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DeskCycle Ellipse vs. Bike: Which Burns More Calories?

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been regularly using both the DeskCycle elliptical and bike. These products provide a viable way to burn more calories if you otherwise are unable to perform a more traditional workout. This could be the case if you’re stuck in an office all day, face physical challenges, or are elderly. 

During the course of my review process, I put both products to the test using my Fitbit Versa 2 to track calories burned at different resistance levels, and the results gathered can be useful as you decide if either of these products could be a valuable addition to your fitness arsenal. Before we break down the stats, let’s talk briefly about each product and their respective pros and cons.

DeskCycle Exercise Bike

A lightweight product that takes up minimal space, the DeskCycle Exercise Bike can be used just about anywhere. It features eight resistance settings, allowing you to simulate uphill climbs with the higher levels and engage in sprints or steady-state cardio at the lower end of the spectrum. 

If toning your legs is a goal of yours, the bike is going to be the better option when compared to the ellipse. With that being said, it takes more work, and it can be a tad more uncomfortable since your feet are enclosed in pedals. If you plan to use it at work, you’ll want to make sure you have a pair of appropriate shoes available. I’d recommend leaving a pair of tennis shoes at your desk if you can. 

Although the short crank arms do take away some of the challenge when compared with a standard exercise bike, this is often preferable if you have joint problems. My primary complaint is that there is no handle, making it slightly awkward to transport. However, with its compact size and lightweight design, it’s not hard for a single person to move the DeskCycle bike from one location to another.

Interested in the DeskCycle Bike?

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DeskCycle Ellipse

If lower body toning isn’t as big of a priority and you’ll be using primarily at work where you interact with others, the DeskCycle Ellipse is my recommendation. Due to the added effort of pedaling the bike, it leads to an upper body sway that can look awkward for customer service representatives sitting at a desk where customers don’t realize you’re exercising. 

The large pedals allow you to place your feet in different positions to switch up the primary muscles being used, and this is an excellent way to keep your workouts varied. Like the DeskCycle Bike, the ellipse features eight resistance levels, which we’ll compare in a moment. While there is less upper-body sway when compared with the bike alternative, you still face a challenge to pump the pedals at the highest resistance levels. 

Interested in the DeskCycle Ellipse?

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DeskCycle Bike vs. Ellipse: Which Is Better?

While similar in many ways, there are subtle differences that can help you decide which will be best suited for your circumstances. Regardless of the machine you choose to go with, you’ll likely sweat to a certain degree. It’s a good idea to have a desk fan handy, especially if you’ll be using it at work. Furthermore, if you have wheels on your chair, use of either product will cause you to roll around, so you’ll want to pay a few extra bucks for some replacement bell glides to keep yourself steady. 

DeskCycle states that you expend 53% more energy at resistance level one and 100% more energy at resistance level three when compared to sitting still. To put these statements to the test, I used each product for ten minutes at each resistance level, tracking the calories burned. Rather than using RPMs as a metric, which is trackable on the LCD monitor, I simply pedaled at a pace at which I could still perform my work at my desk. Let’s break down the results.

DeskCycle Exercise Bike Results

DeskCycle Ellipse Results

You can see both charts are almost identical in terms of calories burned. Breaking down the data, we can conclude that:

  • Resistance levels one and six are ideal if calorie burn is your main priority.
  • Resistance level three is the least efficient. Not only does it produce the lowest calorie burn, but, since it’s on the lower end of the resistance range, you’re also getting less of a strength workout.
  • The top resistance levels, while lower on the caloric burn, provide excellent strength training while still helping you burn significantly more calories than sitting still. 
  • During an eight hour work day, use of either product at level one burned, in my case, an additional 1,968 calories. This equates to around one pound of fat every two days. (Keep in mind, calories-in will make a difference if you’re using the DeskCycle for weight loss, and the Noom app is an excellent tool to keep that side of the equation in check.) 

DeskCycle Bike and Ellipse Comparison: Final Thoughts

As my results clearly show, you’re going to experience a very similar caloric burn with either the DeskCycle Bike or Ellipse. So, which is the best fit? It’s going to boil down to other aspects that will vary from one person to the next. In a nutshell:

  • Ellipse is better if you have a desk job and will be simultaneously working or if you have joint problems.
  • Bike is better if you want a larger focus on strength and don’t mind having your feet enclosed in pedals.

In either case, keep in mind that personal preference and lifestyle are always key considerations. Sure, you might have high hopes of toning your legs with the bike. However, if other aspects like the fact it has no handle or it requires the use of shoes are going to realistically prevent you from using it with consistency, it’s best to go with the product you’ll more likely stick with using. Think of the tortoise and the hare. Both the DeskCycle Bike and Ellipse are going to improve calorie burn and strength, so going with the one you’ll be more likely to put to regular use is key.

DeskCycle Bike Vs. Ellipse Breakdown

DeskCycle Bike Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Can use just about anywhere
  • Minimal footprint
  • Eight resistance settings
  • Can perform both strength and cardio
  • Frees up more time in the day when you can get exercise done at work

DeskCycle Ellipse Pros

  • Front handle makes it easy to move.
  • Can use without shoes
  • More comfortable to use than UnderDesk Bike
  • Higher achievable caloric burn at a leisurely pace
  • Minimal footprint


DeskCycle Bike Cons

  • Working up a sweat at work can be awkward
  • Short crank arms
  • No handles
  • Upper body sway at higher resistance levels makes it difficult to perform desk work
  • Less comfortable than DeskCycle Ellipse
  • Base tends to slide forward during prolonged use

DeskCycle Ellipse Cons

  • Less strength focus at a leisurely pace
  • If you have wheels on your chair, it’s hard to use


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