When buying a spin bike for your home you want one that you can use when you want, that is reliable and doesn’t disturb others too much. If possible you want something that can be used by others too even if they are different heights and abilities.
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1002C Chain Drive Indoor Cycling Bike has a steel frame, a chain drive and a heavy flywheel. These and other features help to make this bike one of the most popular home spin bikes. The reasonable pricing helps too.
Although when you buy affordably priced exercise equipment you don’t want to be ending up saying you get what you paid for.
And this what our review looks at. We look at the durability as well as other features to see if this bike makes a good value option for the home and who it is best for.
To do this we spent hours of time looking at the manual, specifications, reading online reviews .
First up we look at how it performs when it is being used.
The bike is rock steady when you are working out. It holds firm whether you are in the saddle, standing up or jumping between so that you can workout in confidence. The frame is made of heavy duty steel and feels solid and durable.
When the seat and handlebars are tightened fully into place there is no shaking or movement even when they are fully extended.
If the bike isn’t balanced due to floor being uneven there leveling feet under the cross bars that you turn until the bike is in balance and won’t rock side to side.
The flywheel is 49 lbs but is not perimeter weighted so you don’t get the pull through you do get on the Spinner S1. But for most people the weighting of the flywheel will be sufficient to keep you pedaling in a cycle motion even at the harder resistance levels. There will be some up and down motion while you get used to pedaling.
The 360 degree cycle motion reduces stress and impact on the joints and this is promoted by perimeter weighted flywheels – however they do cost more. As the weight of this flywheel is heavy it does get enough momentum to help in pulling your feet through the entire pedal cycle it just isn’t as aggressive as the perimeter weighted wheels on the Spinmer bikes.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002C Chain Drive Indoor Cycling Bike can be adjusted to fit people between the heights of 5 ft 3 ins and 6 ft 8 ins based on customer feedback. It is possible for the bike to fit people shorter than this but is does require modifying the adjustment pole or by resting the pole on the bottom of the tube ( not recommended by the supplier).
The seat can be adjusted vertically and horizontally. Whereas the handlebars can only be moved upwards and downwards.
This does give the opportunity to adjust the bike to fit you properly so you get the most effective workout and don’t put unnecessary strain on yourself.
However, some people may find it difficult to get the bike to feel comfortable due to the lack
of horizontal adjustment of the handlebars. The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1110 Indoor Cycling Bike offers this additional adjustability to get the sizing feeling comfortable but it does have a lighter flywheel at 44 lbs and a max user height of 6 ft 2 ins.
The actual adjustments are easy and quick to do. You do this by loosening the pop pull pins and sliding the adjustment pole to the position you want and insert the pin and tighten in place. There are markings on the poles so you can quickly get back to your setting if someone else has used the bike.
This is one of the great things about the bike is that it can be used people of different sizes and abilities. The adjustments only take seconds to complete so there is next to no time needed to get the bike set for each person who wants to use the bike.
The bike has a resistance pad that sits on top of the flywheel that puts constant pressure on the wheel to use friction to make it harder to pedal. The tension knob that is used to adjust the amount of resistance is located just below the handlebars.
To increase the resistance you need only make small turns of the resistance knob. It is less than you need to make big increases in the resistance that you need with most spin bikes at a gym so it may take a little getting used to at first.
The resistance goes from none to very hard where it is almost impossible to turn the pedals making it suitable for those hard mountain bikers as well as the rest of us.
To stop the flywheel in an emergency you push down hard on the tension knob and it works like a brake.
There are no levels of resistance marked which is normal for indoor cycles and spin bikes. This can make it difficult to return to a previous setting and can only be done by estimate and feel.
The bike has a chain drive which works in the same way as you get on an outdoor bike except there is one difference.
It has a fixed gear so it is not possible to coast as you do on a bike going downhill or coming to stop. When the flywheel is moving the pedals are moving as well.
This helps to keep your feet moving so you get a better workout and burn more calories by not taking it easy. However, it does make getting off the bike more difficult as you need to either slowly stop the pedals from turning using your feet or push down on the resistance knob to use it as brake.
There is minimal maintenance required but some will be required to keep it working optimally. The chain is going to need to lubricating from time to time and the tension adjusted if it becomes loose as you do with an outdoor bike.
The belt drive version of this spin bike provides a quieter, smoother ride with less ongoing maintenance but will eventually require replacing and this needs to be done by a person with the specialist skills. Whereas the maintenance of the chain drive requires only basic skills and can be done by just about anyone.
The chain is totally enclosed which prevents sweat and dust getting in the chain to keep it running smoothly longer. The guard also stops you catching your ankle or clothes in it
The pedals and crank are well constructed so there is no flexing when you are pushing hard on the pedals when seated or standing up.
The pedals have toe cages with straps for use with athletic shoes. You slip you shoes into the baskets and tighten the straps to give a good grip on the pedals while pushing and pulling through the pedal cycle. They’ll fit all but the biggest shoe sizes.
If you want you can change the pedals for other standard bike thread pedals if you want to use specialist pedals.
Noise. It isn’t a loud bike but it isn’t silent either. You’ll hear the chain moving across the sprockets as you pedal and the resistance pad on pressing on the flywheel. You may need to turn the TV up slightly or speak a little louder to hols a conversation but it is unlikely to disturb anyone in the next room or apartment.
Dust and Dirt. The bike doesn’t give off much dirt or dust but there will be some along with sweat. The bike requires some cleaning to keep it looking good and in top shape. Your floor may need protecting from these too and a rubber exercise mat will do this along with stopping any slight vibration that may happen.
Seat. It seems Sunny has found a supply of very uncomfortable seats. Having said that bike seats are notoriously uncomfortable especially when you’re not used to riding one. A gel seat cover and/or padded bike shorts can help but if you are still struggling you can replace the bike with more padded and wider seat as it takes standard fitting bike seats.
Handlebars. The bars are covered with a rubberized coating that absorb sweat and make it easier to grip. They also help prevent blisters. It is possible to use the standard hand placing for spinning although the bars are different design to normal. You can lean on it with your arms but the padding on the bars won’t stop them from hurting if you do this for long periods.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002C Chain Drive Indoor Cycling Bike Storage
The bike needs floor space of 44 by 20 inches so is pretty compact for storing out of the way when not in use and should fit well in small homes and apartments too.
Moving the bike between rooms or to and from storage is made easy with the transport wheels on the front of the bike. These wheels take most of the 109 lbs weight of the bike leaving you to wheel the bike into position.
To use the wheels you tip the bike forward on to them. The way the bike has been designed this doesn’t require too much effort and can be done by most people whatever their weight and strength. The wheels are spaced far enough apart so the bike shouldn’t tip sideways as you move it around.
The wheels aren’t enclosed which helps prevent it them getting stuck on carpet pile so can work on most surfaces. However, on wooden floors a little caution is advised to check first to see if they mark or dent it
The assembly of the bike can be finished within an hour. The tools needed to complete the job are included in the package.
It does come mostly assembled with you needing to add the stabilizer bars, pedals, adjustment bars, seat, handlebars and water bottle holder. The diagrams and instructions included are clear making them easy to follow. Everything is well labelled to help in knowing what needs to be added where.
The most difficult part of the assembly process is handling the total weight of the package which weighs in at 123 lbs and the dimensions are 40.5 x 9.5 x 35 inches. You may need 2 people to move and unpack the bike, as well as hold in place while adding the cross bars.
As with most spin bikes in this price range there is no console included for tracking and monitoring your workouts. Many bikes don’t have a console and those that do have basic consoles. Bikes that have best consoles tend to cost $1000 or more.
If a console is something you want it is possible to fit a standard bike computer or cadence and speed sensors to a spin bike, such as those made by Cateye or Wahoo . You do need to make a modification to the spoke magnet to get it to fit on the flywheel. There is information online on how people have done this, if this is something you want.
Consoles aren’t for everyone as many use a spinning DVD or music to help them keep their cadence (RPM) up and the intensity at the required level.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are:
Height 50 ins
Width 20 ins
Length 44 ins
Flywheel Weight 49 lbs
Bike Weight 109 lbs
Max User Weight 275 lbs
The bike is a no frills bike with the only accessory provided is a water bottle holder on the right fork. It is in a good position to be able to get your drink as you workout. You do need to slide the bottle in to place when you are returning it which may require you to slow down a little while you get the bottle in place.
There isn’t anywhere to place a book or tablet or anywhere to plug in your MP3 player as the emphasis has been in producing a solid piece of exercise equipment that can take the punishment of intense workouts.
For a bike that is priced and has beginners in mind, it is disappointing that there are no guidelines on setting the bike up correctly for your height nor is there anything on how to use it at all. Fortunately there are number of good videos online that can help you do this so it does end up not being that much of an issue.
- Assembly can be completed in less than an hour and instructions are clear
- Provides a solid and stable basis for cardio workouts
- Easy to move from room to room
- Can be used by multiple people of different abilities and size and can be quickly adjusted
- The flywheel and chain drive give a natural bike feel to your workout rather than using an exercise bike
- The seat is hard and uncomfortable but it can be changed for standard bike seats
- The handlebars do not adjust horizontally making it more difficult to get an exact fit
- There are no guidelines on how to set the bike up or how to use the bike
- The pedals only have toe baskets but you can change these with other standard thread bike pedals
- Very few accessories with only a water bottle holder supplied
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002C Chain Drive Indoor Cycling Bike Consumer Ratings
The reviews online for this bike are positive. The biggest negative that has been highlighted has been the seat and that is by someone who doesn’t appear to do much riding plus it possible to change the seat for a more comfortable one.
Customers like the natural ride and they say it is almost as good as much higher priced ones you see at a gym.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1002C Chain Drive Indoor Cycling Bike Price
This is a well priced bike with a heavy flywheel and solid construction providing the most of the benefit for a natural, safe and stable for an intense cycling workout (or a moderate one too if you want).
It is usually slightly less than the belt drive version of the bike, the difference being the belt which is quieter, require less ongoing maintenance and smoother but less bike ride.
On Amazon it qualified for free shipping when I checked.
This is a good bike for beginners with its heavy flywheel helping to provide a more natural 360 degree pedaling motion that is more in line with an outdoor bike. This also helps to protect the joints.
The only negative, and maybe I’m expecting too much at this price, is the lack of computer but that is normal for spin bikes.
Some experienced and serious cyclist and riders may find that it isn’t tough enough for what they want. Having said that experienced spinners and cyclists have found that the bike meets their expectations.
This spin bike can provide a great cardio and training workout experience in your home, with it providing a smooth cycling motion that can be used by a variety of skill levels and sizes. It is quiet enough not to disturb others in the home and can be stored out of the way when not in use.