(This is a pick-up post, written long ago, and now published as part of the process of getting back on track here . . . in a bit, I’ll write about how well the Fit Desk worked for us. In the meantime, this is how it arrived.)
A Fit Desk is what I’m using to “cycle” during the time I’m not able to ride my Brompton outside. Here’s how I put it together after it was shipped to us.
It arrived in a long, skinny box. The poly straps had cut through the cardboard in several places, which was worrisome, but there didn’t appear to be any damage to anything inside.
I forgot to take a photo before I’d partially unpacked; by the time I remembered, the Fit Desk looked surprisingly like a preying mantis when lying in the partially-unpacked carton.
Along with the more obvious stuff, there was a large bag of hardware; these tools were included in the kit. These three items are truly all you need to do the job, but the process is enhanced if you use a socket wrench.
The basic frame is already assembled; the first step (after putting something down to protect the floor) is to add the stabilizers to the chassis. They are the crossbars that hold the device upright, and keep it that way while in use.
All of the nuts and bolts in the chassis and cross bars are already set into their appropriate spots — a huge time and confusion saver. There aren’t any IKEA-like bags of hardware to sort out here, and the main frame comes completely assembled, too, so there’s no guesswork about how things go together — and no lengthy set-up time, either.
The pedals bolt on easily, and the adjustable straps snap into place.
Then the seat just slips into the frame.
The “desk” bit also just pops into the frame, and then the arm support attachment is bolted onto the underside. Adjusting the arm support was the only tricky part; notches in the side bars are used to adjust the position. The notches look fairly primitive; I wondered if they’d prove sturdy, or be responsive to tightening. No worries, though, it all worked out fine.
The last step is attaching the meter. This is the only cheesy-looking bit; it’s plastic and looks as if it would be fragile, though it doesn’t seem to be. It just lacks the same sturdy, well-thought-out look of the rest of the device.
Unpacking and assembly took about 45 minutes (!) and was incredibly simple. Heartening, too — the Fit Desk people really thought about what this experience was going to be like for the consumer and made putting it together as quick and as easy as possible.
The room ours is in is too small so show the Fit Desk fully set-up, so here’s an official Fit Desk photo showing what it looks like fully assembled (and yes, mine looks exactly like this):
Well, not exactly. The Fit Desk comes with an exercise band, and there are hooks beneath the seat to store them; the idea is that you can work your arms while cycling. This didn’t work for me — the bands pull right up against my hips, which is uncomfortable and irritating, so we don’t keep them on the Fit Desk, though you can see how it’s done in this photo.
A huge selling point for the Fit Desk is that it folds for storage, so I was pleased to see that the fold knob is easy to reach and use, though does take a bit of practice to learn to do it smoothly. Also, it’s important to remember that you can only grab the unit by seat and handlebar when folding and moving it. (Physics, you know).
When folded, the Fit Desk is surprisingly compact, and rollers on one of the stabilizer bars make moving it pretty easy. Here is the device in a tight corner between two bookcases:
Two pieces of hardware were missing during assembly: one of the two screws for attaching the meter, and one washer. I pulled workable substitutes from my toolbox.
Several people had mentioned in reviews that they had found missing screws or washers in the seams of the box. Sure enough, when I finally broke it down, the missing screw fell out. The washer never showed up, though.
The verdict so far: The Fit Desk looks great; the packaging could use some work. Also, according to this Maine Coon, whatever was out-gassing from the rubberish bits was better than high grade catnip.
It’s a bonus. (Humans, even the one with the very sensitive nose, were unable to detect any odour after the first hour.)
The butterscotch cat
and the other Maine Coon
preferred the box.