Echelon Stride Review
Cons: Less cushioned than other high-end models, doesn't feel as sturdy as some, ongoing cost of Echelon app (if you choose to use it)
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|Pros||Folds small for storage, easy to move around, good size running surface, 12 mph top speed, works with Echelon app||Large running surface, 12 mph top speed, 350 lbs weight limit, works with third-party training apps, good warranty||10 mph top speed, up to 10% incline, fairly large tread surface, connected features, 300 lb weight limit||Affordable, 9 mph top speed, folds when not in use||Small closed size, very storable, 2 in 1 functionality, Bluetooth speaker, affordable|
|Cons||Less cushioned than other high-end models, doesn't feel as sturdy as some, ongoing cost of Echelon app (if you choose to use it)||Moderately expensive, larger size||Using iFit app adds monthly cost, 10 mph top speed may not be enough for serious runners||Smaller running surface, manual incline adjustment, 220 lb weight limit||Display location, remote control, have to remove handles to fold closed, louder noise level, short and narrow belt surface - not great for running|
|Bottom Line||A compelling option for those with limited space though not without some minor compromises||Connected features, a large running surface, and a huge speed range make this median-priced model a compelling option for any fitness level||A reasonably priced model with a great exercise quality enhanced by connected features||A relatively basic but impressively affordable treadmill that gets the job done for lighter intensity workouts||An affordable and extremely compact 2 in 1 model that works best for walking or very light jogging|
|Rating Categories||Echelon Stride||XTerra Fitness TRX3500||NordicTrack T6.5 S||Sunny Health and Fi...||Goplus SuperFit 2 i...|
|Exercise Quality (35%)|
|User Interface/Ease of Use (25%)|
|Ease of Assembly (10%)|
|Noise Level (5%)|
|Specs||Echelon Stride||XTerra Fitness TRX3500||NordicTrack T6.5 S||Sunny Health and Fi...||Goplus SuperFit 2 i...|
|Belt Dimensions||55" L x 20" W||60" L x 20" W||55" L x 20" W||49" L x 15.5" W||40" L x 16" W|
|Speed Range||0.5- 12 mph||0-12 mph||0-10 mph||0.5-9 mph||1-12 kmh|
|Motor||1.75 CHP||3.0 HP||2.6 CHP||2.2 HP||2.25 HP|
|Incline Levels||0 to 10%||0 to 12%||10 (0 to 10%)||3 (0, 2%, 4.37%)||n/a|
|Weight Limit||300 lbs||350 lbs||300 lbs||220 lbs||265 lbs|
|Open Dimensions||69" L x 31" W x 49.5" H||77.2" L x 35.5" W x 56.1" H||73.5" L x 36" W x 54" H||62" L x 26.5" W x 50" H||49" L x 27" W x 42" H|
|Folded Dimensions||69" L x 31" W x 10" H||51.2" L x 35.5" W x 65.8" H||34 L x 36" W x 67" H||36" L x 25.5" W x 58" H||52" L x 27" W x 5" H|
|Display||Digital display with integrated device holder||6.5" LCD blue/backlit, Bluetooth connects to devices||5" backlit, Blutooth work with your device||7" backlit LCD display||small LED display|
|Workout Programs||8 programmed workouts, works with Echelon app (subscription required)||30 pre-set programs, 2 custom, 1 heart rate control, plus it works with Zwift, Kinomap, Wahoo SYSTM through Bluetooth FTMS connection||20 programs, also works with iFit app||9 programs||No|
|Heart Rate Sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||Integrated handlebar sensors||No|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, works with Echelon app||Bluetooth FTMS and Auxilary input||Bluetooth and Auxiliary input, works with iFit app||No||Bluetooth|
|Additional Features||Transport wheels, folding design, 2 bottle holders, integrated device holder, safety stop lanyard, metal safety bracket underneath running deck to prevent objects from being pulled under||Transport wheels, folding deck with soft-drop, heart rate sensors, auxilary plug, 2 bottle/cup holders, XTRASoft deck cushioning, quick jump speed and incline buttons, handlebar speed and incline controls, safety lanyard, built-in speakers, built-in cooling fan, accessory tray, Bluetooth, works with third-party apps||Folding, soft-drop, device shelf, bottle holders, transport wheels, safety shutoff lanyard, speakers, auxilary input, Flex Select cushioning, heart rate sensors, Bluetooth, works with iFit||Folding, soft-drop, transport wheels, bottle holders, shock absorption, quick speed buttons, manual incline adjust, device shelf, safety shutoff lanyard||Compact folding design, transport wheels, phone holder, remote control, Bluetooth speaker|
|Warranty||12-month limited parts and labor||Frame and motor: lifetime, Deck and parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year||Frame: 10 years, Parts: 2 years, Labor: 1 year||Frame: 3 years, Parts: 180 days||not specified|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Echelon has grown into one of the bigger players in the home exercise market, and they make a full range of equipment designed to work with the Echelon app. The Stride is the least expensive of the three treadmills in their lineup, and it impressed us with its exercise quality, connected features, and its unique ability to fold flat for storage. It may not be the best treadmill we tested, but it works quite well and we feel it is a great option for those who prioritize storability and don't want to sacrifice much in the way of performance.
Given its compact storable design, we were very impressed by the Stride for its relatively high exercise quality. That said, compared to the other high-end models we tested, some compromises have been made. Regardless, we found that it was generally suitable for users of all fitness levels, and if storability is a high priority, we feel this is about as good as it gets.
At 55-inches long and 20-inches wide, the Stride has a relatively large running surface. That said, it's about 5-inches shorter and 2-inches narrower than the largest treads we tested. Regardless, we found it quite easy to get along with, and it worked well for running at any pace with little worry of catching the side rails or stepping off the back. Very tall users with super long strides may find its limitations, and those who like a very large tread surface should be aware that the Stride's is a little smaller than some.
With a top speed of 12 mph, we found it suitable for everything from walking and jogging to sprint workouts, although the deck doesn't have the most impressive cushioning, comparatively speaking. We performed a speed-accuracy test using a rolling measuring wheel with the belt speed set at 6 mph for 1 minute. In that test, the Stride clocked 530 feet, a mere 2 feet off the mark, or 0.3%, which is very impressive. Incline is adjustable from 0 to 10%, and while that is substantial given the size, weight, and storability of the Stride, it falls a bit short of the competition. Either way, it's enough adjustability to do some moderate incline and hills training.
The Stride does not require you to use the Echelon app, and it is perfectly functional as a standalone treadmill. Starting manual workouts is quick and easy, plus it has 8 program workouts to add a little structured training to your routine. Of course, it also connects with the Echelon app, which has a monthly cost to be considered but offers a huge variety of live and on-demand workouts to choose from.
The Stride uses Bluetooth to connect to your device and the Echelon app. It doesn't need to be used with the app, but it offers a massive selection of live and on-demand treadmill workouts, as well as a huge variety of off-tread FitPass workouts. If you're the type who enjoys the instruction and motivation that fitness apps like Echelon provide, there's no shortage of quality options to choose from.
Echelon has been in the game for many years, and their app is well developed at this point. You will need to purchase a membership, of course, with plans going for $34.99 billed monthly, $399.99 billed annually, or $699 for two years. Your membership gets you access to all of Echelon's app content, up to five user profiles, and it can be used on other Echelon equipment like their Connect bikes, rowers, and fitness mirrors. It is most similar to Peloton in terms of the studio-style classes offered with a similar variety of workout types with everything from walking and power walking to HIIT and endurance runs and everything in between. They offer 35+ live classes daily in addition to literally thousands of on-demand classes. The instructors are engaging and can provide the structure and motivation you need to push your limits and take your fitness to the next level. There are 60+ different instructors, lengths of time, and music genres to choose from, and a filter feature allows you to narrow down your search to find the workout that suits your needs. It also includes a number of scenic runs, that provide something nice to look out while you manually control your workout. The off-equipment workouts are referred to as FitPass, and it includes a bit of everything from strength training and yoga to pilates and kickboxing to keep you busy and work on total body fitness.
User Interface/Ease of Use
The Stride is very easy to use, but compared to the higher-end screen-equipped models, the console is somewhat basic. That said, starting a manual or program workout is very straightforward, with intuitive controls and an easy-to-read console. If you're using the Echelon app, you'll need to take the additional step of connecting to your own device, which then serves as the display.
The Stride is a smart treadmill with connected features, but it does not come with an integrated touchscreen like some of the more expensive competition (although you can upgrade to the Stride S which has a 10" HD touchscreen integrated into the console for a few hundred dollars more). Instead, It has a 20.5-inch wide by 6-inch tall console screen that shows all of your workout metrics in large, bright numbers on a dark background. The console is quite broad, so it isn't cluttered the way some others can be, and from left to right it shows distance, "altitude" (elevation gain), elapsed time, pace, and estimated calories burned (pace and calories switch between a step counter and tread speed, respectively). Below that, in the center of the console, the profiles of the 8 programs are shown for reference, with 3, 6, and 9 mph quick jump buttons for speed on the right, and 3,6, and 9% incline on the left. Below the console in the center of the handrail are 4 buttons, start, pause/stop, program, and mode. Speed and incline adjustment buttons are also located on the right and left handrails, respectively, and are easy to reach when running.
When using the Echelon app, you'll need to open the app on your tablet or smartphone and pair that device with the Stride. Choosing from the thousands of available workouts is typically the biggest challenge, and in our experience, we never had any issues connecting to the treadmill, or with dropped connections during use. Once connected, your device becomes the display to view the streaming workout, and the integrated device holder in the console supports it for viewing while you follow along.
The Stride is far from the most feature-packed treadmill we've tested, but it comes with all the necessities and a unique compact design that sets it apart from the competition. Some of the more basic but useful features of the Stride are two bottle holders below the console. These bottle holders are made of mesh and they collapse when the handrail and console are folded down. It also comes with a smartphone holder that fits onto the top of one of the bottle holders. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your device for streaming live and on-demand workouts through the Echelon app, and the console has an integrated holder for your tablet or smartphone when using the app or watching your favorite show. Integrated heart rate sensors in the handrails also allow you to monitor your pulse while you work out.
The real highlight of the Stride is the folding design that makes it impressively slim for storage when not in use. It's still a large machine, but at just 10-inches thick, it is far easier to store than other models with similar tread dimensions and top speeds. Echelon also thoughtfully included a large steel handle at the rear of the treadmill that helps make it easier to move, as well as two sets of transport wheels that allow it to be rolled both fore/aft and side to side. Additionally, it comes with a safety stop lanyard and they have equipped it with a "metal safety bar" underneath the tread that they claim protects objects from being pulled under.
Ease of Assembly
The Stride bests virtually every other treadmill we tested for ease of assembly. Due to its impressively compact folded size, this model comes fully assembled in the box with just a few quick and easy steps to ready it for use. Of course, it is quite heavy, 175-pounds in the box, so the toughest part of the process is moving it and removing it from the box. We highly recommend getting a second person to help you move it to where you intend to unbox it and set it up.
Once removed from the box, you still need to remove the plastic wrap from around the machine. Then you can simply fold the support arms up, fold the handles down, and position the console for viewing (it has three indexed positions). After plugging it in and flipping the main power switch, you'll also want to check if the belt needs calibration, ours didn't. If you intend to use it with the Echelon app, you'll need to download the app to your tablet or smartphone, log in or buy a membership, and pair your device with the treadmill. It doesn't get much easier than that.
The Stride scores extremely well in the storability metric thanks to its unique folding design. While it is still fairly wide and long, it becomes impressively thin when the console and support arms are folded down, making it possible to slide under a bed or lean up against a wall when not in use. We feel this is particularly impressive given the relatively large running surface, 12 mph top speed, and quality exercise it provides. If you're tight on space but still want a great workout, the Stride has you covered.
Folding the console, handles, and support arms flat is quick and easy, and once folded down, the Stride becomes one of the most easily storable treadmills we've tested. Sure, it's still 69-inches long and 31-inches wide, but at only ten inches thick it can fit under a bed, some couches, or stood up against a wall for storage. At 156-pounds, it's also reasonably lightweight, so standing it up on its end or rolling it around your apartment is fairly easy. A handle at the end of the tread and wheels that allow you to roll it fore/aft or side to side make it highly maneuverable. Should you choose to store it against a wall, it also comes with a safety strap that you can anchor to the wall to hold it securely and prevent it from falling over unexpectedly.
The Stride impressed us with its relatively low noise level. We feel this is largely due to the smaller 1.75 HP motor that was impressively quiet in our testing. Though the differences in noise levels are relatively minimal among the models we tested, the Stride was the quietest by a small margin. Along with its impressive storability, its lower noise level also makes it a solid choice for use in smaller spaces.
Should You Buy the Echelon Stride?
While the Stride makes some minor compromises to achieve its impressive storability, notably the slightly shorter tread length and incline limited to 10%, it still provides a quality exercise experience that should be suitable for nearly any fitness level. Given its reasonably light weight and the unique ability to fold flat for storage, we were actually quite impressed by its exercise quality and overall performance, and we have no problem recommending it to apartment dwellers or anyone with limited home workout space.
What Other Treadmills Should You Consider?
If space isn't as much of a concern, a treadmill like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 has a lot to offer. With a longer and wider tread surface, -3 to +15% incline, better shock absorption, and an integrated touchscreen, the 1750 is a little better suited to higher intensity training. We also love the iFit app for the varied, not just studio, exercise experience, including AutoAdjust speed and incline changes. If you're after a connected treadmill that won't completely break the bank, the XTerra Fitness TRX3500 is a more affordable option to consider. It boasts a large running surface, 12 mph top speed, incline up to 12%, and lots of useful features. It doesn't have a touchscreen, but it is FTMS Bluetooth enabled and is compatible with a variety of third-party apps like Zwift through your own device.
— Jeremy Benson
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