Ampera Desk Bike Review
By Laura Cowan
Laura K. Cowan is a tech editor and journalist whose work has focused on promoting sustainability initiatives for automotive, green tech, and conscious living media outlets.
LifeSpan Launches New Power-Generating Desk Bike for Seated Exercise
Our co-founder Archie Cowan who has been working remotely for Amazon just gave his notes on a new sustainable home office product from LifeSpan launched this week: the Ampera desk bike. This unique under-desk exercise bike is adjustable, generates power for your electronics while you work, and comes with an app and all kinds of personalized settings you can change to make it work for your home office or team setting.
The wheels are a bit small for pulling it over carpet, but this somewhat heavy piece of equipment that comes in around 70 pounds is hard to move for a reason: it won't tip. This bike is the equivalent of a desk treadmill or yoga ball for healthier desk ergonomics to avoid sedentary health problems, and it's clearly high quality, with 30% recycled materials, LED color-changing lights around the pedals, and much more.
"The charging feature was cool," Archie mentioned. "But, it’s stationary, so I probably would plug in my phone to something in the wall already. On the other hand, this feature could be helpful during a power outage."
Pluses: "It does look really cool in my space. It is very quiet so nobody would hear it on a call. And, it’s heavy, but that’s important for maintaining a low center of gravity while getting on and off."
The bike seat is designed for longer sitting with a wide cushion, but Archie also mentioned that if you are really set on biking for long rides on this machine, you might want padded bike shorts and even possibly a harder smaller seat. (He was a mountain biker for fun for years, so your preference on this may vary.)
The Ampera bike can burn up to 500 calories an hour if the rider is averaging 12.5 mph. It is designed to be quieter than a conversation, and honestly it seemed much quieter than this still. The height is adjustable just like a desk chair, and the resistance is also adjustable via the app, where you can change light colors, track calorie burn and more.
Archie says he used it for 50 minutes during a meeting, burned 358 calories, got his heart rate up to 83-126 bpm, and checked this again his Apple Watch that tracked a burn of 254 active calories. Either way you track it, this is much better than sitting at a desk. If you prefer a treadmill, recumbant bike, or yoga ball, LifeSpan makes an entire range of these products for office desks and sells matching adjustable height standing desks to pair with them.
We loved the sleek looks, the commitment to sustainability (more on their website), and the overall convenience of having a compact upright bike with no handles that slots right in front of any adjustable height desk.
The Ampera bike retails for about $1000 but is available for introductory discount pricing this month to promote the launch. To order at Black Friday sale price check out LifeSpan's webpage for the Ampera bike.