In this Echelon EX-8s Connect Bike review, we will cover everything you should know before you decide to buy. This is Echelon’s best bike yet, and with tons of new and innovative features, it has left me seriously impressed! Read (or watch) below to get the full scoop.
Table of contents
- Echelon EX-8s Bike video review
- A quick overview of the Echelon EX-8s
- Echelon EX-8s Bike specs
- Using the Echelon EX-8s
- Echelon workouts
- Echelon EX-8s vs Echelon GT+
- Final thoughts
Echelon EX-8s Bike video review
A quick overview of the Echelon EX-8s
The new EX-8s Bike is Echelon’s newest and most feature-rich connected fitness bike yet. With an entirely new dual-ring design, the EX-8s adds significant upgrades in many areas.
The primary upgrades are a new 24″ HD curved touch screen that can flip 180 degrees, integrated and customizable LED flywheel lights, Bluetooth resistance controller, and the ‘E-Shock System,’ which helps lower the impact when riding out of the saddle.
Echelon EX-8s Bike specs
|Max User Weight||300 lbs|
|Dimensions||23” W x 59” L x 65” H|
|Resistance Type||Digital Magnetic Resistance|
|Pedals||Dual-Sided SPD + Toe Cages|
|Touchscreen||Curved 24″ HD Touchscreen|
|Speakers||(2) 5-Watt Speakers|
|Warranty||1-year Parts & Labor|
Using the Echelon EX-8s
Dual-ring design with customizable LED lights
The most obvious change with the Echelon EX-8s is with the new dual-ring design and LED lights within the flywheel. Not only does this make the bike look like it is straight out of the movie Tron, but it also has a functional purpose.
See, one of the things that shocked me the most while riding the bike was how stable it feels. The extra ring in the front (the actual flywheel is in the back) contributes to making the bike more supportive. At 124lbs, the EX-8s is much lighter than most premium bikes, but it feels just as stable while riding.
The 15 LED lights, while not serving a functional purpose, help to make the bike more fun to ride. There are a ton of customizable options with these lights as well. You can control the color, brightness, whether you like them to ‘Breath’ or ‘Pulse,’ or even change colors relative to your heart rate or power output!
Curved HD touchscreen and speakers
Another very distinguishing feature of the Echelon EX-8s is the curved 24″ HD touchscreen. This is one of the best screens that I have seen on any connected fitness device. It is bright, clear, and the curve really looks great.
The screen also is able to flip 180 degrees to face the back for when you want to do strength, yoga, or other classes off of the bike. While this will limit where you workout compared to 360-degree rotating screens, it is still a nice feature to have here.
Unfortunately, the two five-watt speakers below the screen are probably my least favorite part of the Echelon EX-8s. While loud, the sound quality that comes from them is very poor, with very little to no bass. It is unfortunate to see such low-quality speakers here when everything else on the bike is so great.
I also have noticed a small constant buzzing sound that comes from the speakers when no classes are playing. This could be a personal issue with my speakers, but I did want to note it.
Bluetooth Resistance Controller
Included with the Echelon EX-8s is an additional Bluetooth resistance controller. This is an optional unit that you can clamp onto your handlebars that allows you adjust your resistance without turning the knob.
The controller works really well and makes it even faster to quickly adjust resistance levels. I also like that they made it completely optional, with the ability to take it off the handlebars for those who prefer the knob. The more options, the better!
E-shock low impact support
I did not really understand what this new Echelon ‘E-shock’ system really was until I started riding out of the saddle. That is when you really feel this in action. The Echelon EX-8s is held within a support frame from provides a bit of shock absorption when you move up and down. So when you ride out of the seat, it takes some of that impact and strain you may normally feel.
Even as someone who does not really need less impact when riding out of the saddle, I appreciate that it is here for those who are newer to cycling or may be heavier set.
The rest of the Echelon EX-8s, while not as new or innovative, is still very well made. The four-way adjustment system here allows for easy adjustments of the seat and handlebars. There are two large bottle holders in the front beneath the handlebars. The pedals included are a hybrid of both SPD clips and a toe-cage so that you can ride the bike with or without cycling shoes.
The flywheel here is also surrounded by the frame of the bike itself. As a father of a young child, I always appreciate when bikes have this. With other bikes I always bring out a child gate, but when the wheel is enclosed, there is a lot less to worry about.
This being a connected fitness bike, the classes you will be taking are often just as important as the equipment itself. Echelon’s membership, which costs $34.99 per month, offers a huge variety of new content every day. In fact, Echelon may have the largest volume of new daily content of any fitness platform.
While these classes can all be taken on-demand, they are also available live. A big perk with Echelon is that it has live classes going on all day long to help match up with anyone’s schedule.
Now Echelon definitely goes for more of a quantity over quality approach here. The positive with this approach is that if you want to find a particular kind of class, you have a lot of options. Heart rate training, intervals, bootcamps, strength workouts, and even classes like boxing or breakdancing are all here.
Despite the production seeming to be less highly produced than other platforms, some of the content and coaches here are actually pretty good. It also helps that Echelon is heavily music focused, and each class has a dedicated playlist of songs that it is designed around.
The negative with having so many classes created daily is that it can be hard to find the diamonds among them. Once you dig in and start figuring out which class types and coaches are best for you, this becomes easier. However, for a new member, just know you may have to dig around for a while before you find what you will enjoy most.
Echelon EX-8s vs Echelon GT+
Currently at $2,299, the Echelon EX-8s may not be for everyone. If you do not want all of the bells and whistles, like the curved 24″ touch screen or custom lights, you may want to consider the Echelon GT+. While not having a screen (you can use a tablet or phone), the Echelon GT+ has a significantly smaller price tag of $899. It’s one of the best bikes available at that price. You can read my review here.
With an awesome new dual-ring design, 24″ curved HD touchscreen, and other innovative features, the EX-8s is Echelon’s best bike yet. It is a bike that looks as fun as it is to ride, as the quality here is competitive with other premium bikes like the Pelton Bike+ and NordicTrack S27i.
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