Sunny Health & Fitness Evolution Pro II SF-B1986 Review
Powerful, smooth, and heavy-duty, the Sunny Health & Fitness Evolution II SF-B1986 is a heavyweight in the indoor exercise bike world. Another evolution in the quality line of indoor exercise machines manufactured by Sunny Health & Fitness, the Evolution II SF-B1986 is a powerful machine built for dedicated cyclists.
The SF-B1986 is the first Sunny personal indoor exercise bike to bring commercial-quality right to your door. The bike’s sturdy yet ergonomic design and its high-powered yet versatile workout options make it perfect for a variety of home exercises, and its strong commercial-grade frame ensures it will last you and your family for years to come.
As if its durability wasn’t enough of a pro, the machine also dazzles when it comes to price. Clocking in at $850 USD, this bike falls squarely in the middle range of exercise bike pricing while providing the same quality and durability of the higher-end range bikes. A perfect addition to a home gym or a public studio, the SF-B1986 indoor bike dazzles no matter where you put it.
Most top indoor cycling bikes include some type of digital console to help cyclists track performance and endurance metrics with ease while they ride. The SF-B1986 goes above and beyond; their simple yet high-performing monitor tracks your speed, cadence, distance, calories, time, and pulse. You can also use the performance monitor on the exercise bike to activate two target modes (time and distance), and a customizable race mode to test your personal records and challenge yourself to scale your workouts to the next level.
With a four-way adjustable seat and well-balanced height and width proportions, this indoor cycling bike was made to adjust to you. The cushioned bike seat and multi-grip handlebars are designed to move in four directions, becoming perfectly customizable to your body and your needs. This bike can accommodate a variety of riders (leg inseam 29 inches to 39 inches), with total dimensions of 49L X 24W X 50.5H in and a maximum weight capacity of 330 lbs.
Evolution Pro II Comparison!
This is where I compared the Evolution II indoor cycling bike with similarly priced indoor bikes on the market and let you know if there is a better option for this price tag. Currently, in 2020, the II SF-B1986 offers a great deal value for its price ($750).
Thanks to the combination of heavy flywheel, belt transmission, and magnetic resistance, you will get a pretty silent and smooth ride. Unlike the older model (Evolution Pro) the “Evolution Pro II” has SPD pedals, an RPM reading monitor with a built-in cycling game/program, and a nice tablet holder making it a great value for indoor cycling.
However, if you can’t afford this model and don’t mind the lack of SPD pedals and tablet holder, you may want to check out the HMC indoor bike. It is cheaper, has RPM reading, magnetic resistance, a 44-lb flywheel, and offers a great deal of durability and value. Note: If by the time you read this Evolution Pro II SF-B1986 review, the price of this cycle is the same as the Schwinn IC4, I suggest you buy the IC4. It has Bluetooth and a better warranty.
Evolution II SF-B1986 Review and Specifications:
Evolution II Specifications:
- Width: 24″
- Length: 49″
- Height: 50.5”
- Bike Weight: 136 Pounds
- Max User Weight: 330 Pounds
- Rider Fit Range: 29-39” Inseam
- Digital Monitor
- Pulse Sensors
- Personal Device Holder
- Dumbbell Holder
- Water Bottle Holder
- Transportation Wheels
- Stability Plates
The SF-B1986 has an extremely strong and sturdy design and performance. Thanks to its industrial smooth drive belt system and powerful frame, you can put this bike through any intensity of workout without feeling even a wiggle.
The belt and flywheel work in tandem to create a challenging yet smooth workout, and its included transport wheels and stabilizing plates mean that you can easily wheel and plant this bike wherever you want to work out without having to huff, puff, and haul it all over the place.
What really makes this bike stand out, however, are the mechanical amenities sprinkled throughout the bike that work together to give you the extra support you need to elevate your workout.
Evolution Pro II Monitor:
- The Digital Monitor console on the SF-B1986 is user-powered; no need for batteries or other time-consuming maintenance.
- Measures speed, average speed, maximum speed, cadence, average cadence, maximum cadence, distance (miles or kilometers), target distance, calories burned, race, time, target time, and pulse rate.
- Features a personalizable race mode that puts you in competition with yourself to best personal records and work harder
- Does not offer Bluetooth or smart app integration, unlike many competitor models.
- Can’t sync or record ride data up with external indoor cycling apps.
The digital monitor that comes with the SF-B1986 indoor cycling bike is simple, yet effective. It doesn’t require battery power, instead getting all of its energy from the effort you expend while riding on the bike, reducing one area of maintenance for the owner, However, its simple design brings some negatives as well: you can’t export or sync ride data, so if you want to track or transfer your rides you’ll have to hand copy the details off your monitor or rely on an external strap or watch to track yourself.
However, the details and modes the monitor does track are very effective. One particular bonus is the cadence monitors: not many digital monitors include such tracking, and built-in cadence sensors make it easy to use the cycle to stay on track with other at-home spin programs, like Peloton or SoulCycle. While cycling, cadence is a major indicator of how hard you’re working.
Cadence is measured in pedal revolutions per minute (RPMs), and measuring and tracking your cadence will help you make your pedal stroke more efficient. While working out with Peloton or other cycling classes, you’ll hear instructors place the most emphasis on hitting a target cadence, and then adjusting resistance as needed for your individual effort. In fact, many Peloton workout users praise this bike for its ability to stay up to par with Peloton bikes while not costing nearly as much.
SF-B1986 Q-Factor and Pedals:
- Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1986 Q-factor is 216mm
- Pedals are SPD-compatible and have toe cages
SPD compatibility is a must-have for any dedicated cyclist. Most SPD pedals are double-sided – that means you can clip into either side of the pedal, which makes starting from a stationary position a lot easier.
All SPD cleats are made of metal, so they are robust, although you may find that wear to the binding surfaces after a few years’ use means that engagement becomes less secure. It’s easy to find replacements and they are inexpensive. This means that they can be used with regular shoes and special bike cleats that allow for maximum training and grip during a cycle or spin class.
Those are typically useful for people who are looking to take their cycling to the next level or who are doing off-season training indoors, so having them included with the SF-B1986 indoor spin bike is a huge win.
SF-B1986 Flywheel Weight:
- 40 lbs fixed flywheel (bidirectional with resistance)
- Durable and stable ride at all resistance levels
- Employs sleek and quiet magnetic resistance to drive up workout intensity
Unlike bikes with traditional tension systems, bikes with magnetic resistance never come in contact with the flywheel, resulting in a silent, sleek, and virtually no-maintenance experience.
This fixed flywheel offers a superior spinning experience, propelling users forward and anchoring firmly in place to create a harder workout without adding extra weight to the machine.
The heavy-duty crank system and durable and protected perimeter on the flywheel make it quite resistant to damage, so you won’t have to worry about bumping it into corners in your home or gym (though you should avoid testing this theory too hard). The flywheel, like the rest of the bike, is built to last, so you’ll have no problem riding it for years to come.
SF-B1986 Resistance System:
- The SF-B1986 features a manually adjustable magnetic resistance system
- Micro-adjustment knob for fine-tuning resistance levels
- Emergency brake for crisis moments
The SF-B1986 bike is rather unique in its approach to adjusting resistance. Instead of having a set amount of resistance levels, the micro-adjustment knob allows for the user to adjust the resistance settings to just how they want it at any given point with the simple twist of a knob.
While the process might be more fluid because of the micro-adjustment knob, it does lack the ability to allow the third-party apps like Zwift to automatically simulate the “terrain” that the rider would be riding on.
Another nice feature is the emergency stop brake. Whether your shoe comes loose, your foot flies off the pedal, you drop your phone, or you just get too tired being able to quickly halt the motion of the flywheel is an added safety precaution that will help you stay stable and safe while you ride.
Dumbbell and Water Bottle Holders:
- Dumbbell holders hold up to 15 pounds each for added weight training integration into your spin routine.
- Water bottle holder guarantees easy access to drinks on the fly.
- Tablet holder to allow you watch your favorito show while burins calories.
This is another example of unnecessary but handy additions that really elevate the Evolution Pro II bike from average to spectacular.
The integration of dumbbell holders means it’s easier than ever to throw weight training into your spin workout without having to get off the bike, grab your weights, and get back on for every set.
You can also ensure stable storage of them throughout the rest of your workout. The water bottle holder keeps your water or sport drink close at hand, keeping you hydrated and healthy no matter how long you pedal.
SF-B1986 Handlebars and Seat:
- Four-way adjustable handlebars for maximum customization
- Four-way adjustable padded seat for long comfortable rides
- Included personal device holder for tablets, phones, or books or magazines
- Dipped handlebars to enjoy a firm (non-slippery) grip
One of the big selling points of the SF-B1986 is the personalization available due to the four-way adjustable handlebars and seat options. They have all the possible positions a rider could want, as both riders who normally train indoors and those who ride outdoors can find their preferred arm positions with little to no trouble adjusting and creating a good fit.
For those in homes with more than one cyclist, especially who are of significantly different builds, this feature makes it much more convenient to switch back and forth from custom seat settings. Because of this adjustability (in all four directions), it allows the SF-B1986 to fit an extremely wide range of users.
SF-B1986 Price and Warranty:
- The SF-B1986 is currently priced at about $850 USD
- SF-B1986’s warranty includes:
3 years on the frame
180 days for both the labor and electronics
- If you need parts for this bike while still under warranty, it’s best to go straight to the source and visit the company Warranty page here:
https://sunnyhealthfitness.com/contact/contact-warranty/ to fill the form to order the part.
- If your SF-B1913 indoor cycle is no longer under warranty and you still need parts, you should visit the https://sunnyhealthfitness.com/contact/contact-us-parts/ to fill a different form and purchase your replacements.
The affordability of this bike in comparison to the range of features it offers and the range of other bikes available is significant. Every dollar of this bike purchase is well-earned, from quality to endurance to customizable options and workout-enhancing extras. The Evolution Pro II is a solid investment for a home or public gym and will not be a disappointment to any exercise enthusiast.
As with many Sunny Health and Fitness bikes, the warranties will make sure that if you do decide to drop the money on this exercise machine, it will be protected. The warranties attached to this bike are not generous and extensive but can guarantee that anything that goes wrong with it will be replaced within the warranty period.
Assembly and Shipping:
- Shipped in a single box, with limited assembly required
- Should take about 1-2 weeks to arrive normally, though there are a variety of factors that could affect that
- Shipping dimensions of about 47L X 9.8W X 39H in and a weight of 149.5 lbs
Assembling your Evolution Pro II is fairly straightforward. Most of the more complicated parts, such as the flywheel and the belt system, come pre-assembled, so you won’t need a complicated mechanic’s degree to attach them.
Assembly diagrams are clear (though a bit small) and take two people about an hour to complete, a little more for just a single person. Shipping timeframes will depend on the carrier, but if you have concerns about getting it into your house you can call ahead and arrange assistance with your local post office.
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1986 Pros:
Simple yet Powerful Digital Monitor:
The simple but efficient digital monitor allows the rider to keep track of all the statistics that they could want. The fact that it doesn’t require any batteries only adds to the value that you get from this piece of technology. It might not be the most advanced bike console on the market, but it does the job well and without fuss. Some users may even enjoy the ease of just hopping on and riding without having to sync to a dozen different apps or docking stations.
The micro-adjustment knob on the magnetic resistance is another highlight. It just makes it so much easier to implement personalized resistance levels and needs to your workout without struggling against pre-sets or factory defaults.
This is such a handy extra it earned a mention in the pro’s list. Weight training is a staple of traditional spin workouts and having a built-in storage system makes everything much easier and more fluid for riders before, during, and after their workout.
The Customizable Setup:
With the combination of the adjustable seat and handlebars, the SF-B1986 is extremely adaptable to just about any cyclist. Both the seat and handlebars can be adjustable in four directions and both can be done in a much quicker fashion than one might expect. This can be really handy if you have multiple users of the bike in your home or just want to try out different settings or styles without having to take apart and reassemble your entire bike.
Cadence and Pulse Sensors:
The included cadence and pulse sensors are perhaps the best feature of this bike. It allows for seamless use with a variety of studio and workout types and tracks heart rate and cadence rate for intensifying your workout.
Pedals are compatible with SPD indoor cycling shoes and will accommodate both high-performance SPD cleats as well as traditional fitness shoes.
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1986 Cons:
The Potential For A Better Screen:
There’s not many bad things to say about the SF-B1986, but one critique seems to be that the monitor lacks technological finesse. Other models at that price point offer a broader range of monitor offerings, including a screen, guided workout tracks, and more. Having a video screen can also be helpful for people who follow along with cycle workouts. Though some may be pleased with the simplicity of the Evolution Pro II’s LCD screen, the potential for better does hold this back from being the best magnetic spin bike under $1000.
Unfortunately like almost all the other Sunny Health and Fitness spin bikes, this one also comes with a pretty wide q-factor. At 216mm it might feel a bit wide for some users, especially elite riders who are used to narrow q-factors of road bikes.
Again, this is a general issue with all the Sunny indoor bikes and other fitness equipment. The brand offers a 180-day warranty which is very little compared to what other spin bike brands offer.
The Final Verdict
Despite its simpler design and electronic capabilities, the SF-B1986 is a showstopper that should be in every fitness enthusiast’s collection. Its highly versatile design allows for maximum customization to the needs of every cyclist, and integrated extras like dumbbell holders and emergency brakes make for an enhanced workout experience. The sleekly integrated flywheel/belt system and micro-adjustment knob make for a simple yet challenging workout design that you can build to your exact needs. The dimensions of the bike are also a pro: sitting at just under four and a half feet tall, it fits comfortably into any location in your home or gym without taking up a ton of space. However, sometimes it’s best to also hear from multiple people who’ve owned and tested the bike extensively. Here’s another customer who praised the bike for much of the same pros we found:
“Like a lot of people, our first experience with a Sunny Health cycle bike was with the B1002 model (i.e. cheap, friction, 49 lb flywheel). That’s a decent bike and gets the job done … although we wanted a better bike and the ability to track performance metrics. Decided to stay with Sunny Health, and glad we did. The B1986 bike is a HUGE step up (magnetic, much higher build quality/materials/frame, excellent adjustment, and the most advanced performance stats SH offers). I would recommend this bike to anyone looking for magnetic resistance, because the magnetic placement has been revised on this model to provide as much resistance and you desire (i.e. as much as the friction bike)… Simply put, the B1986 is the newest and best cycle bike SH offers. I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase it again. ”
At the end of the day, the SF-B1986 is one of the best bikes on the market. Its performance, durability, and riding metrics are off the charts in every category. The few small cons (mostly underdeveloped technology aspects and limited resistance scale options) are important to remember, but easily worked around by adding a tablet onto the included personal device holder or by utilizing the included dumbbell holders and putting weight training into your spin workout. The SF-B1986 is versatile and flexible in both user audience and user abilities, making it a great across-the-board choice for any cyclist committed to the art of spin.