This is such a great idea for fitting exercise into a busy schedule. I am currently in my last year of graduate school, in a program that is strictly online. Before I found this product I spent a good chunk of time sedentary, and gained more than a few pounds. But with regular use, I lost about 10 lbs in the first month, a total 30 lbs so far, and managed to maintain my weight over 6 months.
FitDesk is a small company that actually listens to its consumers. I have had to opportunity to use both the original (2010) and new (2011) models of this product and am truly pleased with the updates and improvements made on this fundamentally great idea. The company is quick to respond to questions and suggestions (always within 24 hrs) and seems genuine in wanting to produce a reputable product that meets the expectations of the consumer. This type of customer service is much appreciated and makes this company stand out from its competition.
The design of the bike is simple, yet effective. The bike mechanism is sturdy and quiet. It is quieter than any stationary bike, or other stationary fitness machine I have used at home or at the gym (e.g. treadmill, stair climber, or elliptical machine). One can easily work out in the same room as a sleeping spouse.
The new 2011 model has made quite a few improvements on the original design. The most noticeable (an appreciated) being the seat. For anyone not used to spending any length of time on a bike seat, doing so can be quite uncomfortable. But the new model comes with a cushioned, wider seat. Like any bike seat, it will take some conditioning to get used to the feel, but anyone who has used the 2010 model will immediately notice this improvement.
The designers have added a safety bar that locks the machine into an "open" or "closed" position. This feature paired with the nylon strap ensures that the bike stays in the position it was intended to for proper use. I like the added confidence these points offer. When in the locked "closed" position the machine can be moved and stored easily thanks to the addition of wheels on the base support.
There are updates to the foot pedals, body color, logo, and desk cover that really add a pleasing aesthetic to the look of the machine. Not only is the bike appealing because of the ingenious concept, but it looks sharp too!
The only suggestion I have is updating the means of securing a laptop to the desk. Currently, large rubber bands are provided, and serve their purpose, but take away from the new sleek design. But, honestly, this is not a huge concern because of the angle at which the desk sits on the bike. The laptop is not in a position to slide and a lip has been added to the lower part of the desk to add some resistance.
All in all, this is a great idea that really has been improved. And you will get a workout. I always work up a sweat and raise my heart rate. And now, with the timer/calorie counter/speed/distance monitor, I have a better idea of just how much physical activity I am doing. In fact, I find it easier to work out on my Fitdesk bike than jogging, because I can distract myself into working out longer by using my laptop. I can easily work out for an hour on the Fitdesk bike, while I find myself counting down the minutes of my jogs.