You’ve seen the commercials. You probably have at least one friend on social media raving about their experiences. The connected exercise bike craze is here, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
If you’re considering joining the ranks of at-home coached cycling, you’ll need the right connected exercise bike to get started. Two of the biggest companies operating in this space are Peloton
Both offer excellent at-home fitness experiences, but each company has its own unique mix of features so that one brand might work better than the other for your needs. Find out which is the better choice for you.
Similar Functionality, Different Ecosystems
The discussion surrounding Peloton vs. Echelon sounds a lot like the debate surrounding smartphones. Either way you go, you’re going to get similar functionality. In some ways, a smartphone is a smartphone, regardless of specific features, build quality, and so forth. The same goes for the connected bike industry.
The biggest differences lie in the ecosystems. Smartphones are all basically similar in that they have screens, can make calls, download apps, and so forth. But if you’ve ever switched from Android to iOS or the other way around, you know that the ecosystems are pretty different.
Both brands of bike connect to their own distinct libraries of workout content, classes, and videos. Peloton has the Peloton membership for $39 per month, while Echelon has Echelon Fit for roughly the same price.
Peloton has the Peloton app, which connects to your smartwatch or heart rate monitor. Echelon Fit does the same basic thing within its own ecosystem, plus it can link to Facebook, Fitbit, and Strava accounts.
So, in the end, one of the biggest considerations for which brand to pick is which ecosystem has the better mix of features and content for your workout needs.
Price and Models
Price is another factor that differentiates Peloton bikes from Echelon bikes. Peloton is a premium brand, and it shows.
Peloton offers two Bike models. Bike
starts at $1,195, while Bike+
starts at $1,995. The lower-priced model has come down several hundred dollars in price thanks to price competition from other brands, including Echelon.
The primary difference between the two models is in the touchscreen. On the Bike model, the touchscreen is locked in place, pretty much only usable while you’re riding your bike.
On Bike+, the touchscreen can swivel away from the bike, allowing you to use it for other types of workouts (like yoga, Pilates, strength training and more). Bike+ also has an auto resistance feature.
Echelon offers five models of Connect Bike
, which range in price from much cheaper than the Peloton Bike to markedly more expensive than the Peloton Bike+.
The range starts with the Echelon GT+ Connect Bike, an $899 connected bike that requires you to bring your own screen (such as an iPad). So, while it’s cheaper than the Echelon Bike, it’s not quite as well integrated. That said, the screen mount on even this cheapest model can swivel, allowing you to use it for other workout types like with the Bike+.
Step up to the EX series for added performance and a range of additional features. The $999 EX-5 also lacks an integrated screen, while the EX-5S adds a 10-inch screen at $1,199 or a 22-inch screen at $1,499.
There are tons of tiny differences between the two brands and between the various models in each — too many to list here. But a few significant differences might influence your brand choice.
Peloton bikes use LOOK delta pedals
, which means you must purchase the right type of cycling shoes to use the bike effectively. If you aren’t already an avid biker, this could be just one more expense to add to the list.
Echelon bikes use SPD pedals
that allow you to choose whether you wear normal shoes or cycling cleats. One side of the pedal features a toe cage for your normal shoes, while the other side lets you clip in.
The cheapest models of Echelon bikes don’t include a touchscreen. If you don’t already have an iPad, you’ll have to get one before you can use video content..
Peloton’s bikes feature 100 levels of magnetic resistance and fluid levelling. Echelon’s have just 32 levels, and only the most expensive bike includes fluid levelling.
Classes and Content
Overall, the biggest difference is the scope and quality of their classes and content. Both offer a mix of live and on-demand workouts across a variety of disciplines. While Echelon is working to expand its offerings, Peloton’s are currently better in quality, more varied, and more numerous.
Protect Your Peloton or Echelon Bike with Upsie
Whether you choose Peloton or Echelon for your exercise needs, you’ll have a great machine. The bike itself is a big investment, though, no matter which model you choose. Protect that investment with an extended warranty plan from Upsie
Upsie’s plans will step in and cover issues when your primary warranty fails or expires, keeping you exercising as long and as hard as you want. Their comprehensive plans have no deductible and offer in-home repairs from certified technicians.
Don’t get sidelined by a broken bike. Get an Upsie plan today!
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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.