Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike Review 2021
While many households have only one person using the spin bike, there may be situations where a number of folks use a single unit on a regular basis, often for hours on end. Needless to say, the benefits of using a spin bike in such circumstances can only be obtained equally by the first and last user if the unit itself is extremely sturdy and can handle multiple adjustments and modifications on a regular basis.
The Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike claims to provide just such a durable structure, along with the ability to obtain a range of resistance levels, an accurate and wide spectrum of metrics, and unmatched warranty cover should anything go awry. However, given that the price point is a good bit higher than others, this unit will have to live up to all its claims to be a true value for money proposition. Whether this indeed is the case shall be analyzed below.
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- Flywheel Weight: 48 pounds
- Supported User Weight: 300 pounds
- Item Weight: 140 pounds
- Drive System: Belt Drive
- Warranty: Lifetime Warranty on Frame, 3 years on all parts, and 1 year on labor
Ease of Assembly
The Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike comes with the flywheel, seat, and seat upright and handlebar upright already installed. The user has to install the handlebars, the front, and rear stabilizers, and the pedals. Some users have warned prospective buyers that the unit itself is quite heavy and may be difficult for a single person to move. However, once in place, the unit can be assembled within half an hour.
Build Quality and Design
As expected of a premium unit, the frame is built using high-quality 2mm oval steel tubing that allows it to transfer user weight and momentum more efficiently than solid steel does. This tubing, furthermore, reduces the overall weight of the unit to some extent, though as users noted, the unit is still very heavy compared to other products. All steel parts, furthermore, are constructed using the same quality of steel (though of different gauge), thus ensuring that there are no weak parts involved.
In terms of design, the use of such steel ensures the unit is extremely compact. Essentially a front flywheel design, the shaft is broad while the seat and handlebar sections are short and thick, allowing the unit to achieve excellent balance and stability. Interestingly, the manufacturers have buttressed the stability of the unit even further by providing it with front and rear stabilizers, whereas competitors like the Schwinn IC2 Indoor Cycling Bike come with only rear stabilizers.
Ease of Operation and Comfort of User-Operated Parts
After putting on the optional heart rate monitor (see below) and adjusting the feet in the pedals, it is only a matter of adjusting the resistance and gear levels before one can start working out at maximum efficiency. Such efficiency is available even for users weighing as much as 300 pounds, making this unit one of the few to offer support for such high weight groups.
Similarly, the design of the handlebars ensures that those who are tall or extremely short can make use of the machine with ease. Somewhat different from the standard sports bike handlebars, these allow the user to grip the handlebars at forwarding or back positions along with the standard close and far positions used by ordinary cyclists. These allow the shorter users to grip the positions closer to the frame, while taller users can hold the farther angles without adjusting the overall position of the handlebars.
This of course doesn’t mean that the handlebars – or for that matter the seat –lack to/fro or height adjustment options. Indeed, not only do they possess these, but they also come with sufficient padding to ensure that the long workouts are pleasurable throughout.
Finally, the pedals are large and offer a Q-factor that matches that of the premium sports bike. While some users have warned against cross-threading the pedals during the first-time usage, they admit that such confusion is short-lived and thereafter, the pedals provide sufficient support for the body to achieve maximum calorie burn and muscle toning. Indeed, they come with toe straps, small but highly useful attachments that, as our spin bike reviews show, are rare.
Internal Parts and Operation Mechanism
A 48-pound flywheel is easily one of the heaviest in the world of spin bikes, and it is interesting to see how this heavy disc has been made compact enough to resemble the front wheel of the average outdoor sports bike.
This compactness also allows the drive system to concentrate the momentum of the user better and thus allows him/her to achieve better flywheel movement. Coupled with the stability provided by such a heavy flywheel, this feature makes spinning on this unit a uniquely comfortable experience.
Moving to the drive system, we find the unit carrying a direct belt drive system that allows it to act as an efficient conduit of momentum from the pedals to the flywheel. Since the unit itself is compact, the drive’s overall length is lesser than that of the average spin bike. This reduces the surface area exposed to wear and tear and extends the overall lifespan of the unit by a substantial margin.
We find that the Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike comes with a resistance system that involves the use of a pair of brake pads. Made of high-quality felt, these pads can be moved quickly and accurately using the resistance adjustment knob located below the console. While the number of resistance levels isn’t infinite, the ones that are available are enough to allow both the amateur user and the professional to achieve maximum workout efficiency.
Finally, the unit comes with an LCD console that displays vital metrics such as distance, speed, calories burned, RPM and heart rate. The latter is measured using a chest strap attachment and as users noted, is quite accurate. While there are no special programs based on the heart rate, the presence of a heart rate monitor can allow users to calibrate their workouts to their body’s inherent capacity to a much greater extent.
Exhibiting the confidence of the manufacturer in the durability of the Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike’s design, the warranty cover for the frame extends to the bike’s lifetime. Parts, electrical or otherwise, are covered by a 3 year warranty while labor warranty extends to one year.
- Body made of high-quality 2mm oval steel tube.
- Compact design ensures stability.
- Handlebars offer wide range of positions for tall and short people.
- Handlebars and seats can be moved to/fro and also vertically.
- Pedals have toe straps for better grip.
- Heavy but small flywheel contributes to overall stability and comfort.
- Console shows heart rate using a chest strap.
- Excellent warranty for all parts, lifetime warranty for the frame.
- Unit is rather heavy to move and assemble.
- Heart-rate-based training programs not present in console.
Given the difficulty of integrating a wide range of features into a single product, it is not surprising to find companies cutting corners while pushing the benchmark elsewhere. The Sole Fitness SB700 Exercise Bike, however, does not try anything outlandish, sticking to improving a tried and tested structure with features that have also proven their worth.
Together, these ensure that this unit is easily one of the best spin bikes as far as the dependability quotient is concerned, and can be operated with peace of mind by a number of people of varying height and weight, one after another.