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- I sit at a desk for hours at a time for work and knew I needed something to add activity and movement into my day.
- I decided to try the DeskCycle, a mini pedal bike that fits neatly under the desk in my office.
- Since I can’t use a standing desk, the DeskCycle became a great way for me to keep moving at my desk job.
I used to have an extremely active lifestyle from being on my feet all day at work to going to the gym and walking my dogs. Now, I work at a desk and, like so many others, I worry about my lack of movement for a huge part of my day.
I knew I needed to do something that would help improve my daily movement but due to a past injury, I’m not able to stand for long periods of time, so standing desks and desk treadmills aren’t good options for me. Instead, I decided to opt for something I found on Amazon called the DeskCycle after the reviews convinced me to give it a shot.
In essence, the DeskCycle is a mini portable stationary pedaler that fits under your desk. It’s designed to give users an option for physical activity but it’s also a great alternative for people with injuries or disabilities who can’t use a standing desk.
I use it every day to increase my movement but I’ve seen it improve my mobility and productivity as well. Its minimal noise, compact design, and range of resistances make the DeskCycle the best option for me to keep moving while working a sedentary job.
Design and specs
I have a very basic desk and chair office setup and the DeskCycle sits comfortably underneath at about 11 inches high, 11 inches wide, and 23 inches front to back; it’s great for people who don’t have a lot of space. It’s made of steel and “high-impact” plastic, meaning the plastic parts don’t break easily if you accidentally kick it or rest your feet on top.
Assembly was easier than any IKEA furniture I’ve put together, and it comes partially assembled so you don’t have to put any of the internal mechanisms together. You do have to screw on the pedals and attach the legs but it comes with its own tools so this step was easy. If you’re not comfortable assembling yourself, you can have an expert do it for you for an added fee.
The unit features eight resistance settings and the higher you go, the more challenging they get — I have to put in a lot of effort to keep the pedals moving on anything more than level 4. If I’m on a
call, I usually keep it at 1 so I’m not rocking back and forth but I mostly use resistance 3 throughout the day.
It also has an LED screen that tracks your progress that attaches to the DeskCycle or sits on your desk via a cable extender. The screen runs on batteries and tracks RPM, distance, time, and burned calories. I find it both fun and motivating to track my daily distance and see how far I can bike while doing something ordinary like sending emails.
What it’s like to use the DeskCycle
When I first read the advertisement that said it was “whisper quiet,” I couldn’t help but think that was an exaggeration — but it really isn’t. When you pedal, it makes a slight noise that kind of sounds like a quieter white noise machine. You can’t hear it on Zoom or even from 10 feet away while in the same room.
Beyond giving me an activity outlet, I’ve noticed that spinning on the DeskCycle helps my productivity. The manufacturer claims that active circulation enhances productivity, increases energy, and improves mood and while this could certainly be true, the DeskCycle at least helps limit my distractions while I work.
I’m someone who’s easily distracted but cycling occupies that part of my mind and keeps me from reaching for my phone or procrastinating in other ways throughout the day.
The only real con of the DeskCycle is it doesn’t move all that easily. It weighs 23lbs, so its weight is just inconvenient enough to keep me from moving it whether that’s to the other side of my desk or downstairs while I binge-watch reruns of The Office on the weekends. I do prefer just keeping it in the center of my desk to encourage myself to cycle if I’m sitting there.
Should you buy it?
While the DeskCycle isn’t exactly cheap at $190, it’s cheaper than comparable standing desks, desk treadmills, or desk bike chairs you might see online. Its quiet and compact design makes it a solid choice for those who live in apartments and need to avoid noisy workouts, or who don’t have much space for exercise equipment.
Overall, buying a DeskCycle or something similar is effective if you’re looking to add activity but don’t have the time to walk away from your desk or have a disability or injury that keeps you from using a standing desk.
What are your alternatives?
If you like the features of the DeskCycle but the price is too steep other options like the $47 Himaly Mini exercise bike and the $40 Vaunn pedal exerciser are even simpler in design. But although both are lighter and more compact than the DeskCycle, they aren’t as quiet and tend to lift off the ground, tip, or slide forward when used.
The bottom line
I am obsessed with my DeskCycle and I’ve recommended it to all my friends who work desk jobs. I cycle for hours at a time and I’ve noticed that my injuries are doing much better with the added mobility, even though I’m still technically sitting all day. It’s an added bonus that my productivity and mood have increased, and I really like bragging that I cycled 60 miles before lunch.
While the $190 price point is hefty, it’s cheaper than most standing desks and far higher quality than other exercise pedalers, especially considering its stability and ultra-quiet design. I use my DeskCycle every day and highly recommend it for anyone looking to add mobility or activity to their life.