[Update: Amazon denies partnership and cancels orders] Amazon enters connected bike market with Echelon partnership

Amazon Echelon

In a statement to Forbes, Amazon has denied the partnership with Echelon.

“This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime. Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product, and change the product branding,” an Amazon spokesperson said.

Echelon has denied commenting, but it’s certainly a strange thing to announce a partnership with a major retailer when one does not exist.

The original article is below.

We first saw the news a few weeks ago on our sister site 9to5Toys, but today, more details have arrived from the partnership between Amazon and Echelon to deliver affordable connected bikes.

Amazon clearly has ambitions in the fitness market after the announcement of Amazon Halo, and their partnership with Echelon makes a lot of sense. On NBCNews.com (via PeloBuddy), the announcement was made official with more detailed information.

“The Prime Bike was developed in collaboration with Amazon, who wanted to create their first-ever connected fitness product, that retailed for less than $500,” an Echelon spokesperson told NBC News Shopping, adding it was designed to strike “the perfect balance” between its aesthetics, tech and “reasonable pricing,” and is “the only connected fitness product designed exclusively for Amazon.”

Echelon offers a bike that’s similar to Peloton’s bike, but most models lack the built-in tablet, so you’d have to use an iPad as the hub for your workout. The bike includes a 30 day trial of Echelon’s membership program. The membership includes live workouts and over 1,500 on-demand rides, plus Zumba, Barre, Strength, Yoga, and more classes available on the Echelon Fit app.

CTW’s Take on Amazon and Echelon

Echelon is hitting a great price point at $499 with prime shipping. If you already have an iPad, the only additional item you’ll need is the membership. Echelon is located in my hometown, and I’ve visited their studio on more than one occasion, and I was quite impressed. Toe to toe at the high end, I still prefer Peloton, but for the money, Echelon’s lower-end bikes offer a great experience. If you purchase from Amazon, you will have to assemble it yourself, but with Peloton wait times dragging on for weeks, it might be worth the effort for a lot of people.

Echelon could also make an interesting acquisition target for Amazon as it looks to grow its fitness lineup. With the pending launch of Fitness+ by Apple, an Amazon smart bike would be an attractive product.

Overall, this announcement is a huge win for both companies. Echelon will sell a lot of bikes thanks to Amazon’s marketing and distribution strength. The key for Echelon is keeping churn low. As we saw in Peloton’s earnings, their churn remains under 1%, and with this low price point on the Echelon EX-Prime, the margins have to be tight for Echelon.

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