The Sole Fitness SB700 Indoor Exercise Cycle is currently the company’s most popular spinning bike for many reasons, including the stable design, smooth cycle motion, and challenging range of resistance levels.
This review takes a closer look at the design features, console functions, workout options, and customer reviews to help you decide if this is the best choice of bike for achieving your own personal fitness goals.
Although Sole Fitness tend to be better known for their range of high quality home treadmills, they’ve also taken their knowledge of exercise and ergonomics and used it to create 3 different styles of exercise bike; studio, upright, and recumbent.
The Sole Fitness SB700 falls into the first category of being a spinning / studio style exercise bike, with a large flywheel and variety of adjustable design features.
In terms of adjustment options, most bikes usually fairly limited, and only offer you the chance to adjust the height of the seat.
But with the SB700, you also get the chance to adjust the distance between the handles and the saddle, as well as the height of the handlebars themselves.
With spinning workouts usually performed at a much higher intensity than recumbent or upright bike cycling, positioning yourself in a way that transfers the most power from your legs to the pedals is always going to be an advantage.
Sole Fitness SB700 – Features Summary
- Console Display: integrated with RPM, time, KCal, speed, distance
- Display: 3 by 4-inch backlit blue LCD
- Seat/Handlebar Adjustment: Up/Down; Fore/Aft
- Pedals with toe straps
- Brake pads
- Turn knob resistance
- 48-pound, chrome plate flywheel
- Water bottle holders
- Frame: two-millimeter oval steel tubing
- Transport wheel
Entertainment vs. workout quality
If you’re more used to using the commercial style upright bikes at your local gym, the main difference you’ll probably notice is the lack of entertainment options.
You don’t have the cooling fan, speakers, preset workout programs, speakers, or MP3 connectivity like you do with Sole’s upright bike.
This has not only helped with keeping the cost lower, but also ensures that you’re only paying for the features and functions that you’re actually going to use.
It’s important to mention that this isn’t unique to the Sole Fitness SB700, and this focus on exercise quality rather than entertainment is something that can be seen on most modern studio bikes.
In fact, the SB700 is actually one of the few spin bikes that still includes a display console.
Attached to the main handlebars and out of the way of the main grip positions, this sits between two large water bottle holders, which helps you to stay hydrated and get better performance out of your workouts.
They’ve also been place in a position that doesn’t restrict your forearm or grip positions, which makes your workout feel much more like cycling outdoors on a road bike.
Apart from the set of transport wheels and comparatively lightweight frame design, there is one final subtle feature we wanted to mention.
That is the pair of levellers attached to the rear base stabilizer.
Each of these can quickly and easily be adjusted to compensate for any uneven ground that the bike may need to rest on, allowing you to worry less about the stability of the bike and focus more of your attention on the exercise.
Display console design
Although smaller display consoles are usually associated with entry level upright bikes, this shouldn’t take anything away from the quality of the Sole Fitness SB700.
For the majority of spin bikes, this isn’t a feature they offer. Even for some of the bestselling models that have hundreds of highly rated reviews, you would usually need to combine a heart rate belt and fitness watch if you wanted to track any of your workout information.
Bearing that in mind, the console that’s provided with the SB700 actually manages to display a highly useful collection of workout information, with a design that’s not too different from the Keiser M3.
SB700 display console
Keiser M3 display console
Despite the small screen, you can still keep track of your rpm (as both a number counter and a dial), heart rate, calories burned, speed, distance, clock, and time.
To make the most of the screen space, the last 4 of these stats will periodically rotate between each other along the lowest section.
In terms of button functions, due to the size of the console these have had to be drastically reduced compared to what you might be used to seeing on Sole’s ellipticals or treadmills.
The left button is used to scroll through the last 4 workout stats if you don’t want to wait for them to change automatically, while the button on the right can be used to set a target heart rate range for the heart rate monitor.
For a style of bike that doesn’t offer any preset workout programs, this is an extremely useful feature to have, especially considering how important your heart rate level is for achieving specific fitness goals.
One last thing to mention about the console is that you can actually program in basic personal information (gender and bodyweight).
If you’ve had problems with inaccurate feedback on this stats when using entry level exercise bikes in the past, this is the information that makes the ‘calories burned’ calculation and target heart rate range much more accurate.
Burn calories, improve muscle tone and increase endurance
Studio bikes are somewhat unique in the workout options they offer, in the sense that most designs don’t actually provide any preset workout options, regardless of the price.
So what’s the most effective way to improve your lower body strength, muscle tone, cardiovascular health, and burn calories?
For the Sole Fitness SB700, this will be the result of combining the information displayed on the console with the wide range of resistance settings.
Instead of using a magnetic or fan powered resistance system, the SB700 uses the friction created by a special pad rubbing against the flywheel. The closer the friction pad is to the flywheel, the more challenging your workout becomes.
In commercial gyms, you’ll usually find studio bikes in spinning classes, where people cycle in a group as part of a fitness class, usually to music with a fast tempo.
This is because the best results will be seen from high intensity workouts, or some variation of interval training, where you switch between shorter periods of high and low intensity.
If your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, or see as many calories burned as possible in the shortest time, HIIT workouts are an excellent place to start.
Ease of assembly
As well as the obvious design benefits from Sole’s years of experience in the fitness equipment industry, you’ll also find that each of the assembly instructions in the user manual are well written and easy to follow.
Not only that, but the majority of the assembly has already been done for you, before you even get the parts out of the box.
Due to the streamlined, compact design and minimal moving parts, the frame and flywheel are the sections that arrive pre-assembled, leaving just the pedals, base stabilizers, seat, and handlebar unit to be attached.
In fact, the assembly pack checklist that accompanies the owner’s manual lists just 28 pieces, which are mostly made up of basic bolts (10 pieces) and washers (12 pieces).
With so few steps to follow, the Sole Fitness SB700 really is the ideal choice of exercise bike for anyone that wants to get started with their cardio as soon as possible.
In total, with such simple instructions and limited parts, it shouldn’t take you much longer than 20 minutes to get the bike fully setup and ready to use.
The aim of this review has been to provide you with all the information you need to decide if the Sole Fitness SB700 is the best choice of exercise bike for your own exercise routine.
While we always try to include as much relevant and useful information as possible, it also makes sense to research the customer reviews section of online marketplaces, such as Amazon.
Not only is this a great source of reviews (currently over 70 available for the SB700, with the majority rated at the full 5 stars), but you will also find answers to questions you might still have about the bike.
You can even ask your own question if the answer you’re looking for isn’t already available.
To provide a quick summary of these reviews, we’ve put together lists of pros and cons based on the points that were mentioned most often.
- Sturdy frame design
- Low impact on your knees
- Excellent customer service
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Quiet resistance system thanks to the friction pad and flywheel combination
- Comfortable seat
- Assembly tools are provided
- Fully adjustable to help you find the most comfortable and natural cycling position for your height and body type
- Smooth cycling motion, even at higher resistance levels
- Display console provides useful feedback throughout your workout
- Free shipping
- Programming in simple information takes much longer than on larger displays due to the limited button functions
- Despite its compact design and transport wheels, the weight of the bike (140 lbs) can make it difficult to move around once it’s setup
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Parts/Electronics: 3 years
- Frame: Lifetime
- Labor: 1 year
- Labor: 1 year
Extended warranty available–sold separately