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Released in 2020, the Echelon Stride is one of the newest interactive running machines on the market. There are a few reasons that it made my list of the best treadmills, namely because of its foldability and portability. I like its compact size for people in tight spaces, and I also like that although imperfect, it at least makes an attempt at imitating higher-end treadmills through its connectivity with an interactive app.
I conducted an in-depth Echelon Stride review to look at the way the Stride performs, its key features as well as some important things you need to know before you buy.
My Favorite Things:
By their very nature, treadmills are large machines. Thanks to its compact size and auto-fold technology, the Echelon Stride fits well in small spaces and home gyms. When folded in half, the Stride is just 10.25 inches deep. There are wheels on the front that make it incredibly easy to move around for easy storage. It does have a weaker motor, so this isn’t ideal for very serious, high-volume runners.
This treadmill is great for:
I don’t recommend the Echelon Stride for:
A huge perk of the Stride is that it basically comes completely assembled (when you’re unboxing and assembling equipment every day like me, this is a huge perk.) Getting it out of the box is the hardest part. Even that’s really not so bad if you use a blade to cut through the tape and unfold the box around the machine. The only thing you have to do is unfold the arms, which is simple, and plug in the emergency stop.
All in, it took me less than 10 minutes from the time I started cutting into the box to the time it was ready to go. I will say that the machine itself is about 156 pounds, so it could require two people to move it out of the box.
Compared to others on the market, the Stride is a compact treadmill. When unfolded, it is 69.3 inches long by 31 inches wide by 49.2 inches tall. Note: That does mean a smaller running surface that’s more accommodating to shorter strides (pun intended.) The belt on the Stride is just 55 inches long. Taller people are usually more comfortable with a 60-inch running deck.
This is a folding treadmill. However, unlike other treadmills that fold, this one doesn’t just have a lifted deck. The Stride folds up extremely easily with the deck going into a totally vertical position, making the machine’s footprint just 10.25 inches deep (so the dimensions become 69.3 × 31 × 10.25).
Folding and unfolding is simple. To fold the machine up, you have to fold the console down. Then, at the bottom of the handlebars are a pair of red buttons that you push to bring the handles flat against the uprights. Next, you just step on a lever along the left side of the machine, and the treadmill takes it from there.
At just 156 pounds, this is pretty lightweight compared to other machines. I had no problem folding the Stride and moving it around my space. It gets an A+ from me for portability.
On the downside, the motor only has 1.75 continuous horsepower. I really like to see at least a 3.0 chp rating on treadmill motors for a few reasons. First, higher powered motors are better for people who run frequently, as in more than a few times a week. Second, a weaker motor means the machine usually doesn’t withstand heavier people. Lastly, stronger motors break down less often and require less maintenance than weaker motors.
The Stride has a max user weight of 300 pounds. However, you have to keep in mind that with a chp of just 1.75 on that motor, you’re better off buying this machine if you are lighter in weight and don’t plan on heavy use.
This is one area where the Stride is a little lacking for those that care about these sorts of things. Some treadmills in this price range are really tricked out in that they have every convenience you can imagine. The Stride features two water bottle holders as well as a media shelf for your phone or smart device.
The Stride doesn’t have the fancy touchscreen that you’ll find on treadmills in higher pricing tiers. Instead, you have a basic panel that shows all your workout metrics, like time, speed and distance. I like that you can control the incline through a button on the handlebar instead of having to reach up to the console. (This is kind of similar to how Peloton put knobs on the Tread handlebars to adjust speed and incline, which is one of my favorite features of that treadmill.)
Although you need to use your own device to stream your workouts (or movies), there is a USB port on the Stride for charging.
A heart rate monitoring strap is included with your purchase. Using Bluetooth, you connect the strap to the machine for your readout. This was an easy process and in comparing my heart rate on my Fitbit with the heart rate on the Stride, the strap seemed accurate.
Before we dive into the app, here’s what you need to know: You have to have your own phone or tablet to use the app. The treadmill itself will sync up with the app via Bluetooth once you get going. This is one reason the Stride is cheaper than treadmills from Bowflex or Proform or NordicTrack: Essentially, you save a few bucks by providing your own technology.
Now, on to the app:
Like many other top brands, Echelon Fitness has developed an interactive programming platform. The Stride connects to Echelon United, which features thousands of on-demand workouts. These include running classes as well as yoga and total body workouts.
The instructor-led running classes feature a coach on a Stride guiding you through the workout, telling you when to increase your speed and/or incline, which you have to do manually. You can choose between live classes and on-demand classes.
This is a great function, though it does pale in comparison to the Peloton Tread and iFit-enabled connected treadmills like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, which auto-adjust incline and speed for you. Also, all the Echelon United workouts are just studio classes, whereas Peloton and iFit actually take you on a journey somewhere scenic. However, Echelon United does offer leaderboards like those other brands do.
There are three options for purchasing the Echelon United membership (buying a subscription actually leads to a reduction in the cost of the Stride itself, which is usually priced at just over $1,300):
I was prepared for a really shaky run on the Stride. With a 1.75 chp motor and with such a lightweight machine, I expected it to feel like a cheap treadmill, but it really doesn’t.
The Stride has a max speed of 12 miles per hour and has a max incline of 10%. I tested the extremes on these, and even then, the machine really doesn’t shake much. The belt isn’t very cushioned, so I’d rank this on the lower end in terms of comfort.
I also decided to see what the machine would be like without using the app. There are eight built-in treadmill workouts, like hills and intervals. So really, if you don’t want to pay for a subscription, you don’t have to. The machine would work just fine without it. At that point, what you’re paying for is the small size and compact nature of the Stride.
69.3 × 31 × 49.2 in (69.3 × 31 × 10.25 in folded)
Running deck size
55 x 20 inches
The warranty on the Echelon Stride is just one year. This is well below industry standard, as even the warranties that I would rate as “sub par” would cover the frame alone for at least five years. Echelon Fitness offers the ability for you to purchase a three-year extended warranty for $150. It may be worth it, given the weaker motor and already manageable price point for this machine.
When it comes to returns, you have a 30-day window to try out the Stride. However, to be eligible, you have to return the treadmill in brand new condition and send it back in the original box with the manual and charger. You will have to pay a $100 restocking fee.
You may be able to return the Stride after that 30-day window, but you’ll sacrifice an additional $100 return fee.
The Echelon Stride is priced correctly for what it offers.
My biggest takeaways:
Some of the most commonly asked questions about the Echelon Stride are:
Is the Echelon Stride worth it?
The Echelon Stride costs $1,300, and it is a good home treadmill for the right person. The Stride’s biggest asset is its portability, as it can fold to be just 10 inches deep, and it’s incredibly easy to move around your space. When it comes to usability, it would meet the needs of someone who will be doing light cardio, like walking or jogging just a few times a week. This isn’t the treadmill for someone who will be running very often and in high mileage.
How do you assemble an Echelon Stride?
I have assembled a lot of fitness equipment, and the Stride is one of the easiest treadmills I have ever unboxed. Cut open the box, unfold the arms, plug in the emergency stop, connect the machine to an outlet, and you’re ready to go. It only takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.
Can I use the Echelon Stride without a subscription?
Yes, you can. As covered in this Stride treadmill review, there are eight built-in workouts to choose from without having to access Echelon United. The Stride is billed as a smart treadmill because of its ability to sync with Echelon United. However, if you simply want a compact treadmill that works well, the Stride could be a good fit.
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