Amazon Just Launched the Echelon Ex-Prime Fitness Bike

Even the most die-hard Peloton fan has to admit: its connected spin bikes are pricey. They may be the top-of-the-line choice for dedicated home gym fanatics (as our Fitness Director Ebenzer Samuel argued in his review of the newly released, $2,495 Peloton Bike+), but not everyone is ready to drop nearly two grand on an exercise bike, no matter how many bells and whistles it has.

In other words, there’s a market opportunity here. And if there’s thing world-conquering retail behemoth Amazon is good at, it’s capitalizing on market opportunities. That explains why the company has partnered with Echelon Fitness to develop its own connected exercise bike—and sell it for just $500.

Okay—looking at that nearly $2000 price difference, the first question has to be what kind of trade-offs Amazon and Echelon have made. Presumably even Amazon’s corporate might can’t squeeze that kind of money out of its suppliers. The most obvious difference between a Peloton bike and the Echelon Ex-Prime, as its called, is the latter’s lack of a built-in screen. That means the “connected” part of “connected bike” will have to be supplied by the rider’s phone or tablet.

That’s probably not a big deal for most of us, who probably have more connected devices than we can count. Just get a screen that can access Echelon’s live and on-demand online classes, which run $39 a month, the same as with the Peloton app.

Harder to compare is the overall build quality. As Samuel pointed out in his review, the Peloton feels like a $2000 gym bike. When you’re pushing yourself to your limits, the bike is right there with you—it’s not going to crumble under the pressure. The Ex-Prime has many of the same features of a Peloton, but, for example, replaces toe clips with straps that tie the rider’s feet to the pedals. And it weighs in at 80 pounds, compared to 135 for a Peloton, suggesting it’s a less robust design.

So the Echelon Ex-Prime may not be a perfect substitute for a Peloton. We don’t really know—yet. But given the price tag, it’s certainly worth a look.

Echelon EX-PRIME Smart Connect Fitness Bike

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