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Parts: 3 years
Electronics: 3 years
Labor: 1 year
The SOLE B94 upright bike has been around for a while. Actually, the first bikes from this SOLE category were released in 2011. However, in 2013 this exercise bike has received several improvements, and so far, the 2013 model is still the same.
This post refers to the SOLE Fitness B94 upright bike, the 2013 edition. This is actually one of the most well-built upright bikes that you can find at the moment. It’s a great exercise bike for muscle toning, cardio exercising and even for losing weight. It’s equipped with a large console, with several preloaded workouts, and does offer quite an array of other amenities.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a gym-quality upright bike, you should first start with the B94 model from SOLE.
- Assembled dimensions: 44L x 23W x 55H inches (112L x 58W x 140H cm)
- Product weight: 123 lbs (55.7 kg)
- Flywheel weight 26 lb. (11.7 kg)
- Supported weight: 325 lbs (147 kg)
- Handlebars: Non-adjustable, with EKG grip pulse sensors
- Seat: Adjustable horizontally and vertically
- Pedals: With straps
- Drive mechanism: Belt
- Brakes: Eddy current
- Resistance: Adjustable, 20 lvls
- Performance monitor: Yes, 10 workout apps
- Amenities: Cooling fan, bottle holder, tablet holder, sound system
- Warranty: Frame lifetime / Parts & Electronics 3 years / Labor 1 year
The frame on this upright SOLE bike is mostly made of solid steel tubing. The shrouds that cover the drive and brake system are made of hard plastic, chemically resistant, for maximum protection and for adding less dead weight to the machine, rendering it easier to transport and handle when fully assembled. The bases of the frame also have decorative plastic shrouds, but nonetheless, the bases are also steel-made, using similar tubing as the main frame. Both bases have leveling feed, with rubber caps, enhancing the stability of the bike, even if you don’t use a mat underneath it, or if the flooring is uneven. The front base features small wheels, to ease the bike’s relocation when it’s the case. Also, the rear base is furnished with a metallic handle, rendering the bike easier to tilt, in order to be wheeled for storage.
The overall footprint of this bike doesn’t take too much space. At 23″W x 44″L (58 x 112 cm) we can safely say that it’s low profile, great fit for anyone who would like an exercising machine for daily cardio, but don’t have the luxury of too much space. In terms of height, the top of the console reaches a maximum of 55″H (140 cm).
Seat and handlebars
The SOLE B94 is equipped with a gel seat, with a contoured, ergonomic design. The seat is not cushioned and for users that are new to exercise bikes may seem a little bit hard during their first sessions. The seat is adjustable both vertically, and fore to aft. Height-wise, the seat post offers 12 adjustment settings, one inch each. At its highest setting, the seat reaches about 44″ (112 cm) from the floor. In other words, this bike offers enough seat-height for users up to 6’6″ – 6’7″ (198 – 201 cm).
The handlebars are non-adjustable, and feature a simple but ergonomic design, supplying several grips, for different workout postures. They’re covered with rubber foam padding, to ensure a comfortable grip, also preventing hands from blistering. The lower part of the handlebars incorporates EKG grip sensors for reading pulse.
Drive and brake system
It’s a common misconception that upright bikes have no flywheel. Most of them do have a belt-drive system involving a belt, pulley and a flywheel which is much smaller than in spin bikes. The SOLE B94 is also belt-driven, equipped with a solid, no-stretch belt, made to last many years of use. Its flywheel is rather small in diameter, but pretty heavy for an upright bike, weighing 26 lbs (11.7 kg). The steel pulley of the bike is slightly bigger in diameter than the flywheel. It’s equipped with two crank arms also made of steel. The pedals are made of hard plastic, and feature straps for securing feet in place. The treads on the pedals are standard, therefore in case one breaks or simply if you may want a different type of pedals, you should easily find replacements.
The brake system of the bike is eddy current brake based. This means the resistance is generated via an electric current which adjusts the pull of a magnet onto the flywheel. Since the brake involves magnets, it means there’s no contact between the brake mechanism and the flywheel, resulting in 0 wear and tear. Now, since the bike has an eddy current brake and features a belt-drive system, the conclusion is that it’s really quiet, rendering a smooth, pedaling motion. It also requires to be connected to a 115VAC power circuit, featuring a power cord with a standard, American-type plug. The cable connects to the machine on the left side, near the front base. There’s also an ON / OFF switch near the connection point of the cable to the bike.
The resistance adjustment is done exclusively via the console unit equipped on the bike. It offers 20 levels of resistance, the highest levels supplying quite a challenge.
The SOLE Upright B94 features a wide console, with a 9-inch display, backlit with blue LED light, for maximum readability. This console can display quite an array of values, such as time, speed, distance, resistance level, RPM, pulse, pace and calories burned. The bike also offers 10 workout programs, including 1 manual, 1 hill, 1 strength, 1 interval, 1 cardio, 1 weight loss, 2 custom user programs, and 2 heart rate programs. Some of these programs require you yo insert your weight and age, for a better processing of your workout.
The console features quick keys for resistance adjustment, but also has arrow keys for gradual resistance adjustment. Each program has its own digit, and there are also Pause and Reset/Start buttons.
Along with these fitness-oriented functions, the console incorporates several other amenities. The upper part features an integrated fan and 2-speaker sound system. The sound rendered through the console’s speakers is pretty clear and sharp. There are inputs for headphones and for your MP3 player, smartphone or tablet. The middle part of the console features a tablet tray, great to have if you want to watch your favorite streams as you ride your bike. The lower part of the console features a compartment which can act as accessory holder or water bottle holder.
The console is also telemetry enabled, which means it can track pulse via HR chest strap. The box actually includes this accessory as well.
Assembly and Maintenance
The assembly of this bike isn’t complicated, and shouldn’t take you more than 45 minutes. There aren’t actually many parts to put together, as “the guts” of the machine are already assembled and covered by the lateral, plastic shrouds. All you have to add are the front and rear base, handlebar post, seat, handlebars and console. Of course, you will have to pull the wires of the console though the handlebar main post and connect them to the console. All tools necessary for the assembly come with the box, as well as the user’s manual, which gives you step-by-step directions for the assembly.
Maintenance doesn’t require much at all. For this matter, all you have to do is periodically check if all the bolts are tighten in place, and re-tighten them if it’s the case, keep the machine clean, and wipe the sweat from the frame and console. That’s pretty much it.
The wide majority of aspects we’ve covered so far about this stationary bike are pretty much pluses. However, in case you’ve missed some of them, here’s a summary.
- Sturdy, stable, steel-made frame.
- Compact, sleek design.
- Eddy current brake, with 20 levels of resistance.
- Small footprint, great for apartment use, or for small spaces.
- Seat adjustable vertically and fore to aft.
- EKG pulse sensors integrated in handlebars.
- Advanced console, 10 workout programs.
- Quick and gradual speed adjustment digits.
- Integrated speakers.
- MP3 player, smartphone or tablet input.
- Headphones input.
- Tablet holder.
- Bottle / accessory holder.
- Built-in cooling fan.
- Really quiet bike.
- Basically maintenance-free.
- Excellent warranty pack.
Of course, just as any other product, this exercise bike has its share of drawbacks. So, in case you consider buying it, you deserve to be aware of them.
- Seat does not offer super comfort, with all its gel padding. However, this can easily be take care of, with a gel cushion for bike seat, or with a sheepskin cover.
- If you place your table on the media tray on the console, it will cover most of the performance monitor, so you won’t be able to see your data.
The SOLE Fitness B94 is an upright bike with an excellent quality/price ratio, offering a decent array of amenities and workout programs. It provides the optimal workout setting for a consistent cardio workout, for muscle toning, stamina building and weight loss. Even though it’s not a spin bike, you can still burn at least 500 calories per session. Therefore, if you’re looking for a durable, gym-quality upright bike, that won’t break the bank, this SOLE model is pretty much it.