With impressive specs and a more than fair price, the Sole SB900 Exercise Bike has earned a lot of respect in the indoor cycling world.
And it’s no secret why – with a heavy flywheel, heavy-duty frame, and great warranty, it was easily one of the best options in its price range.
Well, with Sole’s 2023 update, the SB900 got even better.
Most notably, this bike now comes with 100 resistance levels, making it easier to follow along with popular streaming apps, but the console got a subtle upgrade as well.
Overall, I still think the SB900 is a great deal for folks looking for a durable cycle that won’t destroy your budget, but before you decide, you need to know what you’re getting into.
And that’s where I can help.
In this thorough review, we’ll go over all the specs and features this exercise bike has to offer.
After reading, you’ll know whether or not the SB900 is the right indoor cycle for your home gym.
Let’s do this.
The Sole SB900 Exercise Bike
If you’re familiar with the Sole name, it’s probably from their treadmills.
Sole is most well-known for their quality treadmills, although they do offer bikes (obviously), ellipticals, and rowing machines as well.
Sole Fitness started out as a manufacturer of hotel fitness equipment.
Hotel use counts as “light commercial”, which is somewhere between residential and commercial grade (the grade of equipment you’d find in a Gold’s Gym for example).
I find it pretty interesting that they started out as a provider for hotels. To me, this means they started out with the mindset of developing equipment that is meant to last under the stress of multiple users.
From day one, they were designing equipment that was a little higher grade than purely residential equipment.
And as they shifted into producing home fitness equipment, it doesn’t seem as though much has changed.
Sole is known for creating heavier-duty machines and backing them with great warranties, which says a lot about the trust they have in their products.
The updated SB900 is priced around $1100 at the time of writing this, but that might vary a little by the time you read this.
- 35.27 lb flywheel
- 100 levels of magnetic resistance
- Belt drive
- Fully adjustable seat
- Fully adjustable, multi-grip handlebars
- Heavy-duty frame
- Max weight capacity of 300 lb
- Dual-compatible pedals
- Tablet holder
- Bluetooth compatible
- Easy to assemble
- Dual water bottle holders
- Dumbbell rack
- Great warranty
- Rather basic console
- No built-in workout programs
When reviewing an indoor cycle, I always like to start at the flywheel.
Most people consider this the heart of the bike and probably the most important feature. In case you’re new to indoor cycling, the flywheel is the part of the bike that spins as you pedal.
Flywheel weight is a much debated topic, but the majority of folks probably still believe that heavier flywheels are preferred to lighter ones (although the good folks behind the Keiser M3i would disagree).
The general idea being that the extra weight gives you a smoother pedal motion and ride as the momentum builds up.
If you buy into the “heavier is better” school of thought, you will appreciate the fact that the SB900 comes with a 35.27 lb flywheel.
At 35 lb, this bike easily has enough muscle under the hood to support strenuous workouts and provide a smooth feel (although it’s interesting to note that the older SB900 models came with 48 lb flywheels).
Combine this heavy flywheel with a magnetic resistance system and a belt drive and you have the makings for a remarkably smooth ride.
A belt creates less noise than your typical chain drive because you don’t have to hear the little clanking noise the gear teeth create when they grip the chain.
And magnetic resistance systems are superior to friction resistance systems (which the SB700 uses) because they are quieter and require less maintenance.
This is all great, but what really stands out here is that thee updated SB900 now comes with 100 resistance levels to work with.
As a Peloton user, I love the 100 level scale because it gives you a ton of freedom when it comes to controlling the intensity of your workouts.
Having so many levels at your disposal lets you make really small increases/decreases as you see fit.
The older version of the SB900 used a micro-adjustable resistance system, which was fine, but it made it harder to replicate workouts and follow apps like Peloton Digital.
Overall, the updated SB900 scores very highly with its heavy flywheel and 100 resistance level system.
The SB900 is constructed with a robust frame that will feel stable regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing to climb hills.
I say that because this cycle comes with an assembled weight of 123 lb, which is great for a bike in this price range (where anything over 100 lb is pretty solid).
For the sake of comparison, Schwinn’s similarly-priced IC4 weighs in at around 112 lb.
This bike also has a max weight capacity of 300 lbs.
This is pretty standard for indoor cycles, especially ones in this price range. That said, as heavy-duty and robust as this bike is, it’s a little surprising it can’t handle a little more weight than that.
Fully assembled this bike takes up the following floor space: 54″ x 21″.
This is pretty average for an indoor cycle, so nothing too exciting going on here.
Speaking of assembly, the SB900 should be pretty easy to build, as are most indoor cycles.
Overall, I like how heavy this cycle is because it’ll make for a more stable base during use.
The seat on the SB900 is fully adjustable, meaning it can be adjusted vertically and horizontally (fore/aft).
Having the fore/aft adjustment is crucial for finding the most comfortable fit and luckily, most cycles offer this these days.
Speaking of comfort, everyone should know that indoor cycle seats (just like road bike seats) are usually uncomfortable for beginners.
You usually get used to it with time, but if you aren’t an avid cyclist you’ll probably find the seat a little less than comfortable.
This is true for pretty much all indoor cycles- it’s just the way they’re designed (narrow to mimic the feel of riding a road bike).
If you want to upgrade to a more comfortable seat, or if you already own a road bike seat you prefer, you can easily switch out the seat on the SB900.
The handlebars on this bike aren’t anything particularly fancy.
They’re multi-grip, so they do offer the standard, narrow, and wide grips used for different riding positions.
The most notable feature here is that the handlebars are also fully adjustable, giving you the ability to adjust them horizontally as well as vertically (something the expensive Peloton actually doesn’t even offer).
There’s also 2 water bottle holders attached to the handles, which is a nice touch, and an included dumbbell in the rear for storing small dumbbells (comes in handy when following along with streaming apps).
When discussing exercise bike pedals, it’s good to know whether it has cages or a clip in system.
Cages are found on most budget and mid-ranged bikes and can be used with any type of shoe or sneaker. Clip in systems require cleats that are compatible with that brand (SPD for example).
This bike conveniently offers dual-compatible pedals that come with both options.
You can ride with sneakers and the cages if you don’t have cleats or if you do have them (or are willing to purchase them) you can take advantage of the SPD clipless pedals.
The console on the updated SB900 is pretty similar to the console the older models came with.
It consists of a fairly small, single window LCD screen that can really only display your basic workout metrics.
That said, it is compatible with bluetooth/ANT+ heart rate monitors and it’s also bluetooth compatible with the Sole+ App for metric tracking.
The updated model also comes with an included tablet holder that’s conveniently located above the console, so you don’t have to block your view of your stats if you want to watch your tablet or follow along with fitness apps.
Speaking of which, I believe Peloton now offers a free version of their Digital App, giving you access to like 50 free workouts – could be a sweet deal if you’re looking for an affordable Peloton hack.
Sole Fitness offers the following warranty on their SB900 Exercise Bike:
- Lifetime frame
- 2 year parts
- 1 year labor
This is a pretty solid warranty for this price range.
It’s rare to see a lifetime frame warranty on any indoor cycle, so the fact that Sole offers this is great to see.
Two years on parts is also pretty good, considering most bikes in this price range are offering somewhere between 1 – 3 years.
For example, Peloton offers 1 year on parts; NordicTrack offers 2 years; and Schwinn offers 3 years.
And a year on labor matches what pretty much everyone else offers, so no big deal there.
Overall, Sole doesn’t offer the best warranty out there, but it’s certainly near the top for this price range.
Ok, I think that about does it for the SB900.
Looking at the specs and features this bike comes with, there’s really not much to complain about.
It would be nice if the console offered some workout programs, but otherwise, I really like this cycle for the price range.
The heavy flywheel, robust frame, and generous warranty are great, but it’s the upgraded resistance system that really stands out for me on the updated SB900.
I think it was smart of Sole to give this bike 100 resistance levels because this makes it easier than ever for folks to follow along with Peloton Digital.
Sole basically took a great bike and made it just a little better.
Overall, I think the SB900 is easily one of the best exercise bikes in its price range and likely even one of the best indoor cycles this year has to offer.
So, if you’re looking for an elite indoor cycle that’s more budget friendly than most, this is a very smart buy.