Bike Desk Reviews
At WorkWhileWalking, we’re often asked how treadmill desks and bike desks compare. Our answer is no secret: we think walking is the best way to stay active at work—from both an ergonomic health and productivity standpoint. That being said, we also recognize the surging popularity of cycling at your desk, and we want to keep you — as a worker committed to office fitness — as informed as possible on the merits of these relatively new products.
Our review staff has rounded up abstracts of each of our bike desk reviews below. They investigated design features, weight and size specs, customer experiences, and more according to our rigorous review process. Below, you’ll see the combined results of our research. You can click on the product name to read the full review, or the button “Add to Comparison Table” (then ‘Go’ in the bottom right) to see different products’ features side by side.
Bike desks have perhaps become a bit outdated due to competition from the even faster growing category of under desk pedal exercisers. To clarify what is sometimes a confusing nomenclature, Bike desks are basically stationary bikes that integrate with a desk workspace. They include the FitDesk 2.0 Bike Desk, LifeSpan C3, and Markant Oxidesk.
If cycling while working is your thing but you’re not sure whether you went to sit on an actual bike or just put a set of pedals under your desk, be sure to check out our round-up of Desk Cycle Reviews, as well.
Pros: FitDesk is portable, able to fold up and wheel away when not in use. Has a robust cycling mechanism and 8 resistance settings. Non-slip desk surface and belt secure your laptop in place.
Cons: Like other bikes and bike desks, FitDesk forces users into poor ergonomics. In addition to the small size of its desk, the inability to customize monitor height and typing angle make the FitDesk suited only for short bursts of exercise, not work.
Bottom Line: While the FitDesk may excel among stationary bicycles, it’s still an exercise machine, not a piece of office fitness equipment. Bike desks like the FitDesk aren’t designed for the same level of multitasking as a treadmill desk. All but the simplest tasks – answering emails or jotting down notes– become overwhelmingly difficult to do while pedaling. The FitDesk is no substitute for a standing desk or a treadmill desk, and it is not a NEAT device. If you’re looking for some light, NEAT movement, you would be better served going with a proper treadmill desk.Where to Buy
Experts’ Rating: 2 stars
Pros: Well-built mechanically. Comfortable seat, at least for short durations. Great for getting some cardio burn while watching TV or reading a book.
Cons: Don’t expect to type comfortably or with any proficiency while mounted atop this upright stationary bike. It was clearly designed to be used as an exercise machine, not in front of a desk. Ergonomically, it’s a nightmare. Lacks things you’d expect at this price range—like a real Bluetooth interface to phone apps and popular wearable devices like Fitbit. Difficult to mount and dismount, no matter how short or tall you are. Hard to move around despite the built-in wheels. Weak sales since its introduction a few years ago have led to deep discounting; but even at the current price we can’t recommend this product.
Bottom Line: Multiple design flaws stem from the fact this was originally designed as an upright cardio exercise bike. It’s been simply re-skinned and re-positioned as an office fitness product to broaden out Lifespan’s popular treadmill desk line (which has seen far greater success). Poor reviews from verified buyers on Amazon confirm what our review experts have long said about this product. If you want to avoid disappointment and the return hassle, move on to one of the many competing products that are twice as good at half the price.Where to Buy
Experts’ Rating: 1 star
Pros: The only bike desk that is equal parts bike and desk.
Cons: Extremely awkward to use, expensive, and constraining. Can’t use your own desk with it.
Bottom Line: It is neither an upright bicycle desk like the FitDesk 2.0 nor an elliptical machine. It feels awkward to pedal, as awkward as a platypus must feel when it sees itself categorized on the ‘Freaks & Curiosities’ branch of the evolutionary chart. More a form of punishment than a useful office fitness aid. It’s extremely awkward to mount/dismount, and it feels very unnatural to pedal.
If you’d like more insight into how we reviewed these products check out our guide “Anatomy of a Review“.
You can also stay in-the-know with all the latest office fitness product reviews by subscribing to our free newsletter.