Best Pedal Exerciser: Review the Top-10 Under Desk Bikes & Ellipticals

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The hectic schedules and busy routines have made it impossible for people to keep up with their workout sessions. Taking time out for personal grooming has become a challenge for everyone. However, taking care of mental as well as physical health is something that people cannot compromise on and must make time out for it. 

If you are thinking of ways you can work on your body’s fitness while in office or busy in-home chores, you might want to consider a pedal exerciser. It is an ultimate solution to burn down the calories while managing your office work without any distractions. These portable and small machines are revolutionizing the way we work out, and it is just amazing! They provide a low impact cardio exercise that creates a smooth motion of the legs. So, whether you have a full-time job or you have kids to take care of, making this mini elliptical a part of your life will help you stay fit and healthy, even with a busy life. 

Does the pedal exerciser really work?

Under-desk bikes are a smart option for anyone looking to add physical activity in their busy lives. According to UMass Amherst kinesiologists, these bikes have proved to address the health risks of a sedentary workplace. These bikes mimic cycling, which can help to enhance the overall fitness while burning calories, toning the body, and maintaining healthy joints.
 
 

Our Top Pedal Exerciser Picks

 

Cubii Jr.

Best Under Desk Elliptical

The lightweight design and top-class portability feature make it the Perfect Office-Use Under Desk Elliptical. 

 

DeskCycle 2

Best Under Desk Bike

A perfectly customized experience with 8-calibrated resistance settings. Workout at your own pace!

Under Desk Bike or Elliptical?

There are 2 major types of pedal exercise equipment:

  1. Under Desk Bikes
  2. Under Desk Ellipticals

Both under desk bikes and ellipticals are very similar in size, weight, and primary function. Also, both offer the same calorie-burning benefits. The major differences between a mini bike and a mini elliptical are the pedals and the stride, the pattern of the movement required to burn calories. With an under desk bike, you will make an up and down circular motion versus the forward/back motion of the under-desk elliptical.

If you want to understand better the difference between those two types, you can read our super-detailed comparison guide.

If you have large feet, under desk ellipticals may be a better choice for you as they could provide you the leg clearance you need.


You don’t have to stress out when you head to the market to purchase the best under desk cycle or elliptical. Check out our Top Picks! We have prepared a guide at the end of which you will know exactly which under-desk elliptical/ bike machine to choose out of the plethora of options out there! 

Best Pedal Exercisers 2020

 

Top 10 Under-Desk Ellipticals & Cycles in US & Canada

BrandTypeResistanceIF-FIT RatingLink
Cubii Jr. - Seated Under-Desk Mini Elliptical
Cubii Jr.
EllipticalMagnetic 8 Levels
9.8
 
 
DeskCycle2 under desk bike
DeskCycle 2
Bike Magnetic Infinite – 5 Rotation Dial
9.7
 
 
Cubii Pro - Seated Under-Desk Elliptical
Cubii Pro
EllipticalMagnetic 8 Levels
9.5
 
 
magne-trainer under desk bike with Arm and Leg Exerciser
MagneTrainer
BikeMagnetic 8 Levels
9.5
 
 
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 under desk pedal exerciser
Sunny SF-80418
Bike Magnetic 8 Levels
9.1
 
 
Sunny Health & Fitness Fully Assembled Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical
Sunny SF-E3872
Elliptical Magnetic 8 Levels
9.0
 
 
jfit Under Desk & Stand Up Mini Elliptical
Jfit Mini
EllipticalMagnetic Adjustable – Tension dial
9.0
 
 
ancher under desk bike
Ancheer Pedal
Bike Magnetic 8 Levels
8.8
 
 
Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Mini Elliptical
Stamina InMotion
EllipticalMagnetic Adjustable – Tension dial
8.8
 
 
Vive under desk pedal exerciser for eldrely
Vive under desk
Bike Magnetic Adjustable – Tension dial
8.5
 
 

So, you have decided to invest money on an under desk bike or elliptical? There are a plethora of options in the market, and it can confuse the buyer. To help you stay safe from the stress of choosing from the sea of under-desk bike models and manufacturers, we have evaluated all the options in the market and enlisted the top five in the market for each option.

Let’s start with the mini elliptical reviews. 

Best 5 Mini Under-Desk Ellipticals

 

Cubii Pro

The Quietest Seated Under Desk Elliptical

The Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical is one of the best options that you can find in the market. You can use the external sync options to connect the machine to your smartphone.

Pros

  • It is the quietest seated under desk elliptical
  • It allows syncing to external devices through Bluetooth connectivity
  • Tracking and sharing the results is very simple
  • Offers adjustable resistance levels
  • Stress-free assembly

Cons

  • It slides on the hardwood floor
  • The USB plug is not conveniently positioned
  • Not the most affordable option in the market
  • Not very lightweight
 

Cubii Jr.

The Perfect Office-Use Under Desk Elliptical

Perfectly safe and simple to use. Moreover, it is built to function very smoothly, and it offers a stable design.

Pros

  • The assembly is straightforward and does not take a lot of time.
  • The whisper-quiet feature allows zero-disturbance workout
  • The display monitor provides real-time insights into the workout session
  • The design is simple and ergonomic
  • The sturdy design makes it a durable option
  • The lightweight adds to its overall portability scores
  • Adjustable resistance levels

Cons

  • The forward pedaling may generate some noise
  • The pedals are very fragile
  • The grip-foam on the pedal is not very durable
 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872

An under desk elliptical Featuring a Versatile Design

In addition to its small size, it also comes with a centrally located transportation handle. You can move the machine wherever you want, without putting any physical efforts.

Pros

  • Compact design with a conveniently-positioned transportation handle makes it very portable
  • The adjustable resistance feature provides a personalized workout session
  • The textured foot pedals prevent slipping
  • Does not require assembling, saves time and effort
  • A durable exercising machine

Cons

  • The display is not very reliable
  • The battery is not easily available for the display monitor
 

Jfit Under Desk Elliptical

The Only Under-Desk and Stand-up Elliptical

The pedals are adjustable and smartly designed to support both under-desk and stand-up workout sessions.

Pros

  • Assembling the machine is super-easy and stress-free
  • Two-in-one machine, offering both under-desk and stand-up elliptical features
  • The design is simple and durable
  • Offers resistance level adjustability options
  • The wide-peddles can accommodate large-footed people
  • One of the most portable machines in the market

Cons

  • There are some non-ignorable flaws in the design
  • The roller-blade wheels require timely lubrication
  • The display is not very reliable
  • The size is not ideal for under-desk use
 

Stamina InMotion E1000 Compact Strider

The Most Efficient Under Desk Elliptical

An added feature of this machine is that you can use it both ways, that is while sitting and standing.

Pros

  • It is effective in improving cardio
  • Can be used while sitting as well as while standing
  • Can be used to for a versatile workout
  • Offers an adjustable tension dial
  • A top-scorer in terms of portability

Cons

  • The wheels may get squeaky after some time

Best 5 Mini Under-Desk Bikes

We saw previously the best under desk ellipticals & we also spoke about the difference between those and the under desk bikes. If you are thinking of choosing a mini bike instead of elliptical, check our detailed reviews of the best 5 under desk bikes.

 

DeskCycle 2

The best value for money mini bike

Works perfectly for desks as low as 27 inches. It offers 8-calibrated resistance settings.

Pros

  • The magnetic resistance functionality allows smooth and quiet functioning
  • Its portability allows you to transport it wherever you like
  • It offers eight levels of resistances
  • The pedal height is adjustable
  • Suitable for low-height desks

Cons

  • It is only suitable for low-impact workouts
  • Difficult to use with wheeled-office chair
 

MagneTrainer-ER Mini

A Commercial Grade Under-Desk Bike with the Widest Resistance Range

Featuring a sturdy frame, this commercial-grade mini exercise bike by Magnetrainer is one of the best options available in the market.

Pros

  • Works on magnetic resistance, with zero wear-and-tear and sound generation
  • Offers the widest resistance range
  • Comes with a one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Great for disabled people

Cons

  • With a weight of 23 pounds, some users found it a little heavier than expected
 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-80418

Portability and compact size make it an excellent choice for the workplace

The pedals work amazingly for both your feet as well as hands. The safety straps prevent slipping, paving the way for a safe and soft in-office workout.

Pros

  • Offer eight resistance levels for a completely customized workout
  • It tracks your progress and lets you keep a check on your fitness goals
  • Does not generate sound, perfect for an office environment
  • The safety straps prevent slipping of feet

Cons

  • The machine can slide off due to force exerted by the feet to pedal (However, you can use a Non-Slip Workout Mat)
  • No handle for easy transportation
 

Ancheer Pedal Exerciser

An Easy-to-Use Under-Desk Bike

The smooth pedaling motion ensures that you work out in your office without disturbing your colleagues.

Pros

  • It features a handle-inclusive design and is lightweight, making it highly portable
  • The low pedal height offers the maximum clearance between the knee and desk
  • The ultra-smooth pedal function ensures that the machine generates zero sound
  • The ergonomic design lets you workout in a relaxed manner

Cons

  • It is not the lightest option in the market
 

Vive Desk Foldable Cycle

The Best Foldable Under-Desk Bike in the Market

The best feature of this bike is its sleek and smart foldable design. It is one of those features that make this machine a top choice for fitness enthusiasts.

Pros

  • The compact foldable design allows you to transport it around and store in your home with ease
  • Requires the simplest way of assembling, does not need any specific skills
  • The no-slip feet prevents the machine from sliding away from the feet

Cons

  • The resistance levels are not very satisfying
  • Excessive heat may burn out the LCD

These are the top 10 options that you can consider when purchasing an under-desk bike or elliptical.

However, making the right choice from the top five can get tough because there are a lot of considerations that you will have to look into before you make the final choice. We have created a buying guide for you that will answer all your questions and assist you in making a suitable choice. 

Under Desk Ellipticals & Bikes Buying Guide

 

DO NOT buy before reading this

Even though we have shortlisted the top 5 under desk ellipticals & bikes for your use, choosing the best one might still be a tough process. To make the right decision and choose the best option out of these five, you can use this comprehensive guide that will help you in selecting the most useful elliptical or bike for your home or office. 

To be more convenient, we have divided the guide into two parts, based on the type of the under desk equipment:

  1. Under Desk Elliptical Guide
  2. Under Desk Bike Guide

Under Desk Elliptical Guide

Under Desk Elliptical

Features to Consider Before Buying an Under Desk Mini Elliptical

Be it a treadmill or an elliptical; before you get started with the purchase process, you need to bring into consideration several crucial factors. These factors of consideration will help you make a smart choice that boasts long-term benefits. 

When buying a seated or stand-up under-desk elliptical, considering the following factors is essential. These machines are not cheap, and we do not want you to invest your money on the wrong model. 

Nature of Use

The first important factor to consider is the nature of use. You will find two types of under desk ellipticals; it can either be seated, under-desk, or stand-up. Therefore, before you head to the market, you must have a clear idea about how you wish to use the machine. Once you know exactly how you want to use the machine, you can start exploring the options. 

Portability

When we talk about under desk ellipticals, the portability is a feature that we all want to have in it. The reason why people want a mini elliptical is that it is easy to carry around. Make sure you look at its weight, size, and height. Another factor to consider here is the ease of movement. To make the movement of the elliptical easy for the users, many manufacturers offer a handle that allows transporting the machine from one place to another. 

Performance and Efficiency

The third and a very vital factor to consider when purchasing mini under-desk, seated, or stand up ellipticals, make sure you evaluate its performance and efficiency. You need to read about their working mechanism and go through the reviews of people who are already using a particular machine you like. Indeed, you cannot determine the quality of its performance or know how efficient a machine is, without using it. However, customer reviews can significantly help you determine its degree of durability. 

Budget

The last and critical factor is the budget. It might not be a factor of consideration for some, but for the majority of the people, the budget can be a decisive factor. The more features you look for in a machine, the higher the price will be. Therefore, if budget is a concern for you, you need to consider machines that are offering the basic features. 

Make sure that you make your decision based on these factors. You miss out on any of these; you will most probably end up with a machine that is not as per your requirements. 

Benefits & Disadvantages of the Under Desk Mini Elliptical in your work or home

A woman using a Mini Stepper

When on the one hand, under-desk mini ellipticals benefit people in many ways; on the other hand, it has its downsides. While you are analyzing your needs and determining if you really want a mini elliptical for your home or office, you need to consider both its benefits and the downsides before you reach your final decision. 

Benefits

  • Multi-tasking: By using am under desk elliptical, you can enhance your multi-tasking skills. You do not have to compromise on your fitness, just because your life is too hectic. You can work or even take care of your home chores without compromising on your fitness. 
  • Efficient Performance: Not being physically fit can negatively impact your performance at work as well as at home. When you are able to incorporate a healthy amount of physical activity in your life, you can enhance your abilities and become efficient at work as well as at home.
  • Possibility of Weight-loss: Weight gain is a common problem today for people because their jobs require them to sit on the seat for a very long time. Excessive sitting can lead to weight gain. By using the under desk elliptical, you can counter the weight-gain effect and maintain a healthy weight. 

Disadvantages

  • Type of Seating: Using an elliptical while on a seat requires a different kind of seating. Not using the right seat can become a reason for severe health risks. You might have to bring in a new type of seating in your home or workplace. 
  • Disturbance for Others: Even though the majority of ellipticals come with a whisper-quiet feature but after some time, squeaking may generate some noise. The noise can disturb your colleagues and even annoy your family members at home. 

Under Desk Bike Guide

DeskCycle2 under desk bike

Types of under desk bikes

There are two categories of under-desk bikes, which include brake-based and fan-based resistance. When talking about brake-based systems, there are two types of under-desk bikes. The first one is direct contact, and the second one is magnetic resistance. 

Direct Contact

The first type is the direct contact under-desk bikes. These bikes operate on the principle of frictional resistance. In this system, a brake comes in direct contact with the flywheels and slows it down through friction. Thes under-desk bikes allow custom-fit workout sessions. However, these machines can fall victim to wear and tear on regular use. Lubricating the machines can slow down the wear and tear, but eventually, you will have to replace the brake pads or the flywheel. It might even give rise to squeaky sounds, which will disturb your colleagues and make it inappropriate for you to use it in your workplace. Despite this, these bikes are the most frequently chosen option in the market. 

Magnetic 

Slowly and gradually, the magnetic resistance under-desk bikes are replacing the direct-contact machines. It addresses the most significant issue of direct-contact bikes, which is the wear-and-tear due to regular use. Magnetic bikes eliminate the direct contact and work on the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction. Changing the resistance and adjusting it as per your requirements is a very smooth process. With just a touch of a button, you set the pace and enjoy a workout as per your needs. 

Magnetic Vs. Direct Contact: Which is better?

When it comes to the most frequently chosen under-desk bikes, the brake-based bikes, including both direct-contact and magnetic resistance, are at the top. However, the direct-contact under-desk bikes are beginning to lose their position as magnetic resistance machines make their way into the market. The most significant problem with direct-contact type is that they easily are worn out and require regular maintenance and repairs. Soon these even begin to generate squeaky sounds, which makes them unsuitable to use in an office environment. It is due to this reason the magnetic resistance under-desk bikes are a smart option. 

Features to Consider before buying an under desk bike

A woman using deskcycle2 on her desk

Before you make a major purchase, you carry out market research to analyze which product is worth the money you are paying. The same is the case with under-desk bikes. These exercise machines are expensive, and the wrong choice can make your money do down the drain. Here are some essential factors of consideration that you need to look into before you make your final decision. 

Resistance Adjustability 

The first feature you need to look for in an under-desk bike is its resistance adjustability. The best form of workout is which allows you to proceed at your own pace and take things as per your requirements. You need to ensure that the machine you are putting your money offers you an option to experience a custom-fit workout session. 

Pedal Dimensions

The second important factor that you need to look into is the pedal dimensions, including the height and the size of it. The correct height of the pedal is when you use the bike; it does not make your knees hit the underside of your desk. Moreover, the size of the pedals must be according to the size of your feet. Too small pedals can make your feet slip while a size too big will make it difficult for you to pedal. 

Quietness

As you are going to use the machine in your workplace, you need to make sure that the one you are buying does not produce any noise. The machine should operate so smoothly that no one gets to know that you are working out while at the office. The squeaky sounds can disturb your co-workers. 

Weight

Most of the under-desk bike models you find in the market can support a maximum of 220lbs. If your weight exceeds the 220lb mark, you can look for a model that comes with a higher maximum weight capacity. 

Budget

One of the most crucial aspects that you need to consider is your budget. The heavier a machine is and the more features it offers, the more expensive it is. If budget is an issue for you, you should look for a machine that fulfills its primary purpose, which is smooth pedaling. The more features you want, the higher will be its price. 

Missing out on any of these factors might make you end up with an unsuitable machine. You do not want to waste your hard-earned money on a machine that does not even fulfill its purpose, right? Therefore, bring all these factors into consideration before you make your final choice. 

Benefits & Disadvantages of using an under-desk bike

Like all other things in the world, using an under-desk bike comes with its unique set of pros and cons. While it does offer some fantastic benefits, there are some downsides to it as well. 

Benefits

  • It is the perfect way to channel the energy which in result builds leg muscles
  • A great way to stay warm in a cold office
  • Helps in burning calories and improving overall health 
  • It is an effective cardiovascular exercise 

Disadvantages

  • It requires you to sit in an awkward position
  • It may produce squeaky sounds which can disturb the co-workers

What part of the body does an under desk bike work more?

There are many benefits of using under the desk. By regularly pedaling, you can positively impact and work on your hamstrings Quadriceps, and calves. In addition to this, the under-desk bike works on strengthening the core, back, and glute muscles. 

With the help of this buying guide, you can choose the right under-desk bike for your workplace. Just like under-desk elliptical, these machines are perfect for all types of offices. However, you must consider the office environment before making the final decision. Do not let your hectic work life get in the way of your health, because health comes above everything else in life. What is the point of compromising on your health for work when you will have to use the hard-earned money in restoring your health, which you neglected to earn it?

Conclusion

Incorporating an under desk elliptical or bike in your life paves the way for a healthy lifestyle. It is difficult to spend a healthy lifestyle in such a hectic routine, but when you use an under-desk mini elliptical, things can easy for you. 

If you have to take care of your kids at home or are working in a full-time job, under desk ellipticals will help you work for on your physical fitness! 

FAQs

 

 

What’s the difference between a mini under desk elliptical & a bike

With an under-desk elliptical, you will make a forward & backward motion versus a more circular motion of the under desk bike. Also, the under-desk ellipticals have a large pedal surface, which is good if you have large feet. You can find all the differences in our detailed under desk elliptical vs bike guide.

Which is better for weight loss a Mini Elliptical or a Minibike?

A minibike can help in weight loss when combined with a low-calorie diet. However, a mini elliptical is not primarily manufactured for weight loss but to add a sufficient amount of physical activity in life.

Are mini ellipticals and bikes noisy? Can I use them in my work?

The majority of mini ellipticals advertise as whisper-quiet machines. However, excessive use can give rise to squeaking noises. Some of these ellipticals can be made whisper-quiet through regular lubrication. If you regularly oil the components of the machine, it will not create noise, and you can use it in your workplace. According to a study about Cycling and Cognitive Performance, cycling in-between office work can actually have a positive impact on your cognitive performance.   

What muscles do the mini ellipticals exercise?

The core muscles, including abs, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calve muscles, and hip flexors. 

Do desk bikes really work?

Under-desk bikes are a smart option for anyone looking to add physical activity in their busy lives. According to UMass Amherst kinesiologists, these bikes have proved to address the health risks of a sedentary workplace. These bikes mimic cycling, which can help to enhance the overall fitness while burning calories, toning the body, and maintaining healthy joints. 

Is it OK to use them every day?

It is essential to understand that these machines can add physical movement in your life but are not an alternative to the gym. If you want to use it every day, there is no harm in it. 

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This post has 2 Comments

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    1. Under desk ellipticals are ideal for the elderly as it is a form of the low-impact workout. The seated under-desk ellipticals do not cause excessive sweating. It is perfect for adding a sufficient amount of physical activity in life, and it does not tire the people.

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