The Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical is a high-quality, quiet elliptical designed to get you ‘fit while you sit’. The JR1 is a compact, unobtrusive, and sturdy product to get more movement into an otherwise sedentary day.
You’ve likely heard it before — ‘Sitting is the new smoking’. A staggering 3.2 million deaths a year are chalked up to a sedentary lifestyle. And with remote work booming and people sitting 30% more than pre-pandemic, it’s imperative we find ways to stay active during the day.
Enter the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical. Cubii promises to make ‘healthii habits’ a fixture of your workday. As someone who cares about health but is stuck at a desk most of the day, I’m intrigued.
What is the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical?
The Cubii JR1 is a top-of-the-range under-desk elliptical. One of many on the market right now, the JR1 promises to kick sedentary people into shape. Unlike the Peloton or NordicTrack Elliptical, the JR1 is a smaller alternative designed for the office, not for the gym.
With 10,000 plus glowing Amazon reviews, the JR1 Mini Elliptical is hugely popular.
Cubii’s mission is to bring health into people’s homes. They think wellness is for everyone — of any age, ability, or lifestyle. For some, gyms are off-putting. They’re a hassle to get to and stocked with steely, complicated contraptions. By contrast, Cubii’s five elliptical models are meant to make fitness approachable for anyone. They’re designed to fit easily into your daily routine so you can ‘get fit while you sit’.
So what does the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical promise to do?
Its main selling point is to burn calories while you sit. Cubii claims you can torch up to 5 times the calories you’d burn at a standing desk. With low-grade activity throughout the day, you can lose weight without really thinking about it.
And you’ll forget it’s there. Cubii claims to be ‘whisper quiet’ for distraction-free exercise while working, watching TV, or reading. Ergonomically designed, the Cubii JR1 is meant to fit anywhere and be a great pick for those unable to do weight-bearing exercises.
If you work remotely like me — and you’re getting alarmed by how little you use your legs — this all sounds like a sweet deal.
Let’s see if it stacks up to these promises.
Easy to set up
If instruction manuals terrify you, you’re in luck. The Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical comes almost 100% intact. It just takes four screws to attach the left and right pedals — and ta-da, you’re good to go. Easy.
It’s easy to use too. The Cubii JR1 boasts a comfortable, intuitive design. With 6” x 14” pedals, it’s large-feet-friendly and is usable with or without shoes. Pedaling feels natural and smooth, and it’s angled to keep your knees from jerking up and hitting your desk.
Bad news, though: the pedals don’t come with foot straps. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, check out Cubii’s JR2. But at 23” x 17.5” x 10”, the JR1 is compact, discreet, and even comes with wheel stoppers to fix your office chair in place.
They weren’t kidding. The Cubii JR1 is almost silent. At most, it makes a soft, rolling noise. This is a huge plus if you’re planning to bring the JR1 into the office and don’t want to make enemies. Take heed, though; some users say it can start squeaking after long-term use.
8 Resistance Levels
With the JR1, you get eight resistance levels — pretty standard for mini ellipticals. By adjusting a small knob, you can gradually progress from a warm-up to a more challenging effort.
Take ‘challenging’ with a grain of salt, though. Compared to full-scale ellipticals, the Cubii JR1’s highest limit isn’t intense at all. And to adjust the resistance, you need to reach below your desk, which can be a pain if you want to switch up your effort.
The JR1 has a small LCD display that tracks your workout. You can see the calories you’ve burned, your RPM (strides pedaled), distance, and time. It’s nothing fancy — and it doesn’t need to be. But these metrics are limited. You can’t input data like your weight or height, so the calorie calculation is inevitably inaccurate.
If you’re after more metrics, you can wear your Fitbit around your ankle while you cycle. Better yet, the Cubii Pro might be for you. It has a Bluetooth capability which makes it easier to sync your data more accurately.
How sturdy is the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical?
Rock-solid. When stacked against some of its more rickety competitors, the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical feels built to last.
The Cubii has a solid design made with high-quality parts. It comes with rubber feet, making it difficult to slip around as you pedal while protecting your floors.
At 30 lbs, it’s pretty heavy for its size. Maybe too heavy. Though it has a handle, it might be cumbersome to move around if you’re older, so it’s best kept in one area.
Be warned, though. Bulky as it is, the JR1 has a weight capacity of only 250 lbs. But, Cubii assures customers that weight is calculated at standing capacity. So if you’re sitting, the seat will take some of that weight, allowing the Cubii to take more than 250 lbs.
Though the JR1 is high quality, it will, like all equipment, end up wearing down. Luckily replacement parts are readily available from the Cubii team. They’re known for having an excellent customer service record, so they’ll respond to a new part request.
Can I get a good workout with the Cubii JR1?
The simple answer is no, not really. To be brutally honest, even its highest resistance level isn’t intense enough to get your heart rate up more than your walking pace.
It’s also not a full-body workout. By nature, a mini elliptical has a limited range of motion that mainly targets your ankles and calves. So sure, it’ll improve your circulation, but it won’t get you sweating enough to get fit. If that’s your goal, you’re better off getting a Peloton or something similar.
But that’s not what this product is trying to do. It offers low-impact movement throughout the day, not an intense workout. The slow calorie burn can add up without you noticing, helping with weight loss. And if you’re pedaling when you’d usually be sitting motionless, you’re going to get health benefits.
If you do want more of a sweat, the Cubii team does offer some add-ons. If you’re willing to fork out some extra cash, the Premium Bundle comes with a 3lbs dumbbell for arm workouts. There’s also a Squishii Grip Strengthener Bundle to strengthen your hands. Or consider signing up for the Cubii Studio Plus platform, which gives you access to classes by expert trainers.
It’s also worth being realistic about whether you’ll be able to pedal while you work. The movement is very smooth and gentle, but if you’re a person who needs undivided attention to focus on work, it can be distracting. I’d say the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical is best for more mindless tasks like watching TV or paying your bills.
What we Liked and Disliked about the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical
Cutting to the chase — should you get a Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical?
Well, it does just what it says on the box. If you’re largely sedentary, it’s a nifty way to get your blood moving and burn a few extra calories throughout the day. Aesthetically pleasing, it’s discreet and compact. And most of all, if you’re elderly, rehabilitating from an injury, or have a disability, its low-impact exercise can help you take control of your health.
But here’s the catch. At around $250, it comes with a hefty price tag, and there are more reasonably priced mini ellipticals out there. So work out if it’s worth it for your own goals before splurging on the Cubii JR1.
What the Cubii JR1 gets right
- Easy and comfortable to use
- Great for low impact, gentle movement
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Sturdy, good quality build
- Quiet and not distracting
Where the Cubii JR1 falls short
- Pricey compared to competitors
- Pedals afford a limited range of motion
- Low-intensity resistance makes it difficult to get the heart rate up
- Heavy to move around
Compare and Contrast
If you’re looking for something lighter, you could try the Cubii JR2 Mini Elliptical instead. It’s the next generation of the Cubii JR1 and is smaller, lighter, and pedals even smoother.
|Features||Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical||Cubii JR2 Mini Elliptical|
|Weight||27 lbs||18.9 lbs|
|Dimensions||23 in x 17.5 in x 10 in||22.2 in x 11.8 in x 11.6 in|
|Colors||Aqua or Purple||Neon Green|
|Zero Gravitii Flywheel||No||Yes|
The Cubii JR1 isn’t going to get you fit. It won’t melt away your belly fat overnight or get you in top shape for an Iron Man. If that’s your goal, look elsewhere.
But if you’re just looking to get in a bit more activity in your day without really thinking about it, the JR1 is for you. And if you pair it with a healthy eating plan or sprinkle in some weight-bearing activity, the Cubii JR1 Mini Elliptical can help to revolutionize your health. After all, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, it’s worth trying it out.