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 indoor 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.
It offers a competitive advantage over most spin bikes under $1000 with its powerful manual and electronic magnetic resistance system combined with a smooth ribbed poly-v belt transmission.
This particular model of the indoor bike by Echelon doesn’t include a built-in console but I am not regretting my purchase and I don’t feel like I was ripped off because they didn’t charge me for a console. I paid $999 for the Echelon EX5 and I think there is enough to justify the price tag, even without a built-in display.
Plus, Echelon allows you to connect your own tablet and phone to the EX5 bike via Bluetooth so you can enjoy virtual indoor cycling classes on a high-quality screen such as iPad, tablet, or Apple TV. So, you shouldn’t be worried about ruining your eyes or saving your cycling data.
Just add your own tablet and experience the same quality and excitement of a spin studio class on Zwift, Peloton, and the Echelon Fit app from the privacy of your own space.
I think for beginners and mid-level cycling enthusiasts, the Echelon EX-5 is a good cycle due to the versatility of the machine, smart built-in wireless ride tracking sensors, and intensity levels.
Although there are some disadvantages associated with the Echelon EX5, the bike’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 pros, and cons, and how the Echelon EX-5 compares with other Echelon indoor bikes.
Echelon Smart Connect Bikes Comparison
The EX Series of Echelon smart fitness bikes used to only work with the Echelon Fit app which was very limited for those who preferred using other online spin bike workout providers and cycling programs. But in 2021, an Italian firmware developer (Roberto) created an application (QZ) that enables the Echelon indoor bikes to connect with the application of your choice.
From Zwift to Peltoon, and Strava, you have now the freedom to properly connect, save and track your workouts with the Echelon EX5 bike. All thanks to the QZ application that costs $5 (one-time purchase) and is available on App Store and Play Store.
Now that you know with an Echelon EX5 indoor bike you can connect and sync your workout data to any application as well as Apple Watch, let’s take a look at Echelon smart bikes.
Echelon currently has 7 different models 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.
The only difference between the EX5, EX5s-10, and the EX5s is that the EX5 doesn’t include a monitor while the EX5s includes a 22-inch monitor and the EX5s-10 has a 10-inch monitor. Other than that and the price, 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. In terms of adjustment, resistance type, and comfort, all three Echelon EX5 models (ex5, ex5-s, and ex5-s10) are the same.
There is one problem with the Echelon EX5s and the EX5s-10. The console that comes with these two Echelon bikes is limited to the Echelon application. So, if you decide to use the Peloton app, you would still need to use your tablet and phone.
And because I like to use non-echelon applications (Zwift, Peloton, etc), I prefer the Echelon EX5 over the two models that with a console. This way I pay less and I use my own tablet on the bike as a screen.
That said, if you are a big fan of the Echelonfit application and you like its content, then you are better off with the Echelon EX5-s or EX5-s 10. You just need to hop on the bike, log into your Echelon account on the console, and enjoy the ride.
There are also the Echelon EX3 and EX1, and EX15 models. They are cheaper than the Echelon EX5 and they all connect with non-echelon applications (through the QZ app) but they don’t have the quality or the adjustability of the EX5 bike. If you have a budget between $500 to $800, I highly recommend the EX3. It has electronically adjustable magnetic resistance to do automatic resistance when you follow a spin bike class.
But if your budget is below $500, the Echelon EX15 (aka Sports Connect) is the perfect bike for you. Just like the Echelon EX1, 3, and 5, it doesn’t have a console/monitor. But, it has Bluetooth to connect with indoor cycling applications. Although it’s still magnetic resistance, it’s not electronic magnetic resistance. So, you can’t set the Zwift, Echelon, or Peloton app to change the intensity of your bike automatically.
Keep in mind that if you buy an Echelon EX5 smart connect bike (or the EX15, EX1, and EX3), you have to use your own smart devices to see your progress and save your efforts. For non-echelon applications like Zwift, you need a device (like a phone or apple watch) to install the QZ and then you need a device (tablet, PC, or TV) to install the Zwift.
|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 EX5 Smart Connect Bike Alternatives
The Echelon EX-5 offers a heavy-duty, performance no matter how many years you use this machine. And to be honest, it’s priced reasonably at $999. However, there are currently some alternatives at this price range that come with a console. 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 it has a console. Just like the Echelon EX5, it is compatible with major cycling applications like Zwift and Peloton. Although it has a magnetic resistance, it’s not electronically magnetic so unlike the Echelon EX5, you won’t be able to use the Zwift or Peloton automatic resistance adjustment.
The Horizon 7.0 bike is another excellent option that I really like. To be honest, it’s not necessarily a better choice than the Echelon EX5. However, it does have a nice 4-inch high contrast display which included 4 built-in programs + a manual mode to create your program. So, if you prefer not to always use your tablet for data tracking, you might want to consider the Horizon IC 7.0 as an alternative to the Echelon EX5 bike. It also has automatic resistance to mimic uphills and downhills.
Finally, the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 10. I think it is a 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, just like the Echelon Smart Connect EX5, the ProForm Studio bike pro 10 has an automatic resistance system that changes intensity automatically if you follow online spinning classes on the iFit app. The main issue with this model is that you need to hack the bike to connect it to applications outside of the iFit. I like the other bikes because they don’t need hacking.
Although the other three indoor bikes have the possibility to connect to several applications, the Echelon EX5 is my personal choice for Zwift cycling as well as Peloton classes. As I explained, the Horizon 7.0 and the Echelon EX5 bikes have electronic resistance so you can log into your Zwift account and tell the application to change the resistance automatically when you are going uphill or downhill. You can do the same for the Peloton app and set the bike to change its resistance when the instructor calls a new resistance level. But the Schwinn IC4 and the Bowflex C7 don’t have electronic resistance so you need to manually turn the knob to change resistance when needed. Now, it’s up to you to decide what is more important to you. Here is a comparison chart for the Echelon EX5 fitness bike and its contestants.
|Echelon EX5||Electronic magnetic resistance||No Console||Echelon, Zwift, Peloton, and more (through the QZ app)||Yes||4-way adjustable||Dual-sided SPD and cage|
|Schwinn IC4||Manual magnetic resistance||3-inch LED||Echelon, Zwift, Peloton, and more (through the QZ app)||Yes||4-way adjustable||Dual-sided SPD and cage|
|ProForm Studio||Electronic magnetic resistance||10-inch HD||iFit||No||2-way adjustable||Only cage|
|Horizon 7.0 IC||Electronic magnetic resistance||4-inch LED||Kinomap, Zwift, Peloton, and more (through the QZ app)||Yes||4-way adjustable||Dual-sided SPD and cage|
EX 5 Cycle Specifications:
- Width: 20”
- Length: 51″
- Height: 54”
- Bike Weight: 105 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-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 application.
- You need to use your tablet or phone in order to see your progress on the Echelon application.
- To see your stats you don’t need to have a paid Echelonfit subscription, you can do it with a free account but to save the daily stats you need to have a paid membership.
- The Echelon FreeStyle version of the app has some annoying ads and a few spin bike classes but no live classes.
- The Echelon EX5 syncs/transmits your estimated watt, cadence, speed, resistance level, time, calories, distance, and heart rate (if you use a Bluetooth HRM) to Echelon fit application.
- Echelon EX5 is not compatible with any other indoor cycling apps unless you use the QZ app that works as a bridge between the Echelon bike, Apple Watch, Zwift, Peloton, Strava, and other apps.
- This indoor bike has the ability to automatically adjust your resistance for Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton spin classes.
- No need to buy a tablet holder, this bike comes with an adjustable media shelf but you might need a simple bike phone holder to install on the handlebars.
A big negative for the Echelon EX-5 is the total lack of a monitor/console 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 use your own tablet, smart TV, PC, or/and phone. Although you don’t need a paid membership to the Echelon Fit app to use the bike, if you want to save your daily progress and/or access live online classes, you do need the paid membership.
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 tracks, 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, including spinning, cycling, stretching, weight training, meditation, yoga, and more.
Though the Echelon Fit App is definitely a 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.
And yes, you can use any of these Echelon Smart Connect Bikes without paid subscriptions. You just need to create a free Echelonfit account and connect the bike. There are some free classes that you can follow. But to save your workouts on Echelon, or to access live classes, you do need the Echelon app membership which costs $39 per month.
Lastly, to connect these Echelon bikes with other applications you do need the QZ application. It is available for IOS and Android devices for $5 one-time purchase.
Basically, you download the QZ application on your phone (or Apple Watch), then connect the bike with the app via Bluetooth, then go and download Zwift (or Peloton) on your personal tablet or Apple TV. Last step is to connect/synch the QZ app from your phone to the Zwift on your tablet wirelessly.
All you need is a phone and tablet and you should be ready for Zwift and Peloton cycling with your Echelon EX5 bike. As for the data, the QZ will transfer everything including cadence, speed, resistance level, watt, and heart rate (if you use a HRM).
How to Connect Your Echelon EX5 to Zwift, Peloton, or Strava?
Right out of the box, the Echelon EX5 bike doesn’t connect or sync with the Zwift, Peloton, Kinompa, or Strava because it’s built for the Echelon Fit application. You might be able to get some stats transmitted to Zwift and Peloton but definitely not all stats unless you have the QZ application.
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 EX5 to Zwift (and other applications), but you can also allow Zwift or Peloton to “automatically change resistance” for uphill and downhills.
Here is a step-by-step instruction on how you can connect your Echelon EX5 Smart Connect Fitness Bike to the Zwift application. You can follow the same steps to connect the Echelon EX5 to the Peloton application.
Peloton app Note: If you have an Android device and you want to connect to the Peloton application, you can install the QZ and the Peloton app on the same device. But if you have an IOS device and like to connect the bike to Peloton, you need two devices.
Zwift app Note: If you have an IOS device and want to connect to the Zwift application, you can install the QZ app and the Zwfit app on the same device. But if you have an Android device and like to connect the bike to Zwift, you need two devices.
For the following guide, you need two devices. You can use a smartphone to install the QZ application and a tablet to install the Zwift application.
- 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 EX1 bike to Zwift, 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
- The Echelon EX5 Q-factor is 202mm and the pedal thread size is 14.30mm (9/16)
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 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 or most versatile results.
The Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike features a q-factor of 202mm and 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 painful.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:
- Echelon EX5 flywheel weighs 28 lbs, it is fixed and you can’t do coasting
- The flywheel is not covered and may not be safe to allow children to play and run around the bike
- For transmission, the Echelon EX5 has a ribbed Poly V belt
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 coasting 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 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, 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 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 (you can create offset on the QZ app to find the correct resistance in response to Peloton.
- Micro-adjustment resistance knob provides a variety of resistance levels in case you don’t want to use a tablet to adjust the resistance.
- This bike uses manually adjustable magnetic resistance and electronically adjustable magnetic resistance so the Zwift and other applications can automatically change resistance.
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 pedaling against during your ride without needing to click through endless levels or fidget with your ride to find the right level of challenging 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 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-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 pedaling 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 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-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 https://echelonfit.com/pages/contact and fill the form out completely to order the part.
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.
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 electronic magnetic resistance system is the biggest selling point on the Echelon EX-5 indoor spin bike. The resistance system here is sleek and automatic, as resistance levels switch effortlessly with no noticeable gap or delay both with the knob and applications. 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 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.
These three features of the Echelon EX5 indoor cycling bike make the ride more enjoyable, safer and superior to the famous Peloton Bike Original and Peloton Bike+. Because, unlike the Peloton bikes that refuse to send your ride data via Bluetooth, the Echelon has designed all its bikes from EX1 to EX15 to send the workout stats via Bluetooth. And that’s why now the QZ application has made it possible for us to connect the Echelon fitness bikes to the application of our choice.
SPD, and Shelf:
The pedals that come with the Echelon EX5 allow you to ride with regular gym sneakers or professional indoor cycling shoes for more power efficacy while 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. I just wish they also added a phone holder for the bike on the screen. But that’s not a huge deal because you can separately buy a bike phone holder for as little as $15.
Fully Adjustable Handlebars:
Unlike the Echelon EX3, the EX1, and the EX15 exercise bikes, the Echelon 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 into a 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 pedaling 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.
Can’t save workouts and too many ads on freestyle Echelon account:
Unless you have a paid membership, you can’t save your daily workout on the Echelon application which comes with a heavy subscription fee of $39 per month. Although you can see your workout progress on the “freestyle” account without a paid subscription, there are too many ads on the screen of your table and the choice of free spin bike classes are seriously limited. Thankfully, you don’t need an Echelon membership to use the QZ app and save your workouts for free on a Strava account.
Limited App Compatibility:
The Echelon Ex5 indoor bike is designed to synch only with the Echelon application which is simply not acceptable. Thankfully, Roberto, a talented Italian firmware developer built an application that makes the Echelon EX5 compatible (connect and transmit all cycling data) with other spin bike workout applications or I wouldn’t have recommended this bike at all. Just make sure not to update its firmware in the future in case they want to remove non-echelon app compatibility.
No handlebars gear shifter (resistance controls):
Probably the guys at Echelon hate me if they see this Echelon EX5 review but why on earth would you make such a smart spin bike with Bluetooth and electronic automatic magnetic resistance but not put a set of gear shifters on the handlebars? It would have been much nicer if I didn’t need to touch the application on my tablet or manually turn the knob for change resistance. Echelon could have built one resistance control on the right side of the handlebars and one on the left side. This way I could focus more on the exercise without having to move my hands away from the handlebars.
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 and automatic magnetic resistance are huge pros for many riders, offering a powerful spin and a challenging workout. However, the lack of a monitor and its wide q-factor can be considered cons for pro cyclists. That said, the Echelon EX5 is not the weakest buy since there are many lower-quality spin bikes on the market for higher prices! I don’t regret my purchase and do recommend the Echelon Ex5 smart connect bike.