By Luke Friend
Echelon has launched a new exercise bike, in partnership with Amazon. It's been widely observed that the Echelon Ex-Prime bike shares some notable similarities with the Peloton indoor trainer, though it comes in significantly cheaper.
While the original Peloton bike retails at $1900 in the US, or £1750 in the UK, the Ex-Prime Bike can be yours, if you're in the US, for just $499.99. The only caveat is that you need to be an Amazon Prime member to purchase the bike.
Clearly the Ex-Prime bike is viewed as a serious contender to Peloton's crown. Upon its release Peloton's stock price dropped by 5% in the U.S. Its shares had risen 200% during the Covid pandemic as people look for ways to exercise indoors.
Visually the two bikes are similar, and in many ways the Ex-Prime Bike's features are a close match to its more expensive rival. It uses a magnetic resistance system, with 32 resistance levels. Adjustment, like the Peloton, comes by way of an orange knob.
The ergonomic handlebars and saddle are similar in both appearance and functionality. Both bikes offer front-mounted wheels, allowing the bike to be moved around with ease.
However, unlike the Peloton bike, Echelon's Ex-Prime doesn't include a built-in screen. Rather, it comes with a tablet holder, so you can insert your own device, such as an iPad. Amazon and Echolon wanted to offer a connected spin bike for under $500, so in the search for affordability, it seems that something had to give.
Echelon, which also produces two other Connect bikes, a smart rowing machine and a fitness mirror, offers a range of classes as part of its membership content.
Like Peloton, the live and on-demand classes offer plenty of variety from endurance rides to HIIT sessions. Delivered by over 30 different instructors, Echelon also promises no 'elevator music' during its classes.
Echelon is currently offering a 30-day free trail of its membership scheme. Owners of the Ex-Prime could also sign-up for Peloton's services via its app should they so wish.
So what are the other discernible differences? The Ex-Prime doesn't allow you to clip in like the Peloton does. Instead it favors toe straps, which may not be to everyones liking.
But perhaps the more significant variance is in the weight of the two bikes. While the Peloton weighs in at a reassuringly sturdy 135 lbs, the Echelon Ex-Prime tips the scales at a mere 80 lbs. It would suggest that the Echelon is perhaps a less robust option. However, without putting it through its paces it's just an assumption.
Amazon isn't the only place to purchase the latest Echelon Prime bike. Re-branded as the Echelon Connect Sport, it's available at Walmart, too.
Over at Walmart the bike retails at $599.99, with a current introductory offer price of $499.99.
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