In midst of lawsuits Eric Villency partners Peloton rival Echelon Fitness

Echelon Fitness, a noted rival to Peloton and one with which it is currently involved in a lawsuit, has today announced a partnership with fitness industry veteran Eric Villency.

The Villency Design Group will now assist Echelon in development and design of its indoor fitness equipment, which comes in cheaper than its rivals’.

“This partnership with Villency represents a tremendous opportunity for Echelon,” said Lou Lentine, president of Echelon Fitness Multimedia LLC. “Eric has pioneered beautiful design in the fitness industry and with Eric’s unique viewpoint, Echelon will elevate the fitness experience for every enthusiast around the world helping us to become the global leader of the connected fitness industry,” added Lentine.

Villency, the founder of VR-Optics, previously acquired a patent from Microsoft, something which he later accused Peleton of infringing upon. A counter claim was launched in the other direction, accusing Villency of attempting to sell the patent to its competitor, Flywheel Sports. He is also in preparation to launch his own indoor bike, reports Forbes.

Echelon has now licensed an Interactive Fitness patent from VR Optics LLC., though details of this are not specified.

“Echelon’s success has been driven by providing a great fitness experience at tremendous value and we believe that good design isn’t determined by price and it doesn’t have to be expensive” said Eric Villency, CEO of Villency Design Group. “We look forward to enhancing their designs and helping take the rider experience to the next level. Our philosophies align, great design and fitness should be accessible.”

This announcement follows an additional growth capital infusion from North Castle Partners, a private equity firm that works with businesses promoting healthy, active and sustainable living. North Castle’s extensive portfolio of prior and current companies includes recognizable and established brands such as Equinox, Barry’s Bootcamp, Curves International, Octane Fitness, Atkins, Jenny Craig, Naked Juice and more.

Villency Design Group has further produced and developed designs for SoulCycle, Peloton, New York Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz, Delta, The Ritz-Carlton, ebay, Bloomingdale’s, Rumble and Rockstar Energy Drink, to name a few.

On the new product roster, Echelon will be throwing its weight behind its EX-5S Smart Connect Bike and Echelon Reflect 50” Touchscreen Fitness Mirror.

The EX-5S model includes a 21.5” HD touchscreen that is integrated into the bike’s design. It’s said to be the first in the industry to feature a screen that flips 180-degrees, allowing the rider to exercise off the bike with the firm’s personal fitness instructors.

Echelon also launched Reflect 50” Touchscreen, the industry’s first touchscreen fitness mirror that allows users to bring personal training into their homes for cardio, yoga, strength training, Pilates and boxing workouts; a product that competes with the Echelon leaderboard.

The latest products join Echelon’s entry-level experiences. The EX1 and EX3 Smart Connect Bikes retail from $799.99, while the Reflect 40” retails for $999.99.