Best Desk Cycle

How to Find the Best Desk Cycle

Latest posts by Alizabeth Swain (see all)

Have you been told to exercise (or at least get more active in your free time) by well-meaning medical professionals, family, or friends?

Free time?? Who has free time anymore?

Long gone are the days of having hours to catch up on your favorite TV shows, dinner with friends, and all of the other fun activities you wish you had time to participate in.

With all of the tiny tasks that are constantly surmounting onto our daily to-do list, because, let’s face it, most of us are working at home. There just never seems to be enough time to accomplish everything you need to get done. 

There’s so much time you need to focus on your grind (whether it be a full-time or part-time hustle). Plus, you’ve got to homeschool your kids, make meals, and there’s just never enough time to do anything anymore. So, how are you supposed to focus on your physical health when the kids have been eating mac n cheese for two nights in a row?

Oh, the troubles of the times after the COVID-19 pandemic. While you spend most of your hours stuck inside of your office all day, there isn’t enough time in the day for you to get outside to have a walk.

That’s why I’ve become obsessed with desk cycles, and they’re the perfect solution to the problem of not being able to make time to exercise.

There are so many benefits to using under-the-desk cycles. But, what exactly are they? And which desk cycle is the best option for you to invest your money into? 

Whatever your situation is, I’m here to break down everything you need to know about how to find the best desk cycles. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Desk Cycle?

Desk Cycle

After under-the-desk cycles got introduced to the world, you don’t need to walk 10,000 steps in a day. You can now focus on getting your blood flowing throughout your body while you’re sitting down at your desk, filling out TSX reports (or whatever report you may need to fill out in your line of work). 

So, if you don’t have time to fit a sweat-worthy workout into your schedule, don’t worry! By using an under-the-desk cycle that comes with adjustable resistance, you can still focus on improving your health! A DeskCycle allows you to pedal (like a bicycle) underneath your desk while you’re sitting down.

Under-Desk Pedals vs Bike Desks

Now, you may have heard people tell you that under-desk pedals are the same thing as bike desks. A bike desk is in an upright position and comes with a desk platform with them. However, an under-desk pedal can fit underneath your desk and has two pedals on the side of a machine for you to place your feet on to begin pedaling.

How to Use a Desk Cycle

Desk Cycle

For you to have the most success with using a desk cycle, I’ve created a few tips to help you! Let’s jump right into it: 

Pedal Downward

If you’re struggling with your desk chair moving all around the place while you’re pedaling, you’ll need to adjust how you’re cycling. You’ll want to push your pedal downwards instead of trying to pedal in an upward position.

You can do this by making sure your feet are pushing the pedals down when the arm of the pedal reaches just past the highest positioning of the pedal. In other words, you’ll want to push the pedal downwards when it reaches the 1 o’clock position.

Also, be sure to keep your toes pointed towards the floor while you’re pedaling. 

Check Your Resistance

If you’re having a hard time pedaling while you’re at your desk, be sure to check your resistance. You can still keep a small amount of resistance, but if you’re really struggling with focusing on your wor while you’re pedaling, turn your resistance down. 

Go Slow

Another tip to keep in the back of your mind while you’re pedaling is to go slow. When you’re first starting out, it’s okay to keep the resistance and your speed low.

It’s important that you do this if you haven’t written bikes in a while or haven’t exercised in a while. The more you get used to pedaling on a bike, the easier it’ll become for you. This is when it’ll b a good idea for you to increase your speed, resistance, or both. 

How to Buy an Under the Desk Bike Cycle

Desk Bike Cycle

Before you go out looking for an under-the-desk bike cycle, there are a few things you should consider. You’ll want to take a look at your budget, the settings on your bike cycle, whether or not you’re going to share your bike with another person, and what your goals are with using your bike.

Your Budget

When you’re on the market for an under-the-desk bike cycle, the first thing you should consider is your budget. Do you have any budget constraints that may hold you back from all options available on the market? 

It’s important that you set a budget. But, you should also be prepared to be flexible with your budget. You may end up investing more than you were anticipating because of certain options available on one bike that another bike doesn’t offer.

Setting Options

Next, you’ll want to consider the different settings options on bikes. There’s a lot of different options on the market, so you’ll really want to consider the setting options that are important to you before you go shopping. Some bikes offer a simple pedal option, whereas other bikes come with a calorie counter installed in them. 

In another example, some bikes come with adjustable heights. The adjustable height will allow you to change the height of your desk bike depending on the height of your desk, so you’re able to pedal comfortably. 

Sharing Your Bike vs Single-use

Are you going to be the only one using your bike cycle, or will you be sharing it with someone else? The more people you’re going to be sharing your bike with, the higher-quality your bike should be. A higher-quality bike will withstand the wear and tear of multiple users. 

However, if you’re going to be the only one using your bike, a budget-friendly option will be okay. Even if you’re only going to be sharing your bike with one other person, you’ll be okay with a lower-quality (but more affordable) bike. 

Your Goals

Defining what your goals are before you decide to invest in a bike will also determine what type of bike you buy. You should decide whether you’re buying a bike to keep yourself more active, lose weight, or just because you want something to do with your legs during the day. There’s a lot of benefits to using a desk cycle, but for you to purchase the right model for your goals, you first need to define what your goals are. 

Top Options to Consider

If you’ve typed “desk cycle” into Google, you’ve likely seen there’s a lot of different options for you to choose from on the market. However, there are some desk cycles that really stand out against other available options. Also, some of these options may not have been cycles you considered for your exercise bike needs.

We chose the desk cycles in this guide based on affordability, ease of use, availability, and positive customer reviews. All of the bikes listed in this guide as super easy to use, so even if you don’t have any exercise experience, you won’t get intimidated by these bikes. 

DeskCycle Under Desk Pedal Exerciser


This is a super popular desk bike on Amazon, and it’s not without reason. I love using this desk bike because of how quiet it is. Suppose I were working in a traditional office setting.

In that case, I know that I’d be able to discreetly exercise without anyone knowing. Since I work from home, I like that I’m able to use this, and it does not distract me (or anyone that I’m in meetings with). 


  • Silent to use
  • Stable model, so the machine won’t rock back and forth while you’re using it
  • Great resistance features
  • It isn’t difficult to pedal


  • Bulky and takes up a decent amount of floor space

MagneTrainer Deskcycle

MagneTrainer Deskcycle

This desk cycle offers something unique that none of the other cycles on our list offer. Not only can you use this as an under-the-desk cycle for your legs, but you can also use it on your arms too!

There’s a special attachment you can purchase to go along with this cycle which you can use to pedal your arms! You can also pedal forwards and backward with this machine. In addition, it comes with a display that shows off your calories, distance, time, and speed.

Read our full MagneTrainer Desk Cycle Review.


  • Great for exercising legs and arms
  • Magnetic resistance, so it’s super quiet
  • Easy to pedal


  • Heavy
  • Difficult to put together

DeskCycle Ellipse

DeskCycle Ellipse

Some people may not agree that we’re calling this a desk cycle, but that’s okay. This machine is perfect for those who are concerned about safety and stability while they’re using their pedal bikes.

I’m a little bit (okay – a lotta bit) obsessed with this machine. I love how big the pedals are for you to place your feet on! It’s a great machine if you’re going to be sharing with other people, especially because there aren’t any straps for you to worry about. 

Also, I love how you can pedal in both directions with this machine. You can adjust the pedal height of this cycle. Plus, it comes with eight different resistance settings, which I thought was amazing!


  • Adjustable pedal heights
  • It comes with extra-long pedals
  • You can cycle in both directions
  • Easy to put together


  • Heavy- it’s very hard to move around
  • Slides a bit if you’re on carpet

Vive Desk Bike Cycle

Vive Desk Bike Cycle

If you’re looking for a pretty simple under-the-desk bike to invest in, look no further than the Vive Desk Bike Cycle. All that really comes with this bike are two pedals, the stand you need to pedal, and a compact LCD monitor.

I really love this model because you can fold the cycle up when you’re not using it. Being able to fold it up makes it super easy to keep out of your way, which is great if you’re not looking to pedal all day.


  • LCD monitor displays speed and time
  • Easy to put together
  • Quiet to pedal on
  • Super small, only nine inches tall


  • No large base to keep your foot
  • Straps aren’t adjustable 

DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Pedal Exerciser

DeskCycle 2

An upgraded version of the DeskCycle, the DeskCycle 2 offers everything you’re looking for in an under-the-desk pedal exerciser. While it’s not the cheapest model I have listed here, it does come with a lot of features that really set it apart from other options I’ve listed. 

There are several different resistance settings, which allow you to customize the intensity of your workout. And since this is a more expensive model, it would be great to have it in a setting where you’re sharing the bike with multiple people.

Plus, you can track your time, speed, distance, in addition to the number of calories you’ve burned on the LCD monitor. 


  • Small enough to fit under 27″ desks
  • Easy and quiet pedaling, thanks to the magnetic resistance
  • An LCD monitor is easy to read, whether you have the monitor on your desk or on your pedal bike


  • It’s difficult to move the bike around because it’s heavy
  • Not the cheapest option


Do you have a few questions about desk cycles? Look no further; I’ve answered your FAQs here!

Question: Can I Use a Desk Cycle to Get a High Cardio Workout?

Answer: Yes, you can! You’ll just need to make sure you have the right type of bike to do so. You’ll want to increase your speed and increase the resistance of your bike to really get your heart rate up. As an example, you could do this (as an example) is pedaling 30 MPH while you’re set to a level 3 resistance. 

Question: Can I Use a Desk Cycle Without Breaking Up a Sweat?

Answer: Yes, you can! You’ll want to keep your speed lower and your resistance setting lower. If you want to just do some light exercise, you can keep your resistance setting to a level 3 or lower while going 15 MPH or less. While you won’t break a sweat doing this, you will still get your blood flowing! 

Question: Can I Build Strength with a Desk Cycle?

Answer: Absolutely! The higher you increase your resistance settings, and the more often you use the desk cycle, the sooner you’ll begin to see a difference in your strength. It’s important that you gradually increase your strength as you’re using the cycle, as if you increase the resistance too quickly, you can hurt yourself.

Wrapping Up

There’s a lot that desk cycles have to offer us, whether you’re looking to pedal bikes to burn calories, get healthier, or just get the blood flowing while you’re sitting down to work.

Whatever the case may be, there are tons of different options for you to pick from on the market! I personally love the DeskCycle 2 the most out of all options and would recommend it. I loved this bike because it’s high-quality enough to share with other people but still offers a customizable experience! 

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