Connected cardio machines with screens are all the rage, with Peloton in particular capturing the zeitgeist. Echelon is well established as a rival that offers a more affordable alternative by not including a built-in screen, asking the user to supply a tablet instead. It’s an approach we like – if you have a tablet already you don’t waste money on another screen, and if you have to buy one to use it at least you can use your new screen for more than just streaming one brand’s exercise classes.

Echelon launched a smart bike at first, branched out with a rowing machine, then followed it up with a cheaper smart bike. Now it’s picked up the gauntlet thrown down by the Peloton Tread treadmill with its own Echelon Stride Treadmill. True to form, the Stride’s price of £1,599 is significantly lower than the Peloton Tread’s £2,295.

The Stride Treadmill has a speed range that runs up to 12mph (19.3km/h, equivalent to a 5min/mile or 3min/km pace), and the incline goes up to 10%. The running belt is reasonably spacious at 140cm x 51cm and should accommodate most runners at high speeds well enough.

However, treadmills that cost four figures will have a belt that extends to 150cm in length. The Peloton Tread does offer a longer belt, as well as a higher top speed and max incline. The DKN EnduRun also has a higher max speed and incline plus a larger running area for £1,699, and can connect to training apps like Zwift via Bluetooth.

One major advantage the Stride Treadmill has is that it is foldable. When folded it measures just 26cm thick and 176cm tall, and has casters so it’s easily moved into a cupboard or out of the way against a wall. It folds by itself, too – just press a lever and stand back.

However, what will make or break the Echelon Stride is the link with the partner app, which costs up to £39.99 a month for a rolling contract and contains a wealth of live and on-demand guided running workouts. We’ve been impressed by the spinning and rowing classes, so we expect a similar experience.

There are also scenic runs you can follow in the app if you don’t fancy a class, and there are other types of other sessions, including yoga and Pilates.

You can buy the Echelon Stride now. Bear in mind that if you opt for a monthly membership of the app instead of a year or two-year plan, you will also have to pay a delivery charge on the machine of £99.99.

Buy from Echelon | From £1,599



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