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Peloton or Echelon?

#1
Who has a workout bike at home? Which brand/model and what do you love/hate about it? I’ve been starting to explore Peloton and Echelon, curious if there are others people may recommend as well as opinions from people who have one of these brands. Pretty open to anything right now. I’m most interested in doing live classes and scenic rides.
 
#2
Definitely also paying attention—although it sounds like the Pelotons at least are seriously backordered. Some people have been putting together a DIY Peloton by combining a Schwinn exercise bike with the Peloton app.
 
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ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#3
I have no experience with the Peloton, but we got an Echelon about 3 weeks ago -- there was a backlog, as I think there is with the Peloton, so it took a while to come in -- and we couldn't be more pleased. The bike is very good quality, the classes -- both on demand and live -- are really good. It's a great workout. I think the main difference between the two is that the Peleton comes with a big screen, and the Echelon syncs with your iPad or smart TV. So that brings the cost down considerably. You do have to pay a monthly fee for classes, but you have to do that with the Peloton, too. Anyway, we're very pleased with the Echelon. I would highly recommend it.
 
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SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
I have a used gym built model lemond rev master pro. (Uses a pretty heavy flywheel and leather resistance pad so smoother than the felt ones but not as quiet as magnetic). It is great for my needs — as a pretty serious cyclist looking to reproduce a road position with handlebar lower than saddle the adjustment ranges were key for me. From what the guy at the gym equipment store said he wasn’t impressed with the build quality of the peleton. The Kaiser brand bike was nicely built and the magnetic resistance pedaled really smooth but the handlebar couldn’t go low enough for what I wanted. I also rode a lifecycle brand at the used gym gear store and it has really nice smooth quiet pedaling resistance but the saddle adjustment has a weird platform below the saddle that hit my inner thigh. This was all pre Covid but if there is a way to get on some bikes... Diva motto demo demo demo, right?
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#5
So now that I have a few more minutes, let me address this a bit further.

As many of you know, I used to be an avid road biker -- I used to bike between 25-40 miles at a clip 4 or 5 times a week -- until I had a pretty serious bike accident three years ago. The roads here in Vermont are pretty narrow and hilly and don't have any shoulders, and as much as I loved biking, I became pretty wary about getting out there again. For the past two summers I'd been working out at my local gym, but this year it's been closed because of the pandemic, and like the rest of you, I was at a loss of what to do. I started doing on line cardio classes, which have been fun, but I missed the kind of workout I got from biking.

When I started investigating bikes, @MissySki, I was pretty set on getting a Peloton. Somehow I happened on the Echelon bike -- I think I saw an ad on youtube -- and I thought it looked pretty similar but without the high price tag. So I started reading reviews on line (here's one I found), and to me, Echelon started to look more and more appealing. It seemed like the biggest difference was that the Peloton came with a screen and the Echelon didn't, and that didn't bother me. I mean, I already had an iPad, so why did I need a screen? As far as I could see, this was just an added expense and another thing that could go wrong. I went back and forth and back and forth, until I finally figured, ah, what the heck, and just ordered the Echelon.

The Echelon comes in 4 levels, and I opted for the EX3, which is one of their mid-level bikes, and I'm glad I did. Honestly, if there's something I'm doing without that a higher level bike offers, I'm not missing it. The EX3 is easy to use, offers a nice smooth ride, and provides a pretty close approximation to getting out on a real bike. It works well with my iPad, so that's good, too. As for the workout, well, there are thousands of classes. You can go either live or on demand; I've pretty much stuck to the on-demand (I think I've done one live class so far). And all the instructors I've had have been excellent. There are a number of scenic rides you can do, too -- I've ridden around Singapore, Rome, and Corsica so far, which is kind of cool.

One more thing: it does come disassembled, so you have to put it together yourself. But it's not that hard to do. (Actually, Jon did it, and said it was easy.) There are some instructional videos that help with this, but he didn't even need them. All the tools you need are included, too.

Bottom line: I'm very pleased. Sure, I could've bought a Peloton, but I was put off by the expense (I think you're paying for the screen and the marketing). The downside: yes, you have to pay monthly for classes (you do with the Peloton, too, right?). That doesn't bother me. It's not that expensive, and it's worth it. There's also a wait (as there is for the Peloton). I think I had to wait five or six weeks between placing my order and getting the bike. But that's just how it is this year. There's a lot of demand for all sorts of home fitness stuff, so it's something you have to expect. I hear road bikes and kayaks are impossible to get, too.

Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, let me know.
 
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#7
Thank you for that review @ski diva! I was texting with an Echelon rep just now and found that while the too model bike with screen Ex5s is not shipping until 8/21, all other models are currently available for regular order. She says it’s around 3 days for processing and 7-10 days for delivery. In case anyone is wondering. Peloton is currently 3-5 weeks estimated for delivery to my area. I’ve been reading a lot of reviews, but always prefer first hand accounts from trustworthy sources like divas! I saw quite a few reviews on the Peloton regarding some issue with the pedal crankshaft, and recently people are having a very hard time getting it taken care of due to Covid processes.. So that is certainly something that concerned me and stuck out in reviews I was looking at yesterday. I’m also trying to get confirmation from Echelon on whether my ipad pro will fit. They told me it’ll hold up to 13inches for a tablet, but she hasn’t gotten back to me after I asked which dimension that accounted for. My ipad pro is ~12.5 inches long, but diagonally it is 14 inches. So I wanted to make sure that it would fit. It’s appealing to me to use the largest size screen possible, because I feel that would make for a more immersive experience. This is something that appeals to me about the Peloton, though I’m not sure that appeal translates to so much more $$, and it is a great point that it’s another potential thing to break. I did also like one Echelon review that brouggt up the point of being able to watch or read other stuff on a tablet if you want to ride sometime without doing a class etc. whereas the Peloton screen is pretty much only usable with their app. Lots of food for thought!

My company also has some type of reimbursement for fitness equipment benefit (though nowhere near the cost of these bikes). I’m trying to figure out how much it is though because every little bit helps even if it’s only a few hundred dollars.
 
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ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#9
How wide is your iPad? I just measured my Echelon, and it can accommodate a tablet that's up to 9 inches wide (you'd position your iPad so that it's in horizontal mode, so the longer side would go across; that's how I do mine. The area is adjustable).

I think you can cast it to a smart TV, too.

BTW, I know Robyn loves her Peloton.
 
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SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
I “screen mirror” the phone or iPad that I am using up to the TV with an Apple TV device and it works great. Use a music stand to hold it next to me for easy access. In case you find one and everything seems right but the screen fitting portion...
 
#11
How wide is your iPad? I just measured my Echelon, and it can accommodate a tablet that's up to 9 inches wide (you'd position your iPad so that it's in horizontal mode, so the longer side would go across; that's how I do mine. The area is adjustable).

I think you can cast it to a smart TV, too.

BTW, I know Robyn loves her Peloton.
Well that’s strange, I wonder what the dimension of 13 inches is that the rep told me then.. I have a regular ipad air so I assume that would work just fine, but I also have an ipad pro that is ~12 inches wide in horizontal mode.

Or do you mean 9 inches tall in horizontal mode? I’m not sure how the holder works, so I might be misinterpreting this.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#12
Just to clarify: the 9 inches is the area on the Echelon that's available up and down, so if you put your iPad on the cradle horizontally, that's the amount of space you'd have to work with. There's an adjustable clamp that holds it in place. As far as side to side, I don't think that matters much.

It'll fit.
 
#13
Just to clarify: the 9 inches is the area on the Echelon that's available up and down, so if you put your iPad on the cradle horizontally, that's the amount of space you'd have to work with. There's an adjustable clamp that holds it in place. As far as side to side, I don't think that matters much.

It'll fit.
Oh good okay thanks for the clarification, that makes sense! And thank you for measuring!
 
#15
This is all quite interesting - one of my neighbors has a Peloton as well as my chiropractor's wife. He is an avid road cyclist and was not thrilled when his wife got the Pelaton as thought it would end up being a "closet." Now he claims that he rides it as well. I have always hated any kind of indoor exercise bike so am intrigued. couldn't last more than 30 minutes at the very most.
I was an avid mountain biker for many years and about 3 years ago bought a nice road bike (think @ski diva has the same one - Specialized Ruby) and love it. BUT, I'm kind of weather driven. I like the sun to be out for nice long rides and climbs but not hot, not windy, not foggy., not cold..... and so on. Enjoying hearing about "outdoor" divas who have Pelotons and or Echelons...
 

Robyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
As Jilly mentioned, I have a Peloton. I've had it over a year and really enjoy it. I am a road cyclist as well but with work and law school I don't have time to get out, especially once winter darkness sets in. I haven't had any issues and got it quickly but that was before the COVID buying frenzy. I've seen the issues with the pedals and am not sure what is going on there but the concern is valid.

The instructors are extremely motivating in a positive way. In over 250 rides I have yet to have any sort of negative comment. There is no talking of getting a bikini body. In fact, my absolute favorite instructor regularly says "You are bigger than a smaller pair of pants." The instructors are also very different in their teaching styles, music choices, type of training. There are also scenic and just ride options if you don't want a class. If you're competitive the leaderboard can offer some great motivation but it can be hidden if you don't like it.

The app has a lot of different workout options beyond cycling. There is running (treadmill and outdoor), bootcamp, strength, yoga, stretching, cardio, and meditation which is helpful when traveling away from your bike and for cross-training if desired.

There is also a community surrounding Peloton, in some ways similar to this forum.

If you (or anyone else) decide to order a Peloton I can provide a referral code which gives you $100 off accessories (shoes, weights, mat, etc.)
 
#18
As Jilly mentioned, I have a Peloton. I've had it over a year and really enjoy it. I am a road cyclist as well but with work and law school I don't have time to get out, especially once winter darkness sets in. I haven't had any issues and got it quickly but that was before the COVID buying frenzy. I've seen the issues with the pedals and am not sure what is going on there but the concern is valid.

The instructors are extremely motivating in a positive way. In over 250 rides I have yet to have any sort of negative comment. There is no talking of getting a bikini body. In fact, my absolute favorite instructor regularly says "You are bigger than a smaller pair of pants." The instructors are also very different in their teaching styles, music choices, type of training. There are also scenic and just ride options if you don't want a class. If you're competitive the leaderboard can offer some great motivation but it can be hidden if you don't like it.

The app has a lot of different workout options beyond cycling. There is running (treadmill and outdoor), bootcamp, strength, yoga, stretching, cardio, and meditation which is helpful when traveling away from your bike and for cross-training if desired.

There is also a community surrounding Peloton, in some ways similar to this forum.

If you (or anyone else) decide to order a Peloton I can provide a referral code which gives you $100 off accessories (shoes, weights, mat, etc.)
I have been reading in the Peloton Facebook groups, and do really like the feel of community there. I'm seeing a lot of people say they are switching out their pedals to avoid the potential issue of one failing. This is a major downer, to think of paying that much money for a piece of equipment and then to have to turn around and spend a couple hundred further for pedals because the ones that come with the bike may be faulty? That is a major issue on my mind.. so as you can see, I haven't made my decision yet! lol I'm an overanalyzer so this is my process on any type of purchase like this.

I was also reading on the forums that some people are getting their bikes super fast while others are taking a really long time, apparently it all depends on where you live in the country. On Saturday my zip code showed a 3-5 week delivery time frame, yesterday it showed 2-4 weeks. What I saw online was that some people are literally getting them in a few days to a couple of weeks, and some it's taking a couple of months. Curious how accurate these dates actually are before you actually purchase..

Funny thing is that I'd essentially talked myself into Echelon this weekend, and then got a little sucked back into Peloton as well. So, to be continued as I go on with my obsessive research! :smile:
 

Robyn

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
My take on the pedal thing is that they either got a bad batch of pedals or in the hiring frenzy to meet the demand the people assembling the bikes didn't get enough training or they are rushing through getting the pedals on which is causing them to cross-thread and fail. Having put a few pairs of pedals on my road and mountain bikes they can be incredibly frustrating to get right. It wasn't until the last few months that I saw so many of these failures.

Stay away from the Official Peloton Member Page. It's like the TGR of peloton groups. I've finally hidden it because it was giving me rage issues. I really like Women of Peloton (different than Peloton Women's Page, there was a split in June over Black Lives Matter. Women of Peloton is very inclusive yet open to difficult discussions.

Might I suggest you download the App (there's a free trial period) and do a few of the non-bike classes and maybe even watch a bike class or two to get a feel for it? You can delete the rides later if you're so inclined for metrics but it would give you a taste of the instructors. My favorite is Christine D'Ercole followed by Robin Arzon. I like most of the others as well although I haven't taken the German instructors.
 
#20
Stay away from the Official Peloton Member Page. It's like the TGR of peloton groups. I've finally hidden it because it was giving me rage issues. I really like Women of Peloton (different than Peloton Women's Page, there was a split in June over Black Lives Matter. Women of Peloton is very inclusive yet open to difficult discussions.
Thanks for the additional information about the different groups! I probably wouldn't have noticed the (slightly but crucially) different sets of rules at a glance.
 

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