Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3865 Elliptical Trainer

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Sunny SF-E3865

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265 lbs44 lbsEddy
24 levels

The Sunny SF-E3865 is one of the new elliptical trainers released by Sunny Health & Fitness in 2019, next to the SF-E3862 model. It’s a front-drive trainer with an open flywheel construction, similar to the Fitness Reality X-Class 710; however, as opposed to the FR model, its console lacks the Bluetooth function.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 66L x 30W x 68H inches (168L x 76W x 173H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 144 lbs (65 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 44 lbs (20)
  • Supported weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
  • Stride: 20 inches (51 cm)
  • Incline: No
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 24 levels
  • Drive: Belt
  • Console: 12 preset programs, 7 workout modes
  • Extras: Tablet holder, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame 3 years / Parts 180 days

Frame and parts

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3865 elliptical trainer is a machine designed for home use only. However, it has a sturdy construction with a frame made of thick steel tubing. The only exceptions are the pedal tracks which are made of aluminum alloy, the covers of the resistance elements, and the pedals, which are made from a tough ABS material. The pedals are rated for a maximum user weight capacity of 265 lbs (120 kg).

All the steel parts in the machine’s construction feature a durable powder coating finish which is resistant to chipping and rust. The main color used is black, with the exception of the flywheel side panels which are red; this is the only color combination available for this elliptical trainer.

Since it’s a steel-made unit, the SF-E3865 is rather heavy. With the frame fully set up, it weighs approx. 144 lbs (65 kg). This weight provides a lot of stability, though. Plus, all its bases feature adjustable stabilizers with rubber pads.

The unit is not foldable; however, it’s easy to move especially once it is assembled. Its front base features large silicone transport wheels.

Like most other elliptical trainers, the Sunny SF-3865 is not exactly a small machine. It is 66″ (168 cm) long, and 30″ (76 cm) wide. Plus, is recommended to leave at least two feet of clearance all around it, for safe usage and ease of access. This being said, it may not fit too well in a small room.

As we’ve mentioned above, the unit’s pedals are made of ABS material. The bars to which they’re attached are steel made, equipped with large, rubberized wheels with internal ball bearings. They deliver a very smooth and quiet motion on the aluminum tracks.

The pedals do not have any extra cushioning, but each pedal tube has four holes so you can adjust the training position forward or backward. They’re fairly large, featuring a high inner rim and a non-slip surface, to provides extra foot stability.

The machine features two sets of handlebars, one mobile, the other one fixed. The mobile handlebars feature long, curved grips and top ball grips. They’re covered by a layer of rubber-foam material in order to provide optimal comfort. The fixed handlebar consists of a short horizontal bar with its grips slightly curved downwards. It integrates metallic pulse sensors and the console can monitor your pulse if you hold on to them.

Stride, elliptical path, and step-up height

The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3865 does not have an incline system. This being said, it offers a horizontal elliptical path. They are slightly inclined forward in order to provide a better push with each step.

The machine provides 20″ (51 cm) of stride. This being said, it can accommodate comfortably users up to 6’3″ (190 cm), providing a satisfying range of motion. Due to the absence of an incline system or pedal articulation, the stride is not adjustable. For taller users, the range of motion may be a little short. But nonetheless, depending on the intensity of the workout, speed, and resistance, you can still benefit from a very consistent workout on this machine even if you’re taller.

At their lowest position, the pedals are at approx. 12″ (32 cm) above floor level. The top pedal position is a few extra inches higher. Therefore, it is recommended to use the machine in a room with a ceiling that is at least 20″ (51 cm) higher than your own height.

Drive and resistance

The Sunny SF-E3865 is equipped with a fairly heavy flywheel for an elliptical. It weighs 44 lbs (20 kg) and provides a very consistent and steady pedaling motion. It is also bi-directional; this means you can pedal in reverse if you want. This way, you can actually put some extra diversity into your workouts and focus different muscle groups.

The machine’s pedal system is attached to a mid-size pulley which is concealed by two ABS covers. The transmission between the pulley and the flywheel is done via a heavy-duty poly-v belt. This being said, the unit’s drivetrain does not require any lubrication. It also delivers a vibration-free and whisper-quiet pedaling motion.

Although it has an open flywheel setup like most ellipticals with a friction resistance system, the SF-3865 features a motorized magnetic resistance mechanism. This being said, it requires an external power source and the resistance can only be adjusted from the console. Also, the console has several programs built-in its memory, so when using one of these programs, the machine will auto-adjust the pedal resistance.

The machine’s resistance system consists of a small servo motor and a magnetic brake. Therefore, when you select a certain resistance level from the console, the motor will change the magnetic pull, increasing or decreasing the pedaling difficulty.

This Sunny elliptical trainer makes available 24 levels of resistance. Due to the heavy flywheel, the lowest level or resistance isn’t exactly feather-light. You can actually benefit from quite a consistent training without even connecting the machine to a power source, just by using the 1st level of resistance which is provided solely by the 44 lbs (20 kg) weight of the flywheel. Conversely, the 20-24 levels deliver a fairly decent pedaling difficulty, allowing you to perform a more intense workout.


The machine is equipped with a mid-range console featuring a 6-inch diagonal LCD display with LED backlight. It is divided into multiple sub-sections in order to show most of the workout metrics simultaneously so you don’t have to use a scan function to rotate them. It tracks time, distance, total distance, speed, RPM, watts, calories, heart rate, and target heart rate.

Distance and speed are only shown in miles and MPH; there is no option available for setting it to metric units. Also, the console is not telemetric. This means it can only track your pulse through the integrated sensors. It does not work with wireless HR transmitters.

The unit does not have online connectivity, nor it is compatible with any online fitness apps. However, it makes available a total of 24 workout programs, out of which 12 are preset.

The first program (P1) is the manual mode. This program allows you to manually adjust the resistance as you exercise. It also offers the possibility to set up goals for time, distance, and calories.

The P2-P13 programs are the preset programs. Each one of them has 12 profiles and goes up to the 16th level of resistance. For each one of them, you can select the duration.

The P14 program is the Watts program. It allows you to select a target value for your Watt output. The P15 program is the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. It will prompt you to input your height, weight, age, and gender, and based on this data, the console can calculate your body fat percentage.

The P16-P20 are the heart rate programs. Evidently, they require you to use the pulse sensors. P16 is a Target Heart Rate program. It allows you to select a parameter for your heart rate and the console will notify you if your pulse falls below your target. The P17-P20 programs are Heart Rate Control programs with preset HRC targets at 55%, 65%, 75%, and 85%. During any of these programs, the console will auto-adjust the resistance adding intensity in case your pulse falls below the selected heart rate or reducing the intensity in case you exceed the selected heart rate.

The list of programs ends with P21-P24 which are Custom User programs. These allow four different users to create their own desired program and save their own personal data (such as weight, height, etc).

The console of the SF-E3865 does not have any extra features such as a built-in sound system or a workout fan. It does integrate a tablet holder, though, while its top section features a grid with the heart rate zones that you should aim for depending on your age.

Assembly and Maintenance

The front section of the machine which holds the flywheel, the drivetrain, and the resistance elements comes pre-assembled. The rest of the parts require assembly, though. You will have to attach the base frame part with the rails to the front part, connect the front stabilizer bar, the console mast, the console, the moving arms, the fixed handlebar, the pedal bars, and several other parts. This may take more than an hour. However, the manual provides step-by-step assembly instructions and all the required tools are included.

The machine does not require any internal maintenance. Once it is assembled, all you need to do is keep the rail tracks clean to prevent any damage to the wheels, lubricate the joints if needed, and periodically check for loose bolts and parts.

The Pros

  • Sturdy steel construction and a weight capacity of 265 lbs;
  • Adjustable levelers on all bases;
  • Transport wheels on the front base;
  • Large, non-slip pedals with inner rims for extra foot stability;
  • Quiet operation, ideal for apartment use;
  • 24 levels of eddy current resistance;
  • 24 workout programs;
  • Goal settings for time, distance, calories, pulse, and watts;
  • Recovery function;
  • The console display has LED backlight which considerably improves readability;
  • Pulse sensors integrated into the fixed handlebars;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Tablet holder included;
  • Fairly easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • No online connectivity;
  • The console is not telemetric;
  • No sound system.


The Sunny Health & Fitness SF-E3865 is a mid-range elliptical trainer designed for home use. It’s equipped with an eddy current resistance system offering 24 tension levels, a console with 24 workout programs, and a set of large, durable pedals. It has a sturdy steel frame which can support users up to 265 lbs. It’s a great machine for light to intense cardio workouts, muscle toning, stamina development, and weight loss.

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