Echelon Bike came across our radar again. Just yesterday we open up the local retail store flyer and saw the huge price reduction on the Echelon EX5 bike. It was almost half price off. To be honest. We were pleased that more and consumers are noticing the problems with the Echelon EX5 bike. Such as:
1) Does not have a built-in screen 2) Rear flywheel design is unfamiliar to some riders and may take getting used to 3) Handlebars are not very padded 4) Not very extensive warranty 5) Then there is monthly fees for Echelon videos (45 usa a month !!)
We personally think they have adopted the printer business model, such as sell the printer for cheap, but make huge profits of the ink. Because Echelons monthly fees for the “online classes” are up to 50 usa a month
Remember, the Echelon bikes is known as the “poor man’s Peloton”
Echelon: an Overview
Echelon Fitness also offers a “ride-at-home” experience not dissimilar to what Peloton offers.
Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the company was created in 2017 when founder Lou Lentine (more on him later) developed a more affordable stationary bike with the tracking and interactive features of other, higher-priced rivals.
The company has 25 instructors offering cycling classes and films “over 2,000
classes a month from our two studios” in Chattanooga and Miami, Lentine says. The company streams over a million classes each month, and rider members work out more than three times per week on average. At any given time of the day, some 10,000 members are taking classes, according to Lentine.
Lentine notes that because there’s such a heavy emphasis on developing new and exciting classes, “we’re as much a media company as a fitness company. We have to entertain, and we’re always working on ways to keep our members entertained,” with new class offerings and options.
Since the pandemic hit, Echelon’s business has expanded more than 700%. “It’s been overwhelming to say the least,” Lentine says. But he says the company has ramped up to meet the challenge and is “prepared to grow” at home and abroad, especially through strategic partnerships, such as a summer 2021-announced deal with rapper Pitbull.
However. After you see the recent dramatic discounts, it begs the question. Are they having problems selling the bike or are they hoping, or luring, customers will pay up to 50 usa dollars a month, 600 a year for their “online classes”?
After our negative experience with Echelon company we were not surprised when we read in Forbes Magazine this headline: “Amazon Stops Sale Of ‘Prime Bike,’ Distances Itself From Fitness Company Echelon”. I should have said no when, Lou Lentine called me and gave me his cell number asking me to promote the Echelon Bike. I should have said no when he sent me a bike. But I was naive I guess.
Actually it is on several news outlets, even CNBC. On CBNC we read: “Amazon says it didn’t build the ‘Prime bike’ and tells Echelon to stop selling it ” When I brought this to the attention of Lou Lentine the “ceo of Echelon”, instead of receiving a reply he had a lawyer threaten me which is atrocious. Even though we chose to help them instead of Peloton. Please read for yourself the threats from the Echelon:
“Lastly, you are commanded to refrain from making any public remarks in any forum related to your relationship with Echelon, Echelon’s relationship with Amazon or any other third-party and Echelon’s employees and officers. Public comment regarding any of the above will be construed and reported as defamation. Failure to comply with the above will result in prompt legal escalation. “
Echelon, who operates in USA is saying that public remarks regarding them is illegal? That is right folks. I guess when the Better Business Bureau gives Echelon only a C+ and makes public remarks that is illegal?
Please read the complaints and public remarks from Better Business Bureau regarding Echelon yourself here.
After reading the above complaints from consumers you should not support Echelon. A company that bullies and intimates? I think so.
Regarding the Echelon Marketing reps called “All Scope Media” with 3 google reviews: I had a terrible experience myself and not all surprised with CBC and others reports. Nina Maxwell, with All Scope Media for Echelon was very painful to deal with. Even though she was aware of our huge contribution to Echelon with all the new memberships and sales. Nonetheless. When we emailed her to establish a connection she treated us like spammers. For several days we waited and waited. She only replied after leaving reviews on social media. However. In the email we asked basic questions such as” were you aware of our previous results and metrics. Nina Maxwell refused to reply in writing. She only wanted to “speak on the phone?”. Which was very strange and the first red flag. We contacted her superiors at All Scope Media who did not reply either, which could mean that they are not supporting her perhaps? They did not dispute the allegations that she behaved “Incorrectly”. Which is similar to the “Incorrect Marketing” we are read Echelon was accused of.
Lastly. Let us conclude by sharing a recent buyer of the Echelon bike had to say, then you can make up your own mind.
First fail: I was told I would get a 30-day free class subscription, but when the package arrived I was offered only 14 days. I wasn’t crestfallen, but didn’t appreciate the bait-&-switch. Second fail: The unit comes with only a month warranty, but instructions explain that this will be extended to 1 year if you register the product. (Note that even a 1-year warranty is less than many competing models.) To register, you have to have the serial number, and where the hell is that? (I eventually found it on the rack.) Then, you follow the link to register, and there’s no place to register. You’ll search for about 10-15 minutes before giving up and calling, and they’ll tell you that Echelon’s policy has changed & you no longer need to register to get the year warranty. Ok, guys, that wasn’t cool, and it would be really nice to get that warranty in writing, right? (Especially after the free trial bait-&-switch.)
The real problems with Echelon are more app/subscription issues, and understand that I write from a unique perspective. I’ve been riding for many years, & I’m more of the person who is putting together workout sessions than taking other peoples’ classes. I chose the EX3 because it let me use my own tablet, & I understood from reviews that it could be used “freestyle”; that is, without a subscription, so I could use it to develop my own classes. It quickly becomes clear that Echelon is working on the Gillette model, and you’ll face a constant hard-sell to subscribe to Echelon’s classes. I did one of the classes and it was good. Not really my style–the music (a tribute to DMX) was just background as the instructor constantly shouted instructions, while I wanted to move to DMX–but I understand this is what most people want, and that most people do better in a class environment. If you’re like me, you actually can use the “freestyle” approach, but Echelon doesn’t make it entirely convenient, and you must “freestyle” through the app or the drag feature won’t work.
The freestyle page, for those who don’t subscribe, makes you feel like the redheaded stepchild of the family. It’s a little bit harder to get to than other functions, and, incredibly, there’s no way to manipulate the clock. While you’re freestyling, the app will bombard you with visual ads for classes, which is likely the last thing you want to see when you’re focused on your intense workout. You can avoid this simply by keeping the app in the background, but then you won’t see any metrics, and you’ll only be able to feel your way to get the appropriate drag–not the end of the world, to be sure, but not very considerate of Echelon. Be wary: the app wants a lot of personally identifiable information (PII), and the privacy protections aren’t great. Worse, and completely INEXCUSABLE to me is that, you’ll be invited to link your Spotify account to the Echelon app. If you do, Echelon will require you to permit Echelon to track everything you do on Spotify, as well as the activity of the people you follow and the people who follow you,
AND you must EVEN allow Echelon to review your playlists AND ADD & DELETE selections from your very own playlists! Come-on, Echelon! Whose Spotify account is this anyway?? A lot of nerve. The good news is that you can still use Spotify (and, I assume, other music apps), and your tablet’s native clock/timer (since the app doesn’t allow you to manipulate its timer), but you have to start these apps AFTER you’ve started the Echelon app; otherwise, the app will pre-empt them. Good news is that you can Bluetooth both to the bike and your studio speaker system at the same time, I was a bit worried about that. Yet another annoyance: when you try to discontinue your free subscription trial (in order to avoid it rolling over to the $40/mo subscription), the webpage will prompt you along the lines of: “Don’t you want to discuss this decision with one of our sales reps?”
Of course, there’s no way to answer “NO,” so it’s really just another annoyance. You’re then forced to talk to the rep and listen to another hard-sell pitch, offers to extend the free trial to something better than the month that was originally promised. Really annoying. I declined the free extension because I really just didn’t want to jump through these hoops again. SUMMARY: A great product & superior customer service, but the constant upselling and invasive privacy policies makes the Echelon company a force that needs to be carefully managed and controlled–these people aren’t really your partners in fitness; their all-too-transparent goal is to sell-sell-sell while collecting as much PII as they can get away with. I felt the approach was just too disrespectful and annoying at times.
If my spinning studio did this kind of hard sell, it would certainly lose clients. At one point I was annoyed enough that I considered returning the product per the Amazon policy, but now feel more likely to keep it. I just hope that Echelon doesn’t further booby-trap the app to require me to put up with more sales pitches, require me to provide it access to my music apps, or permit it to collect even more PII–I suppose that there’s a very real risk that they’ll do just that.