Echelon went from manufacturing cheap Peloton alternative bikes and treadmills to producing equipment that look like the most premium indoor home gym equipment I've seen in a while. The Echelon EX-8s bike and Stride 5s running machine have impressive specs and clever features that might make a few heads turn (it certainly turned mine).
Different Echelon models are features all across T3's buying guides already, including the best exercise bikes, best treadmills and best rowing machine guides. I reviewed the Echelon Smart Connect EX3 and the Echelon Smart Rower and enjoyed using both, especially the rower that featured a clever resistance dial on the ores.
However, the new range, announced in time for CES 2022, offers an entirely different workout experience by the look of it. The large, all-encompassing screen and unique visual language of the EX-8s signal a new era in the brand's development. I, for one, can't wait to see in which direction Echelon will go from here.
Echelon EX-8s: the most premium indoor bike experience yet from Echelon
Echelon's first-of-kind connected bike, the Echelon EX-8s, comes with a massive 24-inch touchscreen display and illuminating flywheels (the colour is based on your heart rate and effort) to "help transform your home into a high-end cycling studio", as Echelon puts it. The HD touchscreen flips 180° so you can perform off-bike workouts without having to take your eyes off the screen.
The bike was designed by a team led by Eric Villency, who established the design language, visual aesthetics and feature set for the bike. Villency has worked in fitness for the last 10 years and has always been inspired by outdoor equipment and especially performance road bikes, Echelon informed us. It certainly looks very different from the Peloton Bike+ and reminds me of Tron movies.
Giant screen aside, what excited me the most about the EX-8s are the ergonomic handlebars. They not only look comfortable but feature a similar resistance toggle we saw on the Echelon Smart Rower, meaning you can adjust things without having to change positions.
The Echelon EX-8s also features a "competition-style" seat, 32 levels of motorised magnetic resistance, USB charging port, mounted dumbbell and water bottle holders and SPD compatible pedals.
You can sign up to buy an Echelon EX-8s here (opens in new tab) (MSRP is $2,399). You will be able to get hold of a bike for $1,999 as part of the "New Year, New You" pre-sale campaign. The offer ends on 15 January 2022, and the price includes free shipping.
Check out the teaser video:
Echelon is also busy producing content for its fans. The new Echelon Classes+ content in 2022 will include brand new fitness programs and challenges that will target specific member goals.
As Echelon explains, the brand is "continuously redefining the cross-section where fitness meets entertainment and technology" (i.e., Pitbull channel, Old Dominion Channel, Breakdancing Cardio classes, Disney scenic rides, Album Anniversaries, etc.).
As part of this expansion/refinement, former NFL athletes will join Monday Night rides, and the Echelon library will also feature major label artist Spotlights (Lady Gaga, Norah Jones, Reba, Jon Batiste, Jessie J, etc.). There will also be a Broadway Series "Center Stage" that includes Phantom, Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, etc.
On top of all this, you can also find guided meditations, prenatal classes, outdoor run classes, boxing, circuit training, cardio dance, Zumba Party Ride (exclusive content with Echelon and Zumba) and new scenic rides/runs/rows in the ever-extending Echelon content library which currently includes over 15,000 classes in its On Demand library. There are over 200 live classes filmed per week, too.
Echelon Stride 5s: Welcome to the cockpit
The Stride 5s is vastly different from the Echelon Stride. While the Stride is designed with smaller living spaces in mind, the new Stride 5s commands the room and make you feel you are in a fighter jet's cockpit.
It features an impact-absorbing running deck and steel frame to withstand frequent, high-impact use and accommodate a range of running styles. Speed and incline settings can be accessed on the 24" class HD touchscreen or the easy-access handlebar, the latter of which runs all around the user.
The monitor can be turned out so you can perform off-treadmill exercises more easily. The treadmill itself can produce speeds up to 12.5 MPH and 16 incline levels (max incline is 15%). Not quite as impressive stats as similarly-sized Bowflex Treadmill 22, but very decent nevertheless.
The Echelon Stride 5s weighs 315 lbs. Max user weight is 400 lbs.
The Echelon Stride 5s is available to buy now at Echelon (opens in new tab) for $2,499.99, although there is a 22% deal available currently. Need Membership: $34.99/monthly.