*TreadmillReviewGuru helps consumers find the best home fitness products. When you buy a product we recommend, we may earn a commission.
Last Updated: October 10, 2023
A new addition to Sole’s lineup of exercise bikes is the Sole SB1200. This exercise bike is one of the best on the market because it has a well-built steel frame and a heavy 35 lb flywheel, and it comes with some great content features without requiring an additional subscription fee. On the 10” touch screen, you have access to 12 preloaded streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Max (you know HBO) – to name a few. The Sole SB1200 also adjusts 3 different ways easily to accommodate a wide range of heights and weights up to 330 lbs. The SB1200 is quiet and offers 100 levels of adjustable magnetic resistance, as well as the option to use SPD cleats or regular tennis shoes. This is just scratching the surface though, so let’s dive into the full Sole SB1200 Exercise Bike review.
Awards: Best Exercise Without A Subscription
Not only is the Sole SB1200 a solid exercise bike with great construction that’s backed by a lifetime warranty, but it also comes with nice tech features. The 10” touch screen offers targeted training options, good metrics tracking, and 12 preloaded streaming apps. These apps, like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, are available to stream from without a subscription. All you have to do is log into your account for each app and begin watching while you ride. That is why we’ve awarded the SB1200 as the best exercise bike without a subscription among our picks for the best exercise bikes on the market. Of course, the SB1200 has other great qualities like the 100 levels of quiet adjustable magnetic resistance, hybrid pedals, and 3-way adjustability. So, if you’re looking for an exercise bike that checks these boxes, you’re in luck with the Sole SB1200.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Sole SB1200
Our team here at TRG consists of certified indoor cycling instructors, personal trainers, and exercise equipment testers who spend a lot of time using fitness equipment. We know what to look for in exercise bikes and what makes a model worth buying. We look at everything from the construction and flywheel weight to the pedals, seat, and handles, and the console features. Our team also ranges from 6’5” to 5’1” so we represent a wide range of heights which helps us determine how well folks can get a good fit on the bikes we test.
Our Sole SB1200 Exercise Bike Review Video
- Adjustable 10.1” Android-Powered Touch Screen
- Targeted Time, Distance, and Calorie Goal Settings
- 12 Preloaded Streaming Apps: Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, YouTube, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, CNN, ESPN, Audible, and Kinomap
- Screen Mirroring
- Pairs With Sole+ App
- Pairs With Garmin Device
- Bluetooth Speakers
- Adjustable Device Rack
- 2 Cupholders
- 2 Weight Cages (Weights Sold Separately)
- 100 Levels of Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
- Resistance Knob/Brake
- Front Transport Wheels
- 4 Adjustable Leveling Feet
- Footprint: 57” L x 21” W x 63” H
- Welded Steel Construction
- Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
- Bike Weight: 127 lbs
- Flywheel Weight: 35.27 lbs
- Belt Drive System
- 3 Adjustment Points
- Hybrid Pedals (SPD Clips & Toe Cages)
- Warranty: Lifetime frame, 2 years all other components, and 1-year labor
In-depth Review of the Sole SB1200 Exercise Bike
Preprogrammed Workouts, Apps, and Features
One of our favorite aspects of Sole Fitness equipment is that they don’t require you to pay an additional subscription fee to access all of the content and features on the touch screens. This brand also manufactures really well-made equipment, but I’m going to start by walking you through what is available on the Sole SB1200’s touchscreen.
Since the resistance isn’t automated to adjust with preset levels like Sole’s treadmills are for the speed and incline, the onboard workout programs are targeted goal settings. You can set goals for the distance, time, and calories to try to hit while you workout. You can also just press start and begin pedaling.
When in a workout, the SB1200 tracks your metrics such as watts, distance (in kilometers or miles), time elapsed, heart rate (when paired with a compatible monitor), and resistance level. These are displayed across the top of the screen. Under stats in the training tab, you can choose what metrics you want displayed in addition to the ones up top. So, you can see your speed in RPMs or MPH, time and distance left if you are doing a targeted time or distance goal workout, your average speed, average resistance level, average watts, and METs.
The charts tab then charts your resistance level, watts, and heart rate levels while riding.
These include Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Max, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Peacock, CNN, ESPN, Audible, and Kinomap. The great thing about these apps is that all you need to do is log into your account for each of them and begin streaming. Other brands that offer app streaming, like Bowflex’s JRNY, require an additional subscription fee to access the apps.
And if these apps aren’t enough, you can also mirror content from your phone to the screen and play the content through the speakers. This is great if you want to use a training app like iFit or Peloton for trainer-led content on the SB1200. This feature is a little easier to do with iPhones, but you can do it with Androids by downloading and using a separate app when connecting to the SB1200.
The Sole SB1200 pairs with the Sole+ App which offers workout history tracking, connectivity to apps like Apple Health, Strava, MapMyFitness, and more, and a few trainer-led classes. The classes aren’t quite to the level of iFit or Peloton, but they’re free when you pair the SB1200 to the app. There are also other workouts for off the bike and for other Sole equipment like treadmills and ellipticals.
The Sole+ App is a great way to set up a profile on the SB1200, too. There are multiple profiles that can be saved on the SB1200. Saving a profile keeps your workout history and keeps you logged into the apps so you don’t have to re-login every time you use the bike. I suggest using the Sole+ App to set up a profile and sync your phone with the SB1200.
This isn’t the largest screen we’ve seen on exercise bikes and there are plenty of models with larger screens if that is what you prefer. The screen is large enough to see everything and navigate while riding. It’s also easy to reach. The screen is adjustable to tilt up and down for better viewing of your height, and it pivots almost 360 degrees to either side so you can see the screen from off the bike. We like adjustable touch screens on exercise bikes.
The resistance knob below the handles in front of you while riding is where you adjust the resistance. When turned to the right it increases the resistance, and the left decreases it. Pushing the knob activates the brake which stops the flywheel. This is a pretty standard design that makes using the SB1200 easy and straightforward. There aren’t any resistance buttons on the console or on the screen.
While we can hear them clearly, we wish the volume increased a little more. Some videos have lower volume settings than others and don’t go quite as loud, but most sound loud enough. You adjust the volume by pressing the small speaker icon on the top right corner of the screen. This is easy to do while riding. There is a fan icon, but no fan on the bike. You’ll need to plug in your own to get a breeze to cool you off.
The adjustable device rack on top of the screen is just like the ones found on other Sole equipment. The top expands for a larger tablet. You can place your phone or tablet here when you want to stream content from your own device. There isn’t any storage on the bike, but there are 2 large holders for your water on the front of the bike below the screen. I can reach these easily while riding.
Behind the saddle are two weight cages for light 2-3 lb dumbbells. Unfortunately, the SB1200 doesn’t come with dumbbells so you’ll have to use your own or purchase some separately. They’re out of the way but you can reach back to grab the weights while sitting in the saddle. You’ll just want to be careful when mounting and dismounting the bike to not hit them if you swing your leg over the saddle.
Construction Quality & Durability
The Sole SB1200 Exercise Bike is a standard front flywheel bike. It is compact, yet very functional with its traditional design. The SB1200 offers a traditional riding experience with adjustable, quiet resistance. This is a bike that’s appropriate for most homes because of its size and noise output.
The Sole SB1200 has a steel frame with two steel stabilizers that support the bike. Under each stabilizer are 2 adjustable leveling feet so you can plant the bike on the floor. This design is incredibly stable with no shaking or rocking of the bike or screen. The SB1200 can handle a lot of miles and is great for users of most sizes for riding in and out of the saddle.
The saddle adjusts up/down and forwards/back, and the handles adjust up and down. With the adjustability and geometry of the bike, we found that we don’t miss that the handles don’t adjust horizontally. It has a good reach of 15” to 19” when the seat is all the way forward and back, measured from the base of the handlebars to the nose of the saddle.
The leg span (your inseam) when measured with the saddle to the highest and lowest points to the top of the lowest pedal is 28” to 38”. This is a great range. Our team ranges from 5’1” (me) up to 6’5” and we think this bike can work well for users who are a little taller and shorter than this range. When riding, I’m on the 2nd notch, so there’s room for the seat to lower for someone shorter than me. The same is true for Matt, our tallest reviewer.
Along with the construction of the frame, we also consider the weight of the flywheel when factoring in the quality and durability of an exercise bike. The flywheel contributes to the pedal motion and stability of the bike. The SB1200 has a heavy flywheel of 35.27 lbs. This is a little heavier than other bikes priced higher like the NordicTrack S22i and S27i.
The SB1200 uses adjustable magnetic resistance which provides less wear and tear on the flywheel over time. There are two magnetics that create a drag on the flywheel the closer they get to the flywheel (without touching) so you feel more resistance on the pedals.
Magnetic resistance is found on higher-end bikes and requires less maintenance than friction resistance which uses felt pads to create drag on the flywheel. Magnetic resistance can also be calibrated to see which level you’re at on the touch screen, while friction resistance cannot.
There are 100 levels of resistance. This is a good whole number that I think most people prefer. Level 100 is very challenging, to the point where I can barely pedal, while the levels below 10 are very light. Most people of various abilities should have a good range of resistance to pedal against on the Sole SB1200.
This means that one side offers toe cages to place your feet in while wearing athletic shoes. There is a nylon strap to tighten and loosen them around your feet to keep them in place. The toe cages are a good depth for most people, without feeling too shallow. On the other side, the pedals have SPD clips which are the most common type of cycling clips. This means that if you’re a road cyclist, or if you just prefer to ride clipped-in, you can on the SB1200. This makes the SB1200 convenient for most people.
Connecting the pedals to the flywheel is a belt drive, which is pretty standard on indoor cycling bikes. Belt drives are smooth and quiet so they pair well with bikes that use smooth and quiet magnetic resistance. The belt is covered with plastic coverings to keep it clean and damage-free.
They’re slim enough for me to wrap my hands around, but I wish they were a little more padded. They feel pretty hard. The finger grooves are nice in position 3, but a little more padding overall would make them a little more comfortable. I also wish there was a horizontal bar across the middle for more grip options in position 2.
The coating on the handles is smooth and doesn’t feel sticky as you ride.
Performance & Functionality
The Sole SB1200 is a stable exercise bike that is really quiet to use. When pedaling you can hear the flywheel spinning but it is very quiet and good for most spaces. We recommend the SB1200 for people who want a high-quality exercise bike at a good price point. We also recommend it for those who want a traditional indoor cycling experience on a bike that offers content options without an additional subscription.
I’m not a huge fan of the fabric covering, but it generally feels comfortable with the little bit of padding. We really like the adjustability of the seat because it can work for users of most heights. The handles and seat are also really easy to adjust. Sometimes seat and handlebar posts can feel sticky, but the SB1200’s slides up and down nicely. I don’t like the locking handle mechanism because I prefer knobs, but they work just fine and lock into place to keep the seat and handles from moving.
One thing to keep in mind is that we had to recalibrate the resistance on our SB1200. The resistance knob can only be turned so much in either direction before you can’t turn it anymore. When I turned the knob to the left when initially hopping on, the lowest I could get the resistance to was level 7. In the settings, you can recalibrate the resistance so when you turn it to the left it will reflect the lowest setting of level 1. Even before recalibrating, I could turn the knob all the way to the right up to the max level of 100. The resistance knob turns easily, but it can be hard to set it on specific resistance levels.
There are 2 front transportation wheels on the front stabilizer. When you lift the back stabilizer, the wheels become engaged so you can move it around. This bike weighs 127 lbs so it’s hearty but not too heavy to move for most.
Sole includes a lifetime warranty for the frame which really helps to instill confidence in the construction. The SB1200 comes with a 2-year warranty for all other components and a 1-year warranty for labor.