Sunny Health & Fitness Tornado Air Bike Review
Even the cheaper brands tend to have their high point. Their shining glory might not match up to some of the bikes that can cost thousands, but they can still catch the buyer’s eye. In this instance, Sunny Health & Fitness (SH&F) is the cheaper brand and the Tornado Fan Bike (or SF-B2729 if you prefer model numbers) is the shining glory. At least, it is the highest model in the series of air bikes that Sunny Health offers. If you want to keep the price relatively low in comparison to those like the Assault bikes and Schwinn Airdyne series, but still want the best of what SH&F has to offer, the Tornado might take your interest. But does it merit that price? That’s what we’re here to find out. So with all of that out of the way, let’s hop right into our review of the Sunny Health & Fitness Tornado Fan Bike!
Since we’ve made multiple mentions of price already, it seems to make sense that we start with the pricing and warranties that come with the Tornado Fan Bike. The Tornado costs right around $700 at a retail price, which is more expensive than all of the other SH&F air bikes combined. That might speak more to the cheapness of the rest of the bikes rather than the overwhelming expense of the Tornado, but it should show you how much the Tornado is valued by Sunny. The warranty that comes with all of the SH&F bikes still applies here, although it doesn’t look very good next to the price. You get 3 years on the frame, 90 days on the belt and 90 days on the parts. There is no labour warranty. While this might be an OK warranty (at best) for those cheaper air bikes, it’s pretty awful for this more expensive version. The official shipping process of SH&F claims that it should take a week, although it doesn’t ship outside of the continental United States. This shouldn’t be an issue if you order it from another site, however. The assembling process shouldn’t be an issue either, as a lot of the bike arrives pre-assembled. You’ll just have to do a few bits of putting together the rest, with a manual and the correct materials to streamline the process. Hopefully it shouldn’t take more than an hour, although it might take more if you aren’t particularly handy.
Up next is the monitor of the Tornado Fan Bike. Monitors have become an increasingly important element of modern bikes (air or otherwise) and the Tornado is no different. Sunny Health & Fitness haven’t got a great record when it comes to these monitors on their other air bikes, but doesn’t mean they can’t turn it around here. And while we say that they could make a brilliant monitor to go with the Tornado, they really didn’t. It is larger than the other SH&F monitors and has a couple of key advantages. First, it has 2 preset workouts available: interval training and target goals for various statistics. Some of these statistics that it can track and give you targets for include distance, time, total time, calories, pulse, watts, speed, and RPMs. The interval training comes in 10/20, 20/10 and a custom interval that you can set. This does make it quite good for high intensity interval training (HIIT) that has become popular these days. Unlike the rest of the SH&F air bikes, the Tornado can also track heart rates through a Bluetooth connection with a chest strap (although one is not included with the bike). There’s no scan mode, as you can see all of the stats on one screen. There’s also no ability to switch to metric measurements, which is somewhat annoying.
But what about the resistance? The challenge that the Tornado Fan Bike offers whoever dares to get onboard? The good news is that there is plenty of challenge to be found here. You will experience a huge 27.5 inch fan that offers a dynamic resistance as you pedal. For those who don’t know, a dynamic air resistance system means that the harder you pedal, the more resistance you meet. Again, this is another win for HIIT fans. The drivetrain of the Tornado Fan Bike is a chain, which means that it will be louder than if it used a belt drive (or even a combination of belt and chain like the Zephyt bike and Motion bike). Fortunately you will find a better crank system on the Tornado than any other SH&F air bike. It’s a 3-piece rank rather than a 1-piece, giving it some separation and more stability.
Many of the other Sunny bikes thrive on being small and mobile, but does the Tornado Fan Bike follow suite? Quite frankly, no it does not. The Tornado weighs more than 30 lbs its closest sibling in the SH&F air bike family, totalling at 98.6 lbs (44.7 kg). This does mean that it can hold a maximum weight of 330 lbs (150 kg). The Tornado bike itself measures out to be 56 inches (142 cm) long, 23.5 inches (60 cm) wide and 49.25 inches (125 cm) tall. Unlike the other Sunny air bikes, the Tornado does have floor stabilizers (although not particularly good ones) that will allow for some stability during the workout. The transportation wheels and handlebar at the front and rear of the bike also make it slightly easier to move around the home.
We’re going to finish with the rest of the physical elements. The single grip handlebars of the Tornado Fan BIke are not adjustable vertically or horizontally. They are dual action, meaning that they move with the pedals. In combination with the foot pegs on either side of the fan, this means that you can actually get a pretty good upper body workout in. This only serves to increase the variability and usefulness of the Tornado. The saddle of the Tornado also offers some variation, being able to be adjusted both vertically and horizontally. This allows for a lot more customization in how you can fit on the bike. In general, the build and saddle of the Tornado allows for users in between 5’0” and 6’2” to comfortably fit onboard. The frame of the saddle isn’t too thick, which is annoying and can lead to a little bit of shaking during the workout. The issue with the saddle of the Tornado is the same issue that plagues Sunny Health & Fitness air bikes across the board; they just aren’t comfortable. Even if it does deliver some thick cushioning, you might want to look for some extra padding for the Tornado. The pedals of the Tornado are pretty simple. Unlike the pedals of the other air bikes from SH&F, there are no straps here. Instead they are described as non-slip and “self levelling”, which really doesn’t mean a whole lot. They are just pedals that will hold your feet in place, which is all they need to do. There aren’t any bonus water bottle holders, but there is a device holder on the monitor. However, if you use that, you won’t actually be able to see the monitor.
Sunny Health and Fitness Tornado Fan Bike Pros:
- Dynamic air resistance and large fan gives plenty of workout variety and challenge
- 4-way adjustable seat allows for a wider variety of people to fit
- The monitor provides preset workouts, even if it is only a couple options
- Interval programs allow for more HIIT
- The monitor allows for Bluetooth connections with a chest strap
- Monitor is larger than other Sunny models and shows all statistics at the same time
- Easy to assemble thanks to the partial pre-assembled components
- Dual action arms and footrests allow for upper body workouts
- The 3-piece crank is a better system than the 1-piece crank that is on all the other Sunny air bikes
- Transport wheels make it easier to move around
- Stabilizers allow for a more firm basis for your workouts
Sunny Health and Fitness Tornado Fan Bike Cons:
- Horrible warranty, especially for the increased price
- The chain drive means it isn’t a very quiet machine
- Quite a bit heavier than other air bikes in the Sunny lineup
- Media tray blocks the monitor if used
- Chest strap is not included
- Seat suffers from the same discomfort that many Sunny bikes do
The Tornado is the best of the Sunny health and fitness air resistance bikes, that is to be sure. It offers elements that you would expect to find on modern bikes. The monitor is better than the other Sunny bikes, but it still isn’t that brilliant by current standard or air bikes. The dynamic air resistance should fit just about anyone, as well as the general build of the Tornado being more stable than the rest. Whether or not you think this justifies a $300 increase from the Motion Air Bike is less in our hands. It is a good bike, but it has significantly less protection in warranties and not an absurd amount of improvements over it.