Echelon Smart Connect Bikes: A Game Changer for Indoor Cycling Fans
Of the many different types of indoor spin bikes that now dominate the realm of at-home fitness, Echelon is one that has burst onto the scene somewhat unexpectedly.
They have released a series of spin bikes over time that will easily match up to some other competitors like Peloton.
What we’re here to do is compare all the current and former Echelon’s Smart connect fitness bikes in order to figure out just which one is the best for the price.
We’re going to cover all sorts of different elements of these bikes, such as the technical elements, handlebars, saddles, drivetrain, resistance type, application compatibility, monitors (or lack thereof), and finally the price.
These elements will be compared directly to our charts, while we will give our opinions and a general summary of the features.
At the end of the article, Sayed will go over any other features that didn’t fit in with the general categories and give his professional closing thoughts on the different Echelon connect spin bikes.
Here is a list of reviews that we have written for each Echelon Fit bike, if you have time and are interested to find out in detail, you can click on the links and read our opinions and tips.
- Echelon EX7-S Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Echelon EX5-S Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Echelon EX5 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Echelon EX3 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Echelon EX1 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
- Echelon EX15 Indoor Cycling Bike Review
Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bikes Comparison
|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 Bikes Technical Information
One of the most notable aspects about all of the different Echelon EX spin bikes is just how similar they are in regards to their actual build and technical information. Each one of them (from the Echelon EX1 to the Echelon EX7s) has a max user weight of 300 lbs (136 kg) and has a steel frame. This is pretty convenient, as it means that users don’t have to worry about one bike supporting a certain weight, while the others would not.
The first noticeable difference starts to appear once you look at the weights and dimensions of the various bikes. The smallest of the bikes is the Echelon EX1, which weighs 105 lbs (47 kg). The biggest difference in terms of size for the EX1 is its length, which falls 10 inches below the next closest Echelon bike. The EX1 is a tad bit wider than the others but is also slightly shorter.
The Echelon EX3 and EX5 are nearly identical as far as the technical information goes. The EX5 weighs slightly more, though the weight certainly doesn’t come from the physical build of the bike. In fact, the Echelon EX5 is smaller in terms of length than the EX3. As mentioned before, both are made with a steel frame and have 300 lbs as the weight limit.
Finally, there’s the Echelon EX7s. This is the heaviest of the Echelon bikes. Though again, there is very little difference in terms of the technical information compared to the rest of the Echelon bikes. It weighs 125 lbs (56 kg) and is the tallest of the bikes by a single inch. It is a quarter of an inch smaller in terms of width compared to the Echelon EX1, while it is 2 inches shorter in length compared to the EX3.
|Echelon EX7s Indoor Bike||325 lbs / 147 kg||126 lbs / 57 kg||21.25 inches / cm||52 inches / 132 cm||56 inches / 142 cm||Steel frame rear drive with anti-slip rubber protection guards on the base for stretching|
|Echelon EX5s Indoor Bike||300 lbs / 136 kg||124 lbs / 56 kg||21.25 inches / cm||52 inches / 132 cm||56 inches / 142 cm||Steel Frame, rear drive|
|Echelon EX5 Indoor Bike||300 lbs / 136 kg||112 lbs / 51 kg||20 inches / 51 cm||52 inches / 132 cm||55 inches / 140 cm||Steel Frame, rear drive|
|Echelon EX3 Indoor Bike||300 lbs / 136 kg||105 lbs / 47 kg||20 inches / 51 cm||54 inches / 137 cm||55 inches / 140 cm||Steel Frame, rear drive|
|Echelon EX1 Indoor Bike||300 lbs / 136 kg||105 lbs / 47 kg||22 inches / 56 cm||42 inches / 106.7 cm||53 inches / 134.6 cm||Steel Frame, rear drive|
|Echelon EX-15 Indoor Bike||300 lbs / 136 kg||90 lbs / 40 kg||20 inches / 51 cm||42 inches / 106.7 cm||53 inches / 134.6 cm||Steel Frame, front drive and more compact|
Echelon Bikes Drivetrain and Frame
Up next are the elements in and around the drivetrains and the resistance of the Echelon fitness bikes. Again, there are almost no differences here, as Echelon has made sure that each of the bikes is built well enough to function on its own. There are no instances of corner-cutting or stripped features here, which is nice to see.
Starting with the drivetrain, each of the Echelon Fit bikes has a belt drivetrain. It is the Poly-V belt that is used on most modern belt-driven magnetic spin bikes. A toothed belt would have been better both in terms of durability and power efficiency. Regardless, the belt-driven system does make the workouts on the Echelon inoor bikes much quieter and smoother than it would if it had a chain for the drivetrain.
There is a bit of a difference when it comes to the resistance systems of the spin bikes. All of the Echelon bikes have 32 different levels of magnetic resistance. This means that they last longer and are quieter than a friction system of resistance. The difference here is that the Echelon EX1 does NOT have a specific knob that makes changing these levels of resistance much easier. You can still change the levels of resistance, obviously. However, on the Echelon EX3, EX5 and EX5s, this process is much more streamlined.
What I love the most about the resistance of Echelon EX1 all the way to EX7-s (except for the EX15) is that they are both manually adjustable and electronically adjustable. So, you can either turn the knob or you can touch the button on the application to change resistance. Thanks to the electronic magnetic resistance, you can set up any of these Echelon indoor bikes (except for the EX-15) to automatically change its resistance on Zwift, Peloton, or Echelon App. This way every time an online spinning class instructor calls out a new resistance, your Echelon smart connect bike will automatically change your resistance.
The Q-Factor of every bike measures 202 mm. This is a bit bulkier than many other modern spin bikes, but not quite so much that it becomes actively uncomfortable unless you are a professional road cyclist. For those who might not know, the Q-Factor of a bike is the distance between your feet while sitting on the bike. It is a generally accepted fact that the narrower the Q-Factor, the better. However, it can get to the point where it is so narrow that the legs bend inwards and that becomes uncomfortable as well. Fortunately, that is much rarer and will not be a problem with the Echelon EX bikes.
Finally, there’s the aspect of the Echelon EX Series smart bikes that we haven’t covered yet; the pedals. Many experienced indoor cyclists these days like to use SPD cleats with their bikes thanks to their ability to raise the level of the workout. That has led to many of the indoor bikes being produced to have SPD-compatible pedals. The Echelon EX1, EX3, EX5, EX5s, and EX7-s are no exception to this pattern, with all of them having such pedals. The pedals also have toe cages in order to allow those cyclists who don’t have SPD cleats or just want to exercise in regular athletic shoes to be able to do just that. Echelon should certainly be praised for having both options available to those who choose to use them.
|Echelon EX7s Indoor Bike||Belt||32 levels of magnetic resistance||Manually and electronically with smart automatic adjustment for Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton.||28.6 lbs||204 mm||Commercial SPD compatible pedals with toe cages|
|Echelon EX5s Indoor Bike||Belt||32 levels of magnetic resistance||Manually and electronically with smart automatic adjustment for Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton.||28.6 lbs||202 mm||SPD compatible pedals with toe cages|
|Echelon EX5 Indoor Bike||Belt||32 levels of magnetic resistance||Manually and electronically with smart automatic adjustment for Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton.||28.6 lbs||202 mm||SPD compatible pedals with toe cages|
|Echelon EX3 Indoor Bike||Belt||32 levels of magnetic resistance||Manually and electronically with smart automatic adjustment for Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton.||28.6 lbs||202 mm||SPD compatible pedals with toe cages|
|Echelon EX1 Indoor Bike||Belt||32 levels of magnetic resistance||Manually and electronically with smart automatic adjustment for Zwift, Echelon, and Peloton.||28.6 lbs||202 mm||SPD compatible pedals with toe cages|
|Echelon EX-15 Indoor Bike||Belt||32 levels of magnetic resistance||Only manually adjustable without smart automatic adjustment||20 lbs||202 mm||Toe cages pedals (no SPD elements)|
Echelon Bikes Handlebars and Saddles
The handlebars and additional bits that come in and around the saddle are where some differences can also be spotted amidst the uniformity of the Echelon bikes. Starting with the handlebars themselves, there are a couple of differences between those on the Echelon EX1/EX3 and those of the EX5 and EX5s. The EX1 and EX3 have ergonomic handlebars with an adjustable console that can hold any tablet or entertainment device and rotate around 180 degrees up and down. The handlebars of the EX1, EX3, and EX15 can be adjusted vertically so if you have shorter arms or legs, you might not be able to set up the bike for a more comfortable upright cycling position.
The handlebars of the Echelon EX5, EX5s and EX7-s are described somewhat differently than their comrades. They each have a “Competition Aero handlebar system” that provides both vertical and horizontal adjustment “for either performance or comfort set up”. They are for sure more comfortable than the handlebars of the EX15, EX1 and EX3, and it is nice that all the three newer models are highly adjustable.
The EX7-S in particular has more comfortable handlebars with more hand positions and with flat design on the top of the bars. Unfortunetly none of the Echelon Fit spin bikes have elbow rests. For this price range, they could have added elbow rests as well as racing style bars to the handlebars.
Another thing that I don’t like about the Echelon indoor cycling bikes’ handlebars is the lake of any gear shifting button. Since these Echelon bikes have smart electronic resistance, the designers could have easily add gear shifters on the handlebars like the ones on the Tacx Neo bike.
The saddles of the Echelon bikes are pretty comfortable and easily adjustable based on who is using the bike at the time. The Echelon EX1 doesn’t particularly have anything of note about the saddle. It can be adjusted horizontally and vertically, but that’s about it. The Echelon EX3, EX5, and EX5s, have a somewhat more fluid ability to adjust their seats. They define it as “a competition-style seat” that has a 6 inch lever-style adjustment mechanism.
This method works pretty well, though there’s not some mystical, “cannot miss out on” feature here that you absolutely need to have. It’s just a different method of adjustment that makes it slightly quicker and easier to use. We’re going to praise them for that, but they might be overselling its importance a tad bit. It’s worth knowing the EX7-S has the best seat among all Echelon exercise bikes with more cushion and overall better design.
Staying hydrated is always important during these exercise sessions, which means that water bottle holders are nice to have. The Echelon EX5, EX5s, EX7-s are all quite nice in this regard, as they have 2 water bottle holders integrated underneath the handlebars. The EX15, EX1 and EX3 fall slightly shorter, only having one water bottle holder that is integrated on the frame. I don’t find it as comfortable as those on the EX5 and Ex7 models.
Finally, there are a series of bonus additions that each of these bikes comes with. The Echelon EX1 and EX3 are fairly straightforward, as it comes with a couple of seat-mounted dumbbell holders. This is nice for anyone who wants to get some upper body work done while they cycle.
The Echelon EX5 and EX7 has a handheld rack on the seat slide alongside some lightweight triangular tubing. This seems fairly different to the additions the EX1 offers, but it is what it is. The Echelon EX5 also has a weight rack behind the seat that holds two dumbbells, though the dumbbells are sold separately.
Interestingly, that’s the only addition of note. The Echelon EX5s gets all of the little bonuses. It has the weight rack of the EX5, but it also has power ports at the front and back of the bike. The EX5s also has kick guards on the frame stabilizer weldments.
|Name||Handlebars||Handlebar Adjustments||Saddle Adjustability||Media Tray||Bottle Holders||Additional Notes|
|Echelon EX7s Indoor Bike||Competition Aero handlebar with flat tops||Horizontal and Vertical||Horizontal and Vertical||Yes||Dual, integrated on the handlebars||Comfortable seat and weight rack behind seat|
|Echelon EX5s Indoor Bike||Competition Aero handlebars||Horizontal and Vertical||Horizontal and Vertical||Yes||Dual, integrated on the handlebars||Weight rack behind seat|
|Echelon EX5 Indoor Bike||Competition Aero handlebar||Horizontal and Vertical||Horizontal and Vertical||Yes||Dual, integrated on the handlebars||Weight rack behind seat|
|Echelon EX3 Indoor Bike||Basic handlebars||Vertical only||Horizontal and Vertical||Yes||Dual, integrated beneath the handlebars||Lightweight triangular tubing, handheld rack on seat slide|
|Echelon EX1 Indoor Bike||Basic handlebars||Vertical only||Horizontal and Vertical||Yes||One, integrated above the flywheel||Seat mounted dumbbell holders|
|Echelon EX-15 Indoor Bike||Basic handlebars||Vertical only||Horizontal and Vertical||Yes||One, integrated above the flywheel||No weight holder|
Echelon Bikes Monitors and Connections
Now we’re coming to one of the slightly confusing parts about the Echelon EX bikes. We just said that the handlebars would allow for the monitors on all of the bikes to be flipped 180 degrees up and down (can’t rotate right and left).
What wasn’t mentioned was that when referring to a “monitor” with these bikes, it simply means a place to put a tablet such as an iPad. There is no actual computer built into a few Echelon smart bikes. Instead, they take the approach of having a Bluetooth connection to their Echelon Fit App and using that as their “console”.
The app itself is an attempt by Echelon to allow users to either start or continue going to cycling classes that they have set up through the app. There are on-demand classes, live classes, and virtual bike rides that can offer scenic routes through a variety of beautiful outdoor locations.
There are different instructors, biking styles, music choices and more. The app also tracks a variety of statistics while you exercise, such as the distance traveled, RPM, heart rate and resistance that was used.
Overall, the Echelon Fit app offers a pretty solid amount of content for what is normally expected through built-in bike monitors. The only potential downside is that you’ll need a tablet with Bluetooth connection capabilities in order to experience all of this if you buy the EX1, EX3, EX5, or the EX15 Echelon indoor bikes. The Bluetooth connection can also occasionally be suspect, which breaks up the flow of the workout. Admittedly, this is rather uncommon, but it should still be noted.
The problem with this approach is that all of the Echelon EX15, EX1, EX3, EX5, EX5-2, and EX7-S spinning bikes are all incompatible with other apps. If you are a user of Peloton, MyFitnessPal, Zwift, Strava, Wahoo Fitness, or some other fitness apps, you need to use an additional application called QZ to make the bikes compatible.
Ideally, these Echelon stationary bikes should have been designed to work seamlessly with most indoor cycling applications without having to go through a third party app.
Thankfully a talented Italian firmware developer designed the QZ application that you can buy for around $5 (one-time purchase) and connect your Echelon bike to the app via Bluetooth. Then the QZ app receives the workout data from the bike and makes them readable and transferable for the Zwift, Peloton, and Strave application.
Not only the QZ app enables the Echelon bikes to connect with the fitness indoor spinning application of your choice, but it also covers the values where needed. For instance, if you watch a Peloton cycling class, there is 100 resistance levels and this app can help you convert the 32 levels of Echelon to what responds in the peloton’s 100 resistance level.
If you buy an Echelon smart connect indoor bike that I reviewed here, the QZ app is a must-have. From automatic resistance change for Zwift and Peloton to transferring your workouts to Strava, the QZ does it all. It’s available for ios and Android devices and the developer offers great support through his FB Group.
As for the Echelon bikes that come with screens like the EX5-S and the EX7-S, I don’t personally recommend you to buy them if you like to ride your bike on Zwift. Although the bikes do connect with the Zwift and Peloton via Bluetooth, the screens that come with these bikes can NOT connect with the non-Echelon Fit app.
So, basically, you would be disregarding the bike’s screen that you paid hundreds of dollars for and will be using your own tablet. That said if you want to use the Echelon bike with the Echelon Fit app, buy one of the Echelon indoor bikes that have built-in touch screens (the EX5-S and the EX7-S).
Some will be disappointed about this, but at least the Echelon Fit app actually does a good job of offering alternatives. Echelon also offers a subscription to FitPass, which offers even more workouts, post-workout stretches, strength exercises, and other benefits. It’ll cost you, but you’ll still get something in return.
|Echelon EX7s Indoor Bike||22" With 180° pivot||Heart Rate, Distance, Watt, RPMs, Resistance, through Echelon Fit App||Bluetooth Connection with smart devices||Live and Pre-recorded Classes Available||Screen is only compatible only with Echelon Fit App. But you can use your own tablet to connect the bike with other applications|
|Echelon EX5s Indoor Bike||22" Without pivot||Heart Rate, Distance, Watt, RPMs, Resistance, through Echelon Fit App||Bluetooth Connection with smart devices||Live and Pre-recorded Classes Available||Screen is only compatible only with Echelon Fit App. But you can use your own tablet to connect the bike with other applications|
|Echelon EX5 Indoor Bike||No Monitor||Heart Rate, Distance, Watt, RPMs, Resistance, through Echelon Fit App||Bluetooth Connection with smart devices||Live and Pre-recorded Classes Available||With your own tablet and QZ app, this Echelon bike is fully compatible with Echelon Fit, Zwift, and Peloton application|
|Echelon EX3 Indoor Bike||No Minitor||Heart Rate, Distance, Watt, RPMs, Resistance, through Echelon Fit App||Bluetooth Connection with smart devices||Live and Pre-recorded Classes Available||With your own tablet and QZ app, this Echelon bike is fully compatible with Echelon Fit, Zwift, and Peloton application|
|Echelon EX1 Indoor Bike||No Minitor||Heart Rate, Distance, RPMs, Resistance, through Echelon Fit App||Bluetooth Connection with smart devices||Live and Pre-recorded Classes Available||With your own tablet and QZ app, this Echelon bike is fully compatible with Echelon Fit, Zwift, and Peloton application|
|Echelon EX-15 Indoor Bike||No Minitor||Distance, time, and speed, through Echelon Fit App||Bluetooth Connection with smart devices||Live and Pre-recorded Classes Available|
Echelon Bike Prices and Warranties
Now we get to the part that many people are interested in. How much do these bikes cost and how long are they guaranteed to last? The former part is pretty decent, at least if you plan on buying the bikes alone. The Echelon EX1 costs an extremely fair $840 for just the bike. For the bike plus a one-year subscription to the Echelon fitness membership (which is needed to access any of the features mentioned above), it costs around $1,200. For two years, it costs $200 more. This is a pretty fair price for the bike, as even with the subscriptions, it is still cheaper than many modern spin bikes.
The Echelon EX3 costs slightly more, but still offers good value. For just the bike, it’s $1,000. For a 1-year subscription, it costs $400 more, and $200 on top of that for a 2-year subscription. Still in the “fair enough” region, though it’s tilting more towards the pricey side.
The Echelon EX5 really starts to lean to the expensive side if you intend to get the package deal with the subscriptions. The EX5 costs $1,200 for the base bike, $1,600 with a 1-year subscription, and $1,800 for a 2-year subscription. This gets slightly harder to recommend, as there are other spin bikes that have more features for about the same price.
The Echelon EX5s is much harder to recommend based on its $1,900 price point. For $2,000, it gets a 1-year subscription and for $2,200 you get a 2-year subscription. While the subscriptions make less of an impact on the price here, the basic bike alone costs less than some other high-quality spin bikes. This makes it harder to recommend, especially when considering how long these bikes are guaranteed to last.
This leads us to the most egregious part of these Echelon bikes. All of them have the exact same warranty. You will get a single-year limited warranty that covers the mechanical parts and labor. That’s it. Nothing on the frame at all. No other guarantees besides the fact that you can return the bike for 30 days with no questions asked. Compared to many other bikes at this sort of price range, this is awful. It is by far the biggest issue with these Echelon bikes and should be noted by anyone who might think of buying one. Once you do, you have a year until Echelon takes their hands away and tells you that you’re on your own.
|Name||Bike only Price||One Year Echelon Fit + Bike||Warranty on Mechanical Parts||Warranty on Labour|
|Echelon EX7s Indoor Bike||$1600-1,900||$2300 (can vary by the time you are reading this article)||1 Year||1 Year|
|Echelon EX5s Indoor Bike||$900-$1,600||$2,000 (can vary by the time you are reading this article)||1 Year||1 Year|
|Echelon EX5 Indoor Bike||$750-$1,200||$1,600 (can vary by the time you are reading this article)||1 Year||1 Year|
|Echelon EX3 Indoor Bike||$600-$1,000||$1,400 (can vary by the time you are reading this article)||1 Year||1 Year|
|Echelon EX1 Indoor Bike||$500-$840||$1,200 (can vary by the time you are reading this article)||1 Year||1 Year|
|Echelon EX-15 Indoor Bike||$400-$600||$750 (can vary by the time you are reading this article)||1 Year||1 Year|
Installing Peloton App on an Echelon Bike Console
Not all, but I know four Echelon smart connect bikes come with built-in screens/tablets. These four models are the EX4S/+, EX5S, EX5S-10, and EX7S bikes. If you have one of these Echelon smart bikes, here is how to bypass the Echelon Fit App.
Following the instructions below you will have access to an internet browser to install Peloton, Netflix, Disney+, and other Android applications. Once you have your Echelon EX-4S+, EX-5S, EX5s-10, or EX-7S bike setup, go into the More menu in the bottom right corner.
Once there you need to tap the bottom right corner (above the bottom grey bar) 5 times. This should pop up a screen where you can enter a code. Type in the code: 1085.
If you are running an older version of the app, this should take you to the Android settings. If you are on the most up-to-date version of the app then this code will not work.
If this code doesn’t work for you, then you need to factory reset your echelon bike. You can do this by turning off the echelon bike, unplugging the power cord from the back of the monitor, pressing and holding the plus (+) volume button, while holding the plus button plug the DC IN power cable back in. After 5 to 10 seconds this should start the factory reset of your Echelon smart bike.
Once the reset is complete you should get a prompt to update your echelon fit application. DO NOT UPDATE and close the prompt.
When you are back on the main screen, go into the “more menu” tap the bottom corner of the screen 5 times, and try the code (1085). This time it should work because your Echelon Fit application is not updated (make sure to leave it outdated).
Side note: it is difficult or even impossible to go back or get out of certain settings screens. Get a keyboard and plug it into one of the USB slots on the back of the screen. Pressing the Windows button and backspace together will act as a back button (for now until you install a “back button” later).
Next, we’ll want to replace the Home app that is currently in your Default app setup. This is what launches the Echelon app at startup.
Go to About Tablet > Android Version. Click on “Android Security Patch Level”. This should launch a browser window.
In your browser search for NOVA on apkpure and download/install the apk. Go ahead and also search and download the “Aurora Store APK”. This will act as your app store.
To install downloads, you will have to close out of the browser (x in the top left corner) Go to Storage > Downloaded Files > and click the Nova file in the bottom right corner, there should be a button to install the APK. Also, do this for Aurora Store.
Once you have successfully installed it, go to App Notifications > Default Apps > Home App and choose NOVA. Once you click either icon, it will launch your new HOME screen. From here you can use the Aurora Store to download more apps.
One of the first apps you should download from “Aurora Store” is a “back button”. This will place a button on the screen that you can use as a back button. Very helpful as most apps don’t have a button for you to close out of the app.
Peloton, Netflix, Hulu, and some other apps can be installed on the Echelon tablet. But Google-owned apps and other apps such as HBO max and Zwift need the google play store to launch. So, you can’t install them on the Echelon tablet.
However, you should be able to get around this by using the internet browser of your bike’s tablet to access the website of Zwift without installing the actual application.
Or just like the image above, you can attach a tablet holder and use the solution down below (the QZ application) to install the Zwift on your personal tablet and Peloton on the bike’s screen.
If the instructions above don’t work for you, I highly recommend that you read this forum. There are so many tips and information on how to install Peloton and other applications on the Echelon bike screens.
Replacing Echelon Bike’s Console with a Samsung Monitor
To Replace Echelon Bike’s Console with a Samsung Monitor:
- Install a Samsung monitor with TDX connectivity and 100mm VESA compatibility on the Echelon bike mount, using the bike’s mount.
- Install the QZ application, Peloton, and Zwift on a separate iOS or Android device such as a phone/iPhone or tablet/iPad (or a PC).
- Connect the QZ app to the bike via Bluetooth and sync the stats from the QZ app to the Peloton or Zwift app.
- Use QZ as a bridge for better connection and full compatibility between the Echelon indoor bike and cycling applications like Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, iFit, and more.
- For iOS devices, you can mirror the screen to the Samsung monitor with the AirDroid Cast app or an HDMI cable.
- For Android devices, you can screen mirror to the Samsung monitor using the DTX protocol or an HDMI cable.
Note: It is important to note that it is not necessary to remove the built-in console on the Echelon bike. Just as I explained before, one alternative option is to hack the console and install the Peloton app, however, the speaker and screen quality may not be as optimal as using a curved Samsung screen. Another option is to keep the built-in console and disconnect it, allowing the bike to broadcast via Bluetooth. This can be combined with using a tablet holder, such as a gooseneck mount, to position your tablet above the screen on the Echelon bike. Also, for EX4/S EX5/S, and EX7/S Echelon bikes I suggest using a Crostic tray. You can place your phone, a tablet, and other accessories on the bike.
Replacing Echelon Bike’s Console with a 15.6″ Tablet
To replace the Echelon Bike’s built-in console with a 15.6″ tablet, follow these steps:
- Remove the bike’s console and install a tablet mount that is compatible with the bike. A VESA mount with 100x100mm dimensions, such as the VIVO Universal VESA Mount, would work well.
- Buy a tablet, preferably a 15.6″ tablet, such as this Viewsonic, and attach it to the mount.
- If charging the tablet while using the bike is desired, an AAOTOKK Type C Power Adapter Type C USB Male cable can be used.
- Download the QZ application, as well as either Peloton and/or Zwift, onto the tablet.
- Connect the bike to the QZ app, then connect either Peloton or Zwift to the QZ app.
- QZ will act as a bridge app to provide more detailed information about the ride and ensure full compatibility and a better connection.
Note: For optimal use of the Zwift app, it’s recommended to use two separate devices. For example, you can use a phone to install the QZ app and a tablet to install the Zwift app. If you have an iPad, you can install both the QZ and Zwift app on the same device and do a split screen (half screen for QZ and half screen for Zwift). Additionally, you could consider using a Crostic tray for the EX4/S, EX5/S, and EX7/S Echelon bikes. This tray provides a convenient location to place your phone, tablet, and other accessories while using the bike.
Connecting an Echelon Bike to Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, or Strava
The following solution works both, for the Echelon bikes that have consoles (EX4s, EX5s, EX5s-10, and EX7s) and those Echelon bikes without any consoles (EX1, EX3, EX5, EX15). This solution requires using your own tablet and phone so you would be disregarding the console that comes with your Echelon bike (if it has one).
Right out of the box, the Echelon bikes don’t connect or sync with the Zwift, Peloton, Kinompa, or Strava because they are built for the Echelon Fit application.
However, the QZ application enables an Echelon fitness bike to connect and send stats with all the mentioned applications. Not only you can sync your stats from an Echelon stationary bike to Zwift (or other applications), but you can also allow Zwift to automatically change resistance for your bike (except for the EX15).
Here is a step-by-step instruction on how you can connect your Echelon Smart Connect Fitness Bike to the Zwift application. You can follow the same steps to connect an Echelon spin bike to the Peloton application.
For this process, you need two devices. You can use a smartphone to install the QZ application and a tablet to install the Zwift application (for the Peloton app you need an iPad).
- 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 your Echelon 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.
Other Notable Parts
One of the major criticisms about the Echelon bikes is not actually about the bikes themselves. It is about the app that is seen as necessary. It costs a lot and the “free-style” mode that allows you to see your workouts comes with too many annoying ads.
Although we never had any issue with the Echelon Fit app, many reviews speak about how unreliable the app itself is, with constant crashing, disconnecting, and slow responses from the customer service team when these issues were brought up. If these issues don’t pop up, then that’s great. If they do, that can very quickly ruin the experience overall.
Also, the fact that these Echelon bikes don’t include any extras is a little disappointing. There is no cooling fan or dumbbells in the box and you don’t buy them separately.
There are a few other things like not being able to rotate the screen on the EX5-S and the EX7-S to right and left is disappointing because often you might want to exercise next to the bike rather than wanting to flip the screen forward and work out in front of the bike.
What We Think of Echelon Bikes (Conclusion)
It seems that Echelon has gone for a very uniform build amidst all of their EX bikes. The benefit of this is that no matter which bike you pick, you don’t get a radically different experience to any other. On the flip side, this means that there is no great reason to go for the bikes that are priced higher (the Echelon EX5s and maybe even the EX5).
Considering how much of the value of these Echelon indoor bikes comes from their subscription, the lower the initial price, the better. This brings us to one of the major complaints about these bikes; you will never stop paying for it if you decide to buy them.
The app controls so much, from resistance settings and the statistics that you see. Not to mention that Echelon also offers (and clearly desires) an additional subscription to their FitPass program. Just be wary of how these costs can build up over time.
In addition, warranties. Compared to what many other spin bike brands offer, they are just so bad that it seems unreal. It looks as though that Echelon has either so little confidence in the durability of their product or are simply unwilling to back up the confidence that they do have.
Either way, it’s a bad look for the company and brings into question every single one of the Echelon EX indoor bikes. Once again, it takes away incentives to go for the more expensive bikes because you don’t know if in month 13, the bike will suddenly break due to some unforeseen accident. It’s just not good enough and could have been better for high-end spin bikes.
While it might sound like we’re bashing on the Echelon Fit Smart bikes, we are simply pointing out weaknesses. The Echelon indoor bikes themselves are well-built, feel comfortable, and provide many of the aspects that are desired by cyclists. The EX1, EX3, EX5, EX5s, EX5s-10, EX7s, and EX15 Sport are all good spin bikes. How much they are worth in terms of value for money can only be decided by the buyer.
Thanks to Roberto Viola, the Echelon fitness indoor cycling bikes are no longer limited to Echelon Fit Application. This Italian Firmware developer created the QZ application that instantly makes all these Echelon indoor bikes compatible with Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, and other cycling apps.
If you do decide to buy an Echelon bike, I strongly suggest that you spend $5 (one-time purchase) to buy the QZ app from App Store or Play Store. Not only does it connect with the Echelon apps and makes them compatible with Zwift and Peloton but it also gives you the control to set up your bike for automatic resistance change.