Best Folding Exercise Bike with Laptop Desk Review, 2017

After doing some deep researches, I think it’s time to release this review to tell you which is the Best Folding Exercise Bike with Laptop Work Station, 2017 in Amazon.

People has too many reasons not go to the gym, such as the price is high, can’t stick to the gym course, sofa is so comfortable, TV show is attractive, too busy to go etc. OK, at least you need do some exercise workout at home. There are many easy workout without equipment such as push-up, plank, pull-up, etc. And you don’t have to buy professional gym equipment, There are also many workout equipment can helps you keep fit, such as Treadmill, Stationary Bike, Elliptical Trainer and more in the retail market.

They have wide range of price from under $200 to over $500, many private brands you heard it or not are selling many kinds of fitness products. Their quality is hard to identify. So you may say, go to Amazon and buy one directly. I know Amazon product page is proud for its simplicity style with only few information can find for the item they sell. They want remove all the other irrelevant elements and let customer focus on the beautiful product image, brief instruction, and check some reviews at most, then 1-click add to cart ASAP.  

Here comes the question, what if I want know more about it before I place order? What if I found the actual thing is not match with the photo and description I saw? I know I can return back. But did they know I have throw the package right after open it, and why should I cost time to repack them and call UPS to pick it up? I believe many people have the same thoughts like me. A Frustrating returnTo help you walk away from this bad experiences, I did the research for you. And below is the review results for your references.

Section 1: Spec Review

Full Product Specification Sheet
 FitdeskExerpeuticWirk RideStaminaPintyLoctek
Product Size28.00"L x 16.00"W x 45.00"H45.3" L x 25" W x 51.3" H37.25"L x 27.5"W x 45.5"H44"L x 25"W x 45"H31.5"L x 18.3"W x 40.5"H 31.5"L x 18.3"W x 40.5"H
Fold Size16"L x 26"W x 45"H21.3" L x 25.5"W x 54”H32.7" L x 25.2" W x 43"L32.7" L x 25.2" W x 43"L12"W x 17"L x 58"H17"L x 12"W x 52"H
Product Weight47 LBS64.7 LBS53 LBS52 LBS45 LBS45 LBS
Fit Height4'10" to 6'5"5'1" to 6'3"4'10" to 6'5"4'10" to 6'5"4'6“ to 6'0"5'1" to 6'0"
Desk Size16"L x 19"W16"L X 24"W17.25"W x 10"L17.25"W x 10"L14.7’’W x12.8’’L14.7’’W x12.8’’L
Cup Holder021101
Storage Drawer110000
Desk Adjustment275500
Monitor Function565666
PulseXX
Tension ControlDial8Dial8DialDial
Support BackX
Weight Capacity300 LBS300 LBS250 LBS250 LBS260 LBS260 LBS
Warranty5 Year Limited3 Year Limited90 days Parts1 year limited1 year limited1 year limited
Transportation Wheels
OthersX2 Bands/////
Launch DateEarly 2013Early 2016Early 2015Early 2016End 2016Early 2016

Before we start, I listed all these 6 model’s product specs in above table.

Design + Structure Review

    I assumed people have already known about this kind or similar Upright Stationary Bike or at least heard before. Don’t worry, I will give a brief instruction to you. Take a look of the picture, they all have the same main frame structure or it’s variation. This is called X-type, there are two heavy and durable steel tubes cross each other at the middle, and uses an ultra strength bolt as joint. This is almost applied in every X Exercise bike. At the front bottom, it is the mechanical core inside the plastic cover. At top usually it is a handle bar like normal bicycle, and in these model they change it to a laptop surface. The pedal can both forward and backward. It’s easy to understand, and easy to manufacturer. Compact design with folding features to space saving storage as they are joint together in the middle as a scissor. Basically it’s a simple stationary version of normal bike. So, no cord or electric power is needed to make it running. Just seat on and pedaling. It’s simple and user-friendly to be the best home gym workout products.

    But before I start the detail review, I must tell you one thing in advance. I have noticed many customers are complaining some issue happens after several months or half year later. If defect happens just in weeks, I think that one has quality issue. After using for a period time, we should understand this is a mechanical structure, contain flywheel, belt, pedal and bolt, etc. As times go by, belt will be wore, pedal may be loosen. Those issues do happens after running for a long time. Take it easy, you can still call for spare parts replacement.

 Tension Review

    The bike was drive by two flywheels, connected by a belt. With the help of several magnets inside, you can control the resistance from easy to hard level.

Exerpeutic and Stamina offer clearly 8 level adjustment, other 4 brands offer stepless adjustment dial knob like right image. As you turn the knob, the tension increased gradually, the 8 level type is you turn the knob from level 1, 2, 3, until 8. I can’t say which is better. My opinion is 8 level is easy to remember, for example this month I’m training on level 3, and next month I will challenge at level 6. And dial adjustment can’t do this, but it increase and decrease resistance more smoothly. You can increase your level little by little. But sometimes you have to turn it many circles to identify your favorite resistance level.

Note: For seniors who also brought this exercise bike for moderate workout, I suggest to start at level 1, equal normal bicycle pedaling. Then add resistance level according to your own body status and leg strength. For older people, joint recovery or surgery restore, their main purpose is to make some cardiovascular activity but not training, so stay at low tension is good for them. For younger people, gym enthusiast or have good body status, then you can challenge higher level to 7 or 8 which will really make you sweat.

Desk Workstation Review

    Pros:  Exerpeutic’s Desk Station is the best among these 6 brands. It’s a fully adjustable desktop with forward and back horizontally, up and down vertically. Besides, there is a knob under the desk to fix 3 different desktop angles from 0, 16 and 33 degrees. It’s offer great flexibility to fit different user’s height, arm length by this. So you don’t worry too much whether your body is fit the bike for not. A Storage Drawer is hidden under the desktop to storage some small articles such as remote, pens, post-it, etc. The arm rest is wrapped by soft durable foam.

Compare with Exerpeutic, Fitdesk can only slide the desk forward and backward horizontally. That’s all. So, it is important to check the size before ordering one. Fitdesk also have storage drawer, foam arm rest (they called Adjustable armrest with padded and contoured massage rollers), anyway it’s an armrest.

Wirk Ride and Stamina are almost the same. Wirk Ride turns out to be a sub-brand of Stamina. I can tell 90% of these two models are as same as each other. The only different for their desktop is Stamina added Pulse at the armrest, and Wirk Ride doesn’t have it. Just for the desk function, don’t brother Wirk or Stamina, if you want pulse, then stamina, vise versa. And their desk is fixed above the support tube, so they can adjust up and down vertically, and at the bottom of the tube, you can use your feet to easily pull the tube with desk near or away from you.

Then I also find Pinty and Loctek looks at least 85% identical. Since they are different Brand, I assume they may come from the same manufacturer. They adopt another way to apply desk, their handle can fold 90 degrees to horizontal level. And then place the desk on it to become a work station. At this method, the desk is fixed in its position. When you remove it, it became an exercise handle to grip. This way is a little better for exercise, because when you have strong grip handle, it is capable to do a more vigorous workout than Exerpeutic or Stamina Model.

    Cons:This is my personal Idea: despite there are desktop for laptop, pad or cup, even has drawer for small parts. Due to the limited dimension, I thought there is no one model has extra spaces for mouse. Although Notebook is fully capable of free of mouse when use it. As for me, I always liked to use mouse when work on laptop. I was wondering if they can add a side table at the desk like the storage drawer. So customer can pull the side table out for the mouse and the desk size is not enlarged.

Monitor Review

    If I sitting on the indoor cycling bike for a long time, pedaling and working, I must very curious to know how many miles do I actually ride? So, every model has equipped a Monitor to track your activity. Two AAA battery are needed.

Exerpeutic, wirk and stamina has a build in monitor, Loctek, pinty and Fitdesk has a separate stand along monitor attached. Either build-in or separate one is all good to us. They all support Time, Speed, Distance, Odometer, Calories and Scan. But Fitdesk and Wirk has no pulse function.

There are many other wearable devices can track your heart rate, such as Apple Watch or Fitbit, etc. Don’t worry too much if you have such equipment.

    This is my experiment, I have a Mio Link Wristband for my daily 5k jogging. So I tested it when I pedaling on this exercise bike. Look at the pictures above, the monitor shows my pulse is 116bpm, at the same time Mio APP shows my heart rate is 120bpm. Since every brand’s heart rate number is differ a little from each other, like 10% plus minus. —– Best method is like I do, use your own wearable device to monitor the heart rate at the same time, then you can find out the actual gap of your exercise bike’s monitor.

    Important Note: The theory is glued a detect sensor inside the core near the flywheel to detect the wheel circling, and connect to the PCB board in the Monitor. Not complicated at all. Every data is nearly about 90% accurate, except Calories.

In order to calculate your calories burning, computer should collect your gender, age, height, weight, time and many other key data to get the calories you burned. How can a monitor knows your body data without you input the data? So don’t trust the calories number showed on the LCD screen. I think it’s just come out through an average data, for example they may assume the rider is a person of 30 years age, 135 lbs, 5’5” height, etc. I recommend you just forget about this number. And remember not complain this to the seller about why the calories showed is different from your sports app’s data. Calories Calculate is a complicated work and it needs many data and everyone has different situation form gender, age, weight, height, food, blood press, fitness status, etc.

Other Useful Features

  1.   All of these fitness bikes can fold up for storage. Folded dimension differs a little to each other. In case your living room don’t have spare spaces for it or have limited spaces in home, take it in consideration, or just unfold the bike all the time.
  2. To help customer move the fitness bike around, All models have two small transportation wheels to help you move. Some are fixed in the front leg, some are in the rear leg.
  3. Exerpeutic and Fitdesk offer longest warranty.
  4. Fitdesk attached two extra resistance bands for you to do some up body workout.

Section 2: Performance Review

Durable

All of them uses durable steel frame and strong bolts. The flywheel is made by aluminum for rust free, and bearing is tested up to 40 days non-stop operation, which equals 30 minutes riding time every day for 4 years. I believe the frame and inside core is durable as described. Any way they all offer warranty for a long time.

According to my experiences,

  1. Wearing parts including seat, back, belt, bearing, etc may
  2. Collodion foam wrap the handle may tear apart/crack in daily use;
  3. Pedal may loosen, so you need to check and tight occasionally;
Comfort & Ergonomics Review

To better use of this folding stationary exercise bike, you should put strength in it, make sweat to keep fit. This model type is designed to work while cycling; so comfortable design is very important.

(1). Hips don’t lie – Seat Review

    Now that they told us to seat on it and do some work job, or exercise on this stationary exercise bike, what they should care most is the Seat. Does the seat comfortable enough to make me high?

Exerpeutic has a woven PU leather top of 2.5″ Thickness seat with foam inside. Fitdesk has a 2.5” thickness beach cruiser style seat. Wirk is called padded, upholstered seat. Stamina is called padded, upholstered seat too, but look at the seat, its a flat, think seat. Worst of all. Pinty and Loctec has same extra-wide and supportive seat.

Ranking: Fitdesk > Exerpeutic > Wirk > Pinty = Loctek > Stamina

(2). Ergonomics

 First, Exerpeutic, Wirk and Samina are Semi-Recumbent exercise bike, Fitdesk, Pinty and Loctek are upright exercise bike. Semi-recumbent is more comfortable than upright bike. You can lean back on the support back cushion to release your back muscle when sitting on a semi-recumbent one, but upright model has less support on your back even they also have back support cushion equipped as image shows.

Ranking: Exerpeutic=wirk=stamina>fitdesk=pinty=loctek

Second, customer’s body shape is differ from each other. Is it easy enough to get on and off the bike for short people? Wirk and Stamina have the most spaces available in front of the seat, it become a slope from the seat to the front bottom. Thanks to its semi-recumbent type, your leg can cross it very easily.

Exerpeutic is the second grade, because its semi-recumbent structure and lower joint height, but it’s X type, there is a tube stay in front of you.

Pinty and Loctek are the third grade, because it’s a X shape upright bike. The good is they curved the tube under the desk than Fitdesk’s straight tube. Fitdesk is the highest height, and the tube under the desk is straight. You have to lift your leg high to cross the middle to get on the bike.

Ranking: Wirk=Stamina>Exerpeutic>Pinty=Loctek>Fitdesk

(3). Pedal Comfort

Pedal that holds your foot is also a key feature for comfortable cycling.

Stamina is the worst among these 6 models. It’s a narrow, flat pedal without strap. It can only hold less half of your foot. The textures on the pedal are very shallow.

Set Stamina’s pedal as the minimum standard, let’s check the other 5 models. Exerpeutic, Pinty and Loctek have a wider pedal with strap, but the surface is flat with little textures too. Wirk and Fitdesk have a wider pedal with strap with a non-slip big bulk textures on surface.

I have two suggesting below.

If you wear shoes on exercise, Wirk=Fitdesk>Exerpeutic=Pinty=Loctek>Stamina

If you only wear socks or think slipper on exercise, Exerpeutic=Pinty=Loctek>Wirk=Fitdesk> Stamina; I assume you are mostly use this in home, sometimes you only wear socks or even bare foot, and because that big bulk texture is raised above the surface as you can see, you may feel like walking on a cobbled road, someone may feel not comfortable on this.

Assemble Review

All of them need assemble work. After check the manual, I’m sure the assemble steps are very similar to each other due to the much alike structure. Most of the main frame is pre-assembled. It is not hard to do it alone. If you have second people helps you, that’s better. I personally can finish the assembly in 15 minutes.

Pinty and Loctek has the easiest assemble step because it’s relatively compact design and simple desk.

Here is the rate from the easiest to the not very easy. Pinty=Loctek>Wirk=Stamina>Exerpeutic>Fitdesk

Daily Use Tips

As I’m the expert on this, here are some useful tips for you in daily use of these stationary exercise bikes.

  1. Monitor will auto shut down in 4 minutes, so after your workout, just go.
  2. Examine the equipment periodically in order to detect the loosen bolts and nuts. Tighten them to keep itstabilization.

Summary

You can use this Folding Stationary Exercise Bike with Laptop Workstation as a work platform for your laptop, pad or just reading book, magazine. People can exercise while doing some work at the same time.

After reading above content, it seems every brand has it’s pros and cons. Are you still confused which is the best and which is worth to buy? No, I won’t do that. I initial aim is help you make the final decision.

Here is the Final Guying Guide for you, just follow the sheet and identify your favorite.

 FitdeskExerpeuticWirk RideStaminaPintyLoctek
Final Score4.34.554.44.23.93.95
Desk Flexibility454.54.53.53.5
Work Desk4544.533.5
Monitor4.54444.54.5
Seat54.54.53.544
Pedal4.544.5344
Leg Space44.55544
Easy on/off3.54.55544
Ergonomics44.54.54.544
Weight Capacity4.554444
Warranty54.54444

Yes, I’m also very surprised when I see the results.  Fitdesk has the most review quantity and best sales performance among them, why they are not ranking in 1st place?

If you check my product specs table of their launch date at the beginning of the review, you may noticed Fitdesk started to sell this model in early 2013. See, that’s the key reason. They have 3 years advance than other fitness brand.  In a long period of time, Fitdesk is the only choice customer can make. They worth this remarkable sales performance.  But I noticed they didn’t update it or improve it since then. The later competitors has learning from Fitdesk and make some improvements to exceed it.  Good news is I recently found they will release a new Fitdesk 3.0 model in later 2017. Which is great, they finally decided to upgrade it. But customer still need for several months until they start to sell on Amazon.  of course, I will review Fitdesk 3.0 when I can buy one.

The top 3 brands are Exerpeutic, Fitdesk and Wirk Ride. Their compact design, full functional desk, above average spare parts ( seat, pedal, handle, monitor, etc) and it’s quality are worthy of its brand reputation. Stamina is very close, only if they improve their bad pedal and seat, if you don’t care and have some DIY, you can also buy a new pair of Pedal, a new Gel Seat Cover to make it more comfortable.  For Pinty and Loctek, they have average rate, their spec, material, parts are not on top grade but all above the average score. 

Thanks for your patience of reading this review. If you have decided to buy one, click above quick link. This review is finished at April, 2017.  As times goes by, there are many other brands will release similar products with new upgrade, issue fixed, competitive price to the market. I will keep eye on them and update the review accordingly, keep coming back.

Useful accessories: