Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike Review
The Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike bills itself as an office accessory, fit for pedaling under the desk. Our verdict is that while it competes with competitor products serving this purpose, it falls short of top notch status in a few basic ways.
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22" L x 18" W x 14" H
Has LCD display with calories, time, speed, distance, etc. Sturdy steel frame. Uses a magnet for resistance. Lightweight for product category at 21 lbs. Has top handle for easier transport.
Pedal stroke is too high if you use with a standard desk; an adjustable-height desk would be necessary to avoid hitting your knees against the bottom of the desktop. Has issues with sliding on the floor. May make a knocking noise. Max user weight is only 220 pounds.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike may not be an ideal cycle desk, but it does have a few redeeming qualities when stacked up against the competition. We point to its sturdy steel frame, for instance, or its relatively light weight (21 pounds). It also features an LCD display with calories, time, speed, distance, etc., which many users may appreciate. But even with the positives, we have concerns about using this unit under your desk.
For Desk Use, Elliptical Beats Mini Exercise Bike
We have to dock this mini exercise bike some points right out of the gate for having a circular pedal motion. The circular motion is tougher on the knees than an elliptical. It also raises your knees up higher, boosting the chances that you’ll hit them on bottom of your desk. In contrast to the circular pedal motion, you can find ellipticals on the cycle desk market that keep your knees lower and offer less strain. See our review of the Cubii, for instance, or the FitDesk.
It’s true that some of this can be remedied with the use of an adjustable-height desk. By adjusting your desk and chair height, you might be able to find an ergonomic position from which to work where your knees are free to move fluidly. But before you try anything of the sort, we highly recommend checking out our primer, How to Set up an Ergonomically Proper Desk Cycle. It’ll give you tips on how to avoid common mistakes when setting up your workstation to accommodate a cycle desk.
Cycle Desk Dilemmas
Overall, customer reviews of the Sunny Mini Exercise Bike on sites like Amazon attest to the difficulty of using the unit underneath a desk. Taller users, especially, complain that there’s not enough clearance for the knees. The unit’s pedal height is 12.5 inches, and that puts the knees up 2.5 inches higher than the 3D Innovations DeskCycle, for instance. Some users are able to make it work under the desk but point to trouble concentrating while they pedal. Try as we may, pedaling is not as natural to most as walking. We’ve been walking since we were toddlers and find it second nature. Take a treadmill desk, for example. It takes no concerted effort to make the next step; we do it without thinking. But to push a pedal requires focus. See our treatise, Treadmill Desks vs. Desk Cycles: How They Compare, to learn more about the impact of each on cognitive function and typing proficiency.
On the Bright Side: It’s Light as a Feather
The Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike has one distinct advantage over its competition, and that’s its weight. It weighs in as a featherweight at 21 pounds, which may sound heavy but is actually a few pounds below average for other products we’ve reviewed in this category. A convenient carrying handle means moving the device to and from underneath your desk will be relatively easier—an added bonus for those who either want to move the unit frequently or would rather not add weight lifting to their office routine.
Alas, as with most things, the benefit has a downside. For the Sunny Exercise Bike, it has less stability on the ground. Some users complain of the unit sliding with use, especially at higher tension levels, and point to the need for a surface that the unit can grip, like carpet.
Other downsides mentioned in verified user reviews on the web include an occasional knocking noise that apparently can be remedied by pedaling backwards for a moment, and a shorter pedal motion than the traditional bike.
In the end, the Sunny Health and Fitness Magnetic Mini Exercise Bike is a solid piece of equipment with a few advantages in the market, including its weight and sturdy steel frame. But cycling under the desk is best done with an elliptical unit that has a lower profile and is easier on the knees. While we recommend going with one of these other units (see our Desk Cycle and Bike Desk Comparison Review), there are many satisfied customers out there who use this unit under the desk with some success. Like we mentioned before, to do so properly requires special attention to setting up your workstation ergonomically.
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.
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