The EX-15 is Echelon’s most affordable indoor cycle to date, which really makes it one of the most affordable streaming bikes on the market.
Highlights include 32 levels of magnetic resistance, a smooth acting belt drive, a fully adjustable seat, and fully adjustable handlebars.
Echelon also throws in a free 90 day trial of their streaming platform, which is a pretty sweet deal.
If I’m being completely honest, I’m not a huge fan of Echelon, but even so, I do think the EX-15 is one of the better streaming cycles in this price range.
But there are a few downsides worth considering too, most notably the light flywheel and the very short warranty.
All things considered, I think the EX-15 is a pretty good deal for people looking for an affordable streaming bike, but it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can before deciding.
And that’s where I can help.
In this review, I’ll go over everything the EX-15 has to offer, as well as the areas where it’s a bit lacking.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not this is the right exercise bike for your home.
Alright, let’s do this.
The Echelon EX-15 Connect Bike
I mentioned that I’m not a big Echelon fan- I should probably go into a little more detail.
I have another fitness website I’ve been running for much longer than this one and a few years ago, Echelon sent me one of their earlier models to test and review.
That was awesome of them to do in the first place and I thank them again for their kindness.
Anyway, I had a few issues with the bike though.
The ride itself was pretty smooth, but I didn’t care for the fact that it didn’t come with a monitor – long story short, I had issues connecting the app to the bike, which made it difficult to see my resistance levels and track any metrics.
To be fair, this was a few years ago, and they’ve had several different models come and go in that time.
So I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that the issues I had aren’t necessarily common – after all, there are tons of happy Echelon customers around the world that don’t seem to have the same issues I had.
Moving on, you won’t find the EX-15 for sale directly through Echelon, you’ll have to get it through Amazon.
I think Wal-Mart still has their Echelon exclusive model too (The Echelon Connect Sport), which is only available through Wal-Mart, but as far as I can tell the 2 cycles are almost identical.
Anyway, back to the EX-15.
- Belt drive
- Smooth magnetic resistance system
- 32 levels of resistance
- 300 lb weight limit
- Bluetooth compatible with Echelon streaming platform
- 90 days of Echelon Membership included
- Fully adjustable seat
- Tablet holder
- Water bottle holder
- Fair price
- Light flywheel
- No console
- Handlebars not fully adjustable
A spin bike’s heart is its resistance system – this is what gives us something to pedal against, creates the feel of the pedaling motion, and determines how challenging our workouts have the potential to be.
In other words, it’s the most important part of the bike.
An indoor cycle’s resistance system consists of a spinning flywheel and either a friction brake or magnetic resistance mechanism.
There are some elite cycles that utilize light weight flywheels and they work great, but most spin bikes are designed to utilize heavier flywheels (especially affordable cycles).
And having a heavy flywheel in these cases is a good thing because the extra weight builds more momentum, which helps create a smoother pedaling feel.
I guess the drive train (belt or chain) has something to do about it too, but most bikes, even affordable ones, are using belt drives these days.
When it comes to the resistance mechanism, I think magnetic systems are better because they tend to be smoother and don’t require any maintenance.
But there are still some very high-end cycles that still come with friction brakes.
With all of that in mind, let’s get to the EX-15.
There’s some confusion regarding how heavy the flywheel on this cycle really is.
I’ve seen some folks claim it’s 20 lb and others say it’s 28 lb, but according to an Echelon rep I reached out to it weighs somewhere between 14-15 lb.
Fifteen pounds is quite light for a flywheel these days and not light in the cool, high-end way either.
Which is kinda surprising, considering how many budget cycles are coming with very heavy flywheels these days.
Although, even with that light flywheel, most users agree the pedaling motion is surprisingly smooth (the belt drive is probably to thank).
Ok, so this bike has a really light flywheel, but Echelon pairs it with 32 levels of magnetic resistance, which is a good thing.
Not only is a magnetic resistance not a given in this price range, but 32 levels is a lot for any bike.
And having a lot of resistance levels is nice because it allows you to make smaller changes to the intensity between levels, which really lets you fine tune each workout.
Overall, it’s disappointing how light the flywheel is on the EX-15, but it makes up for it with the magnetic resistance system. And even though that flywheel is light, most users are happy with the pedaling motion.
Ok, let’s move on and talk about this bike’s frame.
One of the tell-tale signs of a budget cycle is its lightweight, often wobbly, frame. These bikes usually look a little smaller and their frames are usually thinner too.
And I understand why – I mean there are real reasons why some bikes cost less than others.
But it still sucks when you buy a new bike and it feels like it could topple over during use.
Well, the best way to get an idea as to how heavy-duty a bike is (without being able to test it) is to look at the assembled weight.
This spec tells you exactly how much the bike weighs and seeing a higher number here is always a good thing in my book.
Heavier bikes will feel more stable and more commercial like.
Amazon doesn’t provide the assembled weight spec for this cycle, but according to them the EX-15 comes with a shipping weight of 91 lb.
A bike like this probably doesn’t come with that much shipping material, so subtract 10 lb or so from that and I’d guess the EX-15 probably weighs somewhere around 80 lb assembled.
Assuming that’s accurate (I hate assuming), that’s pretty average for spin bikes in this price range where most weigh somewhere between 70 – 85 lb.
Schwinn’s IC3 weighs a bit more at 100 lb, but it costs about $100 more.
There’s also Sunny’s Magnetic Indoor Cycling Bike that weighs an astounding 125 lb and is priced almost identically to the EX-15.
So, there are certainly heavier-duty cycles in this price range, but again, many of the similarly priced competitors weigh about the same as this bike.
The EX-15 also comes with a max weight limit of 300 lb, which is average for quality spin bikes.
In terms of dimensions, this bike is pretty compact, taking up a little less floorspace than some of the larger cycles.
Overall, I wouldn’t feel comfortable calling the EX-15 a “heavy-duty” bike, but based on its assembled weight and weight limit, I’d say it’s average for this price range.
The Echelon EX-15 comes with the following residential warranty:
- 1 year parts
- 1 year labor
Ok, so yes, this warranty kinda sucks, but to be fair, most bikes in this price range only come with a 12 month warranty.
Again, these bikes are cheap for a reason.
I’m actually surprised they offer any labor warranty because most at this price point don’t, so at least there’s that.
When looking at the comps, Sunny Health & Fitness as ’em beat with their 3 year frame guarantee, but they still only offer 180 days on parts.
The aforementioned Schwinn IC3 comes with a much better warranty (5 year frame, 2 year parts), but again, it’s a little more expensive.
Overall, this is a short warranty, but pretty par for the course when comparing against similarly priced cycles.
P.S. – this is the same warranty Echelon offers on all their products, even the more expensive ones…
The Echelon EX-15 comes with the following features:
Bluetooth- this bike doesn’t come with a console, so it uses bluetooth to connect to the Echelon app on your tablet/smart phone. This is how you access all your workout metrics, the instructor-led workouts, and even see your resistance level. You have to join Echelon’s streaming platform to access the workouts and I believe that costs $35/month (or a little less when purchased annually).
Echelon Membership- you get a 90 day free trial of Echelon’s streaming platform with purchase, giving you access to thousands of instructor-led workouts, including tons of non-cycling workouts too. This is nice, but it really doesn’t make any sense to buy the EX-15 if you aren’t planning on using it as a streaming bike. Without a subscription, you can only use it on free ride mode.
Fully adjustable seat- you can adjust the height and horizontal (fore/aft) position of the seat, ensuring users of all heights can find a comfortable sitting position.
Height adjustable handlebars- you can adjust the height of the handlebars, but you can’t adjust the fore/aft position. A lot of bikes are offering fully adjustable handlebars too, although my Peloton doesn’t and I haven’t missed this feature at all.
Tablet holder- there’s a small tablet holder incorporated into the handlebars, giving you a convenient place to put your tablet/phone during workouts.
Water bottle holder- there’s even a place to put your water bottle.
At the time of writing this, the EX-15 is available on Amazon for $499.
There are plenty of cheaper cycles out there, with some costing just under $200, but I still think it’s safe to say the EX-15 is a very budget-friendly cycle.
In this price range, it’s top competitors include the JOROTO X2, the Cyclace, the IC3, and several Sunny Health & Fitness bikes, including the SF-B1805 already mentioned.
The X2 has a much heavier flywheel, a magnetic resistance, and is about the same in terms of heavy-dutiness.
The Cyclace has a heavier flywheel, but uses a friction brake resistance, and is also a little cheaper.
Schwinn’s IC3 has a much heavier flywheel and a much better warranty, but also uses a friction brake resistance.
Oh, there’s also the YESOUL S3, which comes with 100 levels of magnetic resistance and a similarly light flywheel, but it’s quite a bit lighter weight.
Based on the above examples, it’s pretty obvious that there are a lot of affordable bikes out there packing heavier flywheels than the EX-15, but none of these bikes are designed for streaming workouts.
Well, that about does it for the EX-15.
All things considered, I think this is an interesting cycle with plenty of pros and cons.
From a performance perspective, I don’t like that it has such a light flywheel, but I do like the magnetic resistance and most users seem to agree that it provides a nice feel during workouts.
It comes with a belt drive too, which is always nice.
The frame is pretty average in terms of heavy-dutiness and the warranty is short, but this is what we have to deal with in this price range.
I didn’t mention it earlier, but since you can use the EX-15 in free mode without an Echelon subscription, you could always use Peloton’s Digital app (which is cheaper) for workouts too if you wanted.
Overall though, I think the EX-15 is a good deal if you’re planning on using it as a streaming cycle; if you aren’t planning on streaming, I think there are better options out there.