For many of us hearing the phrase “Mini Exercise Bikes”, brings to mind images of circus clowns trying to ride miniature cycles inside the main ring of the big top!
But what they really are is an exercise bike without the seat, handle bars, and sometimes, no display. However, they still function as a useful fitness exercise cycle. This means you only really have the pedals and a stand to deal with. Really simple…
Now this can be a good thing for a number of reasons, and we will cover the main exercise cycle benefits below:
These mini exercise bikes, which are also called a pedal exerciser or arm exercisers, typically only weigh a few pounds. This means they are simple to move around and easily carried from place to place. You can even put one in the back of your car and take it with you to use for a workout while away from home.
Another benefit of being small, in size and weight, is you can hide it away in any small space in your home when not in use. A few of the cheaper bikes can also be folded up and this makes them even easier to store away.
Because there is no seat or large frame to get in the way, you can easily operate a mini exercise machine by using your hands to turn the pedals. Simply sit the unit on a table or desk, or any other stable surface, at a height that suits you. Now you have the perfect machine for doing arm exercises.
Wrists, forearms, and shoulders can all benefit from using a mini exerciser in this way. With prior approval from your medical practitioner, you can possibly use it to aid recovery from a relevant injury or procedure.
Some brands call their small units a “portable medical exercise peddler”. A number of clinics have these installed and use them as part of a client rehabilitation, under direct supervision.
You can also get a motorized version of the mini bike. For those not able to overcome the resistance of a normal exercise bike, the motorized unit turns the pedals at a variable rate set by the user. This helps circulation and joint movement, but will not give you a cardiovascular workout.
The mini cycle is most commonly used by people sitting it under a desk, or table, and pedaling. This will mainly exercise your leg and thigh areas, plus burn up a number of calories depending on your pedal speed and the amount of resistance you select.
At first you may think this is not a benefit at all! However, being able to provide your own chair or seat is indeed a benefit. You likely already have chairs and seats in your home that you find comfortable to sit on for any length of time. So now you can exercise in comfort. Perhaps in front of the TV? Of course the absence of a seat allows then to fit into small spaces. Simply another of the pedal exerciser benefits.
The seats on some pieces of other exercise equipment are often far from comfortable. Perhaps this is a deliberate choice so people do not stay on one piece of gym equipment for too long?
One thing to mention here is that it may be necessary, if your chair has wheels which do not lock, to tether your chair to the stationary mini bike. Some bikes do provide a tethering strap to help prevent your chair moving. Of course the more effort you put into the exercise, the more likely your chair is to try to move around. Placing both on a rubber mat can help to prevent the small cycling unit moving away from you.
Like most manufactured items there are always benefits and drawbacks to consider. We have looked at the mini exercise bike benefits, so time now it is time to discuss the constraints of these mini fitness devices:
A limited number of methods are used to produce a resistance to your cycling efforts. It is this resistance which determines the amount of energy you need to expend during your exercise session with the mini exerciser.
Some cheaper units use a mechanical braking pad which presses directly onto the pedal crank shaft. This is not a very accurate way to set resistance levels and is also prone to wear.
The more expensive mini stationary exercise bikes, such as the Magnetrainer, use a magnetic resistance unit. This type of adjustable resistance is much quieter and longer lasting that the friction type mentioned above.
Not all mini bikes will come with a display. Quite a few do these days and those that don’t, tend to be at a less expensive price point than those with the display.
Having a display is not critical though, as you can keep track of time spent manually. But keeping an accurate track of the calories you have burnt can be difficult to calculate without a display showing information such as, the number of pedal revolutions, etc.
We have not yet seen any mini exerciser models fitted with a heart rate monitor. This could be due to their use as a light duty exercise machine for performing stationary exercises. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that there are no handle bars, and this is where the pulse sensors would usually be fitted.
So who are the typical users of a mini exercise bike?
- People who want to get light exercise while working.
- Those who want a small unit to fit under a desk or table.
- People needing light exercise to assist in recovery from illness or injury.
- Those wanting a lightweight piece of exercise equipment.
- Folks wanting a low cost exerciser for home use.
- NOT hard core fitness fanatics.!
Please let us know in the “Leave a Reply” section below if you have found another use for these pedal exercisers..!
Thanks for sharing..!