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 the office or busy in-home chores, you might want to consider an under desk bike or elliptical or mini bikes, as we usually refer to them. It is a great solution to burn down 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. This can help burn calories, raise the heart rate, and relieve stress. Whether you have a full-time job, you have kids to take care of, or belong to the elderly category, making this mini bike a part of your life will help you stay fit and healthy, even with a busy life.
Our Top Pedal Exercisers
- Magnetic resistance for smooth and quiet functioning
- Great portability
- 8 levels of resistances
- Adjustable pedal height
- Suitable for low-height desks
- It is only suitable for low-impact workouts
- Difficult to use with wheeled-office chair
Does the Pedal Exerciser Really Work?
An under-desk bike or elliptical machine is a smart option for anyone looking to add physical activity to 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 overall fitness while burning calories, toning the body, and maintaining healthy joints.
Mini Exercise Bike or Elliptical Machine?
There are 2 major types of pedal exercise equipment:
- Mini Exercise Bikes or Under-Desk Bikes
- Mini Exercise Ellipticals or Under-Desk Ellipticals
Both mini 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 a mini exercise 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 elliptical or cycle. 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!
So, you have decided to invest money in an mini exercise 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.
If you are looking for a seated under-desk elliptical specifically for office use, this seated under-desk Jr. by Cubii is an ideal option. The lightweight design and top-class portability feature make it a great choice to use in the workplace. It features a very simple design making it very easy to assemble, use, and operate. You do not need a lot of hours to assemble the simple machine. Even though it is lightweight, the sturdy design makes the Cubii Jr very durable. Moreover, the manufacturers have built this machine, keeping in mind the users’ comfort. It features a perfectly ergonomic design, which prevents exertion of excessive pressure on the joints or lower back. The elliptical machine offers 8 resistance levels, which will allow you to adjust the settings according to your requirements.
An impressive feature of Cubii Jr is built-in display-monitor. The monitor makes it easy to track the workout in real-time. It displays the RPM, hourly calorie count, steps, and distance by gathering data in real-time. The whisper quiet feature is another reason why you need to choose Cubii Jr for your low-impact office workout. It allows you to exercise without anyone knowing, and it does not break the decorum of silence. It is perfectly safe and simple to use. Moreover, it is built to function very smoothly, and it offers a stable design. All these features combine to make it a smart option for improving stamina and blood flow. We think of Cubii Jr. as one of the best mini exercise ellipticals.
- Magnetic resistance for smooth and quiet functioning
- Great portability
- 8 levels of resistances
- Adjustable pedal height
- Suitable for low-height desks
- It is only suitable for low-impact workouts
- Difficult to use with wheeled-office chair
If you are in search of a stationary mini exercise bike that provides a fully personalized workout experience while you sit and work at the office, this under-desk cycle by DeskCycle is the perfect choice for you. It brings you complete workout benefits, without leaving your office desk. Have a low desk at work? Well, you do not have to worry as this machine will work perfectly for desks as low as 27 inches. For desks as low as 26 inches you can also see a similar mini exercise bike with pretty good quality and a resistance foot shifter: the FitDesk Under Desk Cycle.
When it comes to adjustability, DeskCycle 2 is a smart choice. It allows you to adjust the pedal height and even the resistance levels. You can experience a perfectly customized experience. It offers 8-calibrated resistance settings, letting you workout at your own pace. It works on the magnetic resistance phenomenon, which paves the way for smooth functioning without generating any sound. You can enjoy working out while at the office, without disturbing your co-workers. It comes with a 6-function display that allows you to keep track of your performance. It is excellent for people suffering from joint pain.
- 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
- With a weight of 23 pounds, some users found it a little heavier than expected
Featuring a sturdy steel frame, this commercial-grade mini exercise bike by Magnetrainer is one of the best options available in the market. The under-desk bike works on the magnetic resistance principle. With no wear and tear, this machine allows you to pedal smoothly, promotes leg movement and improves circulation.
Moreover, if you are worried about disturbing the people around you, this exercise machine will save you from the embarrassment. You can work out while sitting at your office desk without coming into notice. The Velcro straps are perfect for any size of feet, and the no-slip feet of the machine will keep it in place when you exert pressure to pedal with your feet. It is not only a great option for the toning of leg muscles but also for an arm workout. In addition to this, you can manually adjust the resistance for a customized workout session.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418
- 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
- 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
Popular among fitness enthusiasts due to its durability and safety straps, this under-desk bike is perfect for in-office and low-impact workout. Its high portability and compact size make it an excellent choice for the workplace. You can carry it around with ease.
Featuring a durable design, this exercise machine offers eight different resistance levels. You can adjust the level of resistance as per your requirements and enjoy a workout that is suitable for you. Along with this, you can track your performance through the LCD that shows the time, speed, calories burned, and ODM. 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. The maximum weight capacity of this machine is 220 lbs. You can easily place the machine on top of a desk or under it as it can be used as both legs an arm exerciser. All these features give this machine a positive vote for the best under desk elliptical.
The Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical is one of the best options that you can find in the market. It is a fully-featured machine available in the category of seated elliptical under-desk elliptical. It will let you get fit while you sit and work. Whether you are at home or working in your office, this high-performance machine will provide you with utterly satisfying results. You can use the external sync options to connect the machine to your Android smartphone, iPhone, Fitbit smart brands, and Apple Health Kit to track the results to motivate yourself.
Cubii Pro compact elliptical is a perfect choice for low impact in-home or in-office workout with its sophisticatedly-designed gearing system. It even comes with an adjustable tension with many resistance options. The Bluetooth connectivity enhances the workout experience, and the ergonomic design keeps you relaxed as it minimizes the impact on the joints. Also, it’s dead easy to assemble it. Another feature that makes Cubii Pro a smart choice for use in a workplace is its whisper-quiet feature. It will help you work out without disturbing your colleagues or family members. It is the quietest seated under desk elliptical. It is silent in use, which adds to the overall experience. Its highest quality, lowest noise generation, and Bluetooth connectivity are the features that make this elliptical every fitness freak’s favorite!
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3872
- Compact design with a conveniently-positioned transportation handle makes it very portable
- The adjustable tension knob provides resistance for a more personalized workout session
- The textured foot pedals prevent slipping
- Does not require assembling, saves time and effort
- A durable exercising machine
- The display is not very reliable
- The battery is not easily available for the display monitor
The feature that makes this desk elliptical trainer by Sunny Health & Fitness a popular choice is its versatile design. The manufacturers have very smartly designed this exercise machine, which demands minimum maintenance. The smart designing, which makes this under-desk easy to use, requires you to put in minimum efforts. The belt-drive mechanism ensures that the workout session is quiet and does not disturb others around you. The magnetic resistance allows you to adjust the setting according to your needs. Whether you want a low-impact workout or an extensive one, the resistance level adjustability feature will let you set your own pace.
The compact size adds into the elliptical’s portability allowing you to carry and move it around with ease and convenience. 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. No matter whichever environment you choose, your workplace, or your home, the under-desk elliptical by Sunny Health will work perfectly fine in all types of settings. The pedals feature a smart design as they come with a textured surface. It prevents your feet from slipping and provides you with an uninterrupted, worry-free workout session. The best thing about this machine is that you do not have to worry about its assembling. It comes fully assembled, allowing you to start using it immediately. The digital monitor that this machine comes with displays all necessary details about the workout.
YOSUDA Pedal Exerciser
Designed for both arm and leg exercises, the Yosdua Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser is without doubts one of the coolest looking among its category. Available in a combination of black and orange, this gives ut a sporty vibe, making it super pleasing visually.
Regular use of this machine helps in improving blood circulation and activation of muscles. It weighs just 22lbs and is very compact. You can place it in a small space at your home or even place it under your workstation. It will help you stay fit without putting your work or tasks at hold. One of the major concerns of users who wish to use under desk pedal exercisers at the workplace is the noise. With this model by Yosuda, you do not have to worry about that. It is designed to operate very smoothly, which results in zero noise generation. Even during a high-impact workout, this pedal exerciser’s use will not bother the people around it.
It is a low-impact stationary bike that is perfect for relieving joint pain and recovering for injury. Instead of hurting the joints, this works to bring comfort. The magnetic resistance system offers eight resistance levels that will let you set the workout’s intensity as per your body needs. It is equipped with four anti-slip rubber pads that prevent this exercise bike from slipping and even do not let the feet slip from the pedals.
- Assembling the machine is super-easy and stress-free
- Two-in-one machine, offering both under-desk and stand-up elliptical features for the upper body
- The design is simple and durable
- Offers resistance level adjustability options
- The wide-peddles can accommodate large-footed people
- There are some non-ignorable flaws in the design
- The roller-blade wheels require timely lubrication
- The display monitor is not very reliable
- The size is not ideal for under-desk use
When talking about an elliptical that offers both under-desk and stand-up features, this model by JFIT is the perfect option. It is the only under-desk and stand-up elliptical with a uniquely designed pedalling system. The pedals are adjustable and smartly designed to support both under-desk and stand-up workout sessions for uper body. It is an advanced feature that you will not find it in any other model in the market. It features a very compact and lightweight design. Another feature that makes this elliptical model by JFIT one of the most loved machines in the market is its top-handle. You can use the top-handle to move it easily. In addition to a top handle, this design also features a front-handle that offers additional support.
The elliptical by JFIT is a popular choice for offices as it is super-quiet. The smooth functioning of the machine is what makes it whisper quiet. The design of this elliptical is designed in a way that minimizes the wear-and-tear in the machine, making it last longer. In addition to portability, durability, and dual function, this model by JFIT allows you to track your workout. Moreover, you can easily adjust the resistance level, via an adjustable tension knob, per your need and make your in-home or in-office workout much more effective. This mini elliptical the best features at an affordable rate!
Ancheer Pedal Exerciser
- 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
- It is not the lightest option in the market
For anyone who is struggling to keep up with their workout schedules and looking for a solution, investing in this pedal exerciser by Ancheer is an option worth considering. It is an easy-to-use under-desk bike that will allow you to keep your body fit exactly how you wish. Offering eight different levels of resistance, this bike lets you enjoy a workout session according to your body requirements.
The compact design and lightweight feature of this machine is a reason why many people are choosing this machine as their workplace workout companion. Moreover, the smooth pedaling motion ensures that you work out in your office without disturbing your colleagues. To keep track of your workout progress, you can use the LCD, which displays everything that you need to know. Adding to its portability score is its handle design. You can carry this lightweight machine anywhere and everywhere you like.
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.
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:
- Under Desk Elliptical Guide
- Under Desk Bike Guide
Under Desk Elliptical Guide
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Mini Exercise Bike Guide
Types of mini exercise 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.
The first type is the direct contact mini exercise 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.
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 mini exercise bike
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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 mini exercise 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?
Incorporating an mini exercise 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!
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 mini exercise bike?
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.
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.
The article has been researched & compiled by the Editorial F5F Team, a group of experienced fitness & health writers.