The Echelon Connect Bike EX-5 vs The EX-5s: Which Cycle Makes More Sense?

If you’re looking for a budget-friendlier way to access the world of home fitness streaming, you might be considering one of Echelon’s cycles.

Echelon has several models to choose from, but few are as popular as the EX-5 and the EX-5s.

Even though the model numbers are very similar, there’s a big difference between these 2 streaming cycles: that of course being that the EX-5s comes with a display and the EX-5 doesn’t.

If you’re stuck between these 2 bikes, the biggest decision you have to make is whether or not the inclusion of a screen is worth the extra cash.

Otherwise these 2 bikes are very similar in terms of all the performance specs and features.

But don’t worry, in this article we’ll go over everything these 2 bikes have to offer. After reading, you’ll know which cycle is the better fit for your home.

Echelon Connect Bike EX-5Echelon Connect Bike EX-5s
Resistance29 lb flywheel
32 magnetic resistance levels
29 lb flywheel
32 magnetic resistance levels
Frame106 lb assembled weight
300 lb weight limit
124 lb assembled weight
300 lb weight limit
1 year parts
1 year labor
1 year parts
1 year labor
FeaturesFully adjustable seat
Fully adjustable, multi-grip handlebars
Dumbbell holders (weights not included)
Water bottle holders
Dual compatible pedals (SPD and toe cage)
10"/22" HD touchscreen console
Fully adjustable seat
Fully adjustable, multi-grip handlebars
Dumbbell holders (weights not included)
Water bottle holders
Dual compatible pedals (SPD and toe cage)
$39/month streaming fee
$1,199 (10") or $1,599 (22")
$39/month streaming fee

The Echelon Connect Bike EX-5 vs The EX-5s

As far as Peloton competitors go, Echelon is one of the OG’s. Nowadays, it seems there are new streaming bikes entering the market every day, but Echelon’s been around for a while now.

Their original gimmick was that they offered a bike at about half the price of Peloton’s- the kicker being you used your own phone/table to connect to the streaming app.

Not having a huge, HD console allowed Echelon to keep the price a lot lower.

And it’s a great idea if you ask me.

Of course, after a few years of success, Echelon started adding more expensive models that did come with large displays, putting them in direct competition with Peloton.

Considering some of these higher-end Echelons cost damn near as much as a Peloton, I don’t see the value in going with them, but more on that in a bit.

Anyway, the EX-5 is Echelon’s most advanced bike that doesn’t include a monitor and the EX-5s is their least advanced bike that does come with a monitor (does that make sense?).


I realize most folks who may be considering the EX-5 or the EX-5s are doing so for the streaming possibilities, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the good ol’ fashioned performance specs these bikes are packing.

After all, streaming or not, if your bike doesn’t feel good to ride or can’t provide a good workout, you won’t be using it for long.

When talking performance, I like to consider the type of resistance mechanism being used, as well as the weight of the flywheel.

The resistance mechanism will be a friction brake or a magnetic system.

Friction brakes have the advantage of being more affordable, but magnetic systems are better because they feel smoother and you don’t have to worry about replacing a brake pad.

Plus, with magnetic resistances you get designated resistance levels to work with, which makes it easier to replicate workout conditions (as well as following along with other streaming apps and whatnot).

The EX-5 and the EX-5s both use magnetic resistance systems and they both come with 32 levels of resistance to work with, so there’s no differences whatsoever here.

When it comes to the flywheel weight, it’s generally agreed that heavier flywheels are preferred because they build more momentum as you pedal (although there are bikes like Keiser’s M3i that are designed to build more momentum using a light flywheel).

The extra momentum makes for a smoother experience because the flywheel helps keep the pedals moving between pedal strokes, which reduces any lag while pedaling.

The EX-5 and the EX-5S both come with a 29 lb (or 13 kg) flywheel.

At 29 lb, both of these bikes are packing enough muscle to provide a fairly smooth workout, although these days there are tons of cycles in this price range that are packing flywheels well over 30 lb.

By the way, you might’ve noticed that both cycles come with rear-mounted flywheels- while this is cosmetically pleasing, it technically could also help protect the flywheel from sweat damage.

Both bikes also use belt drive trains for smooth and quiet operation.

Overall, there are no discernible differences between the EX-5 and the EX-5 when it comes to their resistance systems. Both bikes come with fairly heavy flywheels and 32 levels of magnetic resistance.


I always like to consider the “heavy-dutiness” of a bike before purchasing.

This can be tricky to do without getting the chance to take the bike for a test drive before purchasing (which is rarely possible these days), but there are a few things we can look at to get an idea.

These include the bike’s assembled weight and weight capacity.

Seeing higher numbers in both cases is a good thing and indicative of a heavier-duty bike that will feel more stable during workouts.

Echelon’s EX-5 comes with an assembled weight of 106 lb and a weight limit of 300 lb- both of which are fairly average for a spin cycle in this price range.

The EX-5s comes with an assembled weight of 124 lb and the same 300 lb weight limit.

And since both bikes have the same flywheel and the same dimensions (52″L x 20″W x 50″H), it’s obvious the extra weight the EX-5s is carrying is due to the included console.

And even so, the EX-5s is still a good 10 lb or so lighter than the Peloton, which has the same size console.

Both of these bikes are pretty lightweight for indoor cycles, but they’re both sturdy enough to hold most users comfortably.

But in terms of comparing these 2 models, the only difference I see when it comes to the frames is the added weight of the console on the EX-5s.


This part will be quick, since both bikes we’re talking about are from Echelon and Echelon offers the same warranty on both:

  • 1 year parts
  • 1 year labor
  • 30 day return policy

Yeah, that’s not much of a warranty for either bike, but it’s especially short for the more expensive EX-5s.

For the sake of comparison, Peloton offers 5 years on the frame, NordicTrack offers 10 years on their bikes’ frames, and Sole offers lifetime frame guarantees.

There’s really no way to sugar-coat it: Echelon’s warranties are weak.

But there aren’t any differences in the coverage offered for the EX-5 and the EX-5s.


Ok, so far there aren’t many differences between the EX-5 and EX-5s, but that’s about to change when we take a look at the features each bike comes with.

As I mentioned at the beginning, the EX-5 doesn’t come with a console- nothing, nada, not even a small LCD screen to track your time.

Instead, it’s designed to connect to your tablet (or phone, but a tablet is recommended) via bluetooth so you can use that as your console.

This of course helps save on the cost, but it definitely has its disadvantages.

Most notably, you’re dependent on your tablet working (and the bike being able to connect to your tablet) in order to be able to access workout metrics and workouts.

You can’t even see what resistance level you’re on without the app, much less track any workout metrics.

The EX-5s does come with a console and you get to choose between a 22″ or 10″ HD touchscreen display.

This completely eliminates the need to connect your own tablet to the bike, meaning you don’t have to worry about not being able to access metrics or workouts.

Both bikes offer access to the same Echelon app, which includes thousands of on-demand and live instructor-led classes to choose from (they offer other workouts too, not just cycling).

The console is the only real difference you have to consider between the EX-5s and the EX-5. Both bikes share the following features:

  • Fully adjustable seat
  • Fully adjustable, multi-grip handlebars
  • Dumbbell holders (weights not included)
  • Water bottle holders
  • Dual compatible pedals (SPD and toe cage)


Time to talk dineros.

At the time of writing this, these bikes cost the following:

Echelon Connect Bike EX-5: $999.99

Echelon Connect Bike EX-5s (10″): $1,199

Echelon Connect Bike EX-5s (22″): $1,599

Looking above, you can see that the cost of the EX-5s varies greatly depending on what size screen you opt for.

Keep in mind you also have to include the monthly streaming fee for either bike. It costs $39/month, or $33/month when billed annually (and even a bit cheaper if you buy 2 years at a time).

Other Considerations

I save this area for any additional info I want to share before wrapping the article up.

In this case, I would like to say that I owned an Echelon EX-3 briefly before donating it (I was given one to review for another site of mine, but didn’t keep it because I own a Peloton…enough said).

Honestly, I didn’t like having to use my own tablet/phone to access my workout metrics, especially since I was used to my Peloton.

I also didn’t find the production value of the Echelon workouts to be nearly as high-quality as the Peloton classes, but I have to admit I owned mine a couple of years ago.

Otherwise, I don’t have anything else to share here.

Final Thoughts

Alright guys, that about does it.

When it comes to the bikes themselves, there really aren’t any differences performance wise between the EX-5 and the EX-5s- they both come with the same flywheel, same seats, same pedals, and same warranties.

They both have the same dimensions and come with the same weight capacity as well.

The EX-5s weighs about 18 lb more, but the majority of this has got to be coming from the console itself, which is really the only difference between these 2 models.

The big question is whether or not it makes sense to save some cash and go with the EX-5 or if it’s worth it to spend more and get the console.

This is of course a question of personal preference, but I have to say from my experience that I didn’t like having to use my own tablet as the console.

I had issues at times connecting with the EX-3 and found the experience to be a bit cumbersome.

That said, it can work.

When it comes to the EX-5s, I could see going with the 10″ console for an extra $200 because that way you’re getting a console but still spending a lot less than you would for a Peloton or S22i.

But I couldn’t see going with the 22″ screen because at that point, you might as well go all in and go for a Peloton (because the Peloton’s only about $250 more and I think Peloton is a much nicer product).

I feel like I’m starting to ramble on here, so I’ll go ahead and wrap things up.

Overall, the presence of a screen is the only difference between the Echelon EX-5 and EX-5s. Which model you go for all depends on your budget and what your preferences are.

But personally, I think the EX-5s with the 10″ console might be the best option of the bunch.




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