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The Sunny SF-E3982 is one of the elliptical trainers released by Sunny Health & Fitness in 2020. It’s a machine made for home use with a similar range of features as the SF-E3890 that we’ve already reviewed. It has fewer workout programs, though, and a different design.
Key Features and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 67.3L x 31.5W x 65.75H inches (171L x 80W x 167H cm)
- Assembled weight: 103 lbs (46.7 kg)
- Supported weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
- Stride: 15 inches (38 cm)
- Incline: No
- Resistance: Motorized magnetic, 16 levels
- Console: 21 programs, recovery
- Extras: Device holder
- Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3982 elliptical machine features a frame made of cylindrical steel tubing. All the steel bars in its construction are coated with a rust-resistant and chip-resistant paint finish. The color used is matte black, this being the only color available for this model. The casing of the drive system and the pedal trays are made of durable thermoplastic material, also black in color.
Although it’s a machine made for home use, the Sunny SF-E3982 is fairly heavy. Its net weight is approx. 103 lbs (46.7 kg). Due to this weight and its low center of gravity, the elliptical provides excellent stability. Also, both its base bars are equipped with adjustable levelers featuring rubberized pads.
Since the elliptical is heavy, it should be carried by two persons while it is still packaged. However, once it is assembled, it can easily be moved by only one person. Its front base stabilizer features a set of transport wheels.
The fully assembled trainer is a bit larger than other models with a rear-drive system for home-use, such as the Marcy ME-1017E, or the XTERRA FS3.0. It is approx. 67.3″ (171 cm) long, and 31.5″ (80 cm) wide. It is also recommended to assign a usage area with a clearance of at least two feet all around the machine for ease of access and unhindered usage.
This Sunny elliptical features two sets of handlebars, one mobile, one fixed. The mobile handlebars feature long and bent grips with flat caps at the top. Their grips are fully covered by EVA (or other types of high-density foam) for improved comfort. They are attached to the main pedal bars and to the console mast, so they cannot be locked; they continue to move for as long as you pedal.
The fixed handlebars attach directly to the top of the main front upright bar of the machine via screws. They are non-adjustable. They are equipped with metallic pulse sensors and the machine’s console has a pulse reading function.
The machine’s pedal system features two bars for each pedal. The bars to which the pedals are attached are slightly thicker. They are rated for a total weight capacity of 265 lbs (120 kg).
Elliptical path, stride, and pedal step-up height
Although it’s a rear-drive elliptical trainer, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3982 has an almost completely horizontal elliptical path due to the two-pedal bar system. This means the pedaling motion is neutral and does not resemble a descent on a soft ramp as it is the case for other rear-drive trainers.
The machine doesn’t offer a very long stride, though. It only has a 15-inch (38 cm) range of motion. This being said, it is not recommended for users who are taller than 6’0″ (183 cm). Also, the machine does not have an incline system and the pedals are non-adjustable, so the length of the stride cannot be adjusted either.
The pedal trays feature a non-slip, textured surface. They have front and side guards for improved foot stability. They do not have extra cushioning, but like most other ellipticals, the machine provides a very low impact ride.
The machine’s pedal step-up height is approx. 9″ (24 cm). Also, at their highest point, the pedals reach approx. 13″ (34 cm) above floor level. Therefore, it is recommended to use this elliptical trainer in a room with a ceiling height of at least 16″-17″ (41-43 cm) higher than your own height (or than the height of the tallest user).
Drive and resistance
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3982 elliptical trainer features an automatic magnetic (or electromagnetic) resistance system. This means the resistance adjusts only from the console. Also, the machine needs to be connected to an external power source to make available the resistance adjustment. A power adapter is included.
The unit’s resistance system is slightly different than for the SF-E3890 model. The magnetic brake is integrated into the flywheel assembly. Since the brake is automatic, the resistance system also involves a servo motor that connects to the brake and to the console. When adjustments are made from the console, the motor changes the magnets’ pull in order to increase or decrease the pedaling difficulty.
This Sunny Health & Fitness elliptical trainer offers 16 difficulty levels. The first few deliver a light pedaling difficulty, great for recovery training or low-intensity cardio, and muscle toning. Conversely, the 16th tension level offers considerably more resistance simulating a hill climb and offering the possibility to perform a more consistent workout.
Similar to other magnetic resistance elliptical trainers, the Sunny SF-E3982 features a belt drive system. One of the main advantages of this type of drivetrain is the fact that it does not require lubrication. Also, it delivers a smoother and quieter ride than a chain drive.
The machine integrates a 13-lb (5.8 kg) flywheel. It has a balanced structure to improve the overall stability of the ride. It is also bi-directional. Therefore, the machine gives you the possibility to pedal in reverse in case you want to focus different muscle groups. Also, when pedaling in reverse, the resistance remains constant, given by the selected difficulty level.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3982 elliptical features a fairly basic console for a motorized treadmill. In other words, it does not have an integrated sound system, a workout fan, or Bluetooth connectivity. It features an LCD display divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show as many workout metrics as possible. It tracks time, speed, calories, distance, watts, RPM, and pulse. Also, the two larger sections in the middle show the Scan function which rotates time, distance, speed, pulse, calories, and watts, and the grid of the program in use.
The console is not telemetric. This means that it can only track your pulse through the sensors integrated into the handlebars. You cannot sync it with a wireless HR chest strap. Also, speed and distance are only shown in Imperial units. There is no option for metric units.
The console unit makes available 21 workout programs. The first program is Manual. As its name suggests, this program allows you to change the resistance manually. It also gives you the possibility to select targets for time, distance, and calories.
The programs from 2 to 11 are pre-set. They have different segment layouts for different types of workouts. Some are interval-based, others have a peak climb setup, while others focus on helping you burn more calories. For each pre-set program you can still make your own adjustments in terms of duration, distance, etc.
The 12th and 13th programs are the Body Fat and Watt programs. The Body Fat program requires you to input your height, weight, age, and gender so that the console can calculate your Body Mass Index and Basal Metabolic Rate. The Watt program is designed to automatically adjust the resistance depending on your RPM, in order to keep you at the selected Watt value.
The programs from 14 to 17 are heart rate programs. The first three are set for 65% HRC, 75% HRC, and 85% HRC. The 17th is the custom HRC program; it requires you to select a desired heart rate percentage. Similar to the Watt program, the HRC programs automatically adjust the resistance to keep you in the desired % HRC.
Finally, the programs from 18 to 21 are user-defined. They give you the possibility to design and save up to four custom programs, each one with its specific resistance values, durations, goals, etc.
The console also has a Recovery function with its own quick key on the dashboard. This function should be initiated at the end of the workout. It enables the console to determine the amount of time your heart takes to return to a normal BPM after the workout, and based on the result, it gives you a fitness rating between F1 (excellent) and F6 (poor).
Assembly and Maintenance
The unit’s base frame and the functioning mechanism come pre-assembled. However, you will still have to attach the front base bar, the rear base bar, the front upright mast, the pedal bars, the moving arms, the fixed handlebars, the pedal trays, and the console. This may take up to two hours of your time. However, the process is not too difficult and the manual provides clear assembly instructions. Also, all the necessary tools are included.
In terms of maintenance, the internal parts do not require any lubrication. However, the unit’s joints may require lubrication after a while. Other than this, you only have to keep your elliptical clean and periodically check for loose bolts or damaged parts.
- Sturdy frame, rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 265 lbs;
- Aesthetic design;
- Adjustable levelers on both base bars;
- Transport wheels on the front base;
- Durable textured pedals;
- Fixed handlebars with pulse sensors;
- Quiet belt drive;
- Balanced, 13-lb flywheel for improved motion stability;
- Automatic magnetic resistance system with 16 difficulty levels;
- Multi-window display console;
- 21 workout programs (1 manual, 10 pre-set, 1 watt, 1 body fat, 4 HRC, 4 user-defined);
- Pulse recovery function;
- Device holder included;
- Easy to assemble;
- All the assembly tools are included;
- Little maintenance required;
- Excellent warranty.
- No online connectivity;
- No USB charging port;
- No incline.
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3982 is a rear-drive elliptical machine designed for home use. It is equipped with a 16-level automatic magnetic resistance system, a 13-lb flywheel, and a console with 21 workout programs. It also has a pretty decent weight capacity of 265 lbs which is not bad for a home-use elliptical. It’s an excellent machine for light to medium-intensity cardio workouts, muscle toning, interval training, weight loss, and building stamina.