Echelon EX7S Indoor Cycling Bike Review: Good Quality But Expensive!
Echelon is a colossal name in indoor cycling and spinning, and it’s pretty easy to see why. They make an incredible range of exercise products, and anyone would be happy to have a spin bike like Echelon Ex7s in their home gym. This was probably one of the first bikes you came across when you started hunting down that perfect exercise bike for you, as it’s trendy.
Now, the question is, does the Echelon EX7s still worth its steeped $2000 price tag in 2022? In short, I have to admit that there are better indoor cycling bikes for that crazy price tag. Today, in October 2022, the EX7s can’t really stand a chance against the Bowflex Velocore bikes, Peloton bike+, and Nordictrack indoor cycles.
And the main reason is that the Echelon EX7-s doesn’t offer enough or as much as the other indoor bikes in this price range do. For instance, there is no incline/decline system and there isn’t enough technology built into the bike to justify its price tag unless you love the Echelon Fit app and want to buy an Echelon bike with a touchscreen monitor to only use the Echelon Fit application.
The main issue with the Echelon EX7-s (and the EX5-s) is that their 22-inch monitors don’t work with non-echelon apps. Don’t get me wrong, the Echelon EX7-s connect bike does connect with the Zwift, Peloton, and Strava (through the QZ app via Bluetooth) applications.
However, you need to use your tablet and phone as a monitor because the bike’s 22-inch screen that you paid $1000 more for it (compared to the Echelon EX5 bike), is only designed to work with the Echelon Fit app.
So, let me be more clear. If someday you decide to use the Zwift app with the Echelon Fit EX7-S indoor bike, you should ignore the built-in screen on the bike and use your own tablet/phone to connect with the Zwift.
It’s not an honest way of doing business because if you make me pay $1000 more for the Echelon EX7s mainly because of its 22-inch HD screen, you should as well give me the possibility to use that screen with whichever application I prefer. Not just with the Echelon Fit Application.
Due to the fact that Echelon has made the screen on this model to be limited to their own application, I recommend an Echelon bike that doesn’t have a screen like the EX5 smart connect bike and often costs less than $100. If you don’t want to use the Echelon app and prefer to go with Zwift and or the Peloton app, the EX5 and the EX3 are better, in my opinion.
In order to help you understand the differences between the 6 models of Echelonfit Bikes all the way from the most basic model which is called EX15 to the most recent model, the EX7-S, I created the comparison chart below.
Right after I compared the Echelon Ex7s with the other Echelon smart connect bikes in the EX Series, I will also help you understand your alternative options to Echelon EX7s from other well-known brands.
I hope the Echelon smart fitness indoor bike comparisons and the EX7s alternatives make the process of choosing your next indoor bike easier. But if you have any questions or doubts, get in touch with me and I will get back to you asap.
Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bike Comparisons
The EX7s is the most equipped model in the Echelons range of fitness bikes, where it sits alongside the EX1, EX3, EX5, EX5s, and the EX15. This latest model features five major improvements compared to EX5s; It has a better seat, protective rubber guards for stretching, a thicker/commercial crankset, a more responsive monitor with the ability to flip the screen up and down to 180-degree, and a set of more comfortable handlebars with flat tops.
I guess the most obvious similarity between the Echelon EX7 with the rest of the Echelon smart bikes from the EX Series (except for the EX15) is that they all have dual resistance technology that allows Echelon, Peloton and Zwift automatic resistance change.
Basically, you can either turn the knob and change the resistance or you can just go on the Echelon Fit app (or Zwift and Peloton app via QZ app) and set the EX7-s to automatically changes its resistance when there is an uphill on Zwift or when the spinning class instructor on Peloton calls out a new resistance level.
Again, thanks to the QZ application that allows doing all these cool things with the Echelon smart bikes. If it wasn’t for the QZ, these Echelon smart connect fitness bikes wouldn’t have connected with the non-Echelon apps and therefore you would be stuck with the Echelon Fit app forever.
Make a note that the only Echelon spin bike that can NOT change its resistance automatically is the Echelon EX15 bike because this model has a basic manually adjustable resistance and there is no motor attached to the magnets. Not my favorite Echelon spin bike but it’s the cheapest option by the Echelon Fitness brand.
The price comes in at around $2000 and sits at the higher end of the market with smart bikes. The assembly is straightforward, and all the tools are provided. When shipped, it’s packed with a lot of support, so it will take a little bit of time to remove these supports, and the total build time will be about an hour to two hours.
I would rather the bike travel supported in trade for a little bit longer on build time, so for me, I was pleased to see the care and attention that had gone into this. The warranty is 90 days, and if you register the bike, you get 12 months. I think this is an okayish warranty and I would be satisfied with that as most exercise bikes offer a similar amount.
|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 EX7s Alternative Bikes
Echelon has been in the indoor bike industry for a while now and their latest model, the EX7S, was supposed to be a game-changer. Although Echelon has upped their game with the Ex7x, they’re still playing catch-up to Nordictrack. And unfortunately, the Ex7s doesn’t quite measure up to its competitors.
At $1999, the Echelon EX7s is one of the most expensive indoor bikes on the market and it doesn’t have any special features like an incline, decline, cooling fans, or even a gear shifter on the handlebars to justify that price tag.
Additionally, the EX7S is lacking in terms of design and build quality. It’s less stable compared to other indoor bikes like the Nordictrack S22i. The Echelon Ex7-s monitor also can’t be rotated to right and left but only flips up and down.
The S22i costs $500 less and it’s worth every penny. Its screen does a 360-degree rotation, has an automatic incline and decline option, and more smart resistance controls on the handlebars which is better than the resistance knob that comes with the Echelon EX7-S.
At $39 per month, the Echelon membership is also more expensive than the iFit Individual Package which costs $15 per month with thousands of on-demand and up to 7 daily live cycling classes. If you’re looking for a quality indoor bike, Nordictrack S22i is a better value bike than the Echelon EX7s.
Ultimately, Echelon has some serious work to do if they want to compete with the likes of Peloton, Bowflex, and Nordictrack.
|Peloton Original Bike||$1599||Although it doesn’t have electronic resistance like the Echelon EX7, it is a good quality indoor bike that costs $500 less than the EX7-s bike.||Rotatable|
|ProForm Studio Pro||$1299||Its handlebars aren’t horizontally adjustable like the Echelon Ex7s but it is nearly $700 cheaper and its screen rotates to right and left, not just up and down.||Rotatable|
|Bowflex Velocore 22||$1999||Although its resistance is only manually adjustable and there is no auto resistance change, the Velocore does offer a unique pivoting feature.||Fixed|
|Nordictrack S22i Bike||$1599||I think it’s the best value alternative indoor bike to the Echelon EX7s. Aside from being $400 less expensive, it has more features.||Rotatable|
Echelon EX7-S 22-inch Screen
The monitor is incredible. The quality is fantastic, and it’s enormous. The screen is a 22 Inch High-Quality touch screen. Unlike many other screens, it’s responsive and fast and doesn’t need much time at all to load into cycling classes and training profiles.
The screen also is full of ports in the back, from USB to audio jacks. It’s pretty open to charging devices and headphones. As with other Echelon products, the screen is limited to the Echelon application, and they want you to be on their membership subscription program.
The cost of the Echelon Fit application subscription is $39.99 a month, which may seem like a lot, but when you have 3500+ previous classes in your hands and live classes every day, I can see the value.
You also have options for freeride modes without any paid subscription. It doesn’t give you access to the content on the Echelon app but will allow you to see your progress on your bike’s screen.
With the paid Echelon fit subscription, you have access to strength and conditioning, boxing, pilates, HIIT, and tone, to name a few. It’s incredible when it comes to being interactive, and I can see why people pick this as the variety is just huge.
The screen can flip 180 degrees, so any off-the-bike classes will be much easier to do. But you can’t stand on the sides of the bike and have to go in front of the bike to do your cross-training because the screen doesn’t rotate right and left like the Nordictrack S15i, it only flips.
It also has Bluetooth connectivity so that you can link up heart rate monitors and even headphones wirelessly. When you’re on the application, you get all the data you need, time, distance, heart rate, calories, rpm, resistance level, and even watts.
Also, you have a live leaderboard in some classes, which is very fun and adds a competitive side. For the Heart Rate, you will require a Bluetooth heart rate monitor which is not included. When it comes to sound quality, it is excellent, and this is down to the front-facing speakers, and these add to the experience. This is an absolute beast of a screen, and probably in the top three screens, I have ever seen on a spinning bike before.
As I said, although the Echelon EX7-s smart connect fitness bike doesn’t give you the option to use other applications on its screen, you do have the ability to connect the Echelon Ex7-s to other applications using your own tablet and phone.
You would need to download and install the QZ on your phone (it’s available for ios and android devices) and then turn on the Bluetooth on your phone to connect the bike with the QZ app. Once that’s done, you can download your favorite cycling application (let’s say Zwift in this case) on your tablet, sing into your profile and have the QZ synch the data to the Zwift.
Basically, the QZ app will be the bridge that gets your cycling stats from the Echelon EX7 indoor bike and makes them transferable to the other applications. If it wasn’t for the QZ, you couldn’t connect the Echelon EX7s spin bike to Peloton and other apps. The QZ will also give you additional controls over your bike. For example automatic resistance and which data you would want to synch to the indoor cycling app.
EchelonFit EX7-S Transmission and Resistance
The transmission is an exceptional feature that I was impressed by. It is a belt drive system, not just any belt system though it is a ribbed Kevlar Poly V Belt Drive. This will make the bike practically maintenance-free, stay nice and sharp, and be very quiet.
That said, it would have been even better if the EX7s had a “toothed Kevlar Ploy V belt” because those tend to offer better power efficiency when you are out of the saddle and doing high-intensity workouts. The reason is that toothed belts don’t easily slip on the pulley.
As for the resistance type, it is magnetic, meaning it is a frictionless setup. So, you don’t have to change brake pads or lube the wool pads to make the workout quieter.
When the flywheel is spinning, you can add resistance by turning the dial in, bringing magnets closer and closer, which creates a stronger eddy current against the flow of the direction of the wheel, making the resistance.
You have 32 levels, and the range is enough to suit a brand-new indoor cyclist to a seasoned professional indoor cyclist. The magnets are worth mentioning as well. Unlike other bikes, these are neodymium earth magnets and are not often seen on a spinning bike.
But what I love the most about the Echelon EX7s resistance is the dual adjustment option. You can either turn the knob manually to adjust the intensity of the bike, or you can change the resistance electronically by touching on the screen.
Additionally, the resistance of the Echelon EX7s is smart. When I connect the bike to Zwift (via the QZ app), I have the possibility to set the app to change my resistance based on the workout program.
Also, when watching online Peloton spinning classes (not the live Peloton classes as those aren’t auto-resistance), I can set the app to automatically change my bike’s resistance when the trainer changes his/her resistance.
Echelonfit EX7 Pedals and Q-Factor
The pedals are excellent. They are high quality and not only come with a toe strap on one side but SPD clip in on the other. This is something the Echelon has over Nordictrack, and it is nice to see them making an effort with this.
Many people eventually go into clip-ins as this benefits the experience of riding a bike indoors and comes to help with generating extra power and structure. It goes without saying that using indoor cycling shoes to clip in the Echelon ex7 is safer and more comfortable than riding with regular gym shoes.
The Q Factor on indoor bikes is the size of the bracket between the pedal cranks arms. It would be around 150mm on a standard road bike, and on a mountain bike, 170mm. Indoor bikes tend to be around this or slightly more prominent.
The Echelon EX7 is 204mm. This for a pro cyclist who is used to road bikes would feel too wide and not efficient in terms of power/wattage. For an amateur or a mid-level cyclist might not be even a noticeable difference.
The flywheel weighs 28.6 pounds, it’s on the lighter side, but when it comes to magnetic resistance, that is fine as the system Echelon has in place requires this. I think it would have been great if the flywheel was covered to make it safer for households with children, something like the Life Fitness IC7.
Ex7-s Smart Connect Fitness Bike Fit
The bike itself weighs 124lbs. It’s not the lightest and not the heaviest, but it can be easily moved around on the wheels which are on the front. In the end, it’s 80-pound lighter than the Nordictrack S22i but 38-pound heavier than the Echelon EX15.
It’s 54” long and 20” wide, so it’s not a giant bike by far. It’s middle range specially compared to the rowing machine and elliptical machines. If you want a more compact Echelon smart connect bike, you should do with the EX15 which has its flywheel in front and take less space.
The Echelon EX7s on the other hand is made of a robust metal water resistance design, and the flywheel sits out of the way of possible sweat drops on the rear. The frame suits riders from 4ft 5” to 6ft 8” and a maximum weight of 325lbs. It can cater to a lot of users, significantly more petite users. It’s a brilliant design, and the little touches make this.
The power supply port can be connected in the front or the back, making the Echelon EX7-S easy to be set up anywhere and making wires easy to hide away. Also, it has a port for directly wiring the Ethernet. If you want a stronger connection to your internet, you can hardwire the bike.
Handlebars, Saddle, and Extras
Echelon has done a better job designing the handlebars of the EX7s bike compared to the previous models. They are adjustable horizontally and vertically which is crucial for a proper bike fit, especially for shorter riders.
Although they added a flat surface on the handlebars instead of the round bars for the comfort of the elbows, they are still far from ideal. They should have added drop bars and padded below rests like the ones Life Fitness IC8 bike has.
They could also add two gear shifters on both sides to change resistance comfortably without having to move your hands from the grips to reach the screen or the knob. But other than that, they have more hand positions and they are a unique design and more comfortable compared to other Echelon spin bikes. They have flat tops and are grooved in all the right places for maximum comfort and steady grips.
The saddle has also been developed of very high quality and feels great, especially after a few rides. Just like the handlebars, the saddle also moves vertically and horizontally. This is a great feature, and many of its competitors like the Noridictrack, Bowflex Velocore, and Peloton bikes don’t have this ability.
It has two bottle holders that sit conveniently out of the way in front of you but dumbbells go behind the seat and you can use them off the bike for cross-training and upper-body workouts. Mine didn’t have those included so you would have to buy them separately.
Unfortunately, there is no cooling fan to keep you fresh during summer rides but there is a place on the handlebars to keep your tablet on the bike. It would have been great if they built a specific phone holder on the side of the screen or below the handlebars.
Echelon EX7 Features:
- Q-Factor: 204mm
- Pedals: Dual-sided Toe clip Spd
- Flywheel: 28 Pounds
- Resistance: 32 Magnetic Levels
- Transmission: Kevlar Poly V Belt
- Weight capacity: 325 Pounds
- Height capacity: 4’5″ – 6’8″
- Bike weight: 126 Pounds
- Bike dimension: 20″W x 54″H
- Monitor: 22” HD Touch Screen
- Connectivity: WiFi
- Applications: Only Echelon
- RPM tracking: Yes
- Speed tracking: Yes
- Watt tracking: Yes (Estimation)
- Ports: USB and Charging ports
- Cooling fan: No
- Improvements: Handlebars and Monitor
- Alternative Option: Nordictrack S22i
- Warranty: 1-Year
Echelon EX7-S Pros
- Frictionless electronic + manual magnetic resistance system
- Quiet and extra durable Kevlar poly V belt drive
- All workout information including Watt, RPM, speed, HR, and resistance level are displayed
- A 22-inch high-quality responsive touchscreen
- The monitor flips forward up to 180-degree for cross training
- More comfortable handlebars and movement
- Great User capacity, both height, and weight
- Bluetooth and Wifi Connectivity
- Audio and device charging USB ports
- Can perfectly synch all stats with Zwift, Strava, and Peloton via the QZ application
- Automatic resistance change on Zwift, Peloton, and Echelon application
Echelon EX7-S Cons
- The bike’s screen is limited to Echelon application, only
- Lack of drop handlebars and padded elbow rests
- No cooling fan or programs on the screen
- Watt is estimated (no power meter)
Although the Echelon EX7s bike is a good product, it’s not worth its high price tag of $2000. I would recommend looking closely at this bike if its price drops to less than $1500. The Peloton Bike Original costs only $1599 and is a great alternative to the more expensive Echelon EX7s. Another affordable smart connect bike option is the Nordictrack S22i, which costs $1599. If you’re looking for an even more affordable option, the ProForm Studio Bike Pro 22 costs only $1299. However, if you love the Echelon Fit app and would like to have a built-in screen on the bike to watch the Echelon spinning classes, the Echelon EX7-s is your best bet.