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Sole SB900 Upright Exercise Bike Review

Sole SB900

Sole Fitness have recently launched a new Indoor Cycling Bike, the Sole SB900 which we review here.  With an RSP of around $1000 its over $200 more than their only other exercise bike the phenomenally successful SB700.  So why would you want to spend the extra money when the current product is already so good?

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Before we dive in though I want to give a quick primer so you can really understand the differences:

How Spin and Indoor Cycling Bikes Work!

If you are familiar with this form of exercise bike you will know that they work by the rider turning a heavy flywheel through the fixed pedals.  Unlike more conventional exercise bikes there is no freewheel, so your legs keep going all the time the flywheel turns.  The workout really starts when the resistance is turned up.  On early bikes this was done by pushing a felt pad against the flywheel.  The more pressure on the pad the greater the friction and resistance.  More modern bikes, such as the Sole SB900 use magnetic resistance to drag the fly wheel

Advantages of Magnetic Resistance

I have ridden scores of indoor cycling bikes, and the difference between magnetic and friction is night and day.  The main advantages are:

  • Quieter
  • Easier to Maintain
  • More Consistent Resistance
  • Finer Resistance Control

The only downside is that magnetic resistance bikes are slightly more expensive.

Back to the Sole SB900 Review…

Sole have now introduced then a new magnetic resistance exercise bike, with all the advantages of magnetic resistance vs the old SB700 with its friction resistance, but is it any good?

Comfort and Design

To start with the bike is incredibly comfortable and easy to set up in to the best riding position for you.  The saddle can be adjusted up and down, and back and forth.  This gives the optimum angle for your legs over the pedals and means that you can easily get the full pressure on to the pedals.   The handlebars also adjust fully to ensure a comfortable fit.

The frame is solid steel so if feels solid, and can hold riders of up to 300lbs without a single wobble!

You can use your favourite cycling shoes

The stock pedals are perfect one side is flat, great for trainers. On the other side of the pedals are clips that take the standard shimano SPD cleats.  If you want to change pedals completely then that easy to do, you can spin on your own pedals as they have gone for a standard bolt.

How does the SB900 feel to ride?

The bike has a silky smooth ride, and the flywheel turns almost silently.  The only sound you can hear is your own heart beating!  As you start to add resistance the heavy (48lbs) flywheel keeps its momentum through the pedal stroke so you don’t get that feeling of it stopping as the pedals go through the top and bottom of the turns.

In the saddle and its pretty good, there is just enough give in the saddle to make it not uncomfortable (although some may want to grab a gel saddle for extra comfort).  Out of the saddle on the climbs and the bike feels stable and the handle bars are tight enough not to flex under heavy load.

What are the other features of the Sole SB900?

Console:Sole SB900 console

In common with the SB700 there is a basic console which gives you access to workout details such as:

  • RPM
  • Heart Rate (requires a chest strap)
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Cals

Warranty:

The SB900 comes with a reasonable warranty, although given the strength of the bike its unlikely that you will need it!

Warranty: All service is performed in home
Frame: Lifetime
Electronics: 3 Years
Parts: 3 Years
Labor: 1 year

Dimensions:

Machine Dimensions:
Height: 42″
Length: 40″
Width: 21″
Item Weight(lbs.): 160 lbs.
Weight Capacity(lbs.): 300 lbs.

Pros and Cons of the Sole SB900

The great features of the SB900 are its quality build and strength.  These combine to make a great riding, and near silent, exercise bike.  The bike is great for either home use, or for light commercial areas. Its very simple to use, just get on dial in the resistance and away you go!  Because of the way the resistance works you can reproduce your workouts time and again.

Downsides?  There is little to criticise here, the bike preforms very well. The only small issue is the delivery size, as it comes nearly fully assembled getting it into the right room can will take a couple of people.

Video of the SB900 in action:

 

What are others reviews saying about the SB900?

The online reviews have been overwhelmingly outstanding. The only negatives are from people who a) don’t understand how spin style bikes work and want a free wheel and b) had not set up the resistance properly. However these are the minority. Everyone who buys this bike has loved it (we do to!)

“very nice. Would buy again no problem”

“I love this bike. I finally convinced my husband to buy me a spinning bike and this one is great!”

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Summary

This is without doubt a great bike, it gives the other high end spin / indoor cycling bikes, such as the Keiser M3 and Lifespan GX a run for the money as its over $500 less than either of these. If you are looking for a good looking, strong and quiet exercise bike that will give years of great workouts then the SB900 is highly recommended.

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