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Thursday, October 21st
Echelon is one of the most recent additions to the "studio experience at home" marketplace. Their fitness equipment includes treadmills, rowers, exercise bikes and even a screen/mirror that deliver on-demand and live classes just like you'd get at your local gym.
Not many differences in 4 models
What are the differences among the four models of exercise bikes offered by Echelon? The main differences you'll notice are upgrades to the handling, the resistance and the general upgrade in technology when you move on from the EX-3 up to the EX-5. Another point you will see is that certain models, the ones that end with the letter "S" (like the EX-5S) come with a built-in screen.
All bikes have on-demand and live classes
All Echelon bikes come with access to their United stervice, which gives you not only live-coached and on-demand rides but also full-body workouts, yoga and strength training. Each model either has a device mount or a built-in touchscreen, and either way you can rotate the screen or mount to position it the way you want for the type of workout you're doing.
Free iPad and 1-year membership
Bikes here are priced between $799 and $1999. At the time of our review, Echelon had a promotion where shoppers could get a free iPad with the purchase of any major exercise equipment, as well as a free one-year membership to their United platform (valued at $399).
Not impressed by customer service
Customer service at Echelon leaves a lot of room for improvement. When we went into the live chat to ask questions about their four models of exercise bike, the representative basically told us to look it up ourselves! We tried to explain that their site doesn't make it easy to see a side-by-side comparison to highlight the differences among them. But, when we clicked the link the rep gave us, the chat posted a bunch of irrelevant links and closed itself!
Company is still learning
The company was still too new at the time of this review to have anything beyond a "Not Rated" designation from the Better Business Bureau, but even there we found more than 260 complaints filed against Echelon in the year prior to our evaluation. Customers describe problems with bikes breaking and not getting any resolution until filing a complaint with the BBB. A good company takes care of issues promptly so that a complaint doesn't need to be filed, and Echelon doesn't quite measure up to that yet.
Warranty limited to 1 year
Those delays in repairs are significant when you consider that Echelon only warranties their bikes for a year. With other retailers, your coverage will usually be much longer, especially on the frame and welds. Echelon doesn't post any customer reviews to their exercise bike product pages, making it hard to tell if the quality of the construction is reliable or not. And, looking at the handful of product reviews we found elsewhere, it's a good question to ask. Would you want to be told to troubleshoot your own squeaking pedals or wobby frame instead of getting a repair under warranty? We wouldn't.
No free delivery here
Plus, unlike many of their rivals, Echelon doesn't give you free shipping on your exercise bike: you'll have to wait until checkout to find out how much it'll cost to deliver to your zip code.
Room to improve
Echelon comes out of the gate strong: the website makes you want to sign up right away so that you can start riding in friendly competition with other bike owners. Sadly, everything we find on the post-purchase customer experience lands Echelon at the bottom of our rankings. We'd love to see an upswing in their reviews in the future, but until then we can't give the company more than two stars in this very competitive category. There are just better exercise bikes out there.
Fitness equipment is more popular now than ever, with so many people working, learning and doing just about everything from home. It can be challenging to find anything in stock near you, with no idea of when your preferred exercise bike will be available to buy.
Naturally, that's where the internet comes in, making it a lot easier to get the type of bike you want most. Looking for live and on-demand fitness classes on a machine that automatically increases and decreases resistance - or that even allows a coach to remotely shift your settings to give you an extra push (or a break!)? Shopping online gives you access to not just one company but several that offer that boutique-style workout experience.
Or, maybe your doctor has told you that you can't do high-impact exercise anymore, but you still need something to stay healthy. Recumbent bikes to the rescue! There are plenty of models available from internet retailers, from basic models under $500 to high-tech designs with plenty of features for over $2,000.
There are even exercise bikes designed for use under your desk or with a tabletop/desk built in: no more using work as your excuse for not working out! Your coworkers can get in on the fun if you choose a model that has three bikes at the same round table, too.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you start your search for the exercise bike that's right for you. Studio style? Recumbent? Touchscreen or basic console? Fortunately, there are several criteria you can use to narrow down your options and find something that fits:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best online retailers of exercise bikes available today. We're confident that this information will help you get the indoor ride you've been hoping for!
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