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Sunny Health & Fitness has come a long way in the past two years, continuously improving their equipment. Although their offer includes several indoor cycle trainers, they still have released a few new models. The SF-B1509 is one of their newest for 2017.
This exercise bike it quite similar in specs with the other models, however, it comes with several differences. For example, as opposed to the Sunny SF-B1423 which costs approx. $200 less, this model comes with a higher weight capacity (265 lbs). Also, it has dual-action pedals, with SPD clips on one side and toe-cages on the other. It’s definitely a bike made to support spinning workouts.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 49L x 20W x 47.5H inches (125L x 51W x 121H cm)
- Assembled weight: 108 lbs (49 kg)
- Flywheel weight: 40 lbs (18.1 kg)
- Supported weight: 265 lbs (120.2 kg)
- Handlebars: 2-way adjustable
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Pedals: Dual-action, SPD and toe cages
- Drive mechanism: Belt
- Resistance: Friction, leather-pad
- Bottle holder: Included
- Warranty: 90 days limited
This is a premium bike as its name suggests, which means it comes with a superior frame construction than the SF-B1423 or SF-B1421. It features a frame made of thicker steel tubing. It also excels in aesthetics, as it has a more elegant design. The frame is double coated with corrosion resistant paint, white in color, this being the only color available for this model. The posts of the seat and handlebars feature a chrome finish, though. The adjustment and resistance knobs, along with the logo are painted red, for a final aesthetic touch.
This Sunny exercise bike has a decent weight for a cycle trainer. It weights approx. three times more than a road bike, having a total assembled weight of 108 lbs (49 kg). This weight adds a lot of stability to the frame. And on top of that, both base tubes are equipped with adjustable rubberized foot levelers, which also secure a decent grip on the floor. This being said, you can be sure that the bike won’t slip or tip, even if you engage in the most demanding spin workouts.
The bike’s frame doesn’t fold, but its front base is equipped with a set of silicone wheels, which facilitate its relocation once you’ve finished your workout. Even though the bike is rather heavy, by using its front wheels you won’t be handling more than 1/4 of its total weight.
This indoor cycle trainer isn’t extremely large, in comparison with other fitness equipment, such as the AFG 7.3AT treadmill or the Schwinn 470 elliptical. It takes only 49″L x 20″W (125 x 51 cm) of floor space, and therefore it’s not a bad choice for an item of fitness equipment if usage or storage space is an issue.
Seat and handlebars
The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-B1509 features a standard seat, a bit wider than in most spin bikes. In other words, it provides a bit more comfort, but still, it’s not a very comfortable seat. You can easily find a replacement for it though, for example, the A.R.S. Classic is compatible, or increase its ergonomics with a gel cover or sheepskin cover.
The seat is basically the only element that gives the bike’s 265 lbs (120 kg) weight capacity. The frame itself and the crankset can definitely withstand more. The seat’s curved bar would bend, though, with a load heavier than the specified weight capacity of 265 lbs.
The seat offers 4-way adjustability, up, down, back and forth. Its upright post has 9 adjustment holes, approx. 1″ apart from each other. Differently put, the bike can accommodate users between 5’0″ and 6’5″ (152 – 195 cm) with no problem.
The handlebar offers only 2-way adjustability, up and down. It has a multi-grip design, with unified aerobars, offering the possibility to adopt leaned forward workout postures. The whole handlebar assembly is covered by a sheet of rubber foam material to provide a non-slip and comfortable grip.
Both seat and handlebars feature large knobs, easy to turn and pull. Thus, adjusting the bike to your own requirements takes less than a minute.
Resistance and drive
The Sunny SF-B1509 is equipped with a simple friction resistance system. It consists of a top-to-down leather pad. The pad is attached to the main tube of the frame and connected to a turn knob. By turning the knob, you can tighten the pad onto the flywheel, increasing the resistance on the pedals. There are no “clicks” specified on the resistance knob as in bikes with magnetic resistance, such as the FitLeader UF1 for example. You simply tighten the knob until the resistance pad delivers the tension you consider adequate for your workout.
The bike’s pedals will continue to spin as long as the flywheel is spinning if you remove your feet from the pedals. However, the resistance knob doubles as an emergency brake. You can press it down for a full contact with the flywheel, in order to stop it from spinning.
The bike’s drive system is powered by a heavy-duty v-belt, which renders the bike’s operation very smooth and quiet. Also, since it’s not chain operated, it doesn’t require any lubrication for its transmission. The supplied flywheel, although not the heaviest, it still weighs 40 lbs (18.1 kg), which is more than enough for a steady and smooth pedaling motion, with a consistent momentum. Also, most of its weight is positioned in its perimeter, therefore, it minimizes the “stairmaster” effect, which may be present in other bikes, if the resistance is too tight.
This exercise bike offers a comfortable Q factor, eliminating any lateral stress on the knees during pedaling. Its crankset can definitely support the user in standing up pedaling routines. The crank arms are made of solid steel, finished with dual action pedals, with SPD clips on one side, and toe cages on the other. The pedals are made of aluminum alloy and feature standard threads, thus if you’ll ever need to replace them, you should easily find a fitting new set.
Last but not least, pedaling in reverse is possible. But since the bike’s drive system is simple, without a derailleur like a road bike, you cannot coast on it. Thus, when pedaling in reverse the resistance on the pedals remains constant, given by the amount of tension the resistance pad applies onto the flywheel.
Assembly and Maintenance
Most of the bike comes assembled. You only need to fix the frame onto the base tubes, attach the pedals, and then the handlebar. This shouldn’t take more than 20 min. All the other parts come already attached to the frame. Although the task is as straightforward as it gets, the provided manual offers clear step-by-step assembly instructions. Also, all the required tools for assembly are included.
For maintenance, the resistance pad may require a bit of lubrication with non-abrasive silicone lubricant, in case it makes a squeaky noise when in contact with the flywheel. Other than that, make sure to periodically inspect and clean the resistance pad, in case it collected dust or other objects which may scratch the flywheel. Also, periodically check and re-tighten the bolts and nuts if it’s the case.
- Solid steel frame, sturdy construction;
- Elegant design;
- Rubberized, adjustable foot stabilizers;
- Multi-grip handlebar, with unified aerobars;
- Perimeter-weighted, heavy flywheel, for a consistent momentum, and smooth pedaling;
- 4-way adjustable seat;
- Smooth and quiet belt drive, which doesn’t require maintenance;
- Solid crankset, solid enough for all-range of spin workouts;
- Comfortable Q-Factor considerably reducing the lateral impact on the knees;
- Dual-action pedals, with SPD clips on one side, and toe cages on the other side;
- Bottle holder included;
- Not an extremely heavy fitness machine, easy to transport;
- Really easy to assemble;
- Little maintenance required.
- No exercise meter;
- Handlebar only 2-way adjustable;
- Warranty not very consistent.
The Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1509 is a home use indoor cycle trainer, designed to support spin workouts of all sorts. It offers excellent micro-adjustability, dual-action pedals, quiet and smooth belt drive, and leather pad friction resistance which basically can be adjusted up to the point you can barely pedal. It’s an exercise bike for users of all levels, great for light to intense cardio, interval training, and weight loss. It’s not the most affordable bike in this spec range, but it’s still a bargain compared with an authentic spin bike. Therefore, in case you’re on a budget, or simply don’t want to invest in a more expensive spin bike such as the Star Trac Spinner Blade, this Sunny exercise bike is definitely a decent alternative.