Echelon Fitness, a popular fitness and training center, announced yesterday that it was launching the EX-Prime Smart Connect Bike,” or “Prime Bike,” which is an exercise bike costing $500, in association with Amazon. As soon as this announcement was made, the share prices of Peleton, another bike manufacturer, dropped down considerably due to the expectations of Amazon’s big entry into the health and fitness field.
However, on Tuesday evening, Amazon contradicted Echelon’s statements saying that it was no way related to Echelon Fitness and had nothing to do with the Prime Bike. It was followed by the bike’s removal from the Amazon platform. Also, a press release for the bike launched by Echelon Fitness, emphasizing its work and partnership with Amazon, was deleted subsequently.
A spokesperson from Amazon was heard saying, “This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime. Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product, and change the product branding.”
The Echelon Fitness bike seemed more of a choice for many users when keeping budgetary aspects in mind than the smart bikes manufactured by Peleton. Moreover, as the news of the bike being launched in collaboration with Amazon came in, fitness lovers were more than thrilled. A report in CyclingWeekly went on to mention that customers having an Amazon Prime membership could purchase the bike at $500. The product was being seen as a “serious contender to Peloton’s crown.”
Most importantly, the Prime Bike looked more affordable when compared to Peleton’s much costlier fitness products. For instance, the Prime Bike contains a stand for placing a tablet, instead of being equipped with an integrated screen. Likewise, the Echelon Fitness based bike has simple straps for keeping the toes firm, instead of containing pedal clips. Even the Prime Bike’s weight is much lighter at 80 pounds, compared to the Peleton bike weighing 135 pounds. And finally, while the Peleton Bike costs $1,895, this one is coming at just $500.
Exactly how all of this goof-up related to the Prime Bike’s launch has occurred is not clear so far. It seems quite strange that Echelon Fitness could make up and announce a deal with a huge tech giant like Amazon all by mistake. There seems to be a serious issue of miscommunication here. A look into the deleted press release developed for Prime Bike indicated that the product was Amazon’s first-ever venture into the fitness market.
The press release also contained a few statements from the CEO of Echelon Fitness, Lou Lentine, expressing immense happiness at the joint venture being established by both the companies. Lentine stated, “We were built on the idea of attainable fitness for everyone. The Prime Bike was developed in collaboration with Amazon, aiming to create an amazing, connected bike for less than $500 and it’s proven to be a phenomenal match. Amazon looking to us to partner on their first-ever connected fitness product is recognition of our commitment to deliver quality at a reasonable price-point as reflected in our explosive growth over the last year.”
Interestingly, the Prime Bike is very much identical to the exercise bike sold by Echelon Fitness on Walmart. And coincidentally, the price of that bike is also $500. However, the launch of that bike did not have much effect on the fitness markets, when compared to the Prime Bike. Echelon Fitness is yet to comment on this matter.
Image source: TheVerge