Echelon Vs Peloton Bikes Head-To-Head: Which Should You Choose?

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Echelon and Peloton are considered to be two of the best indoor cycling bike brands, both offering an interactive workout experience with thousands of workout classes you can stream and high-quality exercise bikes.

The Peloton Bike lineup includes the original Peloton Bike and the upgraded Peloton Bike+, while Echelon offers quite a few different exercise bikes with various features and price points. 

But, which is better: Echelon vs Peloton? And what are the main differences between Peloton vs Echelon exercise bikes?

In this article, we will look at how the Peloton and Echelon bikes stack up, the main differences between Echelon vs Peloton Bikes, and whether it is better to get an Echelon exercise bike or a Peloton Bike based on your personal needs. We’ll be covering:

  • What Is The Peloton Bike?
  • What Is The Echelon Bike?
  • Echelon vs Peloton Bikes Head-To-Head: 5 Key Factors

Let’s jump in!

Echelon Vs Peloton Bikes: Title Image

What Is the Peloton Bike?

There are two Peloton Bike models. The original Peloton Bike, which launched in 2014, is quite similar to the upgraded Peloton Bike+, which was released in 2020.

Both bikes offer a heavy-duty welded steel frame that can support riders up to 297 pounds. The frame has an attractive powder coat finish to prevent corrosion and improve the aesthetic appearance of the bike.

There are 100 levels of digitally-controlled magnetic resistance and a smooth belt drive mechanism. 

Both the Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike+ pedals require Delta-compatible cleats unless you choose to swap out the pedals. 

There are no toe cages, so you will need to buy cycling shoes to ride the Peloton Bikes. Peloton offers their own branded compatible cycling shoes, which cost $125, or you can use other cycling shoes with Delta-compatible cleats.

The primary differences between the Peloton Bike vs Peloton Bike+ involve technology upgrades.

The Peloton Bike has a 21.5-inch touchscreen display that can be tilted up and down so that you can comfortably view it while riding the bike regardless of your height. There are dual rear-facing speakers and a 4-pixel forward-facing camera.

A woman in a yellow top follows an exercise class on her Peloton Bike+.
Credit: Peloton

The monitor on the Peloton Bike+ is 2 inches larger, however, measuring 23.8 inches. It is fully rotatable so that you can swivel the screen to easily view workouts off the bike. 

It also has surround sound, with speakers on the front and woofers on the back. The screen also has better anti-glare coatings to improve the viewing experience. With that said, both the Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike plus have a very vivid, gorgeous display. 

The camera is 8 pixels and has a privacy screen that you can put over it. From a functional standpoint, the primary difference between the two Peloton Bike models is the auto-adjust function on the premium Peloton Bike+. 

The resistance level of the bike will automatically adjust according to the Peloton instructor’s callouts during the workout, enabling you to focus just on keeping up with the instructor rather than fiddling with the controls.

A group of indoor cyclists with their hands on the armrests.

What Is the Echelon Bike?

The Echelon brand offers five different Echelon Connect smart exercise bikes, including:

  • GT+
  • EX-5
  • EX-5s-10
  • EX-5s-22
  • EX-8s

One of the benefits of having a more diverse lineup of models is that there are exercise bikes at lower price points, making Echelon a great budget-friendly Peloton alternative. 

The Echelon GT+ is the entry-level Echelon exercise bike. 

Manufacturer image of the Echelon GT+.
Echelon GT+ Exercise Bike
Credit: EchelonFit

It doesn’t have an integrated touchscreen, which means that you will need to supply your own tablet or smartphone if you want to stream workout classes while using the bike, but you can certainly save money at the point of sale. 

The bike features a tablet holder and Bluetooth connectivity to facilitate using your own device.

The EX-5 is also a budget-friendly Echelon exercise bike model, though it’s slightly more expensive than the GT+. It has a tablet holder and Bluetooth connectivity rather than an integrated touchscreen, but it has a few upgrades on the GT+. 

For example, the seat and handlebars offer four-way adjustability rather than just vertical adjustments, allowing users of different heights to get a better fit.

The Echelon EX-5s models and EX-8s offer built-in touchscreen displays like the Peloton Bikes. The size of the touchscreen varies according to the model, from 10 inches on the EX-5s-10 to 24 inches on the Echelon EX-8s.

Like the Peloton Bikes, Echelon bikes use a silent belt drive mechanism and digital magnetic resistance. There are also over 40 live classes daily and thousands of on-demand classes with the Echelon membership.

Echelon vs Peloton Bikes Head-To-Head: 5 Key Factors

#1. Pedals

Manufacturer image of Echelon bike pedals.
Echelon bike pedals.
Credit: EchelonFit

One of the main differences in the components between the Echelon bike vs Peloton is the pedals. 

The Peloton Bikes have only clipless pedals that require Delta-compatible cleats.

The Echelon bikes feature dual-sided pedals with toe cages on one side and SPD-compatible clipless pedals on the other.

This gives Echelon an advantage for beginners or cyclists who want to wear regular sneakers rather than cycling shoes, and can save you a bit of money.

#2. Saddles

Users complain about the comfort of both the Peloton and Echelon bike saddles.

Fortunately, both brands of bikes feature saddles that can be swapped out for any bike seat of your choice.

The stock Peloton Bike seat is a sport-series saddle while the Echelon bikes have a competition seat.

The seat can be adjusted up and down as well as forwards and backward on Peloton Bikes. The Echelon bikes use a lever adjustment, and the cheaper models do not have fore/aft adjustment, giving Peloton the edge for bike fit customization.

A cyclist follows a Peloton class from his home.
Credit: Peloton

#3. Dimensions

The size and footprint of the Echelon vs Peloton Bikes is fairly similar, depending somewhat on the particular models. Both brands offer relatively compact exercise bikes.

However, if you are looking for the most compact indoor cycling bike, you’ll save a couple of inches with the lower-end Echelon bikes vs Peloton’s bikes. 

The weight of the bikes displays greater variability. In general, Echelon bikes are more lightweight than Peloton Bikes.

This can be ideal for cyclists wanting an exercise bike that can easily be moved after a workout, but if you want a super stable, robust frame, it may be better to go with the Peloton vs Echelon bikes for a sturdier feel.

However, the difference in weight between the Echelon vs Peloton Bikes is really only noticeably different with the budget-friendly GT+ and EX-5 Echelon models.

There is virtually no difference in the weight capacity and user height requirements with the Peloton and Echelon bikes. Both companies recommend that riders are at least 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm) and no more than 6 feet 4 inches (193 cm) tall. 

There is a very slight difference in the maximum weight capacity. The Peloton Bikes support up to 297 pounds (135 kg), while Echelon has a weight limit of 300 pounds (136 kg).

Ultimately, this is too subtle of a difference to really have an impact one way or another. If you weigh more than 300 pounds, you will likely need to go with a different type of exercise bike than Peloton or Echelon.

A woman rides her Peloton bike in her living room.
Credit: Peloton

#4. Resistance

All of the bikes across both companies feature the ability to adjust the resistance by turning a resistance knob that is located at the center of the bike.

The Echelon EX-8s also features a handy Bluetooth Resistance Controller that allows you to adjust the resistance from the handlebars.

The Peloton Bike+ also features optional auto-resistance. This means that the resistance level of your bike will be automatically adjusted to match the resistance level of the Peloton instructor during the workout, if you so choose. This enables hands-free training.

One of the primary differences between the Peloton vs Echelon bikes is in the number of resistance levels.

The Peloton Bikes have 100 levels of resistance, whereas the Echelon Connect bikes only have 32 levels of magnetic resistance.

This does not necessarily mean that the maximum resistance on an Echelon bike is less than the Peloton Bikes, but that there is more of a jump between the difficulty of each subsequent resistance level. 

#5. Price

If you are on a tighter budget, choosing an Echelon bike vs Peloton can be a wise decision.

Not only can you save money initially by choosing one of the more budget-friendly Echelon bikes, but the ongoing subscription fees for the Echelon app ($34/month) are also lower than the Peloton All Access Membership ($44/month).

View over a cyclist's shoulder of the screen of a Peloton bike.
Credit: Peloton

Now You Know All About Peloton Vs Echelon…

Ultimately, both Peloton and Echelon bikes are high-quality indoor cycling bikes that offer guided workouts, magnetic resistance, and sturdy frames.

Choosing the best exercise bike for you involves considering your budget and needs.

Found this Echelon Bike Vs Peloton Guide Helpful? Check out more from the BikeTips experts below!

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With over a decade of experience as a certified personal trainer, two Masters degrees (Exercise Science and Prosthetics and Orthotics), and as a UESCA-certified endurance nutrition and triathlon coach, Amber is as well-qualified as they come when it comes to handling sports science topics for BikeTips. Amber's experience as a triathlon coach demonstrates her broad and deep knowledge of performance cycling.

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