Is the New Echelon Stride Worth Buying?

Three and a Half Star Rating

On-demand training is all the rage these days and the new Echelon Stride gets in on the action, giving you access to a wide variety of workouts led by high-energy personal trainers.

But how does this treadmill compare to competitors like Peloton & NordicTrack? What makes this one different and is it worth buying?

Our experts dive in to see what the Stride is all about...

What is the Echelon Stride?

Echelon Stride Treadmill - Man Running On An Incline

The Echelon Stride is a very compact treadmill offered by the relatively new company that also offers a line of Connect Bikes, Reflect Mirrors, Rowing Machines and the Echelon App that you can access on all of them.

Through the app you can tap into daily live or on-demand classes that you can do on or off the treadmill, similar to iFit on NordicTrack and ProForm treadmills, as well as track and share your workout results and compete with family and friends.

Currently there are three different models to choose from based on your budget and fitness needs, so there's sure to be one that works for you.

Echelon Stride

The base model in the series is simply called the Stride, and it measures 69" long by 31" wide by 49" tall, so it's significantly more compact than most treadmills on the market today.

You get a 55" x 20" running surface, 12 levels of incline for a max of 10%, speeds up to 12 mph, max user weight of 300 lbs. and a 1.75 CHP motor.

You get a very basic display with buttons to change your incline and speed, and a place to rest your tablet so you can access the Echelon app workouts.

The compact design is great for those with smaller workout areas. The Stride is only 10 inches deep when you fold it, and it folds very easily with the touch of a button. You can then wheel it to a corner or even slide it under a bed to make more room.

But besides the space-friendly design, everything else is pretty standard, i.e. nothing really stands out. You do get a decent sized running area and speeds up to 12 mph, but the motor is on the weaker size (comparably priced treadmills typically have at least 2.5 CHP motors) and 10% incline is a bit below the industry standard of 12-15%.

Echelon Stride-s

Moving up in the series you have the Echelon Stride-s, which gives you everything the base model has with some additional features and capabilities.

You get a larger 59" x 20" running deck, a stronger 3.5 HP motor and a more advanced 10" HD touch screen so you don't have to use your own device for the interactive workouts.

You also get Bluetooth for audio as well as for measuring your heart rate accurately and other upgrades for comfort.

Echelon Stride-5s

At the top of the line you have the Echelon Stride-5s, which us the ante even more with a max incline of 15%, 22" x 60" running area, max user weight of 400 lbs. and a huge 24" adjustable touch screen display.

The 5s also has quick incline and speed change capability and a cooling fan, among other nice upgrades.

So there are three different models to choose from starting with a very basic entry level treadmill and moving up to a very advanced machine.

What Does the Echelon Stride Cost?

It's important to know that an Echelon Membership Plan is required with your Stride purchase. So you can't just get the treadmill itself on its own. But this is really the main draw of the brand anyway, so it's understandable that you need to join to tap into the Echelon live and on-demand workouts.

As of the writing of this review there are three options: monthly membership, yearly membership and two-year membership.

Monthly membership is $34.99 per month, yearly is $399 (which works out to $33.33 per month) and two years is $699 every two years (which works out to $29.16 a month)

So assuming you opt for the monthly plan, it would be $1,040 for the bike itself plus the cost of one month, or $1075.

If you opt for the year it would be $1440, and two years would be $1740.

So your initial cost will be in the $1075-$1740 range for the Echelon Stride.

If you opt for the Echelon Stride-s, you're looking at around $1,599 plus the cost of the membership you choose. For the top of the line Stride-5s, it's around $2,499 plus the cost of membership.

So the price obviously varies based on which model you choose and which membership plan works best for you.

How Does the Echelon Stride Compare to the Competition?

When most people think about live and on-demand interactive classes, the first name that comes to mind is Peloton. They are essentially the first-to-market innovators in this field, and as such people compare all new comers to the industry leader.

Peloton started with the bikes and building on their enormous popularity they recently expanded into treadmills with the Peloton Tread and Tread +.

The Peloton Tread was the newer, more affordable model, and the Tread + was the older, higher end treadmill.

Currently, though, Peloton is just offering one treadmill, called the Tread. The Plus model has been discontinued.

So how does the Echelon Stride compare to the Peloton Tread?

You can't really compare the Echelon Stride to the Peloton Treads because other than the live and on-demand classes, the treadmills themselves are much different.

If you were to draw a comparison, it would have to be to the top of line Echelon Stride-5s, even though it's $1000 cheaper than the Peloton.

The Echelon has it beat in a few categories, besides the price. The Peloton Tread gives you 59" of running space, the Stride gives you 60". Peloton gives you up to 12.5% incline, Stride gives you 15%. Peloton has a max weight of 300 lbs. Stride has 400 lb max weight limit. Echelon has a rotating screen...Peloton's is fixed.

Although Peloton might have more classes to choose from, although that seems to be changing, Echelon seems to be better option for many reasons.

What about the rest of the competition?

Basically any company that offers on-demand or live interactive workouts is technically a competitor for the Echelon Stride.

NordicTrack has their version of the Echelon App called iFit. They are currently offering many of their treadmills with a free month of iFit, so you could compare the Echelon Stride to the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, which comparably priced around $1699-$1799. Some of the other Commercial Series treadmills or Incline Trainers match up price wise with the S and 5S Echelons.

Like the Peloton Tread, the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 has a touch screen display, but it adds more incline as well as decline capability, much larger running area and stronger motor.

It does have a larger footprint but folds easily if you do need to move it.

Bowflex has a new treadmill as well called the Bowflex Treadmill 22, which competes head to head with NordicTrack but adds streaming capability to the touch screen and a free heart rate arm band. Bowflex's program is called JRNY and it is similar to iFit.

The Bowflex Treadmill 22 is a bit more expensive at around $2,699, in line with the top of the line Echelon Stride..

So if you look at the Echelon Stride vs Peloton, NordicTrack and Bowflex, the main difference is the competition has only touch screen displays to access their live and/or on-demand workouts, and Echelon offers a lower end model without a touchscreen.

The base Stride treadmill itself is also more compact than the others.

So What's the Bottom Line on the Echelon Stride?

If you're looking to participate in live classes on your treadmill, currently only Echelon, Peloton and NordicTrack offer this capability, although that might change over time. All of the other competitors offer on-demand classes that you can access any time.

So if live classes are definitely a must, then the Echelon Stride might be a great option for you, especially given its extremely compact design, easy folding and comparatively low price tag. If you prefer a more advanced treadmill, then Peloton might be more your speed. (no pun intended)

However, if you're OK with on-demand classes only, as most people are, and space is not a major issue, then you might be better served with a more advanced treadmill from NordicTrack, ProForm (which also offers iFit) or Bowflex.

All three have touch screen displays, incline and decline, advanced cushioning, stronger motors and larger running surfaces.

Check out the Echelon Stride and see if it's the right treadmill for your home gym. Look live class competitors like Peloton as well, and on-demand competitors like NordicTrack, ProForm and Bowflex.

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