Echelon EX-5 Review – Pros & Con’s (2020)

Last Updated: January 14, 2020

The Echelon EX-5 is a compact and lightweight indoor bike. It features an adjustable tablet clip that will hold any device so you can watch the Echelon Fit app right on your bike. Similar in design and build to it’s sister machine, the EX-5s, the only difference between the two is the presence of a 22” touchscreen on the EX-5s and just a tablet holder on the EX-5. The rear design tucks the flywheel behind the seat and out of the way and a sleek geometry keeps the overall footprint of the EX-5 to just 54” long and 20” wide.

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Who It’s For: Fitness enthusiasts who want a bike with a rear flywheel and subscription training app

The Echelon EX-5 offers a few distinct features:

  • The Echelon Fit app can be streamed to any phone, tablet or TV screen to display workout routines anywhere, anytime
  • A tablet holder with adjustable clip on the handlebars will hold your device securely
  • Echelon places the flywheel in the back, out of the “sweat zone” where there is less possibility of rust or damage to the flywheel
  • 32 Magnetic resistance levels are quiet and provide abundant training options
  • The Echelon EX-5 only weighs 124 pounds so it is lightweight and easy to move
Pros
  • 32 Levels of magnetic resistance are precise and quiet
  • The tablet mount is nice when you want to watch the app, but the front of the bike is not weighed down by a large screen when you don’t want to use the app
  • Wide, ergonomic seat is more comfortable than most
  • EX-5 bike and Echelon Fit app offer a competitively priced option in a field of expensive subscriptions
  • Weights are included and positioned behind the saddle out of the way
  • Fit app offers Daily classes and off-the-bike training options that can be watched from any phone, tablet, TV or device
  • Dual pedal options allow riders to clip in or just use athletic shoes
  • Cages hold your feet securely when using the flat pedal
  • Tension knob is directly below the handlebars
Cons
  • Does not have a built-in screen
  • Rear flywheel design is unfamiliar to some riders and may take getting used to
  • Handlebars are not very padded
  • Not very extensive warranty
FeaturesSpecifications
  • Magnetic Resistance
    • Magnetic resistance is silent as magnets oppose the motion of the flywheel to create frictionless resistance. A belt connects the flywheel to the pedal crank, so the pedal motion is smooth. Magnetic resistance does not cause wear on the flywheel and is quieter while riding and braking.
  • 32 Resistance Levels
    • Around 25-30 resistance levels seems perfect to me. More than that, and you get lost in a bunch of small levels. If you have too few levels, resistance gets difficult too quickly. Resistance levels on the Echelon are just about right. By the time I hit the mid 20’s, I’m done!
  • 22” Touchscreen with 180 Swivel
    • The tablet mount and adjustable clip should hold most devices securely. Keeping all the Fit app navigation in the app keeps the bike design sleek and uncluttered so you can ride with or without the app.
    • The Swivel design allows you to turn the Tablet Mount when doing off-the-bike classes. This makes it so you can stand to the side or behind your bike without having to move the bike for visibility.
  • Dual pedal options
    • The pedals feature SPD cleats on one side with a flat pedal and cage option on the other side. This way you can clip in if desired or ride with any pair of athletic shoes.
  • Bike only weighs 112 pounds
    • This is surprisingly light for a piece of workout equipment which makes it easy to move and roll when needed.

Construction:

  • Steel construction
  • Rear flywheel
  • Adjustable Handlebars
  • SPD Clip-in and Cage pedals
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • Competition Seat
  • 300 pound weight capacity

Console:

  • Handlebar mounted tablet holder with adjustable clip will hold any personal device securely
  • Tablet mount rotates 180°
  • Water Bottle Tray under handlebars
  • Tension knob controls magnetic resistance

Functionality:

  • Echelon Fit app will sync from your personal device to the bike
  • Quiet belt drive
  • 4 adjustment points for comfort
  • Magnetic Resistance
  • 32 Resistance Levels

Accessories:

  • Two 3 Lb. Dumbbell cages behind saddle (weights purchased separately)

Warranty:

  • One year limited parts and labor

In-depth Review of Echelon EX5s

Construction

Frame

Steel frame with horizontal stabilizers, leveling feet, and front wheels to roll the bike when needed. The flywheel sits low and rear, which centers the weight under the rider. Overall, design and geometry are sleek with black, gray, and red color scheme.

4 Points of Adjustment is more than often found on comparable exercise bikes.

  • Seat moves up/down
  • Seat moves forward/aft
  • Handlebars slide forward/aft
  • Handlebars move up/down

FlyWheel

29 pound flywheel glides smoothly. I’m not usually a fan of rear-flywheels, but the Echelon design is streamlined to offer a fluid pedal stroke and quiet drive train.

Handlebars

Handlebars offer multiple hand positions with both vertical and horizontal grips. Light padding offers just a touch of cushion.

Saddle

We love this saddle! It really is more comfortable than most exercise bikes. Saddle comfort matters because when you’re comfortable you can ride longer and get more out of your workout.

Console/Controls

Screen

  • There is no screen. The EX5 is designed to hold a tablet or personal device on the handlebar mount.
  • The tablet mount will swing gently so you can adjust it as needed.
  • You have to pay for the Fit app and then when you log in, it will sync with the bike to relay cadence, resistance, calories, etc It’s nice to get digital metrics for your ride as opposed to just watching a spin class, but there is no LCD screen, cadence monitor, or anything else on the bike, so if you don’t use the app, bike functionality is just pedalling and resistance.

Accessories

  • No fan
  • Weight cages included, but weights purchased separately
  • Water bottle tray under the handlebars

Functionality

Incline / Decline range

There is no incline or decline on the EX5.

Resistance Levels

32 magnetic resistance levels are adjusted via a tension knob on the down tube. I don’t love knobs, because they’re not as precise as buttons, but it moves easily and feels nice in your hand. Magnetic resistance is generated by magnets adjacent to the flywheel which oppose the motion, so there are no contact or friction points. This keeps resistance quiet and doesn’t cause wear on the flywheel.

Pre-programmed workouts

There are no pre-programmed workouts on the EX5. You can pedal and adjust resistance, but without the app, you don’t get any metrics or programs.

Subscription Options

Echelon’s Fit app is designed to sync with the bike. Fit has daily classes and a leaderboard and other functions similar to Peloton or NordicTrack. However, one complaint we frequently hear is the app is glitchy and not intuitive. You can get an Echelon bike for a reasonable price and the app comes at a discount when you buy the bike, but make sure this is the content you are willing to pay for. We’d also recommend checking out NordicTrack’s iFit app. It costs less, syncs with the bike and has an automated feature to adjust resistance and incline for you!

Noise Level

The bike is silent while riding and braking. The main noise comes from listening to the instructor on your tablet.

Storage / Folding

The EX5 does not fold, but wheels under the front stabilizer make it easy to move.

Bottom Line:

Echelon EX-5 is a well-built spin bike with the option of adding a subscription service. Riders who love the app can use any tablet or device to watch while they ride and those who just want to spin aren’t hindered by a large screen in their way. Also, you can try the app for a month or so, and if you don’t like it, you aren’t stuck with a subscription-dependent piece of equipment. The EX-5 works great as a basic spin bike with good components and a comfortable seat.

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