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Last Updated: May 3, 2023
Peloton is probably the most recognized name in home-based, indoor cycling classes. But it is certainly not the only option! In this review, we will compare the new Peloton Bike+ with the Echelon EX-5s to see what options and features are available on each bike. While Peloton may be the self-appointed leader, Echelon has great content and a solid ride! You may be surprised by what it has to offer. Let’s take a closer look!
Take a look at how the Peloton Bike+ compares to other bikes on our list of best exercise bikes.
Peloton vs. Echelon EX-5s Frame Design
To be honest, they feel very similar. The Original Bike is solid and always has been.
The main structural difference between the Echelon EX-5s and the Peloton Bike+ is the Peloton features a traditional cycling frame with the flywheel under the handlebars. The Echelon EX-5s has a rear-flywheel design with the flywheel under the seat. Functionally, there’s no difference in how either bike feels. Proponents of a rear flywheel claim that moving the flywheel to the back of the bike removes it from the “sweat zone,” eliminating moisture that could drip down on the wheel. A rear flywheel also creates a V-shape to the bike which amplifies the reach when you raise the seat and handlebars. This makes the Echelon EX-5s a good option for taller riders – especially those who may want more span between the seat and screen. However, the Peloton Bike+ is equally well-sized and either one can be adjusted for riders of all sizes.
Our Video Comparison – Echelon vs Peloton
Peloton Bike+ Frame
- Welded, powder-coated steel frame. Neodymium rare-earth magnet system with dynamic resistance control.
- Belt Drive: Poly V power transmission belt drive
- Bike weight: 140lb (125lb frame, 15lb console)
- Footprint: 59” L x 22” W x 59” H
- Rider Size: 4’11” to 6’5” tall
- Max Weight: 297lb user weight
Echelon EX-5s Bike Frame
- Welded, powder-coated steel frame.
- Belt Drive: Quiet belt drive
- Bike weight: 124lb
- Footprint: 58″ x 21.5″ x 61″
- Rider Size: Not specified
- Max Weight: 300lb user weight
Peloton Bike+ Pedals
Peloton Bike+ Delta LOOK pedals with an option for a clip-on pedal with cages.
- There are several advantages to using clipped pedals. They keep your feet firmly planted in the pedal which reduces the chances of pedal strikes (when your foot accidentally slips out of the pedal, which then spins around and whacks you in the shin).
- Cycling shoes allow the rider to pull up at the top of the pedal rotation which engages glutes and hamstrings for more balance musculature
- Delta LOOK cleats are wide and allow for more “float” in your ankle and knee joints which reduces strain on the joints for a natural feeling pedal stroke.
Echelon Hybrid Pedals
- Having hybrid pedals is a no-brainer. These pedals support a standard SPD cycling shoe or a regular athletic shoe.
- This allows both serious riders with cycling shoes and casual riders who prefer an athletic shoe to enjoy the Echelon.
- This is the only type of pedal that makes sense on an indoor cycling bike.
Handlebars On The Peloton Bikes
The new Peloton Bike+ has standard handlebars with an elongated horizontal bar.
- This allows riders to lean forward and rest your arms on the vertical grips along the sides.
- Slight modification from the Original Bike bars with less curvature in the middle and slightly wider span. These handlebars are comfortable and allow for multiple hand/arm positions.
The Echelon EX-5s has multiple position handlebars with an extra wide elbow area that is my favorite.
- The vertical grip and elongated horizontal bar allow for lots of hand positions.
- I love the extra wide elbow area. I prefer to rest my hands here and find this to be one of my favorite handlebar designs.
Peloton Bike+ features 3 adjustment points
- Seat moves up/down and forward/back
- Handlebars move up/down
- Plenty of room for most riders
Echelon EX-5s has four adjustment points
- Seat moves up/down and forward/back
- Handlebars move up/down
- Handlebars also move forward and back which is unusual on a bike with a screen. Love this! The V-shaped design and the added fourth adjustment makes this an excellent option for riders of all sizes. Larger riders and those with long legs will especially benefit from this design.
The new Peloton Bike+ has a large 24” touchscreen
The new Bike+ has a front-facing sound bar along the top that provides high-quality sound directed right at the rider. The new Bike+ screen also rotates 180 degrees to either side so you can view programs off the bike as well. This is handy when doing a yoga, bootcamp, or strength-based workout. Screen graphics and resolution are unparalleled in this space. Peloton excels at digital content and screen quality. No buffering delay. Excellent load times. Crisp screen and graphics.
The Echelon EX-5s also has a touchscreen, but it is not on par with Peloton
The addition of a screen is always nice on an exercise bike. I appreciate that Echelon includes digital content and an attached touchscreen, however, the screen resolution, graphics, and processor speed is not on par with Peloton. We’ll provide more details in the content comparison, but I feel that Echelon could step up their game here with a better screen, better speakers, and improved processor speed to really compete with Peloton.
Both Peloton Bike+ and Echelon EX-5s feature Magnetic Resistance with a heavy flywheel and smooth cadence
The Peloton Bike+ has 100 resistance levels, magnetic resistance and AutoFollow. The fluid motion of the flywheel is impressive; I love the division of 100 levels. You can quickly assess where you are in relation to total resistance since 100 is an easy number to understand. Also, the new AutoFollow on the Peloton Bike+ is a game changer and makes it so you can ride hands-free without having a adjust the resistance. Additionally, Peloton has incorporated a range of resistance into the AutoFollow feature so you aren’t regulated to a single level but can set a range to stay within. I love this innovative thinking.
The Echelon has 32 levels of resistance. This is an interesting number. I want to ask, “Why 32?” Resistance levels can be subdivided into any increment since resistance isn’t a preset metric (like speed). The use of a random number of levels doesn’t make sense to me. However, the magnetic resistance is silent, and the top resistance level provides plenty of torque for strong riders. There is no AutoFollow feature, but the resistance knob is large and easy to use.
Peloton Digital Subscription
Peloton excels because the digital content sets the bar for the whole industry. Film production is professional. The division of volume control between instructor and music is useful. Music is impressive, and the overall user experience is what sells this bike. The only area where Peloton could kick up their game is in Outdoor Rides. Currently there are only four, but we understand they plan to add more.
Echelon Digital Content
I’ll be honest, the Echelon videos lack the same quality and polish as Peloton’s. They have multiple filming studios and some are better than others. The Miami studio seems to always have cables on the floor, visible sound and lighting equipment and weird shadows behind the instructor. The Chattonooga studio is better and a few of their outdoor venues are impressive. However, I feel that Echelon could really improve the overall rider experience by cleaning up the visual area around and in front of the instructor. While the coaches are fine – the background and overall film quality is distracting. You can’t separate music volume from trainer volume and it feels like only the instructor is piped directly into the camera system while the music just plays in the background. This limits the overall experience since music is a vital component of cycling classes. If it’s muffled or muted in the background, you have a harder time finding the beat and feeling the rhythm of the ride. For me, the Echelon classes feel like someone watched a Peloton class and then tried to recreate it in their basement.
Echelon does have some impressive content. Their “Center Stage” productions feature music from current musicals like Phantom, Wicked, and Dear Evan Hansen. They have also partnered with musical artists like PitBull and Reba McIntire. Echelon is on the right track, just a few tweaks to overall quality would improve the experience significantly.
Affordability & Price
Being affordable hasn’t typically been Peloton’s emphasis; however, the Original Bike was recently reduced in price to just $1495. The updated Bike+ is currently $2495. The Peloton app costs $40/month. While it’s cheaper in the long run than a gym membership, Peloton has always been on the higher-end of indoor exercise bikes. The Bike+ is a hefty investment, but you get what you pay for with the ever-expanding content and quality hardware.
The Echelon EX-5s is more affordable at $1499 and $33/month. The subscription is required at checkout, so you are locked into the Echelon app if you opt for the bike. There are no preloaded or free programs available. For the overall price, it’s a good deal. If Echelon improved their streaming content a bit, it would be significantly more valuable.
Final Comparison: Peloton Bike+ and Echelon EX-5s
- Both Bikes feature Magnetic Resistance
- Both are Quiet in use
- Both are Bluetooth enabled
- Both have a Weighted Flywheel
- Both offer a Digital Subscription
- Neither one has a fan
How they Differ
- The Peloton Bike+ screen has higher resolution and better graphics. It is also 2” larger.
- The Peloton Bike+ has enhanced aesthetic features, and better adjustment knobs
- The Peloton Bike+ has Auto-Follow which will hold the resistance within a desired range
- Slight update to the Bike+ handlebars makes them more comfortable
- The Echelon EX-5s has a 22’ touchscreen
- The magnetic resistance levels are divided into 32 segments rather than 100
- There is no AutoFollow on the Echelon
- Echelon classes, videography, and music is not on par with Peloton
- Echelon is a much better buy at more than $1000 less for the bike and app.
- The Echelon handlebars slide backwards to increase the reach. This is a great option for large/tall riders.
- The rear placed flywheel doesn’t change the ride experience and increases the adjustment options on the frame.