How to Pedal a Mini Exercise Bike Correctly- Get the Most of Your Equipment

Mini exercise bikes allow users to multitask while working out. They are compact and easy to fit underneath a desk. People often pedal while working to tone the body and can develop cardio as well. It minimizes the effects of sitting all day long and maximizes your time spent exercising. Yet, how can we use them properly to maximize their health benefits?

There are several tips to getting the maximum benefit from a mini exercise bike. Some may take getting used to it, but eventually, they will become second nature.

Tip One- When Pedalling, Pedal Downward

Pedalling downward prevents the bike from moving. To keep the chair stationary, users need to pedal downward.

To do this:

  • Push the pedal downward. Keep going until it reaches the one o’clock position (past the highest location).
  • Refrain from applying force to the pedal while at its lowest position.
  • Users should keep pedalling downwards through the entire range of motion. Movement should be fluid and not jerky.
  • Point the toes forward as this prevents the heels from hitting the leg or floor.

Tip Two- Begin Slowly

Begin at the lowest resistance level (usually level one on most mini pedal exerciser bikes) and aim to pedal at 10-15 mph. It will allow you to become used to pedalling downward until it becomes second nature.

If you don’t regularly bike, it will allow your muscles to become accustomed to the motion. Increase resistance once you become used to pedalling. If you are not sore by the next day, you can choose to increase the tension.

Workouts should be 30 minutes in duration. The more the person pedals, the more their muscles will adjust to the motion.

Tip Three- Resistance Should be Low at the Desk

Mini Exercise Bike

If you are using your minibike as a desk bike pedal exerciser, the resistance should be no higher than a level three. Some people can handle level four, but experts recommend staying at level three. Mini exercise bikes are more effective at expending energy over a standing desk. Most users don’t feel like they are exercising, yet they are working out three times harder.

Tip Four- The Upper Body Should Remain Still

While pedalling, the upper body should remain still. Only the legs should be in constant movement. Keeping the head still makes focusing on work easier. The advantage of the mini exercise bike over a treadmill is the ability to keep the head still.

Use the legs to pedal, not the body when in use. Avoid rocking from side to side, and pedalling in a downward motion makes exercising easier.

Tip Five- Maintain Good Posture

Refrain from slouching and sit in an upright position. Sitting up straight will strengthen the core and prevent injury. It will also protect the spine.

Tip Six- Support the Back

Depending on the chair’s height and design, users may need to sit at the front of the chair to use the bike. If this is the case, use a lumbar cushion behind the back as support.

Tip Seven- If the Chair Rotates While Working Out

If the chair moves while you are using the bike, then chances are you are pedalling forward- not downwards. Pedalling in a downward motion will eliminate this problem.

Tip Eight- Knees Hitting Desk

There are mini exercise bikes that have low pedal heights. Low pedal heights work well under shorter desks than others with higher heights. A person 5’8” can use these types of exercises at a desk as short as 27”. The chair may need to be lowered for greater clearance, as well as extending the legs.

If you are too tall and/or the desk is too short, the knees may meet the desk’s underside as you pedal. Here are some tips that may help:

  • Lower the chair by a few inches
  • Toes can point upwards while pedalling upward during the pedal stroke. When doing this, you lower the knees about an inch. Pointing the toes downward while on a downward stroke will exercise the calves generating a better workout.
  • Move the bike away from you and extend the legs, lowering the knees. It only works, however, if the desk has depth. It may not work for narrower desks.

How Effective Are They?


Small exercise bikes are not new to the market. They appear to be the pedal portion of a larger exercise bike void of a seat or handlebars. Mini exercise bikes are compact and small, making it difficult to imagine receiving any benefit from this machine.

While their size makes them appear ineffective, they can aid with weight loss if combined with a calorie-controlled diet. Most people using this equipment are looking to lose weight. They can do so by reducing their daily intake and burning extra calories with exercise.

How much weight can be lost depends on several factors? Age, heart rate, gender, and weight all play a role in how quickly pounds come off. The general formula for a calorie burn is as follows:

For Men: Calories/minute= ((-55.0969 + (0.6309 x HR) + (0.1988 x weight) + (0,2017 x age)) / 4.184

For Women: Calories/minute = ((-20.4022 + (0.4472 x HR) + (0.1263 x weight) + (0.074 x age)) / 4.184

To lose weight, you need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound of weight each week. Using a mini exercise bike could be as efficient as a gentle stroll.

In terms of toning, the body will become more toned as the weight comes off. It works out muscle groups in the legs and will create a better tone/definition. Calves, quadriceps, hip flexors, and hamstrings will gradually see improvement as you continue to work out.

The difference between a mini exercise bike and a traditional/stationary bike is in the seating position. On an upright, people are seated higher, so they use the core muscles in the mid-stomach for balance throughout the workout. A mini cycle will not use core muscles unless you sit up straight and engage them through your workout.

Users need to use a suitable chair to work out their core. Users will need to target muscles by locating the pedals away from the body and adjusting the chair with a slight incline.

These bikes may give you a cardiovascular workout if you go fast enough. However, they aren’t for those who make fitness a lifestyle. They are for people who want to simulate walking. These machines aren’t designed for a high-intensity workout as they are not stable enough for it.

The benefits of these bikes are as follows:

  • Help burn calories
  • Combat cholesterol
  • Moderate blood sugar
  • Gentle toning
  • Easy on joints
  • Improves circulation

Ultrasport Mini Bike is compact. It has foot and hand pedals with adjustable straps for added support. It can strengthen both leg and arm muscles and has an onboard computer with a large LCD. The LCD shows scan, distance, time, rotations per exercise, overall rotations, and the number of calories burned.

  • Maximum user weight is 100 kg
  • 2 kg flywheel with manual resistance
  • Resistance is in the form of friction
  • Some measurements may be off

DeskCycle 2 has an adjustable leg and height. If you are tall, it gives you greater desk clearance. This piece of equipment is quiet and gives a smooth pedal motion taking off the stress on your joints, making it perfect for those with disabilities or the elderly.

It has a higher range of resistance levels (eight). It has a five function LED display to count speed, distance, calories, and time. It also comes with a desk display extension.

  • Low profile
  • Adjustable for various user heights
  • Compact
  • Easy on joints
  • Requires assembly

The Ancheer desk cycle is an ergonomic mini exercise bike that you can plugin or use without power. It provides a full workout while at the office or home. There are five different speed levels, and pedals can move backward or forward to target various muscles.

You can record fitness goals with an advanced LED display that displays distance, time, speed, scan, and calories.  This bike is quiet and easy to transport with a small footprint that stores easily. Plus, the pedals are anti-slip and improve circulation.

  • Compact
  • Small footprint
  • Ergonomic design
  • Some customers report that it is noisy

Mini exercise bikes are a great low-impact way to incorporate physical activity along with a low-calorie diet. It is great for those with disabilities or the elderly with sore joints or a limited range of motion. The design eliminates joint pressure by creating a smooth movement.

There are several things to consider when operating the equipment, but most of them are easy to follow and quickly become automatic. The biggest tip is pressing the pedals downward to obtain a proper workout and prevent the chair from sliding.

Mini bikes are a great tool to incorporate an easy, low impact workout.

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