How does one choose the best mini exercise bike in 2021? I spent 15 hours compiling the following mini exercise bike reviews. We will examine five of the top choices. I hope this will help you choose the best mini exercise bike for you.
My choice for the best upright stationary bike is the DeskCycle 2
5 Of The Best Mini Exercise Bikes In 2021
- DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Cycle, Adjustable Legs Pedal Exerciser
- DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser – Mini Exercise Peddler
- Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike – SF-B0418
- Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser with Electronic Display
- Node Fitness Foldable Under Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser
What are the benefits of using a mini exercise bike?
Some reasons people enjoy pedal exercisers/mini exercise bikes are:
- To burn extra calories (and fat) while working, studying, or watching TV
- To improve circulation and blood flow to the legs
- To strengthen and tone their legs
- To rehab knees after surgery
- For cardiac rehab based on their doctor’s advice
- They are light and portable
- You can choose which type of seat to sit on while exercising…you can even sit on your couch!
- To rehabilitate after an injury or surgery
Researchers found that workers’ reading comprehension was not affected while pedaling. If you are looking to workout while studying or working from home, an exercise bike might be a great option!
Why Might You Want A Pedal Exerciser/Mini Exercise Bike?
If you are looking to burn extra calories while working, gaming, lounging, or studying – pedal exercisers can be fantastic. This probably isn’t for people looking for an intense cardio burn. Mini exercise bikes are not meant to replace vigorous workouts.
While you likely would not notice the effects of using a mini exercise bike one time for 15 minutes…Using a pedal exerciser for two or more hours per day can have serious fat-burning effects that compound over time.
Will You Burn As Much Fat With Low-Intensity Cardio Using A Mini Exercise Bike Than You Would At Higher Intensities?
Robert Ross, Ph D, conducted a randomized trial. He found that the same amount of low intensity exercise led to similar loss of adnominal fat compared to higher intensities.
A better question to ask might be:
Can You Use A Mini Exercise Bike To Burn Plenty Of Fat Without Radically Changing Your Lifestyle?
Here at Fitness Minimalists, we want to improve our health, fitness, and appearance in ways that work with our lives and schedules.
I believe that many people would find a mini exercise bike to be a semi-passive life, fitness, and health booster.
I have burned the most fat in my life using low intensity cardio. To illustrate:
I lost 40lbs over 3 weeks while cycling in Iceland for 3-4 hours a day at a relaxed pace. We enjoyed natural hot springs most days too
I dropped 30lbs in 5 weeks walking for about 8 hours a day on the Pacific Crest Trail. A friend dropped 60lbs in 30 days – that was a bit extreme!
These are examples of using low intensity steady-state cardio to burn significant amounts of fat.
If you happen to be a science nerd like me, this 5-minute video explains how your body burns fat during low-intensity steady state cardio. Low intensity cardio burns fat about 3 times more efficiently than high intensity cardio.
Could the turtle pedaling slow but steadily actually beat the rabbit in the fat-loss race?
How Could You Get 3-8 Hours Of Low Intensity Cardio In Without Quitting Your Job Or Going Travelling?
A pedal exerciser can be an awesome way to burn fat or to stay trim for anyone who is already sitting for many hours a day.
Think students, office workers, couch potatoes, and gamers.
There are many other benefits that low intensity cardio provides by using something like a mini exercise bike:
- It can improve insulin sensitivity. This can be especially important for people with Diabetes
- Older adults may find it helps improve their balance
- You can decrease waist size as effectively as using high intensity interval training
- It’s often more enjoyable than intense exercise and many people tend to stay more consistent with it.
- It can “help reduce inflammation and stiffness, increase blood flow, improve mobility and flexibility and clear built-up lactic acid.”
How to choose the best mini exercise bike
There are a variety of pedal exercisers depending on your wants, needs, and goals.
Some pedal exercisers provide more levels of resistance than others. Few are able to provide intense workouts. Personally, I enjoy using higher levels of resistance. Each rotation goes a little further and requires less movement to get the same calorie burn.
At higher resistance, your head may stay a little steadier. This can be nice if you are on a video conference call and want it to be less obvious that you are multi-tasking.
Some pedal exercisers may help you burn well over 1000 calories in a day. You could even exceed this with higher resistance. For reference, a pound of fat is roughly 3,500 calories.
The only challenge with the higher resistance mini exercise bikes is sweat! You may want to test it and find the resistance that allows you to pedal without sweating profusely at work.
The height of the pedal is important if you plan to use this during work at a desk. You will want to choose a mini exercise bike with a lower pedal height.
This will give you more clearance so that your knees won’t hit the desk or table. Some exercise bikes are also designed better than others which also impacts the space needed under your desk.
longer legs have also experimented with raising or modifying their desks. Others have moved the pedal exerciser further away to improve the clearance.
The mini exercise bikes with higher levels of resistance tend to weigh 20 lbs or more. Low resistance-pedal exercisers often fold and weigh as little as 5 or 6lbs.
While both types are fairly easy for most people to lift and store, the lighter options might be better for some people. If you are planning to use a pedal exerciser after knee or cardiac surgery, the light, portable models may provide enough resistance.
If you work both at home and at an office, you might also choose a more portable exerciser for convenient transport to and from work. Especially, if your main goal is to keep your legs from falling asleep as opposed to burning calories.
Tips for using mini exercise bikes
While burning extra calories at the office can be amazing for your health and fitness, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
If you are a ‘sweater’ like me, you may want to bring an extra shirt and towel to the office. In case you were to get called in for a last minute meeting and don’t want to look like this guy:
If you find your pedal exerciser slides around, you may want to experiment with placing a heavy object in front of it. You could also try fastening it to your chair with a strap.
If you plan to use your mini exercise bike during phone or video calls, you may want to wear pants that won’t be super noisy. Consider avoiding the corduroys on those days! Remember to start small. Rather than starting day one with an 8 hour marathon, you may want to try 10 minutes or less.
As pedaling becomes an enduring habit, you may enjoy the endorphins and other benefits that will motivate you to keep at it for the long haul. If you are using a pedal exerciser for rehabilitation following cardiac or knee surgery, please follow the advice of your doctor or medical professional.
Which is the best mini exercise bike? Top 5 Reviewed
94/100 – 1,551 reviews
Best mini exercise bike?
- The DeskCycle 2 has 8 levels of resistance. The toughest setting is about twice as challenging as some other mini exercise bikes. This can be a great way to strengthen and tone your legs while sitting at a desk.
- You can use this while working at a desk with 27 inches of clearance. If needed, you can also drop the pedals down to give some more clearance under your desk.
- Comes with an LCD 6-function display. You can place this on your desk and it does not automatically reset. This might be nice if you look forward to seeing how many extra calories you burn each day. It tracks up to 160 hours of activity.
- The magnet resistance is very quiet. This may be nice if you plan to work with clients over the phone.
- People who are taller than 5 ‘10 or have longer legs may find there is not enough clearance under the desk. People have found ways to modify tables or desks so they can still use it.
- There are mini exercise bikes that weigh much less than this one. The DeskCycle 2 weighs 23lbs. There are others as light as 6 lbs. Some people might find a lighter model more convenient. Yet a heavier model is likely to move around less.
Best mini exercise bike?
92/100 – 3,779 reviews
- The original DeskCycle is similar in many ways to the DeskCycle 2, but you can likely find it for a lower price. This might be good for those looking to save a few dollars.
- The LCD 5-function display allows you to track your speed, time, distance, and calories. It can also be set to scan.
- The levels of resistance and quietness of the original DeskCycle are on par with the newer model.
- While still better than many other options, the LCD display is larger and better on the DeskCycle 2.
- Like many other mini exercise bikes, you cannot adjust the pedal height, unlike the newer model. Personally, I believe the extra dollars are well worth it for the DeskCycle 2.
Best mini exercise bike?
90/100 – 4,295 reviews
- Like the DeskCycle, the SF-BO418 comes with 8 levels of resistance. This should be enough for most people to get good and sweaty while working from home.
- The SF-BO418 is a couple of pounds lighter than the DeskCycle. This as well as a conveniently placed hand may be nice for those looking to store their mini bike when not in use. If you work from your kitchen table, this may come in handy.
- Many customers have chosen this model as opposed to the DeskCycle based on price. This could be a win for those who can make it work while saving some dollars in the process.
- The LCD display is easy to read and allows you to track time, distance, calories, speed, and ODM.
- The pedal height on the SF-BO418 is 2-3 inches higher when compared to the DeskCycle. Some people have experimented with moving the mini bike around and sitting in deck chairs to make this work.
- A con to being lighter than the DeskCycle is that some people have found it moves around. Customers have tied it to their desk or placed a rubber-based mat under it to prevent it from sliding around.
Best mini exercise bike?
86/100 – 4,807 Reviews
- These last two mini bikes provide even less strenuous exercise than the others. While you would burn more calories than sitting, the main purposes are likely for rehabilitation, to keep blood flowing, or to prevent legs from stiffening up.
- Weighing only 5.95 lbs, the Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser folds up for easy transport to and from work. This might be great for those wanting to use it at their home and workplace offices.
- The low impact exercise can be great for those in physiotherapy or looking to rehab their knees. The low level of resistance makes it less likely that you might over exert yourself.
- The LCD monitor tracks time, revolution, RPM, and calories.
- This mini bike also comes with a strap that can be attached to a chair to prevent it from sliding around.
- The Vaunn pedal exerciser does not provide much resistance. Many people find that even when they increase the resistance, it slackens on its own. It is very low impact and does not provide a strenuous work out.
- Even with the strap attached, many people find it still slides around.
Best mini exercise bike?
86/100 – 301 Reviews
- The cost of the Node Fitness mini bike is often lower than other mini bikes. It might be great for those simply looking to prevent their legs from stiffening up. If you are looking for anything more than a very light workout, you may want to look at other options.
- The compact Node Fitness mini bike folds, only weighs 6 lbs, and comes assembled. At this weight, a person may want to transport it and exercise both at home and at work.
- The Node Fitness mini bike has fewer levels of resistance and is much more basic than the above mini exercise bikes.
- While it has rubber feet, many people still find it slides around.
Which Wins In The Category For Best Mini Exercise Bike In 2021?
The DeskCycle 2 wins my vote for best mini exercise bike in 2021.
With the adjustable pedal heights, this pedal exerciser works well under a variety of desks. It also provides impressive levels of resistance.
The DeskCycle 2 also received the highest ratings based on the reviews of over 1,600 customers.