The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4601 Recumbent Bike is new for 2016.
It has something more than you get with other bikes in this affordable price range.
An adjustable seat you can adjust while you’re in the seat.
You normally have to pay at least double to get something as easy, quick and micro-adjustable.
They do say it is currently discounted but even the full price it will provide good value if it stands up to workouts as their other affordable recumbent exercise bikes have.
This looks to be an even better bargain than those.
As good as the price and the seat are it is important that the bike meets demands in other areas to get the workout you want. You possibly want something that is comfortable and is low impact while allowing you to workout at the level you want.
In my review I investigate how this new recumbent exercise bike meets the demands for low impact workouts in home for beginners and beyond.
The bike frame and stabilizer bars are made from steel that keeps it stable while you work. It won’t wobble or shake and there should be no creaking when in use.
It does nned be set up on a level floor to prevent rocking from side to side. The back stabilizer end caps can be turned to balance up the bike if there is a little variation in the floor.
They won’t cope with more than just a little variation.
If you have a bit more variation than that a rubber exercise mat can help to prevent the bike moving from side to side.
There isn’t any long term reviews to be able to see how people have found its’ durability – it is new. As I wrote in the introduction Sunny’s bikes have a good reputation and there is nothing to suggest this is going to be any different.
The bike has one of the easiest methods of adjusting the seat around and especially for the current price.
You don’t need to get off the bike to do it. You do it in your seat and with your feet on the pedals.
There is an adjustment handle at the side of the seat that you push downwards/forwards to release the seat and then use your legs to move the seat by pushing on the pedals to move backwards or slowly let it move closer to the pedals until in best position for you. You then lock it into position by pulling on the handle.
This also helps you to get the seat in the right position so that your legs are slightly bent when fully extended for the most effective workout and range of motion. It can micro-adjusted to get the most comfortable position for you. You aren’t restricted by pre-set holes.
There is no guidance from the supplier as to the recommended heights that the bike will work best for but there is one review where the customers are 5 ft 2 ins and 6ft. They have found the bike adjusts to fit them properly.
The 8 level magnetic resistance is controlled manually by turning the tension knob that is on the front support. The 8 levels are marked on the knob so you can see what level you’ve set it at and make it easy to chose what level you want to be working at.
To change the level you want is done by turning the knob clockwise to increase or counter-clockwise to decrease it. It is a large knob that is easy to turn. You do have to lean forward to make the adjustment while on the bike.
The movement between the levels is smooth without any sudden jerky increases in resistance. It moves up in small increments from very light up to moderately hard when at the level 8.
The first few levels are great for those just getting started and those recovering from injury or surgery on the knees or legs (although manual does say bike is not for therapeutic purposes many use these types of bikes to help them with recovery if advised by their doctor,)
Most find that they can find a level of resistance that is right for them and their capabilities to get a workout that pushes them as much as they want.
However, those wanting very challenging workouts will be disappointed at the top level of resistance as it just won’t be hard enough for them. They are better spending just over double for a recumbent exercise bike that has much higher levels of resistance such as the Schwinn 230 which can also be used by beginners as it has a wide range of resistance levels.
It has a flywheel and belt drive that provide a quiet and smooth riding motion without choppiness except for some at the top level of resistance. You may notice that it starts to pulse slightly where the resistance works like a brake to slow the pedals down when you aren’t pushing with your feet around the top/bottom of the pedaling motion.
These moving parts are enclosed in the shroud which keeps them out of reach of pets and children and also from people exercising on the bike (only the pedals and crank arms are outside this). The shroud also helps to keep the drive and flywheel protected from damage.
The pedals have a slip-resistant surface and straps to keep your feet in position.
Once you’ve fitted the straps to your feet you can slide them in each time.
The straps can be a little awkward to adjust at first. The straps are plastic with holes that fit over a tab on the pedal which can be stiff until it softens up a little from use.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4601 Recumbent Bike Comfort
Seat. The seat and backrest are padded. It is a large flat pad. Some will find this seat comfortable and more than enough to workout on the bike for as long as they want. Others may find that it is tough on their sit bones and as with other bikes a folded up towel or cushion should provide the extra comfort needed. This is the same with all bike seats because comfort is an individual thing.
The backrest moves with the seat but it is at a fixed angle. The angle should provide the comfort and support for the back. But again as with the seat itself you may need a small cushion to prove the comfort and support you require.
In particular some may not like the gap between the seat and backrest. Unfortunately this can’t be changed but you can place a cushion in the gap that should provide the comfort and support needed.
Handlebars. The handlebars are beside the seat and are level with it so shouldn’t interfere with you when you are sat on the seat. They are at good level to grip when you need leverage or support. They are covered to prevent your hands from slipping when they get weight. The hand pulse sensors are at the end of them, you need to grip when you want to monitor your heart rate. The handlebars move back and forwards with the seat.
Noise. With this bike having magnetic resistance and belt drive it operates very quietly. It won’t disturb others in the house or neighbors if you live in an apartment. Also, if you want to watch the TV you won’t need to turn up the volume to hear it clearly. Some people in upper floor apartments do worry that these bikes might cause vibration that could be noticed in the apartment below, this can be sorted by putting the bike on a rubber exercise mat.
Cleaning. The bike does need a little cleaning to keep it free of sweat and dust – but it’s not something that is going to take more than a few minutes a week at most. The biggest factor is cleaning off the sweat that might drop on it as that is corrosive over time. Sweat also can drop on and damage the floor and you may want to put the bike on a rubber exercise mat to protect the floor.
The bike needs an area of 28.5 ins by 56 ins for storage so is unlikely to fit in a closet but doesn’t take up too much room especially if placed against a wall if you can’t or don’t want to leave it out.
It doesn’t come with transport wheels to help with moving the bike. You are going to have to drag or with the help of someone else lift it when you want to move it. The bike weighs 65 lbs.
Although it doesn’t have wheels the bike should slide easily with the plastic end caps on the stabilizer bars but before moving it too far I’d check it doesn’t leave scratches or marks on your floor.
The bike arrives partly completed. The drive and frame are assembled leaving you with major parts to add to this. You can have this done in 1 to 2 hours with some being able to do it quicker.
The hardest parts are getting it out of the box and attaching the tension wire when adding the front support to the bike – it’s a little awkward but if you study the manual as you go you’ll get this done without an issue.
It includes clear and easy to follow directions and images. It also comes with all the tools needed although if you have a socket set it will make the job easier and quicker.
You are required to add the stabilizer bars, pedals, seat, handlebars, front pole and console to the frame and drive assembly to finish off the assembly.
The basic console displays time, speed, distance, calories, odometer (cumulative distance) and Pulse when the hand sensors are being gripped.
One measure at a time is displayed. You can use the buttons below the display to choose the one you want and change as you workout or you can set it to scan where it rotates through the measures with each displayed for 6 seconds.
The measures will all count upwards unless you set a target. You can seat a target for
time, distance and calorie. The value will then count downwards to zero when an alarm will sound for 15 seconds or so. I like this feature as I prefer knowing how much is left and helps me push on as it gets closer.
It has an automatic on/off where you start it by starting to pedal and it turns off after 8 minutes – which is quite a long time but give plenty of time to do anything quickly (like answer the door) and return to your workout as well as help to stop the battery draining which could happen of you had to turn it off manually.
It requires 2 AAA batteries to power the console (that is the only power requirement0. If the batteries are drained you can still use the bike you just won’t see how you are progressing in your exercise.
Not everyone is going to be able to get the hand pulse sensors to work. Both do need to be gripped to have a good chance of reliable reading. Unfortunately it seems to be an issue with this type of sensor as they can be temperamental with not all people being able to get readings from them. It is an issue on all models of recumbent exercise bikes that use this type of sensor.
It doesn’t come with any pre-set programs which leaves you to come up with your own ways to exercise and keep it interesting. Also if you want to keep a record of your workouts so you can track progress this will have to be done manually.
The dimensions and weight are
Height 43 ins
Width 28.5 ins
Length 56 ins
Bike Weight 65 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs
If you want a bike that can accommodate for people up to 350 lbs than there is a similar model that has the same features that has just been released the Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RB4602 Recumbent Bike – it does cost more for the extra capacity
This is very much a no frills bike except for the adjustable seat and the console.
There are no others.
This is usual for the price range. You need to find somewhere to keep your water bottle and mobile devices if you want them close at hand. If you do want you can hold them in your hand as your hands don’t need to help with keeping your balance in most cases or you could have them on table near you.
The manual doesn’t have help with suggestions for workouts to get you started that is left for you to come up with your own.
- Can adjust the seat position while on the seat which helps in getting sized properly for people between 5ft 2 ins and 6 ft (estimate only)
- The bike is very quiet and be used at any time of day and night
- Has a smooth riding motion for low impact workouts
- It seems to have a comfortable seat and backrest
- Has a basic console to keep track of your workout
- Provides a good stable base for workouts
- Pedals have straps to keep feet on them
- It has 8 levels of marked resistance
- Drive and flywheel are covered up to prevent injury and damage
- Has a cushioned seat and backrest to provide support and comfort
- Display and numbers can be seen easily from seat when light is good
- It is easy and quick to complete the assembly of the bike
- Does not come with transport wheels
- Not much customer feedback due to it being new
- There is nowhere to put your drink bottle or mobile devices
- The resistance won’t go to hard enough setting for people looking for tough hill type workouts
- Does not include any pre-set workout programs
- Console doesn’t keep a record of previous workout to help keeping track of progress
- Console isn’t backlit which makes it hard to see when light is not at its best
- The bike comes partly assembly but it isn’t difficult
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4601 Recumbent Bike Consumer Ratings
Currently there is only a few reviews been left by customers.
The ones that have been left do say they are giving the review in return for a discounted price.
With that in mind the people who have left one have been positive about the bike.
They say it was easy to put the bike together, easy to use and comfortable.
They are looking forward to using it regularly to help them burn calories.
If it is up to the standard of the many of the various bike Sunny Health & Fitness supply then there should be many more positive ones in the future.
Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4601 Recumbent Bike Price
This is an affordable bike when I checked.
The method of adjusting the seat is better than other bikes in the same price range and in other respects has similar features to others in the range which I feel makes this good value.
When I checked at Amazon it qualified free shipping.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4601has what people need for a comfortable low impact in their home at an affordable price. And is very to easy adjust for users.
It is best for beginners and those looking for gentle to moderately hard exercise. The resistance goes from easy to medium hard. Which suits many people as they can get a workout that is at the level they want to exercise at – working up a sweat and getting their heart rate up as they want.
It won’t suit anyone who wants a really tough workout pushing against very tough hill type resistance.
The bike is basic bike except for the seat adjustability standing above others in the price range without paying extra – so if you are going to moving the seat regularly it’s going to save you a lot off hassle. It’s also quiet, stable and easy to use.
So, overall this bike offers good value for the price for those wanting a comfortable low impact cardio.