Sole SB700 Exercise Bike Review – Pros & Con’s (2020)

Kristen (Kacey) NelsonKristen (Kacey) Nelson

Last Updated:November 18, 2020

The Sole SB700 is one of our favorite bikes because of it’s simple design, weighted flywheel and multiple adjustment points for a smooth, comfortable ride. You can’t go wrong with a Sole machine! They are always solidly built with a lifetime warranty and quality components. Sole bikes don’t offer the latest tech like a screen or subscription content, but that keeps the bike simple and easy to use. You don’t need WiFi or even a plug to use the SB700, just hop on and ride.

Sole SB700 Exercise Bike Review 2020

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Who It’s For: Riders who want a high-quality bike with a whopping 48lb flywheel and great warranty

The SB700 is built with several features that keep it lightweight, compact, and simple:

  • Built of heavy steel tubing with aluminum overlay, the SB700 only weighs 141 pounds
  • Front mounted transport wheels so you can move it out of the way
  • Large, red resistance knob is easy to see and reach
  • LCD screen displays ride metrics
  • 48lb Flywheel creates smooth pedal motion

Our Video Review


Pros
  • Bright back-lit LCD screen displays real-time metrics during your ride
  • Steel construction is durable and solid. This bike is ideal for home-use.
  • LCD screen will display heart rate, so if you own a chest strap, you should be able to pair your device and see HR metrics on the screen
  • Tension knob allows riders to add/remove resistance with just the turn of the knob
  • You can find maximum comfort with four points of adjustment; two for handlebars and two for seat
  • Lifetime warranty on the Frame; 3-Year warranty on electronics
  • Toe-cages hold your foot secure on the pedal. These pedals will work with any athletic shoe.
Cons
  • LCD screen is small and may be difficult to see for some people
  • Resistance is created via pad tension on the flywheel

Sole SB700 Exercise Bike Review


FeaturesSpecifications
  • Steel Frame with Aluminum Finish:
    • The SB700 is a well-engineered spin bike. It is designed for home use, or light commercial such as fire stations, apartment complexes or hotel gyms. The SB700 frame carries a full lifetime warranty. The steel frame has an aluminum finish for protection against wear.
  • 48lb Chrome-Plated Flywheel:
    • A heavy flywheel makes all the difference! When riding a stationary bike, the front wheel doesn’t move with the same momentum as it would outdoors. If the flywheel is not heavy enough, it makes the pedal stroke feel heavy and jerky as the pedals lose momentum in the rotation. A weighted flywheel glides smoothly as the energy from your pedal stroke creates kinetic energy in the wheel. The forward inertia keeps the wheel spinning evenly throughout the rotation so there is no jerkiness in the pedal stroke.
  • 3″ X 4″ LCD Integrated console displays heart rate, RPM, Time, kCal, distance, and speed:
    • The LCD display provides a nice readout of your ride metrics. It is large enough to see, but not so big it gets in your way. Sole machines are not designed to feature a lot of tech. Sole builds quality, streamlined equipment that is superbly engineered for a quality ride.
  • Felt Pad Brake Resistance:
    • A felt pad creates friction on the flywheel to generate resistance. Pads are thick and soft so resistance is quiet and does not damage the flywheel. The weighted flywheel and pad create smooth resistance that should challenge any rider. While this isn’t on par with magnetic resistance, friction resistance is found on many commercial bikes and holds up well when serviced appropriately. Pads do wear out and tend to generate more noise than magnetic resistance.
  • Tension Resistance Knob:
    • While the tension knob does give the rider a tactile feel for how much resistance they add with each turn — there is no actual measurement for specific levels. Nor are there any preset levels. This makes calculating accurate wattage slightly more challenging. It also makes it hard to set and find the same level of resistance repeatedly.
  • Handlebars with extension grips:
    • SB700 handlebars offer multiple resting points and feature a lightly coated grip for comfort. This grip material won’t harbor bacteria and is easily wiped off.
  • Four Points of Adjustment:
    • The ability to adjust the bike four ways is vital to finding the correct fit. You can move the seat forward/aft and up/down. You can move the handlebars forward/aft and up/down. This allows riders of all sizes to find the fit that works best for them.
  • Lifetime Warranty on Frame with 3-Year Warranty on Electronics:
    • A lifetime frame warranty reaffirms Sole’s commitment to quality products. These are solid, well-built machines that Sole expects to hold up to regular use.

Construction:

  • Solid Construction with steel posts
  • Footprint: 42″ H x 40” L x 21” W
  • Total Bike Weight: 141 pounds
  • Toe Clip pedals will work with any athletic shoe
  • Large wheels on front stabilizer make it easy to move
  • Two leveling feet on rear stabilizer keep it secure while you ride
  • Belt drive and quiet magnetic resistance create literally no noise
  • 48lb Heavy-Duty Flywheel
  • Max User Weight: 300lb

Console:

  • LCD console displays heart rate, RPM, Time, kCal, distance, and speed

Functionality:

  • Brake Resistance created via felt pad for minimal noise
  • Turn Dial resistance knob
  • 3” x 4” LCD Workout Display
  • Chest Strap Compatible (chest strap not included)
  • Comfortable handlebars with multiple grips
  • Four Points of Adjustment:
    • Adjustable Seat: Vertical/Horizontal
    • Adjustable Handlebars: Vertical/Horizontal

Accessories:

  • 2 Water Bottle Holders

Warranty:

  • Frame Warranty: Lifetime
  • Electronics Warranty: 3 Years
  • Parts Warranty: 3 Years
  • Labor Warranty: 1 Year

In-depth Review of Sole SB700


Construction

Frame

Sole SB700 Frame and flywheel

A solid, steel frame supports the SB700 which is rated for personal or light commercial use. Steel uprights and posts along with front and rear stabilizers hold it securely while riding. The SB700 weighs 141 pounds and while it does have wheels to move it around, the bike must be tipped and rolled to do so. The frame sits firmly on the floor and doesn’t rock or wobble when you are riding. We tested in on a long ride that included both surges in the saddle and lots of uphill work out of the saddle. The SB700 responded well with a solid feel that made us feel stable throughout the ride.

Handlebars

Sole SB700 Handlebars and console

These handlebars offer both horizontal and vertical grips with a center bar that offers a forward-leaning tri-position. Light spongy coating adds just a bit of cushion and is sweat and moisture repellant. These aren’t the most comfortable nor padded handlebars, but they work fine. You can always throw a hand towel over the top of the bars if you want extra padding. The bars are plenty wide and extend back far enough that riders of all sizes should have plenty of room.

FlyWheel

Sole SB700 Exercise bike flywheel

This is a great flywheel for a bike at this price range. While some users feel heavier flywheels are harder to move, the weight actually enhances inertia to keep the wheel spinning smoothly as you pedal. The chrome design also looks chic! The flywheel spins fluidly throughout the pedal motion. Due to the placement of the flywheel under the handlebars, the weight is at the front of the bike, so even when you do have to move it, you can tilt the bike forward with the flywheel pointed down, so it’s not hard to move. The flywheel is extremely quiet as well.

Adjustment Points

Sole SB700 Adjustment Points

The Sole SB700 has four adjustment points. The saddle will move up and down as well as forward and aft. The handlebars also lift up and down and will slide forward and back. Having four adjustment points on an exercise bike makes it easier to find the right fit. Riders of all sizes should be comfortable on the SB700.

Geometry

  • Height: 42″
  • Length: 40″
  • Width: 21″
  • Item Weight(lbs.): 141 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity(lbs.): 300 lbs.

Pedals

Sole SB900 flywheel
The pedals on the Sole SB700 are standard flat pedals with cages and an adjustable strap. There is not an SPD clip on the opposite side of the pedal. There are toothed edges to hold your shoe on securely. You can ride the SB700 with any athletic shoe but it will not support cycling shoes. However, the crank arms have a standard size thread, so you can easily swap out the pedals for different ones if you prefer.

Saddle

Sole SB700 Pedals

Black ergonomic saddle with red leather accent is another cool feature on the SB700. The center area is a black material while the accent edges are red leather. A centered groove enhances breathability and reduces friction points. This is a comfortable saddle. I found the black surface material on the saddle to be just a bit friction-generating. There was a swishing noise as my leg rotated along the sides of the seat. It doesn’t slow you down, but on long rides this could possibly lead to hot spots or friction points for the rider. A gel pad that fits tightly over the saddle would remove this issue.


Console/Controls

Sole SB700 LCD Console

Screen

The LCD screen on the SB700 is pretty basic. It provides readouts for RPM, calories, time and distance. It is backlit but we found it hard to see in more than one condition. A button on the side will light the display when needed. The LCD screen is battery powered, which is a huge perk. It makes it so this bike doesn’t require electricity! You don’t have to place the SB700 next to a wall outlet for it to operate. The LCD screen beeps as soon as you start pedaling to let you know it is on. Then all your metrics are displayed throughout your ride. After a few minutes of disuse the console will time out, but we were able to take several breaks without the screen resetting or turning off.

Accessories

  • No fans
  • No weights
  • One side-mounted water bottle cage
  • There is a tablet mounted on the front handlebars with an adjustable clip to hold devices securely. This is an upgraded feature in 2020 and provides a nice option for listening, watching, or following along with your personal program.

Storage

  • Very little storage on the SB700. There’s no shelf for keys or anything — but it does include a tablet holder that is mounted just above the console on the handlebars. You couldn’t really place anything here other than a tablet or maybe a phone, but it has good visibility and even if you don’t plan to use your phone while riding, you can store it here.

Functionality

Performance

As always, the Sole SB700 is a smooth ride. Streamlined functionality between the flywheel and drive system make it both fluid and comfortable to ride. While friction resistance isn’t my favorite, I couldn’t tell the difference between this and the Sole SB900 bike that has magnetic resistance. Both bikes had equally responsive tension and neither made any noise during use. I can’t say that the SB700 may not produce some noise with extended use — often friction pad resistance bikes can whine a bit when the pads begin to break down — but this is typically after several hundred hours of use.

Incline / Decline range

No incline or decline

Resistance Levels

Sole SB700 Resistance knob and brake
There is no calibrated or digital resistance. This is a tension-knob, so resistance is generated via a Kevlar brake system that slows the flywheel. Tension resistance creates friction so there is more noise and wear with this system. But it is very sensitive and responsive, so just a touch on the knob goes a long way.

Pre-programmed workouts

No onboard or preprogrammed workouts. The LCD display is a digital readout only, there are no programs to load or follow.

Subscription Options

No subscription options. This is a bring-your-own-workout machine.

Noise Level

Slightly more noise than magnetic drive systems, but not too bad. You won’t notice cycling noise while riding. You could use this in a bedroom or other shared space without disturbing those around you. There is also no impact noise — even when riding out of the saddle. This is a great option for anyone who needs quiet exercise equipment.

Storage / Folding

Does not fold up, but it does have wheels and only weighs 141 pounds, so it’s easy to move.

Sole SB700 Exercise Bike Review

Bottom Line:

The Sole SB700 is one of our Best Bikes in 2020 and offers the Best Warranty for a bike at this price point. We love Sole’s commitment to quality and the Lifetime frame warranty reflects this durability. The simple LCD display does not require a plug, so you can ride your bike in any space without worrying about WiFi or outlets! This is a great bike for riders who don’t want to pay for subscription content and don’t need an attached screen. We are impressed with the comfortability of the saddle and the expansive handlebars. We’d love a little more padding on the bars, but a hand towel adds extra cushion if needed. The console is easy to read and lights up as soon as you start pedaling. We’ve used this with the Peloton app and while the bike doesn’t sync to the app directly, you can easily ride along to a Peloton cycling class and enjoy the content on a much cheaper exercise bike that feels comfortable as you ride. Take a look at the Sole SB700 if you are in the market for something simple, affordable, quiet and well-engineered.

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