Why we can live without this $1,000 motorised, light-up virtual cycling desk

Like R2D2 it has motors, it moves, it lights-up and it's expensive

Thermaltake Cycledesk 100
(Image credit: Thermaltake)

There was a time, not so long ago, when cycling was routinely described as “the new golf” for its ability to attract mostly white middle-aged men with a healthy chunk of disposable income to splash on fancy carbon things to make them “better”.

Having crossed that Rubicon, cycling may now be speeding towards a horizon as “the new wedding”, by which I mean the presence of the word is enough  to multiply the price of something by eye watering degrees.

If you are already tapping out of even thinking about an investment on affordability grounds, then head over to the best Black Friday bike deals hub page to find cycling offers that are a little easier on the wallet. 

Which brings us to the Thermaltake Cycledesk 100. This hulking beast of thing is apparently the latest in gaming furniture and, so the marketing blurb tells me, is designed to “level up your professional gaming experiences” in the online cycling world.

It has high tech motorised height adjustment that remembers your settings with a “TT Smart Control Box” - not, I’m assured a digitised version of Cycling Weekly’s own Dr Hutch - that makes it “smarter than you think”.

You, dear reader, should take that as a warning to never underestimate the intellectual capacity of your furniture ever again. My ottoman went to MIT, I’ll have you know.

You can control the height from your phone with this thing, no more pressing buttons (though you can do that too). 

Plus, “the powerful MCU [not the one with Iron-Man in] can remember your desk settings and usage habits,” which is actually pretty useful if there’s more than one of you in the house that wants to use this luxury workstation. It all makes it ideal for holding that deal clincher meeting while ticking off those zone-four efforts your coach gave you.

That’s not all. No super-pro Zwifting (other virtual cycling platforms are available) set-up is complete without disco lighting. The Cycledesk 100 does its best to get it’s Saturday Night Fever dancefloor on with an RGB lighting strip built into the edging.

“Customize, control and sync lighting effects via the Thermaltake RGB desk mobile app or iTAKE engine software,” they say.

That’s not all you can “take it a step further and choose between four different lighting effect settings coupled with five individual levels of brightness and lighting speed”. If you’re still working on a desk with only two lighting effect or, god forbid, four brightness levels, you have barely been living at all.

Can you fit it in your garage/shed/spare bedroom/dungeon? Well it measures 100cm across and is adjustable between 72 - 117cm. Plus, it only weight’s 59kg, the same weight as Astana Qazaqstan’s Miguel Angel Lopez after a generous lunch.

All this joy can be yours for… well, the company hasn’t said yet but gaming tech publication Tom’s Hardware notes Thermaltake’s motorised desks go for $1,000 or more in the US.

There is an alternative solution, the one I’ve used for many years.

It’s a spare larder shelf clamped into my bicycle work-stand. Over 10 years it’s not dropped my work laptop yet and cost $0. The choice is yours.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.