You can’t pedal a mini exercise bike the same way that you do a recumbent bike. When using a recumbent bike you push the pedals forward. See the pictures below. If you do this with a mini exercise bike, it will slide or tilt forward. The white arrows show the direction you typically pedal when using a recumbent bike.
Notice 3 differences between the pictures below and the pictures above.
You don't start pedaling until the pedal arm reaches the 1 o'clock position.
You pedal downwards, not forwards.
Your toes point forward, not upward.
Note, you can pedal downward even when sitting on a low chair or a couch. When you sit in a lower chair, you tend to work both your quads and your hamstrings.
It’s easier to train yourself to pedal downward at the lower resistances. This is because the bike has an internal flywheel that keeps the pedals moving when you are not pushing on the pedals.
Start at the Minimum Resistance
Rotate the adjustment knob counter-clockwise until it stops turning. This will set the resistance to the minimum value. Practice pedaling at this resistance. Focus on pedaling downward as shown in the above diagram.
Increase the Tension Gradually
Pedal at least 15 minutes at the minimum resistance. Increase the tension a little bit (less than 1 rotation of the knob) and practice for at least another 15 minutes. Continue this until you are at the resistance you want to be at.
After a few hours of practicing, pedaling downward should become second nature to you.
"I am immensely pleased with both the build quality and the resistance. This will provide good solid exercise when couch-bound. Great for those of us who don't like to go out in the cold and/or have small apartments."