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

Last Updated: January 8 2020

Echelon has emerged as a viable contender in a field dominated by powerhouses Peloton and NordicTrack. The Echelon EX-5s features a 21.5” full-color interactive touchscreen which is roughly the same size screen as the s22i and Peloton bike. Echelon’s FitPass app also offers similar content with classes for both on and off the bike. The V-shaped frame design offers more expanse between handlebars and saddle, which works well for taller riders. Take a look at the Echelon EX-5s bike today to see some of the exciting updates and features!

Check Best Price


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

The Echelon EX-5s 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
  • The 21.5” HD Touchscreen displays Echelon Fit programs with personal trainers and live classes right on the bike.
  • Echelon places the flywheel in the back, out of the “sweat zone” where there is less possibility of rust or damage to the flywheel
  • Echelon EX-5s is only 54” long and 20” wide, making it one of the most compact indoor bikes on the market
  • The Echelon EX-5s only weighs 124 pounds so it is lightweight and easy to move
Pros
  • EX-5s bike and Echelon Fit app offer a competitively priced option in a field of expensive subscriptions
  • 32 Levels of magnetic resistance are precise and quiet
  • Wide, ergonomic seat is more comfortable than most
  • Weights are included and positioned behind the saddle out of the way
  • 21.5” Touchscreen is large, easy to see and reach
  • 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
  • Four points of adjustment enable comfortable bike fit
  • Cages hold your feet securely when using the flat pedal
  • Tension knob is directly below the handlebars
Cons
  • Rear flywheel design is unfamiliar to some riders and may take getting used to
  • Uses a resistance knob rather than preset buttons
  • Does not include a heart rate strap
FeaturesSpecifications
  • Magnetic Resistance
    • Magnetic resistance is silent and easily regulated electronically through preset resistance levels. 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
    • Abundant resistance options are built into the EX-5s so you can incorporate hills, sprints, and intervals into your workout.
  • 22” Touchscreen with 180 Swivel
    • The 21.5” touchscreen is large and easy to see. You select your Fit program via the touchscreen, which reduces clutter on the console. Display metrics are also adjusted in the touchscreen.
  • 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. SPD cleats are those typically found on indoor bikes and mountain bikes. By comparison, the Peloton bike uses Delta LOOK cleats which are compatible with road bike pedals.
  • Bike only weighs 124 pounds
    • This is surprisingly light for a piece of workout equipment which makes it easy to move and roll when needed.

Construction:

  • Steel Frame with solid uprights and comfortable saddle
  • Flywheel is in the rear of the bike, out of the “sweat zone”
  • Handlebars adjust both up/down and forward/aft
  • Hybrid pedals feature SPD Clip-in cleats on one side and a flat surface with cage on the other
  • Resistance is Magnetically generated to be silent and smooth
  • Adjustable seat moves up/down and forward/aft
  • Bike weighs 143 pounds
  • Weight capacity is 300 pounds

Console:

  • 21.5” Full-color display with touchscreen functionality
  • Screen rotates 180° for good visibility on or off the bike
  • No buttons or controls on bevel, all navigation is integrated in screen

Functionality:

  • Touchscreen features Echelon Fit app
  • Belt Drive produces quiet flywheel motion
  • Magnetic Resistance with 32 Digital Levels

Accessories:

  • Two 3 Lb. Dumbbells behind saddle

Warranty:

  • Parts and Labor: One Year

In-depth Review of Echelon EX5s

Construction

Frame

Frame is powder-coated steel with four points of adjustment. The bike feels sturdy when riding and doesn’t wobble or rock when riding in our out of the saddle. The rear flywheel design is a little different than traditional exercise bikes. The seat post and handlebar post angle outward slightly, which increases the span between handlebars and seat as you increase the height. Frame should fit most sized riders, although those over 6 feet tall may want to try out the bike to verify sufficient leg range.

FlyWheel

The 29 pound, rear-mounted flywheel pulls the weight back, under the rider, which may provide more stability. The flywheel is nice and heavy with good motion in the drive which feels smooth underfoot. There’s no drag on the wheel from brake resistance so the feeling is fluid as you pedal along.

Handlebars

Handlebars are spongy-coated to repel sweat but still feel soft when you hold or rest against them. There are multiple handlebar grips, including aero grips for serious riders.

Saddle

Comfort: This is a comfortable saddle. Exercise bike saddles are notoriously hard and narrow, but the EX5s seat is surprisingly comfortable.
Adjustments: There are two adjustments: You can adjust saddle height up or down via the seat post and adjust the saddle forward/aft on the carriage post.

Console/Controls

Screen

  • Size: 21.5″
    The screen was clearly designed to rival Peloton and NordicTrack’s bikes with a screen that’s nearly the same size. Lower Echelon models only offer a tablet holder, so the EX5s is the only Echelon bike with a screen.
  • Screen Movement
    The screen rotates 180 degrees. This allows you to turn the screen 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.
    The screen is attached to the handlebars, so when you raise the handlebars, the screen lifts too. This isn’t often a problem, but you might have to adjust handlebars slightly to get the right screen position.
  • Resolution
    Resolution is good. This isn’t the clearest screen we’ve seen, but it’s easy to see and read.
  • Touchscreen
    Yes, this is a touchscreen which is really nice as it reduces the amount of buttons and controls on the bike or the bevel.
  • Functionality
    Overall, functionality is good. The magnetic resistance is displayed on the screen so you know your resistance level, calorie burn, RPM’s, etc. The only complaint I’ve heard is without the app there are no onboard programs, no LCD console, no cadence monitor of any kind. You have to use the app to get any ride metrics.

Accessories

  • Fans
    There is no fan
  • Weights
    Two, 3 pound weights are included. These sit in a cage behind the saddle.
  • Tablet/Phone holder
    On all other Echelon bikes, there is a tablet holder with an adjustable clip right on the handlebars. The EX5s does not have a tablet holder since it has a screen.

Storage

  • There are two plastic cups for water bottles under the handlebars. You could also place keys or other light item here if needed.

Functionality

Performance

The Echelon EX5s has a nice feel to it. While there are a few geometric issues that could present a problem if you are tall or have really long legs, for most people the fit and feel of the bike is comfortable. Resistance is quiet and the programming keeps you engaged.

Incline / Decline range

There is no incline or decline on Echelon bikes.

Resistance Levels

32 Resistance levels are adjusted via a tension knob on the down tube. I love the feel of a knob in my hand, but it isn’t as precise as preset numbers. I’m not opposed to it though, and it doesn’t negatively impact the experience, but it does make jumping between levels or finding a specific level a little more challenging.

Pre-programmed workouts

There are no pre-programmed workouts on the EX5s. In order to be able to do anything besides pedal and adjust resistance, you need the app. On the EX1, EX3 and EX5 this is more of an issue because not everyone may have a personal device to sync for content. On the EX5s it doesn’t matter as much because this bike is designed to showcase the iFit app. If you don’t plan to use the app, don’t buy this bike. There are cheaper, simpler options available for those who don’t want to pay a monthly subscription.

Subscription Options

The Echelon Fit app is $39/month, which is the same cost as the Peloton app. However, Echelon frequently runs discounts, especially if you are buying the bike at the same time. The Fit app has:

  • Live Classes
  • Daily Classes (advertised as 14 new classes each day)
  • Recorded Classes
  • Leaderboard with several filters to adjust the rankings
  • Lots of outdoor rides! iFit is the only other app to have an extensive selection of outdoor rides. This takes you out of the class and into biking locations all over the world.
  • Other classes off the bike such as stretching, weight training, yoga, etc.

Noise Level

Again, magnetic resistance keeps the bike quiet when riding. There is virtually no noise.

Storage / Folding

The bike does not fold, but it has wheels on the bottom, so you can roll it out of the way when needed. It only weighs 143 pounds, so it is noticeably lighter than comparable models.

Bottom Line:

The Echelon EX-5s is a solid contender in the crowded spin bike market. It competes well with other high-end brands and offers similar features and content. However, it also includes drop-down handlebars for low, aero riding, and features 4 adjustment points, which is an unusual benefit on an in-home exercise bike. Check out the EX-5s to see what Echelon has to offer!

POST REPLY