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Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3803 Elliptical Trainer

UnitSizeSupported
weight
ResistanceConsoleWarranty
Sunny SF-E3803

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L:46"
W:25"
H:61"
220 lbsManual
magnetic,
8 levels
Time,
Distance,
ODO,
Speed,
Calories,
Pulse,
Goals,
SCAN
Frame: 3 years
Parts: 180 days

The Sunny SF-E3803 is one of the new elliptical trainers released by Sunny Health & Fitness in the second part of 2018. It’s also referred to as Sunny Health & Fitness “Ozone” elliptical. It’s a light-capacity trainer made for home use. It’s in the same feature range as the Efitment E006 or the Marcy NS-40501E. It’s also an affordable unit, so if you’re looking for an elliptical trainer that won’t break the bank, this one just may be exactly what you need.

Technical Details & Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 46L x 25W x 61H inches (117L x 63W x 155H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 63.6 lbs (28.8 kg)
  • Supported weight: 220 lbs (100 kg)
  • Stride: 11 inches (28 cm)
  • Incline: No
  • Footplates: Standard, ribbed
  • Resistance: Manual magnetic, 8 levels
  • Fitness meter: Time, distance, speed, calories, pulse, goals, scan
  • Extras: Tablet holder
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years, Parts 180 days

Frame & parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3803 elliptical machine features a steel frame construction, with several ABS parts, such as the covers of the flywheel and resistance system, and other small covers. All the steel bars in its construction feature a gray paint finish which is resistant to corrosion.

Since it’s a light-capacity trainer, it can only support users up to 220 lbs (100 kg). It’s also fairly light. With the frame fully assembled, it weighs only 63.6 lbs (28.8 kg). This being said, it’s easy to assemble, and can easily be transported. Plus, its front base is equipped with a set of small wheels which facilitate its relocation.

The machine’s frame is not foldable. However, the fully assembled unit has a rather small footprint compared to most front-drive ellipticals, such as the Schwinn 430, or the Nautilus E618. It’s only 46″ (117 cm) long, and 25″ (63 cm) wide, so it can easily fit even into a small room. It’s recommended, though, to leave at least two feet of clearance around the unit during exercises, for ease of access and unhindered operation.

Despite its rather small footprint, the unit provides plenty of stability. Also, its rear base is equipped with polygonal caps, which can rotate and act as levelers. Therefore, you can easily stabilize it on any type of floor. It is recommended, though, to place and use this fitness machine on a rubberized mat.

Like most other elliptical trainers in this price range, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3803 is equipped with standard pedals, made of ABS material. They do not integrate any cushioning or articulation. They’re non-adjustable and attach directly to the pedal bars via two bolts. However, they are large enough to accommodate footwear of all sizes and their surface is textured to provide extra adherence.

This Sunny elliptical trainer is equipped with two sets of handlebars. The fixed ones feature grip sensors, so the console unit can track your pulse if you hold on to them. The mobile handlebars feature longer grips. Both sets of handlebars have rubber-foam material on their grip sections to provide optimal comfort and extra hand adherence.

Elliptical path, stride & step-up height

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3803 is a rear-drive elliptical trainer, so the elliptical path created by the motion of the pedals is slightly inclined forward, not completely horizontal. This being said, the pedaling motion delivers a feeling similar to descending on a soft ramp. This can be considered a plus, as it a workout on this machine puts more focus on your glutes.

The machine offers a rather short stride; its range of motion is only 11″ (28 cm). Therefore, taller users than 6’0″ (183 cm) may find it a bit too short for their own stride. But nonetheless, if you use one of the highest tension settings and a fast pace, you can still benefit from a pretty consistent cardio workout.

The pedal step-up height, or the lowest pedal position, is approx. 8″ (20 cm) above floor level. Conversely, at their highest point, the pedals are at approx. 14″ (35 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.

One last aspect to mention here regards the unit’s Q-Factor (spacing between the pedals). The machine’s pedals are approx. 9″ (24 cm) apart. Therefore, your feet are positioned on them naturally, and the workout does not generate any extra lateral stress on the knees and ankles.

Resistance & drive

The Sunny SF-E3803 elliptical machine integrates a manual magnetic resistance system. Therefore, it does not need to be connected to a power source. Also, its console does not play any role in the resistance adjustment.

The unit’s resistance system consists of an internal magnetic brake which is connected to the tension knob on the front mast through a steel cable. When you turn the knob, the cable adjusts the position of the magnetic brake in relation to the metallic flywheel. This changes the magnetic pull of the brake on the flywheel, increasing or decreasing the overall pedaling difficulty.

There are 8 resistance levels marked on the tension knob. The first one delivers very little pedaling difficulty. Conversely, the 7th and 8th tension levels provide considerably more resistance, offering the possibility to quickly achieve a higher heart rate, and a superior fat burn.

The dimensions and weight of the internal flywheel are not specified. But considering the overall weight of the machine, its weight shouldn’t be greater than 15 lbs. It has a perimeter-weighted design, though, delivering a very smooth pedaling motion.

Pedaling in reverse is possible on this elliptical. Therefore, you can diversify your workouts if you want. Also, when pedaling in reverse, the console continues to track your workout values, which based on the rotations of the internal flywheel.

Most fitness machines that have an internal magnetic resistance system are equipped with a belt drive, and the Sunny SF-E3803 does not make an exception. It integrates a durable rubber belt, resistant to stretching. A belt drive comes with several advantages. Among them, we can count the fact that it doesn’t need any lubrication, the pedaling motion is very smooth and quiet; also, a belt generates less vibration than a chain.

Last but not least, the machine’s crankset features solid steel crank arms, which are attached to the pedal bars. The attachment points include ball bearings to deliver a smooth motion. Also, the crank arms and the pedals are durable enough to support users up to 220 lbs (100 kg).

Console

As we’ve mentioned above, the Sunny Health & Fitness Ozone SF-E3803 is an entry-level elliptical trainer. Therefore, its console does not have fancy features such as preset programs or Bluetooth connectivity. It’s basically an exercise meter that tracks your main workout stats.

The console unit features an LCD display which indicates time, distance, total distance, speed, calories, and pulse. It has a SCAN mode which rotates all these values, showing each one for 6 seconds. It also has goal settings for time, distance and calories. When you select a goal value for them, the unit will show the remaining amount until you reach the set goal.

The console unit is very easy to use. It has three buttons – Mode, Set, Reset. The Mode button allows you to select the time, speed, or calories in order to set up a goal for them. With the Set button, you can increase or decrease the values for your goals. The Reset button clears all the values on the console to zero.

For its pulse reading function, the machine’s console does not have an internal wireless receiver. This being said, it cannot communicate with Polar or ANT HR transmitters. In order to benefit from a pulse reading, you have to use the integrated grip sensors.

The top section of the console 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.

Finally, the console unit integrates a tablet holder. This accessory is placed above its LCD display, so if you put your phone or tablet on it, it won’t block the view of your workout metrics.

Assembly & Maintenance

This Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical trainer comes partially assembled. In other words, the base frame with all the internal drive and resistance elements are already in one piece. Therefore, you only need to add the base stabilizers, the console mast, the pedals, the moving and fixed arms, and the console. This may take more than an hour. However, the manual provides very clear assembly instructions. Also, all the tools needed for the assembly are included.

The internal components of the machine don’t need any maintenance, at least not for a long period of time. Therefore, in terms of maintenance, it’s only recommended to wipe off the sweat that may drop on the frame at the end of the workout and periodically check for loose bolts or parts. The unit’s joints may also require lubrication from time to time.

The Pros

  • Small footprint;
  • Adjustable stabilizers on the rear base;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Fixed and mobile handlebars;
  • Bi-directional flywheel providing a smooth and steady pedaling motion with a consistent momentum;
  • Extra-large, non-slip, durable pedals; 
  • 8 levels of magnetic resistance;
  • Exercise meter that can track time, distance, total distance, speed, pulse, and calories burned;
  • Countdown functions for time, distance, and calories;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Heart rate intervals sheet on the console;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required.

The Cons

  • No backlight on the LCD display;
  • The calories reading isn’t too accurate.

Bottom Line

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3803 is an entry-level elliptical trainer, featuring an 8-level manual magnetic resistance system, a set of large and durable pedals, and a console that can track your main workout metrics and goals. It also has a pulse reading function which other machines in this price range do not have. It’s a fairly decent trainer for light cardio workouts, muscle toning, and burning calories. It’s also an affordable fitness machine, currently available for less than $250.

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