Echelon vs. Peloton Showdown 2022: Which Bike is Better?

woman riding a stationary bike


If you're in the market for an indoor bike, you might be wondering which bike is better: Echelon or Peloton. While both brands are among the top-rated exercise bikes on the market, there are some key things to consider before you settle on the right one for you.

Both Echelon and Peloton offer an immersive fitness experience through live and on-demand classes for all cycling levels. They also feature sleek designs, comfortable seating and handlebars, and high-quality touchscreens. However, the Connected series from Echelon gives users four models ranging in price from $899 to $2,299, while Peloton only has two bikes priced at $1,485 and $2,495. Another notable difference? Both Pelton bikes come with touchscreens, while only two of the four Echelon Connected bikes have displays as part of the bike package.

Another area to consider when shopping for an exercise bike is resistance. Spin bikes allow the user to vary the resistance and cadence (how fast or slow you pedal) based on instructor cues or self-paced programming. Resistance is a key part of any ride, and Peloton does an excellent job of accommodating several fitness levels by offering a resistance range of 0 to 100. While not as varied, Echelon gives riders a resistance choice of 0 to 32.

Deciding between an Echelon or a Pelton often comes down to budget, rider experience, instructor preference, class content, comfort, and touchscreen quality. Here, we take a look at the specs, pros, and cons of the Peloton Bike and Bike+, and the Echelon GT+, EX-5, EX-5s, and EX-8s.

Should You Buy a Peloton Bike?

Peloton is a leader in the indoor cycling industry for several reasons. The instructors are diverse, knowledgeable, and entertaining. Plus, they are known to create some pretty amazing playlists. The dynamic lineup that makes up the Peloton crew is one of the reasons many people become fans for life.

Another area Peloton is a clear leader in the indoor cycling industry is the range of resistance levels. Both bikes offer 100 levels of fluid resistance, allowing users to customize their workouts. The Bike+ also has auto-flow, which automatically adjusts the resistance during on-demand classes based on instructor cues.

High-quality touchscreens, a smooth ride, and a massive online community round out the reasons so many people flock to this brand. Plus, they offer a generous warranty and a 30-day home trial. That said, both Peloton models come with a hefty price tag that may not fit your budget. Read on to learn about the specs, pros, and cons of the Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike+.

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Peloton Bike Starter

Peloton Bike Starter

SPECS

  • Total weight: 135 lbs.
  • Programming: Live and on-demand classes with paid subscription, $39/month
  • Display: HD Touchscreen, 10 lbs., 21.5" Diagonal, 20.75" x 12.5"
  • Weight: 297-lb. maximum user weight
  • Footprint: 4' x 2'/120 x 60 cm; total dimensions 59" L x 53" H x 23" W
  • Warranty: 12-month limited parts and labor warranty, plus 5-year coverage on the frame
  • Financing: Yes, Affirm financing with payments over 12, 24, 39, or 43 months for those who qualify
  • Frame: Welded steel, ED and powder-coated; 125 lbs.
  • Resistance: Resistance knob for manual control; 100 levels of manually controlled magnetic resistance
  • Console connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, WiFi, ANT+ wireless
  • Pedals: Delta-compatible aluminum pedals

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The sleek design, quiet ride, and wide range of resistance levels (0-100) are just some of the reasons the original Peloton bike is a huge hit among cycling enthusiasts. Throw in motivating instructors, diverse class types, live weekly classes, and an on-demand library that has classes ranging from 5 to 90 minutes, and it's easy to see why this bike is worth considering. That said, you will need to pay the $39 monthly fee to access content, but this also includes strength training, yoga, Pilates, running, stretching, HIIT, and more. In addition, Peloton has a generous warranty and a 30-day home trial. But they do charge for shipping and set-up, which is a hefty $250 fee.

PROS

  • Ergonomic handlebars and seat make for a smooth and comfortable ride
  • Solid bike construction makes the user feel sturdy and safe
  • Extensive exercise community online and through live and on-demand classes
  • Engaging content with access to new classes daily + thousands of on-demand rides

CONS

  • Does not have advanced features like a rotating screen and premium sound
  • Heavier than other brands
  • More expensive than other entry-level brands
  • Max user weight is 297 lbs.

BUY: Peloton Bike Starter

Peloton Bike+ Starter

Peloton Bike+ Starter

SPECS

  • Total weight: 140 lbs.
  • Programming: Live and on-demand classes with paid subscription of $39/month
  • Display: 23.8" diagonal HD touchscreen with 360 degrees of movement; 15 lbs.
  • Weight: 297-lb. maximum user weight
  • Footprint: 4' x 2'/120 x 60 cm; total dimensions 59"L x 59"H x 22"W
  • Warranty: 12-month limited parts and labor warranty, plus 5-year coverage on the frame
  • Financing: Yes, Affirm financing with payments over 12, 24, 39, or 43 months for those who qualify
  • Frame: Welded steel, ED and powder coated; 125 lbs.
  • Resistance: Resistance knob for manual control or Autoresistance option during on-demand classes; 100 levels of manually controlled magnetic resistance
  • Console connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, WiFi, ANT+ wireless, Apple Gymkit
  • Pedals: Delta-compatible aluminum pedals

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The Peloton Bike+ is a clear winner when it comes to premium features and an ultra-cool user experience. Although the larger rotating screen, studio-quality sound, and advanced connectivity top the list of must-have upgrades, it's the digitally controlled resistance, or auto-flow, that sets the Bike+ apart from the original Peloton bike and other brands like Echelon. Unlike other bikes that require the user to increase or decrease the resistance by turning the knob manually, the auto-flow works by automatically changing your resistance to match the instructor's cues. The new Apple GymKit integration is another reason some original Peloton users have chosen to upgrade to the Bike+. The Apple GymKit allows users to pair their Apple Watch by holding it near the Peloton logo before a workout to track cycling workouts and sync metrics.

PROS

  • Auto-resistance feature for on-demand classes automatically changes resistance to match the instructor's cues
  • Rotating screen with 360 degrees of movement allows users to shift from cycling to floor workouts
  • Tap your Apple Watch to the screen to instantly track your cycling workouts using Apple GymKit

CONS

  • Higher price tag compared to other at-home exercise bikes
  • Heavier than other brands, including the original Peloton Bike
  • Max user weight is 297 lbs.

BUY: Peloton Bike+ Starter

Should You Buy an Echelon Bike?

Echelon may not have the same name recognition as Peloton, but with more models and a lower price tag, this lesser-known brand is making headway in the interactive exercise bike industry. There are four bikes in the Connection series: GT+, EX-5, EX-5s, and the EX-8s.

If price is a key consideration, then availability is another reason to consider hopping on an Echelon. Not only are all bike models priced lower than the Peloton Bike+, but they are also available at several online and in-store retailers such as Costco, Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Target, and more. This is a drastic difference from Peloton, which you can only buy from the company's website.

Echelon Connect bikes work without a subscription, but to get the best experience, the monthly fee is worth it. For $34.99 per month, you get access to 35+ daily live classes and thousands of on-demand classes. Read on to learn about the Echelon Connectivity series' specs, pros, and cons.

Echelon GT+

Echelon GT+

SPECS

  • Total weight: 88 lbs.
  • Programming: Live and on-demand classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month; pair with the bike through your own smart device
  • Display: N/A
  • Weight: 300-lb. maximum user weight
  • Footprint: 54"L x 24"W x 57"H
  • Warranty: 12-month limited parts and labor warranty
  • Financing: Yes, Citizens Pay with payments over 12, 24, 39, and 48 months
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance; 32 levels
  • Console connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity
  • Pedals: SPD-compatible pedals

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If sticking to a tight budget is a priority, then the Echelon GT+ might be the bike for you. Priced at just under $900, the GT+ is an excellent starter bike for anyone looking to add cycling to their overall routine. The GT+ has 32 levels of magnetic resistance, a tour-quality padded seat, performance handlebars, and a rack for dumbbells. Plus, it comes in three colors: blue, orange, and pink. And at 88 pounds, it's also one of the lightest bikes on the market. The GT+ does not come with a touchscreen, but you can add your own tablet or smartphone to the rack. Live and on-demand classes are available through the Echelon app for $34.99 per month.

PROS

  • High-quality bike for a budget price
  • It comes in multiple colors
  • Very lightweight
  • Completely enclosed spin wheel for added safety

CONS

  • No built-in touchscreen for quick and easy access to metrics and classes
  • Need to provide your own tablet or smartphone
  • As a starter or entry-level bike, it may not be enough for avid cyclists

BUY: Echelon GT+

Echelon EX-5

Echelon EX-5

SPECS

  • Total weight: 106 lbs.
  • Programming: Live and on-demand classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month; pair with bike through your own device
  • Display: No display but holds devices from 2.5" to 12.9" + flips 180 degrees
  • Weight: 300-lb. maximum user weight
  • Footprint: 58"L x 20"W x 55"H
  • Warranty: 12-month limited parts and labor warranty
  • Financing: Yes, Citizens Pay with payments over 12, 24, 39, and 48 months
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance; 32 levels
  • Console connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity
  • Pedals: SPD-compatible pedals

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A step up from the GT+, the Echelon EX-5 comes with the same standard features, like 32 levels of resistance and adjustable handlebars, but it also boasts a variety of upgrades like a device holder that flips 180 degrees for off-bike workouts, a vented competition-style seat that adjusts up/down and fore/aft, and pedals with an adjustable toe cage. The EX-5 comes in right under $1,000, making it another affordable option for bike enthusiasts. Like the GT+, it does not come with a touchscreen, so you will need to provide your own tablet or smartphone to access the live and on-demand classes, which are available through the Echelon app for $34.99 per month.

PROS

  • Device holder allows you to flip tablet or smartphone 180 degrees
  • Handlebars have up/down and fore/aft adjustment
  • Competition style seat with several adjustments; up/down and fore-aft
  • Lightweight and compact

CONS

  • No built-in touchscreen
  • Basic spin bike that may not offer enough premium features for expert cyclists

BUY: Echelon EX-5

Echelon EX-5s

Echelon EX-5s

SPECS

  • Total weight: 124 lbs.
  • Programming: Live and on-demand classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month
  • Display: 22" and 10" Class HD touchscreen flips 180 degrees
  • Weight: 300-lb. maximum user weight
  • Footprint: 58"L x 21.5"W x 61"H
  • Warranty: 12-month limited parts and labor warranty
  • Financing: Yes, Citizens Pay with payments over 12, 24, 39, and 48 months
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance; 32 levels
  • Console connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity
  • Pedals: SPD-compatible pedals

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Echelon has made a name for itself with budget-priced, entry-level bikes. But they're also shaking up the industry with several premium bikes like the EX-5s, which includes the same standard features as the EX-5 with the added benefit of a 10" or 22" HD touchscreen display. The extra cost is not worth it for some people, especially if they prefer using their own tablet or smartphone, but for many other users, having a bike that comes equipped with a touchscreen that also flips 180 degrees for off-bike classes is worth the extra $200 or $500. Like the other Connected series bikes, the EX-5s uses the Echelon app for live and on-demand classes, which will run you $34.99 per month.

PROS

  • Comes equipped with a 10" or 22" HD touchscreen display that flips 180 degrees for off-bike classes
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Can track workout stats on the touchscreen display even without a monthly subscription
  • Comfortable seat that moves forward, backward, up, and down with 6" lever-style adjustment

CONS

  • HD screen is the only significant upgrade from the EX-5
  • Touchscreen only works with Echelon app; cannot use any other app
  • Price increase from EX-5 to EX-5s might not be worth it if you have a tablet

BUY: Echelon EX-5s with 10" screen
BUY: Echelon EX-5s with 22" screen

Echelon EX-8s

Echelon EX-8s

SPECS

  • Total Weight: 124 lbs.
  • Programming: Live and on-demand classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month
  • Display: 24" curved HD touchscreen with 180-degree flip rotation
  • Weight: 300-lb. maximum user weight
  • Footprint: 59"L x 23"W x 65"H
  • Warranty: 12-month limited parts and labor warranty
  • Financing: Yes, Citizens Pay with payments over 12, 24, 39, and 48 months
  • Frame: Steel
  • Resistance: Magnetic resistance; 32 levels
  • Console Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 Connectivity
  • Pedals: SPD-compatible pedals

Check Price

The EX-8s is Echelon's answer to a premium, high-quality bike with all the bells and whistles that make it a top contender in the indoor exercise cycling market. Like the other Connected series bikes, the EX-8s comes equipped with standard features like 32 levels of magnetic resistance, a race-quality seat, and adjustable handlebars, but it's the exceptional upgrades that will make you add this bike to your must-see list.

For starters, the touchscreen display is larger, and it features an industry-first curved design that takes the interactive element of classes to an entirely different level. The EX-8s also boasts dual user-facing speakers that produce twice the sound of the prior models. Another high-tech upgrade is the integrated LED flywheel lights that rotate through 15 color variations. While not necessarily a performance enhancement, this feature is definitely energizing and can improve user experience. Finally, the EX-8s is a bit heavier than the other Connected bikes, but it is still comparable in weight to the original Peloton bike.

PROS

  • Bluetooth Resistance Controller on the handlebars for easy resistance adjustments
  • Large, curved HD touchscreen offers a top-rated viewing experience; best in the industry
  • LED flywheel lights rotate through 15 color variations that sync with workout metrics

CONS

  • Higher price tag compared to other models
  • LED flywheels may be an added expense that deters people from the bike
  • Touchscreen only works with Echelon app; cannot use any other app

BUY: Echelon EX-8s

Peloton vs. Echelon: Comparison Chart

   Peloton Bike  Peloton Bike +  Echelon GT +  Echelon EX-5  Echelon EX-5s  Echelon EX-8s
 Price  $1,495.00  $2,495  $899  $999  $1,499  $2,299
 Programming  Live and on-demand classes with paid subscription of $39/month  Live and on-demand classes with paid subscription of $39/month  Live and on-demand classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month; pair with bike through your own device  Live and on-demand  classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month  Live and on-demand classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month  Live and on-demand classes through the Echelon App for $34.99/month
 Display  21.5" HD diagonal touchscreen  23.8" diagonal HD touchscreen with 360 degrees of movement  No display  No display but holds devices from 2.5" to 12.9" + flips 180 degrees  22" HD touchscreen flips 180 degrees  24" curved HD touchscreen with 180-degree flip rotation
 Weight  135 lbs.   140 lbs.   88 lbs.  106 lbs.  124 lbs.  124 lbs.
 Footprint  59" L x 53" H x 23" W  59" L x 59" H x 22" W  54" L x 24" H x 57" W  58" L x 20 "H x 55" W  58" L x 21.5" H x 61" W  59" L x 23" H x 65" W
 Warranty  12-months limited parts and labor warranty, plus 5-year coverage on frame  12-months limited parts and labor warranty, plus 5-year coverage on frame  12-months limited parts and labor warranty  12-months limited parts and labor warranty  12-months limited parts and labor warranty  12-months limited parts and labor warranty

FAQs About Peloton and Echelon Bikes

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about indoor cycling, Peloton, and Echelon.

Which is better, Peloton or Echelon?

Deciding between Peloton or Echelon often comes down to budget, premium features, and instructor preferences. If you're looking for a starter bike that is affordable, Echelon might be the best choice, but if budget is not a factor, the Peloton Bike+ has some pretty amazing features worth considering. Spend some time previewing classes and instructors from each company, especially if access to live and on-demand classes is a key factor in why you're thinking about buying a bike. You may find that you like one set of instructors or class formats over the other. It's also a good idea to measure your space and compare the bike dimensions and weights. If possible, try to find a Peloton and Echelon bike to try out before making a decision. The rider experience is best understood by using one of the bikes.

Can you use an Echelon bike without a subscription?

Yes, you can use an Echelon bike without a subscription. However, you are limited in what you can see, and you will not be able to access classes. To use the bike without a subscription, simply download the app and start pedaling. In the Freestyle area of the app, you will see your resistance, but you will not be able to store information or take live or on-demand classes.

Is 30 minutes of cycling a day enough?

The amount of exercise you should do each day will depend on various factors, including your overall health, age, and goals. On average, adults should get between 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise each week. If you go the moderate-intensity route, this equates to a minimum of 30 minutes, five days a week. However, for additional health benefits, experts recommend doing more than 300 minutes each week.

Is spinning better than running?

Whether you need a break from the outdoor pack or you're looking to change up your workouts, indoor cycling is an excellent addition to any fitness routine. Spinning and running are both excellent forms of cardiovascular exercise. Both activities increase your heart rate, target the lower-body muscles, burn calories, boost overall heart health, and leave you with a great sweat. They're also ideal for individual and group exercise. That said, spinning may be a better choice if you need an activity that is easier on the hips, ankles, and knees.

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