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DeskCycle Ellipse Under Desk Elliptical Machine Review

Quick Summary

Every day is packed with activity. From work and errands to after school activities and so much more, finding the time to hit the gym can often fall to the wayside. Or perhaps you’re a senior with physical limitations. I recently had the opportunity to try out the DeskCycle Ellipse Under Desk Elliptical, and I have some exciting feedback to help you decide if this could be the solution for you. 

With eight resistance levels to choose from to increase strength training and a magnetic precision flywheel, this product has a lot going for it, and you never have to get off your recliner or office chair. Keep reading to learn more about how it works.

Learn more from my full DeskCycle Elliptical review below.


Model DeskCycle Ellipse Under Desk Elliptical Machine

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Resistance is what determines calories burned per stride. The more levels, the more precisely you can control the difficulty.

8 Levels
Resistance Type

The type of resistance affects the performance of your elliptical. Magnetic and Eddy-Current are the most common types.

Silent Magnetic
Stride Length

Stride Length is important for comfort and smooth strides. A stride length of 18-21 inches is ideal for most heights (5'3 - 6'7).


Elliptical pedals can be cushioned and adjustable for maximum comfort and minimum impact on joints for injury prevention.

Oversized Leveling Feet

Some elliptical trainers can be set at an incline to increase difficulty and burn more calories.


The flywheel controls the smoothness and resistance of your workout. In general, the higher the better.


Elliptical Programs allow you to complete a workout with changing speeds and inclines, without changing anything manually.

User Profiles

For each profile the elliptical allows, you can create a custom user account with saved programs and goal settings.

Heart Rate

Heart Rate programs allow you to track how many times your heart is beating per minute (bpm), and some control the workout for you.


Elliptical Display refers to the screen you'll look at to monitor workouts. LED and LCD displays are similar to TV screens.

6-Function LCD
Max. Weight

Max User Weight is the amount of weight, in pounds (lbs), that it can safely support, which can represent durability.


Dimensions are included to help you figure out if this elliptical will fit properly (Length x Width x Height and Height x Depth).

23”L x 18”W x 10”H
Upper Body

Most ellipticals have handles to hold while you're working out that provide an upper body workout.

Accessory Tray

Some ellipticals include an accessory tray for holding items such as water bottles, wallets, keys, or MP3 players like iPods.


Ellipticals that include a sound system allow you to listen to your MP3 player/iPod through built-in speakers (without headphones).

Cooling Fans

Cooling Fans are designed to help keep you cool during an intense workout on your elliptical.


Some ellipticals are designed to conserve space by folding up. This is a convenient option, but some features might be reduced.

Quick Controls

Quick Controls allow you to select speed, incline and even workout programs with the touch of a button (usually on the handles).


The warranty is an important part of your investment. The longer the warranty, the longer you can get free/discounted repairs.


Rating: 95.0%

Our Rating

Rating: 95.0/100. The DeskCycle Ellipse was designed to be used in a seated position, and you can enjoy a relative level of comfort at the lower resistance levels. Assembly was simple. It only took me about ten minutes to put together, and all tools needed are included. By simply attaching the pedals and then sliding the LCD screen in place, you’re ready to go. 

As with a traditional elliptical machine, you have two primary variables: speed and resistance. This allows you to switch up your training, and the DeskCycle Ellipse features eight resistance settings. Although there is little use of the upper body, you can easily get your heart rate up no matter what setting you’re on. We’ll get into more detail later on the eight levels, but, in a nutshell, the lower settings allow for a more intense cardio workout while the higher settings promote a great lower body strength session targeting glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. 

Especially if you’ll be using it in an office setting, it’s important to consider the noise factor, and I’m happy to report this machine is relatively silent aside from a minimal whirring sound. Thanks to the magnetic resistance, you won’t disturb your coworkers. It’s also very smooth and easy to use. While it’s certainly possible to use this product at the office, if you deal with customers directly, it can be awkward at higher resistance levels as this results in an upper body sway that can look odd from the other side of the counter. I’d recommend resistance level 1-2 in this case.


  • 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


  • High resistance results in more upper body sway, and this can be hard to do when you’re working at your desk. I’d recommend heavy resistance for sedentary moments and low resistance while working.
  • Less strength focus at a leisurely pace
  • If you have wheels on your chair, it’s hard to use


The DeskCycle Ellipse is the perfect machine to burn calories while boosting energy levels during times you are unable to move around and perform a traditional workout. Using the large, 6-function LCD display, you can track up to 100,000 revolutions, RPM, time, and more. While you can’t directly integrate devices like smart watches, you can use the information tracked to manually input into your favorite exercise tracking program. 

When we think of the elliptical machine, cardio immediately comes to mind. However, thanks to the eight resistance levels, you can get a really great lower-body strength workout accomplished. The silent magnetic precision flywheel delivers a quiet workout, which is perfect for the office setting. This is complemented well by ergonomic features and lightweight design. 

As a fitness instructor who works with seniors, I highly recommend this product for elderly folks who struggle with typical problems like joint pain or mobility issues. It’s also a perfect tool for those in physical therapy or overweight individuals in the early stages of a fitness journey who aren’t sure where to get started. 

One of my favorite features of this product is the fact you can switch things up in more ways than just changing resistance. For starters, since the pedals are very wide, you can change the placement of your feet with horizontal strides being achieved with the feet closer to the bottom and up/down motion when placed toward the top. You can also position the machine further away from your chair to incorporate more core muscle recruitment.

Workout Programs

Unlike standard elliptical machines that often feature programmed workouts that target different goals, the DeskCycle Ellipse is relatively simplistic. While the LCD screen will track various metrics, you’re on your own to decide on your workout programming. Let’s break down some programming possibilities.

For starters, it’s important to understand the muscles that are used during a session on the DeskCycle Ellipse. In a nutshell, you’ll be using all of your leg muscles including the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. Keep in mind, it’s important to incorporate upper body exercise for a complete fitness regimen. If you’re considering the purchase of the DeskCycle Ellipse, I’d highly recommend you also invest in a few sets of hand weights. When you purchase adjustable hand weights like those featured in this roundup, you can get the most bang for your buck with multiple weight options all in a single product. 

If you’ll be using your ellipse at work, the most realistic way to exercise while multitasking is at the lower resistance levels, around one or two. Anything higher than that will result in an upper body sway that makes it hard to work at the computer, take notes, etc. It also looks odd if you interact with other people who don’t know you’re exercising under your desk. If this is you, I’d recommend maintaining a steady cardio burn as long as you can and amp up the resistance during breaks. This checks cardio and lower body strength off your daily fitness to-do list. 

During my review process, I tested each resistance level for ten minutes each to see which resulted in a higher caloric burn than what I average while sitting. I maintained a pace that was comfortable while working at my desk, so my speed decreased as resistance increased. Levels one and two are ideal for a good cardio workout, and these are also the most viable for steady state cardio while seated. I found level three to be the most inefficient. Not only is caloric burn low, but there’s not enough resistance to get in a good strength training session. If you want to combine strength and cardio, I’d suggest level six. Levels seven and eight result in lower caloric burn, but they provide optimal strength training if you want to tone your legs. Remember, though, these levels aren’t ideal if you’ll be multitasking, so I’d save strength training for a time when you aren’t trying to do more than one thing at once.

There are numerous benefits of tracking your progress. If you don’t already have a way to monitor these stats, take a look at our workout gear roundup. It details some of the hottest wearable fitness tracking tools that can help you take your fitness to new levels. However, DeskCycle offers a free app specifically designed with their products in mind. It allows you to track your caloric burn and log your progress.  

DeskCycle Ellipse’s Features

The DeskCycle Ellipse is a very straightforward piece of exercise equipment. If you’re not a big fan of endless features you’ll never explore, this is about as simple as it gets without skimping on opportunities to switch things up. 

If you sit at a small desk and are worried you won’t have space to use it properly, it’s compatible with desks with as little as 24-inches of clearance. This is largely due to the fact you can shift your placement on the large pedals.

The magnetic resistance allows for a smooth experience, and the quality flywheel makes for a base that’s sturdy, a plus when you need a compact unit that won’t slide around too much during use. Best of all, it hardly makes any noise when you use it. If you’ll be exercising in an office with others, it won’t cause a disruption. 

The eight resistance settings are very easy to reach, so it won’t cause a serious interruption to your workout if you need to quickly make adjustments. There is a noticeable difference between each setting with the most defined being between levels one and two. I’d recommend levels five and higher for a strength-focused workout and 1-4 for a good cardio burn. If used in the office, the most feasible setting is level one. Once you start adding resistance, it becomes increasingly difficult to perform tasks of the job. However, considering you’ll be able to more successfully maintain longer steady-state cardio, the benefits are still there.


At the end of the day, is the DeskCycle Ellipse a good product? I’d give it two thumbs up. Will it help you train for the 100-meter dash? Probably not the most effective tool for the job. However, it’s got a lot going for it. For starters, we all have our sedentary moments. You can counter those with some lower body movement. It’s an excellent tool for seniors, folks with joint problems, people going through physical therapy, and anyone who spends hours per day in an office setting. 

My favorite feature is the option to switch resistance. I love that you can get your cardio and lower body strength training in, and I found it very easy to lean forward to switch levels. This product is compact, and the convenient handle makes it simple to carry to and from the office. You may also consider the DeskCycle Bike if you want even more of a lower body challenge. I tried it out alongside the Ellipse, and you can see some interesting data in terms of which burns more calories in my comparison article. Either way, I can definitively report, whichever you choose, you will burn more calories using a DeskCycle product than you would sitting still.

Trainer’s Tips for the DeskCycle Ellipse

Having spent quite a bit of time using the DeskCycle Ellipse, I have some tips that will help you make the most of yours if you decide to buy one. For starters, if your office chair has wheels, it’s difficult to use, because you’ll roll around. Rather than buying a new chair, consider the purchase of some replacement bell glides. They’re less than $20 and easy to install.

If using in a professional office setting for prolonged periods of time, expect to sweat. This is especially true if you plan to use the higher resistance settings. Bringing in a sweat rag and buying a desk fan should do the trick.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the desk height requirement?

The DeskCycle Ellipse can be used with clearance of as little as 24 inches. Because the pedals are so large, you can switch your feet placement in a way that lowers your knees even if you have very long legs. 

Is assembly required?

While there is assembly required, it is minimal, and all the tools needed are included. 

Can you sync the DeskCycle Ellipse with external devices?

No, you can’t integrate, but you can transfer the stats tracked on your display screen manually into your favorite fitness tracking app.

Can you pedal in a sideways motion?

No, but you can go forward and backward.

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