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Everything You Should Know About The Echelon Stride-5s Smart Treadmill [A Review]

echelon stride-5s treadmill review

The Stride-5s is Echelon’s newest, highest-end treadmill to date and at first glance, it looks like they’ve made some significant upgrades over their original Stride Treadmill.

Which I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of.

Highlights of this newer model include a much heavier-duty frame, longer safety rails, and a significantly stronger motor.

Oh yeah, there’s also that 24″ HD touchscreen display – that’s probably worth mentioning.

But the motor isn’t as powerful as some of the other competitors and that warranty is still absurdly short.

Long-story-short, the Stride-5s has some legit upgrades over their other treadmills, but I’m still not convinced it’s worth investing in.

But if you’re interested in the longer story, keep reading.

In this review, I’ll go over everything this treadmill has going for it, as well as the areas where it falls a bit short.

After reading, you’ll know whether or not the Stride-5s is the right option for your home gym.

The Echelon Stride-5s Smart Treadmill

echelon stride-5s treadmill

Image courtesy of Echelon Fitness

Echelon is the first brand I remember going all in and trying to compete with Peloton.

I think we all have Peloton to thank for the fitness streaming revolution and Echelon was one of the first other companies to try and get a piece of that lucrative pie.

And I’m pretty sure they got themselves a healthy slice.

Like Peloton, Echelon started out with their streaming bikes, but their gimmick was that you used your own tablet to act as the console, thus keeping the asking price down.

Eventually, they came out with upgraded models that came with large, HD touchscreen displays too.

Echelon’s bikes must’ve been very successful because the brand branched out rapidly to include connected rowers, treadmills, and even a couple of mirrors.

The Stride-5s we’re here to discuss now is their newest treadmill model, but Echelon still offers their original Stride Treadmill, as well as the Stride-s (10″ screen).

Pros

  • 22″ x 60″ running surface
  • 24″ HD touchscreen console
  • Heavy-duty frame
  • 400 lb weight capacity
  • Top speed of 12.5 mph
  • Max incline of 15%
  • Access to streaming workouts
  • Bluetooth compatible
  • Cooling fan
  • Built-in speakers
  • Quick-touch speed/incline buttons
  • Long handrails

Cons

  • Motor could be stronger
  • Warranty very short
  • Would be nice if there were more quick-touch buttons

Running Surface

I’m a firm believer that the size of a treadmill’s running surface is one of the most important specs to consider because if the treadmill is too small, you aren’t going to enjoy using it.

Most quality treadmills these days are coming with a running surface of 20″ x 60″ or larger.

And this is because at this size, folks of most heights are able to run at top speed without having to shorten their stride length.

Now if you’re of shorter stature or are using the treadmill for walking only, you can certainly get away with smaller running surfaces.

Anyway, the Stride-5s comes with a 22″ x 60″ running surface, which is exactly where I’d expect a treadmill in this price range to be.

So this is good.

But let’s take it a step further and check out the frame itself.

If you ask me, having a heavy, bulky treadmill is a good thing because the extra mass makes for a more stable base to exercise on.

Larger, heavier treadmills are less likely to wiggle or wobble during use, especially when running at faster speeds.

It can be hard to determine how heavy-duty a treadmill is by looking at it online, but looking at the assembled weight spec gives you a lot of information.

And again, seeing a higher number here is preferred.

The Stride-5s comes with an assembled weight of 315 lb, which is quite heavy for a home treadmill in this price range.

Echelon’s original Stride Treadmill only had an assembled weight of 156 lb, which is quite light for a treadmill (and one of my biggest complaints about it).

And for the sake of comparison, Sole’s similarly priced TT8 weighs in at 322 lb – and sole makes some of the heaviest-duty treadmills under $3k.

So, kudos to Echelon for bulking this treadmill up.

The Stride-5s also scores highly with a max weight limit of 400 lb, allowing folks of all sizes the ability to use it safely.

Something worth knowing though, is that this treadmill doesn’t fold away for storage, so if floorspace is an issue, you might want to go with another model that does.

Overall though, this treadmill scores highly when it comes to its large running surface and heavy frame.

Motor

Moving on, let’s talk about something a little more interesting – motors.

Generally speaking, having a stronger motor is always a good thing.

And I say that because a stronger motor doesn’t have to work as hard as a weaker one to provide the same output – this generally means that a stronger motor will provide a smoother feel.

Stronger motors also have the ability to accelerate faster than weaker ones, which could be important if you like to do a lot of interval style workouts where you’re jumping between different speeds.

Stronger motors can often incline/decline faster too.

With all of this in mind, the Stride-5s comes with a 3 HP motor.

Echelon uses the ‘HP’ abbreviation instead of ‘CHP’ (which stands for continuous horsepower), and there’s a pretty big difference.

‘HP’ usually refers to the max power the motor can reach but only maintain for a short periods; while ‘CHP’ refers to the max power the treadmill can maintain over longer periods.

This means that a 3 HP motor could functionally be quite a bit weaker than a 3 CHP motor – in the case of the Stride-5s, I’m not sure.

What I do know though, is that a 3 HP motor is fairly weak compared to all the other treadmills in this price range that are packing 4 HP motors.

Examples include the aforementioned Sole TT8, Horizon’s 7.8 AT , and NordicTrack’s Commercial 2950.

In terms of speed and incline, the Stride-5s is on par with all the other top models and can reach a top speed of 12.5 mph and a max incline of 15%.

No concerns there.

Another spec worth looking at is the size of a treadmill’s rollers.

The rollers are the parts that allow the belt to slide across the deck and having larger rollers is a good thing because they provide a smoother feel and make for a more durable treadmill.

Larger rollers make more surface contact with the belt, which tends to prolong the life of the belt and rollers too.

Most quality home treadmills come with rollers in the 2-3″ range, with 2.5″ being fairly average.

Unfortunately, Echelon doesn’t provide the rollers size info for their treadmills and when I asked a rep about it she didn’t know what I was talking about.

In cases where brands don’t declare their roller sizes, it’s usually because they’re on the small side, but in Echelon’s case I can’t be sure.

Regardless, the Stride-5s comes with a weaker motor than many of the other top treadmills in this price range. This isn’t necessary a deal breaker, but it’s worth considering.

Features

The Echelon Stride-5s Treadmill comes with the following features:

24″ HD console- the star of the show on this treadmill is obviously the huge touchscreen console sitting in front. This console is designed to be paired with Echelon’s streaming platform and you kinda have to sign up for a membership to use this treadmill (I’m not sure why you’d want to buy a treadmill with a screen like this and not use if for streaming workouts in the first place). The console can also rotate 90° in either direction, which comes in handy when doing non-treadmill workouts.

Bluetooth- the console has built-in speakers, but is also bluetooth compatible with headphones and heart rate monitors too.

Extended handrails- you might notice how long the handrails are on each side. This is a nice safety feature because it gives you plenty of rail to grab onto in case you lose your balance during a workout. There are speed/incline controls built into the handlebars as well.

Quick-touch speed/incline buttons- these buttons allow you to instantly set the speed and/or incline without having to keep pushing the up/down buttons. This is a convenient feature, however some users have complained that the buttons are too small, making them harder to push while running. And there aren’t that many of them to choose from: speed (1, 4, 7, and 10 mph) and incline (3, 6, 9, and 12).

Cooling fan- there’s a built-in fan to help you stay more comfortable during workouts, although personally I’ve never seen much benefit from these.

Heart rate monitoring- there are grip monitors built-into the handlebars, but you can also connect a bluetooth strap for more accurate readings.

Water bottle holders- there’s room to store 2 water bottles too (hey, hydration is important!)

Warranty

Echelon backs their Stride-5s Treadmill with the following home warranty:

  • 12 month parts
  • 12 month labor

Ok, so I have a problem with a $2500 treadmill coming with a 1 year warranty.

In this price range, most top treadmills are offering lifetime frame and motor warranties and 5 years on parts.

Echelon’s 1 year all-inclusive warranty is kinda embarrassing compared to these.

This is the same weak warranty Echelon offers on all their products and I’m not sure why, but this is seriously the kind of guarantee I’d expect from a $500 treadmill.

Definitely a red flag.

Final Thoughts

That’s about all I’ve got regarding the Stride-5s.

I appreciate Echelon’s attempt at creating a higher-end treadmill and I have to admit this model is a big step forward from their original Stride, but I can’t see investing in it.

I like the heavy-duty frame and the large, rotating console is great, but there are just too many nicer treadmills available for this price range.

The motor on the Stride-5s is a bit weak, but that alone isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker.

But that 12 month warranty is for me.

And I realize that folks looking at this treadmill are likely interested in it for the streaming capabilities, but for this price you have a lot of streaming options.

We’re talking brands like Peloton, NordicTrack, and ProForm.

All of which offer much better warranties.

If you’re already a member of the Echelon platform and you’re looking to add a treadmill, I get it – it might be worth the gamble.

But otherwise, I don’t think it makes sense – that warranty is just too short.

 

Will

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