Echelon vs Peleton Bikes – What makes one better than the other?

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Echelon vs Peleton Bikes - LifeFitnessBike


Echelon vs Peleton bikes is an interesting topic to cover. In the world of interactive or virtual ‘spin’ classes, Peleton is considered to be the pioneer. Some may say it’s the iPhone of the live training spin bike world. But contenders have risen to challenge. Fighting the premium pioneer with economical solutions that can easily take on the challenge.

Echelon is one of these contenders and if someone were to ask why they should prefer Echelon over Peleton, the simple answer would be that it’s a more affordable choice and an adequate alternative to Peleton. Peleton subscribers could simply counter by saying that their indoor solutions to connectivity i.e. the app and their equipment are of higher quality than what their rivals at Echelon are offering.

To give the full analysis into the rivalry, let’s look at the factors that differentiate Echelon and Peleton’s offerings.

The bikes

First thing first, let’s look at the actual equipment that both of these services are offering

peloton Bike - Echelon vs Peleton Exercise BikesPeleton offers just one bike. It’s 4 feet long and 2 feet wide at the face. It has a built-in 22-inch touchscreen and can be connected to the Peleton app if you have the All-Access membership or to your phone via WiFi or other Bluetooth devices like heart rate straps. It has a 38-pound flywheel and a magnetic belt. The resistance is controlled by a knob and is also magnetic so as to avoid too much noise.




Echelon in contrast to Peleton offers a range of 4 bikes. An entry-level bike called the EX-1, two mid-tier bikes called the EX3, EX5, and the top of the line model the EX5S.

Echelon ConnectV1_Angle_Red - Echelon exercise Bikes Echelon-smart-connect-bike-ex3 - Echelon vs Peleton bikesEX3_NewLogos_Black Echelon EX5_FullBike



If compared to the Peleton bike, the EX5S is the bike that is the most similar. Both bikes have similar built-in screens and share the same basic structure with the most notable difference being the position and the weight of the flywheel. The flywheel is present in the front in the Peleton while it’s in the back in the Echelon. Peleton’s flywheel is 5 pounds heavier than Echelons’s 33-pound flywheel. That being said, both bikes offer more than satisfactory experience when it comes to riding.

The resistance knob is in the same place as the Peleton. The handlebars and the seat are meant to be adjustable. Both bikes are also powder coated for sweat damage resistance. Note that the Peleton bike currently costs about 45% more than what the EX5S costs.

The Peleton bike has safety restrictions stating that the rider shouldn’t be heavier than about 300 lbs. and should be between 4’11” and 6’5. The EX5S has almost the same requirements with a weight limit of 300 pounds and height limits between 4’5″ and 6’4″.

Not only is the EX5S up to the challenge set by Peleton, but the lower budget choices including the EX-1, the EX-3, and the EX-5 are also quite pleasing when it comes to performance. A number of sources have nominated Echelon as the best alternative to Peleton primarily due to this feature.


Seeing as that the relevant bikes are pretty much at par with each other, the difference comes out in the interactive consoles and the contents of the Peleton Digital and Echelon Fit apps.

The apps are also quite similar, with thousands of library classes of durations ranging from 5 to 90 minutes with a wide range of goals and exercises. It’s important to remember that both Peleton Digital and Echelon Fit don’t just have cycling classes and live sessions but also include classes for other exercises. There are running, walking, Boot camp, strength and outdoor(audio-only) categories of classes in Peleton Digital app while Echelon’s app membership offers cardio, pilates, Zumba, strength, and yoga workouts across a number of apps. Remember that while Peleton just has the one app for all its workouts, Echelon’s apps are workout specific. Their Echelon fit app has biking class recordings, scenic or virtual rides, and an “extra mile” section for exercises do to before or after the spin class like stretching and meditation, etc.

The discrepancy arises when you start looking at the content inside the apps. The first major difference between their platforms is that the Peleton digital app has everything in one place, you just choose the category of workout on your phone or tablet and ride or weightlift or run or do yoga whenever you want. Echelon has another product for indoor training called the ‘Reflect’ series. These are large devices that have 40” or 50” screens at the interface. These devices are operated by their own app from Echelon called the Reflect apps. Since the ‘Echelon Fit’ app has the cycling program to focus on, the Reflect app has the categories of core, meditation, pilates, strength, stretching, tone, yoga, strength, boxing, tone, and cardio. The reflect app can be accessed on smart phones as well. The categories aren’t meant to be permanent and are subject to modification. So Echelon doesn’t host all its different workouts in one place or one app to be specific but diversifies or spreads it over different apps. This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pay more for each app though, Echelon’s ‘United’ membership is the same price as Peleton’s ‘All-Access’ membership and both of these memberships allow access to all of the respective company’s content.

Peleton has been around for a long time and has become synonymous with spin classes over the decade. Some may say that there were points where it had a total monopoly or sole proprietorship over the indoor cycling business. It might be this aspect of Peleton’s history that helped it land some top tier trainers. Their app doesn’t just look modern, it features up-to-date trainers like the ‘New York Times’ best selling authors and ultra marathoners.

All this is to say that Peleton’s trainers may have the edge in their rivalry with Echelon. For some people, that might be enough to tilt the balance into Peleton’s lap because when you look at it like ‘You can recreate everything else but where are you going to replicate trainers?’, the argument gains considerable weight.

This is not meant to translate into saying that Echelon’s trainers aren’t good enough to push you through a class. They’re bound to have some good ones too, if not most. They currently have around  3 dozen trainers and they’re arguably the arch-rival competitor to Peleton. So for some folks, it might just be the momentum of Peleton’s stellar record that makes them prefer Peleton’s trainers over Echelon’s trainers or any other rival brand’s trainers for that matter.


Earlier, Peleton was suggested to be what some may call the ‘iPhone of Spinning’. One aspect that helps the similarity is the exclusiveness of Peleton compared to what Echelon offers. It’s not that you can’t use Peleton’s services on non-Peleton devices. They currently offer a 12.99 dollar membership for non-Peleton devices that you can use with any equipment wherever you are. This includes the non-cycling exercises as well.

But when you look at what Echelon is offering with its bike compared to what Peleton is giving, Echelon is just more inclusive. What’s being referred to here is that you can’t really use a Peleton bike without a Peleton membership. The Peleton bike comes with a system application of the ‘Peleton Digital’ app. Now, this app is great with regards to the layout, the content, the range of workouts and the user-friendly interface but if someone preferred to use an app like Zwift, iFit, or even Echelon Fit on it for some reason, the option just isn’t there with the Peleton bike.

In contrast, when you look at  Echelon’s array of bikes, their first bike even though it mirrors the Peleton bike in some ways, doesn’t come with built-in programs since it doesn’t have a built-in screen and software. You can use your own tablet or device with it if it has Bluetooth or Wifi and track your goals like calorie consumption and distance traveled even if you don’t have the Echelon membership or use apps like iFit, etc.


Peleton has two types of memberships. One is the All-Access membership which allows you access to the Peleton Digital App on the Peleton bike and all its bells and whistles. All the workout categories offered by Peleton instructors are available via this membership. You have to own a Peleton bike or Treadmill in order to purchase this membership. It is a multi-user membership so you can use it across multiple devices(including smartphones and tablets) and platforms for yoga and outdoor classes, etc.

The other membership is a single-user membership for users that don’t have any Peleton equipment. It includes all of the Peleton’s library content from yoga to cycling and running to strength workouts.

Echelon’s version of the All-Access membership is the ‘Echelon United’ Membership. The other memberships are the Unlimited live classes+ FitPass membership. The third type of membership includes the FitPass alone and will currently cost you just 5 dollars less than what the second type of membership will cost you. It’s in this extra mile part of the content that you get the non-cycling workouts like yoga and Zumba, etc.

Echelon doesn’t have an equipment specific membership. Its memberships are more universal in this way. The one exception seems to be the Fitnation Flex bike by Echelon for which you may have to buy a specific subscription for Echelon via the Fit Nation website.


Currently, the rate of equivalent memberships is the same. ‘All-access’ membership for Peleton and the ‘Echelon United’ membership for Echelon’s content are both 39$ per month. Note that Echelon currently has two seemingly ‘full-access’ memberships, one is the ‘Unlimited live classes + FitPass’ membership while the other is the ‘Echelon United’ membership. They are currently the same price but according to Echelon, the key difference is going to be that the United membership will let you have access to absolutely everything that Echelon has to offer for its customers while the ‘Unlimited live classes+ FitPass’ membership is still going to limit you to what is accessible.

Note that for Echelon, there are different packages for annual and bi-annual subscription with a considerable amount of possible savings as discounts and free delivery for the packages. For the moment, Echelon is the only one of the two that is offering one or two-year packages.


Peleton’s memberships

Type Use


Monthly All-Access Ø  For Peleton bike or treadmill.

Ø   Unlimited access to Peleton’s whole library of workouts.

Ø  Works with multiple users or devices

Monthly Peleton Digital Ø  Doesn’t require Peleton equipment to work with.

Ø  Unlimited access to Peleton’s library.

Ø  Single user, single device membership.



   Echelon’s memberships

Type Use Savings
Monthly FitPass Ø  Access to the Echelon Fit app.              –
Annual FitPass Ø  Same as above                      $
Bi-annual (2 year) FitPass Ø  Same as above $$
Unlimited live classes+ FitPass Ø  Live classes+ ‘Echelon Fit’ app + EXTRA miles (yoga, meditation, pilates and more)                       –
Annual Unlimited live classes+ FitPass Ø  Same as above $$
Bi-annual (2 year)

Unlimited live classes+ FitPass

Ø  Same as above. $$$$$
Monthly Echelon ‘United’ Ø  All content available.
Annual Echelon ‘United’ Ø  All content available. $$
Bi-annual Echelon ‘United’ Ø  All content available. $$$$$


As for the packages on the bikes, Peleton offers a bunch of different packages when purchasing the bike:

Peleton bike offers

Type Features
Basic Bike+ Warranty+ Free Delivery
Essentials Bike+ Warranty+ Free Delivery+ Cycling shoes+ Pair of weights+ Pair of headphones
Works Bike+ Warranty+ Free Delivery + Cycling shoes+ Pair of weights+ Pair of headphones+ Bike Mat + Heart rate monitor
Family Bike+ Warranty+ Free Delivery+ 2 pairs of Cycling shoes+ Pair of weights+ 2 Pair of headphones+ Bike Mat + Heart rate monitor+ 2 water bottles


Echelon bike offers:

Bike Membership Package Savings Financing Availability Description
EX-1 With Monthly membership No Ø  The bike comes with a one-month subscription to Echelon’s content.

Ø  Additional Delivery charges: 199$.

With annual membership $$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is one year.  Delivery charges are brought down to 99$.
With 2 year membership. $$$$$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is 2 years.

Ø  Free delivery.

Ex-3 With Monthly membership No Ø  The bike comes with a one-month subscription to Echelon’s content.

Ø  Additional Delivery charges: 199$.

With annual membership $$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is one year.  Delivery charges are brought down to 99$.
With 2 year membership. $$$$$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is 2 years.

Ø  Free delivery.

EX-5 With Monthly membership No Ø  The bike comes with a one-month subscription to Echelon’s content.

Ø  Additional Delivery charges: 199$.

With annual membership $$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is one year.  Delivery charges are brought down to 99$.
With 2 year membership. $$$$$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is 2 years.

Ø  Free delivery.

Ex-5S With Monthly membership No Ø  The bike comes with a one-month subscription to Echelon’s content.

Ø  Additional Delivery charges: 199$.

With annual membership $$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is one year.  Delivery charges are brought down to 99$.
With 2 year membership. $$$$$ Available Ø  Same as above except duration is 2 years.

Ø  Free delivery.



So which one is better between Echelon and Peleton Bikes?

As with every comparative decision, which rival comes out to be the winner depends on a number of things. Which way you lean depends on what’s important to you. Is it the pristine trainers or the economy? Is it the premium shine of the pioneer or the developing momentum of the top rival? Is the budget an issue? All these things come into play when you’re laying down the final verdict.

Let’s see how both these brands are doing in the mentioned qualities:


The biggest edge that Echelon is combating Peleton’s iconic record is the price. Its cheapest bike, the model EX-1 is currently about 30% of the price of the Peleton bike and can be a cheap alternative if you have a tablet to use. The EX5S which is the closest thing to the Peleton bike is also about 25% cheaper than the Peleton. It comes with an installed 21.5″  screen and is essentially the same thing but with Echelon Fit compatibility.

And it’s not just the bikes, it’s their membership packages too. Peleton doesn’t currently offer any annual or bi-annual packages while Echelon does and you can save up to 379.99$ on getting a two-year membership compared to having to buy a 39.99$ membership every month.

Financing or installment plans are also available if you want to get an Echelon bike with an annual or two-year package. This is besides the fact that their prices, even with the delivery prices are considerably lower than Peleton’s.


If you’re looking for a range of products to choose from, you’ll probably lean towards Echelon. For people that prefer not to bound to a specific brand to use a product, Echelon has the edge. Their first three bikes are just hardware, the software depends on your phone or tablet. You can even use the Peleton app on your tablet while you’re on the Echelon bike from the EX-1 to the EX-3 to the EX-5.

As for the hardware, a little detail you might want to keep in mind is that the pedals on the Peleton bike aren’t compatible with all sorts of shoes. You’ll be better off with their exclusive cycling shoes that are included in Peleton’s ‘works’, ‘essentials’, and ‘family’ bike packages.  That isn’t the case with Echelon’s pedals. They have toe-cages which makes them more compatible with more types of shoes. Little details like these are what make the iPhone analogy for Peleton more and more relevant.

Even if you go solo i.e. don’t get any membership, you can still connect the Echelon bikes to Strava and FitBit on your phone via Bluetooth to goal track your calorie consumption or distance traveled, etc.


Trainers\ content

One aspect where Peleton still seems to be outdoing Echelon visibly is the content. Some users are fine with what Echelon has in their trainer arsenal but a lot of users and reviewers are of the opinion that Peleton’s trainers are categorically better, they’re more experienced and more motivating than what their rivals have to offer.

Peleton also has all its content in one place, you can use a single subscription of 39.99$ for use across multiple devices. While Echelon, though their content can still be used across multiple devices just has the minor difference of having it in different apps for access.

The final verdict on Echelon vs Peleton Bikes

For people having budgets big enough for a $1000 gap to be noticed, go with Peleton. They’ve been around for a while, have premium content, and have a brilliant reputation among their consumers.

But for the average Joe who has the type of budget where they can purchase either one of the two with a noticeable chunk going away if you go with Peleton, purchase an Echelon bike. They’re economical and even though their trainers don’t have as brilliant reputations as Peleton’s trainers, they’ll do the trick because Echelon might be the less premium brand of the two but they’re still a major brand. And you can’t really expect a major brand to go with the content that’s below the line of consumer acceptability.