Tech Specs


Build Quality


Exercise Bike Review

Updated: October 4, 2023

Echelon’s membership is integral to its equipment. The EX-5s-22 is built to support the smart, digital fitness platform with its rotating 22-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth audio, speakers, and heart rate monitor connectivity. The subscription service delivers trainer-led video content, scenic routes, and performance tracking. The magnetic resistance keeps your training quiet if you wish, but you can also jam out to the Echelon’s music-integrated content. In this review of the Echelon EX-5s-22, I will dive into detail on all of this and more to help you decide if this studio bike meets all your criteria.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike Review 2024
The Echelon EX-5s-22 has a rear flywheel for unique profile.

See Best Price

Who The Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike Is Best For:

  • Studio Cyclists: The EX-5s-22 is not complete without a subscription, so this bike is really designed for indoor cyclists who want that premium, trainer-led experience.
  • Sweaty Exercisers: The rear flywheel’s position keeps it out of the sweat zone, so you don’t have to worry about the bike when you are in the zone yourself.
  • The Peloton Averse: If you want a Peloton-like indoor ride but dislike other aspects of the brand, Echelon might be a better fit for you.

Pros And Cons Of The Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike


  • The Echelon EX-5s-22 has studio, instructor-led content infused with music.
  • The Echelon EX-5s-22 has a 22-inch touchscreen for immersive indoor cycling.
  • In addition to training classes, the EX-5s-22 also supports virtual scenic rides and off-the-bike training.
  • The saddle and handles are comfortable.
  • Since the bike uses magnetic resistance, it is fairly quiet.


  • The EX-5s-22 is not a good choice for indoor cyclists who don’t want a monthly or yearly subscription training platform.
  • You must log in to use the EX-5S-22 even without a subscription.
  • The 32 levels of resistance are a bit inferior to other bikes’ 100 levels.

Exercise Bike Review Of The Echelon EX-5s-22

Build Quality

Echelon EX-5s-22 profile
The frame is sturdy, and the unique flywheel construction does not impact the performance much.


The Echelon EX-5s-22 has a black powder-coated frame which makes the red accents on the bike really pop. Having the flywheel in the back changes the construction of the bike, but it does not alter the experience of riding the bike all that much. The EX-5s-22 has a sturdy steel construction that wobbles minimally when you are cycling at a high intensity. The front and rear stabilizers are effective, with two feet each contacting the ground. There are two transport wheels attached to the front stabilizer, which allows you to easily roll the bike around when lifted by its rear stabilizers. Just watch out for that screen!


The EX-5s-22’s saddle is sporty but comfortable. It measures 10 inches long and 6 inches at its widest. I expected this saddle to be more uncomfortable than it was. It is actually quite soft, and I had no trouble with it. A cutout in the middle of the saddle provides ventilation and increases blood flow. This cutout is not noticeable when you are sitting on the saddle. The saddle is adjustable horizontally and vertically. The saddle can adjust about 4 inches horizontally. The pedal to saddle nose height (inseam) ranges from about 27” to 38”. As a 5’4” user, I had no trouble finding the right seat position for me, and there was plenty of room for a shorter or much taller cyclist.

Echelon EX- 5s-22 Exercise Bike saddle
The saddle is adjustable horizontally or vertically to fit a variety of cyclists.


The handlebars are bullhorn shaped and have a few different options for narrower grips. The handles are padded for your comfort. The horizontal bar is flattened so you have a comfortable resting place for your arms when you take the 3rd position. There are also nice little indentations for your thumbs to comfortably rest on top of the handlebars. Echelon has done a lot to make the handlebars more ergonomic. The one downside to the handlebars is that I did not find holding the horizontal bars (2nd position) as comfortable because of the flattened shape. It wouldn’t dissuade me from using the bike, but it was noticeable.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike handles
The handlebars have a flat grip portion that is comfortable for resting your arms.


The pedals are hybrid, so you have SPD clips on one side and toe cages on the other. I used the toe cages and found them to be comparable to most other exercise bikes I have tried. I appreciate Echelon’s use of SPD clips whereas Peloton uses the less common delta clip. Echelon bikes may be a better choice for users who want to use cycling shoes but not buy a new set of shoes. The q-factor is under 7 inches as I measured it, so it is pretty comfortable.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike Pedals
The pedals are hybrid pedals, so you can use any athletic shoe or a SPD cycling shoe.


The Echelon EX-5s-22 has 32 levels of magnetic resistance. The bike is very quiet while you are pedaling along, but the resistance adjustments are louder than what I have noticed on other bikes. Fortunately, this adjustment is over quickly, and it is not loud enough to disturb others around you. Echelon is not as impressive in the number of levels it offers. You can use this bike to follow along with other brands’ content, like Peloton, but you will find yourself doing a bit of math to figure out what level you should be on. Because there are fewer levels, I didn’t find myself varying my resistance as often as I would on another bike. The resistance is powerful enough for beginner and intermediate cyclists, but it could leave more advanced users wishing for more.

The resistance knob is not as sensitive as I hoped. I really had to watch the screen to see if each turn I made actually changed the level I was on. Large jumps in resistance will require you to make multiple turns of the knob, which may interrupt the fluidity of your ride.


The flywheel weighs about 29 lbs, creating a smooth and even ride. Because it is located in the rear rather than the front, the flywheel is out of the “sweat zone.” This design increases the durability of the flywheel and decreases the need for maintenance, such as wiping the flywheel off after exercise.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike flywheel
The Echelon EX-5s-22’s rear flywheel keeps it out of the way of sweat.

The one change to performance caused by the relocation of the flywheel is that the braking mechanism for the EX-5s-22 is different than experienced cyclists who have used front flywheel bikes might expect. Instead of pushing down on the resistance knob, it must be pulled down toward you. It may take some getting used to at first, but it is a rather minor change overall.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike adjustment knob
The resistance knob must be pushed down to brake the flywheel. The channel and resistance knob is pictured here.

Features & Accessories

The Echelon EX-5s-22 has all the features you need for a high-tech ride. This exercise bike really needs an active subscription to the Echelon Premier platform. This unlocks features galore that make the most of the Echelon EX-5s-22. Without it, the EX-5s-22 can feel rather basic. It has the standard features you would expect on a studio cycle, but if that is the route you wish to go, the Echelon EX-5 or the Bowflex C6 might be better options for you.


The EX-5s-22 is aptly named for its 22-inch touchscreen display. The display is quite minimal with only a screen and two speakers seated below it. The back of the monitor is not too messy, with only one visible cord. The screen is easy to navigate and responsive to touch. The size of the screen is very nice for viewing. While the graphics aren’t as crisp as the EX-5s-22’s hardiest competitors, the screen does a good job of displaying the content and creating an immersive virtual workout. Then, for off-the-bike workouts the screen pivots to allow you to view Echelon’s strength and yoga content.

If you don’t think you need quite so large a screen, Echelon also offers the EX-5s-10 and the EX-5. These bikes have similar features and build to the EX-5s-22. The EX-5s-10 has a 10-inch screen while the EX-5 does not have a screen. The EX-5 would be the best option for a cyclist who is interested in Echelon but does not want to be tied down to a monthly membership indefinitely. Echelon does require all customers to purchase a monthly membership at the time of purchasing a bike.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike screen
The display has a large touchscreen display with front-facing speakers and a headphone jack.

Bottle Holders

There are two plastic water bottle holders beneath the screen and behind the handlebars. This positioning makes them a little tricky to reach while you are cycling, but it isn’t bad. The plastic has a gray tint for a smokey look. You could also place your phone in one of these holders to make up for the absence of a device rack, though you won’t be able to view any content. If you are in dire straits, needing to watch content on your phone, I was able to prop my phone up on the flat portion in front of the handlebars using my PopSocket. Otherwise, the bottle holders are really the only storage the EX-5s-22 offers.


The EX-5s-22 has speakers and Bluetooth connectivity for listening to Echelon’s content. The audio is decent and is improved by the integration of music into the classes.

Heart Rate

If you want to train via heart rate, you can do so on the EX-5s-22. This feature works even without a subscription. I was able to broadcast my heart rate from my Garmin Forerunner, and the exercise bike picked it up very quickly. A lot of cardio equipment is compatible with a limited range of heart rate monitors, so it is nice to see that the EX-5s-22 supports more devices and that the feature is not locked behind the paywall.


The EX-5s-22 does not come with weights. It has two weight racks for light weights. You can bundle the bike with 2-lb weights from Echelon when you purchase the bike. The bundle also includes an equipment mat and a water bottle. If not, you can use 2- or 3-lb weights you already own.

Echelon Connect Bike weight rack
There is a weight rack for storing two small dumbbells behind the saddle.


The Echelon EX-5s-22 is made for use with smart, training content. When you use the bike, you will be prompted to log in if you are not already. You cannot use the bike without logging in first. I found it rather tricky to figure out how to use the EX-5s-22 without a membership, but I am happy to let you in on how to use the Echelon EX-5s-22 exercise bike without a membership.

If you do not have a paid membership, you will, at least, need to create an account to use the EX-5s-22. You cannot sign up from the bike or from the phone app, which is a big disadvantage. Fortunately, this step only needs to be done once. On Echelon’s website, you can purchase a membership if you would like. If you want to use the bike without a subscription, go to the member log-in page on the website, click ‘Create an Account!’ and go through the process. It will not force you to put in credit card information to create an account. This part is free. When you are set up, return to your bike and log in. I’ll dive more into what is available to use with and without a subscription later.

Getting the right saddle and handlebar positioning can be difficult on any exercise bike. At least, it is the first time you use it. The Echelon EX-5s-22 has one problem that is common to all touchscreen-owning exercise bikes, the vertical handlebar adjustment is very clunky. The added weight of the screen tilts the post when it is not fixed into place, so it does not slide as easily. It got caught quite a few times when I was making my adjustments, and it can take some wiggling to get the post to cooperate. After all my struggling, I was able to get the right position. My subsequent workouts on the Echelon EX-5s-22 were comfortable.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike cycling
The Echelon does not have as many resistance levels as other exercise bikes, but it creates a good workout.

The EX-5s-22 provided an adequate strength of resistance for a cyclist like me. Most beginner or intermediate users should be pleased with this bike’s offerings. The resistance is not as exact as that found on other exercise bikes, and advanced users will likely want a few more levels than what the EX-5s-22 offers. The flywheel creates a smooth cycling experience, though there is a little wobble in the bike and display when you are working really hard. This wobble is very minimal and did not negatively affect my workout. I felt stable rising out of the saddle or sitting back into it. The EX-5s-22 delivers what it promises with minute instances where improvements could be made.

Subscription & Content Options

I really want to drive home that the Echelon EX-5s-22 is a bike for Echelon members. Echelon requires you to purchase a subscription alongside all of its equipment. Echelon makes studio content for its exercise bikes, other cardio equipment, and off-equipment training. These classes are live and on demand. The classes are upbeat and lively with the integration of music. Echelon content is not as high-end and professional as Peloton, but I think that has its own benefit. The training does not feel as intimidating to new users. The content is still good quality and motivating, but I do wish Echelon gave users a free trial. It is hard to know if a platform is the right fit for you without a trial period.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike Scenic Cycling
The Echelon EX-5s-22 provides scenic and trainer-led content.

In addition to instructor-led classes, Echelon also has scenic rides. These routes take you on virtual routes in beautiful locations, so you can have a more laid-back cycling experience if you wish. Echelon members can also track their performance and progress through the platform. You are not restricted to a single profile; all of Echelon’s memberships permit up to five users. The platform also integrates with other platforms like Strava, Spotify, and Zwift. Echelon offers a wide range of features for on and off your bike.

Without a subscription, you still need an account. This turns on the EX-5s-22’s magnetic resistance, which is otherwise disabled. With a free account, Echelon allows you to train in two different scenic rides. You can pair a heart rate monitor, but otherwise, that is all the bike offers. Your metrics are displayed on the screen, and you may receive an email including a report of these metrics. These are the few features and functions offered without an active membership.

Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike Scenic Rides
There are a few scenic rides available for training without a subscription.

Bottom Line Review of the Echelon EX-5s-22 Exercise Bike

The Echelon EX-5s-22 is a studio exercise bike with fun subscription-based features. It is a great bike for exercisers looking for a Peloton alternative. It has quiet magnetic resistance and hybrid pedals for your convenience. The saddle and handlebars are sporty but comfortable. The Echelon EX-5s-22 is one of the few indoor cycling bikes that use a rear flywheel. This design minimally changes the bike’s performance but keeps the flywheel safe from your sweat. You can get a really high-intensity workout in on the EX-5s-22 with a premier Echelon membership.

Read More Popular Exercise Bike Reviews: