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The Echelon bike is a solution for moms to get a gym style spin class at home.
Right before the COVID-19 quarantine started, we decided to purchase a smart bike for me. We did quite a bit of research and talked to some friends that owned smart bikes before making our purchase.
I will give you the low down on the bike, the good and the bad from a mom’s perspective! And answer that all important question – Is Echelon the smart bike solution for moms to work out at home?
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Echelon Bike: A Solution for Moms
If you have been looking for a way to get exercise at home while your kids are around, the Echelon Bike my be the soltuion for all the moms out there!
I go over all the key factors of the bike, my personal experience with each & of course the ever relevant question: Is it as good as the Peloton?
The Echelon EX5S is the specific model that I purchased and will describe below.
Telling ya’ll about the Echelon is my main goal with this review. But I have to admit that I am most excited to tell you about the assembly.
Because I put it together myself! All by myself.
My husband was out of town and I had been anxiously awaiting the delivery. I packed both my kids up at dinnertime, drove to FedEx, me and a FedEx employee loaded it in my car (girl power). When I got home, I fed the kids some dinner and stared at this huge box in my trunk.
It is heavy! And I was the only adult home.
I literally cut the box open inside my SUV and pulled items out piece by piece to make the weight more manageable.
Then I put it together. It took me about two beers and an hour and a half to complete the project. I felt so accomplished! Putting together things typically really frustrates me but this had great instructions and everything fit together as it should.
Verdict: It is definitely easier if you have 2 people but it can be done with one if you are determined!
Putting the bike together myself had me a smidge worried about stability.
I have put together kid’s toys before and had to go back and tighten things up because I didn’t get it right the first time.
There have been no issues with stability at all (proud to say)! My husband that is 6’4 & 250 lbs has also ridden the bike with no problems.
Verdict: Works well even when you start to get closer to the max weight.
Bike Size / Screen
I bought the Echelon EX5S. This version comes with a tablet screen that you permanently attach to the bike. This was key for me because I didn’t want to have to be searching the house for the iPad every time I wanted to ride.
I was surprised at the size of the screen on this bike. I was expecting the size of an iPad (I don’t always read dimensions) and the screen was really big. Which is great!
It really makes it easy to see the leader board, your ride metrics and the instructor.
The size of the bike itself is very streamlined and will fit in a fairly small area. While it is heavy, it does have two front casters that make it easy to roll if you need to move the smart bike.
When riding the bike, it is very quiet. I often ride it in the room next to my son’s bedroom early in the morning and never wake him.
Verdict: Streamlined design, quiet and the EX5S includes a nice large screen. The bike is heavy buy has wheels to make movement easier.
So this is the real deal! Moms never have time right?
Making it to the gym with 2 young kids just isn’t in the cards most days. With school drop off, extra curricular activities for the kids and my work – there just isn’t a lot of time for me to make it for an hour at the gym.
Then when you add in at least 20 minutes to drive to and from, we are looking at close to an hour and a half in time. I just don’t have it most days.
And not to mention, have you ever gotten the kids bundled up, strapped in car seats, driven to the gym only to have some kind of hiccup? A forgotten diaper bag. A melt down or a diaper blow out? It has happened to me on multiple occasion
My husband typically travels somewhat often for work so getting into an early morning habit at the gym before the kids rise is often disrupted by travel. And I’m certainly not waking my kids up at 5 so I can go to the gym (not that the childcare would be open anyway!).
Lots of times I will also have a cosmic kids on the tv. So they just go from station to station doing their activities and it means less interruptions for me.
Verdict: Having the Echelon in my house for me to use at any time is a huge benefit. I can use the bike whenever the mood strikes and not worry about having to take the kids to a gym or have childcare at home for them.
Live Content / Classes
My favorite part of the bike has been the live classes. These start at specific times all throughout the day
I just did a class the other day and it was hard. There was another girl that was performing similar and we kept trading spots on the leaderboard. I was pushing it because, well I like to win.
Anyway, I pushed it so hard and was right at the point that I heard “I can’t” in my head. Right when I was about to slow down, I heard the Echelon instructor say “Come on Stacy, let’s go!”
And I kept going. Hearing your name (or your screen name) in the middle of a class can be really encouraging and keep you going.
Recorded Classes & Scenic Routes
The recorded classes are my next favorite. You pick the length of class, the style (strength, speed etc) and even your instructor. They are ready on demand any time that you are.
The best part is that the leader board is also available during the on demand classes. So you can compete for the top of the leader board just like in the live classes.
The scenic rides happen to be my least favorite but they are still a nice option to have. You choose different scenic routes (beach, ocean, country roads) to ride.
So far I have not seen a scenic ride with an instructor or a leader board. It is more of a go at your own pace type of thing.
Echelon Bike Vs. Peloton
So is the Echelon as good as the Peloton?
We searched a bunch of reviews looking for the answer to this question.
The biggest factor for us came down to cost. The Echelon is substantially less expensive than the Peloton. But if I was going to spend more than $1,000 on a piece of exercise equipment, I wanted it to be good.
If I was just going to be wanting or needing a Peloton in a year, I felt like I should just buy one to start.
While I have never ridden a Peloton, I have ridden other stationary bikes during spin classes at several different gyms.
Here are the things I was worried about:
- Will the content be as good?
- What about the music?
- Will the bike be as good of quality?
I have been really happy with the Echelon content. I definitely have instructors that I like more than others but that happens at the gym (or I would assume on the Peloton) too.
You also get to rate your ride in “stars” after each ride which I feel like helps the team to continue to improve.
The music. I read somewhere that the music wasn’t as good on the Peloton. Again, some instructors may choose different music but I have had no issue with this. Most are playing current and up to date music that you would hear on Amazon Music/Spotify/XM radio.
Finally, bike quality. Again, I haven’t actually ridden a Peloton but made the decision to purchase the Echelon. The quality is similar in construction to all other bikes that I have ridden at major gyms in the past.
The technology with the Smart portion is where it shines. The digital aspect of adding resistance and seeing where you are on the screen makes it very easy to know that you are exactly where the instructor wants you.
In gym based spin classes, the instructor would say to add on resistance & I never quite knew if I did too much, too little, or just enough. With the Echelon, the instructor will give you a number or a number range and you can see that you are in that range. Perfect! This mama has enough to think about, I like my workouts brainless.
Echelon Smart Bike Cons
Although I love my Echelon Smart Bike, I want to be 100% transparent about all of my thoughts with regards to the bike.
The seat hurts your butt. The first few rides were the worst but even a couple of months in, it still isn’t super comfortable.
To be fair, I think that most bike seats are somewhat uncomfortable!
They make inexpensive padded bike shorts that do the trick to keep you comfy.
That seat is really the only thing that I don’t 100% love. I think the Echelon bike is definitely a smart solution for moms that need a way to let off some steam and get a great work out at home.