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The 5 best bike desks: Stay active while working from home

What is the best bike desk? The FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro is ZDNet's top choice. We looked at features like weight capacity, dimensions, resistance levels, and cost to help determine the best desk bikes that will help you create the habit of exercise and activity while also potentially increasing your cardio and productivity. It's the best of both worlds.
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Written by Sherin Shibu, Editor on
Reviewed by Elyse Betters Picaro

Remote work has us stationed at home -- the problem is that our bodies are also stationary. Everyone has heard about how inactivity can affect overall health. Regular exercise is thought to help improve mental well-being, strengthen the immune system, build muscle, and strengthen bones. 

Despite the positive aspects of exercise, it can be challenging to get changed and go to the gym, especially after a long day of work. This is where desk bikes come in handy. You can pedal under your desk all day long as you work on that project or draft a promotion-worthy email -- all while staying in place. Cycling can be easier on the joints than running, while also providing joint mobility and possibly helping with cardiovascular fitness. It's important to incorporate habit-forming activities into your life as seamlessly as possible; that way, they stick around for longer periods of time. A bike desk creates a habit of exercise that combines cardio with productivity: It's the best of both worlds.

It's not just remote workers who are moving to bike desks. Hybrid workers and in-person workers could reap the benefits on a company-wide level. For example, social media management company Hootsuite revamped its Vancouver headquarters and replaced 500 desks with bike desks, treadmill desks, meeting pods, and sit-stand workstations. Bike desks have the potential to alleviate the stress of work while also making sure you stay awake and alert.

FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro | Best bike desk
Amazon

Features

  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 37.6 x 23.2 x 47.2 inches
  • Item weight: 51 lbs
  • Height range: 5' to 6' 
  • Number of resistance levels: 8
  • Costs around $420

This machine looks strong enough to withstand the toughest workout. It has a strong, stable frame consisting of a rounded body so that kids won't get hurt on any sharp edges. You can easily adjust the desk bike seat up or down by pressing the pneumatic adjustment lever -- no pins or knobs. The pedals are easy to access, but there are no straps to ensure that your feet stay put while cycling. 

The entire bike desk comes shipped to you in five pieces, which means setting up is a breeze. The 20 inch x 20 inch desk part is ergonomically designed so that you have a good work experience as well as a good workout. You can adjust the desk with a lever and move the entire machine from location to location quickly because it's on easy-move rollers. The pedals are marketed as silent, which means easier concentration on other tasks.

Overall, the FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro is elegant, with a scratch-resistant exterior and user-friendly design. The desk could easily fit a laptop or notebooks. I found this bike desk to be a successful combination of ergonomic work and a good exercise experience. 

Pros

  • Large 20 inch x 20 inch desk surface
  • Pneumatic adjustment lever 
  • Stable triangle frame
  • Easy to reach the pedals
  • Five pieces in the package for easy assembly

Cons

  • Battery not included
  • Double check the warranty process
  • Seat could be uncomfortable
Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000 | Best bike desk
Amazon

Features

  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 45.3 x 25 x 51.3 inches
  • Item weight: 71 lbs
  • Height range: 5'1" to 6'3" 
  • Number of resistance levels: 8
  • Costs around $262

The desk on the Exerwork stands out for its sliding function: It can move forward, backward, up, and down, and also tilt at zero, 16, and 33 degrees. The height adjustments range from 41" up to 45" which means that this machine can seat a range of people. It's also great for apartments, considering that it can be folded and stored into a 21.3" L x 25.5" W space. The seat should be comfortable because it consists of a 2.5" thick AirSoft cushion that doesn't heat up, even after hours of use.

The overall desk space is 24" L x 16" W, which makes for a lower area than the desk of the FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro. This is also a hefty piece of equipment at 71 pounds, which means that moving it around might not be easy. There are built-in transportation wheels to alleviate that problem, and the added weight while in use could even make the machine feel more stable.

The great thing about the Exerwork is that it has pulse sensors that monitor your heart rate throughout your workout. (Have you ever wondered if your pulse spikes when you get an email from your boss? Now's the time to find out!) This bonus feature ensures that the machine keeps you working out safely. You can track your workouts on the MyCloudFitness app if you upgrade to the Bluetooth-capable version. 

Pros

  • Drawer and cupholder built into desk
  • Folds for storage
  • Able to upgrade to a Bluetooth option
  • Sliding desktop with three angle adjustments and five height adjustments
  • Heart rate meter

Cons

  • Multiple Amazon reviewers have been displeased by the noise this machine makes
  • Small work surface that can only hold up to 44 pounds
  • Machine can be hard to move and store, even if it can fold
Fit Right Bike Desk | Best bike desk.jpg
Amazon

Features

  • Weight capacity: 285 lbs
  • Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 50 inches
  • Item weight: 51 lbs
  • Height range: 5'2" to 6'5"
  • Number of resistance levels: 8
  • Costs around $220

The Fit Right takes the positives of the FlexiSpot and packages them neatly into a nearly $200 lower price point. The Fit Right bike desk has a stable base with transportation wheels and a folding capability for easy transport. Once folded, it has a 30" L x 7" W footprint. It comes partially assembled in the box, so setup is as hassle-free as possible. 

The desk has a cupholder and enough space for a small laptop. If you have a larger machine or need more space, the desk could be too small for you. Both the desk and the seat have options to move up or down by about 10 inches each. 

You can measure your biking performance over time and in terms of speed, distance, and calories burned. The LCD monitor tracks it all. Go on longer rides with the comfortable leather seat, and do work simultaneously without being bothered. The silent belt drive ensures a smooth biking experience.

Pros

  • Adjustable padded leather seat
  • Stable base with wheels
  • Silent functioning 
  • Foldable
  • Adjustable desk (height)

Cons

  • No pedal straps
  • Desk cannot be extended
  • No back support
FitDesk Bike 3.0
Amazon

Features

  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs
  • Dimensions: 28 x 16 x 45 inches
  • Item weight: 45 lbs
  • Height range: 4'10" to 6'6"
  • Number of resistance levels: 8
  • Costs around $310

This bike desk not only has a massage bar built-in for your arms, but also comes with resistance bands under the seat so that you can do an upper body workout while cycling. The possibilities abound with a FitDesk 3.0. The machine is marketed as quiet and reliable, so whether you're working out or working on your laptop, or both at the same time, you won't be bothered. If you like listening to music, you can store your earphones in the desk's storage tray. This tray is impressive because it doubles as support for a tablet or small computer, so you can cycle hands-free and maybe even incorporate those included resistance bands into your workout. 

The desk measures 16" W x 19" L and has a non-slip, soft-grip surface. It allows you to read a book, watch a tutorial, or get some work done, with the option to be hands-free. The compact machine is relatively light and foldable, and it's made of aluminum and steel instead of plastic. 

One thing that this bike desk shares with others on this list is that it has eight resistance levels, so you can adjust your workout to suit your physical limitations and comfort. The beach cruiser seat can be adjusted depending on height, and the built-in performance meter tracks your cycling mileage, calories burned, and distance. 

Pros

  • Built-in storage tray
  • Has a massage bar that supports your arms
  • Tilt top desk surface that can support the back of a tablet
  • Foldable frame
  • Can do an upper body workout with included resistance bands

Cons

  • Desk area is on the smaller side
  • No foot straps to secure your feet to the bike
  • Assembly required
DeskCycle Under Desk
Amazon

Features

  • Weight capacity: 500 lbs
  • Dimensions: 24 x 20 x 10 inches
  • Item weight: 23 lbs
  • Number of resistance levels: 8
  • Costs around $179

Sometimes you just want the pedaling function without the desk. DeskCycle's bike pedal exerciser fits under desks as low as 27 inches, and it doesn't have a desk included. It's discreet, transportable, and Fitbit compatible. The LCD screen tracks how much you pedal, going up to 1,000 minutes of activity at a time. It also shows speed, time, distance, and calories burned on an easily readable screen.

The pedaler itself is marketed as quiet and smooth with a magnetic precision flywheel, so you can bike while on a Zoom call. It holds up to 500 lbs and has eight different intensity levels ranging from warm-up to muscular toning. The machine is light and has adjustable straps to secure your feet in place.

The lack of a desk attached to this pedal exerciser makes it lighter than other options on this list, but also perhaps the most easily physically moved by your workout. The structural stability of the machine might not be the same as that of a full-fledged bike desk. There's no specified height range, so taller people might not get the same range of motion out of this machine as shorter folks. A few people in the reviews expressed difficulty with assembling it.

Pros

  • LCD screen shows speed, time, distance, and calories burned
  • Fitbit compatible
  • Quiet, smooth bike
  • Small machine that can fit under desks as low as 27 inches
  • High weight capacity

Cons

  • Lacks the structural stability of a larger bike desk
  • No specified height range, so taller people might not get the same range of motion
  • Could be challenging to assemble

What is the best bike desk?

The affordability of each product matters, as does how much weight it can hold, and how heavy it is to transport. Here's a side-by-side comparison of those variables. Keep in mind that there are bonus features, like resistance bands, pulse sensors, and more, that could make one machine more worthwhile for you than another. 

Bike desk

Price

Weight Capacity

Item Weight

FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro

$420

300 lbs

51 lbs

Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000

$262

300 lbs

71 lbs

FIt Right Bike Desk

$220

285 lbs

51 lbs

FitDesk Bike 3.0

$310

300 lbs

45 lbs

DeskCycle Under Desk

$179

500 lbs

23 lbs

Which is the right bike desk for you?

Each of these bike desks has a differentiating factor, something that makes it special. Choose what matters to you most.

Choose this bike desk...

Ifyou want...

FlexiSpot Deskcise Pro

A sturdy bike desk with an ergonomic design and easy assembly.

Exerpeutic Exerwork 1000

Pulse sensors, a sliding desk, and the option to track your workouts with an integrated app.

FIt Right Bike Desk

A comfortable, silent work/bike experience for less than $250.

FitDesk Bike 3.0

Full body workouts complete with resistance bands and an arm massage bar.

DeskCycle Under Desk

To keep your desk but add a bike underneath.

How did we choose these bike desks?

I'm a remote worker myself who likes being active and staying fit, and I thought other people might be in the same boat. I also read about Hootsuite remodeling their Vancouver office and incorporating bike desks and treadmill desks into their design and I thought that what was done on a large scale in a corporate setting could also be replicated for those who work from home. Thus my selection process began with getting into the mindset of someone who works remotely -- what do we care about? Having ample desk space and a quiet biking experience were at the top of my list. I then branched out into specific needs, such as full body workouts or pulse sensors. I approached this list as a customer, not just someone with a cursory interest in the products. I did the research so you wouldn't have to, and found some great products that have helped people lose weight, strengthen their bodies, and incorporate activity seamlessly into their work schedule.

After hours of poring over specification sheets and reviews, comparing one bike desk to another, I chose the top five that encompassed specific needs while also being highly functional. The most important aspect is prioritizing health and activity, and making sure professional success doesn't come at the expense of physical health. Bike desks are one means to that end. 

What is a bike desk?

A bike desk has a cycling component and a desk component that are oftentimes connected on one machine, or broken apart for customizability. You could easily take your current desk and add a DeskCycle under desk pedaling component and voila! Your own bike desk. If you wanted a unified machine, you could go for any other product on this list.

What are the benefits of desk bikes?

Biking is aerobic exercise that benefits your heart, blood vessels, and lungs: It's great for improving your overall fitness. Regular physical activity has also been linked to decreased stress and body fat levels. A bike desk takes an inevitable situation, you're sitting down doing work, and spins it into something physically productive. 

Who can use a bike desk?

As the height and weight range of the products on this list demonstrates, anyone can use a bike desk. Biking in particular is easier on the joints than running or higher-impact activities. Each product has eight resistance levels which give you more flexibility when working out.

Are there alternative bike desks worth considering?

Of course. Here are some alternatives from a different retailer.

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