If you are new to spinning or want an affordable low impact workout option for your home then the Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling bike looks like an attractive choice.
Even though it is very reasonably priced you still want something that is well made that you can get as tough as workout as you want without any unpleasant surprises that leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth.
It is a no frills spin bike where you can adjust the amount of resistance for hill climb workouts, you can stand up out of the saddle for sprint workouts but you don’t have to and can tailor the difficulty to your own level of physical fitness and goals.
It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you see on much more expensive options.
In this complete review of the bike we look at all its features and see how they stack up in meeting the requirements for getting good low impact cardio exercise in your own home.
The bike is constructed from steel. It doesn’t rock or sway from side to side when you are moving up and down from seated and standing. There is no flexing.
It holds you firm when you are pushing yourself hard sprinting or hill climbing. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to tip you off at any time.
There can sometimes be a small jiggle in the handlebars and this can be the result of them not being tightened up properly but if there is more than that you should contact the supplier to discuss and get this sorted out.
It can stand up to long term regular use with people reporting using it for 2 years and more and not having any problems with it. They do the checks of making sure everything is tight and in working order just like you do with any piece if exercise equipment and then get busy with their workouts. The only piece of it that needs replacing is the resistance pad but that is to be expected as it wears down from applying friction to the flywheel.
To prevent any rocking on uneven floors there are 4 leveling feet under the front and back stabilizer bars that you screw up and down to counter this to give a stable base for your workouts.
An important feature of spin bikes is the ability to adjust them to accommodate different heights. They do this by giving the user the ability to adjust the seat and handlebars.
With this bike you can move the seat backwards, forwards, upwards and downwards. The handlebars can be moved vertically only to fit the bike properly for different users heights in a household. In this way different exercisers can get the best workout with less risk of overuse injuries resulting from being cramped or overstretching.
The Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling Bike size adjustment is straightforward and can be done quickly. To do this you unscrew and pull the pop pin knobs on adjustment poles and move the pole to the correct position, then insert the pin and tighten up.
You do need to remember the holes you adjusted the bike to as there are no markings or numbers to guide you when setting the bike up for different users.
This makes it convenient so different people can use the bike and get on with their workout without too much fuss. This means when you get up early in the morning to exercise or any time for that matter you can just get on with it quickly.
The bike is only 43 inches tall so many shorter users find it easier to get on and off the bike. With the sizing features of the bike it will comfortably accommodate users between 5 ft and 6 ft tall with a minimum distance of 30 inches and maximum distance of 38 inches between the seat and pedal.
The holes on the adjustment poles can sometimes feel that they are either slightly too high or too low to get a perfect fit but for most people they are happy with the sizing.
If your torso is longer or shorter than average you may find that you can’t quite get the sizing right between the seat and handlebars as you might with more expensive bikes that allow you to move the handlebars horizontally. Again most people don’t find this an issue, but if you think you may need this extra level of adjustment then the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1110 Indoor Cycling Bike maybe more to your liking it is highly rated but does cost an extra $50 to $100.
Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling Bike Resistance
To get the benefits of hill climbs into your workout the bike has manual resistance that you increase and decrease by turning the tension control at the top of the frame.
It is a red knob and as you turn it round it pushes on a felt wool pad that sits on top of the flywheel causing more friction to make cycling harder or easier depending on what you are wanting to do on your workout – hill climbs or descents or anything in between. The resistance applied is constant and continuous so there is no jerkiness in the ride.
It needs less turning than you may be used to if you’ve used a spinning bike in the gym but it provides incremental resistance with a good range so you can increase/decrease it as quickly or slowly as you want. It goes from easy to very difficult in a few full turns of the knob.
If you need to stop quickly you push down on the knob and it stops the flywheel and pedals from turning.
There are no markings to let you know how hard you’ve set the resistance. This does make it difficult to be able to get back to the resistance you used in a previous workout especially if it has been change in between. You can only do this by feel and memory. It does make it harder to gauge if you are working harder or progressing from workout to workout. This is not unusual for spin bikes that use this manual friction method for resistance with only the more expensive bikes that use magnetic resistance having levels marked.
The felt pad is going to wear down – it usually lasts about 12 months depending on usage. It can be replaced by contacting Sunny direct.
The bike has the same chain drive you see on a road bike. It requires the same maintenance and upkeep of tightening or loosening and lubricating to keep it running efficiently as well as to minimize the noise. There is chain guard around it to protect your clothes and ankles. This also helps to quieten the chain noise too.
It does require more ongoing upkeep and is noisier than the alternative belt drive (it is a bit quieter than an outdoors bike and won’t really disturb others in the house or your neighbors if you live in an apartment).
If you are concerned about the maintenance and noise a bike to check out would be the Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Bike from Sunny – it is more expensive but still reasonably priced. Belt drives can go for years without requiring maintenance but do need replacing as they stretch and come loose giving a bumpy and uncomfortable ride if not replaced.
The pedals come with toe straps that you slide your shoes into and tighten up to give you a good grip on the pedals. The crankshaft and pedals are sturdy to give you the confidence to safely stand and push hard on them when climbing hills against the resistance. If you don’t like the pedals or want clipless ones or other pedal types they can be replaced by any standard bike size pedals
The q factor, a measurement of the horizontal distance between the pedals is 8 1/8″. If you ride an outdoors bicycle this is likely to feel weird as your feet are going to be further apart than you are used. Even though it is wider than the best bikes by an inch or so, for most people this distance is going to fine and they can get on with their cycling without a problem.
It is a fixed gear bike. This means that there is no coasting. When the flywheel is turning the pedals are turning. This helps to keep you going rather than taking it easy. The flywheel will stop from the resistance applied to it or by using the energency brake.
Riding Motion: The bike has a 30 lbs flywheel that helps to provide a smooth ride. It is at the minimum weight for a flywheel to do this and it works well to imitate the natural cycling you get when riding a bike outside.
Noise: The chain drive makes the same amount of noise as you experience with an outdoor bike and there is some noise from the friction pad on the flywheel. Overall it is not that loud and is like a quiet or low hum blending into the background. You can easily hold a conversation or watch TV while working out. People in your house or next door (in an apartment) shouldn’t be disturbed by the bike. Children sleeping in the next room won’t be woken up so you can sneak in a workout while they nap if you want.
Dust and Dirt: The bike does drop dust and dirt on the floor. This isn’t excessive by any means. You may also drop sweat on the floor from your exertions. A rubber exercise mat placed below the bike is enough to protect your floor from damage and dirt.
Seat: It does seem that Sunny Health & Fitness have found the hardest and most uncomfortable seats available. However, most people find bike seats uncomfortable and this type of seat does help keep the price down. If you are used to bike seats you can probably persevere with it and padded bike shorts may be enough for you. If not, you can try a gel seat cover or easily replace it with any outdoor bike seat as it will take standard size bike seats.
Riding Position: You sit in a position like you would on an outdoor bike leaning forward on to the handlebars or standing on the pedals and leaning more forward. So if you have back issues you may want to look at other types of exercise bikes to get a low impact cardio workout.
It doesn’t take up too much room as it is a compact piece of equipment with it being 20 inches wide by 46 inches long. It might fit a large cupboard when you want it out of the way.
It does weigh 78 lbs but it has 2 good sized transport wheels at the front so that you can tip the bike on to them to move it around your home easily. They take most of the weight. They work well on carpet and hard surfaces although on wood floors you may want to check that they don’t scratch or dent it.
The bike comes partially assembled with most people being able to finish the assembly in less than an hour. It is just the stabilizer bars, drink holder, the seat, handlebars and pedals that need to be attached. All the hardware, tools and instructions are included in the box. The instructions look to have been improved from when the bike was first released and now have clear diagrams and directions included, although the first diagram does make you think you have more to assemble then you do – it is just there to detail all the parts that make up the bike not what you need to put together.
The hardest part of the assembly is likely to be managing the weight. It can be done by one person but 2 people will make this easier when you have to hold the bike up when attaching the stabilizers. The shipping weight is 85 lbs and assemble weight is 78 lbs.
As is common with spin bikes at any price level this bike does not come with a console. It does make it difficult to estimate how hard you are working without the direct feedback you can get from a computer. The feedback from a computer let you know to adjust your cadence (RPM) and help you to keep you in your training zone.
Not everyone is interested in this and most workout programs do not make reference to the data you get from a computer.
If getting this feedback is important to you, it is possible to fit a standard bike console like the CatEye Velo 7 Bicycle Computer CC-VL520 by making an adjustment to the spoke magnet it comes with to attach it to the flywheel.
The weight and dimensions of the bike are
Height 43 inches
Width 20 inches
Length 46 inches
Q Factor 8 1/8 inch
Flywheel Weight 30 lbs
Bike Weight 78 lbs (Shipping Weight 85 lbs)
Max User Weight 220 lbs
Pedal Thread Size 9/16
The only accessories you get is a bottle holder and water bottle. The holder is toward the bottom of the frame which is in a handy place to reach while sitting but it is also where it may have sweat dripped on to it. It can be a little tough to get the bottle in and out because of the spring loading of the metal holder but it is something you get used to pretty quickly.
Some people have found the small handlebar in the middle of the handlebars makes a good place to rest a tablet or ipad for watching a TV program or workout program. It’s not made for this but it works well.
A very good price for the quality of the bike
It gives a sturdy and durable ride with no rocking or shaking even at high speeds and standing up
It comes with transport wheels making it easy to move from place to place
It comes with a bottle holder
Good range of resistance for a different levels of experience
Smooth riding experience
Can adjust bike for heights between 5 ft and 6 ft
Quiet enough to workout while others are sleeping
Not much maintenance is required
Does not include a console or workout programs. However, there are plenty of programs to follow along to on YouTube or DVD
It has no accessories other than a water bottle holder
There are no markings on resistance knob making it difficult to know how much resistance you are applying and makes it difficult to return to a previous setting
The seat is very hard and you may want to replace it
Pedals only come with toe straps. You can replace with standard size bike pedals
Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling Bike Consumer Ratings
After reading through the majority of customer reviews online it is apparent that the majority are very pleased with the bike with them rating it a 4 or 5 out of 5. The big concern for most is the seat. They find it very uncomfortable and many swap it for a more comfortable seat.
Some people have found that the bike has been damaged by the delivery company but they do manage to get a bike that works well after the initial disappointment and frustration this causes by working with the supplier.
They say in their reviews that the quality of the bike is more than they expected considering the price and can get a good stable cardio workout at whatever intensity they want.
Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling Bike Price
This is an affordable bike that is well put together and does not reflect the price it sells for and some customers rate it as good as the ones they have used at their high priced gym.
It can be bought for under $200 on Amazon depending on whether there is a deal and qualifies for free delivery and Prime. You can check if that is the case by clicking here: Sunny SF-B1001 Indoor Cycling Bike
For the price this bike is hard to beat. You don’t get as heavy a flywheel as you do with more expensive bikes or some of the other features but it still provides a good reliable spinning workout or indoor cycling training.
For someone looking to get started or someone with a bit more experience and doesn’t want to spend a fortune this is a great bike to buy for cardio workouts in the home. Depending on your fitness goals it can be a starter bike or more long term if you want that will give you many years of use.