Over the past year, working out from home has become increasingly popular. As a result, the number of home exercise equipment options has exploded.
The Cubii elliptical is a relatively new product that offers an aerobic workout from the comfort of your desk, couch, or chair.
The Cubii is owned by Fitness Cubed, Inc. — a Chicago-based company that’s hoping to change how the world thinks about fitness.
According to CEO Arnav Dalmia, the company’s mission is to make staying active a way of life — not a daily commitment to go to the gym.
As the company’s flagship product, the Cubii under-desk elliptical is designed to make exercise more accessible, regardless of your physical ability, age, or lifestyle.
The brand currently offers four under-desk ellipticals models ranging in price, specifications, and features.
This article provides a critical and firsthand review of the Cubii under-desk elliptical products, including their ease of use, user experience, product design, and effectiveness as a workout tool.
The Cubii is an elliptical-style machine that’s designed to fit under your desk and is operated by pedaling with your feet.
There are currently four models available, including:
- the Cubii JR1
- the Cubii JR2
- the Cubii Go
- the Cubii Pro
Each model is compact and easily fits under most desks.
The device also includes access to the company’s Cubii Studio+ app, which offers preplanned Cubii elliptical workouts. There’s also a premium subscription option that provides live and on-demand classes for an additional $7.99 per month.
The pedaling motion of the Cubii is similar to that of a traditional elliptical machine. However, as the primary motion involves pushing with your feet and ankles, pedaling requires a much smaller range of motion at your knees and hip joints.
The Cubii is an under-desk elliptical machine that’s available in four models. The models differ in features and price, though they’re all designed to be used while performing seated activities, such as desk work or watching TV.
The Cubii product line currently includes four models, which are available directly through the company’s website.
While only the Cubii Pro offers Bluetooth capabilities, all of the devices include access to the Cubii Studio+ app.
Here’s a closer look at the specs and features of each model.
The Cubii JR1 is the company’s original under-desk elliptical model.
Its simple design features a black body with two pedals and either an aqua- or purple-colored flywheel.
The device also includes an easy-to-read LCD to keep you abreast of your progress during a workout, allowing you to track performance metrics, such as:
- calories burned
- distance traveled
- rotations per minute
- active time
The Cubii JR1 is fairly portable with a built-in handle on the frame. It also features an ergonomic design that readily fits under a desk, table, or in front of your couch.
It’s also fairly quiet, so you can use the machine without getting distracted by the sound of a fan or wheel.
What’s more, the JR1 offers eight resistance levels, allowing you to match the intensity to your current fitness level and phase of your workout, such as a warmup or a more intense portion of your training session.
Depending on the person and intensity level, the company claims that the Cubii JR1 can burn up to 150 calories an hour, though the number of calories burned will vary by person and workout session.
Additional features include:
- free 7-day premium subscription to the Cubii Studio+ app
- display batteries
- nonslip workout mat
- wheel stoppers for your office chair
The JR1 weighs 27 pounds (12.3 kg) and measures 23 × 17.5 × 10 inches (58.4 × 44.5 × 25.4 cm).
The Cubii JR2 includes the same features as the JR1, but also a few upgrades.
One of the most significant improvements over the JR1 is the JR2’s ZeroGravitii Flywheel, which provides an even smoother and quieter workout experience.
It’s also the only Cubii model that includes adjustable foot straps, which significantly improve the experience of pedaling on the elliptical.
As with the JR1, the Cubii JR2 includes an LCD, batteries, a nonslip workout mat, and a 7-day subscription to the Cubii Studio+ premium app.
However, the attachable ChairLock included in the JR2 is a slight upgrade from the wheel stoppers provided with the JR1, making it even easier to stop your office chair from rolling.
Finally, the JR2 weighs 18.9 pounds (8.6 kg), making it 25% lighter than the JR1.
It’s also roughly 10% more compact, measuring 22.2 × 11.8 × 11.6 inches (56.4 × 30 × 29.5 cm).
The Cubii JR features a black frame with neon green coloring on the flywheel.
The Cubii Go stands out from the other Cubii models, as it’s ready to use out of the box — no assembly required.
It’s also equipped with the largest ZeroGravitii flywheel, allowing for the smoothest operation possible.
Another notable difference is the backlit LCD, which allows you to easily view your workout metrics in low-light settings, such as under a desk.
Unlike the separate stoppers included with the JR models, the Go comes with a built-in office chair wheel cup.
The Cubii Go features a gray body with an orange flywheel, weighs 19.4 pounds (8.8 kg), and measures 24.5 × 17.5 × 9 inches (62.2 × 44.5 × 23 cm).
The Cubii Pro is the most advanced and expensive model in the Cubii under-desk elliptical lineup.
In terms of design, the Pro is ergonomically different than the other models, as it’s smaller in size and features pedals with rubberized padding, though it doesn’t come with foot straps.
Another major difference is that the Pro is the only model that offers Bluetooth connectivity for syncing your data with fitness apps, including the Cubii Studio+.
However, one downside to this model is that it doesn’t include an LCD. As a result, the only way to view your performance metrics is by connecting the device to your smartphone.
Therefore, unless you prefer to use your phone for tracking, both the Go and JR2 provide a better value for the price.
The Cubii Pro is available in two colors — black with a red flywheel or chrome with a black flywheel.
It also weighs 27 pounds (12.3 kg) and measures 23 × 17.5 × 10 inches (58.4 × 44.5 × 25.4 cm).
Additional Cubii products
In addition to the under-desk ellipticals, the Cubii website offers several accessories, such as:
- Studio+ Premium Subscription
- Smart Training Series Workout DVDs
- Comfii Fit Workout Tee
- Squishii Grip Strengthener Bundle
- Cushii Lumbar Cushion
- Theraband + Cubii Workout Band Set
- Cubii Socks
- Wheel Stoppers
- Cubii Workout Mat
Replacement pedals and LCDs are also available for purchase online.
There are four Cubii under-desk elliptical models, which differ in price, size, and available features. You can purchase additional accessories and replacement parts on the Cubii website.
The Cubii ranges in price from $249–$349, depending on the model.
Here’s the price for each:
- Cubii JR1: $249
- Cubii JR2: $269
- Cubii Go: $299
- Cubii Pro: $349
The company currently delivers to the United States and Canada, with free shipping available on orders over $49 to locations within the contiguous United States
Each purchase also includes free access to the Cubii Studio+ app. For access to live and on-demand classes, the premium version of the app requires a $7.99 monthly subscription.
Regardless of which model you choose, the Cubii includes a 1-year warranty and can be returned for free within the first 30 days.
To provide an honest and firsthand review of the under-desk elliptical, Cubed Fitness agreed to send over a Cubii JR2 for me to try.
Assembly and setup
Assembling the device was fairly straightforward and took less than 10 minutes, though you do need a screwdriver to install the pedals.
As promised, the Cubii easily fit under my desk, and the chair stopper prevented my chair from rolling away.
Using the device
When it came time to actually use the device, I was impressed by the smoothness of the elliptical motion and how quietly the flywheel operates.
My only gripe was the short range of motion, as after 15 minutes, my legs felt the urge to move through a less restricted range of motion, like you would on a traditional elliptical machine.
However, this is unavoidable because the Cubii is designed to be operated while sitting.
After pedaling for roughly 45 minutes at level 6, the display stated that I had burned 98 calories.
While the Cubii was relatively easy to use while working at the desk, it became distracting during tasks that required a level of focus.
The machine is probably better suited to being used while watching TV. However, you could get easily distracted by your show and stop pedaling, which of course would reduce your calorie burn.
I also found it difficult to get a substantial increase in my heart rate while using the Cubbii, though this will vary depending on your fitness level.
Nevertheless, this does suggest that drastic improvements in aerobic endurance are unlikely with the Cubii.
Furthermore, although the Cubii operates surprisingly smoothly, I found it tedious and mentally difficult to pedal beyond 30 minutes.
This is a major downside, as you’d need to use the machine for longer periods of time to burn a meaningful amount of calories.
Finally, compared with resistance training or jogging, the Cubii doesn’t stimulate the muscles in your lower body to any significant degree, making it unlikely to cause noticeable gains in muscle or drastic cardiovascular adaptations.
The Cubii is easy to assemble, straightforward to use, and has a smooth operation. However, due to limitations in the design of the machine, it doesn’t provide enough intensity to work up a serious sweat.
You’re probably wondering whether the Cubii is ultimately an effective way to exercise.
Unfortunately, Cubii products don’t live up to the hype of being a convenient and efficient way to get fit.
While it’s true that using the Cubii does burn calories, which can support weight loss, the overall number of calories burned is likely insufficient for any real change in body composition.
Cubii claims to burn up to 150 calories per hour with nonstop use. Compared with other mainstream forms of exercise like weight training, jogging, or interval training, this is less than half of what you would expect to burn doing any of the aforementioned activities (
Plus, many snack foods easily contain more than 150 calories per serving. Therefore, without a focus on nutritional intervention, even burning those extra calories can easily be offset by a few handfuls of nuts or a bag of chips.
Of course, there’s more to fitness than just burning calories.
Unfortunately, Cubii fails to stack up in those departments as well.
Improving your cardiovascular fitness requires sustaining an elevated heart rate for a given amount of time. However, at least from my experience, the Cubbii doesn’t provide enough intensity to cause a meaningful increase in heart rate.
Furthermore, if you’ve performed moderate or intense exercise, you can attest to how difficult it would be to get office work done while sweating and breathing hard.
Another downside of the Cubii is the lack of weight bearing inherent in this exercise modality.
Research suggests that weight-bearing exercises, including traditional weight training, jogging, and walking, can improve bone mineral density, which is a vital health marker when it comes to aging (
This lack of weight bearing means the Cubii falls short of providing many of the benefits associated with other forms of exercise.
However, there are some positive aspects of using the Cubii.
For example, if you don’t find the pedaling motion distracting, using the Cubii will allow you to burn more calories than you would just sitting at your desk.
Similarly, if you tend to fidget or get restless, the Cubii could help you get the wiggles out while working or watching a movie.
Additionally, when combined with a nutrition plan from a healthcare professional, the extra calorie burn could help you lose weight over time.
Finally, the Cubii could also be a good alternative if you’re unable to bear weight or perform other forms of exercise.
Nevertheless, if you’re serious about fitness and able-bodied, you’re better off setting aside 30–60 minutes a few days per week to get an actual workout in.
While it’s better than being sedentary, the Cubii doesn’t provide many of the benefits offered by other forms of exercise.
Overall, the Cubii shouldn’t be relied on as a primary method of exercise, though it may still be worth purchasing under certain circumstances.
For example, if you’re looking for a small boost to your calorie burn, don’t mind using an elliptical while working, or are unable to do other forms of exercise, the Cubii may be worth considering.
However, if your fitness goals include improved bone health, muscle building, weight loss, or major aerobic gains, the Cubii is unlikely to deliver what you need.
With four models to choose from, the Cubii under-desk ellipticals are designed to provide an efficient way to burn calories without getting up from the couch.
The Cubii claims to be able to burn up to 150 calories an hour with prolonged, sustained use. As a result, when combined with a nutrition program, it may support your weight loss efforts.
Additionally, the Cubii is a good option if you like to fidget while sitting or want to move while you work.
However, as the machine has a limited range of motion and doesn’t provide enough intensity, you’re unlikely to notice any meaningful improvements in your overall fitness.
Therefore, if you’re looking to gain muscle, improve your aerobic conditioning, or burn a significant amount of calories, you’re better off purchasing a traditional elliptical machine.
Nevertheless, if the benefits of the Cubii are in line with your goals and you can afford to purchase the device, it’s worth giving the Cubii a try.
After all, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can always return the device if it doesn’t meet your expectations.