- Echelon CEO Lou Lentine told Business Insider that it was a “complete surprise” to hear that Amazon was not on board with the company’s new $500 “Prime Bike.”
- Echelon announced the new bike on Tuesday and said it was developed “in collaboration with Amazon.” Hours later, Amazon canceled all sales and released a statement saying, “This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime.”
- Echelon has agreed to rebrand the bike.
- Lentine said he had been working with Amazon since January, and that Amazon had asked Echelon to make this specific bike.
- Amazon said it did not have a “formal partnership” with Echelon.
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Echelon’s CEO Lou Lentine is speaking out about the confusion around its new exercise bike, which the company released on Tuesday and billed as “Amazon’s first-ever connected fitness product.” Hours later, Amazon canceled all sales.
He told Business Insider Wednesday that it was a “complete surprise” to learn that Amazon had pulled the $500 “Prime Bike” and distanced itself from the product.
Just hours after Echelon’s announcement introducing the bike, which it said was developed “in collaboration with Amazon,” Amazon denied it had a formal partnership with Echelon.
The two companies had been working together since January, Lentine said, adding that Amazon had specifically requested Echelon make this bike.
In response to an inquiry on Lentine’s remarks, Amazon reiterated a statement it released on Tuesday, 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.”
Lentine told Business Insider that the two companies work together “almost daily to create great connected fitness products, including this bike and several more in the near future.”
“Echelon started working with Amazon in early January at the CES show,” Lentine said. “During the development of the program, Amazon asked to sell our entire line of Echelon connected products, plus we developed a bike to meet a $500 price point, that they requested.”
He added that “even though all the correspondence and the purchase orders call the bike the EX-Prime Bike, yesterday we learned that an internal Amazon team were not in full alignment.”
Bike ‘sold out in hours’
He said Echelon has agreed to rebrand the bike under another name.
“We look forward to rebranding the bike and continue our strong relationship with Amazon and continuing to provide them this exclusive bike to Prime members,” he said. “The Echelon bike was so well received, it sold out in just hours.”
The product’s name on Amazon has been changed from “EX-Prime” to “EX-P.” The product description also no longer references “Prime” at all, though the product details still use its previous name.
Images of the bike on the Amazon listing only show branding that says “Echelon” and “Connect.” But a photo included in a user review shows bold red text on the side of the bike reading “Prime.”
Lentine said that he was unsure whether the bike would be available exclusively to Amazon Prime members.
The product was originally going to be launched on Prime Day, a sale exclusive for Prime subscribers, Lentine said. But Amazon pushed the event back because of the pandemic, which caused the two companies to “move in another direction together.”
Amazon has been selling the EX-Prime Bike for almost a month now, he added.