Best Pedal Exercisers & Under Desk Bikes (2022 Top Picks)

Earnings Disclaimer
Earnings Disclaimer
Best Under Desk Pedal Exercisers

If you’ve come here chances are you are looking for a pedal exerciser but not sure which one to get, we don’t blame you there are too many models.

You’ll want to check our picks based on your goal.

In this guide you will find the top 7 pedal exercisers and under the desk bikes that you can get in 2022.

For home or office? Whether you are looking for a best mini exercise bike to get fitter at home or the best under desk cycle you can get for your office, we reviewed the top choices for every purpose.

The elderly and people with disabilities can also greatly benefit from these mini bikes. Even kids can get huge benefits from pedal exercisers.

Already convinced that you want to get a pedal exerciser?
You’ll be even more convinced after you read our guide.
(Hint: There are new surprising benefits that go beyond fitness)

Top 7 Pedal Exercisers

DeskCycle Bike Pedal Exerciser
Best Under Desk Pedal Exerciser
  • Low profile ideal for under desk placement
  • Very quiet great for the office
  • Low to high resistance allow intense workouts
  • Detachable digital display can be placed on desk
Read Review
Drive Folding Exercise Peddler
Best Budget Pedal Exerciser
  • Very light and portable
  • Weighs only 5 lbs
  • Easy to fold
Read Review
Vaunn Pedal Exerciser
Best Pedal Exerciser for Seniors
  • Comes assembled out of the box
  • Easy to move around at only 4.5 pounds
  • Lifetime warranty
Read Review
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
Best Under Desk Elliptical
  • Connects to iPhone & Android via Bluetooth
  • Share you workouts and compete with friends
  • Lowest impact than any other pedal exerciser
  • Ideal for office use under computer desks
Read Review
Sunny Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike
Best for Invigorating Workouts
  • Adjustable from low to very high resistance level
  • Max resistance provides an intense workout
  • Pedals designed for also working out arms
Read Review
Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Folding Pedal Exerciser
Most Compact
  • Tethers to chair to avoid sliding away
  • 5 colors to choose from
Read Review
Exerpeutic Active Cycle Mini Exercise Bike
Best for Rehab
  • Electric motorized motor ideal for rehab work
  • No assembly required
Read Review

What Is A Pedal Exerciser (mini Exercise Bike) ?

A pedal exerciser is a stationary mini exercise bike used for indoor workouts. Unlike its full-sized relative, the mini exercise bike is composed of just the pedal mechanism, without the seat and handlebar features. Its compact size allows this piece of equipment to fit almost anywhere, even under the desk.

DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Desk Exercise Equipment with Magnetic Resistance - Leg Exerciser While Sitting for Office Workout or Home Fitness

Shown the DeskCycle

They have gained popularity with office workers, as their under desk design allows folks to pedal while emailing or talking on the phone. With the mini bike exerciser, you can experience light to moderate and even high-intensity workouts, even with zero free time, a tight budge and no extra space Sounds too good to be true? Soon you’ll understand why it works.

The most popular under desk pedal exerciser for executives and office use, and the one I personally use is the DeskCycle, which has a very low profile, allowing it to be placed under most desks (reviewed later in this guide)

Why Choose A Pedal Exerciser?

There are many reasons to choose a pedal exerciser over other pieces of cardio equipment but the main reason has to be their unique versatility. Mainly their small size and place almost anywhere. Recently I have also reviewed other small workout equipment that I like, but for me nothing beats the pedal exerciser simply because I can really get stuff done while doing a low-intensity workout.

If you have a desk job, you can pedal at your desk. Simply place the pedal exerciser under your desk and peddle lightly as you do your usual daily work.

You don’t need to waste time changing clothes, going to the gym or sweating like crazy. None of that.

DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Desk Exercise Equipment with Magnetic Resistance - Leg Exerciser While Sitting for Office Workout or Home Fitness

Shown the DeskCycle placed under the desk

It doesn’t matter whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur or working a 9 to 5. If you are already sitting at your desk, why not make good use of that time to get more fit and burn some calories?

The pedal exerciser is compact enough to be placed under the desk, though you can just have it on the floor in front of you, say while watching Netflix or going through your Facebook feed.

Pedal exercisers are also great for the elderly and the disabled, allowing them to perform light workouts in their own comfort. Some machines let people with disabilities even exercise their arms by placing the machine on a table and pedaling lightly with their arms.

There are many different types of cardio exercise equipment available. Everybody is familiar with machines such as the treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical. And there are in fact some pretty good compact treadmills and small elliptical trainers, but these cardio machines are still bulky and not so easy to move around, and they can still cost quite a bit.

In terms of size, portability and price of a pedal exerciser vs. the stationary bike, guess who wins? If you haven’t got a lot of space, you can’t beat the former.

Digital Pedal Exercisers

You may have seen companies offering digital pedal exercisers. So what’s the difference?

Lately, we’ve seen companies rebranding their pedal exercisers as digital pedal exercisers.

Digital pedal exerciser merely means that there’s an LCD that displays workout stats like time and pedal cycles.

All of the top 7 pedal exercisers we reviewed here are digital pedal exercisers, except for one (the Vaunn Pedal Exerciser)

So, If workout stats are essential for you, look for a pedal exerciser that has an LCD display, regardless if the name of the machine has the word digital in it or not.

Seeing the duration of the exercise or the number of pedal cycles going up can certainly give you motivation and a sense of satisfaction. It can also help if you have a goal for an exercise duration you want to meet each time. For example, if you plan to pedal for 20 minutes each time, a display is nice (although you can always check the time on your phone).

Maybe you don’t care much about workout stats. For example, I just pedal whenever I feel like it while working at my desk. Although the foot pedal exerciser that I use has a digital display, I only look at it at the end of my workout, but I won’t lie saying that it is satisfying seeing the calories burned and other stats.

All of the top pedal exercisers in this review roundup have a digital display except for one.

 Digital DisplayReview
DeskCycle Under Desk Exerciserread review
Drive Folding Exercise Peddlerread review
Vaunn Pedal Exerciser✖️read review
Cubii Pro Under Desk EllipticalConnects to Smartphoneread review
Sunny Magnetic Mini Exercise Bikeread review
Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Folding Pedal Exerciserread review
Exerpeutic Active Cycle Mini Exercise Bikeread review

The Benefits Of Pedal Exercisers

As you use your bike peddler over and over, you’ll discover more benefits than just those listed below.  Some of these benefits may surprise you!

  • Convenient – You don’t have to change your schedule to squeeze in time for a workout. If you can multitask, then you can easily get fit while working, watching TV, or reading.
  • Compact – This miniature piece of gym equipment is the perfect size for small apartments and RV’s. Store it easily in your closet or keep it under your under table.
  • Portable – Most models are designed to be lightweight and some are even foldable. Take your pedal exerciser with you when you travel, or simply to and from the office.
  • Versatile – With this single piece of equipment, you can target either upper body by placing the peddler on a table or lower body by placing it on the floor.
  • Easy to Use – Absolutely no skill required. Anyone of any ability can use it!
  • Makes Sitting Harmless – The pedal exerciser fights deduces the harmful side effects of prolonged sitting.
  • Helps You Concentrate & Remember More – Research shows that light physical activity such as pedaling improves your brain’s ability to concentrate and remember things better. Pedaling while learning can help people with ADHD have better focus. You might improve your executive functions by pedaling lightly while working.
  • Burns Calories – Even very light pedaling burns fat and helps you lose weight.
  • Makes Kids Smarter – Really! Pedal exercisers of all kinds have grown in popularity in the last few years helping kids learn faster. There’s been a trend in the last few years and more schools across the nation started to implement some kind of pedaling exercise into their classrooms, whether exercise bikes or mini bike peddlers.
  • Reduces Stress – Your body releases natural brain chemicals that are known to improve mood and reduce stress.
  • Cardiovascular Benefits – Increases metabolism, blood flow and oxygen. Reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and numerous other conditions with long-term use.
  • Low Impact – Cycling is easy on the joints..
  • Very Affordable – Pedal exercisers are much cheaper than classic cardio equipment like treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes.

Possible Drawbacks

Every beneficial piece of equipment also has some potential downsides to take into consideration.

I titled this section possible drawbacks because this is really nitpicking disadvantages. None are deal breakers, and most can be overcome simply by buying a better model that suits your needs.

If you check out the reviews later in this article, you will find the best mini peddlers don’t have most of these drawbacks anyway.

  • Generates Heat – Friction-based models may become hot during use. Don’t touch the crankshaft until it has time to cool down.
  • May Require Maintenance – Pedals may need some occasional oil to remain loose and squeak-free and requires very little maintenance. Pedals may need some occasional oil to remain loose and squeak-free.
  • Quiet But Not Silent – Friction cranks are louder than the almost-silent magnetic resistance systems.
  • Might Slip Around – Secure the minibike on a flat surface on a carpet, yoga mat, or another gripping surface to hold it firmly in place.
  • Tether Needed When Using a Rolling Chair – If you use it with a rolling chair, you might roll away! Some pedalers come with a Velcro tether to solve this issue.
  • Tall People Might Not Use it Under Desk – If you’re tall, there might be an issue with your knees hitting the table. This can be solved by either sliding the mini stationary bike further under the desk or by raising the desk height.

Who Can Use Pedal Exercisers?

Practically anyone can use an exercise peddler. Check out the list below for a few examples of the kinds of people who benefit from the easy-to-use mini bike exerciser.

Office Workers

If you’re normally stuck behind a computer all day, a pedal exercise like the DeskCycle tucks away discreetly under your desk.

Its low height is ideal for placement under computer desks.

Practice regular pedaling to combat the health risks associated with prolonged desk jobs, all while burning a few more calories along the way.

DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Desk Exercise Equipment with Magnetic Resistance - Leg Exerciser While Sitting for Office Workout or Home Fitness

People With Physical Limitations

If you are disabled or recovering from injury or surgery, you can still attain a full aerobic workout. Simply isolate just the legs or just the arms and spin away.

Seniors

The elderly may find this machine perfect for maintaining mobility without stress or strain.

It’s relaxing and you can go at your own pace and at your own comfort.

Place the mini exercise bike on the floor to work your legs or on the table to work your arms.

Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser With Electronic Display for legs & Arms Workout (Fully Assembled Exercise Peddler, No Tools Required)

Vaunn Medical Pedal Exerciser

Kids Learn Better While Pedaling

The under-desk bicycle gives children who fidget a productive outlet for their excess energy. Educators found under desk peddlers help young students learn better.  A teacher from North Carolina found mini bike pedals make kids better at math

Who would have thought pedal exercisers make kids more focused

The mini bike can also by used by kids who are naturally more sedentary, it’s a great opportunity to sneak in a workout.

People Who Watch Lots Of Tv & Gamers

It’s a great solution for people who love to watch TV and movies and even folks who spend lots of time playing video games. Maybe your hobbies aren’t rock climbing or surfing, but that doesn’t mean you need you can’t rip some of the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Travelers

Traveling frequently isn’t an excuse for not doing any exercise. You can fit a mini bicycle workout inside your suitcase! Some models weigh in at only 6 pounds (less than 3kg) and fold up, making them perfect for packing and transporting.

How To Use The Pedal Exerciser For Both Legs & Arms

Many would be surprised to hear these mini bikes are as good for an upper body workout as they are for exercising the lower body.

To work the lower body, place the machine on the floor about a foot in front of your chair.

Just like a traditional outdoor bike, you’ll position your feet on the pedals and start pedaling!

The closer the minibike is to your chair, the more the body’s actions will mimic riding a traditional upright bike. The further away the pedaler is from your chair, and the lower your chair is to the ground, the more your movement will resemble the actions of riding a recumbent bike.

Want to strengthen the upper body?
Move the machine to a table. Pull up a chair, preferably one without wheels.

With your arms outstretched in front of you, place your hands on the pedals and cycle away.

Some models even come with special handlebar extensions that make this position more ergonomic.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike with Digital Monitor and 8 Level Resistance

What Muscles Does A Pedal Exerciser Work?

When implemented on the lower body, this low-impact workout will target the hip flexors, glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

When used on a table with your hands pushing the pedals, you’ll engage the biceps, triceps, shoulders, forearms and upper back.

If you’re looking to increase power and brawn, a vigorous routine at a higher resistance setting will help you quickly beef up these muscles.

For rehabilitative strength training, set the resistance low and listen to your body as you slowly work your way up to higher resistance. 

Advantages For People Who Sit A Lot

Did you know that over half of your waking hours are spent sitting down? Did you also know that sitting still for too long poses serious dangers to overall health?

Some major consequences that arise from sustained inactivity include a slower metabolism and an overall higher risk of dying.

Also, long periods of sitting increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and type-2 diabetes.

It is important to note that the research on the negative health effects of extended inactivity also showed that people who regularly exercise still could not escape the detrimental impact caused by 8 hours of chair-bound immobility.

You can exercise all you want outside of work, but if you spend most of the day hunched over a computer, although you are at a lesser risk, you are still at risk for diseases and early death. Without regular movement, you aren’t giving yourself the opportunity to be in the best health possible.

You can mitigate the negative side effects of prolonged sitting easily by setting up a bike pedaler underneath your desk, which is by the way what I ended up doing after writing this article.

Not only does the machine give you the opportunity to remain mobilized, even while deep into work, but its presence also reminds you to get up and get moving. Take the long way to the restroom, take a quick walk around the block. The best use of this machine is in conjunction with other behaviors that contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.

Concentrate & Work Even Better While Exercising

These exercise machines are designed to fit under a desk or table, but how much work can you actually accomplish while in constant motion?

Pedal Lightly To Increase Your Concentration

When the resistance is on a low setting, pedaling is easy and requires no concentration.

In fact, light exercise increases blood flow. Your brain can receive more oxygen, helping you focus and increasing energy levels.

Pedaling also boosts your mood and makes you feel lighter, certainly causing a positive impact on motivation. This is something that I can personally vouch for, pedaling lightly while doing deep work helps me with concentration, which was one of the prime reasons why I bought the DeskCycle which I review later in this article.

There is even a study to back this up. It showed that individuals who used an under desk bike peddler for 4 weeks reported fewer days missed from work due to physical or mental health-related issues. Not only can you get work done while riding the minibike, but you might also feel that it gives your performance an invigorating charge. 

Exercising Harder Not Suitable For Multitasking.

If you are training at a higher resistance and exerting more effort than it would be more difficult to perform other tasks while pedaling. Whenever I increase the intensity of the exercise by either pedaling faster or increasing the resistance, I feel it gets more difficult for me to do work that requires intense concentration, but if it’s just watching Netflix or doing light work, I guess I could up the intensity a bit.

I really do feel more productive, and I’m not the only one anecdotal evidence shows varying degrees to which users are able to remain productive while engaging in exercise. Your ability to multitask is personal. You might be able to focus even if you are doing a more intense workout, but I can’t.

Combining Light With More Intense Exercising

To get the best of both worlds, light pedaling with a harder workout, try switching between intervals of light and heavy resistance.

Keep the resistance low during long stretches of concentrated work. And, every once in a while, you can take a brief pause for a more intense pedaling session.

Kick the resistance into high gear and grab a few minutes of cardio. This kind of dynamic workout really makes the most of the machine and gives you multiple benefits from one convenient apparatus. 

Losing Weight On The Pedal Exerciser

It’s small enough you can take it anywhere and pedal while watching TV or working, but does it really burn fat?

If losing weight is your primary concern, the pedal exerciser is an excellent tool that can certainly help you reach your goals.

We all know that losing weight is a comprehensive endeavor that requires a commitment to changing nutrition, lifestyle and exercise habits.

While losing weight doesn’t happen overnight. Every little bit of calorie burning helps!

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike with Digital Monitor and 8 Level Resistance

Fitness experts and doctors have all long realized that keep telling people to go to the gym or to engage in deliberate high effort kind of exercising doesn’t always work.

The better solution is to do little daily activities that eventually add up to make a person healthier without making dramatic changes to his daily routines. Things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking your car further away from the building can go a long way in making you more fit and healthy.

What else can you do with the little free time you have? That is where the beauty of the minibike comes into the picture.

You already watch TV, don’t you? Are you working at a desk? Playing games? Checking your Facebook feed? Why not burn extra calories along the way?

Losing Weight Without Effort

If you use the pedal exerciser lightly for just 100 minutes per day, you can burn around 200 calories per day (or much more depending on gender, weight, and intensity)

That may not seem much at first, but that’s 1,000 calories per 5 workweeks.

That equals to more than 1 pound of weight loss per month. Remember that’s without changing any other habits.

Only by adding an under-the-desk bicycle pedaler you can still make significant progress toward weight loss.

In a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, researchers who studied under desk bike users discovered marked decreases in participants’ weight, total fat mass, body fat percentage, and resting heart rate.

They also discovered that increased use of the machine produced stronger results.

Pumping up the duration and number of sessions will benefit your overall resting heart rate and total body fat percentage while driving up the pedal speed will diminish your waistline.

Vigorous use of an under-desk cycler can definitely help you slim down. That being said, you should employ this machine as a tool used in partnership with other weight loss practices.

Think of calories you burn on the pedaler as bonus points or freebies: you burn them in a situation that would have otherwise been spent almost motionless.

To prevent burnout, pedal lightly. It’s much more beneficial to pedal lightly for months or more rather than to work out hard only to burn out after just a couple of weeks and never use it again.

TIP
To prevent burn out, pedal lightly. It’s more beneficial to pedal lightly as a habit when doing other stuff, rather than to work out hard only to burn out after a couple of weeks and never use use a pedaler again.

Pedal Exerciser Vs. Stationary Bike

Pedal Exerciser Vs. Stationary BikeBoth the pedal exerciser and the stationary bike are low-impact machines that use similar cycling motions.

You can pedal on both types of equipment either forward or backward.

They each have various resistance settings.

In addition, certain models of both machines are able to monitor distance, calories burned, revolutions per minute, and time.

So, how are the pedal exerciser and the stationary bike different? 

Unique Features Of Pedal Exercisers

  • Can also be used for the arms
  • Portable
  • Stores easily
  • Compact, fits under the desk
  • Inexpensive, much cheaper than stationary exercise bikes
  • Lightweight
  • Good for personal use
  • More comfortable than a bike seat

Unique Features Of The Stationary Bike

  • Some machines offer presets and programming, like terrain variation
  • Mimics the traditional motions of riding an outdoor bicycle
  • Can be used at the gym or at home
  • More ergonomic for intense workouts

Friction Resistance Vs. Magnetic Resistance

To control the tension or the difficulty of the exercise, mini exercise bikes use resistance. It’s the resistance system that allows you to choose between an easy workout to a more intense one.

There are two types of resistance systems that pedal exercisers employ.  Friction resistance and magnetic resistance.

Friction Resistance systems use pads that tighten or loosen as you turn the resistance knob. They act much the same way as car brakes do.

When you press the brakes, the pads get pressed around the wheel, causing your wheels to slow down due to the increased friction.

Friction resistance is very simple and so friction-based pedal exercisers are much cheaper than magnetic-based machines.

The main downside of friction machines is they tend to get hot as friction produces heat.  Pedaling for a while can cause the mechanism to get hot, which shouldn’t matter to you for as long as you don’t touch the pedaling area. Just wait a few minutes after you finish pedaling before touching or moving.

Friction-based peddlers may get slightly noisier as friction creates noise, but the noise isn’t so loud so it shouldn’t be an issue.

Magnetic Resistance systems use produce tension using magnets instead of friction. The closer the magnets are to the wheel, the higher the resistance and the harder it is to pedal. Turning the resistance knob to an easier workout turns the magnets away from the wheel, turning the knob to the other side makes the exercise harder by bringing the magnets closer to the wheel.

Magnetic resistance-based pedal exercisers tend to be more expensive as these are more complicated to manufacture than friction-based machines.

These peddlers also don’t produce any heat such as the friction based machines do.

Top Pedal Exercisers For Every Purpose & Budget

So if you have read until here, you should be pretty convinced of the numerous benefits of pedal exercisers and want to buy one for yourself or someone you love, or maybe both.

While I work out regularly and I am by no means sedentary, I too, find myself sitting at my desk for many hours during the day (and night) writing articles (such as the one you are reading right now).

Writing this article and researching their benefits got me so convinced that I ended up buying and keeping one of the machines I reviewed, the DeskCycle, the first in this roundup.

Deskcycle Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exerciser

Best Under Desk Pedal Exerciser
DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser - Desk Exercise Equipment with Magnetic Resistance - Leg Exerciser While Sitting for Office Workout or Home Fitness

I’ll actually begin by saying that after reviewing many pedal exercisers, the DeskCycle is the machine I decided to buy and keep!

I’ll explain what makes this machine different from the others.

First and foremost, the DeskCycle is specifically designed with the office worker in mind. It is absolutely the best under-desk pedal exerciser for the office, or really for anyone spending a lot of time working on his or her desk.

It’s got the lowest pedal height of any mini exercise bike. With some other machines you may find that your knees might occasionally bump into the desk. While you can move away your seat slightly back and adjust your position, that might not always be enough. The pedaling may also feel unnatural.

The DeskCycle is different. At only 10 inches high, you are less likely to have your knees hit the desk than with any other pedal exerciser.

The magnetic resistance system is whisper-silent and also super smooth.

My DeskCycle Review
Shown the DeskCycle which is permanently placed under my desk at work.

I can’t rave enough about how smooth it is. In the past, I bought a cheaper pedal exerciser, and its pedaling motion was so rough that it irritated me so much that I eventually threw it away.

Enter the DeskCycle, it’s a night and day how the motion of this machine is better than the less expensive friction-based pedals exercisers.

The DeskCycle also has a wide range of intensity levels beginning with no resistance at all (setting 1), which everyone can do as it requires very little to no effort. But go up to setting 5 and above, and it can become an extremely difficult scorched-muscles workout. In fact, it is the only peddler in this review that offers a high-intensity aerobic workout.

I normally use it at a low resistance level while doing work on my laptop, such as writing or doing any deep work. At setting 2 or 3, I found out that not only does it not distract me, but in fact, it helps me feel more focused.

If I try to increase the resistance to 4 or higher, it’s more difficult to concentrate on work. That said, I could still do some light reading or any other non-cognitive demanding work. At a resistance level of 5 and above, it gets really hard. At the highest level of 8, most people wouldn’t be able to pedal for more than a couple of minutes, if not only for a minute.

The LCD display can be placed on the front of the cycle or on a convenient desk stand. Here you can monitor 4 functions: speed, time, distance, and estimated calories burned.

Unlike any other exerciser on this list, the DeskCycle gives you the option of going online to their handy calorie counter. By providing some personalized details, you can get a very accurate estimate of actual calories burned.

If I can assemble the DeskCycle, anyone can. I’m very bad at assembling stuff. Even simple stuff from Ikea take me ages to assemble. I found the DeskCycle very easy and fast to set up. It’s a 12 step process with a wrench tool included. It shouldn’t take you more than longer than 30-60 minutes.

After the initial set-up, operation is easy and maintenance-free.

Worried about pedaling so hard that your office chair rolls away from the bike? The DeskCycle comes with a handy tether so that you can affix your chair firmly in place.

>> Check the DeskCycle on Amazon <<

Pros & Things We Like

  • Lowest Pedal Height – No other pedal exerciser has such a low profile design. This makes the DeskCycle ideal for under-desk placement. It should prevent your knees from touching the desk when you pedal.
  • Virtually Silent – Ultra-quiet magnetic resistance system won’t distract or disturb your officemates. Unless you grunt, moan or breathe heavily, they won’t even know what you’re up to down there!
  • Adjustable Pedal Straps – The size of these removable straps can be customized with easy-to-use velcro.
  • Handy LCD Monitor – Can be placed either directly on the mini bike or removed and placed conveniently on a special display stand for the top of the desk.
  • Highest Resistance Setting – Out of the 7 mini-stationary bikes that we review in this article, the Deskcycle has one of the highest resistance options. Just take into consideration that a sweaty, vigorous workout while at the office may draw some interesting looks from nearby colleagues.
  • Maintenance Free – The mechanical components are sealed in a protective casing. As such, you won’t need to dust or lubricate the machine.
  • Doesn’t Generate Heat – The magnetic resistance system that is used in the DeckCycle doesn’t heat up like pedalers that use friction resistance.
  • More Accurate Online Calorie Counter – Most pedal exercise machines display an estimated number of calories burned during your workout session. However, that estimate is quite inaccurate because it these machines can’t measure your intensity of effort as you drive the pedals. The DeskCycle acknowledges this shortcoming and makes up for it by providing an online calorie-burned calculator. By providing this tool with your age, gender, height, weight, resistance setting, and speed, you can get a much more accurate number of how many calories you burn.

Cons

  • Hard to Transport – This mini bike comes without a handle and the frame doesn’t fold. And, at a whopping 23 pounds, lugging around this hefty pedaler is no small feat.
  • Taller People May Need Adjusting – This is the best mini bike for under the desk and was designed especially for that purpose due to its low height. But if you are over 6 feet tall you might bang your knees on the bottom of the desk as you pedal. This isn’t the fault of the DeskCycle, it’s just due to the movement of pedaling. To solve this you may need to lower your chair or raise the desk.
  • Awkward Length – To fit under most desks without getting your knees hitting the desk as you pedal, DeskCycle was designed to be the pedal exerciser with the lowest height. That is awesome. The only issue is that the company had to make up the diminished height of the rotation circumference by making the machine longer. At 2 feet ( 60 cm) from front to back, this product is the longest pedal exerciser of the bunch. Take measurements of your under-desk work area, if you have restricted length underneath then you’ll be pushed further away from your keyboard and may need to reconfigure your desk and chair.

Why We Recommend The Deskcycle

The advantages of the DeskCycle outweigh the possible drawbacks.

Yes, it’s longer in length than other mini bikes in this round-up, but it’s also the one with the lowest height making it the best choice for most desks. As I mentioned earlier, after reviewing all the machines in this roundup, this is the pedal exerciser I ended up buying for myself, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

Low height means it’s the least likely of all pedal exercisers to make your knees hit the desk during cycling. Most desks are deep enough to accommodate the DeskCycle length and if not then in most cases, adjustments can be made.

Prolonged sitting causes negative health effects such as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and even diabetes. The DeskCycle is great news for people who are stuck in a computer chair for many hours a day, as it mitigates the damage caused by a sedentary office lifestyle.

Want better health, increased mobility, and stronger muscles but don’t have time to hit the gym? If you can multitask, this machine is your answer to working out while you work.

DeskCycle Bike Pedal Exerciser
Our rating:
Our Top Pick for Under Desk use
DeskCycle Bike Pedal Exerciser
Video review of the DeskCycle uploaded by a user

Drive Medical Deluxe Folding Exercise Peddler

Best Budget Pedal Exerciser
Drive Medical RTL10273 Deluxe Folding Pedal Exerciser with Electronic Display, Black

This pedal exerciser is cheaper than most models.

If you’re a beginner pedaler who’s looking for an affordable exerciser, you should seriously consider the Drive Medical Deluxe peddler. It’s also a good balance between mobility and light strength training.

The manufacturer kept the cost of this peddler low by using a simple friction-based resistance system. The main drawback of friction-based peddlers is that they tend to get hot after cycling for a while. Simply waiting a few minutes after working out before touching this peddler avoids any discomfort.

This mini bike does come with a tension knob to increase resistance. However, the range of available intensities is minimal. It will help you gradually improve overall strength but won’t necessarily prepare your muscles for the Tour de France.

The Drive Medical Deluxe is best for focusing on mobility, speed, and endurance and not heavy resistance.

It comes with an LCD display that monitors calories, time, revolutions per minute (rpm), and the total number of revolutions. With this data, you can keep track of your progress as you move up from being a beginner bicker to an experienced one.

Drive Medical RTL10273 Deluxe Folding Pedal Exerciser with Electronic Display, Black

Another great feature of the Drive Medical Deluxe is that it weighs in at only 5 pounds (2.25 kg), making it incredibly easy to switch between working out on the floor (for the legs) and on a table (for the arms). It folds for easy storage.

Assembly requires no tools and no skills to assemble. It’s almost ready out of the box. Just pop on the tension knob and unfold the legs. Hold down the LCD display mode button for 4 seconds and start your cycling, super easy.

>>> Click to check on Amazon

Pros & Things We Like

  • Lightweight – At only 5 pounds, it’s such a cinch to fold and lift, the only thing we would like to see to increase portability would be a handle. 
  • Easy to Fold – The Drive Medical Deluxe peddler gets even more compact by several inches by folding the legs inward, which makes stowing away easier.
  • Accurate Cycle Counter –  This peddler measures the number of cycles as you pedal in the most accurate way, while other machines use other counting mechanisms which are not nearly as accurate. This can motivate you to reach a higher number of cycles as you progress.
  • Inexpensive – The extremely low price of this pedal exerciser makes it a no-brainer. Even if you end up not using it, you won’t cry over such a low-cost purchase.

Cons

  • Squeaks – If you hear some noises, spray a healthy dose of WD-40 on the affected parts.
  • Can Get Hot – Even after just 5 minutes of pedaling, the friction rotation cooks the metal cranks. For about 15 minutes after your cycle session, avoid touching your bare skin to the metal parts so you don’t get burned.
  • Low Tension – Even on the highest resistance setting, your muscles won’t be subjected to a terribly difficult challenge.
  • Non-adjustable Straps – The straps on the pedals don’t adjust to accommodate various foot sizes. Nevertheless, the given size is adequate for most people.
  • Cumbersome Foot Straps – The pedals are not weighted and, therefore, due to gravity, the straps end up always facing downward, this is a common sight when you look at even some professional stationary bikes. This means that you’ll need to bend forward before every use and manually stand the pedals upright before slipping your foot through the strap.

Why We Recommend The Drive Medical Deluxe

Drive Medical RTL10273 Deluxe Folding Pedal Exerciser with Electronic Display, Black

The Drive is a good pedal exerciser at a super affordable price point.

If you have never used a stationary bicycle or a pedal exerciser before, the Drive Medical Deluxe is a good machine to start with.

Its resistance setting is easy for people who aren’t accustomed to heavy spinning.

Not sure if you’ll like mini cycling? This is an inexpensive machine, so at least there is very little risk in purchasing a budget exercise pedder like this one rather than, say, a treadmill that ends up being an expensive clothes hanger.

Drive Folding Pedal Exerciser
Our rating:
Our Budget Pick
Drive Folding Pedal Exerciser

Vaunn Eva Medical Pedal Exerciser

Best Pedal Exerciser for Seniors
Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser With Electronic Display for legs & Arms Workout (Fully Assembled Exercise Peddler, No Tools Required)

The Vaunn Medical Pedal Exerciser (previously known as Eva Medical Pedal Exerciser)  is the most minimalist, elegant and streamlined machine.

It’s a no-frills solution to increasing mobility and blood circulation.

We think it’s ideal for senior citizens or people who are physically disabled. It has no complicated electronics, buttons or wires and, therefore, no instructions are needed.

It’s the lightest weight machine on this list (only 4.5 pounds), so you’ll find it easy to lift onto the table when switching from the legs to the arms.

The straps are non-adjustable, however, they can be removed if needed.

The tension doesn’t crank up too high, but it does adjust via a knob on the top of the machine. Its tension is definitely enough for light pedaling and even above.

Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser With Electronic Display for legs & Arms Workout (Fully Assembled Exercise Peddler, No Tools Required)

Is assembling small pieces together not possible for you? Of all the models we review here, this model is the only pedal exerciser that comes 100% pre-assembled.

Adding to the simplicity, the frame is constructed of a single piece of chrome plated steel which minimizes the possibility of loose screws and rickety joints.

The only drawback to this design is that you can’t fold it, but we still think it’s pretty easy to stow away.

If you are looking for an easy machine to use right out of the box, you should consider the Vaunn Medical Pedal Exerciser.

>>> Click to check on Amazon

Pros & Things We Like

  • Comes Fully Assembled – Single piece frame, no tools required. Begin pedaling immediately.
  • Lightweight – The frame is constructed of chrome-plated steel, making the whole apparatus only 4.5 pounds.
  • No Batteries Required – It’s very simple to use and has a streamlined design with no extraneous accessories. It’s perfect for people who are looking for light exercise but don’t want any confusing gadgetry. Because of this, it’s the only exerciser on this list that doesn’t require batteries.
  • Good Lifetime Warranty – The manufacturers guarantee this product to long lasting and to remain rust free for its entire lifetime.
  • Very Affordable – This mini-cycle is at the lower range of prices.

Cons

  • Light Resistance – If you desire more of a strength challenge, you won’t find high resistance with this machine. It’s really best for people who are concentrating on mobility, balance, endurance and blood circulation rather than strength training.
  • Tricky to Place Feet – If you are someone who needs assistance with physical tasks, getting yourself into the Medical Pedal Exerciser can be tricky. It requires carefully placing feet through narrow straps and making sure the equipment is properly stabilized on the surface it’s placed upon. After that initial setup, however, you should be good to go!
  • No LCD Display – This is an advantage for those looking for simplicity but a downfall for those seeking to keep track of their statistics. Just be aware that this is the only machine discussed here that does not keep track of speed, distance or any other information.

Why We Recommend The Vaunn Pedal Exerciser

It’s a simple no frills machine that can help you take the first step toward improving your health by getting your legs moving.

Vaunn Medical Folding Pedal Exerciser With Electronic Display for legs & Arms Workout (Fully Assembled Exercise Peddler, No Tools Required)

Smooth, stable and lightweight, it has everything an elderly or disabled person needs and nothing they don’t.

The lack of bells and whistles is an advantage for those who are just simply looking to move their bones and joints without breaking a sweat. This isn’t the machine for intense workouts, nor does it pretend to be.

It’s feather-light so when you’re lifting from floor to table, you can work out your arms and legs without breaking your back.

If you would like to participate in an ongoing physical fitness routine that is specially designed for the needs of a senior, a mini pedal exerciser like this one can bring you one step (or actually many steps) closer to your goal.

Vaunn Eva Pedal Exerciser
Our rating:
Best for Seniors & Light Use
Vaunn Eva Pedal Exerciser

Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical

Best Under Desk Elliptical
Cubii PRO, Under Desk Elliptical, Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser, Seated Elliptical, Bluetooth, Work from Home Fitness, Mini Elliptical, Exerciser for Seniors, Desk Exercise, Noir

Technically speaking, the Cubii Pro is not a pedal exerciser. The exercising motion on the Cubii resembles the one of an elliptical trainer, hence why the machine is termed as a “Seated Under Desk Elliptical”.

Although not exactly a mini exercise bike, we decided to include it here because the Cubii Pro pretty much provides the same benefits pedal exercisers do and so have the same case uses.

Like the DescCycle reviewed earlier, the Cubii was designed primarily to be placed under a desk, and it has two features that make it ideal for under desk use.

First, it has a very low profile, it is very close to the floor. This is really important because your knees are less likely to bump into your desk as you exercise.

Second, the elliptical stepping motion on the Cubii means your knees are not going too high off the ground as they do with a pedaling motion. This makes your knees even less likely to hit your desk.

>>> Click to check on Amazon

Pros & Things We Like

  • Syncs With Your Phone Workout Apps – The Cubii can sync with your iPhone and Android phones via Bluetooth. You can view your workout stats on your phone and even your Fitbit. You can share your workout stats with friends and compete against them. This is more fun and can also boost your motivation to work out more.
  • Ultra Low Impact – We already mentioned that pedaling on a mini exercise bike is considered a low-impact workout. However, the Cubii Pro provides an even lower impact. Since the Cubii Pro uses an elliptical motion in a seated position, the potential knee impact is lower than that of pedaling. For people with existing or potential knee issues, an under-desk elliptical can be a better solution than an under-desk pedal exerciser.
  • Ideal For Office Workers – The Cubii Pro targets the muscles of the legs (quads, hamstrings, and calves) as well as the important hip flexors. Sitting all day long at your desk can negatively affect your hip flexors. Activating your hip flexors by occasionally working on the Cubii along with hip flexors stretches can be highly beneficial for the health of your hip flexors.
  • Stable and Sturdy – The large base of the Cubii makes the machine rock solid. It won’t move during exercise no matter the workout intensity or force, something that may happen with cheap and flimsy pedal exercisers.
  • Sleek Design and Smooth Operation – The first thing you’ll notice when you get the Cubii is the simple yet high quality feel of the machine. The pedals are large and made of non-slip material. Similar to high-end pedal exercisers like the DeskCycle, the Cubii Pro’s motion feels butter-smooth.

Cons

  • Limited Range of Motion – By definition, elliptical movement involves a narrower range of motion than that of a pedaling motion. While it does provide even lesser impact on your knees than a pedal exerciser, your leg muscles may get somewhat less intense muscle stimulation.
  • Expensive – The Bluetooth phone connectivity, workout statistics and the high build quality come at a price. The Cubii Pro is more expensive than other under-desk mini bikes.

Why We Recommend The Cubii Pro

The Cubii Pro packs a lot of high tech functions. It connects with workout apps on your iPhone and Android and is definitely more fun to use than any of the other machines we reviewed.

The elliptical motion of the Cubii means even less impact on your knees.

Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
Our rating:
Our Top Pick Elliptical for Under Desk use
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical

Sunny Health & Fitness Sf-b0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike

Best Pedal Exerciser for Invigorating Workout
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike with Digital Monitor and 8 Level Resistance

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 is a hefty piece of home gym equipment. It is a durable workhorse that can provide you with an exhausting workout.

The Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike is aimed more at people who are looking for an intense workout rather than therapeutic use.

With the powerful magnetic resistance mechanism controlled by a tension knob, you have the option of either a moderate or intense workout. Don’t be scared to work yourself into a frenzy.

If you turn the tension knob to increase the difficulty, you can definitely feel the burn in your quads, and if you keep your workouts long enough, you’ll burn more fat and accelerate your weight loss.

Place it on the table and charge up your arms. You’ll find the pedals also come with contoured finger indentations, making upper-body cycling as comfortable as possible.

The ergonomically contoured pedals are the proof this Sunny SF-B0418 Mini Exercise Bike was designed to withstand hardcore workouts as your feet would feel tucked in and more stable.

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike with Digital Monitor and 8 Level Resistance

The LCD display is the most comprehensive of the reviewed pedalers on this list and comes with all the fixings: speed, time, distance, RPM, and estimated calories burned.

At 14 inches high, you’ll find it difficult to squeeze under an office desk (for under desk, I recommend the DeskCycle or the Cubii). But there are plenty of other opportunities to work with the Sunny mini exercise bike. You can please it in front of the sofa for a good leg and cardio workout, or you can place it on a table and pedal with your arm.

The Sunny also comes with a handle, so trot it over to another family member after you exhaust your legs.  Take turns reaping the benefits of aerobic exercise even while you’re on the phone or playing video games.

The Sunny is great if you are looking for a machine with which you could do more intense workouts, though you could obviously work lighter as you would with other pedal exercisers.

>>> Click to check on Amazon

Pros & Things We Like

  • Get an Intense Workout – The Sunny is strong and offers high resistance levels.
  • Comprehensive LCD Display – You can monitor all the major stats: speed, distance, time, revolutions per minute and estimated calories burned. The quantifiable stats are great for challenging yourself with every workout to beat your previous personal best.
  • Handle for Easy Transportation – Perfect for sharing, moving or stowing away in a closet.
  • Ergonomic Pedals – This is the only stationary mini cycle that comes with contoured pedals, while helps your feet not slip away during fast pedaling.
  • Easier for Working Arms – The finger indentations on the pedals make arm use more comfortable for upper body workouts.

Cons

  • Doesn’t Fold – This 21 pound machine has a somewhat bulky frame, so while it does have an easy-to-grasp handle for transporting, it’s not ideal for packing on your next trip.
  • Tricky Assembly – The instruction manual does provide illustrated step-by-step instructions for setting up this bike. While it’s not very complicated to assemble, it might take a little while.

Why We Recommend The Sunny Magnetic Mini Bike

We definitely like this machine for its go-hard-or-go-home design.

If you are serious about strengthening your arms or legs, but can’t give up your TV habits, don’t feel guilty. 

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0418 Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike with Digital Monitor and 8 Level Resistance

Even if you regularly go to the gym, the Sunny Mini Bike can help you get into an even better shape and accelerate fat loss even while at home. It won’t disappoint fitness freaks and beginners alike.

Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Deluxe Folding Pedal Exerciser

Quickly Folds & Simple To Use
Platinum Fitness PFP2100 Fit Sit Deluxe Folding Pedal Exerciser Leg Machine with Electronic Display, Blue

Get ready to show off your pedal exerciser. The Platinum Fitness FitSit Deluxe is one gorgeous minibike. It’s the only exercise cycle that offers 5 color choices in vibrant, happy hues.

While it doesn’t have the challenging resistance levels that both the DeskCycle and Sunny Mini Bike offer, it’s more capable of giving you a powerful workout than some of the other options on this list. This means that it can be suitable for both fitness and rehabilitation, making it a good all-around pedal exerciser.

For most people the resistance the Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Deluxe provides is more than enough and it is very convenient for working out arms as well.

It comes with the standard LCD display that tracks time, number of revolutions, RPM and calories burned (interestingly, it leaves out distance).

Like all the other friction-based mechanisms, the resistance is controlled by a straightforward tension knob.

Platinum Fitness PFP2100 Fit Sit Deluxe Folding Pedal Exerciser Leg Machine with Electronic Display, Blue

Unlike the other friction-based models, the Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Deluxe doesn’t generate as much heat to the crank shafts. It uses Cool Rev technology that dissipate heat.

It’s also the only friction model to come with a tether to secure your chair from sliding away.

Platinum Fitness PFP2100 Fit Sit Deluxe Folding Pedal Exerciser Leg Machine with Electronic Display, Blue

So with this machine you get the features of the magnetic models (tether, cooler moving parts) with the lightweight, foldability, easy assembly and low price of the friction models.

One thing to mention is that the foot straps are not adjustable

>>> Click to check on Amazon

Pros & Things We Like

  • Choose Your Favorite Color – The Fit Sit comes in 5 color choices; pink, orange, blue, green and yellow.
  • Doesn’t Get Too Hot – The Fit Sit doesn’t generate as much heat as other friction based pedal exercisers.
  • Includes Tethering – Prevents the chair from sliding away
  • Lots of Features – It’s a very simple design and lightweight, yet still includes the benefits of an LCD display, foldability, cooler pieces, colors and at a low price.

Cons

  • Less Durable – Some people have reported that the Platinum Fitness Fit Sit Deluxe won’t last too long. There have been some instances in which the resistance weakens over time.
  • May Still Get Hot – Although specially designed to stay cooler than other friction machines, it is still not as cool as machines that use magnetic resistance like the Sunny or the DeskCycle. 

Why We Recommend The Fit Sit

If you don’t need to jack up your muscles, but you enjoy working out and staying active, consider the Platinum Fit Sit.

The light touch of color (there are five colors to choose from) may seem superficial and non-important, but the added color may make the machine look less “intimidating”, especially for beginners or elders.

selection) choice of five color selection l appreciate the light touch of color with the five color selection available, plus

It’s truly an all-around pedaler that effectively combines ease of operation with a reasonable challenge of muscular effort. Because of this, it’s a great machine to share, even between grandparents and grandchildren. The light touch of color (there are five colors to choose from) selection) choice of five color selection l appreciate the light touch of color with the five color selection available, plus

Exerpeutic 7101 Active Cycle Mini Exercise Bike

Best Pedal Exerciser for Rehab
Exerpeutic Motorized Leg and Arm Pedal Exerciser Mini Exercise Bike with Bonus Mat

The Exerpeutic Active Cycle is the only electric motorized pedal exerciser in this round-up. It is primarily used for rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Its goal is to take care of your special needs as much as possible through low-impact mobility training.

The Exerpeutic is ideal for larger folks as it can withstand a heavy load of pressure. It is the only pedaler here that is rated for a person up to 300 pounds in weight.

The main features include the motor-assisted cycle, automatic shutoff and LCD display which shows time, distance, speed and calories burned.

There is a convenient handheld speed controller, so you can sit back, relax and adjust your speed at your leisure without bending over.

This pedal exerciser is programmed to automatically shut off after 15 minutes, so if you’d like a longer session, just hit the power button located on the handheld controller and it will resume.

There is no assembly or setup needed. Just plug the machine into the wall and start using it.

Exerpeutic Motorized Leg and Arm Pedal Exerciser Mini Exercise Bike with Bonus Mat

This machine has pedals and straps set up in a similar way to other pedalers, but it also offers an add-on accessory, as a separate purchase, for people who need more substantial foot straps for a tighter fit.

>>> Click to check on Amazon

Pros & Things We Like

  • Electric Motor Assisted – People who need physical therapy such as wheelchair users, the elderly, or individuals recovering from an injury can practice their fitness and rehab routines at home. The motor offers help when you simply cannot push the pedals but still need the benefits of movement.
  • Portable – For being motorized, it’s actually not as heavy as expected. It weighs only 12 pounds and there’s an easy-to-grasp handle which makes the machine easy to move around.
  • No Assembly Required – Convenient. No tools are required. Ready to go!

Cons

  • Produces Noise – The working motor does produce some noise inherent in its operation, it’s not so loud, yet still louder than motorless pedal exercisers.
  • Can’t be Used Without Motor – The Exerpeutic is designed only for motorized use, so you can’t share this machine with people who want to cycle for strength training or cardio sessions. Cycling without the motor turned on will damage the machine.
  • Requires Electricity – Naturally, this is a motorized unit, so you will need to plug it into a wall socket as it doesn’t run on batteries.
  • Reversing Needs Adjusting – All of the other pedal exercisers can easily function in reverse without needing to adjust the machine. In order to reverse pedal with the Exerpeutic, you need to stop the power, turn the machine around and start it again.

Why We Recommend The Exerpeutic Active Cycle

If you’re immobilized, recovering, or weakened, moving your body can speed up your recovery.

The Exerpeutic Active Cycle increases blood flow, breaks up bound fascia, and brings life back to atrophied muscles.

It’s a great addition to your at-home physical therapy routine. It’s super easy to use, with no assembly required.

This is the most recommended pedal exerciser for recovery and for anyone with mobility issues.

Conclusion & Recap

We all need some sort of physical exercise, but every person has different requirements, desires and goals.

Pedal exercises are so much cheaper than any other kind of cardio equipment, costing a fraction of what you would pay for a treadmill, an elliptical or a stationary bike.

We have already gone over their benefits at the beginning of this article and told and showed you how versatile they are.

Choose the Sunny Mini Bike or the DeskCycle if your goal is shedding pounds, building muscles and increasing your metabolism.

Select the Platinum FitSit for a beautiful, all-around machine that you can go to for any situation, be it fitness or rehab.

If you want to connect with exercise apps, view workout stats in real-time and compete against your friends, you might want to choose the Cubii Pro, which is our pick as the top under desk elliptical trainer.

For people who are experiencing mobility challenges, select the fully assembled options: the simple Medical Pedal Exerciser or the motorized Exerpeutic.

Beginners can try out the inexpensive and easy-to-use Drive Medical Deluxe. 

Recap of Exercise Peddlers Reviewed :

DeskCycle Bike Pedal Exerciser
Best for Under The Desk
DeskCycle Bike Pedal Exerciser
Drive Medical Deluxe
Best Budget Option
Drive Medical Deluxe
Vaunn Medical Pedal Exerciser
Best for Seniors
Vaunn Medical Pedal Exerciser
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
Best Under Desk Elliptical
Cubii Pro Under Desk Elliptical
Sunny Magnetic Mini Bike
Best for Hard Workouts
Sunny Magnetic Mini Bike
Platinum Fitness Fit Sit
Quickly Folds
Platinum Fitness Fit Sit
Exerpeutic Active Cycle Mini Bike
Best for Rehab
Exerpeutic Active Cycle Mini Bike

Now, it’s your turn, start pedaling with any of these!

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