Tom's Guide Verdict
It lacks a lot of bells and whistles, but the Sunny Health & Fitness Bike is good for someone looking for a basic indoor cycling experience.
Good resistance on flywheel
No cadence checker
Might not be good for shorter people
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Size: 44 x 44 x 20 inches
Weight: 110.8 (Shipping weight 123 pounds)
Flywheel: 49 pounds
Max rider weight: 275 pounds
Drive type: Belt
The Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike has more than 5,000 reviews on Amazon, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, so I was interested to see if the hype lived up to the reality.
I’ve been taking group indoor cycling classes at my gym for nearly 15 years and I was missing that group cycling experience and those harder workouts during the pandemic. Now that my gym was opening up, I was hesitant to go back to group cycling classes indoors while wearing a mask — especially since I’m pregnant.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike with Heavy 49 LB Chrome Flywheel (SF-B1002) had the look and feel of the indoor cycling bikes I used at the gym, it didn’t take up much space in my home office , was quiet and seemed like it could be a great way to squeeze in workouts while my toddler napped and I wasn’t able to leave home during the day.
In the end, this indoor cycling bike model didn’t quite hit that mark for me but could be a good, entry-level indoor cycling bike for the right fitness enthusiast—particularly if they’re on a budget.
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Sunny Health & Fitness Bike: Price and availability
Some of the main reasons you might want to consider purchasing this Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike with Heavy 49 LB Chrome Flywheel would be that it’s good bike for under $400, has free shipping (when you order on Amazon) and it arrives quickly—in two days in my case.
This is much faster — and much cheaper — than the Peloton bike (averaging 8 to 10 weeks for delivery) and MYX Fitness bikes (about 2 to 5 weeks). Some people might want to purchase a mat to place under the bike but I wasn’t worried about my floors and honestly, it was so quiet that I don’t think the bike needed it if that’s your reason for using a mat.
Sunny Health & Fitness Bike: Shipping and returns
I was able to have the delivery guys put the large box in my garage until my husband returned home from a trip and could help me get the 113-pound bike into my second-floor office. Unlike Peloton and MYX Fitness, there’s no white glove delivery service and setup that I could find, so if you live in an apartment building—particularly in a walk-up building—this might be tough to get up on your own. (The directions recommend two people for assembly.)
We took the pieces out of the box and my husband carried the 49-pound flywheel and base. I was able to carry the rest of the pieces up myself. From there, it was pretty easy to follow the assembly directions to put the rest of the bike together. I’d give yourself about 30 to 45 minutes to assemble; I watched someone do it on YouTube while following along with the printed directions. If you’ve assembled IKEA furniture in the past you can probably handle this on your own.
If you order from Sunny Health & Fitness’ website, it offers free shipping on orders over $99, a 30-day money back guarantee, and the manufacturer warranty. Sunny will pay for return shipping if the reason for return was their error but if you’re returning the bike within the 30-day time period because you’re not satisfied with it, you’ll have to pay for the shipping and won’t receive a refund for that portion. Sunny will refund your money if you bought it from their site but if you bought it from a third-party, like Amazon, you need to refer to their store refund policy.
Taking the bike apart to return it won’t be that easy since it seemed the knobs were tough to adjust after I set them up. Also, getting a large, heavy bike back in the box for UPS or another service to pick it up is going to be a cumbersome process so do your research before you make a purchase.
Sunny Health & Fitness Bike: Design and setup
The bike has a high weight capacity, up to 275 pounds so that’s a good feature for heavier riders. The bike is sturdy—once you get it adjusted properly so it doesn’t wobble when you’re out of the saddle.
I set the bike up in front of a window in my office and only needed 4 x 3 feet of space. I liked that the bike has transportation wheels on the front so I could easily hoist it up and roll it somewhere else in the room. It doesn’t need to be plugged in so you don’t need to factor that into the bike’s location.
It took a few adjustments to get the balance correct — if I’m honest, a few rides. I played around with the adjustable pads a bit a few different times before I finally seemed to get it right and the bike no longer wobbled when I stood up in it.
The handlebars felt comfortable enough but even when I put the seat on the adjustment so it would be closest to the handlebars, I was still stretching my arms to reach them more than I would have liked — and I’m 5’6”! The site says the seat to handlebar distance is 18 inches to 23 inches but from where my hands would be placed on the handlebars to the seat tip at the closest setting, I measured 23 inches. I know from my indoor cycling gym class days and instructor setups what it should feel like to be in the most comfortable position on the ride for me and that little bit of extra stretch to the front wasn’t ideal.
I also saw from some Amazon reviews that shorter women reported it was “too big and very uncomfortable” for her size. Sunny has a guide on its site and their app on how to set up the bike and make adjustments to the seat, handlebars, and pedals. My 6’3” husband tried to adjust the bike seat distance to accommodate his long legs but we couldn’t get the knob to budge after I had it set at the closest setting.
I liked that the bike provided a smooth, quiet ride. That’s the secret behind a 49-pound flywheel—the heavier the flywheel, the quieter and smoother the ride should be. That being said, a heavy wheel doesn’t supply more momentum, so you’re still the one doing the work. When I increased the resistance on the tension knob, the wheel did get a bit louder, emitting more of a whooshing sound but it was never so loud that it was annoying or hard to hear my iPad cycling workout music or instructor. In comparison, Peloton uses a magnetic wheel and MYX has a 41-pound flywheel with friction resistance. The belt-drive system on this bike helps make for a quiet, solid ride and is supposed to make it “virtually maintenance free” according to the site.
The tension knob was easy to turn and I was impressed by how fast the heavy flywheel stopped with the pads when pressing down on that as a brake.
Caged foot petals were comfortable and easy to adjust—and I wear wide shoes! You don’t need cycling shoes in order to ride the bike so that makes it a more affordable option and it’s easier for other family members to try out the bike. The pedals kept my feet in tight while in the standing (second position) and out of the saddle reaching for the front handlebars in a crouching position (third position). Some complaints I saw on Amazon are that pedals broke after six months or so of use and the customers had buy replacement parts. All of the parts were operating just fine during the time I used the bike.
The water bottle holder was the only accessory on this bike and it was in a good position to the right side of the wheel.
Apart from the handlebars, theSunny Health & Fitness bike seat was not comfortable for me—and to put it bluntly, I don’t have a bony backside. Even after a month and a half of riding a few days a week, I still don’t like the feel of the seat. I understand that these “performance seats” tend to be narrow and rigid so you can get out of the seat faster but when I was doing a lot of workouts that were mostly seated, this cushioning never became much more comfortable. (For comparison, I was also riding my new Trek bike outside during the week and sitting on that seat felt like a pillow over one.) Some Amazon reviewers purchased a third-party cushion seat cover and they said that helped a lot. Sunny’s site does acknowledge that their cycle bikes have different widths and cushions and their newer bikes offer a wider, cushioned seat that offer more comfort during the ride.
Sunny Health Bike review: Experience and performance
I turned on three Sunny Health & Fitness videos I found on YouTube to guide me through a workout, but overall, I found them pretty boring. Sunny Health & Fitness does have a variety of workouts you can watch on its site but I found most of them disappointing because they tell you to aim for certain cadences – like 80 revolutions per minute (RPMs) or 100 RPMs – but if you don’t own the Sunny Health & Fitness bike model that has those features, you’re just guessing.
The Sunny Health & Fitness app received one star out of five. It seems to feature the same instructor-led videos you’ll find on their site—about 15 cycling ones—and it says it can connect to your equipment via Bluetooth for tracking workouts but that’s not a feature that syncs with this bike.
Since that app wasn’t an enticing option, I found myself looking for cycling specific apps that would guide me through rides with fun music. Ultimately, I settled on paying for a Peloton monthly subscription because I didn’t find another service that provided that high-energy instructor feel with a variety of workout programs to choose from and great music.
What was truly missing from this indoor cycling bike for me was a cadence monitor of some sort or RPM or resistance indicator. (The Sunny Evolution Pro II Magnetic Indoor bike has a performance monitor that tracks speed, cadence, distance, calories and pulse to name a few.) I relied on my internal 1 to 10 effort indicator which I’ve learned through cycling instructors in the past. I also looked at my heart rate monitor to gauge my efforts, particularly because I’m pregnant and didn’t want to overexert myself. If you are completely new to indoor cycling, it might take some time to gauge your resistance levels and speed on this bike that doesn’t have a monitor to show you how you’re doing.
Sunny Health & Fitness Bike review: Verdict
The Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Trainer Exercise Bike with Heavy 49 LB Chrome Flywheel is a no-frills bike that does the job and provides a good workout for the motivated indoor cyclist or a beginner who wants to see if they like having an indoor cycling bike without spending a ton of money. The biggest positives for me are that the ride is smooth and quiet and the heavy flywheel mimics that studio bike experience. It’s also nice that it doesn’t require electricity, Wi-Fi, a subscription or special shoes in order to ride it.
That said, if you’re used to a cycling studio experience or need more guidance when it comes to creating your own workouts that differ in intensity, you will find this model from Sunny Health & Fitness lacking.
If you want to step up to the next model, the Sunny Health & Fitness Indoor Cycling Exercise Bike Pro II version has a MSRP of $359.98, has a 40-pound flywheel as well as a performance monitor, pulse sensors, and a device holder so you can place your phone or device on the handlebar area. If you’re looking for a Sunny Bike with more bells and whistles, this could be a great option. But if all you want is a basic exercise bike to work up a sweat, this model should fit your needs.
Diana is a trained journalist and experienced editor in the health and wellbeing and lifestyle sectors. Diana has created content for a range of leading brands including Real Simple, Bloomberg, Headspace, and WebMD. For Tom’s Guide Diana currently focuses on sleep, mattresses, and fitness equipment.