Flexispot has been on the frontlines of the standing desk revolution for a good while now, offering everything from adjustable-height desks that switch between sitting and standing positions and converter stands to turn your vanilla desk into a standing one when it suits you.
More recently, Flexispot has been offering under-desk bikes to go with that standing desk of yours, letting you do cardio while doing a spreadsheet and keeping the blood pumping around your legs, where otherwise they’d be motionless. With more people working from home than ever, it seems the perfect time to take this work-while-you-work-out idea for a spin.
So how does Flexispot’s so-called “Deskcise” bike stack up? We tell you all you need to know in our review.
Putting the whole bike together is simple, assuming you can handle its 30 pounds to bring it into the house. Once you open the box, it’s just a case of pulling the wheel legs out from under the bike – then you can freely wheel it wherever you want. The castors don’t contain brakes, but the bike is heavy enough that it remains stable when in use (and you can always swap out the castors for brake-when-loaded ones if you would like).
Beyond that, it’s just a case of putting in a pair of AA batteries, a rubberized drinks coaster over that, then the rubberized pedal covers on the pedals.
It couldn’t be simpler.
This is definitely the bike’s weak point. The build quality just feels a bit shabby. The seams between the different bits of plastic are visible, there are staples holding the seat cover to the seat, and the resistance dial is stiff to adjust.
To some, these may be trifling details, though. The bike wheels around very smoothly. Its clean white or black appearance and lack of straps, cables and other unsightly bits also means that it’s not an eyesore wherever you happen to be keeping it (which, lets’ face it, is probably under your desk).
The batteries in the bike simply power the LCD display, so you don’t need to worry about them running out any time soon. There’s a single button to toggle the display, which switches between all the usual information – speed, distance, calories burned, wheel RPM, time exercised and total time exercised, as well as a SCAN option which changes the display info every five seconds.
The big white dial below the LCD display lets you change the resistance between eight different levels. You can’t ramp it up to some kind of steep inclines or extreme resistance. This is, after all, a bike designed to unintrusively let you have a relatively light workout while you pedal. It’s a good enough range of resistance for that purpose, and of course how hard you pedal is up to you.
We should add that there’s also a version of this bike that, for an extra $50, lets you slot in a table fit for a laptop. If you don’t have a standing desk, then this may be a better option for you.
Exercising in Action
The bike feels silky-smooth to use, which is vital if you’re going to pedal and work at the same time. The wide seat is more designed for upright cycling than a more intense hunched position, and its straight-posture design again speaks to its function as a work bike rather than a high-intensity cardio machine.
The seat pneumatically elevates when you pull the height adjustment lever, making it easy to adjust even mid-cycling.
One thing that detracts from the generally-smooth cycling experience is that on higher resistances sometimes it emitted an unpleasant crunching noise when I was cycling. This was easily fixed by switching the resistance down and back up again, but it still suggests that the internal mechanisms aren’t always as smooth as they should be.
As you’d expect, this slots in perfectly under your typical standing desk, which usually ranges from about 30″ to 50″ in height. At the maximum seat height, my long legs came up to a height of 41″, so plenty of wiggle room there.
With all that space under a standing desk, it makes sense to take advantage of it with a piece of exercise equipment that offers a little more than the rudimentary elliptical trainers you get under sitting desks.
This Desk Bike offers just that, and while it’s not exactly feature-packed and feels a little on the cheap side, at $260 it is actually quite cheap compared to similar offerings out there. If you’re missing the cycle commute to work in these home-working times and are getting itchy feet at your standing desk, then this is worth a shot.
While you’re reworking your home office setup, check out our list of the best docking stations for your Macbook Pro. Our sister site Onlinetivity also digs deep about whether standing desks are really better than sitting desks, so ride on over and check it out.