Most of us have heard of Peleton. The at-home fitness system has been credited with launching an obsession with connected fitness, where users can take part in streamed, on-demand workouts with support, competitive leaderboards, and all the benefits of a spinning/indoor cycling class in the comfortable setting of their own home.
Peloton is great. It is great for those strapped for time, parents, and those with caring responsibilities - even former presidents are said to use the system. However, there is one thing that prevents many people from accessing it: the cost.
A Peloton is a significant investment. Not only do you have the upfront cost of purchasing the bike - which is expensive - but there is also the monthly cost of the subscription.
So, what do you do if you want all the benefits of an at-home indoor cycling class without the costs associated with a Peleton?
Look at an Echelon
An Echelon has absolutely levelled the playing field when it comes to interactive cycling experiences, with pretty much all of the features of the Peleton, but with a significantly lower price tag, making it the perfect choice for people who want to get fit in their own homes but working on a much tighter budget.
Not convinced an Echelon will live up to the hype that Peleton has created? Read on to find out more about it.
What is the Echelon?
Echelon provides its customers with a selection of high-quality exercise bikes that can be used inside. Users of an Echelon bike are able to experience the instructor-led class structure from the convenience of their own homes, on their own time, in a manner that is analogous to that of Peloton users.
An Echelon bike runs on the bring-the-studio-home paradigm. It offers a tablet holder for customers to set their own device in rather than a built-in display and comes with no display of its own. In spite of the fact that this may appear to be a drawback, it actually provides customers with the opportunity to perform self-paced workouts while watching their favourite television shows. Additionally, customers can follow alternative workouts on the Echelon Fit app, which is the brand's proprietary class streaming service.
The Echelon Fit app does not mandate that users purchase a membership; nevertheless, doing so is highly advised in order to provide users with a studio-like experience by providing live courses, access to leaderboards, personal stats, and other features.
Echelon bicycles include a frame that is both durable and adjustable, which makes them suitable for riders of varying heights, weights, and body types. You will not need to run out and get a new pair of shoes just so you can use one of these bikes because the magnetic resistance limits the noise to a minimum. Additionally, the pedals are SPD-compatible and come with additional toe cages, so you can use these pedals with your existing shoes.
How do Echelon bikes work?
The Echelon exercise bikes use magnets to adjust the resistance level as you pedal, as opposed to the friction-based resistance that other types of stationary bicycles have traditionally used for indoor cycling. When in use, the bike is significantly less noisy due to the presence of magnets. You can use the Echelon cycle by yourself, or you may attach a tablet or phone in the space in front of the handlebars and follow along with the instructor.
The Echelon Link bikes include Bluetooth capabilities that enable you to connect your tablet to the bike. This allows the Echelon Fit app to display your data such as output, resistance, and calories burned as you progress through a class.
Who is the ideal rider for an Echelon bike?
The Echelon is an excellent choice if you are relatively new to the world of indoor cycling or if you are looking for an organised workout that is more adaptable than other options available to you. Users still have the option to ride along with an instructor and take part in the battle to climb the leaderboard, but they also have the option to simply ride at their own pace while listening to music or watching television. Because of the way the pedals are designed, this is a great bike for people who are just starting out or who are not necessarily cycling fanatics because they will not need to purchase any specialised footwear in order to ride it.
What classes are available?
Beginner: Gain an understanding of the fundamentals, experience a variety of rides, and become familiar with the available classes.
Warm up: Prepare to bike by warming up your muscles and getting loose first.
Cool Down: Classes that are very short and assist your body to recuperate while also slowing down your heart rate
Low-Impact: Rides that are used to develop a solid foundation and place emphasis on technique, form, and execution
Endurance: These lessons focus on building endurance by utilising various time and tempo combinations.
Power Rides: These are a type of interval cycling in which the rider's load, speed, and duration are all varied to increase muscular strength and to raise the rider's heart rate.
Zumba Party: combines the high-energy music and dance of Zumba with a cycling workout.
Cadence: This refers to interval training timed to music and rhythmic rides that build the entire body.
Speed: Rides at a high cadence along roads with very moderate inclines or declines in elevation
All Out: Establish benchmark classes where you can practice skills that will directly transfer to greater output and leaderboard performance, then return to these classes over time to gauge your progression.
Bootcamp: A fantastic full-body workout that combines riding and floor work.
Fusion: A combination of different exercises focusing on speed, power, and strength to provide a demanding physical workout.
Tabata: a form of high-intensity interval training that consists of rides with a ratio of effort to rest that is 2:1 and is excellent for aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
Hill Rides: These are a form of cycling involving various hill types, including severe ascents, moderate inclines, rolling hills, and extra bursts of speed. The goal of hill rides is to increase cardiovascular endurance and use big muscle groups.
Scenic Rides: These are user-guided rides that take riders through a particular area
Music Rides: These are genre- and artist-specific rides centred around a specific sort of music and are perfect for exercising while listening to your favourite tunes.
After the end of your lesson, the screen will show the riding data that you have accumulated. You will be able to view the total calories you have burned, as well as the miles you have biked, your average cadence, and the average resistance.
Because Echelon retains a record of your progression through your profile, you will always be able to access it and go over previous information. When you look at your profile on the screen, you will be able to see the different classes you have attended, the different instructors you have worked with, and the total amount of time you have spent riding the bike. In addition, following each lesson, Echelon will send you an email including all of the relevant information.
Why choose a stationary bike from Echleon?
While Echelon offers a range of fitness equipment, including rowing machines and treadmills, their bread and butter is the bike. Indoor cycling goes by a range of names, including spinning and stationary biking.
But why is spinning so popular? Why are people paying thousands of pounds for indoor cycling equipment?
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
Helps to produce endorphins
Do you remember the sensation you get when you have a lovely cuddle or chat with someone you love? That joyful, warm, and fuzzy sensation all over? That is your body's natural response to the release of feel-good endorphins into your bloodstream. Exercising also accomplishes this goal! You might not believe us just yet, but if you hop on a Spin bike and participate in a class, we are willing to wager that you will leave feeling far better than when you arrived. This is due to the fact that exercise causes the production of endorphins, which then interact with receptors in your brain to cause happy feelings to be triggered throughout your body.
You are going to leave the class feeling exhausted physically, but emotionally you are going to be on a high, and it is this feeling that you will get addicted to. Because of this, maintaining an active lifestyle can assist many individuals in combating depression and other conditions that are detrimental to mental and physical health, like stress.
Spinning is the right activity for you if you have just recovered from an accident or surgery, or if you simply need to take things a little bit more slowly. You may still get a fantastic workout, but because the bike is stationary, there is no danger that you will fall off or collide with another biker. It also means that you can focus on what truly matters in class, which is working towards achieving the fitness objectives that you have set for yourself.
Boosts cardiovascular fitness levels
Fitness of the cardiovascular system refers to the capacity of the heart, blood cells, and lungs to supply oxygenated blood to the muscles, which in turn enables the muscles to produce the energy necessary for humans to move. Simply said, if you have a higher level of cardiovascular fitness, it will be much simpler for you to move around and engage in energetic pursuits.
Additionally, it will lower the likelihood that you will develop coronary heart disease as well as other cardiovascular health concerns. You could find that participating in a spin class is an efficient and risk-free way to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Helps with leg and core muscle definition
A spin class can help you develop more defined muscles in your legs and core, which is one of the class's most appealing benefits. It goes without saying how crucial it is to have a strong core because it is what generally keeps your body in its upright position.
It is likely that you may gain weight as you build more lean muscle definition; however, the weight you gain will be distributed differently over your body, giving you a different shape in all the appropriate areas. Additionally, the greater the amount of muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns on a daily basis, even while you are at rest.
Helps with stress relief
There is no denying the fact that physical activity is one of the best ways to alleviate stress, as this has been demonstrated by several studies. Your mind will become more focused if you exercise, which will allow you to declutter your thoughts and temporarily forget about the stressful day you had either at work or at home. Working out not only helps you feel better about yourself but also boosts your confidence, both of which are important factors in lowering stress levels in our everyday life.
Lowers the odds of suffering injuries
The decreased likelihood of sustaining an injury brings us to the sixth point on our list of advantages offered by spin. When muscles and joints are not used, they atrophy, becoming weak, weary, and stiff. Therefore, if you need to move quickly, lift something heavy, or even just get out of bed, it will be easier to do daily duties and you will be less likely to sustain accidents if your body is fitter.
You might want to exercise, but every time you do so, you wind up feeling even worse than before. This might feel like a game of swings and roundabouts at times. Do not let this deter you; the majority of the time, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) feels as though you have pushed yourself a bit too far, while in reality, your body is only attempting to repair itself. Do not let this deter you.
When you exercise, the muscles in your body respond to the specific type of training that you are performing at that time. When we exercise, the muscle fibres in our bodies need to be "torn" in order for us to achieve the results we want, whether those results are increased size and strength or even just improved tone and shape. The discomfort you feel up to 24 to 48 hours after you have finished exercising is almost always a sign of progress. It is just your body healing itself and adjusting to all the exercise you've been doing.
Echelon v. Peleton
The cost is the primary differentiator between the two options.
The Echelon Smart Connect Sport Bike may be purchased for £779 and an ongoing fee of £29.99 for the unlimited class membership app. This is a save of £1080. The cost of a Peloton is £1,830 in addition to £39 per month for access to an unlimited class app.
Furthermore, there is a 2 year extended membership which costs £19 per month, less than half the cost of the peloton £39 per month membership and also if purchased at SuperStrong, you will receive your first 45 days free.
Peloton and Echelon are comparable in their fundamental functionality due to the fact that they both make use of the same technology to do their tasks. Both the Echelon and the Peloton bikes have steel frames, and both have magnetic resistance levels that may be manually adjusted up to a maximum of 100 for the Peloton model and 32 for the Echelon model.
There is a subtle distinction in the design of the pedals between the Peloton and the Echelon, but both will provide you with a comfortable ride. Because cleats on the Peloton attach to a three-screw hole, and shoes on the Echelon attach with a clip and toe cage, your preference may vary depending on what you are used to during your studio spin classes. The Echelon has a toe cage, while the Peloton does not.
Even while you may easily utilise your Peloton or Echelon according to its original design, modifying it to your taste can make your training experience that much better. This is in addition to the basic height adjustments that are available on every stationary bike.
Although the measurements of the seat on both models are compatible with universally sized bike cushions, the pedals on the Echelon model provide greater flexibility for modification than those on the Peloton model. You will need to shell out some cash for a pair of cycling cleats that are tailor-made to suit the three-screw hole found on Peloton cycles if you want to ride one of those bikes. Conversely, the double-sided pedals offered by Echelon are adaptable to any shoe, allowing you to use the same footwear you would normally use, including your shoes.
Users of both the Peloton and the Echelon agree that the interactive features of the bikes are a significant part of the appeal of working out on either of the two types of bikes. You have the ability to enjoy scenic rides, participate in real-time classes, and view live ranks on a leaderboard when you use either of the bikes. Both are equally good in that regard, but if you want more options, Peloton is the better choice because it provides a wider range of things to choose from. While Echelon's live courses are live streams of in-person studio sessions, Peloton's live classes can be released as frequently as 15 times per day.
Regardless, there are still a great number of on-demand rides that are suitable for riders of all skill levels, with the primary distinction being the presence of assistance. During the course of the training, Echelon instructors allow riders slightly more freedom. During rides, they will not define the level of resistance that you should be using, but the instructors at Peloton will tell you exactly when you should add resistance and what number you should be at each point in the ride. Audio-guided workouts are also available on the Echelon, which means that you do not always have to keep your eyes fixed on the screen while you are pedalling.