Echelon EX5S Review: Many things to know before buying
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.
Ever since the QZ application was released, the Echelon smart connect bikes became extremely popular. Before this application, you couldn’t connect the Echelon bikes properly with the Peloton and Zwift, and you were stuck with the Echelon for life.
However, now you can get the QZ application from App Store or Play Store and connect the Echelon EX5-s seamlessly to the application of your choice. Later in this review, I will explain everything to know about the QZ and how to connect it with the Echelon Fit EX5-s Smart Connect Fitness Bike.
In 2022, with the help of the QZ app, the Echelon EX-5S smart connect bike offers a luxury, boutique spinning experience with the application of choice and automatic resistance, bringing you the same quality and excitement of a spin studio class from the comfort of your own home. Before I go into more in detail about the Echelon EX5-s smart bike, let’s find out where this model stands in the Echelon smart connect fitness indoor bike series.
Echelon Smart Connect Indoor Bikes Comparisons
Let me start with the Echelon Ex15. It doesn’t include a built-in screen and it’s the most basic and most affordable indoor bike among all the other 6 different models that Echelon has to offer.
Unlike other Echelon fitness bikes that have both, manual as well as electronically adjustable magnetic resistance, the Ex15 resistance can’t be changed automatically when you are on Zwift or watching a Peloton class. So, you would need to change the resistance manually by turning the knob.
The second model from the bottom is the Echelon EX1. It has its flywheel in the back of the bike so it’s more stable and takes more space than the EX15. The EX1 also has a more advanced magnetic resistance (electronic as well as manual) that you can set to automatically change intensity on Zwift, Echelon, or Peloton.
The third model from the bottom and probably the most popular model is the Echelon EX3 smart connect bike. It has a flywheel in the back which keeps the drivetrain away from the sweat zone and also add more stability to the bike. Just like the EX1, this model also an advanced manual and electronic magnetic resistance. So, you can set the bike to change your intensity every time an online spin bike class from peloton calls out a new resistance level.
The fourth and fifth models are the EX5 and the EX5-s. I have to admit, they are more comfortable than the EX1, EX3, and E15 Echelon bikes. Obviously, it is because they kept improving the design and added extra features. For example, they added horizontal and vertical adjustments on the handlebars of the EX5 and the EX5s while all the former models only had vertical adjustments.
Echelon also built more convenient water bottle holders as well as a better tablet holder so you can place your tablet on the bike at a correct angle for your height without creating an obstacle on the handlebars. The Echelon EX5 fitness bike is $299 more expensive than the EX3 and I think it is very well worth it, especially if you or your partner don’t fall within the average height. The EX5 models allow for a perfect bike fit and its handlebars adjust in 4-direction (up, down, forward, and backward).
As for the Echelon EX5 and the EX5-S, they are exactly the same smart bikes with manual+electronic magnetic resistance. The EX5s model has a console and costs $1500 while the EX5 model doesn’t have a monitor and costs $999.
Unforutnelty the 22-inch screen on the Echelon EX5-S is only limited to the Echelon Fit app. I normally ride my indoor bike with the Zwift or Peloton for workout variety so it makes no sense for me to pay $500 more for the EX5-s and then use my own personal tablet as a screen.
That said, if you don’t want to use your personal tablet and phone but prefer to ride your indoor bike only with the Echelon Fit application with its built-in console, it’s worth paying a little more for the Echelon EX5-S rather than buying the Echelon EX5.
I would have loved the Echelon EX5-s if the screen allowed me to install the application of my choice and connect the bike with it. But unfortunately, that’s not the case because Echelon wants you to use their application on the built-in screen that comes with the Echelon EX5s smart connect fitness bike.
I personally prefer the Echelon EX5 because it’s less expensive and I am okay to use my own tablet and phone to connect the bike with the Echelon, Zwift, Peloton, and Strava applications.
Recently, Echelon has also released the EX7-s smart fitness bike which costs around $2000. Unlike the EX5 and the EX5-s smart bikes which were designed for home personal use, the EX7-S is made to handle the pressure of commercial facilities and more frequent daily use. In addition to a more durable structure and sturdier crank arms, the EX7-S also has a better seat and more comfortable handlebars.
If money is not a primary factor, you can buy the EX7-s but I would personally stick to the EX5 mainly because the console on the EX7-s is only limited to the Echelon Fit app, just like the Echelon Ex5-s model. So, even if I spend $2000 on the Echelon EX7-s, I would still have to use my own tablet to connect the bike with the Zwift and Peloton.
|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 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 I think it’s overpriced when indoor bikes like Peloton Original Bike and Nordictrack S22i are 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 the Nordictrack S22i studio bike. Echelon Ex5s is simply lower quality and has less technology especially compared to S22i.
For instance, the Echelon EX-5S’s console doesn’t rotate to the right and left (it flips up and down), and there is no cooling fan or HDMI connectivity while its alternative, the Nordictrack S22i comes with a rotatable screen and cooling fan. Additionally, the Nordictrack S22i has an incline and decline system that moves the bike 10 degrees forward and 20 degrees backward to mimic uphill and downhill.
Not just in terms of features, but also in terms of quality, both the Nordictrack S22i and the Peloton Bike+ beat the Echelon Ex5-S. They are both commercial studio bikes while the Echelon EX5-s is a home personal bike.
However, there are two major reasons why someone might want to choose the Echelon EX5-s over the Peloton Bike Original.
First, Echelon EX-5S has an electronic magnetic resistance that allows automatic resistance change while Peloton Bike Original has a manual magnetic resistance that can’t do automatic resistance change.
Second, Echelon EX5-s’s handlebars adjust horizontally and vertically so you can get a better bike fit while the Peloton Bike only has vertical handlebar adjustment. I know there is a solution for the Peloton handlebars to become horizontally adjustable but it would cost you an additional $200.
Aside from the Peloton and Nordictrack, there is another lesser-known indoor bike by Proform which can be an excellent Echelon EX5-s smart connect fitness bike alternative. Just like the Echelon EX5s, it has a 22-inch HD screen and electronic resistance.
The only difference is that the Echelon console works with the Echelonfit app while the ProForm console works with the iFit app. Both of these indoor cycles can be paired up with Zwift or Peloton through Bluetooth and the QZ app. However, you would have to use your own tablet and disregard the built-in consoles on the bikes because those screens only work with the application of the brand.
With that out of the way, if 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 can provide years of cardio workouts 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.
|Proform Studio||Vertically adjustable||iFit||No||Cage||Swivel 22-inch||Automatic magnetic||197mm||100% Compatible with QZ app|
|Peloton Bike||Vertically adjustable||Peloton||No||Look Delta||22-inch (no swivel)||Manual magnetic||170mm||Partially compatible with DFC accessory|
|Nordictrack S22i||Vertically adjustable||iFit||Yes + Cooling fan||Cage||Swivel 22-inch||Automatic magnetic||150mm||Partially compatible with QZ app|
|Echelon EX5s||Horizontally & Vertically adjustable||Echelon||No||SPD & Cage||Flips 22-inch||Automatic magnetic||202mm||100% Compatible with QZ app|
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 feet 12 inches to 6 feet 4 inches
- Power Sourced through included power ports
- Transportation Wheels
The technical capacity of the Echelon EX-5S spin cycle is 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 and app connectivity:
- 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 level, 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 unless jailbroken).
- On your phone and tablet, you can use the QZ application to connect the Echelon EX5s with the Zwift, Peloton, and other indoor cycling apps.
- The QZ application costs $5 one-time purchase and is available for Android and IOS devices.
- Through the QZ app, you can connect the Echelon EX5-s to Zwift, Strava, and Peloton to transfer speed, cadence, heart rate, watt, and automatic resistance change.
- The monthly subscription fee ($39)is not required unless you want to use the monitor to access live and pre-recorded classes.
- To see your workout stats on the bike console, you can use the “freestyle” on the Echelon Fit app without a paid membership.
- FreeStyle on the Echelon app includes pre-recorded classes (not live) that you can use but it won’t save your daily workout progress and ads are displayed on the screen.
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 (the bike’s console) 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 possibility to save metrics unless you’ve paid for the app.
But if you don’t want to save your daily workout and you are not interested in live spinning classes as well as the large Echelon library, you can use the freestyle rides on Echelon. There are some pre-recorded classes available on the free version.
In order to access the Freestyle you need to connect the bike’s screen to your wifi system, then create a free Echelon account without adding your credit card information. There are some annoying ads on the freestyle but that’s to be expected from the free version.
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 you’ll have to purchase them yourself. The subscription also offers thousands of live, recorded, and daily classes you can follow, including spinning, cycling, stretching, weight training, meditation, yoga, rowing, and more.
Because the bike has a large built-in console, there’s no built-in tablet mount to place your 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.
Or you could just buy one of the Crostice which is one of the flat Peloton phone mounts and fits the Echelon EX5-S without any problem. For your tablet, you can buy the Lamicall Goosneck holder and attach it behind the Echelon 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.
Although you can’t install applications on the console of the bike, you do have the option to connect the Echelon ex5-s to other applications via Bluetooth and your own smart devices. Thankfully the Echelon EX5s sends out the ride data via Bluetooth and it’s not restricted like the Peloton bikes.
So, you can also connect the Echelon EX5s to Zwift, Peloton, Strava, and many other indoor cycling applications if you use the QZ app on your phone and install the third-party app (let’s say Zwift) on your tablet or smart TV.
The QZ will take the workout stats such as rpm, speed, watt, and resistance level from the bike via Bluetooth and then sends it to Zwift on your TV or tablet. This application will also enable your Echelon EX5s to automatically change resistance on Zwift and Peloton.
So, when going uphill, or when a virtual trainer announces a new intensity, your bike’s resistance will automatically change. The same thing when you are watching a power cycling zone class. Just know that automatic resistance doesn’t work when watching live spin bike classes.
Replace the screen with a Samsung monitor to use other apps
The screen of the Echelon EX5s is limited to the Echelon application. So, if you want to use another application like Peloton, you need to jailbreak the monitor. Even when you jailbreak the screen of the Echelon EX5-s, it is still not going to work with Zwift and many other apps that require Google Play Store.
One of your options is to completely remove the tablet/console of the EX5’s bike and mount a Smart Samsung screen with a DEX option such as this M5 Series 24-Inch FHD.
This Samsung monitor has the same bolt pattern as the current mount on the bike so you should be able to mount the screen on the bike without having to buy additional mounts. The VESA spacing is 100mm in case you decide to buy a different model of the screen.
Assuming you also have a phone with the DEX option, you can wirelessly connect your phone to the monitor and share screen. In this case, you will be installing the QZ and the Peloton (or Zwift) applications on your phone.
In this solution, your phone becomes a touchpad to control the monitor. You can open QZ and peloton to overlay without any issues.
Dual-Sided SPD-Equipped Pedals:
- Pedals have SPD elements for clipping specific shoes and toe cages for regular gym shoes
- Echelon EX5s Q-factor is 202mm, pro cyclists might find it too wide
- Pedals thread size is 9/16 14.30mm, replacement are widely available
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 ribbed poly V 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 from 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.
- Resistance on Echelon EX5s bike can be changed via knob manually and also via applications electronically.
- Via QZ, an application like Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton can automatically change the bike’s resistance and follow the instructor or program.
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 a smart electronic magnetic resistance, your built-in workouts through the Echelon Fit and other compatible apps can 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.
Overall, the magnetic resistance is much better than friction resistance and the fact that it allows both manual and electronic adjustment is just amazing. It 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.
- You can adjust the Echelon EX5s bike to fit riders between 4 feet 12-inch to 6 feet 4-inch.
The handlebars on the Echelon EX-5s are multi-position, Aero-handlebars that are designed to adjust to your needs quickly and frequently. They adjust in all directions for a customizable approach to your exercise.
You have easy access to the included HD touchscreen, but there’s no phone 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.
I highly recommend you consider adding a phone mount to the handlebars if you are going to use the bike with the Peloton or Zwift. For non-echelon apps, you would also need to buy a tablet shelf to put on top of the bike’s console.
Echelon could have done better with the handlebars and added a set of padded elbow rests and racing drop bars. But even more importantly, they could and should have added gear shifter so I could focus on the ride instead of moving my hand to reach the screen or the knob to change resistance levels. It would have been much easier, especially because the Echelon EX5s already has smart electronic resistance in place.
The padded, performance saddle on the Echelon EX-5S is comfortable and flexible but of course, it’s not for everyone just every other bike seat. Use the bike for a while with indoor cycling shorts and make sure the bike is set up correctly for you height. If it still hurts, follow this guide to find a comfortable replacement saddle for the Echelon EX5s indoor bike.
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 but you need to buy the 3-pound dumbbells separately.
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 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-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.
- An 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 https://echelonfit.com/pages/register-warranty and fill out a claim there for whatever issue you are having.
Since the meager 1 year warranty that 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 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 Electronic Magnetic Resistance:
The magnetic resistance system is by far one of the best and most attractive components of the Echelon EX-5S indoor spin bike. The sleek, no-contact braking, manual and electronic resistance adjustment during the 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 huge benefits of these fitness bikes. The straightforward ride diagnostics provided by the Echelon Fit app are easy to read and generate accurate and useful feedback with every stride. Bluetooth connectivity is an additional helpful feature, though having ANT+ connectivity would be nice.
Bluetooth and SPD
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 application.
Fully Adjustable Handlebars
Unlike the older models, the Echelon EX5s bike bike 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:
- There is no resistance controls or gear shifter on the handlebars like those on Nordictrack S22i;
- In order to properly connect the bike to non-Echelon applications, you need to use the QZ application as abridge;
- No tablet holder or any sort of media shelf on the bike to keep your personal devices;
- No physical or virtual gearing to change the flywheel ratio;
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 pedaling motions, just makes this q-factor feel stiff and awkwardly built.
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 save your workouts. It would be nice if they allowed me to install whatever application I prefer on the console. After all, I paid $500 more (compared to Echelon EX5) for the console so I should be able to decide how I was to use it.
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 $1,500, 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, checking social media, etc) or tracking 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 for saving workouts make it okay at best. Simply said, in 2022, it is unacceptable to sell a 22″ touchscreen for $500 and then don’t allow the buyer to use with the application of their choice.