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How to use the Deskcycle


The DeskCycle 2 is solid with a wide base. It will stay in place when used properly.

The RIGHT way…Pedal downward!

  • Start pushing down on the pedal when the pedal arm reaches the 1 o’clock position (just past the highest pedal position).
  • Stop applying force to the pedal when it is at it’s lowest position.
  • You should be pedaling downward throughout this range as shown by the arrows in the picture.
  • Point your toes forward. This keeps your heels from hitting the floor or leg.

The WRONG way…don’t pedal forward!

You can’t pedal a mini exercise bike the same way that you do a recumbent bike. If you do, it will slide forward when you pedal.

When using a recumbent bike:

  • you begin appying the force when the pedal arm is in the 12 o’clock position.
  • you push the pedals forward (the white arrows show the direction you are pushing)
  • your toes are pointing upward.

This is the wrong way to pedal the a mini exercise bike. If you pedal it this way, the bike will slide forward.


Train yourself at the lowest resistance

When you first get the bike, set the resistance to level 1. Practice pedaling at this resistance for at least a week. Focus on pedaling downward as shown in the above diagram.

Increase the tension gradually

After using the DeskCycle 2 for a week on level 1 you can increase the tension to level 2. Try the bike out for a couple of days before increasing the resistance. When pedaling while working, we reccomend keeping the resistance setting to a level 3 or lower.

Your upper body should be still

When you pedal you should focus on keeping your upper body still. Only your legs should be moving. Keeping your head still makes it easier to focus on your work.  One of the advantages that a bike has over a treadmill is that you can keep your head still.

How far away should the bike be?

Your knees should be bent about 25 degrees from fully-extended when the pedal is farthest away from you.

How tall should my chair be?

As long as you can reach the pedals your chair can be any height.

The height of the chair will determine which muscles you use.

  • Lower chairs tend work your hamstrings and glutes more.
  • Higher chairs will work your quads more.

The important thing to remember is to pedal downward. This will keep the bike in place.


If your knees hit your desk

If your desk is short, your knees may hit the underside of your desk when you pedal the bike. In this case you can do one or both of the following things to lower your knees.

  • Lower your chair.
  • Move the bike farther away from you and extend your legs more.


If your chair rotates when using the bike

If your chair rotates when you pedal then you are pedaling forward. Pedaling downward will eliminate this problem.


If your chair rolls away from the bike

Pedal Downward. When you pedal downward, the bike and chair should stay together when used on carpeted floors.

For hard slippery floors, you can lock your wheels on your chair.



Below are a couple of suggestions on how you can use the DeskCycle 2. You can modify these to suit your needs.


Suggestion 1: Exercise while working at your desk

This is a low-speed and low-resistance exercise. When using the bike like this you won’t work up a sweat. However, wou will raise your energy expenditure and burn more calories.

Researchers have linked prolonged levels of low energy expenditure with Metabolic Syndrome 1.

Researchers at CU Boulder measured the energy expenditure on subjects using the DeskCycle 2. The results are shown in the table below. Other popular desk activities are listed as well.

Note that using the DeskCycle 2 at the minimum resistance setting of 1, which doesn’t feel like exercise at all, your energy expenditure is higher than when standing at your desk.


At Desk Activity Percent Increase in Energy Expenditure Above Sitting at Your Desk
Sitting on an exercise ball 6%
Standing at your desk 30%
Using the DeskCycle 2 at resistance level 1 (1 revolution per second) 50%
Using the DeskCycle 2 at resistance level 3 (1 revolution per second) 100%
Walking on Treadmill desk at 1-1.5mph 100%


Be sure to read and understand all of the tips listed above before reading this section.

We recommend starting at a resistance setting of 1 and pedal for no more than an hour the first day. If you are not sore the next day then add 15 minutes each day until you are where you want to be. After that you can increase the resistance 1 step per week until you find the highest level that still feels comfortable and doesn’t interfere with your work. This gradual increase lets your legs build up strength and endurance. It also lets you get used to pedaling the bike downward. We reccommend not exceededing resistance level 3 when working at your desk.

Pedal Speed: 10 to 15 MPH. This slower pedal speed makes it easy to keep your upper body still.

Duration: 1 to 8 hours per day, 5 days per week

Resistance Setting: This depends on your strengh. Most people will be between 1 and 3. Note that higher resistance levels may make it more difficult for your to keep your upper body still.


  • Burn lots of calories. Use the Online Calorie Calculator for the best accuracy.
  • Improve your health
  • Increase the blood flow to your brain throughout the day
  • Increase your energy level
  • Extend your life; reduce the risk factors associated with the “Sitting Disease”. Note that the sitting disease is a misnomer. It should be called the “being sedentary for long periods of time disease”. It just happens that sitting still is the primary sedentary activity.



Suggestion 2: Get a cardio workout before work

You don’t need clearance at your desk to use the bike this way. It would be difficult to work anyway while using the bike at the high intensity.

In 2009, the Surgeon General recommended that people get at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week—30 minutes per day for at least five days per week.

For moderate to intensity physical activity, a person’s heart rate should be between 50 to 70% of his or her maximum heart rate.

An estimate of a person’s maximum heart rate can be obtained by subtracting the person’s age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum heart rate would be 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm).

50% of this would be 170 x 0.5 = 85 bpm for moderate workout

70% would be 170 x 0.7 = 119 bpm for an intense workout

Pedal Speed: 25 to 30 MPH

Duration: 30 minutes total per day. You can break this up into 3, 10-minute sessions.

Resistance Setting: This depends on how in-shape you are. Most people will be between 1 and 4.

Self Heart Rate Check: Place your finger on your wrist and count the number of pulses for 15 seconds. Then multiply this by 4.
See WikiHow for details.

Start slow: The first workout should be at a pedal speed of 15mph and a resistance setting of 1. Increase the speed each day until you are up to 25 mph. Then increase the resistance each week until your are up to your target heart rate. Consult your doctor If you feel weak or dizzy during these workouts.

Here’s an excellent book outlining the benefits of exercise on the brain.
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain