Helping you stay active at home is the central aim of the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk Bike V9, whether that's whilst you answer emails or as you do some online shopping. Designed as a 'deskcise' bike, in theory, you can prop your laptop on this bike and multi-task all day long, but does it really work the way it should?
We put it to the test in this review to establish if it's worth the investment for those of us who are looking for a new way to keep active at home.
It's obvious from the offset that this bike is looking to do something a little different than the Pelotons and Echelons of this world. It's engineered with unique features, including a pretty spacious desktop, which means that it'll probably be more suited to your home office than your gym.
For those looking to schedule more cardio at home, one of the best exercise bikes has classically been a go-to choice for many. With the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk Bike aiming to do more than allow you to torch calories, is there a place for it in your home? In this review, we tried the bike out at home ourselves, to give you an in-depth idea of whether it's worth your money.
FlexiSpot Cycle Desk Bike V9 specs
- Colors: White, Black
- Size: L37.6" x W22.8" x H42.5"-48.4"
- Resistance levels: 8
- Max user weight: 300lbs
- Monitor: N/A
- Foldable: No
- Wheels: Yes
First impressions of the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk Bike V9
As you might be, I was intrigued by the concept of this deskcise bike from the beginning and wondered how effective it really was. Successive years working from home means that sometimes my enthusiasm for getting outside is lacking, and anything I can do to be more active without leaving the house is always a winner for me. Combine that with a desire to up how much exercise I do a day, and the premise of this bike seemed very appealing indeed.
The bike itself arrived in two boxes, with one containing the bike element and the other containing the desktop, already mostly assembled, meaning all you have to do is attach the two together. The bike itself has a seat, which you can adjust, a resistance dial, a small screen that shows various metrics, and a button to allow you to switch between viewing your speed and the time you've been cycling, for example.
The unboxing process was simple and took next to no time at all – though the boxes are heavy, so it might take two people if you have a few flights of stairs to get up. You just need two AA batteries to get the screen element working, and then you can adjust both the desk and your seat to suit your height. I am 5'7, and I found that the bike was great for my height.
The wheel element of this bike is hidden away, with the whole encasing giving it a nice, sleek look. It fits nicely into my home space in its little corner, and the wheels were immediately handy for placing it wherever was most convenient in the space.
Using the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk V9
Obviously, the big question with this bike is: can you actually cycle and effectively work at the same time? And then the second biggest question is, will you actually use it enough for it to be cost-effective?
To answer that question, let's first establish that the RRP of the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk, which is $399.99 (or just shy of £400 in the UK) including the desktop, which we figure is kind of essential if you want to use it as a desk. You can save roughly a quarter of the price by buying without the desk – but why would you?
The design of the bike, which I think is space-saving and nicely minimalist, definitely encouraged me to get on the bike. To kick things off, I started off with the challenge of answering emails while cycling.
To get started you simply need to turn the dial on the body of the bike, next to the seat. There are eight resistance levels, and for this beginner's session, I opted for the third level to see how it went. With your laptop on the desk in front of you, I would say that your brain sort of adjusts to knowing that this won't be the hardest cardio session you've ever done in your life. I went along at a nice pedestrian pace and found that after a few minutes, the strange adjustment to typing whilst cycling went smoothly.
I like to plug into something whilst I work, and I found a slow-cycling pace was kind of like listening to one of my favorite podcasts. Though there's something else filtering in, it allows me to concentrate on what I'm doing more, with less chance of becoming distracted.
Another feature I really liked with this bike is the tiny LCD screen that lets you keep track of how you're doing. You can see the time you've been cycling for, your speed, distance, calories, and projected speed for an hour. The screen will keep your session on-screen even if you hop off to do something else for a while, which I like, and you can reset on your next session with just one press.
After that first email session, I used the bike in the afternoons for a good few weeks and enjoyed slotting it in as part of my routine. In recent months I am an Apple Watch convert, and I took great satisfaction from being able to close my rings using this bike. After one afternoon's worth of cycling, my record was burning 453 calories in one go. Far more than I would have done just sitting down.
If you're thinking of installing a cardio machine at home, then you might be a little worried about noise levels, especially if a central room in your house is doubling as a makeshift home gym. This bike is, at least to my ears, practically noiseless, and therefore perfect for those trying to juggle exercise with childcare or being mindful of other people working from home. I'm not too sure how it would look to jump on a work call whilst cycling, but I'm fairly sure you wouldn't need to mute yourself if you did want to take a meeting.
Design of the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk V9
This bike is available in white or black, and has minimal branding with a sleek design, meaning it will fit nicely into any space. It doesn't feel obtrusive in my space, and takes up very little room. If you wanted to store it away, you could detach the desk element and use the wheels to take it into a corner, but it's not possible to dismantle the bike element for storage. If you have a spare room, it could be a nice little addition for even more versatility in that space.
In terms of comfort, the bike feels comfortable initially, with plenty of space on the desktop for a laptop and other work materials. Unfortunately, the seat does become uncomfortable after a while (about an hour or so), which is something that user reviews online also explain in detail. A good solution could be investing in a bike seat cover, like this one from Amazon (opens in new tab), to ensure you can stay cycling and working for longer.
Should you buy the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk V9 Bike?
Before I tested the FlexiSpot Cycle Desk V9 Bike out I had read up on user reviews and seen that it had an established fan base, especially amongst those who now work from home. After having it in my bedroom for a good few weeks, I would come to the same conclusion that this bike is most definitely worth the plunge if you're looking for a way to get active and like me, you can be adverse to leaving the house and hitting the gym.
Is it going to be the best workout? No. Is it the comfiest to work at? No. Will it rival the best desk or best home gym equipment? No. But that's not really what it is for. If you have the room and need an easy way to add exercise to your day while you work from home, it is a sound idea.
I'm in a routine of using this bike when I do work in the afternoons, and I'm impressed with how many calories it seems to be burning. I am slightly concerned about the fact that I never feel like I'm exerting myself too much, but that is probably not the central aim of this bike. It's not for those who are looking for a super-intensive workout and to come away drenched in sweat, but it's absolutely flawless as a bike that doubles as a desk, and an investment that you'll enjoy if that's what you're looking for.
About this review, and our reviewer
Molly is the Ecommerce Writer across Homes shopping content, spending time reviewing products to see if they can earn a place in buying guides. She has previous experience when it comes to fitness products at another Future site, Live Science, where she created a whole host of fitness and health-related buying guides, from exercise bikes to yoga mats.
This bike was tested at home for a number of weeks to get a true impression of what it would be like if you purchased this bike yourself. This bike was also available to keep for long-term testing at home, so we will endeavor to keep this review updated to see how this product performed after months and years of use. Find more details about those reviewing products and our review process on our about us page.