Things to know before buying a pedal exerciser

Regardless what you buy, it’s always good to do your homework in order to find what you are looking for in that particular item and what you should pay attention to. If you are planning to buy a pedal exerciser, read this short guide to learn what features are important and what you shouldn’t neglect.

How to get a good exercise without leaving your office

Things to know before buying a pedal exerciser

  • Smoothness
    The key to staying motivated while exercising on a stationary bike or pedal exerciser is to feel the smooth road bike momentum and it’s not possible with a jerky pedal exerciser. Most pedal exercisers have one common problem, they are jerky when you pedal. There are two types of jerky motions:
    #1. Some pedal exercisers are jerky with little and high resistance. #2. Some have jerky pedals motion only when you use them on high resistance.
    There are few pedal exercisers that feature better mechanism and don’t have this problem.
  • Platform
    Pedal exercisers are designed to be small and to fit under the table and desk, although you need to keep in mind that if your mini exercise bike has a narrow platform, you are going to have a problem to keep it stable. Therefore, look for the pedal exercisers with a wider platform for better balance and stability.
  • Look for the width and height?
    If it’s taller than the width (for example 20 inches tall and 15 inches wide),  it means it’s not going to be stable and will rock. A wide and short ship is always more stable than a tall and narrow ship.
  • Resistance type, level, and adjustability  
    There are a few things to know about resistance. There are two major resistance systems in all stationary exercise bikes. Magnetic and direct contact brake/friction. Magnetic does not come in contact with the disk, it simply gets close and far to provide little or high resistance. Friction, on the other hand, touches the disk to bring resistance and that causes two major problems. #1. The pads wear out and need to be changed and maintained often. #2. It makes noise because it touches the disk.
    Magnetic, since it doesn’t touch the disk, it doesn’t wear out, needs little maintenance and doesn’t make any noise.
    Now that you know the difference between the two types of resistance, it’s also important to know that many pedal exercisers come with little resistance tension. So, look for a pedal exerciser with high levels of resistance, preferably magnetic resistance.
  • Quietness 
    Regardless where you want to use it, home or office, it’s important to pay special attention to how quiet the exercise bike you are buying is in order to multi-task and not to be disturbed or disturb others. What makes any exercise indoor bike quiet is the drive and resistance system. Drive belt and magnetic system are the keys to a good indoor exercise bike.
  • Pedal height and adjustable straps
    The lower the pedals are better because they give you the chance to exercise under short tables and desks and are more comfortable. It’s important to know how low your desk is because some mini exercise bikes can’t be used under low desks. In the description of the pedal exercisers, it’s usually written the size of the pedal from the floor. To keep your feet firm on the pedals it’s important to have adjustable straps.
  • How to check if the mini bike fits under your desk
    Take, for example, the DeskCycle mini bike: it’s 10 inches tall from the floor to the highest point of the pedals. So, what you need to do is to sit on the chair behind your desk/table and raise your feet 10 inches and see if your knees hit the desk. If they hit the desk, adjust the height of the desk and try again and if the chair needs to go up or down, adjust it, then check again and if everything feels normal without hitting anywhere, then you can buy that bike. Remember to put something the same length of the mini bike you want to buy under the desk, this way you know if the feet/base of the mini bike is going to come in contact with the wheels of your chair. Because if the base of the mini bike comes in contact with your chair wheels, it will push you away from the desk and you won’t be comfortable to work.
    If you want the pedal exerciser to work out your arms and legs in the open and NOT under the desk, then you can forget this. Although, even in this case, you should look for a stable (wide base-short height) mini bike.
  • Digital Display
    To stay motivated it’s important to keep track of your workout values such as calories, distance, speed and time. Most mini bikes have digital displays, but check to make sure.
  • Bidirectional pedal motion
    Choose a pedal exerciser that let you do both forward and reverse pedaling. It’s revealed that pedaling backward/reverse on some of the exercise bikes elicited higher heart-rate and energy-cost values and reduces the pressure on the joint.
  • Warranty 
    Look for a pedal exerciser with a longer warranty, it proves the quality of the product and gives less headache if it breaks.

Best Pedal Exercisers vs Exerciser Bikes

Pedal exerciser’s benefits

  • Improves blood circulation
  • Improves heart rate
  • Helps you lose the fatty parts above your knee and in general tone your legs
  • Pedal exerciser helps with confidence, desk work efficiency and improves your mood.
  • Exercise pedal helps elderly who have problems going up the stairs
  • Another pedal exerciser benefit is helping in the rehabilitation following a surgery or injury
  • The pedal exerciser helps burn calories, lose weight, stay active and live healthier
  • The mini exerciser bike helps to lower stress and boost energy, you don’t need extra coffee or energy drink to get you started, the pedal exerciser will do that for you.

–>> Check out our reviews for the best pedal exercisers


Hi there, I'm Sayed Hamed Hosseiny, the founder and one of the authors at (YEB). I am a former indoor cycling instructor and personal trainer with nearly 20 years of experience. With a passion for indoor cycling, I have spent years designing cycling parts, repairing, and importing exercise bikes. All the articles, tips, guides, reviews, and comparisons on (YEB) reflect my personal opinion and expertise in the field. I'm excited to share my knowledge with fellow exercise bike enthusiasts and help people find reliable indoor cycling information and the best exercise bike for their needs. If you have any questions or suggestion, you can contact me at

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  1. Thank you for your help. Good advice and things to take into consideration for my pop’s.

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