Amazon has denied taking on Peloton with a cut-price exercise bike under its Prime brand, scolding fitness tech-maker Echelon for implying otherwise. The Echelon EX-Prime Smart Connect Bike was priced at $499 on Amazon, and pitched as a collaboration between Echelon and the retailer to bring connected fitness features to a much lower price point.
Unlike a Peloton bike – or, indeed, most of Echelon’s more expensive models – the EX-Prime doesn’t have a display built-in. Instead there’s a mounting bracket for a tablet to be positioned in front of the rider, or they can access fitness training sessions on a TV nearby.
What stood out was just how feasible the partnership seemed. Amazon had launched a fitness wearable back in August, the Amazon Halo, taking on specialists like Fitbit with an exercise-tracking band. One of the features it promises is linking fitness routines with third-party services, and the idea of Amazon having its own bike for that didn’t seem unlikely.
Now, though, Amazon is denying any connection. “This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime,” a spokesperson from the retailer told Bloomberg. “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.”
Sure enough, the EX-Prime Smart Connect Bike is listed as “currently unavailable” on Amazon’s site, with no indication of when that might change. That’s despite it also being the number 1 new release in exercise bikes, according to Amazon’s charts. References in the product description that previously mentioned it being an Amazon-exclusive co-developed with the retailer have been removed.
Similarly, Echelon’s press release about the bike has been pulled. A cached version that remains online describes the “Prime Bike” as being “Amazon’s first-ever connected fitness product.” In a statement, Echelon president and CEO Lou Lentine claims that the bike “was developed in collaboration with Amazon” and that the retailer had been a “partner.”
Amazon has faced long-standing issues trying to keep its virtual stores free of fake, knock-off, and counterfeit products, a challenge that become all the more difficult when it embraced third-party vendors onto the platform. This time around, though, the bike might be real but the collaboration is not. Echelon is yet to comment on the situation.
Peloton, meanwhile, added two new models to its range recently, including a more affordable version of its connected treadmill, and a premium version of its exercise bike.