I Work on My Computer All Day Like a Sloth, but This Echelon Stride Treadmill Actually Got Me Moving

And Ii’s currently $300 off

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Echelon Stride treadmill 5S review: A treadmill in front of a sliding door leading out to a pool
Paula Boudes for PureWow
  • Build: 18/20
  • Setup: 14/20
  • Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Connectivity: 17/20
  • Value: 18/20

TOTAL: 84/100

Like many people in 2023, my job is online. Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. (and sometimes well after), I’m typing away, answering emails, editing stories, writing my own and doing other various tasks associated with my title as PureWow’s Commerce Director. And, just like many of you, when I’m done, I tend to keep the computer party going, checking my numerous social media accounts, working on my personal blog and catching up on my daily news of choice (fashion, fashion and and more fashion). Needless to say, all of those hours logged online adds up to a lot of sitting at a desk, or worse, on a couch or the bed. During my most sloth-filled day in August, my phone recorded a measley 285 steps (let the cringing begin). I could try to defend myself and say that I just didn’t carry my phone a whole lot that day (I’m living in the stone ages without an Apple watch or Oura ring), but the truth of the matter is that many days, I simply spend too much time working or surfing the web and not enough time moving.  Enter: The Echelon Stride treadmill 5S ($1,700).

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What Is the Echelon Stride treadmill 5S?

The Echelon Stride treadmill 5S is a Bluetooth-connected treadmill with a large HD touchscreen display and integrated heart rate sensors.

Like a standard treadmill, you can use it to walk, jog or run (it goes up to 12.5 miles per hour) as well as adjust its incline (it has 16 levels) to offer more resistance. Unlike your typical treadmill, however, its touchscreen connects to the internet or Bluetooth with an Echelon membership plan (from $29 per month with a two-year plan that’s paid annually, $33 per month when paid annually or $40 per month when paid monthly), allowing you to enjoy live and on-demand classes, rankings and more. You can even use its patented 90-degree rotating touchscreen to try other workout classes offered with your membership, like yoga or Zumba.

The Delivery

At checkout, you’ll have the option to select free delivery or to purchase a $300 in-home delivery assembly add-on. As tempting as the “free” choice may be, trust me when I tell you that you’re going to want to pay for the in-home service.

For starters, this baby is a whopping 315 pounds (!). That means wherever the delivery man sets it down is likely where it’s going to stay, unless you happen to keep a forklift on hand.

We wound up keeping ours right where it was delivered—in the air conditionless garage. On the one hand, this deters me from using it as much as I’d like too, since we live in Florida and it heats up quickly. It also makes it difficult to use the rotating screen for other workouts (There’s not too much space to try out a downward dog inside the garage.) On the other hand, it has such a large footprint, I’m not sure it would have actually fit inside our house—at least not without taking up a good chunk of living space.

Beyond its size, there's the setup to consider, which includes mounting an oversized HD screen and arms and manipulating a good number of cords while holding up some cumbersome parts. In short? This is one best left for the pros. Even my super handy boyfriend, who can typically put furniture and guitars together in a jiff, conceded that this was difficult enough to be a two-man (or woman!) job.

The Test

I received an Echelon Stride 5S to try in May 2023. That means I’ve had a good four months to really test this guy out, play with its features and utilize its various classes.

To start, I (or rather, my boyfriend) connected the machine to our Wi-Fi network. I also set up two profiles on the Echelon Fit app, entering in my own stats, including my age, height and weight, as well as my boyfriend’s, so that we could keep our workouts separate.

From there, I was able to use the machine’s touchscreen to make my class selections and get moving.

Now, let me be clear: I am not a runner. I am not pounding this thing’s cushioned running deck super hard on the reg. I typically use it for 30 minutes at a time at a brisk walk (around 3.5 to 4 on the speed scale). I am also not as dedicated as I’d like to be to it (because again, hot garage in Florida, but also, if I'm being totally honest, laziness). If you’re a heavier treadmill user than myself, you may experience different results.

I am also experimental. To keep things interesting, I’ll play with the speed and incline (I’ve gone up to 12), switch up the modes (I vary between the freestyle programs, the scenic rides and the live classes) and analyze my stats. I’ve also put the oversized fan to good use.

There are two elements I haven’t tested, however. The first is the 90-degree rotating screen due to my aforementioned space constraints.

The second is one of the biggest draws of the treadmill: its Bluetooth feature. Try as I might, I was unable to get my equipment to connect to my phone (to be determined as to whether this is an actual equipment issue or simply user error). While this was a bummer, as connecting would have allowed me to link the treadmill to my Spotify playlists, Apple Health stats, Fitbit device and Strava account, as well as to select and start my classes right from my phone, it didn't prevent me from using the apparatus and most of its features.


  • sturdy
  • wide range of fitness options
  • post-workout stat report
  • large touchscreen


  • membership not included
  • heavy
  • difficult setup
  • inefficient fan


What We Like

There were a lot of great features to love at the Stride-5S. For starters, for all its bulk, this thing is sturdy. No matter how hard I’m speed-walking (or occasionally, jogging), it doesn’t wobble in the slightest, as long as its feet are set up properly. (Note that you may need to adjust these from time to time.) Its build is on par with its price—this does not feel like a cheap piece of equipment. I also like the wheels it has at one end to help you maneuver it around (as best as you can, anyway, given its weight).

After reading some negative reviews, I had some low expectations for the connectivity. Some shoppers stated that the machine would turn off mid-run or worse, wouldn’t connect to their internet at all. Following the initial setup, however, I haven’t had a single issue with this—I don’t find it to be glitchy or spotty in the slightest and have never had the machine shut off on me mid-workout. This leads me to believe that this is likely an individual Wi-Fi issue and not one with the equipment, or alternately, that the machine has been placed too far away from a router to receive a decent signal. That said, I did experience connectivity issues when it came to the Bluetooth portion that caused me to dock some points from its score here (but more on that later).

In addition to its ability to pick up a strong signal from my wireless network, the machine is incredibly easy to use via its touchscreen. I simply turn it on, select which profile I want to log my stats under and select my workout.

While live and on-demand classes with instructors are always available, I tend to bypass these for the scenic options. Essentially, these are pre-taped walks or runs in well-known locations (think the Vegas strip, Rome’s Aqueduct Park and New York City’s Central Park). If you hide the stat boards while you’re moving, using this option almost feels like you’ve been transported to a new location and are merely checking out your surroundings. Considering that I like to travel and walk around in the great outdoors but hate bugs and humidity, it’s absolutely idyllic. Want to tune out and watch a show on your tablet or phone? Opt for the photo- and video-free Freestyle option instead with the machine volume lowered to focus on your personal device.

Post-workout, I love the fact that the machine keeps track of my individual progress. If you enable email notifications, as I have, the Echelon app will send your stats over immediately after your workout, including the time lapsed, distance “traveled,” your calories burned, your heart rate points and your total output of energy in kilojoules—something I find to be really fun and motivating. I always want to beat my stats, which gives me a reason to return to the machine—aka my workout—and keep the momentum going.

Speaking of stats, the machine measures plenty of them, including your rank against other Echelon runners, and I like having the option to see them or hide them, depending on how I’m feeling. They can be encouraging at times, but distracting at others, and having the ability to control their visibility at the touch of a button is great.

What We Don't Like

The elephant in the room—literally—is that this thing is an elephant. While it’s perfect for a spacious home gym or a place with lots of room, those with more compact living quarters may want to opt for the smaller Stride-S ($1,326), which has a built-in auto-fold feature. You’ll be giving up some of the sturdiness, four additional incline levels and 14 inches of screen size, but it may make more sense overall.

Even if you do have the space for the 5S, you’ll want to pay extra for setup, particularly if you have stairs, since it’s unlikely you’ll be getting this baby up to the second floor without a little assistance. It’s also difficult to set up both physically and technologically—I’m still working out the Bluetooth bit of it. In fact, I'd say setup is the worst part of my experience with the machine, earning it the lowest score in my combined ranking factors. Luckily, however, you only need to do it once, barring any troubleshooting issues that may arise. (And apart from the Bluetooth issue, I haven’t had any.)

As I mentioned, the touchscreen itself connects very well and is a breeze to use. The app and its Bluetooth connection, however, were another story, losing the Stride-5S points in both of those departments.

My other complaints are largely minor. The machine itself is well-thought out, with comfortable handle bars and a spot for your water bottle and your phone or tablet. The built-in fan at the front of the machine doesn’t do much, however—especially when you’re using the incline feature. On a super hot day, I have to set up a much largest pedestal fan alongside the machine to get through my workouts. Additionally, I wish the phone area, which is small and totally flat, was both larger and angled or placed alongside the screen, so that it was easier to position your device for easy viewing. I marked the build down just a few points for these nitpicky details.

I also find the heart rate stat confusing. The machine is equipped with a monitor that measures light from a point of contact (ie, where your hand is touching the bar). According to Echelon, as our hearts beat, they change the flow rate of the blood in our arteries, which ultimately increases our blood vessel’s volume. Once that happens, the amount of light that’s absorbed by the machine’s monitor reportedly changes. Echelon claims the machine is able to determine your heart rate by measuring the difference it clocks in absorbed light.

In my experience, it doesn’t always correlate to my movements in a way that makes sense. For example, it will show that I have an increased heart rate when I’m at the slowest point of my workout. Likewise, I've seen it plummet when I’m really giving it my all. While some of this can be explained by removing my hand from the bar (which would let in more light, changing the number) or moving it around, it always seems a touch…off, so I’m not entirely sure I trust it.

Last but not least, I think one free year of membership ($29 to 40 per month or $348 to $480 annually, depending on your payment option) should be included in the initial purchase price, leading me to dock several points from its overall value.

The Bottom Line

If you have a small, compact space, this is not the machine for you. It’s big, it’s heavy and once you’ve got it in place, it’s not easy to move around. If you’ve got the space, however, it’s a great way to get yourself up and moving.

With this machine, I’m far more likely to cut out any traditional excuses I would normally have for not getting a daily workout in. No time to go to the gym? That’s fine—the machine is right inside my garage. Rainy day that would otherwise ruin a planned walk? Doesn’t matter—it’s under a roof. Not in the mood to listen to an instructor? I don’t have to—I can choose one of the scenic or freestyle settings instead. In fact, the only deterrent I haven’t been able to conquer with the 5S is my own basic lack of motivation—but even that has been assisted by my post-workout progress reports and on-screen ranking.

Yes, it’s pricey. But if it means the difference between 285 steps a day and 3,00 to 5,000 for a 30-minute walk, I think it's absolutely worth the investment in my health. If I were to use it every day of the year, at its sale price of $1,700, that shakes out to about $4.65 per day—which is less than I spend on my coffee. Even with the added cost of the membership, it’s less than $6 per day. And I can definitely spare to invest $5 to 6 per day in myself.

Fast Facts

  • Dimensions: 81 inches long by 36 inches wide by 63 inches tall
  • Weight: 315 pounds
  • Weight Limit: 400 pounds
  • Incline levels: 16
  • Speed: Up to 12.5 mph
  • Screen: 24 inches

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Commerce Director

Nicole is the former commerce director at PureWow. With a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Michigan State University and more than 15 years of experience writing and editing...

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