Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 Review: Does It Rival the Peloton?

man riding echelon connect bike ex-3


There's certainly no shortage of stationary bike options on the market right now. Schwinn's IC4 and IC3 join the ranks with MYX and Peloton, making this low-impact workout more accessible. Cycling fans will be glad to hear there is another affordable option in the at-home exercise bike arena to consider—the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3.

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The Echelon Connect Bike EX-3's sleek silhouette occupies a small footprint, making it great for an at-home workout. It also boasts a range of features that make it an incredible value for the price. Whether you're hopping on the saddle for the first time or you're an experienced cyclist ready for an upgrade, the ACTIVE Reviews Team is here to help you see if you should take this one for a spin. Keep reading for a comprehensive breakdown of this stationary bike.

Why Trust Us?

The ACTIVE Reviews Team is made up of fitness experts that include athletes, coaches, and certified trainers who bring their years of knowledge and experience to each review. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

A Quick Look at the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3

Founded in 2017, the Tennessee-based company Echelon Fitness debuted its first Connect Bike in 2018 with the goal of making home fitness options more accessible and enjoyable.

Echelon's Connect Bike EX-3 is an alternative to pricier competitors but it's a solid pick for a high-quality, at-home cycling experience. Apart from having an inbuilt display, this bike holds its own with performance, durability, and ease of use. The 28-pound, rear-mounted flywheel and 32 magnetic resistance levels offer a smooth and quiet ride.

Plus, it pairs easily with your smart device via Bluetooth. The Echelon Fit app offers live and on-demand class experiences, motivating instructors, and scenic rides to help you stay motivated. Add in the fully adjustable handlebars, competition padded seat, and dual-compatible pedals and you're ready to roll.

BUY: Echelon Connect Bike EX-3

echelon ex-3

SPECS

  • Footprint: 55"H x 55"L x 20"W
  • Power requirements: Plug-in
  • Seat style: 6" padded competition seat
  • Handlebar style: Bullhorn style with adjustable height
  • Pedal style: Dual-compatible pedals with toe cages
  • Resistance: 32 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Monitor: No monitor, but comes with a large, flippable media holder
  • Bluetooth capability: Yes
  • Weight: 104 lbs.
  • Flywheel weight: 28 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Key features: Great Value, sophisticated design, ease of use
  • Warranty: 1-year warranty on frame, parts, and electronics

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Footprint

The Echelon EX-3's smaller footprint makes this a good choice if you don't want your bike dominating your workout space. Although the wheels make it more mobile-friendly, you may need another set of hands to help set it up as it weighs a little over 100 pounds). Be sure to place it near a power source so that you can adjust tension if necessary.

Power Requirements

For the bike to work you need to have it near an outlet so you can plug it in. To do so, switch the red power button at the base of your bike to the on position.

Seat Style

The Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 has a 6-inch padded competition seat that is fully adjustable, so you can find a height and angle that fits your ride. The height recommendation for this bike is 4.5 inches by 6.8 inches.

Handlebar Style

Bullhorn-style handlebars offer a variety of grip options and can be adjusted for height. The device holder and the button that syncs your bike with your device are mounted on the handlebars for added convenience.

Pedal Style

The aluminum pedals on the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 are built to handle the most intense rides. They are also dual-sided, so you can clip in cleats or use the toe boxes with regular sneakers, making them a great option for every skill level.

Resistance

The Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 comes with 32 levels of magnetic resistance, which can be controlled by the dial in the middle of the frame. Adjusting the resistance levels can be a little under-sensitive, so you may need to turn it a few times to get your desired intensity. Echelon's guidance is that 0-14 is beginner level, 15-25 is intermediate and 25 and above is more advanced. The magnetic resistance makes for a smooth ride, and it's also quiet so you won't disturb your housemates when you get out of the saddle.

Monitor

echelon ex-3

The Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 doesn't come with a display, so you may need to purchase your own screen if that's a necessity for you. It does come with a built-in device holder though which flips 180 degrees for off-equipment workouts, plus a USB port that can charge your device as you ride. Use your smartphone or tablet to access the Echelon Fit app ($39.99 a month) to join live and on-demand classes and track your stats.

Bluetooth Capability

The Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 has great Bluetooth capabilities, including the option to pair your device and sync your Bluetooth headphones to listen to music or on-demand classes while you ride. The app offers a variety of dynamic instructors and powerful playlists to keep you pumped up throughout your ride.

Weight

Clocking in at 104 pounds, the Echelon EX-3 is substantial but not cumbersome. The wheels make it easier to slide out of the way, but you may need an extra set of hands if you're tackling the stairs. One thing we love about this bike is that it's easy to assemble on your own, so there's no need to hire an expert or recruit a moving team to help you get this bike into your home. If you're assembling the bike on your own, you can carry the pieces separately to your workout area and assemble them where you plan to place them.

Flywheel Weight

The flywheel is one of the key parts of your cycling experience and can have a huge impact on your ride. Flywheel weight is important because it determines the amount of momentum the wheel carries, ultimately impacting the amount of resistance the rider will experience. For the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3, the rear-mounted 28-pound flywheel provides a smooth, quiet ride with enough of a "cold start" to mimic the feel of a road bike.

Weight Capacity

Most indoor cycling bikes have a weight capacity of 250 to 400 pounds, so the 300-pound weight capacity of the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 is a bit on the lower end but still within the range of its competitors.

Warranty

Echelon backs the EX3 with a 1-year warranty with a guarantee on the frame, parts, and electronics. You can also purchase a 1-year extended warranty for $150. Compared to competitors, this is a tight warranty window.

Echelon Fit App

The Echelon EX3 doesn't come with pre-programmed workouts, but a subscription to the Echelon Fit app (priced at $39.99 a month) offers access to a variety of classes and ride options. You'll also get access to Echelon's FitPass, which streams live and on-demand classes like yoga, strength training, and cardio. The scenic rides are a great option if wanderlust helps you mentally escape during a workout. Or pump up your jams with a workout based on motivating musical genres—including EDM, hip hop, and '80s rock. Just mount your smartphone or tablet in the built-in device holder on the bike or sync your app with a smart tv for a larger screen. If you're new to spin and cycling classes, 10- and 20-minute intro classes are also available to get you started.

When you start a class, you'll be able to see various stats on the screen, including the leaderboard. You can also connect to Facebook and share your workout with your network. Your RPM, resistance levels, and wattage are also displayed on the screen. There's also a place for heart rate metrics if the EX-3 is paired with an external monitor, such as a chest strap. You can view completed workouts in the "progress" tab, where summaries with your stats are saved. (You can even email them to yourself.)

Pro tip: Schedule a live class on the app and click “add to calendar" so you'll be ready to join when the class starts. Plus, you'll have the time blocked off on your calendar to minimize distractions—and excuses.

PROS

  • Durable exercise bike with authentic spin experience
  • Small footprint is great for those with limited space
  • Dual pedals so you can wear cycling shoes or regular sneakers
  • USB port to keep your device charged as you ride
  • Variety of on and off-bike classes to keep you from getting bored
  • Wide padded seat for a more comfortable ride
  • 2 rear weight holders and 2 water bottle holders

CONS

  • No built-in display or speakers, so you'll need to use your own device
  • App integration isn't a good fit for everyone
  • Can't fast forward for on-demand classes on the app
  • Short warranty window

BUY: Echelon Connect Bike EX-3

Final Thoughts on Echelon Connect Bike EX-3

The Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 offers an authentic cycling experience without having to leave home. You'll find competitive features and great quality for the price point (with the tradeoff being you don't have a display screen). Overall, we think the EX-3 is a well-built bike, and love its adjustable handlebars, cushioned seat, dual-compatible pedals, and heavy, rear-mounted flywheel. The app integration can help take your rides to the next level, so if you're up for investing in the subscription this may be just what you're looking for.

Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 FAQs


Can I use my phone on the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3?

The Echelon Connect EX-3 uses Bluetooth to pair with your device, which functions as your display and can be used with the EchelonFit app for live streaming and on-demand classes. You can use the speakers on your phone or tablet, or pair them with Bluetooth headphones.

Can I use the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 without a subscription?

You can opt to use the Echelon Fit app in "freestyle" mode to track your resistance, output, and stats, but you'll need the paid subscription to be able to access live classes or scenic rides.

Can I watch Netflix on the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 without a subscription?

Since the Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 is a "bring your own screen" sort of bike, you can ride the bike and mount your tablet or smartphone on the bike to watch Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming apps. It has a large enough media holder to accommodate most devices.

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