Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3862 Elliptical Trainer
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|24||Frame: 3 years
Parts: 180 days
The SF-E3862 is one of the new elliptical trainers released by Sunny Health & Fitness at the beginning of 2019. It’s also one of their most solid and compact elliptical machines so far. In terms of specs and features, it can be classified as a mid-range machine for home use, similar to the AFG Sport 5.5AE or the XTERRA FS380.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 63L x 21W x 66H inches (160L x 53W x 168H cm)
- Assembled weight: 125.7 lbs (57 kg)
- Supported weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
- Stride: 15.75 inches (40 cm)
- Incline: No
- Pedals: Articulated
- Resistance: Eddy current, 16 levels
- Drive: Belt
- Console: 24 workout programs
- Extras: Tablet holder, bottle holder
- Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days
Frame and parts
The Sunny SF-E3862 elliptical trainer has a structural frame made of steel tubing. It offers a pretty sturdy construction; its pedals are rated for a user weight capacity of 265 lbs (120 kg), which is not bad for a machine of this caliber.
The unit integrates several ABS parts as well. For example, the covers of the drive and resistance elements, the top parts of the pedals, the casing of the console and several other small covers are ABS made. All the steel parts are coated with a corrosion-resistant paint finish; the color used is black, this being the only color available for this Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical.
The fully assembled trainer is not as large as the Life Fitness E1 model but still takes approx. 63″L x 21″W (160 x 53 cm) of floor space. Plus, it is recommended to assign a usage area for it of at least 110″ x 70″ (280 x 178 cm) for unhindered operation and ease of access.
In terms of weight it is a fairly heavy unit; with the frame fully set up, it weighs approx. 125.7 lbs (57 kg), so it is recommended to be transported and assembled by two persons. However, once it is assembled, the machine can easily be moved by only one person. Its front base has two large, rubberized wheels which facilitate its relocation, while the rear base has a solid lifting handle.
The base of this elliptical trainer is composed of two parts, the rear part with the two rails, and the front part that sustains the drive system. The rails have aluminum covers on top in order to provide a smoother movement for the pedal wheels.
The machine’s base features six contact points with the floor. Each point is equipped with an adjustable stabilizer. All these stabilizers also have rubberized pads and provide an excellent grip on the floor.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3862 is equipped with two large pedals. They have a non-slip surface and an outer border at the front to provide better stability for the feet. They do not have foam cushioning like the pedals of other commercial machines, but they do integrate articulation elements. This being said, they can change their angle by up to up to 12.82° depending on how you press your feet on them, providing a more comfortable ride.
The pedal bars are equipped with large rollers which have internal ball bearings; they’re designed to provide a smooth, stable, and quiet motion. Just as for most other ellipticals, the pedals are connected to the moving arms of the machine. You cannot lock them in place. Therefore, the mobile arms will move for as long as you pedal.
Finally, there are two sets of handlebars on this machine. One is mobile, the other is stationary. The mobile arms feature long grips with extra ball grips at the top. The stationary arms integrate stainless steel pulse sensors, so by holding on to them, the console can monitor your pulse.
Stride, elliptical path, and step-up height
Many front drive elliptical trainers have an elliptical path slightly inclined backward. Therefore, the workout may give you the feeling of walking up a very soft ramp. This is not the case for the Sunny SF-E3862. Its elliptical path is horizontal. However, due to its articulated pedals, each step adjusts to your stride, offering superior comfort and reducing the impact on the joints.
The machine offers a medium-length stride; it measures approx. 18″ (~40 cm). This being said, the machine should provide a satisfying range of motion for users up to 6’0″ (183 cm). For taller users, the range of motion may be a little short. But nonetheless, depending on the intensity of the workout, speed, and resistance, you can still benefit from a very consistent workout on this machine even if you’re taller.
At their lowest position, the pedals are at approx. 10″ (25 cm) above floor level. Conversely, their highest position is approx. 16″ (40 cm) above floor level. This being said, it’s recommended to place and use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.
Resistance and drive
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3862 features a motorized magnetic resistance system. Its internal mechanism involves a magnetic drum and a servo motor. Therefore, the unit needs to be connected to a power source. Also, the resistance can only be adjusted from the console.
As you select a certain level of resistance, the internal motor changes the pull of the magnets and therefore, it increases or decreases the pedaling difficulty. The resistance system is also automatic; this means it can auto-adjust the resistance, depending on the selected workout program.
This Sunny elliptical trainer offers 16 levels of resistance. The lowest level offers very little pedaling difficulty, which makes it a great choice for anyone who requires recovery training, or for a very light intensity workout. Conversely, the 15-16 levels deliver a fairly decent pedaling difficulty, allowing you to perform a more intense workout.
The weight of the internal flywheel is not specified, but it’s heavy enough to deliver a steady pedaling motion and a consistent momentum. It’s also bi-directional; this means you can pedal in reverse on this machine if you want.
Like most other fitness machines with a magnetic resistance system, the Sunny SF-E3862 features a belt drivetrain, using a poly-v belt. This comes with several advantages. First of all, you don’t have to go through the hassle of taking the covers apart and lubricating it. Second of all, the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet, almost completely silent. And finally, the motion of the belt produces less vibration than a chain.
This elliptical trainer is equipped with a mid-range console. It does not have Bluetooth, online capabilities, and it is not compatible with any online fitness apps. However, it still offers plenty of programs and features to keep you motivated.
To begin with, the console features a 6″ LCD display with blue LED backlight and fairly large digits, offering excellent readability. The display indicates all the important workout metrics, including time, distance, total distance, speed, RPM, watts, calories, heart rate, and target heart rate. Speed and distance are only shown in imperial units (MPH and miles); there is no metric option. While for the pulse reading, you have to use the integrates metallic sensors. The console is not telemetric and cannot read your pulse via an HR chest strap.
The console makes available 24 workout programs. The first one (P1) is the manual program; it allows you to adjust the resistance manually as you like during your workout. Also, if using this program, you can select goals for time, distance, or calories, so the display will show the remaining value from the selected goal.
The P2-P13 programs are preset. Each one has 12 profiles and you can select up to 16 resistance levels for each profile. The P14 program is for Watt Control. It allows you to select a target value for your Watt output. P15 is a Body Fat calculator program. Based on your height, weight, age, and gender input, the machine can calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI).
The P16 – P20 are HR-based programs. Evidently, they require you to use the pulse sensors. P16 is a Target Heart Rate program. It allows you to select a parameter for your heart rate and the console will notify you if your pulse falls below your target. The P17-P20 programs are Heart Rate Control programs with preset HRC targets at 55%, 65%, 75% and 85%. During any of these programs, the console will auto-adjust the resistance adding intensity in case your pulse falls below the selected heart rate, or reducing the intensity in case you exceed the selected heart rate.
Finally, the P21-P24 are Custom User programs. Each one allows you to create and save your own workout profiles and re-use them for as many times as you like. Other parameters, such as age, height, weight, and gender can also be set for each custom user program.
The console does not have extra features such as a cooling fan or a sound system. However, it does integrate a tablet holder. Also, its top section features a grid with the heart rate zones that you should aim for depending on your age, in order to benefit from a better aerobic output, fat burn, etc. This is a plus, as many other machines only show this grid in their manuals, so you usually don’t have it at hand when exercising.
Assembly and Maintenance
The drive and resistance elements of the machine come pre-assembled and attached to the front base frame. All the other parts require assembly, though. Differently put, you will have to attach the adjustable levelers on the front base and rear base, attach both these base frame parts to the main body, attach the console mast, the pedal bars, the pedals, the moving arms, the fixed arms, and the console. This may take up to two hours of your time. However, the manual provides very clear assembly instructions and a set of basic tools is included.
The machine does not require any internal maintenance. Its joints may need lubrication from time to time. Keeping the rails of the pedal bars clean is recommended, to prevent any damage to the wheels or nicks into the aluminum covers. Also, they may require lubrication with PFTE lubricant (the manual provides all the instructions for it). Other than these, it is also recommended to periodically inspect the machine to re-tighten or replace any loose or damaged parts.
- Sturdy steel construction and a weight capacity of 265 lbs;
- Adjustable levelers;
- Transport wheels;
- Large, non-slip pedals;
- Articulated pedals which offer a tilt of up to ~12°
- Quiet operation, ideal for apartment use;
- 16 levels of eddy current resistance;
- 24 workout programs;
- Goal settings for time, distance, calories, pulse, and watts;
- Recovery function;
- The console display has LED backlight which considerably improves readability;
- Pulse sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars;
- Tablet holder included;
- Bottle holder included;
- Fairly easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required;
- Excellent warranty.
- The console is not telemetric;
- No sound system;
- No online connectivity;
- No USB port.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3862 is a mid-range elliptical trainer designed for home use. It’s equipped with an eddy current resistance system offering 16 difficulty levels, a console with 24 workout programs, and a set of articulated pedals. It has a fairly sturdy construction, being rated for a user weight capacity of 265 lbs. It’s a great machine for light to intense cardio workouts, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss. In all, it offers excellent quality, durability, and a decent feature range for the price.