Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4602 Recumbent Bike
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|Frame: 3 years
Parts: 90 days
If you’re looking for a budget recumbent bike with a decent construction, the Sunny SF-RB4602 is definitely one model to put on your list. This bike is similar to the SF-RB4601 model, however it offers a greater weight capacity and comes with a better exercise meter. In other words, it stands a bit above the other models in this price range. Even though it’s not an exercise bike with the whole range of belts and whistles, there’s still a lot to be said about it. Therefore, in this review we’ll try to cover as many aspects about it as possible.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 61L x 27W x 37H inches (155L x 68.5W x 94H cm)
- Assembled weight: 60 lbs (27.2 kg)
- Max. user weight: 350 lbs (159 kg)
- Seat: Adjustable
- Handlebars: With pulse sensors
- Pedals: With straps
- Resistance: Magnetic, 8 levels
- Console: Time, distance, speed, calories, pulse, recovery function, tablet holder
- Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 90 days
The Sunny SF-RB4602 features a steel frame, with a one-piece chassis, which offers excellent overall sturdiness. The only PVC parts in its construction are the covers of the drive mechanism, the base tube caps, resistance knob and of course, the console, parts that have no influence on the bike’s sturdiness. In fact, for an affordable recumbent bike model, its weight capacity is quite impressive. It can support users up to 350 lbs (159 kg).
The assembled bike is not extremely heavy. It weighs only 60 lbs (27.2 kg), which means its unboxing or relocation shouldn’t be a problem. On top of that, the end caps of the front base tube double as rollers, thus you can easily move the bike for storage once you’re done with your workout. The caps of the rear base fulfill the role of stabilizers.
The main chassis of the bike, the base tubes, console mast, and the frame of the seat are all powder coated with corrosion resistant paint. The adjustment bar of the seat and the cranks feature a chrome finish. Despite the corrosion resistant coating, this bike is made for indoor use only. If kept outside, moisture may eventually have a negative impact on the console and the drive mechanism of the machine.
Seat and handlebars
This Sunny exercise bike is equipped with a seat that excels in comfort factors. First of all, both the seat and backrest feature 2″ (5 cm) of foam padding and durable vinyl upholstery. The seat is heart shaped, 15 1/2″ (39 cm) wide, and 11 3/4″ (28 cm) long, while the backrest is approx 15″ (38 cm) long, and about 10″ (25.4 cm) at its widest point.
The whole seat assembly is adjustable, the adjustment system consisting into a small lever under the seat. Pulling the lever allows the free adjustment of the seat bar, farther or closer in relation to the pedals. The backrest cannot be adjusted independently from the seat though; you can’t adjust its height or angle. The bike’s adjustment span is long enough to accommodate users between 4’10” and 6’5″ (127 – 196 cm).
This recumbent exercise bike features only one set of handlebars, the ones attached to the seat assembly. The distance in-between them is approx 26″ (66 cm). They feature rubber foam grips and integrated stainless steel pulse sensors.
Resistance and drive
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-RB4602 features a manual magnetic tension system. This means it does not require to be connected to a power circuit in order to make available the resistance levels. The resistance mechanism consists of a metallic flywheel and a magnetic pad, attached via a steel wire to the tension knob on the console mast. By turning the knob clockwise, the magnetic pad will come closer to the flywheel increasing drag. The resistance elements (flywheel and brake pad) don’t touch, thus wear and tear is minimal, and they don’t require any maintenance.
The are 8 resistance settings or “clicks” specified on the tension knob. The first ones offer light tension, making a great choice for anyone who requires recovery training. Conversely, the top resistance settings offer an intensity level that can be classified as medium. In other words, several minutes of intense pedaling on the 7-8 resistance settings should provide quite a burn.
Like most exercise bikes with magnetic resistance, this Sunny model features a smooth and quiet belt drive. The pedaling motion is almost silent, which makes this bike an excellent choice for apartment use. The flywheel is also perimeter weighted, adding steadiness and a consistent momentum to the pedaling motion, also eliminating the “stair-climbing” effect which may be present in some of the older exercise bike models.
Reverse pedaling is possible on this exercise bike. But since its drive system is different than in a road bike, during reverse pedaling resistance remains constant, given by the selected tension level. Also, while pedaling in reverse the exercise meter should continue to keep track of your workout statistics.
Last but not least, the Sunny SF-RB4602 is equipped with a solid, 3-piece crank system, featuring stainless steel crank arms, with a chrome finish. The pedals have a weighted design, with a block grid surface in order to provide excellent adherence to your workout shoes. They’re also equipped with adjustable straps for extra foot stability.
Although the console supplied with the Sunny SF-RB4602 isn’t an advanced one, is still offers several pluses over a basic unit. To begin with, it features an 9-panel LCD display, and can show up to 5 workout statistics simultaneously. It can track time, calories, pulse, speed and distance. Speed is tracked in MPH only, and distance in miles only. It has goal setting functions for time, distance and calories burned. It also has a Recovery Test function, designed to give you a score for your heart rate, from F1 (best), to F6 (worst).
The console unit is fairly easy to operate. It requires two AAA batteries. It’s automatically turned on when it detects pedal movement and will automatically turn off after 4 minutes of inactivity on the bike. When turned off, all the values recorded are reset to zero. It has 5 buttons: Up, Down, Mode, Reset and Recovery. The Mode button allows you to change the function displayed on the top panel of the screen, for navigation and selection. Up / Down are for increasing or decreasing the goal value for time, calories and distance. The Reset button clears all the values to zero, and the Recovery button activates the recovery test function.
Finally, the console also integrates a tablet holder or reading rack, great to have if you want to watch videos on your tablet of phone as you pedal, listen to music, or use an online fitness app. The console unit however, does not have any online connectivity functions.
Assembly and Maintenance
This exercise bike doesn’t come fully assembled. However, the most problematic parts, its flywheel, resistance elements, crankset and belt, come already assembled, connected to the frame and secured by the plastic covers. Thus, in terms of assembly you only have to add the base tubes of the frame, the seat, backrest, handlebars, pedals, console mast, console, and connect the tension wire to the knob. This shouldn’t take more than an hour. A manual that provides step-by-step instructions is supplied, along with all the tools needed for this task.
In terms of maintenance, there isn’t much to be done. All the bike’s “insides” come pre-lubricated from the factory. The only thing recommended for this part is to check the bikes bolts and joints periodically, and re-tighten them if it’s the case.
- Solid frame for a light recumbent bike, with a max. user capacity of 350 lbs;
- Adjustable seat, for users between 4’10” – 6’5″ ;
- Cushioned seat and backrest, for maximum comfort;
- Handlebars with pulse sensors;
- Quiet magnetic brake system;
- Adjustable resistance (8 levels);
- Pedals with adjustable straps;
- Fitness meter with goal functions and recovery test;
- Tablet holder;
- Easy to assemble and operate;
- Lightweight, easy to handle;
- Little to no maintenance required;
- Great value for the price.
- No handlebars on the console mast;
- The console display doesn’t have backlight, thus in poor lighting conditions it may be a bit difficult to read.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RB4602 is one of the most affordable recumbent bikes that you can find at the moment, which also has an extremely sturdy frame construction, with a weight capacity up to 350 lbs. It has a manual magnetic resistance system, with 8 distinctive levels. Offers excellent comfort factors, comes with a decent console for the price, which also integrates a tablet holder. Its resistance system supplies light to medium workout possibilities. It’s great for cardio training, recovery training, stamina building, muscle toning, but you can also lose weight if you exercise on its top resistance settings. All in all, it’s a fitness machine with an excellent price / value ratio.