Pedal Exerciser vs. Stationary Bike: Which One to Choose?

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Exercise is one of the best medicines for your body. It is the ultimate mantra for a fit and active body and a happy and cheerful mood as well. Both pedal exercisers and stationary bikes have emerged as really popular and effective forms of exercise tools at present. These machines provide a decent low-stress workout. These are very convenient, easy to use, and beneficial for your physique and fitness.

A lot of confusion may arise if you have to choose any one of these two exercise tools. What are the exact differences between pedal exercisers and stationary bikes? How would you know which one is the perfect exercise option for you? We have specifically highlighted these points in this article.

Due to the structure and functionality of a pedal exerciser, it can be highly effective exercise equipment for senior citizens. We have tested and reviewed some of the best exercise pedals in the market.

A pedal exerciser is a compact, easy to use, and low impact exercising tool suitable for people suffering from joint injuries or opting for a stress-free workout. On the contrary, a stationary bike is a bit bulky and somewhat impactful workout machine. It is great for burning maximum calories and providing a decent workout to your body.

Pedal Exerciser vs Stationary Bike

Pedal Exerciser vs. Stationary Bike

Difference between Pedal Exerciser and Stationary Bike

1. Function

Some differences exist in the function of pedal exercisers and stationary bikes. There are two options for pedaling in a pedal exerciser. If you want to exercise in a sitting position, your pedal exerciser can be set on a desk or table. Then you can pedal it using your arms.

On the other hand, the stationary bike follows a somewhat more refined approach. It can be best described as an outdoor bike designed for use at home. You will pedal using your legs but your upper body will not be moved. It provides the extra option of altering the workout intensity. This particular feature is absent in pedal exercisers.

2. Design

The structure of a pedal exerciser is simple, consisting of a small frame to hold its pedals. A seat is not incorporated. In comparison to a stationary bike, it is portable. Stationary bikes have 2 types of design- Upright and Recumbent stationary bikes. The recumbent bike keeps the user in a partly resting position. You can support yourself completely on your back while stretching your legs forward to reach pedals. On the contrary, the upright bike is similar to a normal outdoor bicycle. You remain seated in an upright position and your legs pedal downward.

3. Features

Stationary bikes have a multitude of features in comparison to pedal exercisers. The features of preset programming, displays, and electronic consoles are incorporated here. Also, digital resistance is added to the console of a stationary bike to change the intensity level of the workout.

4. Consideration

Pedal exercisers and stationary bikes exert very low impact on knees and joints. So, if backache, joint ache, or arthritis are your common problems, these workout machines will prove useful to you. The pedal exerciser comes at a compact footprint, and so can be stored easily at any corner of your home.

The key differences between pedal exercisers and stationary bikes have been depicted below.

Pedal ExerciserStationary Bike
1. A seat is not included in pedal exerciser1. A seat identical to outdoor cycle is attached in many stationary bikes
2. The price of pedal exercisers is in the range of $20-$100.2. The price of a stationary bike is in the range of $200-$800.
3. These are portable and have a compact footprint.3. These have a heavy footprint and are not easily portable.
4. Basic tech features are incorporated in pedal exercisers4. Modern and advanced tech features like time tracking, speed and distance monitoring, calorie tracking, heart rate tracking are present in stationary bikes.
5. Armrest is not present, due to which pedalling might feel uncomfortable5. These have armrests for a more convenient pedalling.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pedal Exercisers

√ Pedal exercising keeps your body active and moving.╳ The desks attached with the bike may cause uncomfortability.
√ Your extra calories are burnt and weight loss targets become easy to achieve.╳ The tall users may face difficulty at normal height desk
√ Results in uplifting of mood and increase in productivity.╳ Low cost pedal exercisers create unwanted noise.
√ Your work will not be interrupted at all, you can comfortably pedal while working╳ Exercising in pedal exerciser can make you drenched in sweat.
√ Easily foldable and portable, so you can carry it anywhere with you.╳ Not that much muscle development is gained.

Advantage and Disadvantages of Stationary Bike

√ A stationary bike offers many workout options╳ Compared to pedal exercisers, these exert greater stress on your joints and may increase the risk of injuries.
√ By working on your quads, hamstrings and glutes, a stationary bike strengthens your leg muscles.╳ Stationary bike workouts focus only on the lower body, the upper body is rarely involved.
√ Weight loss is promoted by maximum calorie burn.╳ It is not that portable, and also needs considerable space to accommodate.
√ Suitable for users of different sizes and heights

Which one will you choose? Pedal Exerciser or Stationary Bike?

Both stationary bikes and pedal exercisers are conducive to your overall fitness and cardiovascular health. Which will be a wise option for you will depend on your situation and some related factors as well.

A pedal exerciser will be an ideal choice for you if-

  • You are scared of injuries during a workout. The risks of injury occurring by falling from a bike are declined to a great extent in these machines.
  • You prefer to allocate a low budget to your fitness arena. Besides being cost-effective, pedal exercisers take very little space and are pretty user-friendly.
  • You have to travel quite often. This machine is portable and travel-friendly so you don’t have to sacrifice your workout during trips.

➥ If you’re not sure about getting a pedal exerciser, then, we suggest you have a look at whether pedal exercisers actually work.

Again you should prefer a stationary bike as your fitness tool if-

  • Strengthening leg muscles is your prime target
  • You wish to burn more calories and lose weight quickly.
  • You are preparing for marathons or races.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I lose weight using a pedal exerciser?

Ans.: Yes. Though a stationary bike is more effective for rapid weight loss, a regular workout on a pedal exerciser combined with a proper low-calorie diet can reduce your weight significantly. If you workout at medium-level resistance in a pedal exerciser for about 20 minutes, you can burn approximately 150 calories. [Source] Pretty much, isn’t it?

Q2. What is the best under desk ellipticals?

Ans.: Top 5 best under desk ellipticals are listed below:

  1. Overall best choice: Cubii JR 1
  2. DeskCycle Ellipse
  3. Cubii Pro
  4. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B0891
  5. Fast88 Electric Elliptical Machine

Q3. Where should you place a stationary bike in your house?

Ans.: We would advise you to place your stationary bike either in the basement or on the first floor of your house. A basement will be a better option for this, As it will stay cold in summer and warm in winter, it will be perfect for a comfortable workout.

Q4. Are mini pedal exercisers effective?

Ans.: Yes, mini pedal exercisers are very effective in several aspects. These imitate the natural walking motion. Fitness is improved, calories are burned, healthy joints are maintained and circulation is improved. Also, these are extremely convenient as they can be used under a desk.


Both pedal exerciser and stationary bikes are very effective low-impact exercise options. Your individual requirements and preferences will determine which one will be an ideal choice for you. If losing weight is your prime target, a stationary bike will be most suitable for you. On the contrary, if you prefer low impact, gentle, and stress-free workout, opt for a pedal exerciser for staying fit and active. Also if budget or minimal space are your concerns, pedal exercisers will be best for you.

Dion Lewis

My name is Dion Lewis.I’ve been cycling since my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.In my college life, I took a part-time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or bike gear.

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