See again Tech journalists don’t exactly categorize frontline copies, testing software while avoiding AK-47 fire. The main risk to our health – like millions of office workers – comes from the dozens of Mars bars or other snacks consumed while typing on the keyboard at home.
Presented as a solution to this sedentary lifestyle comes the Flexispot Deskcise Pro V9, which we’ve tried so you don’t have to.
In real Ronseal, that’s pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a desk (or, more precisely, a standing desk) masquerading as an exercise bike. Imagine an exercise bike with the handlebars torn off and in its place a small work surface with enough room for a laptop.
For Vulture Central, this also immediately raised these two questions: What good is an exercise bike without the handles? Why bother if there isn’t enough room for enough monitors to equip a day trader at Goldman Sachs?
regular readers of El Reg You may recall that we reviewed the Flexispot E7 motorized standing desk earlier this year. Although it largely earned our seal of approval, we were forced to drop a few points for the build process which was annoying.
The Deskcise Pro V9 is another matter. It arrived in two boxes. The first, and the largest, contained the entire lower half. The bike – including the caster wheels and pedals – came fully assembled.
Inside the second box, which arrived three days later, was the top of the surface. This is inserted into the cavity that would otherwise contain the handlebars and screwed in with a single bolt.
And that’s all. Three minutes after unpacking the kit, you’re ready to start pedaling, without fiddling with your own toolbox (the solitaire screw came with a compatible hex wrench).
So what’s it like to ride? Flexispot has at least managed to do some things right. The top of the surface is adorned with a thick strip of cushioning material, which takes away most of the pain associated with resting your wrists on a solid surface. It also ensures that your hands are elevated slightly above your keyboard, limiting the amount of movement you make when typing frantically.
Although the seat is quite wide, there is no back support and you will inevitably find yourself hunched over as you work.
Eventually, you’ll tire of using the Deskcise Pro V9 in its bicycle form, as most aren’t used to spending consecutive hours perched in the saddle of an exercise bike. Unless you have Bradley Wiggins’ armored rump, you’ll be in pain.
This is the point when – if you haven’t thrown it out – you get down and use it as a normal standing desk. You can adjust the height of the saddle and the work surface by pulling on their respective levers, although we note that you will need to put a lot of weight on the seat to bring it down.
Another downside of the Deskcise Pro V9 is that it inherently leaves no room for a decent anti-fatigue mat, which is a necessity when using a standing desk. You can mitigate this by wearing a good pair of running shoes, but it’s not really a substitute.
Another problem is that there is not enough desktop space to support multiple displays. Its small work surface limits its potential as a complete workstation, so it’s only really functional if you only need the built-in screen on your laptop.
However, stability is not a problem. The bike has four legs, which can retract under the body for easy storage. These are long enough to give you a low center of gravity. Likewise, the worksurface stayed put regardless of the pedaling frenzy, but, again, it only works if you only need one MacBook Pro.
Why not just buy … a stationary bike
The bike element of the Deskcise Pro V9 works. It comes with eight different resistance levels, which you can switch by turning a dial. Higher resistance levels mean harder and more exhausting workouts.
Above that you’ll find a small LCD screen, which displays the usual information that you would find on normal fitness equipment. It will give you an estimate of how far you’ve theoretically walked, how many calories you’ve burned, etc. This is powered by two AA batteries, which are located under the cup holder.
The pedals provide good grip and do not come with a shoe strap which means we can comfortably use the office bike regardless of our choice of shoe.
Still, we can’t help but think that this kit is only really suitable for a world where working from home is the norm. Maybe it was the scorching June weather or this reviewer’s grossly inadequate fitness standards, but it didn’t take long for me to start sweating like a 1970s TV presenter when he hears a bang. unexpected at the door.
Use it in a conventional office, and it’s only a matter of time before your coworkers start grieving the sudden smell of the workplace like the locker room in a municipal gymnasium.
As an exercise bike, it is proficient and provides the essentials of decent training equipment. But it’s not a complete replacement for a real bike, and it’s priced too high for crossover gear.
While developers need their extra screens to check Stack Overflow for bugs or to switch between their code and versions, the Deskcise Pro V9 is really only suited to simple tasks, like, uh, browsing your e -mails or burn calories while uh, watch a webinar … in this case, just place a laptop on a regular exercise bike.
There are bright spots. With the legs stowed away, this desk / bike doesn’t take up much space and the built-in wheels make it easy to transport from room to room. It’s easy to build (just one screw and you’re good to go). It’s also a fairly easy way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. However, if you have a hard time getting off your chair to go to the gym, why not just buy a regular exercise bike?
And here’s the catch: it’s not cheap. The model reviewed sells for £ 449.99, almost triple what you would expect to spend on a basic exercise bike from Amazon. It’s also slightly more expensive than the current price of the Flexispot E7 standing desk reviewed earlier this year.
In our opinion, this is only a viable alternative to a treadmill desk if your computing needs are limited. ®