Comparison: under desk elliptical vs bike

under desk bike or elliptical

Do I need under-desk elliptical or under-desk bike?

We are living in a world where you need to sit down in front of a computer for almost 8 hours a day or even more. And it is hard to find extra time to go to the gym after all working hours.

But think differently. If you utilized a fraction of 8 hours of sit-down time, that is a win-win. You don't need to squeeze extra time from your hectic daily routine, and it is needless to say you get healthier.

So now we all agree that it is a very compelling idea to invest in a small under desk fat-burning machine. But there are two kinds of very similar workout equipment which are under-desk elliptical and under desk bike.

But it is hard to figure out what is better for you. Don't let that stop you from moving forward for a healthier life. Home Gym Mania took the time to research what are the key differences and similarities between the two machines.

So you can pick whatever fits most for your need. Let's dive in!

What are the differences between under desk bike and elliptical?

1. Workout Motion

As you can guess from the equipment's name, the way you are engaging your muscle with each piece of equipment are different.

Under-desk bike's motion is circular, whereas under-desk elliptical's motion is close to horizontal elliptical.

This is the main difference between the two workout equipment. So based on your joint's current condition, you can pick a better one that fits you.

2. Required Space

As both types of equipment have different workout motions, the required space is also different. If you are going to use it when you are watching a movie on the couch, the required space does not matter that much.

However, if you are going to use it while you are sitting on the office chair, the required space matters a lot. Obviously, circular motion requires slightly more space not to hit your knee under your desk.

3. Pedals

As much like another stationary bike, an under desk bike also comes with pedals with a strap.  By tying your feet firmly on the pedals, you can do the more intense workout with an under desk bike. 

Whereas under desk elliptical comes with big pedals without straps like stationary elliptical machines. If you prefer to increase workout speed and intensity frequently, an under desk bike is a better option for you.

4. Versatility

As the bike comes with smaller pedals with a strap, you can utilize it for upper body workouts. By putting it on top of the desk instead of under the desk and using hands instead of feet, it turns into an upper body workout machine.

Usually, the elliptical comes with larger pedals, it can be a bit harder to use it for upper body workout.

Key Differences between Under Desk Bike and Elliptical

Under Desk Bike

Under Desk Elliptical

Workout Motion

Circular Motion

Horizontal Elliptical Motion

Required Space

More space required

Less space required


With Strap
Without Strap


Also Good for Upper Body Workout
Limited to Lower Body Workout

What are the similarities between under-desk bike and elliptical?

1. Low Impact Workout for Weak Joint

This is the most important feature of both machines. Bike or Elliptical, either of them is an excellent machine for lower impact workout for the people with weak joints.

It is great for rehab purposes and also for lower intensity workouts for seniors with weak joints.

2. Cardiovascular workout

Both machines are excellent for a cardiovascular workout while sitting on your office chair or couch.

3. Fat-burning workout

Both machines are very effective for a fat-burning workout while seated.

4. strengthen lower body muscle

It is needless to say that both machines can help you to strengthen the muscles in your lower body.

5. Dimension

Both types of equipment are very compact sizes for under desk workouts. It is about 24"(L)x20"(W)x10"(H)

6. Product Weight

Both machines are about 20 lbs.

7. Noise

The noise depends on the brands. So be sure to check out reviews about noise before you purchase. But many products feature near-silent noise features.

8. Resistance

Both machines come with several levels of resistance adjusting system.

9. Cost

Both machines are in a similar price range, which is about $200.

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Home Gym Mania's Pick

Either under-desk elliptical or under-desk bikes are excellent machines for cardio/fat burning purposes while you are seated. Both machines have lots of similarities.

The major difference is the motion of the workout. The bike utilizes circular motion whereas the elliptical utilizes horizontal elliptical motion. Depending on your space under your desk, or your plan to work out(whether workout on a couch or office chair), you can pick the one fit for your needs.

Also if you are a senior with a weak joint, your joint's current status is a very important factor to choose the machine. Depending on your joint's comfortable motion range, you can pick the best one that fits your joint condition.

Go with Under-desk Bike

- If you prefer circular moving motion
- If you have more space under your desk
- If you frequently increase your workout speed and intensity
- If you also want to utilize it for upper body workout

DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

Go with Under-desk Elliptical

- If you prefer horizontal elliptical moving motion
- If you have less space under your desk
- If you only want to target lower body muscle

Cubii JR1- Under Desk Elliptical

Under Desk Bike

5 / 5

DeskCycle Under Desk Bike Pedal Exerciser

Circular Motion

More Space Under Desk

Better for Higher Intensity Workout

Also Good for Upper Body Workout

Uner Desk Elliptical

5 / 5

Cubii JR1- Under Desk Elliptical

horizontal Elliptical Motion

Less Space Under Desk

Low Impact Workout

Limited to Lower Body Workout


Q1. Which burns more calories under desk bike or elliptical?

You can burn calories effectively with both machines. Both under desk workout machines are good to burn calories while seated. If you want to burn more calories faster, then you need to use a full stationary bike for a full elliptical machine.

Both machines claim that they can burn up to 150 calories per hour, but the actual number depends on many factors like resistance level, pedaling speed, etc.

Q2. Can you lose weight with under-desk elliptical?

Yes you can. It is an excellent workout machine you can utilize while you are working in front of a computer or watching a movie on your couch. But if you want to actively burn your calories, we recommend you consider a stationary bike or an elliptical machine.

Q3. Are under desk cycles effective?

Researchers found that under desk cycle is a very effective cardiovascular workout preventing obesity or diabetes.