The Echelon EX3 is a wonderful spin bike for its price.
It has great hardware, connectivity, and software. This makes it one of the best ‘smart’ spin bikes on the market. In this article, we’ll discuss all of its aspects in detail.
Here’s a breakdown of what we’ll cover:
- About the ‘Echelon’ brand
- Special features of the EX3 Echelon Smart Connect Bike
- Drawbacks of the EX3 Echelon Smart Connect Bike
- Buyers guide on indoor exercise bikes
- Benefits of using the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike
- What others are saying about the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike
- Alternatives to the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike
Table of Contents
- Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike Review
- About the “Echelon” brand
- Special Features of the Echelon Ex3 Smart Connect Bike
- Cons of the Echelon Ex3 Smart Connect Bike
- Echelon EX3 Buyers Guide
- Benefits of using the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike
- Alternatives to the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike
- Echelon EX5 Smart Connect Bike
- Echelon EX5s Smart Connect Bike – Better alternative 4.9/5
- Echelon EX1 Smart Connect Bike – Cheaper alternative 4.5/5
Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike Review
About the “Echelon” brand
Echelon Corporation was an American network service company founded in 1988 by Clifford Markkula Jr in Santa Clara, California, United States. The company’s original business was in the networked energy services sector. This largely dealt with the metering of electricity from the grid.
In late 2014, the company left the metering business and decided to fully concentrate on IoT and fitness devices. It was acquired and is currently run by Adesto Technologies.
Special Features of the Echelon Ex3 Smart Connect Bike
The EX3 is made of an industrial-grade steel frame. It’s sturdy, thick, and strong. At first glance, you’ll notice the premium look. You may also be drawn to its dust coat paint job. It looks modern and resilient. The same great polish continues to the handlebars and flywheel housing.
There’s no in-built display. This means that the bike can survive accidental falls. Speaking of which, the flywheel is located at the back. Combine this with its 13kg weight and you’ll see why it makes the bike stable. It also boasts high-quality steel construction. This makes it last a lifetime.
The flywheel remains silent on all resistance levels. This indicates a lack of friction between moving parts. Adding to its longevity. Echelon offers a free return policy within 30 days of purchase of the bike. This means that you have enough time to only settle with a fully functional model. You also get a 12-month limited warranty on parts and labor.
The flywheel has 32 magnetic tension levels. This means that the bike can grow with you with regards to strength and fitness levels. Therefore, you may never outgrow the bike. At least not if you still have normal quads. The Echelon Fit App, which enhances the bike’s performance, receives regular updates. This keeps the bike trendy.
The Echelon Ex3 has a slot on the front where phones or tablets can be clipped. What’s more, is that you get a USB port to power up the aforementioned devices while in use. This means that you don’t have to pause your training should your display run out of battery. It’s also Bluetooth smart.
This is the medium through which the bike connects with the display of your choosing. Through this link, the Echelon Fit app connects to the bike. Resistance control signals are transmitted to the flywheel. This connection is stable and rarely drops off. Initially, there used to be problems with the app crashing. This has since been resolved.
The app can also be linked to Strava and Fitbit fitness apps. You can also share your spin progress on Facebook. There’s a large online community to share your experiences with. There’s also an option for multiple profiles on the same bike. This allows the rest of your family to equally enjoy the bike.
PS: Corresponding adjustments on the handlebar and saddle levels are super easy to make. There’s a status light just below the device holder. It blinks when the bike is paired and glows when its paired.
Echelon Fit App
This is one of the strongest selling points of the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike. It contains live and pre-recorded spin classes from world-renowned personal trainers. The videos are easy to follow. However, the audio still lacks. You may want to grab a pair of wireless headphones for a more immersive experience.
Upon startup, you’ll be introduced to 10-minute warm-up clips. These are meant to teach you the basics of using the bike. You’ll basically learn how to stay in sync with your instructor. As in, how to adjust the bikes position, height, and resistance levels depending on the class.
There’s also a ‘fit pass’ section on the app. It contains videos that can be executed off the bike. These include things like HIIT training, yoga, and meditation. Echelon dubs this as a post-recovery regimen. There’s a leaderboard as well. Here you’ll see the best performers in each class. It’s a kite to chase.
The Echelon EX3 Smart Connect spin bike costs about $1040 at the time of writing this manuscript. That’s almost half the price of Peloton, it’s a premium competitor. The build quality is nothing to complain about. It’s also large enough to accommodate most people’s sizes. At the same time, it’s highly portable. So what’s the catch?
For starters, Echelon decided to skip on the in-built display. On its own, this accounts for a good chunk of the price difference. There are also a few plastic elements around the bike. These also bring the price down. The amount of material used is also less considering the bike is only 22” W*42” L. Again, you get the idea.
Do I think it’s a good deal? Most definitely. I also like the fact that their monthly subscription fee is only $39.99. This covers unlimited spin classes plus the fit pass program. The price per month further drops with the 1 or 2-year plans. There will be an installation cost for some people. However, the process is largely DIY and all required tools are provided in the box.
Utility, convenience, and ease of use
The bike looks simple, yet it packs a lot of useful add-ons. For instance, an extra water-bottle holder is attached to the rear of the bike. The same also doubles as a weight holder. This ensures that you have all you need so that you don’t halt your sessions to get something.
The tension adjustment knob is conveniently located on the handlebar stem between your legs. It’s easy to reach and requires little force to adjust. A little above that is a handlebar adjustment lever. It can vary your arms level across 6 inches. Thus, most people can find the ideal setting.
On the same note, you get two levers to adjust the seat. This time, you can move the saddle vertically or horizontally. The various positions may be suited to specific riding techniques. The handlebars are just of the right size and feel cozy to ride on. Speaking of which, there’s a bracket included on the dash.
These are meant to hold your tablet or phone in place. It’s from here that you’ll access all your spin classes. To this end, it can tilt across 180 degrees. Its height is also adjustable. This makes it easy to find a comfortable viewing angle. It’s also located further on the front. This minimizes the instances of sweat droplets reaching your display.
Everyone from beginner to pro riders is accommodated. Thanks to the inclusion of clipped in cam toe cage pedals. The cages are fully adjustable and fit snugly. It allows anyone, even teenagers, to use the bike. The pedals are SPD-compatible. This makes it possible to use your regular mountain biking shoes on the smart spin bike.
Cons of the Echelon Ex3 Smart Connect Bike
Lack of an in-built display
The EX3 requires a third-party tablet or phone to run the Echelon Fit app. It lags behind competing models like the Peloton or Nordic trackS15i. However, it’s significantly underpriced.
The EX3 uses a competition style seat which may be uncomfortable for some people. Fortunately, you can replace the seat with a more ideal model.
Echelon EX3 Buyers Guide
Indoor bikes make it easy for us to exercise regularly without going to the gym. They offer great training and can fit in small spaces. You must find the best deal off your spin bike purchase. Consider the following factors before investing your hard-earned money on an indoor bike:
An ideal indoor bike should be decently-priced. This means that the cost should match the features. This is often the case with most products. As in, you get what you pay for. Higher prices bring quality components, better customer support, and a smooth software experience. The contrary is true for cheaper models.
Aside from the upfront cost, you should also count installation charges(if need be), essential accessories, logistics, and monthly subscriptions as part of your total cost.
Confirm that the bike you want to buy can be easily installed. This means it should have a clear instruction manual. You should also have easy access to the required tools( most manufacturers do include these). If you are not a DIY person, then check that you can find qualified technicians to do the job near you.
A spin bike should allow you to have your full armor on board. Things like weight and water bottle holders provide extra space for more stuff. You can also look for a model with an accessory tray for the same reasons.
Build & Construction
An indoor bike must be strong. This allows it to accommodate people of different sizes. It also adds its durability. The frame should be made of steel, preferably. It should also have a nice paint job. If you can find your specific color preference, the better. The height and position of the seat and handlebars should be adjustable.
The flywheel and other moving parts should be well lubricated. In general, the bike should be firm, stable, and silent at all workout intensities.
Depending on the price, you may or may not get a display on your indoor bike. I don’t find that to be a problem if you have a tablet or a large phone to substitute. In most cases, such in-built displays add an unnecessary cost on the bike. However, they are typically large, sharp, colorful, and therefore, attractive.
Check that an indoor bike can carry your weight. The same is the case for all other people you anticipate to use the bike. You can find the weight capacity of a bike on the product information section of the manufacturer’s or third-party vendor websites.
To ensure that you never outgrow the bike, it should have several resistance levels. For instance, the Echelon EX3 has 32 magnetic resistance levels. Note that magnetic resistance is the way to go in indoor bikes. The technology offers finer adjustments to your riding difficulty.
The bike should also have an easy-to-adjust resistance lever or dial. This allows you to move faster during diverse classes.
An indoor bike should have a straightforward return policy in case of any issues. You should also get at least 1 year of warranty. Period!
Benefits of using the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike
It has 32 resistance levels. This ensures that you can find all the challenges you need right on the bike.
It has a small footprint of 22”*42”. This makes it easy to find an appropriate workout space within your small or large house. It’s also highly portable.
There are over 5,000 spin tutorials. You can further filter your search results to select trainers, difficulty, duration, and style. This spices things up every day.
The 13kg steel flywheel is durable and silent. It’s also located at the back. This improves the stability of the bike.
With a high-tensile strength steel frame, the bike can accommodate people that weigh up to 300 pounds.
The bike is decently priced and you’ll be able to recoup your cost in form of health benefits. It’s also easy to recover the buying price.
All important parts of the bike are adjustable. This allows you to share your bike with friends and family. It can also support multiple profiles.
What others are saying about the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect bike
After scouring the internet for user reviews, I found the general response on the EX3 to be rather positive. Here are snips of what some verified buyers had to say about the bike:
One customer said:
Another customer said:
Another customer said:
Alternatives to the Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike
If the EX3 doesn’t serve you right, the following are other smart spin bikes I would recommend:
Echelon EX5 Smart Connect Bike
The EX5 builds on the success of the EX3. It still maintains a competition seat with a 6” adjustment margin. It also has the same 13kg flywheel with 32 magnetic resistance adjustment levels. This can be manipulated using the index adjustment knob on the stem. There’s a new competition-style handlebar.
It replaces the former ergonomic handlebar. This provides a greater range of motion. It also has two water bottle holders attached to both its undersides. A new smart device holder now replaces the older bracket. It matches with the handlebars and offers better viewing angles.
You get the same Echelon Smart Connect app experience with amazing spin classes, fit pass, and scenic rides.
Key feautres of the Echelon EX5 Smart Connect Bike
Good build quality
Money-back return policy
Useful tutorials on the Echelon Fit app
Notable differences between the Echelon EX3 and EX5 Smart Connect bikes
Has a water bottle holder(s)
Echelon EX5s Smart Connect Bike – Better alternative 4.9/5
The EX5s is the latest addition to Echelon’s Smart Connect series. It measures 20” W*54” L. I like its form factor as it can fit tight spaces. You still get the same 13Kg flywheel with 32 levels of magnetic tension adjustment. This ensures you can get all the strain you want in-house.
Exclusive to the EX5s is the 21.5” HD touchscreen display. It replaces the phone or tablet you’d traditionally place on the handlebars of preceding models. From here, you can access thousands of spin classes. It also flips 180 degrees to allow for off-bike use. This could be for yoga or meditation classes available on the fit pass section of their app.
There’s a weight holding deck mounted on the rear. You also get 2 water bottle holders on the handlebars. Overall, the unit easily justifies its $2,000 price tag.
Key features of the Echelon EX5s Smart Connect Bike
Fully adjustable parts
HD touchscreen display
Excellent build quality 1-year warranty
Notable differences between the Echelon EX5s and the EX3 Smart Connect Bikes
Has a touchscreen display
Has new competition handlebars
Echelon EX1 Smart Connect Bike – Cheaper alternative 4.5/5
The EX1 was the premiere unit in Echelon’s smart connect lineup. It’s well made, has a strong frame, and boasts an attractive black and red paint job. At first glance, the bike is strikingly portable. It has ergonomic handlebars with an excellent grip. It also comes with padded seats for additional comfort.
A 13kg flywheel keeps the setup stable. It also provides 32 levels of magnetic resistance. This keeps up with your fitness progress. A simple bracket is included above the handlebars. This is where you hook your smartphone or tablet to access the Echelon Fit app. The seat is easily adjustable and the bike feels stable when ridden.
Key features of the Echelon EX1 Smart Connect Bike
Great build quality
Wide resistance levels
Notable differences between the Echelon EX1 and EX3 Smart Connect Bikes
Has no water bottle
Uses ergonomic instead of Competition handlebars
Spin bikes bring the gym to your house. Smart spin bikes allow access to tons of useful tutorials that may help accelerate your fitness journey. The Echelon EX3 Smart Connect Bike is a reliable, strong, modern, and comfortable smart spin bike. It’s also well priced both on purchase and with the monthly subscriptions.
The Echelon Fit app has thousands of tutorials for use both on and off the bike. I highly recommend it for people who wish to get a taste of spin classes. Ensure that you also eat healthy, hydrate, and sleep well as part of your fitness journey.
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