Free activity logging and FitbitĀ® support now available!

Tips For Using the DeskCycle at your Desk

Tip 1. Pedal downward.

In order to keep the bike in place, and to keep your chair from swilveling you will need to pedal downward.

How to Pedal downward

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

Tip 2. Start out slow.

Start out at the minimum resistance (level 1) and pedal the bike at 10 to 15 mph. This will give you a chance to get used to pedaling downward. For those who don't ride a bike regularly, it will get your muscles used to using the bike. Increase the resistance as you get used to pedaling the bike. If you're not sore the next day you can increase it. The first workout should be no more than 30 minutes. The more you pedal, the more it will become second nature.

Tip 3. Keep the resistance low at your desk.

We reccommend keeping the resistance to level 3 or less, although some people do fine on level 4.

The DeskCycle is 3 to 5 times more effective than a standing desk.
Using the DeskCycle on level 1 at a leisurely pace of 15 mph doesn't feel like exercise at all. Yet this will raise your energy expenditure about 3 times as much as standing at your desk. On level 3 the difference is over 5 times.

At Desk Activity Energy Expenditure Increase Versus Sitting Still

Standing at your desk


Using the DeskCycle at resistance level 1


Using the DeskCycle at resistance level 2


Using the DeskCycle at resistance level 3


Walking on Treadmill desk at 1-1.5mph


Using the DeskCycle at resistance level 4


Using the DeskCycle at resistance level 5


The DeskCycle has 8 resistance levels.

Tip 4. Keep your upper body 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.

  • Pedal with your legs, not your body.
  • Don't rock from side to side.
  • Pedaling downward makes this easier.

Tip 5. Sit up straight.

Don't slouch, sit up straight. Sitting up straight while using the DeskCycle will help strengthen your core. It's also good for your spine.

Tip 6. Keep your back supported.

Depending on your chair design and your height, you may need to sit towards the front of your chair in order to use the bike. In this case, place a lumbar cushion behind your back for support. Here is a link to some on Amazon.

Tip 7. 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.

Tip 8. If your knees hit your desk.

The DeskCycle has the lowest pedal height of all pedal exercisers. The DeskCycle pedals are 10 inches high at the highest point. There is a shorter leg that will lower the pedals to 9 inches high.

Because of the low pedal height, the DeskCycle will work under shorter desks than any other pedal exerciser. It can be used at desks as short as 27 inches by a person who is 5'8", and a 28 inch desk by a person who is 5'11".
You may have to lower your chair. Lowering your chair will improve your clearance. Extending your legs helps with clearance also. Some chairs go as low as 15 inches.

If your desk is short and/or if you are tall, your knees may hit the underside of your desk when you pedal the bike.

Below are some tips that will lower your knees.

  • Lower your chair. This can lower your knees by several inches. In most cases this is all you will need to do.
  • Point your toes upward on the upward pedal stroke. When your toes are pointing upward, your knees will be lower by an inch or more. Then point your toes forward on the downward pedal stroke. This exercises your calves as well.
  • Move the bike farther away from you and extend your legs more. Extending your legs lowers your knees. You may not be able to do this if your desk is not very deep underneath.