So I finally went through with it and ordered the mini excercise bike.Â Â It has magnetic resistance, an on-board display (distance, speed, calories, time) that you can actually extend out and put it elsewhere, and it fits under my desk.
My regular desk chair is too squeaky to use with the mini bike, but my directors chair works great.Â Â The main problem I had was reaching the keyboard.Â My legs got in the way.Â However, I’m not going to let something as trivial as leg room discourage me. The solution was to build a keyboard stand attached to the chair itself.Â I held the keyboard above my legs and measured the difference.Â While this was obviously not an exact science, it suited my purposes.Â From the wooden of the chair, I had to raise 7″ in the front and 5″ in the back.Â Adding 2″ for the chair arms itself, I had 9″ and 7″.Â I took some scrap 1×6 boards I had and cut them just so.Â I drilled and then screwed these to the sides of the chair arms.Â I did a quick test of the wooden plank I had (which originally came fromÂ a tv stand or desk) to confirm I liked the height, and it was perfect.Â After confirming the height and position would work, I added the final touch: a piece of trim underneath the wooden plank to hold it in place.
Once everything was setup, I found that I can comfortably ride and type at 12-13mph for well over an hour at a time.Â This is multitasking at its finest!
As I push more into biking during the winter, I need to test more often to see what works.Â I replaced some break pads on my bike as well as got all the lights mounted again.Â I did a quick ride around town around 10pm in 31F weather to get a feel for how I’m setup.
The Bell-brand light that I have for the handlebars is definietely insufficient for the task.Â Â Â The head-lamp I have does a much better job of lighting the way.Â Â It would be nice to have a handlebar-mounted light that really shines.Â From what I read I need 20 watts in city driving (as the other light washes out my light).
Biking gloves are still somewhat of an issue.Â My older leather-shell thinsulate gloves don’t overlap correctly with my jacket sleeve, causing a gap.Â I tried out a pair of fleece “pop-top” gloves (half fingerless glove/half mitten) — these let you fee the breeze through the fleece (and that’s without wind).Â My newest pair of thinsulate gloves I have generally work — they keep the hands warm and overlap properly.Â The only issue with those is dexterity.Â Â Â I might have to hunt down some bike pogies.Â Â These mount on the bike and create a nice protection from the elements, allowing you to wear a thinner, less wind-resistant glove (like the fleece pop-tops).
The windbreaker pants over top of jeans works great, at least in dry weather.Â They seem like they’ll do a decent job in rainy weather as well.Â For anyone else looking for a multi-layer pants solution, windbreaker pants go over anything.
As for the bike, I’ll need to find a decent mirror.Â I picked one up that was supposed to hook on the side of the hand-grips, but in my case, the hand-grip is also the shifter and therefore too big for the mirror to fit onto.