Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2511H Magnetic Upright Bike has something extra.
You don’t see it often on upright bikes budget upright bikes.
It has a fully adjustable seat. You can move it backwards/forwards as well up/down to help people get the most comfortable and effective fit for their workouts.
As well as that it has a media tray – another thing that you don’t often see on bikes in this price range. So it comes with two value added features.
It does also have a number of standard features too, like a console, transport wheels, belt drive and 8 levels of magnetic resistance. It does make you wonder how it can provide this and still be a quality bike at the price it is offered at.
In my review I look at the advantages of the adjustable seat but also how well it meets the demands of an upright exercise bikes for the home.
First up is a look at how well the bike keeps you stable as you workout.
The bike frame and stabilizer are made of steel tubes that hold everything steady and don’t flex or creak as you workout. The bike shouldn’t move about as you exercise.
It is made for exercising seated rather than standing on the pedals. As well as probably being a little less steady it may reduce the life of the bike.
It can accommodate people up to a maximum weight of 220 lbs.
If the bike does rock slightly from side to side you can turn the back stabilizer end caps to balance it up. This only works for slight variations in the floor as they don’t have that much scope – anymore you’ll need to move it or use a shim or try putting it on a rubber exercise mat.
There isn’t any feedback from customers yet as to how the bike will last as it is relatively new. Based on the performance of other bikes from Sunny Health & Fitness then you should get a good number of years use from the bike.
The outstanding feature of this bike is that you can adjust the seat horizontally as well as vertically.
This allows you to not only get the seat properly adjusted for your leg length, you can also get a better fit for you in relationship to the handlebars. It should help you feel more comfortable and preventing your feeling cramped up or having to reach for the handlebars.
When I emailed the company regarding height they recommended it for people between 5ft and 6 ft 2 ins – an inseam leg length between 27 inches and 34 inches.
The bike is for adults but people have adjusted it to fit children aged 8 and 10
If there is more than one of you is using the bike and different height then you are likely to have to adjust the bike regularly. It is straightforward and quick to do. to make it quicker it is possible to mark on the adjustment poles with permanent marker the position you want the seat adjusted to. It does only take seconds to make the adjustment so it doesn’t get in the way of a workout really.
It is a matter of loosening the adjustment knob on the seat pole and sliding seat to where you want and tightening up again. For the height it uses pre-set holes and pin to hold in place. For the horizontal it uses a slider and you can adjust to where you want the seat to go.
The 8 levels of magnetic resistance is controlled by the tension knob on the front support just below the handlebars. The levels of resistance are marked on the knob itself which can be seen from the seat.
The knob control the magnets in the shroud by moving them closer to the flywheel to increase the resistance and further away to reduce it. The magnets don’t touch the flywheel so there is no wear and tear. It operates quietly and is low maintenance too.
The knob is easy to turn and can be easily reached from the seat and won’t affect your pedaling speed.
The movement between the levels is smooth – there isn’t any jerkiness or sudden changes in the amount of resistance.
The resistance starts off very easy – almost like there isn’t any which people recovering from injury have found suitable for them to get started. It does move up incrementally from there up to moderately hard.
The top levels of the resistance will be more than hard enough for those wanting moderate levels of exercise but for those who are very experienced and really want to challenge themselves will find it isn’t up to the level they need.
For the rest they will find they can get there heart rate up and get a sweat on when they push themselves with most finding they get the workout they need at levels 3 to 6 depending on where they are starting from.
At the top two levels you may notice that the pedaling starts to pulse. This is due to the resistance starting to act as a brake and slowing down the flywheel as you move around the top and bottom of the pedaling motion – it can add a little impact in the pedaling so to keep a more 360 degree motion rather than up/down you need to concentrate on your form more.
The bike has a belt drive and flywheel that provides a consistent feel and quiet operation. It also is low maintenance with no need for adjusting or lubricating.
It is all within the shroud at the front of the bike which keeps it out of reach of children and pets. It also stops dirt and sweat getting into the mechanisms which can otherwise cause them to jam and do other damage to the parts.
The oversized grip surface pedals and straps make it easy to get your feet properly positioned and keep them there and also stop them from slipping off.
The pedals work best with athletic shoes or similar.
It is possible to stand on the pedals but it isn’t really designed for that like a spin bike. You are likely to reduce the life of the bike if you do that.
The pedals are attached to a 1 piece crank which is strong enough for pedaling in the seat without any flexing or durability issues (most outdoor bikes have a 3 piece crank with stronger and more durable). It also means that you won’t be able to replace the pedals with standard bike pedals as the thread size will be different – they are 1/2 inch pedals
According to Sunny (confirmed by email) that you shouldn’t pedal backward
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2511H Magnetic Upright Bike Comfort
Seat. The seat dimensions are 9.25 by 10.5 inches which provides some support to the sit bones as you workout with its padding and a little contouring. Some people may find this seat comfortable and it hasn’t yet been mentioned in reviews as being a problem.
As with an bike seat not everyone is going to be satisfied with it.
But bikes from Sunny do have a reputation of being uncomfortable and hard. Most people buy a gel seat cover to provide a better level of comfort. You could also try padded bike shorts to give more comfort.
If you aren’t used to riding a bike you are likely to feel some discomfort as you get used to sitting on a bike seat.
Changing the seat isn’t straightforward but it can be done. The seat is attached using 3 bolts and nuts rather than a standard bike fitting. One of the easiest ways to sort this is to buy a universal bike seat adapter that you attach to the mount so you can then fit any standard fitting bike seat. If that sounds too much you can take it to a bike shop and have them do it for you.
Handlebars. The handlebars are fixed in place. They are upright and angled away from you with the ends bending upwards. This helps to cater for different upper body lengths.
They are covered to help provide a more comfortable and no-slip grip. You can lean on them but they aren’t padded so you arms may start to ache if you lean on them for long periods.
Noise. The bike operates very quietly. The loudest noise is likely to be any heavy breathing that happens due to vigorous exercise. You can easily watch TV or videos without having to turn the volume up.. If there are others in the room watching TV at the same time they won’t be disturbed by the bike – they may even forget you’re exercising. You can also use it while others are sleeping and not wake them even in the middle of night if you want or have to due to your schedule. It does make it suitable for use in apartments too.
Dirt. There isn’t going to be too much cleaning added to your life with the bike. It doesn’t generate much dust and dirt itself. The biggest source of cleaning is to keep it free of sweat that drops on it from people using the bike. It’s best to do it after each use so that it stays in top shape. You do just need to wipe it down. The other place that sweat an drop is on the floor and you might want to consider putting the bike on a rubber exercise mat to protect the floor.
The bike doesn’t take up too much room when not in use. It needs an area of 24.5 by 41 ins for storage.
It doesn’t dominate a room and it looks okay too, so it is possible to leave it out without feeling you are being crowded out by it. It means there’s less to do when you want to get on it, after it has called out to you!
It is probably too big for most closets so it is usual for it to be stored in a corner or against the wall.
There are transport wheels on the front stabilizer bar – the end caps are the wheels. To use them you tip the bike up from the back. They hold most of the weight leaving you to move the bike where you want it to go. One person can do this on their own.
You may find that they don’t work properly on soft carpet and have to slide it rather than wheel it but this still should be okay. On harder surfaces you shouldn’t have this problem.
However you may find on wood floors the wheels scratch it – so you may want to test it out before you move it all the way across it.
The bike comes to your part completed. It takes 1 to 2 hours to finish this off with some able to do it much quicker.
The hardest part of the assembly has already been completed. You are required to add the stabilizer bars, seat post, front post, seat, pedals, handlebars, console and media tray to the bike..
You do need to be sure you attach the tension cables correctly so you get the right amount of resistance which requires you to study the instructions closely to make sure you do it right.
Otherwise the process is straightforward.
The instructions and diagrams give adequate guidance for the job. The tools needed are supplied.
It can be put together by one person but if you have someone to help with holding the pieces in place as you attach to the bike it stops you feeling that a third hand would be useful.
It is a basic console, with a good size LCD display and one button for controlling what is displayed.
It only displays one measure at a time. You can set it to display time, speed, calories or pulse when hand pulse sensors are both gripped. The default is for it to scan though the numbers every few seconds but you can choose just one by using the mode button.
The hand pulse sensors are towards the top of the handlebars. To get a reading you have to grip both at the same time. This does restrict your hand positions if you want to monitor your heart rate on a consistent basis as you workout – (you don’t get a reading of your heart rate over the length of your exercise to get an idea of your average, max and min etc).
Some people do find it difficult to get a good reading from these type of sensors – it is a problem that is common to these type of sensor no matter what the bike is or cost of it. They do have a reputation of being unreliable.
If this is important to you, it’s worth checking whether you get a reliable and consistent reading but you may find that you are better with a heart rate strap and monitoring it separately.
It uses 2 AA batteries to power the console only. The rest of the bike is manual and no power is needed to operate it. So you can use it without the console adjusting resistance as you go you just don’t get any feedback on how you are getting on.
You can also put the bike where you want as you don’t have to plug it in to a wall socket to use it.
To start the console you either start pedaling or press the mode button. It turns itself off after 4 minutes of no activity – helps in saving your batteries.
The dimensions and weight of the bike are:
Height 56 ins
Width 24.5 ins
Length 41 ins
Bike Weight 44 lbs
Max User Weight 220 lbs
It comes with somewhere to put your media devices but strangely doesn’t come with a water bottle holder.
The media tray is above the console so when in use it doesn’t block the console. It has suction caps, a shelf and side guards to keep your devices on tray securely. The bike doesn’t move around so it should be safe on there. You could always put a belt around it to make sure if you want to be better safe than sorry.
You can tilt the tray so you can get the best view for you – it goes from slightly tilted to close to horizontal but still tilted to keep the device on there. It is in easy reach from your seat to adjust as you go along and is also unlikely that it will be dripped on. There aren’t any speakers to plug the devices into or a charger. The bike is very quiet so you can hear your devices speakers easily.
It can support tablets and cell phones, anything larger such as a laptop is unlikely to be supported securely. It will fit devices up to 10.5 long by 7.5 ins high.
If you want to watch your TV you probably need to angle the bike slightly to get a clear view of the screen.
The manual does provide some guidance on warming up and cool down but there isn’t anything on workouts to try nor does it provide advice on setting the bike up properly for your legs. You have to do this on your own or by going online to find guidance on this. For a beginner bike I’d have liked to see something on this but it is a problem shared by many bikes in this price range unfortunately.
- Able to move the seat horizontally as well as vertically to get the best position for you
- Has transport wheels to help with moving the bike
- Operates very quietly so can be used at anytime
- Is compact so can be fit in most rooms easily and not be imposing
- Comes with a basic console for tracking and feedback while exercising
- Has a tilting media tray for best viewing and doesn’t interfere with reading console
- Has 8 levels of marked magnetic resistance to set to the level you want
- Is stable and sturdy as you workout
- Does not come with a water bottle holder
- No guidance on workouts to do on the bike
- Does not include any pre-set workouts
- Have to manually keep record of workouts for tracking over time
- Only accommodates people up to a maximum weight up to 220 lbs
- Not suitable for those looking for tough and very challenging workouts
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2511H Magnetic Upright Bike Consumer Ratings
There are just a few reviews online at present. The good news is that they are all positive, it’s just difficult to get a full picture of the bike from those few.
Sunny Health & Fitness bikes on the whole get good ratings from customers (See Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycle as an example). They find the bikes are of good construction and reliability for the price – they may not be gym quality but they are better than expected and can meet the demands of home use bikes.
The ones that have been left so far like how quiet it is , the adjustable resistance allowing them to work at the level they want and being able to increase it as they build up their strength and fitness
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2511H Magnetic Upright Bike Price
For the price you get the media tray and the fully adjustable seat which is extra to what you normally get with bikes in this range. It is this adjustability that you are paying for when compared to other similar bikes that cost less. It can make for a better and more comfortable fit than those that only allow you to adjust the height.
When I checked at Amazon it qualified free shipping on eligible orders.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B2511H Magnetic Upright Bike is a good starter bike or for those who want up to moderate levels of exercise to get in shape, burn calories and tone up.
The bikes isn’t for those people who are very fit and want challenging high intense workouts.
For everyone else it has a range of resistance to fit the bike to your ability and goals that you can adjust as workout and as your progress.
It gives more opportunity to get the best and most comfortable fit with the added ability to adjust the seat horizontally as well as vertically. This can make the most difference to those who a shorter or taller than average but it is useful to all.
If you want to read or watch videos, you can place your tablet or kindle on the media tray which can be easily seen from the seat.
It’s a good sturdy bike, that is quiet and compact that can help people with their cardio fitness and achieve their fitness goals.