I'm a big fan of FlexiSpot and the products they build. I've tested and reviewed a handful of their products at this point, and I've come away being super happy with every single one. So when the company reached out and asked if I wanted to check out their new desk with an exercise bike built-in, I simply couldn't say no. It's a desk... with a bike built in? What more could you possibly want during a pandemic, working from home?
Officially, FlexiSpot calls this desk the Deskcise Pro V9, and I've been reviewing it for the last couple of weeks. Is it one of the best desks out there? Here's what I've learned.
Bottom line: A great option for those who want to stay fit while working from home, but only if you're really committed to the staying fit part.
- Easy to setup
- Easily adjustable design
- Very sturdy
- Can use included desk or your own
- Uncomfortable seat
- Pedals not very resistant
Also, it's worth pointing out that right now, FlexiSpot has a special anniversary sale going on right now. Through May 24 to May 30, you can get up to 32% off flash deals and up to 15% off everything on their website. If you've been looking for a standing desk, now is a great time to jump in.
Deskcise Pro V9: Price and availability
The Deskcise Pro V9 costs $299.99 without the integrated desk or $349.99 with it. It's currently $50 off with or without the desk too, so you'll be saving a few bucks if you grab one right now. It's available at this price directly from FlexiSpot US, and for £449.99 with the desk included from FlexiSpot in the UK.
Deskcise Pro V9: What you'll like / What's good
Let's start with the setup experience. Unlike FlexiSpot's standing desks, the Deskcise Pro V9 comes almost fully assembled out of the box. All you need to do is attach the included tabletop if that's something you're planning to use, and it's basically ready to go right there and then. The included instructions booklet is mainly there to teach you how to use the built-in statistics system when you're pedaling.
Like other FlexiSpot products, the DeskBike itself is packaged very well. It's surrounded by strong foam to protect it from any potential rough handling during shipping, and the cardboard box is strong and sturdy. You might need a friend to help you unbox the desk when it arrives, as it's a little on the heavy side, and mostly preassembled, so hard to get out of the box.
The design of the Deskcise Pro V9 is interesting. If you've never seen one of one before, the concept is a little hilarious. I certainly did. It's one half exercise bike, another half desk. FlexiSpot's design is incredibly sturdy, with little to no real wobble when moving on the seat. That's important, as you will be sitting higher than usual for the best pedaling angle.
The bike part is made of high-quality plastic, with strong metal legs with wheels attached which makes it easy to move around your environment once it's set up. If you use the built-in tabletop, each side has a lever, similar to the breaks on a real bike, that adjust either the height or forward and backward position of the table. The seat is also height adjustable with its own lever underneath, meaning you can really dial in the ergonomics of the desk to fit your body.
The included tabletop features a soft wrist rest which also acts as handlebars that you can grab when mounting and dismounting, as well as providing something to hang onto when you find yourself pedaling at the stronger levels. The nice thing about this design is that the tabletop is optional, meaning you can take it off and use the bike part with your existing desk if you really want. This can be handy, as the included tabletop for the bike isn't all that big. It's enough for a laptop, phone, and drink, but not much else.
Below the seat in the middle of the bike are your controls that adjust pedal resistance, as well as a heads-up display that shows you calories lost, distance traveled, and more. There's also a place to store a drink if you don't want to risk a spill on the desk. The control for adjusting pedal resistance is a big dial that can easily be twisted without looking.
Deskcise Pro V9: What you won't like / What's not good
Unfortunately, the biggest downside to the Deskcise Pro V9 is the included seat. It's basically a standard bike seat, which probably isn't a surprise, but that means it quickly becomes uncomfortable to sit on. After about 40 minutes, my backside begins to ache and I have to get off. You can get seat covers and cushions that improve this, but out of the box, it's not great. I wish FlexiSpot had chosen a more comfortable seat in this department.
It's also worth mentioning that the heads-up display for your pedaling statistics isn't backlit, so if you're in a dark environment you won't be able to see it. Elsewhere, the levels of pedal resistance don't get very strong. There are nine levels, but the first five don't really feel like they change anything. I notice a slight increase in resistance from levels six to nine, but it's really not much. If you're planning to do some serious exercise, you'll likely want to invest in an actual exercise bike as the Deskcise Pro V9 really isn't built for that.
This made me realize that the Deskcise Pro V9 isn't designed to be a real exercise bike, because if it was, you wouldn't want to use it as a desk. The pedal resistant levels are low because anything stronger would result in you not being able to concentrate on whatever it is you're doing on your PC. I found that at levels eight and nine, I was concentrating more on pedaling than I was on writing, which in turn reduced my productivity levels.
Those seriously into exercising will know that "the burn" is really when you start to feel like you're staying healthy or losing weight. You won't be reaching those levels of exercise on the Deskcise V9 Pro, because that's not really what it's designed for. FlexiSpot needed to find a good balance where pedaling doesn't become too distracting or hard to do while working.
Deskcise Pro V9: Competition
There are a handful of different kinds of desk bikes you can buy, ranging from foot pedals that you can use with your existing desk and chair, up to dedicated pedal machines with or without desks built into them. The DeskCycle is a foot pedal, meaning it's the cheapest kind of pedal setup for your desk you can get as it's just the pedals. It has a heads-up display showing your pedal stats, and eight resistance settings.
Moving up from that, there's the FitDesk 3.0, a similar apparatus to that of the Deskcise Pro V9, but in an overall slightly smaller package. The FitDesk is designed to look and feel much more like a real exercise bike, which may or may not be something you prefer. The competition is all over the place regarding a best option as they all do things differently. It really does come down to preference.
Overall, I think the Deskcise Pro V9 is the best-looking and most stable option out of the competition. The Desk Cycle really doesn't provide that much-needed ergonomic push from using a dedicated bike peripheral, and the FitDesk 3.0 is a little too much like an exercise bike for my liking.
Deskcise Pro V9: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You work from home and don't have much time away from your desk
- You can multitask as pedaling and working on a laptop at the same time isn't easy
- You want something that keeps the blood flowing throughout the day
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You're not huge on exercise
- You want to do serious exercising
Those into hardcore exercise or looking for a way to lose weight while they work might be better off looking elsewhere, but if just looking for an apparatus to keep the blood flowing, this is a great option. We all know that sitting down and not moving your legs for hours on end is bad for you, and the Deskcise Pro V9 solves that problem. You won't be pushing yourself too hard, but you will be moving your legs much more than if you were sitting, and that's great.
Overall, I really like the idea of the Deskcise Pro V9. When you first see it, you think "that's a no-brainer!" but after using one for over a week, I can see why these aren't the norm. It's expensive, so you really need to want to have an apparatus that allows you to keep your legs moving while at a desk. I think most people would prefer going for a quick 20-minute walk every few hours, but everyone is different and I'm sure there's a market for the Deskcise Pro V9. It's a great desk bike, but you just have to be sure it's something you need.