fitness review

Fun desk-side fitness

With your super-swamped schedule, multitasking is a must or your to-do list will never get done. Fitting in workouts is a high priority but you're finding it harder to find the time. What's a fit-minded working gal to do? Get the FitDesk and work out while you work.

I'm pedaling my desk as I write this. Seriously, I am. The FitDesk, an exercise bike with a desk platform on the handlebars, has quality where it counts—a wide, cushioned seat, reasonably smooth, belt-driven resistance and a sturdy steel frame.

First impressions

The FitDesk assembled in about 15 minutes. Thanks to the cushy seat, I'm not saddle-sore after using it for a week, 30 to 60 minutes a day. If you crank its dial-adjust resistance so high that it slows you down, you may notice some unevenness, but things are nice and smooth once you get into a pedaling rhythm. The basic but functional electronic readout tells me I typically pedal at around 12 mph or about the same speed as cruising around town on my bike.

The resistance isn't silent, but it's close; I doubt people on the phone with me can hear it. The bike itself feels stable beneath me and comes with a seat extender to help long-legged folks get properly aligned. The FitDesk folds for storage or transport and is light enough for one person to wheel around easily.

Working on a bike

The FitDesk's semi-rigid foam desk platform has plenty of room for a large laptop by itself. The "desk" slides onto the bike's handlebars in a couple of different configurations, and if you're daring, you can modify it with a sharp knife for other configurations.

Your laptop secures to the desk with a Velcro strap, and two pockets on the outside of the desk's fabric cover come in handy for storing things like a cell phone, iPod or pen. I wish the desk were large enough to hold a mouse, notepad and glass of water, but I'd rather have a minimalist machine that works well than something overbuilt and unwieldy.

Excellent customer service

Inventor Steve Ferrusi and co-founder Ryan Moore pay close attention to customer feedback (through social media or media), and are constantly making improvements. The bike I got my hands on is an early version of the 2013 model, and Ferrusi and Moore are already hard at work on updates to the desk cover and materials, plus increasing the bike's adjustability.

Final verdict

How much of a workout you can get while working on the FitDesk? My pedaling speed isn't constant. I slow down or even stop completely when focused intensely on something; guess I can't spare the extra brain cells to move my legs. It's easy to pedal fast if I'm just reading or composing a simple email, especially if I sit up straight. And if I'm feeling frustrated? It's me versus the bike, and we both come out winners. The FitDesk isn't quite a spin bike (although they sell those too, plus a full-size pedal workstation), but it's a great way to turn time at your desk into time with your sweat.

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