The race is on, Echelon vs Peloton, and the battle itself means you're going to be a winner. Not only are the competing two helping to push each other to offer better features, they're also going to help push prices further down. All good stuff but that may not help you decide which is the best option for you.
All you'll need to worry about soon is how hard you're going to push yourself on the bike as this Echelon vs Peloton guide should help you pick the perfect cycling partner for your home gym training needs.
While Peloton is more expensive, the bike offers more features for that premium, including a built in touchscreen display. But the drop in price for the Echelon may be appealing to those who already own a tablet that can do the job of working as a bike display.
But the differences go deeper than that, of course. So be sure to take all the feature variations below into account before deciding which is the best exercise bike for your home.
1. Echelon vs Peloton - which is cheaper?
The best place to start with a comparison of the two bikes is price as that then makes clear any shortcomings on one. To be blunt, Peloton is the premium version and Echelon has arrived after to bite at its heels by offering a more affordable option.
In terms of memberships, which get you access to the trainer led classes, in both cases, these are charged at $39 per month each.
When it comes to the bikes themselves, the Peloton is the more expensive, starting at $1,495. While the Echelon starts at $899.99 online. The reason these prices can be so different is explained more in the next point all about the bikes.
2. Which is the better bike?
So how can Echelon undercut Peloton on bike price by nearly $500? They do look very similar and offer largely the same features. The big difference, in comparing the base models, as we are here, is that the Peloton comes with a 21.5-inch HD color touchscreen display where the Echelon base model requires you to bring your own screen device.
Another area that makes Peloton stand out here is the warranty. You're covered by a reassuring five year frame warranty as well as a one year limited parts and labor warranty. By comparison the Echelon only gives you a one year limited parts and labor warranty, a big plus for anyone asking themselves 'is Peloton worth it?'
The Peloton bike is considerably heavier at 135lb compared to the Echelon's 104lbs, but where weight can mean quality, that extra is a good thing.
The magnetic resistance is a big factor too, with Pelton offering 100 levels of manually controlled power points where Echelon tops out at 32 levels of resistance. While the Echelon has stepped levels, like gears, the Peloton is smooth for a more steady ride experience.
For connecting your devices, like a heart rate monitor or smartwatch, there is a difference. Peloton offers both Bluetooth and WiFi, making it Apple GymKit friendly. Echelon is Bluetooth only but you can link the Echelon account with your Fitbit and Strava accounts.
Another major difference is in the clips, with Echelon offering SPD compatibility and fully adjustable toe cages, to suit most shoes. Whereas Peloton offers LOOK delta pedal compatibility specifically, meaning you may need new cleats or shoes to use the bike.
3. Which has the better classes and app service?
Both offer live classes and on demand content which goes beyond the bikes to HIIT, strength, bootcamp, dance, running, yoga and more. Peloton also offers an audio guidance option so you can train outside with your smartphone. That makes it a powerful app in and of itself, even when you don't take into account the appeal it offers to draw in the best quality trainers to the service.
That said, while Peloton has built up more of a following, both the services offer a similar level of quality. They each offer passionate and motivating instructors that know what they're doing and provide varied and entertaining ways to keep you pushing yourself to progress.
4. Which bike takes up more space?
The difference in physical bike size isn't massive. As mentioned, the Peloton is heavier at 135lbs compared to Echelon's 104lbs. But the Echelon is actually a little longer at 55-inches from front to back. The Pelton is a little more compact in that respect, stretching to 48-inch in total length.
But the Peloton is slightly wider at 24-inches compared to the Echelon's 20-inches. So with those measurements in mind it's worth seeing how much space you have, in length and width, as that may factor into your decision on which is the best exercise bike to live in your home.
5. Which service has more options?
So far we've compared the base level models for each service. But the reality is that Peloton has two bike options and Echelon has four. So there is lots of choice to suit varying levels of need.
The more you spend the more you get in terms of exercise options, with weights, sweat mats, bikes shoes and more included in some bundles. But the big jump, that's worth making, is for the automatic resistance shifting. This means if the instructor says to push the level up, you don't need to grab for the adjustment knob and make a change, the bike does it for you so you stay focused. This features comes in the Peloton Bike+, which also features a larger 24-inch HD touchscreen that can be swiveled for exercises off bike, plus you get better sound that makes it feel more immersive.
The base level Echelon is the GT+, mentioned above, then you have the Ex-5 for $200 more at $999.99, the EX-5s for $1,199, and the EX-8s for $2,299.99 which adds a curved display and LED lighting in the bike. The Ex-5s adds a 22-inch HD display that can be flipped 180-degrees, competing with the Peloton Bike+, although this won't offer auto resistance changing.
6. Which bike should I buy?
If you want the very best quality bike with that automatic smoother shifting and the peace of mind that comes with a superior warranty then the Peloton Bike+ is for you.
However, if you're new to all this and worrying how to stay motivated to workout and just want to get a model to get you started, and have your own tablet to use as a screen, then the Echelon GT+ could be the right model to suit your needs.
Both offer great classes with a wide range of instructors, timing options and features.
Of course you may find that you want even more pro-grade features, like incline and decline controls, in which case something like the NordicTrack brand could be for you. Or, if you want to train on your road bike indoors, then a smart bike trainer may serve you well with an immersive digital riding app like Zwift.
But if it's a straight choice between Peloton and Echelon for you, then either save money with very little lost and go for Echelon, or splash out a little more and get all the premium features of the Peloton experience.
Luke is a veteran journalist and editor of over two decades where he has written about everything but specialises is technology, science, health and fitness, smart homes and health. He contributes to Real Homes, T3, Tom's Guide and TechRadar, among many other titles. As a father of two, any spare time he gets is enjoyed surfing, reading, hiking, camping and generally getting out in nature.
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