best pedal exerciser

Pedal Exerciser: Test & Reviews

Author: Manuel Heitmann

Coach & Fitness Expert

 Our excellent consumer portal has selected the best dumbbells based on external tests and our evaluation of customer reviews. As it turned out, the round classics are the most popular. Good workmanship, easy changing of the panes and a comfortable grip are important.

Questions to Consider Before Buying A Pedal Exerciser

What is a Pedal Exerciser?

A pedal exerciser is a kind of ergometer in a small format that consists of the robust frame and the pedals or handles. It is simply placed on the table, where it has a stable stand due to its construction.

To operate it, it is best to sit on a chair and put your hands on the handles provided. There is a similarity here to cycling. The handles are set in a rotating movement. This stimulates the muscles in your arms and shoulders. Training with the pedal exerciser can also be varied on many models by placing the device on the floor. While sitting, both feet are placed on the pedals and perform the corresponding turning movement. Due to the changed sitting position in contrast to training on a normal ergometer, leg training is particularly gentle on the joints.

The pedal exerciser is used in the fitness area as well as in physiotherapy. Here it is used, for example, as part of a gentle training program. It helps people with hip and back problems or with leg problems to be more flexible.

How does a pedal exerciser work?

The training with the pedal exerciser can be compared to the exercises on the conventional ergometer. But here only the arms and not the legs are trained. The design and function of the pedal exerciser is adapted to this special area. The changed posture and the little effort required are taken into account here. When doing hand training on the mini ergometer, the rotational movement is exactly the same as when cycling. This is particularly noticeable when the pedal exerciser can be used flexibly and is therefore also suitable for leg training.

The circular, even movement of the arms and / or legs gently strengthens the muscles so that certain physical restrictions do not affect the overall well-being.

The stability of the pedal exerciser depends on the basic weight. The heavier the device, the safer it will remain on the table or floor even during vigorous training. In many of the models tested, the resistance can be changed so that the effort can be increased over time. In this way, the training does not have to be extended with an improved condition. It is optimized solely by the increased resistance when turning.

Advantages & areas of application

The mini or pedal exerciser is mainly used in physiotherapy. The occupational therapists will be happy to explain how the various devices can be used and inform you about the winners of the hand-held ergometers. As described here in the pedal exerciser test.

In the pedal exerciser test 2020, the variety of training devices is made clear. In addition, there is a wide range of information available to explain the possible uses and advantages. Since they are often relatively small devices, they are relatively inexpensive. The product tests show which pedal exerciser is the winner in comparison.

In the product test, the distinguishing features of the training devices are checked and described in detail. The recommendations for the pedal exerciser are often aimed at seniors and people who suffer from back problems. But the pedal exerciser can also be a handy alternative for healthy people.

When activating the pedal exerciser, the strength of the resistance can be changed. In many of the models tested, this is possible with the help of a control display. The turning movement is easier or more difficult than before due to the newly set magnetic resistance in the handles or pedals. The greater the resistance, the more calories are consumed and the more effective the training with the handbike is. The best devices for private use at home are very light and practical with a weight of at least 5 kg and a maximum of 10 kg.

What types of dumbbells are available?

The different types of handheld ergometers differ mainly in their area of application. The large handbikes were designed primarily for the rehabilitation centers. In terms of shape and size, these handbikes are similar to the ergometers in the fitness center. However, the pedals are not attached below, as on a bicycle, but at arm height, i.e. above the sitting position. In general, these large handbikes have a display that shows the training time, the current and average speed and the calorie consumption. This enables precise control of personal data, which allows you to adapt the training quota to your state of health.

The digital pedal exerciser also has a display that informs you about the training time and your calorie consumption. In addition, the set resistance can be read here. If necessary, this resistance can be changed by pressing a few buttons. The mini ergometer is suitable for doing some sport regularly but without much effort, regardless of how the weather is outside or how long the training should last. At best, these small exercise bikes have a maximum weight of 10 kg.

Like the digital version, the mechanical pedal exerciser is made of sturdy plastic or steel, but it works without a display. The handles are connected to a simply constructed bearing that offers a certain resistance depending on the design. With some models, this can be changed by turning it accordingly. Because of its simple design, the mechanical pedal exerciser is particularly inexpensive in various product tests. In comparison, it does not provide any information about time, speed or calorie consumption. It still offers the possibility of training for a while at any time.

The advantages of the pedal exerciser can be seen in the practical properties:

  • simple operation,
  • also perfectly suitable for elderly or limited mobility patients,
  • good addition to rehab / physiotherapy,
  • ideally tailored to training at home,
  • individual setting options for the respective needs.

In principle, the disadvantages only relate to the limited possible uses:

  • the pedal exerciser is not a full-body exercise device,
  • functions are limited depending on the model.

What do I have to look out for when buying a dumbbell?

The test criteria for selecting a hand-held ergometer initially relate to size and weight, but the number of functions also plays an important role.

The pedal exerciser test indicates that the intended use should always be considered. This also means that your health situation has an impact on the type of training device.

The smaller hand-held ergometers tested in the study generally have only a few functions and setting options. While the larger devices offer significantly more in the product test. Which of the comparison test winners the hand-held ergometer is usually only becomes apparent in practical use, but a look at the test comparison helps to determine the appropriate model.

As with other training devices, the pedal exerciser should also be adjustable to different resistance levels. Due to the variable performance level, the device adapts to the individual training level, which improves significantly in the course of occupational or rehab therapy. In some cases, these settings can be adjusted particularly finely or even continuously. This enables a particularly precise adaptation to the respective training level. With the high-quality hand-held ergometers, setting is usually made via the integrated display. With the simple mining gometers, the adjustment is made mechanically by turning the corresponding screw tighter or looser.

When looking for a pedal exerciser, you should also think about which training position to use. If you want to train your arms, sit in front of a table on which the pedal exerciser stands. The size and weight of the device provide the necessary stability. If possible, test the pedal exerciser beforehand.

The pedal exerciser should be particularly robust for alternating training of the arms and legs, but not be too heavy. So that it doesn’t get too difficult when you move the device. It also makes sense to choose a device with a flywheel for this purpose. The adjustability of the resistance ensures better variability. This is based on the difference in load, because in congruence the leg muscles are usually much stronger than the arm muscles.

The scope of delivery is another test criterion that influences the purchase decision. In some cases, additional elements are included to upgrade the devices. At least a description should be provided with the pedal exerciser. There are also special handles or pedal attachments for the different models. If necessary, these components can be exchanged so that, for example, the training device can be used with limited gripping ability. A digital power display, a heart rate monitor and other measuring instruments can also be part of the delivery. Training tips that point out the possible positions or provide information about the repair measures are also helpful. All of this flows into the test grade in the experiment.

A professional pedal exerciser should at least come with detailed instructions, high-quality handles, a display for showing the performance and adjusting the resistance. In addition to the standard handles, special handles are often included. Depending on the size of the pedal exerciser, some manufacturers and suppliers also offer the optional selection of a height-adjustable table. This makes handling particularly practical, but requires a little more space.

How are Pedal Exerciser tested?

In the pedal exerciser test 2020, the models of the various manufacturers are checked for their functions and the overall construction. Many details play a role in this context. From weight and the corresponding load to flexibility and safety aspects. The inspection is intended to show which products work particularly reliably and for which purposes they are suitable in each case. This is clearly shown in a comparison table.

Maximum load

In comparison, a high weight approval of normal ergometers and pedal exercisers is a sign of good quality. In general, the small pedal exercisers are also suitable for a body weight of up to 100 kg. This should also be the minimum value when choosing a reliable exercise device. Some of the large pedal exercisers in the product test also have a load limit of 130 or 150 kg. This load limit gives an indication of how stable the individual components of the training device are. Also a maximum marked weight. is matched to the drive system so that premature wear and tear of the pedal exerciser is excluded. This has been shown by various practical tests under continuous load.

own weight

As already mentioned, the weight of the pedal exerciser is between 5 and 10 kg, whereby the upper limit is already considered to be relatively heavy. The robust overall construction of the training equipment, however, requires a certain dead weight so that the pedal exerciser does not slip off the table during use. Your body weight also plays a role here. The more the training device is used, the greater the risk that it will be damaged or slipped. As one or the other experiment shows in side by side. With leg training, the risk of accidents is not that high. However, the mini ergometer should never be loaded with the entire body weight. The weight recommendations are therefore only to be seen as marginal values that help to choose the right device.



The flywheel mass is the value that results from the weight of the integrated flywheel and the transmission ratio of the drive disk. On this basis, the centrifugal mass provides information about the regularity of the movement. The larger the centrifugal mass, the smoother the rotational movement. A normal ergometer generally has a flywheel mass of 8, 10, 12 or 16 kg. The mini ergometers, which are primarily intended to train the arms, have a significantly lower flywheel, which is often 2 kg. As revealed by an experiment. This value is usually sufficient to achieve smooth running. But it is also possible to do an effective training with a pedal exerciser without a flywheel.


The high-quality pedal exercisers in the test mostly have a display function for collecting and evaluating different data. Such as speed, calorie consumption or the current training time. The cheaper models, however, often do without this display. In general, the pedal exercisers are not equipped with a pulse measurement. However, as an optional element, a corresponding device can be retrofitted or used individually. There is also one or the other test page for this.


The aspect of safety is of great importance, especially for older people. But even if you are younger, you want to convince yourself of the high quality of the mini ergometers. The pedal exerciser test 2020 also takes into account the relevant certifications in the test result

Useful accessories

The pedal exerciser is often delivered including the standard accessories. This includes, for example, exchangeable handles or hand straps. These can also be ordered individually if necessary and ensure a secure and ergonomic hold. They can be specially adapted to your requirements. A mat is also required as a base when the training device is used lying down. This ensures improved comfort. A mat can also be useful when using the pedal exerciser on the table. Foam cushions can also be used as accessories, which can be attached to the edge of the table or to the device itself, for example. This reduces the risk of painful impact injuries. A forehead rest is not always available, so extra protection can be attached to allow a relaxed posture.

A special table, which is provided with a height adjustment, offers even more possibilities and is particularly adaptable. Further extras for the pedal exerciser are, for example, a built-in or additional monitor that informs you about the current training time, speed and the level of resistance. In contrast to the large ergometers, most models are not equipped with an integrated heart rate monitor. However, this is available as a separate accessory. A test run should also be made with a heart rate monitor. If the pedal exerciser is to be used particularly flexibly and is used, for example, in the office or when traveling, suitable transport bags are available.

The training effect of these mini ergometers is not nearly as high as that of the lpedal exercisers. However, this cannot be compensated for with accessories. However, these expand the possibilities of training. Other devices are not directly considered accessories for the pedal exerciser, but they complement the home gym. This can be exercise mats or physical bands, weights or fascia rolls. These various gymnastics and fitness devices support joint-friendly training, as do the pedal exercisers. This makes pedal exercisers suitable for everyone who is no longer so agile and strong due to their age or illness. A proficiency test is recommended prior to purchase.

Pedal Exerciser Alternatives

The pedal exerciser is often used for physiotherapeutic treatment, for example for rehabilitation measures. There is no direct alternative to this. Similarity may be training with dumbbells.

Frequently Asked Questions: Pedal Exerciser

For what can I use a Pedal Exerciser?

Most models require flexible use for arms and legs: the arms are trained at the table, the legs while sitting, with the mini ergometer on the floor. Good recovery after injury or illness is possible through training. The joint mobility and the blood circulation are improved, at the same time the condition is strengthened.

How can movement training be intensified?

The pedal exerciser is suitable for light movement training. With a continuously or step-by-step adjustable resistance, it can be adapted to the individual training level in order to strengthen the arms even more or to make the device smoother.

What is the training effect?

The pedal exerciser builds up the muscles and mobilizes the joints in the arms. In addition, the movement stimulates the circulation, which increases performance and consumes more calories.

What is the optimal sitting position?

The pedal exerciser should not be positioned too high so that the arms are not unnecessarily stretched. This would lead to unhealthy shoulder tension. Some training devices offer the option of adjusting the construction in height. This simplifies the individual assembly and changing the seating position.

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