Top critical review
52 people found this helpful
ALMOST Perfect. Almost..
on November 24, 2015
I’ve had about 20 days since receiving this item to see how it holds up. My first impressions were that it was larger than I expected. It isn’t huge per say, but it is definitely a big presence under my cubicle desk which doesn’t stick out very far. My desk probably has a depth of about 24-26” or so, a then there’s the cube wall. When placing this thing under my desk, it sticks out about 2” or so past the table top. The part that sticks out is basically the “T” cross bar that helps keep this thing upright without falling over when pedaling. The small issue is that with it sticking out like this, the office charge doesn’t go very far forward. I have to drag my keyboard and mouse pad all the way up to the edge of the desk surface, then hunch over forward a little (not a lot). Either way, I will need to sit away from the desk as described since my knees hit the desk if I try to scoot forward and tuck legs under. I am 5’10” with long legs and an average sized torso. The way I have it set up, I HAVE to use the straps to keep my chair rolling away at max #8 resistance. Typically you will not need to strap your chair if you are using a lighter resistance, or can actually get more of your legs over it (to pedal downwards). In my case, I have to pedal away from me a little bit with a 45 degree thrust angle. The desk height is 30”, but the table top thickness takes away about 1.5”.
Once I got used to the short pedal strokes and changing my form a little bit to avoid banging my knees right at the edge of the desk, this thing worked great! I always use it every day I am at work, and I usually pedal at an average speed of 14-15mph on the hardest setting (8). I may take breaks here and there because my butt or back may get too hot against these pleather seats, but I usually crack over 1000 calories burned within the first few hours of my work day (using the online deskcycle calculator). Usually after that, I give it a rest for the rest of the day and may only pedal for a minute or two to get my blood flowing (keeps me awake). I started at 200lbs, and I am in the upper 180’s now (weight fluctuates with water intake, food weight, and undischarged waste). I can comfortably say I lost 10-12lbs on this thing in 20 days or so. I didn’t really change my eating habits either, which I assume would have resulted in a larger loss.
I have one major gripe right now that is worthy of losing a star. Recently when my right pedal is almost to the 12 o’ clock position under pedaling load, I would hear a thump noise that can be felt through the pedals. When people aren’t talking to each other or on the phones around here, I swear this thump can be heard across the entire office. It sounds like flicking the side of my computer with my finger. From an engineering standpoint, I believe it is a thrust bearing since I can feel it. It feels as though there is a flat spot in an otherwise smooth rotation. The flat spot and thump happen at the exact same spot during the rotation on every rotation when under my standard load of #8 @ speeds of 13+mph. Otherwise, it all works great! For this one flaw, it deducts a star. If it didn’t do this, I would give it 5 stars since the rest of the stuff is rather situational depending on desk setup that you can work around or adapt to. This thump cannot be adapted to unless I slow way way way down or reduce the resistance. I do not have tools and such to take it apart to see which part is causing the noise, but even if I did have tools, it would not be appropriate to tear this thing apart while I am at work.
OK the loud thumping clunk went away. It used to occur when the right pedal was at the top of its stroke. You can still feel a slight bump in the rotation as you pass this area, like it has a flat spot in the bearing. However, there are two new issues now. There's a slight click noise when the left pedal is just pass the top of its stroke, not too loud. It is definitely louder than my mouse clicks which are audible throughout my entire quiet office. The second new issue is SQUEAKING! It occurs where the bump at the top of the right pedal stroke is. It only happens when the unit gets hot which depends on the resistance setting and speed. For me, I can get it to start squeaking within 8-10 minutes at #8 resistance setting pedalling about 17-21mph which is my new normal speed. I am to the point where I want to pedal faster (fitness level increased beyond the available resistance). The problem with faster is that it will squeak sooner. It sounds like two gorillas jumping on an old bed, and the only way to stop it is to quit pedalling for 30+ minutes. During this time, the plastic casing gets very hot to the touch. I can feel the heat radiating from it with my legs not even touching it. Since there are two new issues and only getting worse, I am deducting two more stars from my original review. This thing would be absolutely perfect if it had higher quality bearings for the highly loaded thrust of the pedals. People who will not put many miles on theirs or train at a much lower resistance and speed may never have these problems. Unfortunately for me, I would like to reach my quota of 20-25 miles a day at the highest resistance in a reasonable and comfortable amount of time (usually within a couple of hours for a result of 900-1000 calories burned per day). I think it's silly to stop pedalling right when my heart rate and breathing level out and rest for a whopping 30-45 minutes to avoid annoying everybody around me. I would recommend this for a casual exercise tool, but anyone who wants to use this as a primary calorie burner will need to think twice about it. Heavy use will place too much wear on the bearings which it was clearly not designed to endure.