This is how it came about. I didn't set foot in front of my apartment for a week and a half. YouTube yoga was a kind of lifesaver, and I happened to have a largely pristine 30-pound kettlebell lying around. However, my Apple Watch has remained largely untouched. The blatant realities of miserably falling short of exercise minutes and step numbers are simply too much above everything else.
To be honest, I mocked a little when a friend initially recommended an elliptical trainer under the desk. But those were better days than I could take a socially distant jaunt on my bike. However, following instructions from the doctor, I can no longer go beyond the mailbox in my building lobby – and even that seems a tempting fate on some days.
Now I'm here and I'm writing a review of the Cubii Pro. In fact, it's not a new product. But it certainly has its moment. In normal times, the device appears to be a stupid piece of office fitness equipment to counteract the dangers of prolonged sitting, which we have been warned of many times.
But if sitting was the new smoking in 2019, it's just the new reality in this era of self-quarantine. We will do our exercises wherever we can sneak them in – even if that means most days just going between the desk and the kitchen. The Cubii product line is from no means a substitute for full-bodied exercises, but they are a brave attempt to help the victim complete the atrophy.
As the name suggests, the Pro is a step further than the standard Cubii, which was started via a Kickstarter campaign in 2016. At $ 349, this is an investment, with the biggest upgrades coming in the form of Bluetooth connectivity. There is an app for iOS and Android that connects to third-party tracking software such as Apple Health. To be honest, this is a pretty solid addition for those who have made a point of closing their Apple Watch rings.
Most of the device is delivered assembled. You have to cover the last mile by attaching the pedals. And hey, free screwdriver. It's easy enough. Frankly, the biggest problem with setting it up is charging the thing. The Pro is significantly larger and heavier than originally assumed and is charged via microUSB. That is, if you don't have a long cord, you'll need to find a place to keep it near an electrical outlet for an extended period of time. There are no sockets in my small apartment, so I had to get creative.
Charging also takes a while. It's best overnight if you can do it. The good news on this front, however, is that it stays charged for a while. I don't think I need to charge it more than every few weeks.
The size is also a limitation from the point of view of use. Due to the length of the device, I had to pull my desk out of the wall a bit to use it. I also have to sit back a little so as not to hit my knees on the underside of the desk. Frankly, it's probably best used when you're sitting on a couch and watching TV (a laptop is too much to ask without a desk). If your office chair rolls like mine, you'll get creative again. The kettlebell mentioned above is used even more often these days because it currently sits between the legs of the chair and prevents me from rolling backwards with every peddler.
Apart from these problems, I largely enjoyed my time with the product. The movement is smooth, the Bluetooth connection works fine (though you may need to open the app to start it) and there are eight resistance settings to keep things fresh. In other circumstances, I couldn't imagine spending so much on this type of product, but these are unique times. For those who still have trouble getting out of the house, even though things are back to normal for the most part, it's a nice, portable alternative to much more expensive home exercise equipment with a solid little booting app.