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Gone are the days where you had to invest hundreds per month in a gym membership and expensive studio classes. With the expanding lineup of smart connected equipment, you can bring the studio to your living room. Consumers are increasingly seeking better alternatives and demanding better experiences.
As a result, more brands are packing more technology and quality into their workout equipment than ever before.
While there are brands that are strictly catering to the high-end of the marketplace, there are certain brands that are looking to bring these typically high-end features to more budget-conscious consumers.
Two fitness brands that stand out in this regard are Schwinn and Echelon. The most difficult part about picking between the brands is being able to identify the right option for your individual needs and preferences.
That is exactly what we will look to do in this article. By the end, you should be able to choose between Schwinn and Echelon for your next workout equipment purchase.
Equipment Battle: What do Echelon and Schwinn Have to Offer?
Schwinn Fitness Options
1. Indoor Cycling
Schwinn is well known for offering some of the best indoor cycling models available. While their Schwinn IC4 is their standout indoor cycling model, the lower-priced bikes don’t sit far behind. The Schwinn IC4 boasts full connectivity with popular cycling apps including Peloton, Explore the World, and Zwift.
Whereas, the other two bikes don’t offer connectivity features. However, its lower-priced models have good performance and build quality. The lower and mid-tier models use infinite levels of resistance with a felt pad.
They also feature a weighted flywheel of 31 pounds to 40 pounds respectively. The IC4 kicks things up a notch from a quality perspective by offering 100 levels of micro-adjustment with a magnetic resistance drive system.
2. AIRDYNE Bikes
Schwinn offers AIRDYNE bikes in three distinct models. Schwinn does a good job covering the budget-friendly segment of the market with its AIRDYNE AD2. The model retains a lot of what budget-conscious buyers would want in this type of bike without stripping too many must-have features.
They make cuts in certain areas like stripping it of an oversized LCD, water bottle holder, heart rate monitor, and a 10-year warranty that can all be found on the higher-priced models.
3. Upright Bikes
Schwinn offers two models of upright bikes. Once again Schwinn does a very good job at nailing a lower price point for the bike without necessarily stripping must-have features. Instead of the 25 levels of magnetic resistance on the higher-priced upright bike, the lower-end model offers 20. Instead of the 29 workout programs, the lower-end model offers 22. Instead of having a blue back-lit LCD, it features one that isn’t backlit. It does have a smaller seat and it lacks a forearm rest, but everything that you would need in an upright bike is retained in the lower-priced model.
4. Recumbent Bike
Schwinn offers two recumbent bikes that each pack a lot of value for the money. Once again Schwinn does a good job packing both models with everything a consumer would want in a recumbent bike without subtracting too much from the lower end model.
The 230 features 20 levels of magnetic resistance and 22 workout programs included. Whereas, the 270 model offers 25 levels of magnetic resistance and 29 workout programs.
Users of the 230 will need to use the built-in goal tracker whereas those with the higher-priced 270 can sync with the Explore the World app.
Schwinn has three very good models of treadmills that pack a punch. Each model fits very well within the marketplace at prices of $799, $949, and $1,099. The lowest-priced treadmill (810) features 16 workout programs and a max speed of 10 miles per hour. Whereas the highest-priced model is capable of maxing out at 12 miles per hour. Each treadmill features both contact and telemetry enabled heart rate monitors with the premium model bringing along a chest strap included with it.
Schwinn has three models of ellipticals and they are priced well covering both the budget-friendly and the premium-conscious consumers. The 411, which is their budget model, offers 16 resistance levels and 13 included workouts. Whereas, the mid-tier 430 offers 20 levels of resistance and 22 workouts. Lastly, their higher-priced 470 model features 25 levels of magnetic resistance and a whopping 29 workouts.
Schwinn has its very own rower which is priced very affordably in the marketplace. Their rower features a large and comfortable seat, an over-sized steel seat rail, and adjustable console, and a large display. The pedals are also large and comfortable and the handle is designed to be ergonomic and comfortable, as well.
Echelon Fitness Options
1. Echelon Connect Bikes
Echelon is known for producing some of the best smart/connected workout equipment. Their bike series is no slouch in this regard. Even the Connect EX-1 from Echelon boasts smart connected capabilities with live and on-demand studio fitness classes available for an additional subscription.
The bikes themselves are designed to be very ergonomic and comfortable with adjustable handlebars.
Each bike has an adjustable console that flips 180 degrees with the premium model boasting a 21.5-inch touchscreen that flips. Even the lowest-priced bike offers 32 magnetic resistance levels with the higher-priced bikes offering new indexing resistance adjustment knobs that offer 32 levels of resistance.
2. Reflects (Smart Home Gyms)
Echelon offers a very innovative product with its Reflect. The Reflect comes in two different models. One is a 40-inch model and the other being a 50-inch model. These mirrors are designed to offer you your very own personal trainer right in your own home with the ability to display all kinds of different workouts that you can take advantage of. You can get live and on-demand classes with each.
Echelon has its very own rowing machine and it packs a superb value. Not only does it offer connected features with the ability to watch and participate in live and on-demand classes, but it offers one of the better rowing performances you will find anywhere in the marketplace.
With FitPass you can access on demand and live workouts led by Echelon’s awesome instructors. Many of the workouts can be done without even needing equipment.
Winner: Echelon Smart Connect due to its direct app support.
These are two of the brands best selling competing products. Both the IC4 and the Echelon Smart Connect offer superb value for their respective price points. However, they both take different approaches to their live and on-demand experiences. The Schwinn IC4 is compatible with the Peloton app. Therefore, it does offer both live and on-demand workouts, just from another company.
Whereas, Echelon offers its very own integrated app and workout platform. Therefore, you will be able to get a highly optimized live and on-demand workout experience that is specifically made for the Echelon range of devices.
Having to go through another app and platform is not only cumbersome, but it can cause you more issues down the road.
Workout Battle: Live and On-Demand Options
Schwinn Workout Options
Schwinn is behind the ball when it comes to providing connected workout experiences. Unfortunately, only the Schwinn IC4 features Peloton compatibility. Because of this, if you are expanding your Schwinn home gym in the future, you won’t get that same level of connectivity and feature-set.
Echelon Workout Options
Echelon offers a comprehensive portfolio of workout equipment that is all compatible with their dedicated fitness app. Therefore, as soon as you pay for a subscription with their fitness app, you get access to a range of different workout experiences including live and on-demand classes at no additional charge.
Pricing Comparison: Is Schwinn or Echelon Cheaper?
- Schwinn – $299.00 to $899.00
- Echelon – $839.98 to 1,639.98
- Schwinn – $499.00
- Echelon – $1,039.98 to $1,599.98
Summary: How to Decide if Schwinn or Echelon is Better for You
There is a lot to consider when you are buying workout equipment. Schwinn as a brand offers a lot of good options for those who are extremely budget-conscious. After all, they are offering a Peloton compatible bike for $899.00.
However, even so, Echelon manages to offer their EX1 bike at a starting price of $839.98 which features full compatibility with their very own live and on-demand fitness app. Therefore, we’d say you are getting much more value with Echelon’s offerings.
If you are aiming to find connected fitness equipment that can provide you with a fully interactive experience, there is no competition. Echelon provides the complete experience for anyone looking to invest in a connected workout platform and ecosystem.