The last major component required for my setup is an
Ikea Bekant Standing Desk ($409) that allows me to clear
enough height to comfortably pedal my bike underneath. The
desk height is controlled by a powered motor. Some standing
desks have a more expensive controller that can assign height
preferences to button presets. I would actually prefer a desk
height adjustment device that was HomeKit-aware so I could
assign the height dynamically based on my intent. I may ultimately just build my own using a manual controller and an
Since the entire setup takes about 20 minutes to have everything in place and properly calibrated, I usually do this one-time configuration when my outdoor riding season ends. Then
I ride daily indoors for about an hour every day (longer on the
weekends) from mid-November until mid-April.
I have been fortunate to have acquired over many years all
the equipment and technical knowledge necessary to assemble
this custom fitness solution into a viable working system. Given
the variety of parts, if I were to estimate the total cost of all the
equipment acquired over the years that make up this solution,
it would likely exceed several thousands of dollars. Fortunately, people much smarter than me have created companies to
achieve the very objectives I did with my custom setup.
A SETUP FOR EVERYONE ELSE
While some readers may
be techies and tinkerers,
others may be too busy
to build their own fitness
solution like I did. Fortu-
nately, several companies
offer iOS-compatible prod-
ucts to make home fitness
effective and reasonably
affordable. For those who
prefer to multitask during
their workouts, a company
called Uplift Desk not only
provides a range of man-
ual and powered standing
desks, but also recently released a convenient Under Desk
Exercise Bike for $269 that instantly transforms a plain desk
into an active cardiovascular workout station.
Creative placement of the Wahoo Fitness’ RPM Cadenc-eSensor ($39.99) will translate riding distance and speed
estimates to your iPhone running the free Wahoo Fitness
app. If you don’t have the latest Apple Watch and you want to
obtain accurate heart rate measurements for a much lower
cost, Wahoo sells the Tickr Heart Rate Monitor for $49.99.
Combined with the cadence sensor, these devices provide a
fairly comprehensive picture of stationary bicycling exercise
Finally, for those bicycling fitness enthusiasts who want an
all-in-one solution focused entirely on the riding experience
rather than multitasking at work, Wahoo offers the Kickr Core
Smart Trainer that delivers a variety of highly accurate sensor
data for competitive and hard-core fitness riders.
Even though my indoor riding setup is a complex mashup
of analog and digital equipment, it helps me attain my goal of
maintaining fitness levels throughout the deep winter freeze.
Fortunately for everyone else interested in maintaining their
physical fitness, there are more economical ways of achieving
the same goal. For roughly the cost of an annual fitness membership, you can create your own low-impact aerobic activity
center that is even more high-tech than what you’ll find at
many high-end fitness centers. May you ride on in good health!
Mike Riley, a professional software developer and emerging information technologist,
is the author of Programming Your Home, published by Pragmatic Bookshelf. Mike is
also a contributing editor and author of hundreds of technical articles and reviews for
a number of popular technology publications. For more information, contact Mike via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @mriley.