The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1516 Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike looks a good choice for those who take their workouts seriously
At a good price too.
It comes with a heavy flywheel that should provide a smooth pedaling experience.
The dual pedals means you can use your specialist shoes or athletic shoes as it comes.
But there aren’t many extras – this is a bike designed for working out not for entertainment.
If buying for the home you want a bike that isn’t going to come with too many hassles like annoying others in the house.
And may be it needs to be able to be used by others too.
In my review I look at all aspects of the bike to see how well it provides for low impact workouts as well as being able to cope with the requirements of home which can be different to when it is used in a gym setting.
So, I start by looking at how well it keeps you steady as you workout first.
The heavy duty steel frame and stabilizer bars keep the bike steady and secure as you workout as intensely as you want in and out of the saddle and as you move in between.
There won’t be any moving around or wobbling. There also shouldn’t be any annoying creaks or groans from the bike.
This allows you just to get on with your workout without distraction or worry.
To prevent the bike rocking from side to side there are levelers under the stabilizer bars that you turn to balance up the bike if the floor is a little uneven.
Due to the newness of the bike there is no feedback from customers who have used the bike for a period of time,
The few that have been left do say it is a well constructed bike. So I don’t anticipate any issues with the longevity of the bike based on these and Sunny’s track record and reviews from their other models.
The bike can be adjusted to fit a wide range of people properly to get the most effective workouts.
The seat height and horizontal position can be changed and the handlebars height can be changed.
Although there isn’t guidance to the height range the bike can be fitted to, the company has some measurements that will help you determine by using the measures from the seat to the pedal.
It can be adjusted from 29.5 ins to 40 ins from the pedal when at its furthest position from the seat. The supplier (when I asked) has said that people up to 7 ft 1 ins should be able to fit the bike comfortably depending on inside leg measurement.
The height of the handlebar can be adjusted from 39.5 to 43 ins from floor to help in getting the most comfortable position.
It would be good if the handlebars could also be adjusted horizontally to get a position that takes into account differing upped body lengths but most people should get a good comfortable bike set up. It would also help taller people too, to give them more clearance from the handlebars.
If the bike is going to be used by more than one person it’s a good idea to mark the poles and slider with a permanent marker so you can quickly get back to your settings.
Making the adjustments is quick so more than one person can easily use the bike for their workouts – it takes seconds so no real delay in getting going if it has been adjusted since you last used the bike
The T shaped knobs are easy to turn and pull for releasing the pin holding the poles/slider to be move the seat or handlebars to the required position. You then re-insert the pin into the pre-set hole and tighten back up. These hold everything in place.
Although you might not quite get the position exactly as you want due to the restrictions of pre-set holes it will be pretty close and you have the safety element that the poles won’t slip as they’re held in place by the pull-pins.
Resistance is given by a pad that is directly pushed on to the flywheel by turning the tension knob at the top of the frame in a method that is similar to most spin bikes. It’s in easy reach and to turn as you workout to adjust the level of the resistance you want at the time. It provides a good consistent amount of resistance on the flywheel
You can set the resistance at just the amount you want with it being incremental and on a continuous scale from easy to very hard – allowing the bike to be used by both beginners and advanced and also all those in between too.
There are no markings on the knob to help you with setting the level – as with most spin bikes and indoor cycle – you need to work that out on your own through experience and feel – which will come as you get used to the settings of the bike.
I like that there is a guard over the resistance pad and flywheel which will help to keep them working for longer as it puts a stop to the issues that can be caused by sweat corroding and jamming them up.
As it is a friction pad it will wear down over time and need replacing. It doesn’t take too much work to do this and replacement pads can be bought by contacting Sunny Health & Fitness direct.
The pedals turn a chain drive to move the 48.5 lbs flywheel. This helps to give a road bike feel to your workout with you getting the pull through of the pedals from the flywheel momentum and the chain feeling same as an ordinary road bike..
As well as getting that natural bike feel there is a similar noise and maintenance that you get with a chain drive. The maintenance is likely to be less because you’re not riding through puddles, dirty roads and not changing gear as you do on a road bike.
It involves adjusting the tension of the chain and lubricating it. It is relatively straightforward and no specialist tools are required,
The chain is enclosed in a guard which puts a stop to damage from sweat but also protects your ankles, clothes and others from getting caught in the chain.
The heavy flywheel provides the inertia to give you a good 360 degree pedal stroke at all the levels of resistance. If you are new to spinning you may find it takes a little effort to get the wheel turning but once it gets going you’ll find the motion smooth and natural.
It does have a fixed gear so while the flywheel is turning so are the pedals – which helps give the bike feel to the bike and pull the pedals through too for a better pedaling motion, But it does mean you can’t coast. Also when getting off the bike or wanting to stop you need to being the pedals to a gradual stop to prevent injury or if you want to stop quickly you can push down on the tension knob to use the resistance as a brake.
The chromed rim of the flywheel helps to make it easier to clean off sweat and more rust resistant too.
The dual SPD/toe cage pedals allow you to use specialist shoes on one side and if you don’t have these shoes you can use the other side with the toe cages and straps with athletic shoes.
You just flip them over to the side you want and get started.
The strap on the toe cages allow you to adjust them to your shoe size so you can get a good grip with you shoe to push and pull the pedals a round.
The 3 piece crank shouldn’t need to be replaced or repaired – it should stand up well to rigors of workouts thrown at it.
And if you want you can swap out the pedals for your own with it having a standard pedal thread size.
But it if you do replace the crank they’ve made it easier (hopefully you never need to use this feature). There is a video online that shows you how to do it. This is more relevant to anyone using it in a commercial setting where you are more likely to need to do it than in a home setting.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1516 Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike Comfort
Seat. The bike has a cushioned seat that can help in providing some comfort for the sit bones. But Sunny Health & Fitness seats in general have a bad reputation for being uncomfortable.
Although there is no indication of that to date based on customer reviews.
However, even if they’ve sorted the comfort problem some people won’t find the seat to their liking. It is down to personal preference as to what is comfortable.
You can try a gel seat cover and/or padded bike shorts – that can often be what is needed to provide the comfort needed. If that doesn’t work you can replace the seat with one more to your liking as it fits standard bike fitting seats.
Handlebars. The handlebars have a lot of versatility in them. They can be used for spinning with all the hand grips catered for as well as indoor cycle training.
You can lean on the handlebars in the aero position (using central loop) and they are shaped to help with this but even though covered they aren’t padded so you may need to buy elbow pads to give the support and comfort for long periods.
They are coated to provide a more comfortable grip as well as to ensure your hands don’t slip or blister when your hands get sweaty.
Noise. It isn’t a silent bike but it is reasonably quiet. You’ll hear the low clinking noise of the chain moving and the low hum of the resistance pad on the flywheel. It’s not enough to annoying. You’ll need to turn the TV up just a little to hear it over this. People who are in other rooms aren’t going to be disturbed by it as you workout.
If noise is an issue you need to look at bike with a belt drive and/or magnetic resistance but these do cost more – such as the Sole SB900 (but that costs almost double).
Dirt and Dust. Keeping the bike clean of sweat is the biggest amount of cleaning needed to prevent the sweat from corroding the bike. It just needs a quick wipe down after use. Also, if you want to keep your floor from being affected over time by sweat it’s a good idea to put the bike on a rubber exercise mat.
When you’re not using the bike it requires an area of 23 by 46 ins – so probably too big for a closet. If you can’t leave it out it then it looks good against a wall or under the stairs. If you have children you may want to turn up the resistance to prevent mishaps due to the pedals or wheel being turned by accident.
The bike does weigh 135 lbs but there is help in moving it.
There are good size wheels on the front stabilizer bar that you tip the bike on to when you want to move the bike. It is a simple process to tip and fairly easy to do as most of the weight is at the front of the bike.
Once tipped on the wheels they are supporting the bulk of the weight leaving you to navigate the bike where to go without having to worry too much about the weight. It shouldn’t over balance as longs as you take a little care. It can be done by one person.
They’ll work well as they are exposed and shouldn’t jam up on carpet. On wood floors the only problems could be that they scratch or dent it so if I were in this situation I’d test them out first – better to be safe than sorry in this case.
The bike does arrive partly completed. You are required to complete the assembly. This will normally take about 1 to 2 hours.
The hardest part has been done for you and it leaves a straightforward process to complete it. One person can do this but it is easier with two of you due to the weight of the bike – it weighs 135 lbs when completed – they can help with moving the box and holding pieces in place as they are attached – in particular when adding the stabilizer bars.
The diagrams and instructions are adequate for completing. The tools needed to do the job are included with it – although you may find using your own tools (a wrench or socket set and Phillips screwdriver) will make it go quicker.
You are required to add the stabilizer bars, pedals, water bottle holder, posts, seat and handlebars to the frame.
The bike is not supplied with a console. This isn’t unusual for indoor cycles or spin bikes. For many this is fine as they use the music and their own estimates for their cadence and intensity.
There isn’t a console made specifically for this bike to buy if you want some measures to help you stay on track and to monitor your performance. However, you can install bike computers to the bike with a few DIY skills needed particularly when adding the spoke monitor to the flywheel if you like to track your performance.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are:
Height 43 ins
Width 23 ins
Length 46 ins
Bike Weight 135 lbs
Flywheel Weight 48.5 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
The only accessory is the wire water bottle holder on the right fork. It is in easy reach although you may need to slow down a little to put the bottle back to get your aim right to slot it back in there.
There’s nowhere for your media devices which you’ll need to strap to yourself in the case of an MP3 player or buy a mount separately for a tablet if you want to use one while you workout.
- Has drop bars and aero bars for more workout and training positions
- Dual pedals – SPD pedals and toe cages
- 48.5 lbs flywheel for consistent pedaling motion
- Similar riding feel to that of a regular outdoor bike
- Easier to remove crank shaft for repair purposes
- Easy to assemble
- Has transport wheels to help with moving the bike
- Chromed flywheel makes it easier to clean and be corrosive resistant
- Can be quickly adjusted for a range of different heights
- Has levelers to balance up the bike on an uneven floor
- It is steady and sturdy and should be durable too
- Good price for a commercial grade bike
- Does not include a console for measuring and tracking your performance
- Some maintenance required to chain drive and resistance pad
- Resistance levels not marked
- Can’t move the handlebars horizontally
- Doesn’t have anywhere for your media devices
- Is a heavy bike
- Handlebars not padded for leaning on
- Some maintenance required
- Not completely quiet
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1516 Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike Consumer Ratings
There are only a few customer reviews for this bike at present.
Those that have left a review are positive about the quality of their workouts and construction of the bike.
They feel it is worth paying the extra for the bike due to the quality of it.
When there are more available I’ll update this section.
As a rule Sunny Health & Fitness exercise bikes get positive feedback about the value you get for the money although these are for more affordable bikes.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1516 Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike Price
For a commercial grade bike it has a very good price. They can often cost over $1000.
The only extras you get is a water bottle holder and dual pedals with SPD fittings and toe cages.
You get a bike that should take the punishment of tough cardio workouts day in day out over a long period of time.
When I checked at Amazon it qualified for free shipping.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1516 Commercial Indoor Cycling Bike provides you with a commercial grade indoor cycle at a reasonable price.
It comes with dual pedals with SPD fittings on one side and toe cages on the other to cater for people from beginners to those taking it very seriously.
Otherwise this is a standard basic bike that is built to last and stand up to the toughest workouts for a good period of time especially in the home.
The 48.5 lbs flywheel provides a good consistent and fully cycling motion that is low impact and feels similar to riding an outdoor bike.
The bike is designed for those who take their workouts and training seriously but it can also be used by beginners too. It makes a good choice for homes where there is a range of requirements and don’t want to pay over the odds to get their bike cardio workouts and training. (On a bike that is built to take the punishment.)