We’ve all heard that sitting is horrible for us. Technology is slowly killing us, and most of us don’t get anywhere near enough exercise. There are some options available to get you up and off of your butt, but how many of us are lucky enough to work in an office where they’ll provide standing desks, treadmill desks, or any other variety of working solution that will help solve the problem? I’d wager not very many of us are that lucky. Fortunately, there are other options! The DeskCycle by 3d Innovations helps get you moving, even when you’re stuck sitting at your desk. I’ve had a chance to try out the DeskCycle, and you can read all about how it works in our DeskCycle review.
- 20” front bar
- 15” back bar
- 24” length
- 10” top height of pedal travel
- 3 ½” pedal arm length
- Double Axle, Twin Belt, Heavy-Duty Machined Flywheel
- 8 sealed bearings
- Battery powered monitor that displays speed, time, distance and calories
- Magnetic resistance with 8 resistance settings
- 23 pounds
The DeskCycle is definitely a heavy-duty device. The thick metal legs include large rubber feet, and the legs are bolted to the rest of the enclosure for very solid construction. It’s listed at 23 pounds, but it almost seems heavier than that, and really just feels like a quality piece of machinery. The rubber feet on the front and back legs combined with the overall weight of the DeskCycle should keep it from scooting around too much while in use, though if you’re using the DeskCycle in an open environment or on a particularly slippery floor you may need a bit of extra help. Included in the box is a Velcro strap that can be used to tether the DeskCycle to your chair. You honestly probably won’t need the tether though because the DeskCycle itself is solid and heavy with the aforementioned rubber feet that really help keep it in place.
Near the front leg is the resistance knob, while close to the back leg is the stand and cable for the battery powered monitor. In between you’ll find the DeskCycle itself: a nearly oval-shaped white enclosure with a smoked translucent gray top, allowing some of the inner workings to be seen. On the sides are your pedals, which have a 3 ½” pedal depth and velcro straps to keep your feet securely fastened to the pedals.
The DeskCycle comes partially disassembled, though the only pieces to install are the front and back legs, the pedals themselves, and the monitor (installing the battery and sliding it onto the frame, not too hard). 3d Innovations is even nice enough to include a double-sided wrench that fits the exact size bolts needed for attaching the legs and pedals to the rest of the frame. Even the wrench is pretty heavy-duty.
The DeskCycle also comes with an extension cable and desk stand for the included monitor. If you think about it, it’s a really good thing that this is in the box since the DeskCycle is meant to be used underneath a desk. It would be difficult to see or interact with the monitor from that position, so the included extension and table stand are really pretty necessary to get the most out of your pedaling. The extension cord is ten feet long, providing plenty of cord to get where you need it to go. The stand is a machined piece of metal and I found that the raised bar for the monitor was just slightly too thick for the monitor to slide down easily. I simply left the monitor on the very top of the desk display which worked perfectly without risking damage to the monitor itself.
Once you get it put together, the next step is to get pedaling! There are 8 resistance settings but you’ll probably want to start on the lowest and work your way up just to get a feel for each setting. The first thing I noticed once I started pedaling was how quiet the DeskCycle is. It’s honestly pretty close to silent. You’ll really only hear anything if there’s no other ambient noise and you’re actively trying to do so. Once you put it under your desk, or in front of your TV you won’t be able to hear it at all.
The pedal motion is also very smooth and it’s really easy to get up and going on the lower resistance settings. The resistance on the DeskCycle is magnetic, which provides a very quiet action, though I did notice that on some of the higher settings I could definitely tell where the magnets were pulling as the action was just slightly less smooth. On the lighter settings though you can simply pedal away without any issue at all.
The only real problems I had with the DeskCycle were as a result of my height (6’6”) and shoe size (14W). My desk at work is not even remotely meant for someone my height, but I really just had to scoot my chair back slightly in order to pedal. The heels of my shoes would also catch on the back bar while pedalling. The easiest solution was to take off my shoes, though you can also pedal slightly differently in order to keep your heels from catching. That wasn’t an option at my desk due to my height restrictions, so shoes off was the simplest way to go for me.
It’s very easy to pedal while working though. The motion of the DeskCycle did not disrupt my normal typing, phone calls, etc. If you’re working in an environment that requires extreme precision or delicate movements you may not want to pedal while you’re working, but for the rest of us it’s a great way to burn some calories while sitting at a desk. I was easily able to pedal for 30, 45, at times even 60 minutes at a time at the lower settings. At the end I’d just stand up and stretch my legs a bit and be ready to go again.
The monitor on the DeskCycle is a bit hit or miss. It tracks time and RPM accurately enough, the distance reported seems somewhat arbitrary though mostly believable, though as with most any exercise equipment I have no idea where it’s getting calorie information from. In this instance the burned calories listed seem significantly higher than they should. DeskCycle recognizes this and provides a robust Calorie Calculator app on their website. You can enter your height, weight, age, resistance setting, and the time/distance from the DeskCycle monitor to arrive at a more accurate calorie reading. It would be nice if this information could be entered onto the monitor itself, but having an available application is already better than most other exercise equipment.
There are several accessory options available for the DeskCycle including shorter front and back legs, and a large display monitor. The short front leg lowers the overall clearance by an inch while the shorter back leg allows for chairs to sit closer to the DeskCycle. These are good options for tall or short people respectively, though since the short front leg lowers the overall profile, it will likely require a change in the way you pedal, namely pointing your toes in order to prevent your heels from clipping the back leg. The short back leg allows people with shorter actual legs to scoot their chair closer to the DeskCycle. The large display monitor is perfect for those who either have poor eyesight, or need to have the monitor further away from them on their desk.
Coming in at $159, the DeskCycle is very reasonably priced for the machine that you’re getting. The low profile pedals allow you to use it nearly anywhere while the sturdy construction means you’ll have a device that is built to last. The smooth and silent action of the pedals won’t disturb your neighbors, and even at its lightest setting, pedaling will help burn calories and do more for your body than simply sitting there.
The DeskCycle is a nice way to keep moving while stuck at your desk. It was a definite conversation starter around my office too. Plenty of people were interested in trying it out and seeing how pedaling at their desk would work for them. While we might not all be able to avoid sitting at our desks for eight to ten hours a day, we can at least burn some calories and keep moving with the DeskCycle.
*We were sent a demo unit of the DeskCycle for the purposes of this review.