Comparing these two popular spin bikes – the Sole SB700 and Diamondback 510Ic – can be difficult and time consuming especially as the manufacturer doesn’t seem to want to give you all the information needed to complete the comparison.
In preparing this post I’ve spent a number of hours investigating the bikes to uncover and understand all there is to know about the bikes. I’ve checked online reviews, read the descriptions online, read through the manuals and asked questions of the manufacturer.
In this way I’ve able to compare and contrast the bikes in depth to give you a complete guide to the similarities and differences and what they mean for someone wanting to use them for spinning or training.
I’ve broken the comparison down into what I consider to be the most important features of the bikes and put them up against each other. (If you want to see just the facts we have a compare post that compares all spin bikes reviewed on the site).
First a quick overview of the bikes:
The bike comes with a heavy flywheel weighing in at 48 lbs that gives a natural fluid riding motion at all levels of resistance and speeds. Resistance is manual. It is increased and decreased using the tension knob at the front of the frame – it is incremental and continuous but does not have levels marked.
The bike is fully adjustable with the seat and handlebars able to be moved horizontally and vertically to properly fit a number of different body shapes and sizes between 4 ft 10 ins and 6 ft 4 ins to give them an efficient workout.
The console monitors RPM, calories burned, distance, time elapsed, speed and heart rate when paired with a heart rate strap (which needs to bought separately).
The bike is sturdy and does not rock or wobble when you are riding hard or transitioning between seated and standing leaving you to be able to concentrate on getting the level of intensity you want.
Diamondback Fitness 510Ic
This is a spin bike comes with features you don’t normally see at this price range with magnetic resistance and 12 pre-set workout programs to use in your fitness regime. The bike weighs in at 126 lbs with a flywheel weight of 32 lbs to give a solid base for your workouts, there is no moving around or side to side movement at any level of exercise even when you are pushing yourself hard.
As well as the pre-set programs the console can monitor your heart rate when you place your hands on the sensors built-in to handlebars which helps with training in your target heart rate zone to maximize results from your training. It also monitors distance, speed, calories burned, RPM and watts to help to keep you on track while spinning and training.
The handlebars and set can be adjusted vertically and horizontally to properly fit people between the heights of 5 ft 2 ins and 6 ft 5 ins.
Both bikes are sturdy and durable. You get the right base for doing as tough workouts as you want without worrying about them tipping or shaking while you are jumping up and down and pushing yourself as hard as you want.
The Sole SB700 does have a heavier flywheel at 48 lbs which provides a more natural riding motion than the lighter Diamondback 510ic 32 lbs flywheel. It takes a little more effort to get it started at low resistance but the weight means it moves the pedals through the cycling motion without slowing as much as you find with the lighter weight flywheels. Having said that the Diamondback does give a smooth experience, it’s just not quite up to the standard of the SB700.
Both bikes have a good range of adjustability for different size people as you are able to adjust the seat and handlebars up, down, backwards and forwards.
The SB700 has a wider range of heights with a minimum height of 4 ft 10 inches and maximum 6 ft 4 compare to the 510Ic range of 5 ft 2 ins to 6 ft 5 ins.
The SB700 does have an edge on the ease of adjustment over the Diamondback 510Ic as well as range. You can slide the seat and handlebars to where you want and tighten in place using the cam levers without having to move to the closest pre-set hole.
The adjustment of the handlebars for the 510Ic involves unscrewing 4 bolts with an Allen wrench and then moving into place and then bolting in to place.
The Diamondback 510Ic uses magnetic resistance to increase and decrease the intensity of the workouts. It has 16 levels that are controlled by the up and down arrows on the console and are represented by the horizontal levels on the matrix display at the top of display. The only negative is that you may find you can’t get the resistance to be as tough as you want it at the toughest setting but that is really only those that are very experienced spinners and riders.
The Sole SB700 uses manual resistance for the hill climb workouts. It is incremental and continuous. This is the most common form of resistance seen on spin bikes and indoor cycles. It does not have levels marked so makes it difficult to know exactly how hard to set it when you return to the bike for your next workout especially if someone has changed it in the meantime. But it can be set as hard as you want right up to extremely difficult.
Both bikes use a belt drive which gives a smooth and quiet riding experience. If you are used to riding an outdoor bike you may find it a little strange as it will feel slightly different and maybe quieter than you are used to.
The Sole SB700 uses kevlar for the belt which is a very hard wearing material and this may mean that it will last longer and not stretch as soon as the one used on the Diamondback bike. Having said that, both belts should give many years of use before they need replacing.
Both bikes have toe baskets with adjustable straps that take standard sport shoes and won’t fit specialist spinning or bike shoes. You can change the pedals for both bikes with standard bike size pedals if you want to use specialist pedals.
The bikes have a fixed gear so you aren’t able to coast because when the flywheel is turning so are the pedals. To stop the pedals turning you can push down on the brake at the front of the frame on both bikes so you can get off. The lack of freewheeling is standard on most bikes with only the Schwinn AC Sport being the only one I’ve reviewed so far that gives you the ability to freewheel but it does cost more than these bikes.
The Sole SB700 will be a little dustier than the 510Ic due to the manual resistance wearing down but both bikes will drop lubricant and you are probably going to drop sweat so a rubber mat is a good idea to protect your floor.
There isn’t too much else to look at here in terms of differences with both having a seat that some will find comfortable and others won’t but you can change the seat on both bikes if it is too hard on your sit bones. The handlebars are both padded for grip and preventing blisters with the 510Ic having longer inner handlebars for a more comfortable racing position.
Both bikes have storage wheels at the front for transporting the bike to where you want to store it out of the way when not in use. The Diamondback 510Ic is going to be easier to move on carpet as the wheels are not recessed so that the carpet pile can’t get trapped between the wheel and stabilizer bar jamming the wheel and making it hard to move the bike.
Both bikes come mostly put together with it taking less than an hour to complete the assembly. The 510Ic assembly is slightly more involved as you need to ensure the console is properly attached and that it’s wires don’t get trapped.
This is an area of difference. The Diamondback Fitness 510Ic has a better console overall with pre-set workout programs, heart rate monitor with built-in sensors and tracks watts (a measure of power) and other measures.
The SB700 console is more basic without any pre-set workout programs nor does it monitor watts. It can measure heart rate but you need to supply a compatible heart rate strap to do this. It would be good if they included this in the price.
In some respects the heart rate strap option is better than having the sensors in the handlebars as you can move your hands as you want and not have to have them fixed in place as you do with them in the handlebars.
However, neither console stores your workout results nor can you upload them to your computer or internet so you need to record them manually in training diary of some sort if you want to track your progress.
Dimensions and Weights
Both bikes are designed to accommodate people up to a maximum of 300 lbs. The Diamondback 510Ic is the slightly larger bike with dimensions of 46″(H) by 23″ (W) by 42″ (L) and the SB700 coming in at 42″ (H) by 21″ (W) by 40″ (L). It makes the SB700 easier to store I guess but there isn’t any difference in the bike’s ability to stay steady while you cycle.
The price for both bikes is similar when I checked. With the Diamondback Fitness 510Ic you get magnetic resistance, belt drive and a console with 12 pre-set workout programs plus a stable bike for effective spinning and training workouts.
The Sole SB700 has a heavy flywheel, belt drive, a basic console (no built-in programs) and manual resistance and a durable solid bike giving a very good basis for workouts that are as tough as you want.
The Sole SB700 has a more basic approach to your cardio workout experience with a basic console and manual resistance but it has quiet belt-drive and heavier flywheel giving you a smoother riding experience.
The Diamondback 510Ic gives you the option to train to pre-set work out programs if you want but you can also just do your own workouts or follow along to a DVD. It is a quieter bike due to the magnetic resistance but the smoothness of the cycling motion will be slightly less than that of the Sole SB700.
If you want pre-set workouts then the Diamondback 510Ic is the one to go for but do keep in mind that if the console stops working or you have a power outage then you can’t use the bike, which is a major negative of the bike.
If you are not looking for pre-set workouts then I think the Sole SB700 is a good option. The manual resistance means you don’t have marked levels, the pads do require replacing but you can set it as hard as you want and where you want it. It has a heavier flywheel for very smooth riding experience and rock solid workouts.