Certified Spinning® Instructor & Personal Trainer
Katie has been a certified
As we continue to spend more time at our desks and the office, finding time to squeeze in a workout and get up and stretch our legs every hour can be challenging. The popularity of under-desk bikes continues to grow as people try to find a balance. For the last 45 days, I have been testing the Merach S04 Mini Under Desk
My Verdict & Pros/ Cons
The Mini Under Desk
How We Rated the
We rate each product with the same rating system criteria for easy comparisons among models. Please see our rating categories below.
Rating System Categories
- Construction Quality & Durability
- Assembly Process
- Comfort & Adjustability
- Console, App Experience & Content
- Support, Financing Options & Warranty
- Value for Money
I was impressed with the sleek design of this model and how easy it was to move since it only weighs 18 pounds. The Merach S4 was also very easy to assemble.
Main Specs & Features of the Spin
Merach S04 Specs
- Item Weight 18 Pounds
- Material Alloy Steel
- Resistance Mechanism Magnetic
- Product Dimensions 23.62″D x 21.8″W x 12.59″H
- Maximum User Weight Recommendation 280 pounds
The main features of the S04 are the following:
Detailed Review & Rating (5.0 is the max)
Riding Experience & Performance: 3.5
- Smoothness of Pedal Stroke: I found the pedal stroke very smooth in the lower to mid-resistance ranges. I felt they were a little choppy the closer I maxed out the resistance, and since the model is pretty light, only 18 pounds, it started to move some due to the force that was required to pedal through the level 16 resistance.
- Resistance: This model does not lack the amount of resistance it provides through the resistance knob with a whopping 16+ levels of magnetic resistance. The knob takes a bit of effort to be able to adjust throughout the various resistance levels.
However, I wish other resistance bands that were heavier resistance were available for purchase. Even after adjusting the bands’ resistance, it was still not enough. To feel more resistance, I had to shorten the resistance bands to a point that started to raise the front of the machine when completing a seated row. My experience with the resistance bands being too light might not be the same for everyone. Older and deconditioned riders might find them sufficient. I did enjoy how easy it was to attach or remove the resistance bands based on the easy clasp fasteners.
- Noise: The Merach S04 was very quiet due to the belt-drive design. The only sound I could hear was the shoe strap catching funny on my sneaker since the pedals are pretty narrow and my sneakers are a cross-trainer. Therefore, they have a slightly wider base.
Construction Quality & Durability: 3.8
Some of the mini under-desk cycle components that I felt had nice construction quality included the belt drive, flywheel, and console. These components are some of the most crucial for the overall quality of the exercycle. However, the feet of the
Assembly Process: 4.5
I love how easy it is to assemble this model. There were very few components that I needed to assemble since it came completed for the most part. After taking it out of the box, I was able to have it built and start riding in about 10-15 minutes.
Comfort & Adjustability: 3.5
The mini under-desk
Katie’s Tips: Ensure you use a slightly higher chair that does not include wheels when using this equipment. If your chair is too low, where your hips are below your knees, it can cause extra strain on your knees. A stationary chair will also ensure you stay in the correct body position instead of moving farther away or too close if the chair has wheels throughout the pedal stroke.
The resistance bands have padded handles that are incredibly comfortable to grasp. The bands can also quickly increase or decrease resistance load by pulling up on the loop at the top of the band and increasing or decreasing the handle loop size. I noticed in some of the reviews that people couldn’t figure out how to adjust the handles. Watch my review video to see how to make this simple adjustment.
The pedals might be a point of contention for riders with wider feet. Since you should be pressing through the ball of your foot as you pedal, this part of your foot should be placed on the pedal. Even my women’s size eight shoe had difficulty fitting onto the pedals when the shoe strap was in place at the largest setting. For riders unable to have their shoe fit with the belt, this model does have the option to ride without the strap without hindering any functionality of the
Console, App Experience, and Content: 4.0
The console is straightforward to use and read throughout your workout. I appreciated the metrics that were offered through the smaller console.
I enjoy that Merach offers a free app that also features a leaderboard. I feel leaderboards help increase my motivation and output during my rides since I can compete against other riders. Points are awarded based on calorie expenditure during the workout and are tracked via Bluetooth.
While the S04 does connect via Bluetooth to Merach’s free app, the programming available for this model is extremely limited. No instructor-led workouts are available for this exercycle, like the S19 I have enjoyed. However, there are a few video game-like experiences available for this model. Unfortunately, I could not get the content to play on my Android. However, the app did show my points on the class leaderboard for the exercycle classes after I connected the S04 via Bluetooth.
I did want to note that I have never had any issues with the app when connecting the S19, so this is not the case for all the models. In addition, I was able to get some of the video-game-themed content that was created for the treadmill to show. Unfortunately, my metrics did not show on the leaderboard since the class was for a piece of equipment I didn’t own. However, the video-game-like content is entertaining and engaging.
Support, Financing Options & Warranty: 5.0
In my experience, the support team has been accommodating and assisted me with any questions or issues regarding their various Merach models. Financing options are unavailable on the Merach website, but you can break the payments into 12 installments on Amazon.
Merach offers a two-year limited warranty on the S4, which is longer than similar models on the market and only includes a 12-month warranty. In addition to the warranty, this model also has a 30-day free trial.
Value for Money: 4.3
Since this model only costs $149, the quality of the product for the price is a pretty good deal based on your training expectations for this piece of equipment.
Comparison with Alternatives
Priced at $249, the Cubii JR2 is one of the few under-desk trainers that offers an elliptical-style stride compared to other
This DeskCycle has a 4.6 out of 5 consumer rating. Some of the 4,000+ users of this cycle have described it as “the real deal” and “the best investment I have ever made.” This $229 under-desk cycle model also includes a larger display. In addition, this cycle also consists of eight levels of magnetic resistance.
Sunny Magnetic Under Desk Elliptical
Sunny Health and
If you are looking for something to help increase your activity level throughout the day that fits under most desks, then the S04 is a model to consider. Since it is affordable, it can also accommodate a wide range of budgets.
Great For & Not Recommended For
- Great For
- People going through physical therapy
- People who must sit at their desks for extended periods
- Riders with mobility issues
- Senior citizens
- People who do not have a large budget
- Not Great For
- People with a larger shoe size
- Those looking for an intense workout