Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling BikeWhy is the Sunny Health and Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike such a popular spin bike even though it doesn’t come with lots of extra features?  Our review explains it’s the combination of a smooth, stable spinning experience at an affordable price that keeps it selling like hotcakes.

The bike is good for beginners and more experienced spinners who want to be able to exercise in their own home or cyclists wanting to get out of the cold in the winter to keep their fitness levels up.

It comes with adjustable resistance settings to allow you to tailor the intensity of your workout to your individual goals. The handlebars and seat can be adjusted to accommodate a range of heights. The maximum user weight is 275 lbs. The sturdy construction and a 40 lbs flywheel all help to give    a smooth riding experience whether you are seated or standing up and pedalling hard.

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Sturdiness/Durability

The bike is heavy with a 40 lb flywheel and well made steel frame so it doesn’t move around as you might have guessed considering the low price. Even when going from seated to standing to do “hill climbs” and when you are really going for it while doing high intensity intervals it continues to give a good stable experience with no discernible wobble.

The weight of the flywheel is important in providing a smooth ride and replicating the feel of a road bike when exercising especially when “going uphill”. As a rule the heavier the flywheel the smoother the ride. A heavier flywheel requires more effort to get it turning and it takes longer to slow down when you stop pedaling. A 40 lbs flywheel is where you get a similar feel to riding a bike outdoors, lower than this the bike ride will start to feel less like riding a bike and can feel awkward and choppier.

This bike has been around for 5 years or so and the experience of  users to date has been that it is durable and there are very few problems with its performance degrading with regular usage. There are some routine tasks that do need to be performed like tightening nuts and bolts, lubricating the chain and the brake pads (in some cases) and changing brake pads as required.

Sometimes the handlebars post can be a little loose causing the handlebars to move slightly – this can be remedied by wrapping some tape round the post – you’ll notice this when assembling – it is an easy fix and it only happens in a few cases.

To level it out there are knobs that you can turn so that it doesn’t wobble from side to side due to an unevenness in the floor.

Overall the experience the bike gives is a very good, solid experience when you first get it and long term so you can concentrate on your workout and not worry about the bike.

Adjustability

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike PriceThere are no official height restrictions given on this bike. However, if you are below 5 foot 3 inches you may find it difficult to use the bike comfortably in pedalling and reaching the handlebars. Customers who are below this height have modified the seat post by either drilling a hole in it or cutting the bottom off it so it slides further down. At the other end of the height spectrum 6 foot 8 inches seems to be the top of the range – after that you are likely to feel cramped and not be able to pedal properly.

The seat can be moved upwards/downwards and forwards/backwards. You do this by unscrewing the adjustment knob and moving the seat adjustment bars until a hole in the bar lines up with the shaft and then you screw the adjustment knob back in.

The handlebars works the same way but they can only be moved up or down. The lack of movement backwards and forwards on the handlebars can make the bike unsuitable for shorter users as they have to lean forward too far to reach them.

The actual process of making these adjustments is simple and quick so it means 2 or more people can easily use the bike with it correctly set for their size.

Resistance

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike resistance knob and brake leverThe bike allows for a wide variety of resistance settings from low to high.  Resistance is adjusted by turning a knob at the front of the bike – a common exercise bike feature.

Like other exercise bikes, the knob settings are not marked.  You simply turn the knob one direction to increase resistance and the other to lower it.  This means it may take some getting used to in order to know where you personally like the resistance to be set but that’s how exercise bikes have been for ages so it’s not too difficult to master.)

The knob tightens or loosens two felt brake pads situated on either side of the flywheel. These do give plenty of scope for turning the resistance up and should cater for all but the strongest rider.

At the end of your workout there is a lever you can push down on to put the brakes on hard to stop the flywheel and pedals from turning to be able to make a safe dismount.

The felt pads on the brakes appear to be long wearing and do not need to be replaced too frequently. The manufacturers says to replace every 6 months and they can be contacted when they need replacing. The assembly instructions do give step by step instructions on how to do this.

Although the resistance is given by caliper style brakes which you often find on road bikes that need adjustment to get them to sit right grip the wheel properly,  these seem to have been adjusted properly in the factory and no adjustment appears to be required.

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike Drive Type

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike left viewThis bike has a chain type drive – similar to what you see on a bike. As such it needs to be maintained in the same way. By this I mean it may become loose as it beds in, so it will therefore need to be tightened, This is done by moving the flywheel forward.

The chain drive is noisier than the alternative belt drive and may need more ongoing maintenance but will last better in the long run compared to a belt drive as this will require replacing as it stretches and comes loose from use.

The pedals will keep turning while the flywheel is turning and you can’t coast with wheel turning and the pedals stationary as you might on a bike – both must be stopped or moving. This is usual for a spin bike.

You can pedal backwards as well as forwards. If you do pedal backwards for any length of time or vigorously you should check that they are still screwed in tight to the crank as they may come loose.

Pedals

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike brake padsThe pedals come with toe cups only. The cups are a bit on the small side and you may find they need replacing which is easy to do as the bike takes standard pedals – the pedal thread size is 9/16. The cup strap can be adjusted to allow for different shoe sizes for when you change your shoes or when there is more than one user.

If you want clip-on pedals you are going to have to  change the pedals.  (It looks like the pedals have straps that are adjustable based on the image on Amazon.  Would someone have to adjust these each time if more than one person is using the bike or if they use different shoes with the bike?)

The crank shafts that the pedals screw into are solid and there is no play in them and they’ll support your weight when you are standing up out of the seat.

Comfort

Sunny Health And Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike  seatThe Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is quiet but it is not silent. The chain makes a noise as you are pedalling as does the resistance on the flywheel, but for most people it an acceptable level of noise. You can talk and listen to the TV without having to turn up the volume to hear or be heard. In the quiet of the middle of the night the noise is going to be noticeable and may wake up light sleepers. But during the day there should not be any problems with the noise.

The seat provided with this bike is very hard and uncomfortable. You can adjust the seat position like you do on a regular bike to see if that helps or it can be replaced by any regular bike seat. So, if you have one you like it can put on in place of the one supplied. Another option is to try gel cover which can be bought separately.

The thing with bike seats is that the comfort or otherwise is an individual preference and any seat is going to be uncomfortable to a lot of people. But the seat that comes with this bike, the one thing that everyone agrees on is that it is uncomfortable!

The ride itself is smooth and stable whether you are cruising along, racing hard or standing up pushing hard against the resistance. There is little movement side to side and the handlebars and seat are held tightly in place (except as noted in the assembly section below). You get a good ride which many describe as similar to what you get from spin bikes in the gym.

The padded handlebars prevent your hands slipping and help to avoid blisters and allow you to lean your lower arms on them. The design also gives you plenty options to put your hands while spinning. They cover the main three positons (and more)- in the center when riding on the flat, shoulder width apart for cyscling on the flat or bracing for the uphill climbs, and if you prefer gripping at the ends of bars for the tough hill climbs.

If you are using the bike in your home you may want to buy a heavy duty rubber mat to put it on. This helps to protect your floors from dust and lubricant that the bike will give off as it is used.

Storage

The bike is compact and doesn’t take up too much room – it is 20 inches wide and 46.5 inches long. Even though it is heavy (92.2 lbs) it can be moved easily by tipping the bike forward on to the small red transport wheels at the front of the bike. You can then move the bike to where you want to store it until you are ready to use it again. This helps to keep it out of the way when space is at a premium such as when using it in your living room and you don’t want it in there when you are relaxing.

Assembly

When you receive the bike it comes mostly assembled. The assembly is straightforward. The instructions can seem complicated with an exploded view and numerous parts listed., However, you only have to attach a few parts and once past this part  the manual is easier to follow. The bike can usually be put together  in between 30 – 60 minutes.

One of the biggest issues with the assembly is the weight. The weight of the bike and packaging is over 100 lbs.

The assembly can be done by one person but you may want some help with moving it around because of the weight – it will makes things easier anyway. Everything you need to assemble the bike is in the box including the tools.

Console

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B901 Pro Indoor Cycling Bike handlebarsIf you like your data you are going to be disappointed with this bike as it doesn’t have a computer or console to record, monitor or time your workout statistics to help you keep a record of and help you analyze your performance.

For many people this isn’t a problem as they are interested in working hard for a period of time and maybe following a workout.

If having the data available is important to you to monitor progress it is possible to buy a cycle computer separately and mount to the bike. One that a customer has successfully mounted to the bike is the Cateye Velo 7 Bicycle Computer  – it measures current/average/max speed, elapsed time, trip/total distance and time. But it does not measure calories burned. It gets good reviews and is currently priced below $20.

Instructions from someone who has mounted a cycle computer to a spinning bike can be found here: http://dailyimprovisations.com/how-an-engineer-puts-a-bike-computer-on-a-spinning-bike/ or here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Add-CadenceSpeedOdometer-to-Your-Spin-Bike./?ALLSTEPS. (It’s not too involved but the magnet of the computer is designed to attach to a wheel spoke not a solid flywheel).

Dimensions

The dimensions and weight:

Width 20 inches
Height 46.5 inches
Depth (Length) 48.5 inches
Weight 92.2 lbs (Gross weight with packaging > 108 lbs)
Flywheel Weight 40 lbs
Pedal Thread size – 9/16
Q Factor – 7 1/2 approx
Maximum user weight – 275 lbs

Accessories

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike Diagonal ViewThis bike is distraction free so there are no accessories that come with the bike nor are there any that have specifically been made for it. It all helps to keep the price down.

A drink bottle holder is one of the most obvious items missing. Most people get around this by putting their drink on a table next to them and they find that works well.

Some people have modified the bike successfully by drilling holes in the frame to add a drink bottle holder they have bought separately or they’ve attached a basket to the handlebars.

Pros

  • A very good price with quality as good, if not better than, higher priced bikes
  • Provides a good sturdy and smooth ride even when you are standing and cycling hard
  • Little maintenance required other than tightening and lubricating and replacing brake pads every now and then
  • Easy to assemble with it taking less than 60 minutes and it comes mostly assembled
  • Transport wheels make it easy to move around to where you want to do your workout and then to where you want to store it despite its weight
  • The bike is quiet enough that you can listen to the TV or have a conversation without turning up the volume

Cons

  • Hard and uncomfortable seat but can be easily changed for one that you like better or you can use a gel cover
  • There is nowhere to put your drink bottle or MP3 player or timer
  • Customer service can be slow and frustrating at times
  • Pedals are for toe cups only but can be easily changed for clip-ons
  • There is no computer to monitor performance
  • You can’t adjust the handlebars backwards/forwards making it uncomfortable for shorter users
  • If you are under 5 foot 3 inches you are likely to find the bike too big without modifying the seat adjustment bar

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike Consumer Ratings

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike reviewThis bike has a large number of reviews by customers around the web. Most of them are very positive with them being very pleased with their purchase. They like how durable and smooth it is and are surprised how good it is considering the low price

However, some customers have not had the same great experience. The complaints are few but they are about the problems with the manufacture and more specifically the follow up customer service. It seems Sunny can be slow at responding to complaints about defective manufacture or parts broken when being delivered. This is not a universal experience but has happened in a minority of cases.

The other areas of concern are the noise and the seat. They are right about the seat it is not comfortable and even the positive reviewers agree with this, however it can be changed with any standard fitting bike seat.  This is to be expected as bike seats are not the most comfortable at their best and what suits one person won’t suit another, so plan on being uncomfortable or adding a gel cover or replace the seat.

The noise for most is acceptable and not considered loud. There are occasions when some minor maintenance may be needed to alleviate the noise when it gets louder – such as tightening the chain or lubricating the brake pads.

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike Price

This bike is a very affordable. It’s construction is strong and durable so you can get a stable and smooth ride. You do just get the bike without any extras but you can – with a little creativity – add them to the bike and still pay less than for bikes that come with all the extras and in some cases these bike don’t perform as well at the basics of a spinning bike – that of giving you a good workout over a number of years.

The savings on the cost of spin classes will pay for this bike quickly.

When I checked it was being sold at a discount at Amazon.

You can check if that is still the case by clicking here:
Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike

Review Summary

Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Cycling Bike Side ViewFor price this bike is hard to beat. You just get a bike that you can do your spinning workouts or indoor rides on. It is a no frills bike – there is no computer or bottle-holder.

It is very durable and robust, though.

It is stable at high speeds or when standing up. There are some niggles with the seat and adjustments that may be needed to make to keep it acceptably quiet (it is not silent).

This is great a bike for beginners as well as more advanced riders or spinners.

Filed under: Spin Bikes

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