We all know that exercise is important. However, only very few of us realize that not all exercise equipment are made equal. If you are like me who spends most of the day sitting on a desk in front of a computer or on the phone, you probably need to start moving or otherwise suffer the consequences of a stationary lifestyle.
Whether you are recovering from an injury or medical condition or your job is preventing you from hitting the gym or running outside, it’s essential to get at least a few minutes of exercise daily.
One way to do that without the hassle and inconvenience of leaving your work or home is to use a pedal exerciser. In the pedal exerciser reviews below, I listed down the benefits this nice little machine can offer as well as my favorite products to help you find one that best suits your needs!
Benefits of A Pedal Exerciser
Are you sitting too much? Watch this video to know:
If you do sit a lot, you need to find a way to make sitting a healthier activity. You can do that with a pedal exerciser! A pedal exerciser, although small, has so many benefits to offer! Here are some of the best ones:
- It helps improve blood circulation and heart rate, thus enhancing your overall cardiovascular health.
- It assists in toning the legs and sometimes even the arms.
Cycling exercises can work the muscles on both the upper and lower body. Moreover, you can use a pedal exerciser to strengthen and tone various muscle groups in different ways by simply pedaling forward or backward.
- Exercise improves your mood.
Any form of exercise triggers the release of happy chemicals that make you feel good.
- It can help increase your productivity and efficiency at work.
Because even minimal exercise like under desk cycling improves oxygen levels in the body, you become more alert. This improves your work performance and productivity. It also keeps your body and mind awake for longer productive hours.
- Pedal exercises strengthen the joints and help those with mobility problems.
Low impact activities like cycling are beneficial in maintaining the health and amount of fluid in the joints. This enhances flexibility and reduces joint pain, thus allowing patients to do a wider range of motion with less pain or effort.
- Regular use can help speed up rehabilitation and recovery from injury or surgery
Because it encourages circulation especially on the joints, exercise hastens the healing of injuries and significantly shortens the recovery period from injury or surgery.
- A pedal exerciser is a good way to burn calories, live a healthier lifestyle, lose weight, and stay active amidst tight schedules
Studies show that pedaling at a minimal or comfortable resistance for at least 30 minutes can burn up to 300 calories.
- Exercise is an excellent way to reduce stress and boost your energy
Knowing that you are doing something for your health and the release of certain hormones can increase your energy and lower your stress levels. These are just two of the best benefits of a pedal exerciser.
- Pedaling can enhance your metabolism
As soon as your body gets more oxygen and starts burning calories, your metabolism will also begin to elevate. This means you will eventually burn more calories while exercising and continue to burn calories even after exercising.
- It can help you get a better sleeping pattern
Although this is not an immediate effect of under desk cycling, some studies reported that a person who incorporates exercise into their daily routine gets more restful, longer, and sounder sleep. It can also improve your ability to fall asleep and remain asleep.
All of these benefits, as mentioned above, are just the tip of the iceberg. In the long run, the consistent and regular use of a pedal exerciser can actually reduce the risk of arthritis, improve brain functions, and prolong your life!
Everything you need to know when buying a Pedal Exerciser
Just like in any other purchase, you need to know what to look for in a pedal exerciser. Listed below are some of the most important considerations that I used in choosing the products in these pedal exerciser reviews:
Because it operates through a biking or pedaling motion, it is crucial that a pedal exerciser does not jerk or wobble. Not only is this annoying, but it also throws you off your momentum and balance.
Because they are designed to be small enough to fit under a table or desk, pedal exercisers tend to be narrow. However, you have to look for a wider platform. A narrow exerciser will lack the stability and balance that you need.
- Height And Width
Another consideration you need to make is the height and width. Anything that is taller than it is wide is not going to be stable. So, look for something that is shorter and with a wide, steady base. The dimensions of the machine will also determine how much space you need to use and store it.
- Resistance Levels And Adjustability
Two resistance systems are often used in pedal exercisers: friction and magnetic. The significant difference between the two is that a magnetic resistance system does not touch the disk. To change the resistance, the system is simply moved farther or closer.
A friction-based resistance, on the other hand, comes in contact with the disk and poses a few problems. First, because the disk is constantly rubbed, the pads tend to wear out easily, and you have to change or maintain them. Second, the rubbing motion will create a noise that can be distracting especially in a working environment.
Obviously, a magnetic system is more preferable. For your convenience, I also suggest that you look for something with a broader range of adjustable resistance options.
Whether you plan to use your pedal exerciser at home or in the office, it is essential that it operates quietly so as not to disturb anyone or yourself.
- Pedal Height And Straps
If you have a low desk, look for lower pedals so your knees won’t hit the table as you pedal. If you are long legged, you probably need to go for a longer pedal and a taller desk to prevent hurting your ankles and heels. You can often find the height or distance of the pedal from the floor.
For example, the DeskCycle under desk exercise bike stands 10 inches from the floor to the pedal’s highest point. If you plan to buy this, make sure that you can raise your feet ten inches from the ground without hitting your desk. Otherwise, you have to adjust your chair lower or your desk higher.Adjustable straps are for keeping your feet from slipping from the pedals.
- Digital Display
Many modern models have digital LCD screens that display and track your calories burned, time, speed, and distance. This is useful in working towards personal fitness goals and when you want to challenge yourself.
- Pedal Motion
For versatility and maximum benefits, choose a machine that offers a bidirectional pedal motion. This will let you pedal forward and in reverse so you can work on more muscle groups.
Studies have also revealed that backward pedalling encourages a higher heart rate, lower energy cost, and less pressure on the joints.
Best Pedal Exerciser Reviews
Based on the factors listed above and various reviews from other users, I picked my top five favorite pedal exercisers. I included the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you choose the best one for you.
Best Pedal Exerciser Reviews
1. MagneTrainer-ER Pedal Exerciser
The MagneTrainer ER Mini Exercise Bike has one of the broadest resistance ranges out there. Unlike other exercise bikes, it is not limited to 8 resistance levels only but can be adjusted to any value within its range using a 5-rotation precision dial.
This model offers a smooth, noiseless operation thanks to the patented touch-free magnetic resistance, seven precision sealed bearings and dual pulley system.
It works for both your upper and lower body. Molded pedals provide a stable platform for your feet and a comfortable handle grip for your hands. You can also pedal bidirectionally to build muscle strength and balance.
The 39-pound flywheel weight allows you to pedal smoothly and consistently while the LCD screen displays your calories burned, distance, time, and speed. The display automatically turns on and off and also accumulates your stats until you reset them for easy tracking.
The MagneTrainer Exercise Bike also comes with a full 1-year warranty for labor, parts, and shipping plus a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Easy to store and transport
- Can also be used as a recumbent bike
- Exercises both arms and legs
- Quiet operation
- Well-built, solid steel construction
- Quick and easy assembly
- Great for recovery and therapy
- Stripped threads are not included in the warranty
- Lacks stability
- Flimsy pedal straps
- There are no markers on the resistance knob
- Only suitable for people with feet less than a size ten
2. Vive Portable Medical Exercise Peddler
This next model is another one of my favorites because of its compact design and affordability. With a height of only 12.5 inches, it comfortably fits under a desk or cubicle. More importantly, the price range falls just under 60 dollars for a set of features that can compete with other hundred-dollar models.
Non-slip rubber feet help the exerciser to stay in place on almost any surface, including hardwood floors, carpets, or tabletops. This also prevents the equipment from slipping, sliding, or wobbling while in use.
The pedals have non-slip surfaces and adjustable straps and toe loops for user safety and comfort.
Aside from all these, you can adjust and customize the resistance level as you please. A one-touch multifunctional display also shows your RPM, speed, distance, calories, and time with a touch of a single accessible button.
- Quick and simple to assemble
- Very easy to use and operate
- Sturdy and stable
- Not too heavy to move around
- Digital display
- Adjustable intensity
- The hard plastic pedal might hurt the feet unless the user wears socks or shoes
- Pedals tend to loosen up during use
- Inconsistent resistance
- Instructions on the manual were hard to read and follow
- Too small for some
3. Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Deluxe
The Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Deluxe Pedal exerciser is another budget-friendly option and in fact, the cheapest among all products mentioned here. However, it still offers the most basic and essential features you would want in a pedal exerciser.
First, it has a five-function LCD readout display that shows the number of revolutions, your rate in revolutions per minute, total exercise time elapsed, and calories burned.
Because it uses a friction resistance system, it does tend to heat up after some time. Do not worry, however, because it has an innovative Cool Rev Technology that keeps it from dangerously overheating.
The frame is lightweight, compact, and folds easily for efficient storage and portability. The powder-coated finish makes cleaning such a breeze while non-marking foot pads and pedal straps improve comfort and prevent your feet from slipping.
- One of the cheapest models
- Quick setup and can be used right out of the box
- Compact and portable
- The display automatically turns off
- Adjustable and rotatable feet allows use even on unlevel surfaces
- Unique Cool Rev Technology
- Adjustable resistance
- Friction-based tension
- Occasionally makes a squeaking noise but it’s nothing that a little lubricant cannot fix
- Does not get to a sufficiently challenging intensity
- The knob loosens over time and reduces the resistance as you use it
- The metal parts of the pedal tend to heat up despite the cool rev technology
- Pedal straps can become undone and get in the way
4. Exerpeutic 7101 Pedal Exerciser
The Exerpeutic 7101 Active Cycle Mini Exercise Bike offers a unique motor-assisted cycle movement for an easier, low-impact exercise that is not too hard on the joints. This makes it perfect for patients who are recovering from injury and surgery who have to take it slow.
It has an adaptable speed motor and operates on standard 120V electrical outlets and consumes an average power of 6.5 watts. A multi-function LCD screen also displays stats like repetitions or cycles, total calories burned, time, and distance to help you track your progress easier.
The foldable pedals come with adjustable straps for improved stability and comfort while exercising.
The DC motor drive system helps the system operate smoothly and quietly. Unfortunately, the machine automatically stops and shuts off every 15 minutes after turning it on for an overload protection and user safety, which can be bothersome.
- Durable steel frame construction
- Does not require any assembly
- Smooth and quiet operation
- Easy to store and transport
- Up to 300 lbs of user weight
- Pedal straps tend to come off and is not adjustable enough to accommodate most shoes and large feet
- Could use more stability
- The machine automatically shuts off after about 10-15 minutes once it heats up
- Speed and intensity range is small
- The included manual is hard to understand
5. DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Bike and Pedal Exerciser
Last but certainly not the least, the DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Bike and Pedal Exerciser features a patented magnetic resistance and a 39-pound flywheel for arguably the smoothest and most quiet operation there is.
The wide base and low profile of this model prevents it from rocking, wobbling, or jerking as you pedal. It has the lowest pedal height of ten inches and can be used under desks that are as short as 27 inches.
Because of its small size, it is suitable for any user size, although you may have to adjust the height of your chair or desk if you are taller than 5’8”. The dimensions also make it portable and easy to store.
For your convenience, there are 8 different levels of magnetic resistance you can choose from. So, you can go as easy or as intense as you want. It also comes with a desk display stand, an online calorie calculator, and a 1000-minute display.
- One size fits all
- Has a wide base to avoid rocking and wobbling during use
- Good resistance range
- Operates quietly
- Easy to set up
- Has an on-desk display option
- The display is not backlit and is often hard to read
- You might need a taller desk and a lower chair to use the product
- The calorie counter will reset as soon as you reach 1000
Clearly, out of all the pedal exerciser reviews in this article, the DeskCycle Under Desk Exercise Bike and Pedal exerciser is the best. Although it is a little more expensive than other similar models, its performance is hard to beat.
It functions smoothly and noiselessly, and you can use it anytime, anywhere. The construction and adjustability of the unit is another plus. No wonder it is one of the highest-rated and well-reviewed pedal exercisers out there!
I hope you learned something from this article. If you have any other fitness or sports needs, please check out this page!