Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer Review
After entering the market for under desk ellipticals back in December 2015, the Stamina has sold its fair share of units. But its low price hints at the quality issues it suffers.
$88-98 for basic unit
$139 with upper body cords
Free with Amazon Prime
1 year frame, 90 days parts
Green, Orange, and Gray
24" L x 17" W x 12" H
It's very inexpensive.
Like its sister product, the Stamina InMotion Compact Strider, we have serious durability concerns about this product. Consistent user reviews report squeaking noises after a couple of months of use, and pedaling becomes less fluid over time. The unit is unstable overall while standing, which is already a bad idea if you're trying to type and pedal at the same time.
The Stamina InMotion E1000 Elliptical Trainer entered the market for under desk pedal units in December 2015. That means it’s competing with the likes of the Cubii and the FitDesk Under Desk Elliptical, to name but two of the dozen units we reviewed in our most recent round-up (see our Desk Cycle Comparison Review). To stand up to the competition, it has to have an answer to the Cubii’s Bluetooth-enabled app integration, or at the very least, to the FitDesk’s solid engineering.
On the Bright Side
There are a few positive things to say about the Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer - the price, for instance. We've found it as cheap as $78 on Amazon. We also like the fact that the pedals rotate forwards and backwards so you can mix in different movements throughout the day. And scouring through the Amazon reviews, many of them are positive. (There’s over 2,000 and at an average of 4 stars.) One caveat on these customer reviews, though. While written information from these reviews are very telling, Amazon star ratings tend to be inflated, as this article of ours discusses.
Take a closer look, and you’ll find this product suffers from severe quality issues. As many reviewers point out, there's a pesky problem with the left pedal falling off over time. Some chalk the problem up to a design flaw, and that seems likely.
To add insult to injury, there’s a serious squeakiness problem with the unit after a couple months’ use (a common issue in the product category).
Add to that the frequent complaints about the pedaling becoming less fluid over time, and we can safely conclude the product suffers from a lack of durability. For the price, perhaps you get what you pay for, but with a little more money, you’ll find something that lasts.
Despite all the negatives, there is another feature of the Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer worth taking a look at.
A Redeeming Virtue?
One thing Stamina's InMotion Elliptical Trainer can do over the Cubii and the FitDesk is double as a standing exercise machine. There’s a couple other products on the market that offer this sit-stand feature, including the Elliptical Trainer’s close cousin, the Stamina InMotion Compact Strider, as well as the j/fit Under Desk Elliptical Trainer. But many user reviews on Amazon and third party sites are generally critical of this feature.
Part of the issue is that the stride is abnormally short. Users—especially taller ones—find the abbreviated motion frustrating compared to the full elliptical motion they find on equipment at the gym.
Add to that the weak stability of the unit while standing, and balance becomes a big issue. Plus, there’s nowhere to rest your hands, and that exacerbates the balancing issue. The response that "it’s a core workout" might be true, but we’re thinking about using this equipment in the context of the office, and a full body workout is better done at the gym where you can grunt and sweat to your heart's content.
Regardless, with your hands and body moving in the elliptical motion, you’ll be hard-pressed to mouse and type, or even concentrate on your screen as your head bobs back and forth. So, for our purposes, we don’t find the standup feature compelling.
If you’re in the market for an under desk pedal unit and the elliptical trainers have caught your eye, whether for their ergonomics or the fact they fit better under your desk, or both, you’d be better served in the long term going with a higher quality product from the dozen units we reviewed.
When stacked up against competitors like the Cubii and the FitDesk, the Stamina InMotion Elliptical Trainer is clearly the cheap alternative. It doesn’t offer the smart phone connectivity and social features of the Cubii nor the quality engineering of the FitDesk.
Frankly, it’s difficult to see this piece of equipment fitting into the office. It seems designed to be a jack of all trades, and it tries to do too much. It might come across as extremely versatile in an infomercial, but with its standup feature out of the way, it’s a cheap, one-dimensional under desk elliptical machine and a ticking time bomb waiting to break.
For kicks, our review staff created what we imagine is the world's first sit-stand-walk-pedal workstation. Check out the blog article on our Quad-Modal Office Fitness DreamStation. We integrated a Cubii with an iMovR Everest Dual-Tray desk, an iMovR ThermoTread GT office treadmill, a Tempo TreadTop Office Chair, and an EcoLast TreadTop Anti-Fatigue Mat to optimize movement during the workday.
If you do end up deciding to invest in a cycling workstation, definitely check out our primer on How to Set Up an Ergonomically Proper Desk Cycle to ensure a successful experience.
See our comprehensive Comparison Review of Desk Cycles and Bike Desks.