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Can cardio exercise actually be comfortable? The answer is yes. I’m here to tell you the best exercise bikes are both low-impact and feature comfortable padded seats. 

But you’re probably thinking all the comfort comes at a cost, right? Wrong. In this Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike review, I’ll outline the price point and what you get with this budget-friendly recumbent exercise bike featuring a step-through design. 

We’ve Tested 20 Stationary Bikes and Counting

Your friends here at Garage Gym Reviews test gym equipment so you don’t have to. We have decades of collective fitness industry experience and we use our working knowledge (and fitness certifications) to help inform our testing process. 

Speaking of our experts, for this Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike review, GGR expert product tester Lindsay Scheele hopped on the budget-friendly bike for several low-impact workouts to get a sense of the durability and what to expect from the resistance levels. Lindsay is not only familiar with exercise bikes, she’s an ISSA-certified personal trainer and the lead reviewer on our Garage Gym Reviews Everything YouTube channel. 

Lindsay was tasked with rating a variety of categories on a scale of 1 to 5 using our in-depth fitness equipment testing methodology. Here is a sampling of the categories and questions Lindsay had to cover: 

  • Durability: What is the flywheel weight and user weight capacity?
  • Adjustability: Are there seat adjustments that can be moved up, down, forward, and backward?
  • Conveniences: Are there water bottle holders or a media shelf?
  • Technology: Is there a basic console for workout metrics? Does it offer Bluetooth connectivity? 

Sunny Health & Fitness Recumbent Bike

Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike

GGR Score: 3.8 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Just under $300
  • Easily adjust the seat, foot pedals, and resistance levels
  • Easy to mount and dismount

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Under $300
  • User weight capacity of 300 lbs
  • Adjustable seat
  • 8 levels of resistance
  • Pulse sensors
  • Transport wheels

Cons

  • Second set of handlebars are short
  • Lacks a bottle holder
  • No device holder

Bottom Line

For under $300, the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike is an excellent option for beginners on a budget.

A Quick Look at the Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike

Sunny Health & Fitness is a budget-friendly home gym equipment brand carrying everything from weight benches and squat racks to treadmills and ellipticals. When it comes to stationary bikes, Sunny Health & Fitness has all types: air bikes, upright bikes, indoor cycling bikes, recumbent bikes, cross trainers, and even mini pedal exercisers. 

RELATED: Best Budget Home Gym Equipment 

A posed shot of the Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike.

The Essential Recumbent Series by Sunny Health & Fitness consists of two models: Smart and Standard. The Standard model—which is the one we’ll focus on in this review—is one of our top picks on our best recumbent exercise bike roundup. 

You’ll have to head over to Amazon to make this recumbent bike purchase because, at the time of writing this review, the brand’s website was out of stock on the Standard bike model. 

Before You Buy

  • Our review is based on the Standard model (not the Smart model with Bluetooth). 
  • On Amazon, the Standard bike model is called the Classic. 
  • The actual price on the Sunny website is $299.99, but it’s often on sale on Amazon. 

Is the Sunny Health And Fitness Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike Worth It?

With a price tag of $299 and markdowns on Amazon for closer to $220, this recumbent bike could help you add cardiovascular exercise to your fitness routine without making a huge investment. 

The thing about recumbent bikes is the fact it’s just not the best choice for everyone. With a recumbent bike, you’ll be in a seated position similar to an office chair versus an upright bike saddle. It will certainly be more comfortable and easier for older folks to exercise, but it may not be worth it for people who like to see more engagement from the muscles in the lower back, core, and upper body. 

RELATED: Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike

Great for:

  • No-frills cardio equipment 
  • Low-impact exercise 
  • Beginners or folks returning to exercise 

Not recommended for:

  • Anyone looking for dynamic programming
  • Folks who want to replicate upright bike cycling
  • Advanced exercisers 

Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike Specs

PriceAbout $220 on Amazon
Footprint46” L x 24.5” W x 38” H 
Weight capacity300 lbs
Product weight58.7 lbs
Resistance typeMagnetic resistance 
Resistance levels8
Pulse sensorYes
Seat adjustments 29” to 38” leg inseam; 20” to 21” seat height
DisplayLCD digital monitor  
PedalsNon-slip pedals with adjustable strap
Warranty3-year structural frame, 180 days on parts and components

Using the Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike

After a few workouts on the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike, Lindsay reports this bike is best suited for beginners or people returning to exercise after an injury. Lindsay adds that this bike doesn’t offer a ton of resistance and many home gym owners may not get enough tension while pedaling. 

Close up view of a person's feet peddling on the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike.

However, the step-through design is an excellent option to work the hip and knee joints through a full range of motion without too much trouble getting on and off a traditional upright bike. For this reason, recumbent bikes are one of the best exercise bikes for seniors

“It’s lightweight, low-impact, and doesn’t take up a ton of space,” says Lindsay. It’s also an affordable option for anyone who may just need to use the bike temporarily (like regaining leg strength after surgery). 

Footprint and Portability

This Sunny recumbent bike is under 4 feet in length and about 2 feet wide. And because of the recumbent seated position, it only stands about 3 feet tall. It’s also fairly lightweight at 58 pounds and has transportation wheels so you can move it from one room to another. Because it’s compact, light, and not cumbersome to move, the Essential series bike earns a 5-out-of-5-star rating in this category. 

A person using the pulse grip on the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike.

Durability and Construction

Our tester Lindsay was pleasantly surprised to find this Essential recumbent bike offers a durable design (especially for the affordable price point). 

“Despite its lightweight frame, this bike can support up to 300 pounds,” says Lindsay. During the testing process, our experts look for a max user weight of at least 275 pounds on an exercise bike to ensure the bike can stay stable under heavy loads. 

While Lindsay didn’t experience any shaking or rocking while pedaling—due to self-leveling floor stabilizers—she gave the Sunny Health & Fitness bike a 4-out-of-5-star rating. She docks a point because the brand doesn’t disclose information about the flywheel. What we know from the specs is that this bike has eight levels of quiet magnetic resistance. 

Ergonomics and Adjustability 

The ergonomics and adjustability on this budget recumbent bike allow for a leg inseam between 29 to 38 inches, which may not accommodate taller riders. There is also an adjustable seat height range, but it’s also rather small ranging between just 20 to 21 inches. 

Seat adjustment on the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike.

You may like knowing the foot pedals have an adjustable strap for a non-slip riding experience and there is a comfortable 14-inch wide padded seat with a backrest. The one thing Lindsay would like to see is a greater inseam adjustment and adjustments on the handlebar height. For this reason the bike earns a 4-out-of-5-star rating. 

RELATED: Best Exercise Bike With Moving Arms

Close up of the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike pedal.

Technology and Conveniences

When it comes to technology, the Sunny Health & Fitness Standard Essentials recumbent bike earns a 2-star rating. While there is no high-tech touchscreen, you will have a device holder and pulse sensors on the handlebars to track your heart rate. The LCD digital monitor displays basic workout metrics inducing calories, distance, odometer, pulse, speed, time, and scan. 

RELATED: Best Exercise Bike With a Screen

A close up view of the monitor on the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike.

For our review, Lindsay used the Standard model of the Sunny Health & Fitness bike. The Smart recumbent bike model has a Bluetooth connection that can connect to the SunnyFit app for free on-demand workouts. 

Sunny Health & Fitness vs Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike 

Marcy Recumbent ME-709

Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Exercise Bike

GGR Score: 3.4 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Recumbent exercise bike 
  • 8 silent magnetic resistance levels
  • Step-through frame 
  • LCD display to track time, distance, calories burned, and speed

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Step-through frame design
  • LCD display
  • Weighted counter-balanced pedals
  • Free shipping

Cons

  • Reviewers complain of uncomfortable seat
  • Only 8 levels of resistance
  • Short 2-year warranty
  • Limited reviews
  • Customers share it is difficult to change seat distance

Bottom Line

The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike is a basic, affordable machine best for beginners.

The Marcy ME-709 Recumbent bike is similar in price and quality to the Sunny Health & Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike. Both offer eight levels of magnetic resistance and lightweight frames with step-through designs. 

The seat adjustment is easier on the Sunny bike with a simple lever just below the padded seat. On the Marcy ME-709, you’ll be adjusting a pop-pin on the frame itself. If you’re shopping for an older adult or someone who lacks mobility, the Sunny bike makes it easier to switch between inseam adjustments. 

Both machines are available on Amazon and have similar price points around $200 (although the actual price on both may vary based on inventory and sales). Our Marcy-ME 709 Recumbent Bike review outlines more details on our testing experience. 

Sunny Health & Fitness Essential
Recumbent Exercise Bike
Marcy ME-709 Recumbent Bike
PriceAbout $220 on AmazonUnder $200 on Amazon
Footprint46” L x 24.5” W x 38” H 58″ L x 20″ W x 38” H
Weight capacity300 lbs300 lbs
Resistance 8 levels of magnetic resistance8 levels of magnetic resistance
Adjustable seat29” to 38” leg inseam27” to 37” leg inseam
Warranty3-year structural frame,
180 days on parts and components
2-year limited warranty

Customer Experience 

Our GGR product testers used Amazon to purchase the Sunny recumbent exercise bike, which is fast and easy. You’ll have the option to pay with your credit card at checkout or set up a payment plan with Affirm. 

A person is shown reaching for the handles on the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike.

When you order through Amazon this Sunny bike is eligible for free returns within the first 90 days, which is an easy process to start by finding the “Returns and Orders” button in the top right corner. 

This Sunny Health & Fitness bike is also backed by a three-year structural frame warranty and a 180-day warranty on parts and components. Warranty claims can be made directly to the manufacturer by contacting support@sunnyhealthfitness.com

Customer Reviews

On Amazon, this bike has more than 7,000 customer reviews. After reading through some of the review content from verified buyers, it’s clear that the resistance levels don’t accommodate a wide range of exercisers. One review even states, “It’s effortless to pedal.” 

Most of the positive reviews mention the bike is ideal for beginners and seniors, which reinforces who we recommend for this bike. 

Final Verdict of Our Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike Review

The Sunny Health & Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike is an affordable option for beginners and older adults. With only eight levels of magnetic resistance, GGR expert tester Lindsay doesn’t recommend this bike for avid cardiovascular exercisers. 

However, she notes the wide, cushioned seat, lumbar support, and walk-through design offer a comfortable introduction of moderate-intensity cardio into your home and routine. If that sounds like you, head over to Amazon to check out your purchasing options. 

Full Rating

Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Bike

For under $300, the Sunny Health and Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike is an excellent option for beginners on a budget.

Product Brand: Sunny Health and Fitness

Product Currency: $

Product Price: 219.99

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.8

Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike Rating

Footprint and Portability – 5
Delivery and Setup – 4
Durability – 4
Adjustability and Customizations – 4
Tech Capabilities – 2
Conveniences – 3
Customer reviews – 4.5
Warranty, Financing, Returns – 4
Customer service – 4
Buy Now

Sunny Health And Fitness Essential Recumbent Exercise Bike: FAQs

What are the disadvantages of a recumbent exercise bike?

The seated position of a recumbent exercise bike, while it’s an advantage for many, may actually be a disadvantage for some home gym owners. The seated position with a backrest leads to less overall muscle engagement of the body, not activating the muscles of the core, back, and upper body like a traditional stationary bike. 

Is 30 minutes on a recumbent bike good exercise?

The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every week. That said, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on a recumbent bike for 5 days of the week can help you meet this minimum recommendation.

Is a recumbent bike OK for bad knees?

Recumbent bikes are low-impact, which is helpful for anyone with ankle, knee, or hip issues. However, the pedaling movement of a recumbent bike puts your legs out in front of your torso, not under you like a traditional upright bike. Because of this, recumbent bikes require more hip flexion and knee bending. 

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