Video workouts led by peppy coaches have invaded our homes for a while now, starting with the VHS tapes that featured icons like Jane Fonda. Now, there’s no shortage of ways to sweat from the comfort of your living room. One of the most favored methods? Immersive cycling classes that feel pretty dang close to the real in-person deal. 

If you’re considering joining the stationary-bike-with-streaming-service cult, two names surely in your radar are Peloton and Echelon. In this Peloton vs Echelon review, we’ll cover what makes these exercise bikes great, what they leave to be desired and what sets them apart from each other. After all, if you’re ready to shell out between $1,000 and $2,000, you’ll want to know which of these bikes fits best. So stop spinning your wheels about this decision, and check out our comparison below. 

(A quick note on terminology: The terms “spin,” “spinning” and “spin classes” are trademarks of Mad Dogg Athletics, though many people refer to indoor cycling equipment, classes and activities as “spin classes.” We are calling the activity “cycling” and the equipment “bikes.”)

Peloton vs Echelon, a Quick Look

SpecsPeloton BikeEchelon Bikes
Price$1,495 + $39 monthly fee$800 - $1,200 + $35 monthly fee
Footprint5’ x 2’5’ x 2’
Display21.5” tilting touch screenSome models have no display, some have 22" rotating screen
Weight135 lbs124 lbs
Size23” x 59”24” x 54”
Training OptionsLive & on-demand cycling classesLive & on-demand cycling classes
Resistance Levels10032
PedalsDelta-compatible, available on websiteSPD-compatible with adjustable toe-cages

What is the Peloton Bike?

Peloton’s “Tread” treadmill has been in the news of late after making a comeback from a dreaded recall, but their big flagship equipment and big breadwinner remains the Peloton Bike. The exercise bike is truly a modern icon in the fitness realm, and has paved the way for the now-booming streaming workout movement. If your fitness tracker is suggesting a little more movement in your day, the exercise bike is an easy and convenient way to get your heart rate up without having to think about it too much. 

For the uninitiated, here’s how it works: When you purchase any piece of Peloton machinery, users can then tap into a back-catalog of thousands of exercise videos via their bike or treadmill’s monitor with the Peloton All-Access Membership. And there are way more options than just cycling classes, including strength training, meditation and HIIT classes. Those with a competitive spirit can opt to tune into classes as they stream live classes, where they’ll join hundreds of others and fight for spots on the leaderboard while following the instructor.

The bike itself has a pretty straightforward design: A frame that can be adjusted to fit users of different sizes (minimum height is 4’ 11”, maximum height is 6’ 4”), wheels that use magnetic resistance, pedals and a large screen that sits atop the handlebars, direct in your line of sight. As you exercise and follow along on the Peloton Bike, you can monitor your metrics on-screen while also noting how others are doing. The competition is what sets Peloton apart; the bike brings that cycle-class energy and rivalry into the comfort of your home. 

Maximum Capacity: 6’4” or 297 lbs

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wifi, Ant+ 

Display: 21.5” tilting touchscreen

Reasons to Buy:

Live classes & leaderboards offer the in-person indoor cycle class feel

Tons of different class types & instructors to choose from

Offers both cardio and strength-style workouts

Reasons to Avoid:

The monitor is functionally useless if you opt not to pay for a Peloton All-Access Membership ($39/month)

Not recommended for those who prefer self-guided workouts

Requires Delta-compatible cleats ($125)

How does the Peloton Bike work?

Peloton bikes offer a strangely smooth and silent ride when compared to other bikes, which adds to its appeal as an at-home workout device. Rather than using friction to increase the resistance as you pedal, the Peloton Bike uses magnets that either move closer to or further from the wheel, increasing or decreasing resistance. Users can opt to “free” ride at their own pace or (more common and more entertaining), follow along with an instructor to one of the Peloton App’s thousands of live and on-demand classes. 

Who is the Peloton Bike best for? 

With a sturdy frame, electromagnetic-powered resistance and sleek design, the Peloton stands out from other models for several reasons. Riding a Peloton Bike, you won’t experience any of the wobbliness that can come from other bikes, and the handlebars retain their grippiness regardless of how sweaty you may get. For the cycle-class aficionado who doesn’t live near a studio, doesn’t want to deal with the schedules and crowds or is looking for a little more flexibility in their exercise schedule, Peloton is a great option. The exercise bike brings the live studio feel to your home, allowing you to compete in real time with others from around the world. Instructors will dole out shout outs to attendees, users can high-five other cyclists and leaderboards are always updating, giving you the competitive zest that you’d find in a studio. At-home moms and dads, those with a busy work schedule and people who want more structure to their home workouts are all good candidates for a Peloton Bike. 

Types of Classes Offered:

  • Artist Series: Rides to playlists of certain artists
  • Beginner: Rides introducing techniques, form and concepts
  • Genre: Classes with playlists focused around a certain music genre
  • Low-impact: Easier rides designed to help users warm up, cool down or sweat without hurting their joints 
  • Live DJ: Along with instructors, popular DJs add a clubbing atmosphere to the rides with their own playlists
  • Pro Cyclist: Classes lead by professional road cyclists offering an experience akin to outdoor biking training
  • Climb: Rides that imitate the sensation of biking uphill using high resistance and efficient cadence
  • Heart Rate Zone: Cardio-based classes focused on keeping riders in different heart rate zones
  • Intervals & Arms: Classes that alternate between spurts of high-intensity speed intervals and lightweight arm exercises
  • Theme: Fun classes centered around music decades, holidays and other themes
  • Tabata: Intervals of high-impact training at a 2:1 ratio of effort to recovery
  • Power Zone: Classes structured around specific Power Zones between 1 and 7 that correspond to individualized ranges of output
  • Signature Series: Rides led by instructors that are totally guided and curated by them, these can vary in intensity, music and style
  • Scenic Rides: Peaceful virtual cycles through cities and landscapes

Additional Features: 

  • Unlimited users per account
  • Performance tracking available
  • Option to add heart rate monitor

Other Models Offered

Peloton offers another model, their Bike+, which offers all the original features of the Peloton Bike plus some serious upgrades. Notable features include the larger touchscreen which can rotate, allowing users to more easily take their workouts off-bike and onto the mat, given that you can use the Peloton app and its class offerings outside of cycling. In addition, the Bike+ boasts an auto-resistance function.The feature allows the rider to experience a dynamic ride without ever fiddling with the resistance knob. Instead, the bike will automatically adjust its resistance to match the class instructor’s. Improved speakers boost the audio, too. 

Peloton BikePeloton Bike+
Price$1,495 + $39 monthly fee$2,495 + $39 monthly fee
Display21.5” tilting touch screen23.8” rotating touch screen
Resistance0-100, manual control0-100, option for auto control
Speakers2-channel audio, 2x10 watt speakers4-channel audio, full-range drivers

What is the Echelon Bike?

Echelon offers a variety of high-quality, no-frills indoor exercise bikes. Similar to the Peloton, an Echelon bike operates on the bring-the-studio-home model, giving users a way to enjoy the instructor-led class structure from the comfort of their home, on their own schedule. It comes without a built-in display, offering a tablet holder for users to place their own device instead. While this may seem like a drawback, it does present the opportunity for people to do self-paced workouts while they watch their favorite television shows, or follow alternative workouts to the Echelon Fit app, which is the brand’s proprietary class streaming service. In fact, an 11,000+ membership group on Facebook is a testament to the popularity of the “Pechelon” cross-over, i.e., using the Peloton digital app on a tablet or phone with an Echelon Bike.

A subscription to the Echelon Fit app isn’t required, but is recommended in order to give users that studio-like feeling, offering live classes, access to leaderboards, personal metrics and more. Echelon bikes have a sturdy yet adjustable frame that allows users of all sizes and shapes to use them. Magnetic resistance keeps the sound to a minimum, and the pedals are SPD-compatible plus come with additional toe cages, so you won’t have to go buy a new pair of shoes just to use one of these bikes. 

Maximum Capacity: 300 lbs


Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth

Display: None, use of personal tablet or phone required

Reasons to Buy:

Lack of built-in screen allows for more varied media while exercising

Runs sales often, more budget-friendly 

No need to buy specific shoes

Reasons to Avoid:

No screen – requires users to use their own tablet

Resistance isn’t as sensitive as other bikes

No speakers on the bike

How do Echelon Bikes work?

Similar to the Peloton bikes, the Echelon exercise bikes use magnets to increase and decrease resistance as you pedal, as opposed to friction-based resistance that other indoor cycling bikes have used in the past. The use of magnets keeps the bike much quieter when in use. You can use the Echelon bike on your own, or mount a tablet or phone in the area in front of the handlebars and follow along. The Echelon Connect bikes have Bluetooth capabilities that allow you to connect your tablet to the bike, displaying your metrics including output, resistance and calories burned as you go through a class on the Echelon Fit app. 

Who is an Echelon bike best for? 

If you’re relatively new to the world of indoor cycling or want a structured workout that’s more flexible than other options, the Echelon is a great choice. While it still gives users the ability to follow along with an instructor and participate in the leaderboard competition, they also have the choice to simply ride at their own pace as they listen to music or watch television. The pedal design also makes this a good bike for beginners or those who aren’t necessarily enthusiasts, as they won’t need to buy special shoes just to use the bike. 

Types of Classes Offered:

  • Beginner: Learn the basics, sample different types of rides and learn about the classes
  • Warm Up: Loosen up your muscles and get ready to ride
  • Cool Down: Short classes that help your heart rate slow down and your body recover
  • Low-Impact: Foundation-building rides that focus on technique, form and execution
  • Endurance: These classes use different times and tempo combinations to build fitness
  • Power Rides: Interval rides that change up load, speed and time to boost strength and get your heart rate up
  • Zumba Party: High-energy Zumba music and choreography meets cycling class
  • Cadence: Interval training based to music, full body strengthening rhythm rides
  • Speed: High-cadence rides along flat roads and slight inclines
  • All Out: Benchmark classes where you can practice skills that will directly translate to improved output and leaderboard performance, revisit these over time to measure your growth
  • Bike Bootcamp: A mixture of biking and floor work for a great full-body workout
  • Fusion: A medley of drills (speed, power and strength) for a physical challenge
  • Tabata: High intensity rides with a 2:1 effort to rest ratio, great for aerobic and anaerobic conditioning
  • Hill Rides: A combination of steep climbs, moderate inclines and rolling hills, all with added bursts of speed to work large muscle groups and build cardiovascular endurance
  • Scenic Rides: Self-guided rides that take users through a specific location
  • Music Rides: Genre- and artist-specific rides focused around a certain type of music, great for jamming out while you work out

Additional Features: 

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Adjustable handlebars make it easier for all sizes to enjoy
  • Often runs sales, offering the bike for less than $1,000
  • Up to 5 users per account
  • Tablet mount rotates for off-bike workouts

Other Models Offered

The Echelon EX-3 is their most basic model, best-suited to beginners who want to give the at-home cycling experience a try. Echelon’s other models offer more traditional cycling seats, plus rotating touch screens that allow users to enjoy other, non-cycling workouts. The models with screens also feature dumbbell racks on the bikes themselves, so users can easily store their equipment in one place. 

Echelon EX-3Echelon EX-5Echelon EX-5sEchelon EX-7s
Price$599-$999 (prices vary with sales)$999 - $1199 (prices vary with sales)$1,599$1,999
DisplayNoneNone22” touch screen (flips 180 degrees)22" touch screen (swivels 180 degrees)
Weight120 lbs106 lbs124 lbs124 lbs
SeatVented, competition style seatVented, competition style seatVented, competition style seatVented, competition style seat

Comparing Peloton and Echelon Exercise Bikes

While they both have very similar bikes and business models, the primary difference between Peloton and Echelon is the type of person their business model is directed towards. Peloton offers a very specific experience: High-energy, instructor-focused community-based classes are its bread and butter. Echelon provides something similar, but with a little more flexibility in how users want to use their bike, and a little less of that studio-like atmosphere. 

Peloton Features 

There’s no denying the appeal of Peloton, and it has a cult-like following for a reason. Not only can users actively compete with thousands of other Peloton users, but the immersive, studio-like experience offered by bike is designed to give customers a sense of community and accountability that’s rare in home workouts. The competition is what sets Peloton apart; it brings that cycle-class energy and rivalry into the comfort of your home. If you love in-person cycling classes, from the up-beat instructors to the competition amongst fellow participants, the Peloton is a great option for you. It’s a bit pricey, especially when you consider that you can’t avoid the $39 monthly membership fee, or the $125 shoes that you’ll need to use the bike. But, for those who want to reduce their studio sessions and spend more time at home, it’s worth the investment. 

Echelon Features

Beginner indoor cyclists, people looking for a bit more structure to their home workouts and those who like cycling but aren’t quite sold on the specific brand of energy that Peloton is notorious for will likely prefer the Echelon bikes. With the option to follow other, non-brand-specific classes, or even just watch television as you clock a few miles before dinner, the Echelon offers a bit more flexibility in your cycling routine. You can opt for a screen if you don’t have a tablet of your own to use, and even if you do use your own tablet you still have the option to connect it to the bike and join a leaderboard for more of a competitive feel. Or, you can simply buy an Echelon exercise bike that comes with a built-in display. The Echelon Fit app has tons of classes and instructors, just like Peloton, so you can participate in a studio-esque class. For those who like indoor cycling and want to test out some instructor-lead classes but also have the option to free ride, the Echelon is a good choice. 


There’s really no such thing as an inexpensive quality piece of home workout equipment, whether you’re looking for a treadmill, workout mirror, set of dumbbells or an indoor cycling bike. That said, if it’s replacing your gym membership and encouraging you to exercise more, the cost is probably worth it. The Peloton original Bike will cost you a pretty penny, starting at $1,499 plus $39 monthly. The first year will cost you $1,962 ($2,087 including the shoes), a far cry from what you’d spend on a gym membership. Subsequent years will be cheaper, only costing $468 for the membership.

The Echelon, excluding any sales pricing they have (which is often!) will cost anywhere from $1,220 to $2,020 for the first year (depending on which model you get), then $420 for following years if you opt for a monthly app membership. Some models are significantly cheaper than Peloton bikes (if you opt for the screen-less models), while others are similarly priced. If you’re dead set on the Echelon, we recommend keeping an eye out for their sales, which usually take the bike down to the $700-800 range. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Echelon EX-3


Price: $799-$999


Echelon EX-5


Price: $999-$1,199


Echelon EX-5s


Price: $1,499-$1,599


Echelon EX-7s


Price: $1,199


Peloton Bike

Price: $1,195-$1,495