Fitting in time for exercise can be a challenge. This is even more true for those who face limitations like mobility issues and joint pain. Whether you spend a lot of time at the computer, can’t stay consistent with a traditional workout regimen, or want to incorporate exercise into your television time, the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser is definitely worth taking a look at. This machine features eight resistance settings, making it possible to shift from a cardio to strength focus in just seconds.
|Model||DeskCycle Under Desk Bike|
|Resistance Type||Silent Magnetic Resistance|
|Dimensions||21.81”L x 11.34”W x 11.02”H|
The DeskCycle Under Desk Bike is made to use while sitting. Whether this be in a recliner, office chair, or on the side of the bed, the versatility makes it an excellent training tool to use throughout the day. While it would be helpful if it included a handle to make it easier to transport, at 23 pounds, it’s not overly difficult to move. There is a little bit of assembly required, but it only took me around 10 minutes to get it up and running. All the required tools are included.
There are two primary variables you’re able to manipulate to provide dozens of training options: resistance and speed. If you work at a desk, I’d recommend steady state pedaling at a resistance level of 1-3. Higher resistance results in a slight upper body sway that can make it difficult to multitask. If you feel excessive upper body sway, increase the work in the glutes and legs to shift the resistance to the lower body. During my breaks, I like to amp up the resistance. This product targets all the primary leg muscles including glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, a great way to get your legs looking fantastic with continued use.
For use in an office setting, noise is an important consideration. Since there is no motor running the Under Desk Bike, it’s essentially silent aside from a very slight whirring sound while in use. It’s doubtful you’ll disturb any of your coworkers. This product is equipped with silent magnetic resistance to further contribute to a quiet, smooth ride.
- Can use just about anywhere
- Minimal footprint
- Eight resistance settings
- Ability to perform cardio and strength training
- Frees up more time in the day when you get your exercise done at work
- Can use at work and home
- Working up a sweat at work can be awkward
- Short crank arms
- No handles makes transport awkward
- Upper body sway at higher resistance levels makes it difficult to perform desk work
- Not as comfortable as the Desk Cycle Ellipse
- Base tends to slide forward during prolonged use
The simplicity of the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike is part of the appeal. It contributes to a low cost, lightweight design and overall versatility. Consisting of stabilizers, cranks, pedals and a magnetic resistance element, the minimal footprint of 10”L x 24”W x 20”H makes it usable at even small desks. The eight resistance levels provide enough variability to keep exercise interesting and well-rounded.
The premium magnetic resistance is one of the primary features of this product. It works to ensure a whisper-quiet ride. Aside from that, magnetic resistance is easier on the joints, making this an ideal product for seniors or those going through physical therapy. I let my Silver Sneakers class take it for a spin, and they loved it!
Although there’s no ability to sync your favorite fitness app, the 5-function LCD display provides information you can manually transfer into your fitness tracking platform. Since the display is removable you can place it on your desk if it’s easier for you to monitor that way.
Once you get your DeskCycle setup, there may be some slight modifications to be made to optimize your ability to use it effectively. For example, you may need to adjust your desk chair higher or lower. Furthermore, if you have wheels on your chair, it’s difficult to use the DeskCycle. While you could choose to tether yourself to avoid pushing away from the machine, I’d highly suggest purchasing these bell glides to prevent any issues.
Unlike many exercise bikes with programs that automatically adjust settings to simulate terrain or incorporate specific types of workouts, the DeskCycle doesn’t have this feature. I wouldn’t say this is a negative aspect considering many folks purchase this product specifically to be used while engaging in other activities from office work to watching television. Rather than worrying about programming, you can focus instead on steady-state exercise that allows you to remain comfortable while torching hundreds of additional calories throughout the day. The LCD monitor is able to track metrics like speed, time, and RPM’s that can be transferred into your favorite fitness tracking program.
You can use the eight resistance settings to create your own workout programs. The higher the resistance, the more of a strength workout you can expect. If your goal is to burn more calories, I’d suggest lower resistance. During my review process, I tested all eight settings to determine which burned the most calories. For each resistance setting, I maintained a pace that was comfortable while working at my desk, so my speed decreased as resistance increased.
Resistance levels one and six resulted in optimal caloric burn. While the graph does reflect a lower caloric burn at the higher resistance levels, keep in mind these settings are geared toward strength training. As a cardio and strength instructor, I can attest I always burn more calories during my cardio classes. However, strength training builds muscle, and it’s been proven to burn more calories for the rest of the day as opposed to the initial increased burn you experience during cardio. So, if you want to tone your legs, I’d recommend exploring levels seven and eight while level six provides a great combination of the ability to raise the heart rate while providing some resistance for a strength component. If cardio is your goal, levels one and two are ideal.
Regardless of resistance level, the same muscles are worked during use including glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. This is an excellent source of exercise to completely cover the lower body.
DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Features
If an exercise machine that is straightforward and easy to use is what you’re looking for, the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike has what you’re looking for. With eight levels of resistance, you can choose an easy ride like biking on flat ground to the simulation of riding up a steep hill. With 39 pounds of resistance, you really can get in an excellent strength workout.
I love the whisper-silent magnetic resistance. This improves durability expectations, ensures a smooth ride, and prevents excessive noise that can disrupt coworkers or others in the home. I found it to be comfortable and what you can expect when riding a bike. If you’re not a fan of having your feet confined in pedals, the DeskCycle Ellipse may be a better fit. It was very comparable to the Desk Bike when I compared the two, and you can explore those results in my comparison review.
The LCD display is battery-operated and provides basic information including speed, time, RPM’s, distance, and calories burned that you can transfer into your favorite fitness tracker. The screen is 1.75”W x 1.5”H and pretty easy to see in its built-in display stand, but an extension cord is included as part of your purchase in case you want to set it on your desk for a better view. Since it turns on automatically when the user begins to pedal, you don’t have to turn anything on before you start your workout. Once you’re finished, the display will turn off after a couple minutes. If you do transfer your data, make sure you jot it down before it shuts off.
If you want to change resistance, it’s quick and easy to reach down and turn the knob to your desired setting. However, if you have limited mobility, keep in mind you do have to reach down toward the floor. If this is an issue for you, it can be helpful to approach your workout with a plan that allows for longer periods of a static resistance rather than programming like high-intensity interval training that can require frequent adjustments.
At the end of the day, could the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike be the right fitness tool for you? I’d highly recommend it if you find you regularly skip the gym due to a busy schedule. It’s the perfect companion for office work, and those going through physical therapy can reap immense benefits in both cardio and lower-body strength training.
While not the right tool for serious bikers who train for events, the average person has a lot to gain through consistent use. No matter what type of training, the machine is nearly silent, minimizing distraction. It’s also simplistic and efficient without compromising on high quality.
Whether you want to exercise without thinking about it, burn hundreds of calories while at work, or get lower-body strength training knocked out during your lunch break, the Under Desk Bike is your one-stop-shop.
- I teach a Silver Sneakers class, and my senior participants loved this product. I’d highly recommend DeskCycle products for elderly folks who want to remain active without excessive impact on joints.
- If you’re an avid biker who is used to standard exercise bikes, the short crank arms of the DeskCycle Bike may feel awkward. After using it for a while, you get used to the feel.
- Keep your posture in mind during use for optimal results. This includes sitting up straight and making sure your back is properly supported.
- Remember, this product only includes pedals. The choice of chair is important. You may need to make adjustments to height. Although this product doesn’t have a height restriction, the height of your chair can make a difference in overall comfort.
- To increase energy and caloric burn without preventing you from being able to work at your desk, resistance levels 1-2 are ideal.
- While the DeskCycle Ellipse can be used barefoot, you’ll need to wear shoes when using this product. If you wear dress shoes to work, I’d recommend keeping a pair of tennis shoes at work to wear during use.
- If you have wheels on your desk chair, you will push yourself away from the product while using it. These inexpensive bell glides provide an excellent solution.
- While a great product for all your lower body exercise needs, the upper body doesn’t get any attention when you only use the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike. For a full-body workout, check out the NordicTrack Select-a-Weight Adjustable Dumbbell Set. It provides 15 weight options all in a single product so you don’t have to buy multiple sets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will increasing resistance burn more calories?
If you’re able to keep your pace, you will burn more calories at the higher resistance setting. However, if you’ll be using the product while otherwise focusing on something else like office work, reading, or television, you’re likely to drop your pace as you increase resistance.
Does the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike pair with fitness apps?
No, but you can manually transfer your data into your favorite tracker.
Is there assembly required?
Yes, you have to connect the pedals and LCD display, but all tools are included, and it only takes around ten minutes.
Is the DeskCycle Under Desk Bike durable?
There have been reports of daily use of eight hours per day for 5+ years before experiencing issues.