX-5 Spin Bike Flywheel:
- 28 lb fixed flywheel
- No-guard rear-fixed flywheel (not child-safe)
- Magnetic resistance and sleek belt transmission
The Echelon EX-5 features a standard magnetic resistance system that performs with the typical excellence we’ve come to expect from the Echelon resistance design. The Echelon EX-5 has a powerful 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 a powerful 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, similar to the other Echelon models, this Echelon EX-5 features an unguarded flywheel, which is unusual when it comes to the standard spin bike. Unguarded flywheels can be major safety 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.
EX-5 Indoor Bike Resistance:
- The Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike features a magnetic resistance system with 32 adjustable levels for resistance precision
- Micro-adjustment resistance knob provides a variety of resistance levels
The Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike uses superior magnetic resistance technology in its class to hone and refine the degree of push 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 yet doable. The micro-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-5 indoor spin bike resistance knob offers Echelon’s standard 32 levels of micro-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-5 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.
EX-5 Handlebars and Seat
- Multi-position, competition Aero-handlebar system
- Four-way vertical and horizontal adjustments for handlebars
- Four-way horizontal and vertical adjustable padded race style seat
The handlebars on the Echelon EX-5 are multi-position, 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 all directions 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-5 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. All spin riders will feel comfortable on this bike with this comfortable saddle that shifts up, down, back, and forth as needed.
Transmission and Gear Ratio:
- 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 1:5.
The Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike’s transmission drive system uses the standard, high-performing and low-maintenance Echelon drive belt of unspecified material for an easy pedalling stride. This transmission belt works harder and lasts longer than chain drives, providing a simple and durable spin ride for every user over the years. Belt systems in general are a big improvement over the standard chain system because they eliminate the noise and maintenance concerns of the typical greasy and oiled chains that road or outdoor bikes feature. The Echelon EX-5 belt drive is made of a durable, likely polymer material that doesn’t require adjustment, tightening, or protection from rust. The Echelon 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-5 belt that creates a consistently soft ride that will feel like you’re barely pedaling.
The other consistent benefit of the Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike (and of belt drives in general) are their completely silent performance. There’s no cranking, clanking, clunking, or scratching with a transmission belt. 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-5 Price and Warranty:
- The Echelon EX-5 spin bike is currently priced at $1,200
- The Echelon EX-5 spin bike’s warranty includes one year on the frame and all parts
- The Echelon EX-5 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.
EX5 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-5 indoor spin bike is relatively straightforward. 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-5.
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-5 Indoor Bike Pros:
Rear-Mounted Flywheel Resistance:
The rear-mounted magnetic resistance system is the biggest selling point on the Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike. The resistance system here is sleek and almost automatic, as resistance levels switch effortlessly with no noticeable gap or delay. The no-contact braking goes a long way in improving the smoothness of your ride, as does the no slip transmission belt. 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 sleek 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, SPD, and Shelf:
These three features of the Echelon EX5 indoor cycling bike make the ride more enjoyable and safer. The pedals allow you to ride with regular gym sneakers or professional indoor cycling shoes for more power efficacy while the Bluetooth technology syncs 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.
Fully Adjustable Handlebars:
Unlike the Echelon EX3 and older models, the EX5 comes with ergonomically designed handlebars that are four-way adjustable and offer multiple hand-grips for a fun comfortable ride. You can adjust the handlebars horizontally to do more of an upright workout, in case you are recovering from an injury or simply don’t want to lean forward to road cycling position.
Echelon EX-5 Indoor Bike Cons:
The awkwardly large q-factor is a major setback on the Echelon EX-5. 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.
No Integrated Digital Monitor:
Not having an integrated monitor on this bike feels foolish, especially because of all the awesome features the Echelon Fit app offers. Thankfully, the company has recently released the Echelon EX5S with a large sleek monitor. The straightforward ride diagnostics provided by the Echelon Fit app are useful, but they’re worthless with the EX5 unless you purchase your own device to attach and use with them. The tablet mount provides functional use on and off 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 doesn’t make sense to not have one built in.
Heavy Echelon Subscription:
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. It would be nice if this price was included from the get-go especially as this is a higher priced bike to begin with.
Limited App Compatibility:
This spin bike by Echelon is designed to synch only with the Echelon application which is simply not acceptable. No one should be forced to pay $1000+ for a mid-range indoor bike and then not be able to use it with their favorite indoor cycling applications.
Final Word on the Echelon EX-5
The Echelon EX-5 indoor exercise bike is a solid model from the Echelon bike family, but in the context of other Echelon indoor bikes and in the larger spin bike world it’s a bit of an underperformer. It does provide some major pros, however. The sturdy frame, durable flywheel, and silently reliable drive guarantee powerful rides and workouts, 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-5 indoor spin bike promises compelling performance capabilities and top of the line technological integration, but it just doesn’t manage to follow through on all its promises. Ultimately, the Echelon EX-5 indoor exercise bike is a mid-range bike that’s overpriced and under functional. The extra expense in order to guarantee a functional monitor (including purchasing your own device 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-5 is a decent bike, but its high price and negative components make it an inconsistent and unreliable buy.
The Echelon EX-5 Indoor Spin Bike is a standard indoor spin cycle that offers good performance with some unfortunate setbacks. The high-performing and low-maintenance belt/ magnetic resistance are huge pros for many riders, offering a powerful spin and a challenging workout. However, the lack of a monitor or tracking software (unless you’re willing to pay extra for it) are big cons, as is the wide q-factor and unsteady pedal set. The price of the Echelon EX-5 is an unfortunate $1,200, a large price tag for such an underperforming bike. The Echelon EX-5 offers a good workout, but at the price tag of $1,200, it’s just not the strongest buy. That said, it is also not the weakest buy since there are many lower-quality spin bikes on the market for higher prices!