The Sunny Health & Fitness’s Pro Indoor Cycling Bike and Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike are two of the best selling options and they are highly rated by customers. They do look similar but are priced differently.
At first glance it can be hard to know why that should be and whether the price difference is justified.
However, it is important to know the benefits of each bike in order to decide which is the right one to help you with reaching your fitness.
It is only by comparing and contrasting them that it becomes apparent as to how they can meet your personal requirements.
They are both very well regarded, well constructed, sturdy, durable and both are affordably priced making them good values.
This helps explain their popularity as they can provide the basis for a great spin bike workout to burn calories and improve fitness.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is a low cost bike that does a great job of giving you a stable ride so you can push yourself as hard as you want.
It is a no-frills bike that you can rely on. You can adjust the seat and handlebars to fit the bike to your size so that you can get a more efficient workout and have less risk of injury,
It doesn’t have all the extras you find on more expensive bikes but it makes sure it does the most important thing well – that of you getting a great spinning bike workout that is as tough or easy as you want it from the comfort of your own home. It is for this reason it continues to be a bestseller day in day out.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike comes with a belt drive and heavy flywheel and these are usually only found on spin bikes that cost over a $1000 not one costing less than $400.
You get a smooth and quiet ride no matter how fast you are pedalling. You can watch the TV or have a conversation without turning up the volume and you won’t disturb others in your home. There is no wobbling when you are on the bike even when pedaling at top speed so you can just focus on your workout or the movie you are watching.
This bike can also be adjusted to cater for different heights by adjusting the handlebars up and down and the seat can be adjusted up, down and backwards and forwards.
Both of these bikes are quiet but the Belt Drive model is the quieter of the two because it has a belt drive for turning the flywheel whereas the Pro model has a chain drive like you have on an outdoor bike. Therefore when pedaling on the Pro bike you can hear the noise of the chain moving around the drive and when properly adjusted this is not loud at all but the belt drive does is quieter and is almost silent.
A belt drive also requires less maintenance on an ongoing basis – there is no need to lubricate or adjust tension as there is with a chain drive in the same way you do on an outdoor bike. However, at some stage the belt is going to need replacing as they eventually stretch and become loose but that will be in a few years time.
Spin bikes are designed to give you a ride similar to an outdoor bike and this is achieved by using a flywheel.
Generally the heavier the flywheel the smoother the ride and the more it is like riding a bike. This also contributes to you being able to stand up on the pedals and sprint like you would on a road bike. The heavier flywheels cost more to make and that is why you normally find them only on expensive bikes.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike has a 49 lb flywheel (which is excellent for a bike at this price) and the Sunny Health and Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike has a 40 lb flywheel.
The 49 lb flywheel is harder to turn at low resistance levels and more experienced spinners and cyclists will like this and they’ll notice the smoother ride as they ride hard and as they reduce resistance levels for sprinting. Having said that, the 40lb flywheels does give a smooth ride and for most people this is going to sufficient.
The heavier flywheel does make the spin bike heavier overall and can make it more difficult to move around. The Belt drive model weighs 115 lbs and the Pro model weighs in at 92.2 lbs. Both are heavy but they come with transport wheels at the front that help immensely in moving the bikes around your home. You simply tip them on to the wheels and the wheels take most of the weight for you and you can then push and/or pull it to where you want the bike to go. This helps to negate most but not all the difference in weight as the heavier bike is slightly harder to push but at least you aren’t having to carry the weight.
The Sunny Health and Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike has a water bottle holder on the upright which gives you easy access to grab a drink while you are working out. Unfortunately (but it does help to keep costs down) the Sunny Health and Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike does not have this and if you want to have a drink without stopping your bike you need to add a holder (needs to be bought separately) or you can put your drink on a table next to the bike.
Resistance is applied to the flywheel by turning a knob at the front of the frame for both bikes. The brake for the Pro Indoor is applied by pushing a lever next to the knob and for the Belt Drive model it is applied by pushing the knob downwards. Both systems work well in applying resistance and braking.
The tension is applied in a continuous fashion so there are no levels or settings to guide you as to how much resistance you’ve applied which means you have to estimate the level from workout to workout which can be difficult if the setting have been changed in between.
The Pro model knob operates calliper style resistance pads that close and open on the flywheel to increase and decrease resistance. This is a similar system to that found on outdoor bike brakes. The Belt drive model resistance is applied by a pad on top of the flywheel that moves up and down depending on the level of resistance you apply.
The recommended method for consistent resistance is the single pad on top of the flywheel as the calliper method may move around in the same way the brakes do on outdoor bikes and do need adjustment from time to time to set them to apply consistent resistance. Having said that most people are happy with the resistance adjustment of the Pro Indoor Cycling bike.
There is little difference in size. The Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycling Bike has dimensions of width of 20 inches by length 48.5 inches and height 46.5 inches. The Sunny Health and Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike has a width of 20 inches by length 44 inches and height 50 inches so has a slightly smaller footprint which can make it easier to locate and store in smaller properties.
These differences don’t affect the range of heights that the bikes cater for with both being suited to a height range of 5′ 3″ to 6′ 8″.
To get both bikes set up for your height is done the same way. You adjust the seat and handlebars by moving the adjustment posts and tightening the knob when they are in position. It is quick and easy and means you can have more than one person in the house use the bikes.
Both bikes also have the same maximum user weight of 275 lbs.
These bikes do not come with a computer or console so you can’t monitor your workout, but it is common for spin bikes to not have these.
These bikes are both very good and they are suitable for beginners and more experienced riders. They both provide a smooth ride.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is the cheaper model of the two and it is set up more for the beginner with a lighter flywheel making it easier to get started but a more experienced cyclist can still get a good workout from the bike.
There is likely to be more maintenance required on this bike. The chain drive and brakes are going to need adjusting from time as a result of them moving and stretching from being used. The chain and pads may need lubricating from time to time to keep them quiet and in good order.
If you want to save a few dollars the Sunny Health & Fitness Pro Indoor Cycling Bike is a good option for you. But if you want a more challenging smoother workout now or in the future the Sunny Health and Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike is the way to go. You also get a quieter ride and there is less mess and maintenance plus you have somewhere to put your drink bottle.
Filed under: Buying Advice
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!