Spin has multiple definitions. It could mean “exercise on a stationary bike” or “misleading propaganda.”
Now, the two have converged.
A new Amazon-branded exercise bike unveiled by Echelon Fitness yesterday has nothing to do with Amazon, according to the e-commerce giant, despite Echelon describing it as Amazon’s first-ever connected fitness product.
The Seattle online shopping giant has released a statement denying any connection to what fewer than 24 hours ago was called the EX-Prime Smart Connect Bike or the Prime Bike.
“This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime,” the company said. “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.”
Fast Company‘s numerous attempts to reach Echelon Fitness for comment were unsuccessful.
Amazon’s website no longer lists the $499 Echelon bike for sale and the online press release put out by the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company has been scrubbed.
Echelon, which according to its website started selling connected bikes in 2017, also has a Walmart-branded bike, which as of this morning was still on the big-box retailer’s website.
The allegedly Amazon-linked bike appears to be an example of an overaggressive manufacturer trying to—groan alert—ride on a popular brand’s coattails.
“I suspect some lower-level person agreed to sell the bike on the site and may have not have heard correctly. No way Amazon would put its Prime brand name on this product,” says Allen Adamson, cofounder of the New York brand consulting firm Metaforce. “They were hijacking the Amazon brand, particularly the Prime brand, and trying to connect it to their bike, which would’ve put it in competition with Peloton.”
In a cached version of the press release, Echelon president and CEO Lou Lentine says the Spin bike was “developed in collaboration with Amazon.”
Amazon denies that.
And what happened was neither an endorsement nor simply a misplaced modifier.
“For Echelon, this could be the first connected bike Amazon is selling on their website, and you can get it with Prime delivery. For Amazon, this is actually a connected bike they’re selling and it could be the first one, but it’s not their branded bike,” explained Adamson. “What was implied by this was Amazon was behind the bike.”