Exercise is so important, especially as we get older. I have a stationary bicycle to work my legs, but I don’t get a lot of arm exercise. I used an arm pedaler at the gym years ago and remember thinking it was harder than it looked. I remember getting a pretty good arm workout on it. So when I came across under-desk pedalers while looking for exercises I could do to tone my upper arms, I took a second look. The Stamina Mini Exercise Bike looked a lot like the one I remember using at the gym, except with an updated, colorful look.
According to the manufacturer, the Stamina Mini Exercise Bike includes a Smooth Pedal System (that’s the large SPS letters on the side of the unit). The SPS system, according to Stamina Products, uses gears instead of cranks to make for smooth strokes, even when increasing resistance. I haven’t increased the resistance too much, but it is a smooth experience when pedaling with my arms. On the hardwood floor, the unit tended to slide a little bit when pedaling with my feet. It helped to put a non-slip bath mat underneath it. It didn’t slip on the carpet while I was pedaling seated on the couch watching TV.
The main reason I bought it though, was for the arm exercises. Set on the table in front of me, the unit is easy to pedal and doesn’t slide around the table, probably due to its heft. It weighs probably 15-16 pounds and feels sturdy. It has thick rubber feet attached to its front and back stabilizer bars, which also helps keep it in place. I like that I can pedal backwards as well as forwards on this mini exercise bike. The adjustable tension knob is easily reachable and the fit meter is easily viewable.
The Stamina Mini Exercise Bike is fairly easy to put together. I followed the included instruction manual to attach the stabilizers, pedals, tension knob, and add a battery to the fitness meter, and started pedaling. I noticed mine was a little wobbly once I had it assembled. I re-tightened the bolts that attach the stabilizer bars to the bottom of the bike, and then it felt sturdy with no more wobbling.
The pedal straps are a little finicky to attach to the pedals if you have weakness or pain in your hands. Other than that, it really is a fast and easy assembly process. One instruction from the manual to make a note of: Attach the left pedal by rotating the left pedal shaft counterclockwise, and attach the right pedal by rotating the pedal shaft clockwise into the unit.
The Stamina Mini Bike is “mini” which makes it portable. It’s design incorporates a handle to lift and carry it just about anywhere you want to take it, since it’s small enough to fit almost anywhere. Despite its compact size it feels like a sturdy machine. It is on the heavy side (at least 15 pounds), so I’m not sure I will be moving it around too often.
Built-in Fitness Meter
The Stamina Mini Exercise Bike multi-function Fitness Meter is powered on when you start to pedal and turns off about 5 minutes after you stop pedaling. The fitness meter tilts so you can view it from varying positions.
What the Fitness Meter monitors
Time: (up to 99:59 minutes)
Count: Total crank revolutions in a session, up to 9,999
Total Count: Total crank revolutions from all sessions
Calories: Calories burned in Kcal up to 999.9
The meter also has a Scan mode, in which it rotates through each of the above functions (six seconds per function), so you don’t have to keep pressing the button for feedback while you’re pedaling.
The Fitness Meter requires an AAA battery, which is not included in the box. The meter is attached to the machine with a sensor wire, so be careful opening the meter’s housing to insert the battery.
During assembly I needed to lift the bike up to attach the stabilizer bars. Because of the weight of the unit, this might prove a little awkward if you have lost some strength in your hands. The pedal straps could be a little difficult to attach to the pedals if you have hand pain. You might want to have one of the adult children put it together.
You do need some dexterity in your feet to flip the pedals right side up to slip your feet into, or be able to bend over and use your hands to right the pedal for your foot to slide into.
All in all, we are happy with the Stamina Mini Exercise Bike and will continue to use it in hopes of regaining some tone and strength in the upper arms.
As always, check with your personal physician before using any exercise equipment or changing your exercise routine.
Have you tried one of these Mini Exercise Bikes? Let us know in the comments!