Ergonomyx Under Desk Smart Bike Review
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While under desk bikes are a legitimate way to try to work on health goals even if your job chains you to a desk all day, you do have to make sure that it will work for you and your situation. If it does, the Ergonomyx Smart Under Desk Bike is a very legitimate choice considering its price in conjunction with the amount of technology that they have put into the bike. Bluetooth connection to your smartphone through an impressive app is a great way to track your use and performance on the bike, including helping set useful goals along the way, though you do have to keep pedaling at a decent pace to keep the Bluetooth powered. The biggest problems with this standing desk bike are that there are body types that will find it awkward to use if not just impossible. The short warranty of only 2 years also makes us wonder about the durability of the bike, despite the solid feel, but the price does seem to match that kind of warranty.
|MSRP / List Price||$270|
Prices are converted from CAD, which fluctuates daily. These are estimated prices.
Free in Victoria and Vancouver, Canada
Bluetooth to smartphone app
White with orange
Seat height: 61″ to 69″
Zero – Your pedaling the power source
|Typical Assembly Time||
|Competition||Compare to Other Desk Bikes|
|Where to buy||
Buy on Ergonomyx
|Ease of Assembly|
|Quality and Aesthetics|
|Positives||The Ergonomyx Smart Under Desk Bike features an impressive amount of technology with Bluetooth and the professionally developed smartphone app makes this bike so convenient to use, especially if you have some health goals you want to meet. One model has a phone charger that you can power yourself by pedaling. Adjusting the resistance of the bike is so easy that you can do it mid-pedal to crank up the difficulty or ramp it down for a break. And in the end, comparing the price to other similar under desk bikes, the Smart bike is much less expensive despite the amount of tech included in this convenient product.|
|Negatives||The location of the display, or the phone mount on that model, won’t be visible if it is used at a standing desk. But the biggest concerns with this desk bike are the durability and compatibility with some body types. A weight limit of 220 lbs, awkward angles for tall users, and pretty small pedal straps all come together to narrow the number of people that can use this bike comfortably. You also have to keep pedaling pretty relatively quickly to keep the Bluetooth powered enough to keep tracking your use. The short 2-year warranty also makes us question the true durability of this product as well. Like all bikes of this sort, it is also more likely to get your body working to a point of distraction from the work you need to focus on throughout the day.|
People most attracted to the concept of cycling at their desk are typically cycling enthusiasts. In fact, many of the products we’ve reviewed in our comprehensive round-up of Desk Cycle Reviews and Bike Desk Reviews are called “pedal trainers” or “pedal exercisers” because cycling aficionados want to keep cycling even when they’re not on their bikes. However, moving your legs in a circular or elliptical motion requires some concentration, especially as intensity increases. Optimal cognitive function is in that sweet spot between total rest and total exercise, where you’re getting movement but not raising your heart rate into the exercise zone. So, you might say, “if you’re sweating, you’re doing it wrong.” For this reason, we know that many users tend to hit the pedals in between typing sprints. When they type, they simply pause the pedaling action. But watching an online class or participating in a Zoom meeting (especially if you’re mostly listening) could be ideal activities to do while cycling. Stability for work will be another issue that users need to, quite literally, balance. Aside from the mental concentration needed for more creative activities in typing or fine mouse work, the exaggerated motions of cycling will make keeping your arms and hands in place awkward for some. This is another reason many decide to switch to cycling only during certain kinds of work tasks. So, depending on the kind of work you do, this may or may not be a major consideration.
The Classic Exercise of Biking Paired with Futuristic Tech
While the Ergonomyx Under Desk Bike does experience the general downsides of the whole category, it is such a technological upgrade that it nearly creates a category of its own. Ergonomyx took a commodity-grade upright desk bike from OEM Loctek and inserted their own circuitry, speed control mechanism, and smartphone Bluetooth link, then assembled it into a complete product with a higher build quality than the original Loctek bike.
This under desk bike can only be fully experienced in conjunction with the Ergonomyx smartphone app. Once you download the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store, it is easy to link your phone to the bike. Just find it in your list of nearby devices and tap “connect” to be on your way. Before you really get going, you can input some information in your settings, such as gender, height, and weight, to help the app make goals for you, like maintaining your daily water intake, for example.
The app also tracks the use of your under desk bike, showing your speed, the distance you have pedaled, calories you’ve burned, and even power you have generated. It has goals and challenges you can try to meet, routines you can set to remind you to get up and move, and if you connect it to an account, you can compare how you are doing against others who also use the app (an argument for buying more than one for your office mates to enjoy). Especially alongside a standing desk or even a treadmill desk, it is a really useful tool to help motivate you to keep moving throughout the workday.
The only real problem with the technology in this bike is that in order to power the Bluetooth link in the bike, and connect to your smartphone, you need to pedal at least 1 rotation/sec. This isn’t super slow, so you do have to put in a little effort to maintain the power. If difficulty increases too much then you may find that the productivity high from getting more oxygen to the brain starts reversing as your muscles steal that oxygen instead, cratering your cognitive abilities—so there’s definitely a balance to strike.
On a side note, there are two models of the desk bike available. One has an attachment for your phone with a jack so you can charge your phone with your exercise. The other, cheaper, model just has its own display for bike info.
Complicated Technology that is Easy to Use
When it comes to assembling the Smart Under Desk Bike, the process is pretty straightforward. On the other hand, it will take a decent amount of turning the unique multitool to get the nuts and bolts tightened, especially when they are right next to a leg and won’t allow continuous turning. But overall, as long as you follow the instructions carefully, you’ll be done in less than 20 minutes. Make sure you don’t mix up the front and back feet or the right and left pedals.
Adjusting the seat to your preferred height takes just a few twists and tugs on the adjustment knob, though the range is only about 8 inches. Adjusting the position of the entire bike is pretty easy as well by tipping it up onto its wheels and rolling it into place under your desk. And if you aren’t going to use it for a while, you can fold it up so it can easily be put away in a closet or corner.
Adjusting the resistance on the bike is super simple as well, even while pedaling. The adjustment knob between the user’s legs is easy to reach. Twist it clockwise to increase resistance and make pedaling more difficult, or counterclockwise for an easier time. Naturally, this will affect the amount of energy you produce.
The seat of the desk bike is certainly more comfortable than those that professional bikers use. But like most bike seats, it does get a little less comfortable over time. When that happens, it is super easy to just put your feet on the ground for some extra support and relieve the pressure on your rear end until you are ready to bike once again.
We do have a competitive triathlete and biker in the office, and he really loved using the Ergonomyx Smart Under Desk Bike. He felt like it was a great way to continue the kind of exercise he loves even at times when he couldn’t get out on the road. Even he started to build up a light sweat while he tested out the higher resistances.
The Bike Doesn’t Quite Crash, But…
The problem for either of these readout displays, when placing the Ergonomyx Bike at an adjustable-height desk, is that the desktop will block the user’s view of the display or phone screen. And if that is the case, you might as well plug your phone into the same power you use for the standing desk. However, if you use the bike in another location, while you watch TV or something, the display location is just fine. Another concern about this placement is that if the desk goes low enough, and the user isn’t paying attention, it could crush the phone. Even anti-collision sensing that is found on some sit-stand desk models might not be sensitive enough to stop the descent before the damage is done.
Another note about the phone charger model, especially when it is used at a standing desk, is that the ability to charge your phone with the bike could be seen as a bit pointless. Since you would already be right near the outlet which your desk is plugged into, charging while keeping your phone visible on the desk might be preferred. However, if you want to save a little power consumption from the grid and have the satisfaction of charging your phone through your own power, that might be even better for some.
When it comes to stability, the bike does feel pretty solid, even while biking. However, the weight limit listed is only 220 lbs. While this might be fine for lots of people, those that might be more interested in using the desk bike to supplement their efforts to lose weight could easily be beyond this limit. Those that break that limit for this bike might be better off getting movement by walking on an office treadmill that can support more weight.
Like we mentioned earlier, the seat adjustment doesn’t really have a huge range, and this is most unfortunate for taller people that would want to use the bike. The longer your legs are, the more extreme angles your hips and knees will take while pedaling, and your knees might be rising to an uncomfortable height. Along those lines, taller people are likely to have larger feet as well. Those that have larger feet might also have a tough time fitting their shoes into the straps on the pedals comfortably, even set at their maximum size. So, be aware of that especially if you are over 6’ or have larger than size 10 or 11 shoes.
The durability of the desk bike is another concern. While it does feel solid and stable, as mentioned earlier, Ergonomyx only offers a 2-year warranty for its customers. This seems a bit short for this kind of product, when we are used to seeing products with warranties closer to 5 years on average. However, if you look at the price, it makes a bit more sense. The Smart bike is quite a bit more affordable than most competitor’s models, and with that lower price naturally comes lower reliability, at least in the long run. So if you get the bike and it lasts longer, consider yourself fortunate.
The Ergonomyx Smart Under Desk Bike certainly has a bunch of positive aspects that anyone considering buying a desk bike would want to take into account. Most notably, the technology with the Bluetooth and the beautiful app makes this bike so convenient to use while trying to reach health goals. The model that has a phone charger could be seen as a positive, but that might only be for certain users. The bike is also super easy to use with easy adjustments for height, resistance, etc. And in the end, the price is super affordable for what this bike is and the amount of software and hardware development that went into it.
On the other hand, there are a few down sides of the bike. The location of the smartphone mount or display is a bit pointless if it is used at a standing desk. The weight limit of 220 lbs and short warranty call the durability of the bike into question. But the incompatibility with taller and large-footed users might be of most concern for users in those categories.
In general, if you are within the size limitations, the bike could be great to use while setting and meeting health goals. And, like under desk bikes in general, it is even more useful for those that have jobs that don’t require lots of careful typing or mouse work all day long.
Take a look at all the desk cycles or full bike desks we have reviewed to see how this one compares. And if you don’t think a bike like this will work, maybe an office treadmill will be more your speed.