Echelon EX5S Review, Comparison and Alternatives

The Echelon EX-5S is one of the best indoor bikes from the Echelon Smart Connect Bike Series, offering streamlined and challenging exercise for any level of indoor cycling enthusiast. This high-quality model is the second best and brightest in the Echelon Smart fitness bike family and elevates the spin experience on every level, combining innovation and technical knowledge into its design process to create one of the best high-end magnetic spin bikes available on the market today.

I think the Echelon EX-5S indoor cycle is a great fit for all spinners due to the level of available individual and personalized control over workout intensity. The machine’s personal customization options and sleekly ergonomic bike design will keep you on par with any spin class or workout at half the price of a monthly class pass.

I know the Echelon EX-5S indoor spin cycle offers a luxury, boutique spinning experience, bringing anyone the same quality and excitement of a spin studio class from the comfort of your own home. But let’s find out how it stands among the other Echelon indoor bikes.

Echelon Smart Connect Indoor Bikes Comparisons

The Echelon EX-5S is the second level bike from the top that this brands has built. It’s a great bike for home use, it comes with a 22″ screen which unfortunately is not rotatable.

The Echelon EX-7S, on the other hand, comes with a more durable commercial quality structure and rotatable screen but it costs $1999 which is a high price considering the competation.

Although the EX-5S doesn’t have a rotatable screen, it’s still a great bike for home use because it’s less expensive and just as good in terms of technology and screen.

So, if you’re looking for an Echelon indoor bike for home use and want to spend less, either the EX-5S or the Echelon EX-3S would be a great choice!

That said, the cheapest model of Echelon bike is the EX15. It doesn’t include a built-in screen and it’s the most affordable indoor bike among all the other 6 different models that Echelon has to offer.

Echelon Indoor Cycling Bikes Comparisons and Reviews
Echelon EX7s Indoor BikeGood 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 reasonablyThe 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 BikeGood 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 reasonablyThe 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 modelsNordicTrack S15i, it has better warranty, incline/decline, cooling fan, and iFit subscription is less expensive
Echelon EX5 Indoor BikeOverpriced. 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 dealThe 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 BikeOverpriced. 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 shotThere 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 BikeOverpriced. No monitor, not compatible with other apps and requires constant paid subscriptions to fully functionThere 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 BikeA 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 EX5S Alternative Indoor Bikes

The Echelon EX-5S Indoor Spin Cycle provides innovative design, high-tech accessories and top-of-the-line machinery for a quality spin experience for all. But it’s often overpriced when brands like Peloton Original Bike and Nordictrack S22i is available for the same price.

Echelon EX-5S is a good bike, don’t get me wrong, but it has no chance of standing against Nordictrack S22i or Peloton. Ex5s is simply lower quality and has less technology than either of the two exercise bikes I just mentioned.

For instance, the Echelon EX-5S comes with manually adjustable screen, while its alternative, the Nordictrack S22i comes with automatic resistance system. The same goes for another major feature, the incline and decline system that moves the bike forward and backward.

While the Echelon EX-5S doesn’t have an incline/decline system, the S22i comes with an awesome system that mimics uphill and downhills. So, you can see why there are better alternative spin bikes to Echelon EX-5S at $1500 price range.

With that out of the way, if the Nordictrack and Peloton increase their price by the time you are reading my Echelon EX-5S review, I would recommend you stick with the Echelon EX-5S. It is the sturdy yet portable build of this bike; the Echelon EX-5S that offers a heavy-duty and long lasting performance no matter how many rides you put the bike through. The price of the Echelon EX-5S is $1,500, making it a hefty but potentially worthwhile investment.

Bike NameVerdictAppsScreenResistanceIncline
Proform StudioGood value indoor bike at $1200iFit with live and on-demand classes.Swivel 22-inchAutomatic magneticNo
Peloton BikeGood value, only if Nordictrack S22i is not available for the same price.Peloton with up to 14 daily live classes + thousands of on-demand classes.22-inch (no swivel)Manual magneticNo
Nordictrack S22iCurrently, at $1500, it’s the best value bike and iFit is cheaper than Echelon or Peloton.iFit with up to 7 daily live classes + thousands of on-demand classes.Swivel 22-inchAutomatic magneticYes
Echelon Ex-5SGreat value at $1500 as long as Nordictrack and Peloton are more expensive.Echelon with live and on-demand classes.Swivel 22-inchManual magneticNo
Echelon EX5s Alternatives

Echelon EX-5S Review and Technical Information:

EX5s Cycle Specifications:

  • Width: 20”
  • Length: 44″
  • Height: 56”
  • Bike Weight: 123 Pounds
  • Max User Weight: 300 Pounds
  • User Compatible Size Range: 4”6” to 6’6”
  • Power Sourced through included power ports
  • Transportation Wheels

The technical capacity of the Echelon EX-5S spin cycle are top-of-the-line and competitive with any other top-range spin bike on the market. Built with a slim but powerful 28 pound rear-mounted fixed flywheel and a smooth magnetic resistance system, this cycle generates maximum spin for maximum work on your ride.

The silky belt transmission drive ensures a hard-working ride without any bumps or jerks, integrating both heavy-duty resistance and power into your workout while you still feel like you’re pedaling on air. The industrial grade steel frame is designed for strength and sweat protection of your bike without requiring a lot of maintenance, cleaning, replacements, or tune-ups. High-performing and low-maintenance, the Echelon EX-5S indoor spin cycle is a guaranteed (but expensive) hit for any committed spin cycle rider.

21.5” HD Touchscreen:

  • Echelon EX-5S comes with a touchscreen 21.5″ monitor.
  • The monitor is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, speakers, and a USB charging port.
  • Some of the stats provided on the monitor are; watt, RPM, resistance, speed, distance, HR, calories, and time.
  • EX5S screen is only compatible with the Echelon application (can’t be used for surfing on the web or installing other apps).
  • Again, this bike sends the workouts only to the Echelon application so you can’t use it with Zwift, Peloton, or other indoor cycling apps.
  • The monthly subscription fee ($39)is not required unless you want to use the monitor to access live and pre-recorded classes.

The biggest difference between the Echelon EX-5S and other Echelon EX5 is the built-in touchscreen. Similar to the classic features on the NordicTrack cycle models, the Echelon 5s offers a large, functional electronic touchscreen that’s built right into your bike for easy access and use on and off the bike. The console is powered through electricity, so you’ll need to be able to plug your cycle into a nearby outlet to power your ride, which can be annoying as it limits your ability to move the bike, but the benefits of the touch screen far outweigh the inconvenience of having to place it near an outlet. This easy-to-read touchscreen features clear, helpful ride metrics, tracking, and power measurements that provide valuable feedback on your ride, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

The workout measurements achieved through fitness tracking built into the cycle include pulse, RPM, distance and time cycled, heart rate, speed, and calories burned, but the major downside to this useful piece of equipment is that it’s only compatible and available if you’re using the Echelon Fit app. If you’re not using the app, the touchscreen is basically worthless; there’s no built in tracking or any other kind of metrics available to use unless you’ve paid for the app.

The Echelon Fit App offers a variety of benefits and accessories that can make the $39/month subscription fee well worth your money. Track your rides, post your statistics, and compete with other riders using the built-in metric tracking, all while following along to other 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 connected Bluetooth cycling heart rate monitors, which are helpful tools when it comes to monitoring your performance throughout the ride but that you’ll have to purchase yourself. The subscription also offers thousands of live, recorded, and daily classes you can follow along to, including spinning, cycling, stretching, weight training, meditation, yoga, and more.

Because the tablet screen is larger, there’s no built in tablet mount to hold phones or tablets during your ride, but you could prop them in the two water bottle holders that rest on either side of your screen. Though the Echelon Fit App is definitely an annoying additional expense, in the long term it will prove itself worthwhile as it is essentially access to an all-inclusive library of personal training tools that can be catered to your exact needs. No more expensive monthly class fees or long commutes to the gym: you can experience every type of fitness activity under the sun all from the comfort of your own space and your own exercise bike.

Dual-Sided SPD-Equipped Pedals:

  • SPD-equipped pedals have fully adjustable toe cages.
  • Dual-sided pedals are compatible with cycling shoes, built to accommodate both high-performance SPD cleats and traditional fitness shoes.
  • Echelon EX5s Q-factor is 202 mm.

The SPD-equipped pedals on the Echelon EX-5S offer an all-inclusive spin experience that’s designed to engage all levels of spin intensity. The crank arms slip easily and securely into top-of-the-line pedals that are dual-sided SPD models. The dual sided functions are especially helpful for switching pedaling styles on the go, as your cleats can clip neatly into either side allowing for flexible pedaling. The fully adjustable toe cage also means you can ride with either cycle cleats or plain athletic shoes, so you have options when it comes to creating a perfect fitness experience.

The Q-factor on the Echelon EX-5S spin bike is 202mm, an unusually wide q-factor stance. Known as a “wide” pedal size, this Q-factors sets the pedals and crank arms at a wide distance from each other, which can sometimes be uncomfortable for shorter cyclists or cyclists with long torsos and shorter legs who find themselves placing additional strain on their body by pushing out at an uncomfortable angle. A narrow stance is ideal 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 less than ideal.

Echelon EX-5S Bike Flywheel:

  • EX5s is built with a 28 lb fixed flywheel
  • Unguarded rear-fixed flywheel (not chile-safe)
  • magnetic resistance and sleek belt transmission

The Echelon EX-5S features one of the best magnetic resistance systems on the market: magnetic precision-micro adjusting. The Echelon EX-5S has a powerful belt drive that causes little to no strain on the muscles with every pedal, plus a no-contact braking system that prevents wear, tear, and damage over the years.

The fixed rear flywheel prevents casting, is pedal-able in either direction, and generates a powerful resistance that forces you to work harder with every stride. Despite being lighter-weight, this flywheel is also heavy-duty and mounted in the back to prevent sweat dripping down into your flywheel and getting into your gears.

The heavy-duty belt drive system and flywheel work together to ensure a reliable performance that stands the test of time. However, this Echelon EX-5S features an unguarded flywheel, which is typical for Echelon bikes but unusual when it comes to the standard spin bike. Unguarded flywheels can pose safety concerns if you have pets or little ones in your space who might poke fingers or tails into your spinning space. It also makes your flywheel vulnerable to damage from bumping or other damage.

Echelon EX-5S Bike Resistance:

  • The Echelon EX-5S smart bike features a magnetic resistance system with 32 micro-adjustable levels for precise resistance measurement.
  • Micro-adjustment magnetic resistance knob turns to select resistance level.
  • This bike has the standard magnetic resistance (not smart Electromagnetic resistance) therefore, apps/software can’t automatically change resistance.

The Echelon EX-5S indoor spin bike uses one of the best resistance technology in its class to hone and allows you to refine the degree of magnetic resistance during your ride without any noise. The micro-adjustable magnetic resistance reacts instantly to your desired increased or decreased adjustments, creating a silent but responsive resistance adjustment that won’t disrupt your workout. Because it’s standard magnetic (not smart electromagnetic), your built-in workouts through the Echelon Fit app can NOT automatically change your resistance level to mimic uphill/downhill.

The Echelon EX-5s spin bike resistance knob offers 32 levels of micro-resistance, creating a customizable approach to resistance where users can tweak their desired resistance to one of thirty-two individual and challenging resistance levels. This awesome adjustable resistance system on the Echelon EX-5S is a life-changing addition to this indoor cycling bike, especially if you enjoy workouts where you can build to a slow resistance climax gradually throughout your ride.

The personally adjustable resistance knob lets you create any type of resistance landscape, and the Echelon Fit App also creates international and natural workouts that take you through all kinds of intensive and immersive hill, terrain, and world environments. The magnetic resistance helps you experience responsive and high-quality resistance that’s easy to use and adjust.

EX5S Handlebars and Seat:

  • Dipped multi-position, competition Aero-handlebar system.
  • Four-way horizontal and vertical adjustments for handlebars.
  • Four-way horizontal and vertical adjustable padded race style seat.

The handlebars on the Echelon EX-5s are multi-position, Aero-handlebars that are designed to adjust to your needs quickly and frequently. The handlebars adjust in all directions for a customizable approach to your exercise. The handlebars position neatly beneath the handlebars with easy access to the included HD touchscreen, but there’s no personal or tablet mount. You can store your phone in one of the two water bottle holders directly beneath the handlebars, but it would be nice to have one built in directly.

The padded, comfortable saddle on the Echelon EX-5S semi-smart indoor bike is comfortable and flexible for all kinds of riders. Featuring height and aft adjustments, this bike can fit a variety of different rider heights and leg lengths. There’s also a rear-mounted dumbbell rack for additional support. Most spin riders will feel comfortable on this bike with this comfortable saddle that shifts up, down, back, and forth as needed. For riders who need flexibility with their spin cycles and positioning, this feature is a big benefit.

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-5S indoor spin bike’s transmission drive system features a simple and low-maintenance drive belt of unspecified material for an easy pedaling stride and drive. This transmission belt works harder and lasts longer than chain drives, providing a simple spin ride for every user. Belt systems are a big improvement over the standard chain system common in outdoor bike models because they eliminate the noise and maintenance of the typical greasy and oiled chains that road bikes feature.

The Echelon EX-5S belt drive is made of a durable material that doesn’t require oiling, adjustment, tightening, or protection from rust. The belt drive provides a superior pedalling experience, including a tight fit to the gears and a smooth overall ride. You’ll never experience jerking, slipping, or pulling with the Echelon EX-5S belt, leading to a consistently soft ride that will feel like you’re barely pedaling.

The other benefit of the Echelon EX-5S indoor spin bike’s transmission belt is its completely silent performance. There’s no cranking, clanking, or scratching with a transmission belt. The gear ratio is another contributor to this silent experience: the smooth magnetic gear switching between levels of magnetic resistance reduces the clank or creak of changing weights and keeps your bike quiet at any level of resistance. The low-noise component of these belt drives is the best of the best: this belt plus the magnetic resistance system makes for a silent ride that you can use 24/7 without waking up anyone in your house

Echelon EX-5S Price and Warranty:

  • The Echelon EX-5S spin bike is currently priced at $1,600.
  • The Echelon EX-5S spin bike’s warranty includes one year on the frame and all parts.
  • The Echelon EX-5S offers a free thirty day return policy.
  • Extended warranty can be purchased for 1 or 3 years for an additional fee.
  • If you are having troubles with your EX1 bike while it is under warranty, you can visit and fill out a claim there for whatever issue you are having.

Since the meager 1 year warranty which the bike comes with is likely not going to satisfy any prospective purchasers of the EX1, you will be forced to either purchase an 1 year extended warranty for $79 or a 3 year extended warranty for $199. The 1 year warranty is the major weakness of Echelon’s EX1 bike.

The price of this bike in comparison to the range of features it offers and the range of other bikes available is frankly, too high.. The spin cycle is mid-range in terms of offered features but priced in the higher-end of high range bikes. This is a solid bike that will serve cyclists and spinners well over the years, but you are paying a little more than you should be for a bike of this functionality. These are good quality bikes that are consistently high-performing, but for spinners on a budget the Echelon EX-5S is not the best budget or bargain buy.

EX-5S Assembly and Shipping:

  • Expected delivery is within one to two weeks using standard shipping depending on the seller.
  • 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 of the Echelon EX5s that require assembly are; front/rear feet, pedals, seat, handlebars, and fitness monitor.

Assembling your Echelon EX-5S indoor spin bike will take a little bit of focus. Following the included and clearly diagrammed and labeled manual will go a long way in figuring out how to assemble this bike, and you can always look online for additional videos to show how to put the more complex parts together.

The more detailed parts, such as the flywheel and the chain system, will come already put-together, so you won’t need to worry about how to assemble the inner and more complicated workings of the bike. However, you will likely need a few small tools and some muscle to get each part situated firmly and safely within each other.

Echelon EX-5S Smart Connect Bike Pros:

Silent Resistance:

The magnetic resistance system is by far one of the best and most attractive component of the Echelon EX-5S indoor spin bike. The sleek, no-contact braking, manual resistance adjustment during pre-designed workout, and no slip transmission belt all work together to make your spinning ride a silent yet powerful workout. The magnetic system is also highly durable and adjustable as a result of the variable resistance knob, meaning that your bike is very customizable and can stand up to years of regular and intensive use.

Integrated Digital Monitor

The 21.5” HD touchscreen console and technical integration are a huge benefit on these fitness bikes. The straightforward ride diagnostics provided by the Echelon Fit app are easy to read and generates accurate and useful feedback with every stride. The Bluetooth connectivity is an additional helpful feature, though having ANT+ connectivity would be nice.

Bluetooth, SPD, and Shelf

These three features of the Echelon EX5s indoor cycling bike make the ride more enjoyable and safer. The pedals allow you to ride with regular gym sneakers or specific 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 EX1 and the EX3, the EX5s Smart Connect cycle 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.

Echelon EX-5S Smart Connect Bike Cons:

Wide Q-Factor:

The awkwardly large q-factor is probably the biggest drawback to the Echelon 5S. 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 feel stiff and awkwardly built.

Monitor Subscription:

Though the digital monitor is a huge plus in terms of technological integration, the major issue it presents is that it requires an additional subscription for full functionality. And it only works with one single application (Echelon app). Though it’s under $40/month, it’s still an additional expense that’s necessary if you want your monitor to work at all. It would be nice if this price was included from the get-go especially as this is a higher priced bike to begin with.

Last Word on the Echelon EX-5S

The Echelon EX-5S indoor exercise bike is definitely the best Echelon spin bike offering, but in the larger spin bike world it’s a bit of a mediocre performer. The sturdy design and durable flywheel and drive guarantee many years of powerful rides and workouts, and the versatility of the SPD pedals allows riders to pursue all types of workouts, big benefits to every rider. The Echelon EX-5S Smart Connect indoor bike offers compelling performance capabilities and top of the line technological integration, but there are a few major drawbacks that set the Echelon EX-5S back when it could be really dominating the spin world.

The Echelon EX-5S exercise bike is a mid-range bike at a high-range price that underperforms in a few major ways. The extra expense in order to guarantee a functional monitor and the wide q-factor are annoying aspects of this bike that limit its affordability, versatility, and function. Though two negatives in comparison to many benefits may seem relatively small, these are big negatives that can drag down the overall performance of the bike. All things considered, the Echelon EX-5S is a good bike, but its high price and negative components make it an inconsistent buy.

8.5Expert Score
Echelon EX5S Indoor Cycling Bike

The Echelon EX-5S is a powerful indoor cycle that offers good performance with some big drawbacks. The simple, low-maintenance belt and magnetic resistance are huge benefits for many riders, offering a powerful spin and a challenging workout, and the built-in touchscreen monitor generates detailed and immediate feedback, but only if you’ve paid for the privilege. The price of the Echelon EX-5S is a whopping $1,900, a huge price tag for such an average performing bike, especially considering the fact that its monitor doesn’t allow streaming on the web (watching Netflix, check social media, etc) or track stats with other cycling apps such as Zwift. We know the Echelon EX-5S offers powerful workouts, but the high price tag and continuing expense to the Echelon app (not compatible with other apps) make it okay at best. Simply said, in 2020, it is unacceptable to sell a 22″ touchscreen that can only be used with one application.

Warranty and Support
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